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Parenting 101 – out on a school night

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Last night, despite feeling unwell & being gruff as Kathy Beale & Phyllis Pearce after a Woodbine smoking contest, I took my eldest to Manchester to a gig. 
It was a band she had introduced me to at Boomtown  Fair in August.  ‘Dutty Moonshine’. Not sure how best to describe their music genre TBH. Electroswing/jazz/hiphop/bassy/grime, probably best covers all bases. 

After a mare of train journey there brought to you, not just by poor old Northern Fail but TransPenis (not very) Express.  Northern, in fact, was the better of the two. Not exactly running to time but far better than the upwards of 40minute delays on TP!  We abandoned ship at one point at Leeds and fought our way through the eleventy thousand people clamoring right up to the platform edge in their efforts to try and be the first aboard when a train finally did arrive. We ended up on a Northern train bound for Manchester Victoria heading back the way we had just come! FFS! But at least we were moving.

Met my sibs, who were several wines in at this stage after having been out for dinner already. Got to the venue about 45 minutes later than we’d hoped but it was fine. Got to see the support -ASkillz. Decent DJing times – and then the main event.  In the words of back in the day; “Check your bassbins I’m telling ya!”“Bass! how low can you go?”   Low, is the answer. Dirty dirty low!  Nice!  We danced and bounced and skanked with unsexy Jesus. Rho was pistol-whipped in the face by untethered dredlocks, my brother suffered a big toe injury (possibly caused by unsexy Jesus). My sister proved particularly inept at trying to hide the fact that she was buying booze for her 15-year-old niece.  I thought I might have thrown my back out during a particularly heavy bouncy sesh but it seems ok today.

It’s all a far cry from taking her to see stuff like Hi-5 or the dreaded Little Mix with her sister. Where has the time gone?  My babies aren’t babies anymore.  It doesn’t seem that long since we had to leave The Sooty Show at Scarborough Spa because she cried and said it was “too loud”. (Me & Bman were gutted – those tickets were a fiver!)  Now we’re out in Manchester on a school night getting sweaty and jumping about.

Quote of the night from my sister, on form as per, “Let’s get to the front and stroke them”. Also at the end, as we were leaving; “hold my bag” as she then ran down the street, dragging Rho with her after one of the band to get a selfie.


Good times.

Bit mutton this morning if I’m honest. Worth it though.



Just a regular Sunday being normal

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My friend wanted “a nice change to do something normal” so we drove to Manchester and paid £5 to sit in a shipping container in the pitch black whilst wearing headphones and listening to a stranger whispering at us. This was part of an immersive theatre experience called Seance .

We weren’t sure what to expect but did joke on the journey there that we might end up being shipped off to Madagascar by mistake with a giraffe, a lion, a hippo and a zebra.  This could have been an elaborate project by our respective husbands to get rid of us.  Lure them in with cheap tickets to get locked in a box in the middle of the street.


It was quite entertaining but would have been more effective had there been more people present. There were only 3 people in the box at our ‘sitting’ and that took the edge off a bit for me.  Possibly because it was a Sunday or possibly because most normal people have no desire to sit in the dark with a bunch of strangers apropos of a having their minds fucked with.


I think possibly we’ve spent too much time lurking about in dark basements and satanic mills by torchlight to get too affected by it, but I did enjoy it nonetheless.  Give it a whirl if you’re in Manchester St Anne’s Square.


How tall are you?

We then had a pleasant lunch at the Cathedral Cafe before going on a mission to Hadfield on the way home. A local village for local people. And I swear I am not making this up, as we drove into the village I saw a woman crossing the road carrying a life-size fibreglass dog under her arm, like one of those ones you see outside the post office and you put money into its head for the spastics.  (Can you say spastic these days?  Probably not considering you can’t compliment anyone in this day and age in case you get YewTreed or Weinsteined 25 years down the line – fuck me you can’t even clap in case somebody somewhere is sensitive to noise. Jazz hands you have to do now to show appreciation – jazz hands FFS!).


Not a supergeek fan or anything


Anybody got a bockle oran joooose?

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Last weekend of the holidays gone.

Mate and I attended a Seriously Strange conference in Manchester on Saturday. Essentially a series of lectures on everything from people who think they’re werewolves and vampires; a talk about haunted Chester, and alternative approaches to how people deal with bereavement. There was also a showing of the new Borley Rectory (boily rectum) film.
We met a man who claimed to have been a friend of Reece Shearsmith of the League of Gentlemen. He told a tale of rescuing him from a hotel room with a missing door handle.  He said if we tweeted Reece to say we were with him then we’d get backstage.  We did. But funnily enough got no reply.  Possibly because said guy may have been a Number One Fan. Annie Wilkes style or like that chap on Alan Partridge.

So that was weird.

Also, accidentally wearing matching Shirley Ghostman quote tee shirts to the convention and then realizing at lunch that you were strolling down Canal Street in them.


Mate covered hers up while I brazened it out (but quickened my step) for fear that the locals might think we were some kind of ‘Pray the Gay Away’, religious zealots and push us into the canal.


We ducked out of the conference early to get across Manc to our hotel so we could get changed and get a bite to eat before meeting my Fam at the arena for the ‘League of Gentlemen Live’.  Cue me flapping over pal’s salad not arriving in time as I worried we’d be late to meet my Pops and I’d be excluded from the circle of trust – like on ‘Meet the Fockers’.

As it goes we all arrived at the same time.   Been what seems a long time waiting for this show. I bought the tickets for the fam for Christmas and birthdays.  It didn’t disappoint.  My cheeks ached from laughing from start to finish. And we seemed to be sitting 2 seats away from Paul Young of ‘Wherever I lay my hat’ fame.  You decide from this google pic Vs our surreptitious snapshot, taken while pretending to take a pic of my sister.


We were also inches away from a resurrected Pauline as she ran down the aisle high fiving people whilst shouting “MORNING JOBSEEKERS!”. We are also all now wives of Papa Lazarou because we raised our left hands in the air (this forms a legally binding nuptial contract apparently).


I am your wife now Dave. I promise I won’t pee in your sink

Great night all round.


Where’s Pops?


The next day we sought salvation in Manchester Cathedral following the bee trail and hoping to see the spectre of the supposed ‘fanny’ who haunts the knave. Because who doesn’t want a haunted fanny right?

We happened across a photo shoot and like the mature 40something-year-olds we are, kept trying to photobomb the pictures by lurking in the background and walking past.  I saw the photographer deleting quite a few snaps on his camera. I suspect that they may have looked a bit like this.


Photoshop credits to Allie B


Photoshop credits to Allie B


On the way home we went to look at Strangeways (as you do) and got a bit overexcited when we saw the visitor’s centre – shouting “GIFT SHOP!” and immediately seeking to park the car. But it quickly dawned on us that it was where the prison visitors have to check in and stuff their phones up their arse and hide ketamine in their hair etc and not somewhere we could stock up on HMP bookmarks and tea towels for Christmas gifts.




And now it’s time to return to work this week but not as we know it.


No policy reading, break time duty, value chanting, behaviour pyramid building, time out chair negotiating for me.  (No decent wages, pension or sickness pay either – but hey ho!)

Alles Clar. It’ll be reet. Arbeit macht frei and all that.

It’s fine. Everything’s fine.





We’re off to never-never land

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Been a while.  Sorry. I’ve been very busy training to better myself. 
I spent half-term week travelling to Skipton every day, having to get up earlier than I would on a work day. A 40 minute train journey then a 20 minute walk (very nice, along the canal thank you) to a hotel, where I spent the day, every day with 9 strangers, training to be a bona-fide swimming instructor.  In the morning – death by Powerpoint trying to train my brain to remember lots of stuff about human anatomy, numbers of vertebrae and different swim strokes, techniques & density of different types of water etc.  In the afternoon – poolside or in the water, trying not to annoy the hotel residents as we tested our teaching styles on each other under the eagle eye of our tutor.

There was laughter, lots of eye-rolling, some tears and panics. Lots of cups of lukewarm tea and coffee.  An impromptu science lesson on how leaving a pasty in front of the window in the weak October sunlight will not, in fact, cook it  (don’t ask). And I have a new adopted 17 year old daughter and two new 16 year old swim teaching colleagues who have, between them, changed my view on the general uselessness of teenagers today.

Despite the distraction of being assessed on Friday by not one, not two, but three other tutors (one of whom was indecently attractive), we all passed!  I can now pluck casualties from the water and teach anyone to swim (not just in a school setting).  Bring it on (and way to go me!)

Knackering week – but well worth it.


On Saturday I went to see Metallica with my brother. Yeah you heard me – Metallica!  I won’t lie, despite liking some of their old stuff, I wasn’t sure I could deal with 2 hours of them live.  But I could and I did.  It was an amazing show. We loved it!  They even did a quick rendition of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ and some Joy Division as a bit of an homage to Manchester.


Top night!  Well worth it.

Lovely Sunday morning spent with the Fam at my sister’s, celebrating my mum’s birthday and then back to Sadford ready to get back to the grindstone.

Only 7 weeks until we break up again.

Not that I’m counting…


I went outside and everything last week

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What a social butterfly I have been! It was like all the unsociableness (it’s a word damn it!) of the past 3 months where I’ve been holed up in the house all peaked at once over one week.

Wednesday, I dropped off my girl at her first big arena gig without her mama.  I won’t lie that I felt bilious as I left her and her pal once I’d ensured they got in OK.  Compulsory photo taken outside for Instagram (and for the press in case the shit hit the fan!) Was most relieved to pick them up unscathed.

Thursday, me and the childerbeast went into Sadford to the Alhambra to see the new Addams Family Musical.  Second row seats so the youngest offspring could see her hero – Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday.  Samantha Womack (Ronnie Mitchell) was Morticia and Les Dennis was Fester.  I enjoyed it more than I thought. Particularly liked the song about Death being just around the corner. LOL. Reminded me of someone I know.

Saturday I braved a train strike and went to Manchester to meet up with old raving buddies – one of whom now lives ‘int th’Egypt’, so opportunities to hook up are a rarity.  The trains were extra busy – I ended up at one point, rammed so far up against the luggage rack by a man with a bike that I feared I may require the morning after pill!  #intimate


The sun was blazing and it seemed to me that everybody over the age of 18 was drinking! So we joined them.  Ciders in the sun in Albert Square. Why not?  We then moved to Spinningfields for something to eat at Thaikhun. Very nice. Thank you very much Jess for paying. You’re a star!  Further drinks en route back to the station and I finally lurched into the house at almost 9pm!


Charlie had let his Angels go to seed a bit TBH

The following day was a long awaited, long-time planned, meet up with (most of) the Crap Posse.  Yorkshire Sculpture Park was the venue – because it was cultured and close to all of us – and FREE (if you don’t count the £8 parking charge).  My apologies to anyone who may have gone there for a quiet cultured Sunday stroll among the art work and happened across a crowd of loud, uncouth northern lummuxes whose offspring were clambering over the sculptures with scant regard for the PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB signs and making excessively loud fart noises..



This lot weren’t much better



…and as for the state of Abba these days?? (note old skool style thumb over the lens)


Cousin Taddy Fred brought his new toy – a drone – so we had fun buggering about getting these ace pics and he attracted every child under 10 for a 3 mile radius, like a techy pied piper.

Top pic from FerdyFerd

Top pic from FerdyFerd


I want this in my home

Plans were made to meet up again sooner rather than later.  All in all an ace weekend.

Next Saturday is another Most Haunted Experience trip to Fort Paull in Hull with my ghostbusting buddy.  (If I’m still alive after first full week back at work)  At the moment though,  drinking the poisoned Kool-Aid seems like a great escape idea!

Providing I don’t succumb, It will be live-streamed on Most Haunted Experience Live on Youtube and Facebook from about 11pm.  Check it out.  See if you can see us and drop me a text if you can.


Ciao bellas






Tis the season to be maudlin

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Song Lyric of the Day:  “Sometimes I just feel like quitting. I still might. Why do I put up this fight?  Why do I still write? – 8 Mile, Eminem

Movie Quote of the Day:  “Don’t you sometimes hate yourself? / Constantly!” – Sunset Boulevard

Broke up for Christmas holidays on Friday. TFFT!  After a week of Christmas parties, visits from Santa, pantomimes and helping dole out school Christmas dinners – I am DONE!  Avoided the work night out & took to my bed after a hot bath. I just wanted to get into bed and stay there until January but hey ho (ho ho) – shit to do, places to be.  I had a 3rd birthday party to attend in Manchester the next day. 

Rave on!

After sleeping on the sofa due to waking up with a headache and Bman in full drunken snoring mode, I got back into bed.  Ended up beefing over fuck knows what. Feeling crap and useless I think. Initially brought on by poor show of festive love tokens from the children this year despite having taught most of them so far this school year.
Mostly I was upset because I remembered that I am a jackass. Always being a daft cow, waste of space, always will be.  Most of the time I switch that off but every now & then I remember & I feel bad.


Bman helpfully supported me through my pity party with his customary “FFS! WTF is it now?” Then proceeded to tell me about a dream he’d had where he’d also cried for no reason aswell.  Strangely, this seemed to help snap me out of whatever it was that was happening and spurred me into getting up and getting ready for our trip to Manchester.  Also, I needed another cuppa and it didn’t look like anyone else was going to make me one.


After coughing up my guts on the train with people looking at me like I was the one who starts some kind of epidemic like that movie Outbreak, I decided to get fucked up on as much non prescription meds as I could.  Mucus relief liquid something or other.  Down in one to the warrior!

Arrived in Manchester and went on a mission to find a purple liquid eyeliner. Was beginning to wonder who I had to sleep with to obtain such an item when I remembered our friend Captain Ebay! One should be with me in time for my birthday on Wednesday (Which is NOT my 50th thank you very much).

Town was insane because it was the last Saturday before Christmas, so we didn’t hang about before heading off to my sister’s for the 3rd birthday gig.

Great to see some of the Fam and the niecelings all giddy as loons for Christmas and birthdays etc.  Even funner to see their little faces when ‘Rapunzel’ arrived.  Natch, sis & I had to get in on the photo opp. TBH I think she skimped on the hair. Not long enough by a long shot.


Glad you can’t see the snot stain on my dress from where I had a huge coughing fit


Once all the children had gone I had a cheeky jump on the bouncy castle (not in a Rita Sue & Bob Too type way).  My sister has the photos of that, otherwise of course I’d include those right here in all their glory.  I didn’t even piss my pants and my nieces thought it was ace that Aunty Tit was being silly.

This morning we ran the gauntlet of town again.  Let’s get her a Build a Bear for her birthday I said. Let’s go in on the Sunday before Christmas I said. Hey at least nobody else in Manchester was in the Build a Bear store then. At least City weren’t playing Arsenal or anything and everybody had clearly finished their Christmas shopping.  Fooks sake!  Busy is not the word.  Neiceling had an emotional breakdown in the queue in the store as we waited to get stuffed.  I don’t think she really knew what was going on.  My youngest ended up getting roped in (at my insistence, as I took photos for bribery purposes) at pressing the fluff foot pedal to stuff the bear.

We finally escaped, 50 sheets lighter, with a princess bear that smells of cupcakes, in a Beauty & the Beast costume.  Tried to go for full English at my brother’s restaurant but it was slammed busy. Ended up with an inferior sub-standard Co-Op sandwich meal deal on the train.  Bman, redeeming himself for not being in a fit state to pick us up from the train station after his night out, by making me a full English (veggie style obvs) for my tea.  He had text me asking if it was ok if the DJ from the party could stay with us for a few days.  I wasn’t sure if he was fucking with me or not so I half expected to find him & an aged old-skool acid house legend partying away in the kitchen with lasers & fog machine on turbo!  Fortunately he had only been kidding me on.  Good job really, as we had to abandon the airbed in Manc after it finally gave up. Dunno where the geezer would’ve slept.

Now it’s time for bed, where I intend to stay until Tuesday and be grateful for the roof over my head and being warm and not having to sleep in a doorway or know anyone personally who has to sleep in a doorway.  I saw too much of that today as I blew £50 on a fucking cuddly toy.  Not helping my inner brain turmoil of ‘isn’t the world just a bit shit’.


I can see a donation to Centrepoint on the horizon, when what I really want to do is invite them all home for a wash in our shit shower. Make them a fish finger sandwich & ask them what happened in their life to reduce them to such a mess.


Ciao Tutti Xx

Say hello to the night…

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…lost in the shadows

Song Lyric of the Day:  “Last fire will rise, behind those eyes” – Cry Little Sister, L.A. Guns

Movie Quote of the Day: “Are you freebasing? Enquiring minds want to know” – The Lost Boys

Despite still feeling as though I am only running on 20% power, I went out last night with a friend to The Lost Boys Experience at Kirkstall Abbey. I was dressed as Edgar Frog, as I’d poo-pooed Bman’s suggestion that I go as the shirtless, oiled-up sax player from the Boardwalk.


There were many 80s coiffured vampire looking types. There were people there who were clearly not old enough to remember this movie from 30 years ago. There were noodles (briefly) and blood themed cocktails. 

   We mocked the massive queue for mulled cider in the Kloisters, before realizing it was actually the line to take our seats for the screening. Got on the end and eventually found our seats & arranged our rugs & muffs (easy now!)  We had to move a few times, thanks to sodding Blair Witch and her mate with a massive furry collar parked right in front of us.

We pick & lifted our rugs, muffs, bags etc and shuffled further up the row but then bugger me, if Where’s Wally & her mate didn’t do the same. Cue some further comedy shuffling whilst simultaneously cursing & giggling.  We found somewhere with a less restricted view and then blow me if The Attack of the 50ft Woman didn’t come & sat right in front of us aswell!



We had a group sing along to ‘Cry Little Sister’ and then the movie began. We quoted along and geezer behind us kept guffawing loudly at random bits of the film that weren’t funny, but that made us giggle even more.

Once it was over, with the classic line of; “There’s one thing about Santa Carla that I never could stand….all the damn vampires!” It was time for fairground games and an 80s themed disco.   It’s been a long time since I had a boogie to anything by The Smiths or Erasure.  Not sure what the monks of Kirkstall Abbey would’ve made of it all but we thought it was great.

We also discovered that we kicked ass at Bog Roll Basketball & that in the event of seeing a Killer Clown, my initial reaction was to get a photo with it.  A bit like that time my sister & I saw a zombie invasion on Oxford Road in Manchester and we ran toward it, whooping!

Today is Halloween. Literally my favourite time of year.  For the first time in years though, I just can’t be arsed. Think because it’s a Monday and we haven’t had a party this year. My girls are out trick or treating, with instructions to ring if the Mama Mafia is required to come out & kick anybody’s butt!  Bman is at work til 11pm & I am slugging out on the sofa in my skeleton onesie (which I wear year-round anyway) & ignoring the door. I have no desire for a whole new generation of local children to know where I live.  I just want one more day before school starts again where I don’t have to fake a smile and be all professional – especially not in my pyjamas on my own doorstep.