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Farewell cruddy old bathroom.

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Our bathroom is getting refurbished. Stripped back to the brickwork. Hottest week of the year – what were we thinking?  Dust everywhere. No door. Toilet is at least still insitu but I have to say that the image of Bman sat butt naked on the loo, like a Bottecelli angel taking a shit, isn’t for everyone.  Am thinking of replacing the door with a string curtain made entirely from those air freshening Magic Trees you see in taxis.
It’s going to be a testing time for the next week but it’ll be worth it in the end. At least I’m not 7 months pregnant like last time it was done.  Had to go for a wee every 20 minutes in a bucket in the shed!  At one point, the door blew open and I was revealed in all my rotund splendour to the neighbours.!  Also a sight not to everyone’s tastes.

     I’ve fired up the solar powered camping shower to hang from a tree in the garden but I can’t see the childerbeast going for it.  They may have to resort to using the bathrooms at school.  I’ve already warned my next door neighbour but one that I may be round on Friday morning for a shit and a shower.  Not sure that was what Brendon Cox had in mind for his concept of a neighbourly get together, but nothing breaks the ice like rocking up on the doorstep with a loo roll in one hand and a newspaper in the other, wearing nothing but a bath towel and a smile!

Ciao Ciao Xx

Love letter to my 1st born

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On this day 14 years ago, my first offspring appeared in the world. 3 weeks early, looking a little Simpsonesque with a yellowy tinge & still covered with a fine downy covering of hair all over her little body.

My mellow bird.


Little Hiccup

AKA The Bear.

A new chapter in my life had begun.  It wasn’t all breastfeeding in flowing dresses, sat in a sunny field of wheat.  I have been known to lose my fricking mind.  But I’ve never known love like it.  A mother’s love.


Me & my girl – School Halloween disco circa 2013

Now taller than her (s)mother. She is a beautiful, intelligent, intellectual and artistically talented young lady, on the edge of becoming. So impressed with her artistic skills that I recently had one of her sketches permanently inked on my body.

Go forth and be fabulous my lovely.  Do your best at everything schmoobear.  Make good choices. Be honest. Be kind, and remember that there will be days when things don’t feel right, when you feel bad. But they won’t last.  And if your mama ever tells you that a man (or woman – whichever – we live in an inclusive society after all) is no good for you – please listen.

We love you more than you can possibly comprehend.





Bring me sunshine

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Had a weird week where I hit a major low a couple of times.  Became obsessed with the idea that every time I had a massive dip in mood and self-worth (which is different to self esteem apparently), that some kind of horrendous disaster occurred to someone else.
I felt shit about myself – Manchester bombing.  Had another slump. – London stabbings. Last week, went to bed full of woe and gloom and self-depreciation for no apparent reason I could justify. Black dog snapping at my heels.  Boom! Grenfell Tower fire next day.
Began to feel like a harbinger of death, a bit like Richard Burton in ‘
The Medusa Touch’. Now I daren’t confess to feeling down in case it causes karma to slap me in the face with another horrifying news story of death and mindless waste of life.  Life shouting at me,  “BUCKLE UP FUCK NUGGET! SOME DAYS ARE A BIT WANK. DEAL WITH IT.  SHIT COULD BE WAY WORSE. LIKE FOR THESE POOR FUCKERS, CHECK IT OUT!”  Cue next news story of gloom, doom, hideous untimely death and sorrow.

Life can be a bit of a cunt at times (and depression lies!)

But life can also be beautiful. Kind. Loving. Funny. Worth it.

Today we had a very sunny family day in the garden for Father’s Day.  I swung in a hammock with a glass of Pimms and a new book, and life was good and I was glad to be alive.

And again this morning. 




Who ya gonna call? (prob not these two)

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On Friday night, my friend and I went to Abbey House Museum in Leeds on a Most Haunted Experience. We booked it months ago on the promise of being able to rake around in the dark listening for taps and knocks alongside Karl Beatty and Yvette Fielding.  We found out not long ago though (after we had paid in full of course) that Yvette would be replaced by Stuart Torvell.  Not quite the same, a lot less hair for a start, but there you go.

We knew it would be amusing and entertaining. Perhaps not as much as 30 East Drive because we wouldn’t have the pre-show laughs of The Chequerfields pub and its patrons with their stories. It couldn’t be anything but funny with us two TBH, making our own amusement as usual.


Look. It’s all over Twitter how funny we are.

It started before so much as light even went out, when the crew came outside where we were having a pre-ghost hunt snack. They were shouting out names to check everyone off on their list.  We joined in, asking for I.P freely, Amanda Huggenkiss, Seymore Butts etc and finding ourselves hilarious.


Pretty sure other Team 1s were trading their lanyards for Team 2 to avoid being with us

One of the crew said something about a back passage as we were taking a picture of this sign on the door and thus the puerile level of immaturity was set for the evening.


After bemoaning the decline of the use of the word knob in English signage – one doesn’t see it written down often enough – it was finally time to make a start.  Or so we thought.    Already 45 minutes in and we’d done nothing but eat club biscuits, the crew finally showed us an overly dramatic Health & Safety video with creepy girl from ‘The Ring’ style graphics & scary music. Then they brought out Karl & Stuart (Karl taller in real life than you’d think and also swearier).  It was then time….for more snacks and tea. While the superfans monopolised the ‘Pros’.

Eventually, we all trooped downstairs to the Victorian Street area where we were shown all the tech we could use.  We were shown where the locked-off cameras were and which ones would be live streaming on FB and YouTube. Then the lights went out and off we went in our groups.  Our group went into the pub area (sadly no longer working) and fired up one of the many ouija boards. 


Do you have a message from the afterlife?

Now I am what could best be described as a hopeful believer. I don’t see any reason why there can’t be such a thing as ghosts, but I need to ensure all scientific possibilities have been exhausted as a reason for anything unexplained. I have experienced things that cannot be explained by science or common sense in the past but I am going to need more proof.

What I don’t want is to spend half an hour of my life I’m never getting back, as part of a farcical display of fraudulence from a lady who was clearly in full charge of the planchette and claiming that she was in communication with her partner’s dead dog.

A dog?

Because apparently in the afterlife, animals know how to read and spell.


We abandoned our group fairly sharply after this and tagged on the end of another, but not before a comedy scare moment when my friend shone her torch into one of the shop areas and cacked herself when she saw a man!  Once we had finished pissing ourselves with the giggles, having realised it was just the other group – we went to join them.  This could be much more interesting as this group was led by Stuart from Most Haunted.  It wasn’t!
In his own words, he said a whole lot of what they do is, “standing about in the dark waiting for Fuck All”.

He’s not wrong.  So, you need to amuse yourself.

Namely by texting your mates a heads up to get online and going to find the livestream cameras.


Can you see me Mum? I’m on telly!

I’m not sure Stuart and Karl and the other crew members knew what to make of us two.  In fact I am pretty sure they were hiding from us. While others were jumping at every moth, tap, stomach gurgle and phantom dead dog, we were wandering off alone and laughing about whether or not the CCTV in the gift shop would still be on.  Thought it best not to test it out.  Nobody wants a disciplinary at work for being seen livestreamed on FB pocketing souvenir pencils and rubbers from the gift shop*.
On one of our reccies we discovered some unattended giant character heads.  I’m only sorry I couldn’t see where I was going or we could have done a little dance in front of the livestream cameras.


I think he can hear you Ray

You don’t see Zak Bagans and Aaron Goodwin doing this shit!

After a few hours uneventful wanderings and sitting about in the dark watching bits of tech occasionally light up. We did another ouija session in an upstairs room where there was no communication whatsoever until our friend from earlier joined in and lo and behold, the fucking dog came back through from the other side.

Fuck off you charlatan before I stick that planchette up your arse!

We once again opted to bomb this group off and went downstairs alone to the allegedly haunted giant shoe (don’t ask). Not a dicky bird in there. The only thing unusual was my sudden inability to whistle when calling out to ask any ghosties to copy me.  I suddenly turned into King Julian from Madagascar. “Phhfffffffftttttttttt”.  Probably deformation of the palate from eating too many club biscuits while we waited for this shizzle to start!

Had another wander off on our own into the one room my friend said she didn’t get a good feeling in.  We had hoped for the level of poltergeist activity that the actual Most Haunted Team witnessed whilst filimg for the TV show.


Happy Land people – not scary in any way whatsoever


Funnily enough, the little people that had seemingly sailed through the air with gay abandon in the company of Karl and Co, were uncharacteristically still and silent.

Make of that what you will.

Our time was almost over but not before we had a chance to cross over the road to Kirkstall Abbey. A fabulous monastic ruin and even more impressive at night time.

Dare you get inside one of the stone coffins they said?

Sure? Why not. But I’ll check it for fox piss before I lay down.


In retrospect, I should have put my torch elsewhere


We listened to some owls calling to one another for a while and then went back over the road.  A mini photo op with the ‘Pro’s after a ‘casting couch’ joke from Karl and what is clearly a cheeky feel up from Stuart (now we know why he left Yvette behind).  Then it was time to go.


He is clearly trying to cop a feel – and why not?


Stuart seems less affectionate in the official photo

I have had scarier shits than this ghost hunting night if I’m honest. But I did have a right laugh with my best ghost busting buddy.  Our warped sense of humour and fun is perfectly suited to stumbling about in the dark taking the piss in the hope that one day (night) we will actually find some proof of existence after death.

Bolling Hall at the end of the month and Armley Mills in October – both venues pretty creepy in the day time to be fair so I’m sure there will be laughs aplenty there (though probably no more giant heads).



Lidl’s new range of blow up sex dolls were not a big seller




*Obvs we wouldn’t dream of such a thing, we were merely saying it was very trusting of the museum to let a bunch of whackjobs wander about unsupervised after hours.


Back in the game

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Today was the start of my phased return to work.  Just an hour a day for this week and then building up eventually to full days.

Baby steps.

Had to have a return to work risk assessment meeting today with some form-filling. Presumably to clarify that I wasn’t going to sit in the book corner wearing a tin foil hat and babbling about voices like the Son of Sam killer.


I came home and did a mammoth work out on my step and my other gizmo. Health Health Health.
    I’m not bothered so much about being slim and svelte. I’d rather be firmed up and strong.  Like Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. \

She rocks!



Always best to be prepared for the artificial intelligence uprising. (It’ll start with those Alexa, Echo gizmos, you mark my words!)  Or a zombie invasion. Whichever… Although I went to the post office this afternoon and it’s quite possible that the zombie apocalypse has already begun and we just haven’t noticed yet.  The irony of the song ‘Across 110th Street’ by Bobby Womack, on my MP3 was not lost on me as I was stood in the queue with the toothless and unkempt of the neighbourhood.  (FYI Bman, ‘Across 110th Street’ is nothing to do with, “that film about Father Christmas” – I think you’ll find that is ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ – FFS!)

Easy to be this positive on day one though.  I may go to pieces again before the week’s out.

Ciao Tutti


Black to basics

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Just got back from mine and the kids’ annual pilgrimage to Blackpool. Mostly to enjoy the thrills of the rickety rides at the Pleasure Beach and in part to remind ourselves that whatever life throws at us, or how low we may sometimes feel – it could be worse – we could live in Blackpool.

24 hours is about as much as we can take of good old Blackers. I might be on meds at the moment but I’m not completely fucking mental!  How anyone can actually afford to go for a week, even if they wanted to, is beyond me. It surely must be cheaper to go to Spain.
The Bman has to go there for work occasionally. He hates it with a passion and cannot understand why we go. To be fair, the punters at the Pleasure Beach aren’t usually as unfortunate as the ones you might encounter around the bars and clubs and tatt shops.  On this visit I don’t think we actually saw one drunken person, which surely must be a first!  I did see a rather large lady in some kind of knee length MuMu shouting at her kids for running through the fountains (as I was running through the fountains myself). Other than that we escaped unscathed without my girls being groomed into a sex trafficking ring (I’m too old for that kind of caper these days), so, all good.
I thought I’d broken my neck on the Grand National at one point (best wooden rollercoaster ever – just don’t look too closely at the loose nuts and bolts on the way round.) I also think that even for my relatively mediocre sized boobs, a sports bra might be the way forward next time! I even went in the maze and didn’t freak out (I am a bit scared of mazes).  I rode the UK’s only actual haunted ghost train but the scariest apparition I saw was this, when I took a selfie.

No sign of ‘Clopper’ the ghost of the ghost train

It was a fun 24 hours and will hopefully keep me in a good mood for returning to work on Monday. Only an hour a week for the first week of my phased return because as I said before, I am not completely fucking mental. I need to build up gently to a full return. We shall see how that pans out.  I do need to go back though. There’s only so many hours of Paranormal Witness that a girl can watch. I need to start interacting with the living (even if a lot of them annoy the very bones of me).  I was also starting to seriously consider an alternative career.  By career, I mean I wondered what the wage was for driving that little train round Bradford Broadway Shopping Centre. I though perhaps if I was driving it I might not actually get run over by the fucker every time I go into town!  (My own fault in fairness for not watching where I am going).

So wish me luck for next week and in the meantime, do enjoy some pictorial memories of our Blackers jolly.

My beautiful girls

It’s a parrot poncho. Don’t judge me

Goodbye and adieu

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On Saturday I went to Reighton, near Scarborough, on an exceedingly busy train full of York race-goers, to visit my oldest friend before she emigrates to Australia.

Our parents were (and still are) friends, so I have always known her.  For years now she has lived in London so we’ve only ever really hooked up on joint visits back to Scarborough or when I have managed to drag myself darn sarf.

Tomorrow she and her youngest child are leaving for a new life in the antipodes. For a brand new golden gaytime if you will.  (Well worth the 23 hour journey to Oz just to be able to ask the ice cream man for a Golden Gaytime if I’m honest).


One of those rare friends that you don’t always see. That you don’t speak to or text all the time, but when you meet up it’s like you only saw each other an hour ago.  (If you have any of those friends, love them, cherish them and keep that shit up y’all!)


Because of her, I have an eclectic taste in music – she introduced me to rock in the 80’s whilst she also used to sing along with me to hip hop and house music.
We still laugh about buying ‘
brown drops’ in the local shop. About fighting over the velvet red riding hood cloak at nursery school (I bought her one as a leaving gift which I have insisted she wears on the plane all the way to Melbourne – I need pictures as evidence BTW.)   The sole kitten of one of her cats is our cat Pepper – fed by her every 2 hours when the mother was still at the vets recovering from an emergency C-section.

It was her who was with me – doubled up and almost weeing with laughter – when the Bman slipped on dogshit during a water fight in the street and slid underneath a parked car in our teens.  The very thought of it still makes me chuckle.
RaRa skirts and connies, pineapple hairdo’s, wearing socks with kitten heel shoes, sneaking peeks at her dad’s 1970s porn mag collection at Hampton Road (that’s right Mother). Making lists on sleepovers of which boys we liked and sharing a love of Matt Dillon, Keifer Sutherland and the 2-Coreys and films like ‘
The Outsiders’.

Ever grateful for her skinny arms being able to slide up inside the fag machine in the arcade on Scarborough seafront to steal me a pack of Regal diddies and ever grateful for being the most glamorous bridesmeaid ever, and I am still sorry for not asking you in the first place (I just thought you wouldn’t want to get all Shirley Girlied up).

I am so proud of her for saving up for the past 2 years to fulfill her dream of moving to Oz with her man.  Good luck Maverick Matchstick Mekon and look after yourself and enjoy your new adventures.  

Now I just need to save up to come out and annoy you.