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Ailments – imaginary or otherwise

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Had an appointment at Bradford Royal Infirmary the other week. Back in January, I went to my GP about feeling some discomfort in my chest at night and getting a bit out of breath more than I usually would.  GP didn’t think there was much to worry about other than general wear, tear and the slow decline into decrepitude that comes with being in my late forties. But, in the name of caution, arranged for an appointment at the cardiology department.  So fast forward to mid-May and the appointment came through. (Good job I wasn’t dying really).

Cue crystal maze type experience of trying to find out where I was meant to go.  I found a reception desk. Helpful lady there pointed me in the right direction to another reception desk where I checked in. Was told I was on the computer but not on the daily list of appointments.  My name was added by way of a hastily scribbled post-it note.  A 16-year-old sad looking assistant came to get me and told me to strip off from the waist up.

“Pardon me. Do what now?”

Was told to put my clothes in a basket and don the old hospital gown leaving it open at the front.

Was then sent down a corridor clutching my gown shut and led into a room where I was given an ECG.
If anyone has never had one of these, it’s essentially 5 minutes of someone sticking plasters to your tits and torso then plugging you into the mains for 2 seconds, then peeling the plasters back off.  It’s about as dignified as it sounds.  No wonder the poor lass looked glum
  “What do you do for living my love?”  / “I stick band aids on saggy old bodies every day” / “Awesome!”


I was then advised to get dressed and head to the blue waiting area.  Did I know where that was?  No.  So she gave me directions along the lines of, “Through the double doors at the end of this corridor then take a right, then a left, then straight on to the other double doors, across the narrow sea to the island of Dragonstone; then through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gum drops, and then walk through the Lincoln Tunnel”


I eventually found it, then was told I needed to sign in at reception.  I said I had already signed in at two separate reception areas.  An exasperated-looking nurse told me that neither of those was the blue reception area so I needed to, “go back down the corridor, through the double doors, take a left past Mount Mordor, through the revolving doors and past the realms of men; climb the Faraway Tree and then toss my name into the Goblet of Fire, then make my way back via the river Styx so she could take my blood pressure” (which would no doubt at this stage, be through the fucking roof).  Obviously, I got lost, because as we all know, my map reading skills are sadly lacking. I also detoured en route back to go for a wee and got completely disorientated coming out of the loo. I ended up back in the waiting room but then realized it was the orange waiting area.  Back through the shadow of the valley of death, I ventured. Passing Shergar, Madeliene McCann and Lord Lucan along the way!




Arrived back in the blue waiting room to find two exasperated nurses who were wondering where I’d got to.  As they took me in a room to do my blood pressure, one of them declared that I wasn’t on the system and had I been to check in at reception?  Refusing to go through all that again, they sent another nurse down to the blue reception to ask what the delay was.  Are these computers not linked?  It would have been quicker to use two yogurt pots on a string.  Come on UK. Get our NHS back on track. Stop wasting money on shit and give them some funding FFS.

Anyway, I digress.

The short version (because there is one believe it or not) is that I’m not dying just yet.  Doctor Klopek seemed quite happy with my health, but erring on the side of caution again, is arranging for me to attend some other test or other but that’s not until June.  At least I should (?) know the way next time.  I’ll leave a trail of breadcrumbs next time just to be sure.

You’d think that this minor health concern might worry someone like me who has a propensity for overthinking situations. But no.  What kept me awake the other night was a throwaway comment from my daughter. She was telling me that the scrape on her buttock (from her cider rider injury at Swingamjig) was healing nicely and, “Not to worry Mum, I haven’t got sepsis.”

I then lay awake pondering my recent injury where I had scraped the back of my hand on the poolside and was quite sore.  What if I had developed sepsis?  Would my hand have to be amputated like Kevin Webster’s son’s leg in Coronation Street?  Could I still teach swimming with one hand?  Yes, I thought, that would be no problem.  But how long would I be out of action workwise while the stump healed over?  Should I get a golden hand like Jamie Lannister in Thrones?  What if they had to amputate at the elbow?  Could I still support the children in the pool with a shorter arm?  Yes, I decided.  That would also be fine.  Trickier than just having a stump for a hand, but not impossible. 


What though, if the entire arm had to come off?  What a waste a lovely tattoo on my upper arm? That would be £160 I could have saved.  Typical me. Not bothered about losing an arm. More fussed at wasting money unnecessarily like the stereotypical tight northern fucker I am.
Would I still be able to teach successfully then, with no arm?  I expect so, with time. And I could always dress as post-Pennywise-arm-torn-off-in-a-drain Georgie from ‘It’ at Halloween. I already have a yellow raincoat so that would be a money saver.



And this is me at quite a mentally stable stage in my life.  You can imagine what my head was like a couple of years ago when the demons got in.

And don’t try and deny that many of you aren’t just as overthinking, nuts and weird.  I’m just not that bothered about admitting it.


Watch this space MoFos Xx




Festive Family Times

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What a great Christmas I’ve had! 

Kept having these weird feelings that it might be my last.  No idea why.  Naturally I trust my insight is incorrect (like that time I was convinced I was going to win the Readers Digest jackpot draw on my birthday in 1992) but, just in case, I was determined to enjoy every last element of it.  And I have.
I’ve seen about 2 dozen Christmas films, including Elf, 3 times and the classic National Lampoon Christmas Vacation, twice (“
Save the neck for me Clark”).  I’ve embraced the mince pie, soaked up the Christmas Eve carol service at the village church at my folks’, drunk advocaat for breakfast and played shit loads of board games.  I wasn’t going to let anything spoil it.  Not even the fact that there is no longer a Turkish delight in a box of Milk Tray or Dairy Box (WTF?) or that there were no Ritz crackers at my folks’ or that I didn’t get stuffing again on Christmas Day because only the meat eaters seemed to get it.

It began on Saturday when we took the train to Chester.  Negotiated Manchester on foot between stations without getting too sidetracked.  Mum asked us to meet her in M&S foodhall in Chester when we arrived.  I though perhaps it may’ve been quieter to meet in Mecca during the Hajj, but actually, it wasn’t nearly as mental in there as I had anticipated.



We were at The Moss within the hour and I had no plans of going anywhere further than the pub and the church on Christmas Eve for at least 3 days!  


Pondering how the tree gets decorated

My uncle soon arrived and we had an evening of board gaming.  Much to the Childerbeast’s dismay.  Not because they didn’t want to play, but because it was like games night at Twilight Towers Home for the Elderly or One Flew Over the Bloody Cuckoo’s Nest.  Colour blind, long and short sighted over 45 year olds trying to make sense of the instructions on the QI game or the colours on the die in Trivial Pursuits.

Can I get a For Fuck’s Sake over here?


My brother and his lady arrived on Christmas Eve and after tea we all walked into the village for the annual “You WILL sing carols about a religion you don’t follow, because it’s festive” shizzle.  I had to endure it as a teenager.  Now I shall pass the tradition on.  This year was one of the mildest years ever.  I’ve almost had frostbite in years past, stood amongst the gravestones.




My youngest niece fell asleep.  My youngest daughter refused to join in whatsoever and sat on a tomb with a face liked a smacked arse.  No doubt to the amusement of my mother who was probably thinking that what goes around comes around.


Quick snifter in the Ring O’Bells (AKA The Four Ales) before heading back home to await Bman’s arrival.  Then last orders in The Plough.

Christmas morning.  Leisurely buffet breakfast and then when the neicelings arrived at 10am it was present opening time.




He’s Beeeeeeeeen!


Traditional advocaats all round and let the joy of giving commence.  So glad Mum liked her Ruby Shoo boots and my dad liked his League of Gentlemen live ticket (for local people).  Happy childerbeast. Happy family. Happy me.

All good.

Lunchtime mission to the pub for a cheeky pre-dinner gin. 


Gin as big as niece’s head

Met up with extended in-laws. Youngest neiceling fell asleep again so I took her home. Then it was time for dinner.  We sat down at 3pm and didn’t clear the last things away till after 6pm!  Several courses, crackers that played tunes, games inbetween courses and a flaming pud. (no burnt sleevage this year – well done dad).


Time for a lie down after the washing up before further guests arrived at 9pm for a late supper.  Muchas gin ensued and a game of Cards Against Humanity with my new expansion packs and some hand written blank cards.  Not awkward at all with the folks.  Particularly when questioned by my pops as to whether I had written out the card that read, “Riding Tom Hardy Like Seabiscuit“.

#awks (but funny)

Boxing Day was much of the same quality family time, more board games, very competitive bingo and a descent into gambling addiction playing Dad’s ‘Canadian’ game for cold hard cash.

Next day was time to check out and give my mum and dad some peace and their home back.  We headed to Liverpool for a visit to the brother in law and his wife.  Another huge dinner, own body weight in Quality Street and a bit more gin.


Yesterday we had a flying visit from Grandma on her way to Liverpool and today we’ve done fuck all except watch films on TV.  Kung Fu Panda, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Up, Room on the Broom and Brave.  My excuse it that it snowed last night so I didn’t want to go outside.

Lazy but loving it.

I may venture out tomorrow but failing that it will be Sunday.  New Year’s Eve – I’m spending it with my sister.  Probably all be asleep by 11pm but that’s okay.

I hope you all had as lovely a Christmas holiday as I did and I hope it doesn’t take too long for you to shift the timber you put on with cheese and crackers and chocolates.

Feliz Navidad and Joyeux Noel Xx

Prematurely Festive feelings

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Spent three hours yesterday getting to Liverpool by rail to visit the Irish/Scouse Brewer contingent for my nieces 1st birthday party.  Sodding train was running late and rammed to capacity.  The irony of some of the extended Fam getting to Liverpool quicker than we did yet, they live in Ireland was not lost on me.


Was good to see everyone though.

Broke my non cake eating fast while I was there, with a Mr Kipling chocolate slice.


Almost had a diabetic whitey!  It was way too sweet for me.  I didn’t like it.  I’d also broken my chocolate fast on Friday evening with 4 Quality Street and had to have about 3 shits!

Think I may have become intolerant.


Today we felt uncharacteristically festive and decided to put up the tree after we’d watched ‘Santa Claus the Movie’ and ‘Scrooged’ by mistake.

So the house is decorated and I’ve had a mince pie and am currently nursing a cognac (first alcoholic drink since end of September).

It must be Christmas y’all.




Die Hard

Gifts on the fire and logs on the tree… time to rejoice (& all that)

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So did you hear about some dude in China who was so stressed with his Missus whilst shopping for over 5 hours that he threw himself to his death from the 7th floor of the mall?

Extreme retail rage times.

This is why I buy online.  Yes I run the risk of internet banking fraud… BUT I don’t actually have to go out and run the gauntlet of shopping with the masses.

Meanwhile, this week is mainly all about theatrics darlings.  School Christmas production time is upon us once again.  Fielding inane questions such as:

“Do I have to come to every performance Miss?”

“Are you in the show love?”

“Yes Miss.”

“Then, yes poppet. You do, otherwise who will say your lines”

“Oh yeah, I hadn’t thought of that”

Usual palaver of children with large speaking parts disappearing on holiday or to some prior committment, despite having had almost 8 weeks notice of dates!  Broadway, it most certainly is not my friends.  Lloyd-Webber doesn’t have to put up with this.

Bejebus it must be Christmas!

My childerbeast are both fabulous of course, so to be honest I couldn’t care less if the rest of it goes tits up, as long as my girls do their bit and do their best.
I do hope it goes okay though, as my folks are venturing ‘over the tops’ to see it tomorrow afternoon. Mum and Dad, at my place of work, whilst I am working and like, doing my job and that.  **gulp**
I hope everyone behaves!  Then the MiL is coming from Boro to watch it tomorrow evening.  So no pressure or anything kids.

I volunteered to take part, perhaps to be an elf, purely for the comedy value, or even to swing across the stage sat astride a giant star – but yet again I was denied.

Hi de Ho

Hi de Ho


Ho? No Ho?

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Movie Quote of the Day:  “I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels” – Christmas Vacation

Name that Tune:   “The Christmas we get, we deserve” – I believe in Father Christmas, Greg Lake

Why am I seemingly the only person alive, or at the very least, the only one in the social and working circles I move in, who is not feeling festive?

I see the decorations.  I hear the tinkling chime of my newly installed (in an attempt to get in the mood) festive ringtone.  The compulsory tin of Quality Street and boxes of Mincies are in the cupboard. 

I even made my own cake this year yet I feel nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  I’m no Grinch.    I just seem to have lost that loving Christmas feeling.



Yeah I have a novelty Christmas sweater with a reindeer on it.  All the more ironic because I ‘hate’ Christmas apparently.  (I don’t BTW – I just  hate the way it starts in August and segues neatly straight into Easter some time around January 5th.)

I don’t even ‘hate’ tinsel. (I just feel there is no place for it on my Christmas tree.)  Ditto Tartan bows, which I feel only have a place on a small child’s party dress.

I do hate the spiralling debt that seems to run hand in glove with the festive season and the spirit of good will to all men.  (By ‘all men’, I mean the people at Mastercard and the bank who are the only winners here.)

I’m trying… Honest.  I’ve eaten 2 chocolate oranges (which were meant as stocking fillers for the childerbeast). I’ve taken the childerbeast to see ‘Nativity 2’. I even put the fairy lights on the lounge window this evening.  Maybe I will be consumed with the joy of the season tomorrow when we put up the tree and watch ‘Elf’ (it is a classic).

My kids love it when I ride escalators 'Elf style'

My kids love it when I ride escalators ‘Elf style’

Perhaps I peaked too high as a child and my seasonal serotonin levels can no longer be kept at the level required for festive feelings to kick in.

Maybe I just need more booze?  Pass the Tia Maria please, this princess of darkness needs a hit over here!

"Shitter's full!"

“Shitter’s full!”