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Tag Archives: Holidays

in need of something but not sure what

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I was meant to be heading south this weekend to visit some pals and have a curry and some drinks.  There was even loose talk of getting hold of a “hot tug” and sailing it to Harlow, but I don’t think that came off.  Maybe next time, when it’s warmer.


Stock Photo from Google Images


As it goes, I haven’t gone.  I started with the snots when I got back from Chester over the Easter Weekend, which was awesome by the way (the Easter weekend in Chester – not the snots).
I also had a clairsentient gut feeling that I should stay home & leave it til another time.  I’ve learned it’s best to pay attention to these things, so here I am.  At home. In the rain. Not ever wanting to see another Easter Egg in a long time and feeling rather cross at why people can’t just commit to a long planned arrangement or answer a text from time to time in a civil, unfacetious fashion.

I know everyone has their own little lives and shit but FFS!




So what have I done instead?

    Ventured to Sadford Town to return a pair of silver Doc Martens.  Not mine I hasten to add.  Seems my eldest wants to go for the Gary Gliiter, Glam Rock aesthetic for her birthday this year.  It’s not ’til June, but these boots she wanted were on offer in Foot Asylum. 

Ordered them. They arrived.  But are neither the right size not the requisite shade of silver apparently.


Had one lovely spring-like day on Wednesday so ordered some new garden furniture.  Natch it has pissed down ever since.  Furniture currently clogging up the hallway and kitchen ready to be assembled.

Still no washing machine because the fucker needs yet more parts.  Bastarding Hotpoint.  ‘Oh we’ll replace your washer if it can’t be repaired’.  Repair dude just laughed at us and said that almost never happens.  It can be repaired….eventually….when he comes back for a third time on Wednesday.  That’ll be over 3 weeks since it initially broke.  I’m running out of neighbours to impose upon to wash my smalls, my mediums and my larges!

So anyway, the trip into Sadford, usually a cure-all when you’ve got the blues, did not help in any way whatsoever. It was like accidentally stumbling through the set of the Walking Dead.  Normally this type of thing makes me feel less inferior. Better about myself.  It could be worse etc.  Yesterday it just made me feel sad and full of gloom that I was doomed to die here. That I had failed as a mother and I had condemmed my offspring to a miserable life in a miserable place.

“Hello is that the Emergency St John’s Wort & Evening Primrose Oil hotline? I’d like to place an order please!”

The best part of the day was when I smuggled some tech into an allegedly haunted shop in my handbag, for a mini lone investigation, Sadly the recorder failed. Coinicidence? Supernatural? Or operator ineptitude?  You decide.  Either way, it had a most oppressive atmos (but did sell the most amazing bits, bobs, tat and oddments).  There was a man in there talking to the shopkeeper about his imaginary friends as she listened unjudgementally and with sound advice.   I may have found my spiritual home.


Boyes store however lit up my K2 device like a gay pride parade.  Too many mobiles on in the vicinity? Or it being so full of the elderly and infirm that the veil between this life and the next is ridiculously thin – the afterlife almost tangible through the smell of wee, lavender bags and the scent of decrepitude?  Again – you decide.


from Google Images


I didn’t want to be one of those olds.  Complaining in the cafe upstairs in Boyes that the tomato soup was sold out, or that so and so hadn’t turned up today and did they think she might have died over the weekend.
But I also felt like I was skidding quickly towards being one of those people (but with less friends).

This time last year we were in Orlando, yet it doesn’t seem two minutes since we were only just planning it and it was 18 months away!


Poss my fave pic from last year’s hol


Life is short.  Do stuff.  Fun stuff.  Sometimes wrong stuff.  But stuff. Be kind.  Be nice. Go out. Have fun. Make some memories to keep you warm when you’re waiting for death in a cafe above Boyes in Bradford and the soup is off and your mate hasn’t turned up.


                                         Gravitating towards the water, as per



Ciao Ciao, Scorchio, El Presidente

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I’ve been back from my family jollies to Tenerife almost a week now.  Have been procrastinating over writing about it for several reasons.  Mainly because I am a lazy git, easily sidetracked by shiny things, TV – or as has been the case this week – hot weather. 

Sun’s out. Gut’s out.  While it lasts, and in order to top up my (not bad at all) tan.

Tan suits me. I should be tanned all year round. Let’s make that happen.

Daughter No1 & I were on the cusp of sacking it all off and staying in Tenerife truth be told. I can make a damn sight better mojito than the southern dollybird in the Irish bar up the road from our hotel.  I might not be as pleasing on the eye to the punters but sometimes, my love, less is more – particularly when it comes to mint.  If it starts to clog up the straw then you’ve overdone it!

But stop. Wait a minute! I’m jumping ahead.  Let us first begin, Julie Andrews style, at the beginning,  for I believe it is a very good place to start.

   No 2 daughter was apprehended and searched at every opportunity at Manchester Airport on the way out.  Told her they were checking to see if she’d had a wash and brushed her teeth.
Dude with the giant cotton bud scanning widget said she was clean.  I demanded a retest as I begged to differ.  He made me move along.

Flight was fine albeit I am not a great flyer.  I think of inappropriate things as the plane takes off.  Instead of rainbows and unicorns and happy thoughts about my destination,  it’s ‘remember that time a plane caught fire on the runway?’  ‘What about that huge air disaster at Tenerife North Airport 30 years ago?’  ‘Who will I eat first if we crash onto a mountain like that Chilean football team in the Andes?’  My brain taunts me like a cruel bastard.  Eventually the voice of reason (for I do have one) kicks in and I relax using meditative breathing techniques (and occasionally high strength painkillers in view of the fact that skinning up or eating hash cakes is frowned upon by most airlines these days).

Suffice to say we arrived. It was 8:30pm. It was still hot.  Our bags took forever to come round the carousel.  The car rental stiffed us for some kind of scorchio insurance that didn’t seem to be covered on the number of other extra insurances I had already taken out.  For this princely sum of almost the same amount we had paid for the car in the first place we took possession of a Citroen something or other.  Bman was not keen.  I cannot drive.  To say the first tentative drive to find our apartment was a little tense would be pushing the limits of understatement.  It soon became dark as we bunny-hopped, gear- crunched and swore our way down the autopista.  “Follow signs for Los Abrigos then turn left”.  We passed several signs for Los Abrigos and instead ploughed on toward Los Christianos.  We turned around. It was now pitch black. At one point we headed up into the mountains as I kept repeating my mantra through gritted teeth, “Follow signs for Los Abrigos then turn left”.  There wasn’t much else I could say. It was the only scant information I had.

Turns out, eventually, that it was the only scant information you needed.  With the gift of hindsight, daylight and a firmer grip on the inner workings of a different car driven on the other side of the road, it turned out the apartment was actually only a 10 minute drive from the airport. Just like it said on the instructions… Not the hour it took us.

**and breathe**

Comedy sardine style trip with all baggage crammed into a tiny elevator, we arrived at our rented apartment.  Small tussle with the key and door and we were in.  I pretty much went to bed immediately, feeling like my head was about to explode.

Next day, the sun was out. the lotion was on and we were off on a mission to the local Mercadona for supplies.  Bman’s favourite part of any foreign trip.  Stocking up on weirdness and local delicacies, regardless of whether he actually knows what they are.  The price of tequila alone was enough to make me want to say “Fuck It I’m staying here forever!”. 

   Suitably stocked up, we headed back to the hotel to explore and we decided to go the very next day to the big waterpark up the road.

Siam Park – holy shit. What can I say?  It was busy & we were there for 10:30!
  We were fingerprinted on the way in.  Presumably to make it easier to identify you in case an inflatable dinghy/rubber ring/shark tank type calamity should befall you on the premises.  It was a sea of tattoos, yellow dinghies, rings, rafts and an array of swimwear.
  We did seem to spend an inordinate amount of time, standing in lines.  Queuing in the raging heat in, what is essentially, your undies – strangely liberating.  Can’t see it catching on at an outdoor pool in South Shields though.

My favourite ride was probably the Singha but the queue was too much (about 40 minutes!).  We did like the lazy river too.  Who wouldn’t want to float in a rubber ring,  as lazily as you can be whilst surrounded by 1500 other people doing the same thing. Then be herded into a holding pen like floating battery chickens until it’s your turn to go up the little conveyor belt in an undignified fashion. Think, Mrs Tweedy’s pies in Chicken Run. Next you are slopped into a different lazy river, where you will, eventually, catch some serious air going down a set of rapids (especially if you try and lie as horizontally as possible atop your rubber ring) whilst shouting “Shiiiiiiiiiiit!” at the top of your voice and laughing like a loon before ending up drifting through the shark tank (sealed off from potentially becoming dinner of course).

It is unfortunate that we were too busy having fun to have captured any of these moments on camera and more’s the pity that Siam Park don’t have a ride photo like Alton Towers or the Pleasure Beach etc.  I am sure we would have all looked a picture well worth keeping.

Needless to say, sunstroke and sunburn and injured toes were the order of the day after our excursion.  Fun though!

Our next adventure was a trip up the local dormant volcano.
You know I do love a volcano.
What I don’t love however, is a 90 minute Mario Cart style journey up the winding mountainous roads to Mt Teide.  Particularly not after having drunk 2 bottles of cava the night before and Bman singing
“Wheeeeeeeee” and “Woaaaaaaahhhhhh” as we weaved/wove/whatever our way higher and higher along hairpin bend after hairpin bend.


We made it one piece and took our place in yet another line for the cable car which we had already pre-booked.  ‘What did you do on your holidays guys?’  “Oh we had a lovely queue.  We do love a queue.”

Tenerife 011.JPG.Squishy Times

Crammed like sardines again into the cable car, eventually we trundled up the mountain. Making with a group “Whoaooooop!” every time we passed over one of the pylons.  Fortunately it didn’t take long.  View from the (not quite) top was outstanding though.  To climb to the very summit you had to have special permit, which we did not.  Nor did I have the appropriate footwear on even if we had been allowed. Plus, No 2 daughter fell foul of the thin air at such high altitude and started to feel unwell. Possibly due to the prospect of having to actually walk anywhere rather than actual altitude sickness.  Regardless, I ended up having to employ breathing techniques similar to those you use when an asthmatic has forgotten their inhaler.  For someone claiming to be unable to breathe she wasn’t half doing a lot of complaining.


I walked her back to the cable car station while Bman and the Bear went for further exploration of the mountain.  While were waiting, I saw a ‘person of considerable diminutive stature’ and could not have been more entertained if he had been large of foot, shoeless, wearing a cape and sporting a magic ring on a chain around his neck.  Sadly, no photographic proof, as my daughter wouldn’t let me take a picture of her with him in the background.

Tenerife 010.JPG

one of these people does not want to be on this mountain


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No wandering from the path please


Journey back down the mountain made me feel just as freaked out as the way up.  Serves me right for watching shows like ‘World’s Most Dangerous Roads’.  Although it wasn’t as bad as some of them by a long margin; the sight of small memorial cairns and floral tributes tied to the edge of the precipice, did nothing for my nerves.

Flyblown and mozzie bitten was the order of the day by mid week.  My left upper arm was now covered in what could best be described as barnacles.  Feet and legs also spotty as hell. Decided, after a night of insane itching and a day of feeling like I was at the arse-end  of an acid comedown, that I had in fact been bitten by TrackerJackers. Those poisonous hybrid, weaponised insects from ‘The Hunger Games’.  As usual – a frickin mess one way or another, like a walking disaster area. At least there was only one bite on my face.  Bman started to call me The Gruffalo.

Despite resembling someone from the days of the plague or a leper colony and not actually having a full nights sleep while I was away, I thoroughly loved Tenerife.  Sleep and beauty are highly overrated when the sun is high and the pool is at your feet and there’s a muthacluckin parrot show on the restaurant terrace every Sunday!  Hell yeah!  Birds on bikes.  Bring it on!

Tenerife 074.JPG

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I was not allowed to take any of them home


Our final full on Griswold family venture was to the north of the island to Loro Parque.

Loro Parque means Parrot Park so I was sold before we even arrived.  Another parrot show.  This time with them flying over your head, around and around. I almost wept with joy. They were so beautiful. Such magnificent feathered jewels of nature in all their regal majesty.

   Obviously when they started driving miniature fire engines and getting beer from vending machines then pretending to get drunk and roll around, I almost peed with excitement. Awesome!

Tenerife 100.JPG

We saw a whale and dolphin show, which I have very mixed emotions about.  On the plus side, the parrots joined in.  Couldn’t have been happier if they’d ridden atop their dorsal fins.

Tenerife 151.JPG

come to mama.


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Hola Senor Blu


There was an area where you could see the hatching process of the birds from egg to full grown.  That was fascinating, seeing all the teeny ugly little hatchlings and then seeing how they would grow into such beautiful creatures.  There was a basketball court and sports area behind this little set-up. I was disappointed to realise it wasn’t connected to the park at all.  I had been hoping it was some kind of training boot camp where I would see parrots on skateboards catching air on a half-pipe or shooting hoops whilst astride a trike.

Never mind!

Bman was challenged for my affections by a large silverback male gorilla. Full on chest beatings and show-off displays of forward rolls across the grass. (The gorilla, not Bman).  Bman was open to negotiations.  Think he would merrily have given me up for a banana and a handful of peanuts.

Tenerife 186.JPG

How you doin?


Next few days were spent in full relaxation mode. Bagging a lounger early doors and essentially occupying it all day in a half daze of sleepiness; the odd alcoholic beverage, light bite to eat, dip in the pool and back on the lounger to toast the other side.  Quick shower, change of clothes and out to dinner. Very nice.  It was a routine I could have got used to.

Sadly the time came for us to leave. We spent a last day baking ourselves like potatoes by the pool before returning the rental car to the airport and not being stiffed for any further monies. Spending the remnants of our euros on shite at the airport and managing (in my case) to actually get some shut-eye on the plane – probably because I wasn’t sat next to my youngest this time with the constant “How long is it before we land now mum?”

The irony of there being air conditioning in a Premier Inn in Manchester on a rainy and windy night yet not in an apartment where it’s mid to high 30s outside was not lost. It felt strange to be under the covers and cold.  I slept well though.

So the Griswold Family holiday 2016 went well. With only minimal fall-outs, a couple of toe injuries and me being eaten alive by fictional insects from a dystopian future – We did okay.  So okay in fact that I have rebooked for next year but this time for just me and my girls. Bman won’t have the same time off and I know we can do it without him (no offence Mr B).  So next year we will have  full on Griswold experience to Florida with Ma B aswell AND a girly Griswold trip back to Tenerife.  There’s a seafood risotto and a Parrot Show with my name all over it.

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I’ll be back!



Ciao Ciao and Adios Amigos


Would it be ok if I just stayed in bed until August?

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i want to get off

Ever get that debilitating overwhelming sense that you have failed as a mother by becoming a mother in the first place? 

That every decision you’ve ever made has been somehow crap, wrong or downright stupid?  Do you catch your breath and almost sick up a bit in your mouth because the children you had (for your own selfish reasons) will have to one day leave you and fend for themselves in a world full of crazies, loons, idiots and fucktards – and that’s after you’ve subjected them to a flawed education system and screwed them up on all kinds of levels by exposing them to your own uselessness?

What have I done to my children by having them in the first place?

That nausea you feel on the way to the job that you now feel fraudulent at.  People there are under the deluded impression that you know what you’re doing.  That you are cleverer than you are.  They seek you out for advice you no longer (if you ever were) feel qualified to give.



Have had a most relaxing week off this half term.  Been swimming, which always makes me feel better – nothing better than this for me:-


But then I get back topside and start overthinking and I get this:-


Common sense will eventually prevail:-


Today though I just felt like I was not worthy to participate in the real world, and by real world I mean the closeted bubble I float around in.  Ended up hiding in the stock cupboard at one point and considering raiding the cache of children’s inhalers.  Managed to make it through first day back without freaking out but can’t vouch for being able to keep it together tomorrow when the punters are in!

Until my flipped out mind regains some sensible equilibrium I aim to focus on the fact that we have actually booked a holiday abroad for later in the year, where I hope to look and feel like this:-


But to be honest, will probably be more like this:-


pictures courtesy of google images

Let’s do this all again next year, only funner (it’s a word!)

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So it’s the last day of the year and time for my traditional annual round-up of all the fun and exciting things I have done over the past 12 months. So here goes:-







cue the tumbleweed

cue the tumbleweed




Haunted château in France.  Wardrobe and cupboard doors opening on their own & shit!  The weather was great, pool was great.  Lovely to be away for a week with the Fam.



and I got a new niece for Christmas.



Happy New Year!

  That was basically it my friends.  No festivals, no other holidays of note other than visiting Harry Potter Studios in February, which was brill because I rode a broom and remortgaged my house to buy jellybeans and a pen in the gift shop.

Nothing else leaps to mind as worthy of mention to be honest.




Bman asked this morning if my new year resolution was to carry on being just as rubbish…
…why change the habit of a lifetime I say.  No doubt in a years time I will still be sat in this same office chair, in this same room, at this same rickety old PC with the same duffed up old sofa downstairs and the same 1980’s big-back TV in the lounge and my kids will have developed hunchbacks from overuse of the iPad and my husband will still think I am rubbish and I will have done nothing to prove him otherwise.

At least I’ll have Wilson.

If you don’t receive a Happy New Year text or voicemail later it’s probably because I didn’t send one, either because I couldn’t be arsed;  I’ve lost your number or I’ve seen my arse because you forgot my birthday or didn’t send me a Happy Christmas text.
In the meantime, I shall express some New Year sentiment via the medium of e-cards stolen from the Internet, which appealed to my sense of humour.