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Still here 2020

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How’s it all going I hear you all ask?  

What’s that?  Nobody asked?

You’re right. Not many people did ask because most people don’t give a shit.

But hey ho. 

Mostly, Bman has been like this…

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… still out of work, still looking, still applying for everything going. And he’s now suffering from some kind of man-lurgy. Quite possibly that weird Chinese death virus that’s in the news. But you know, he’s a koala remember and they don’t all die in bush fires, some of them survive.  (Not really sure where I’m going with this analogy, but it’s been that kind of week).  If this unemployment lark goes on much longer we may be forced to go down the Gwyneth Paltrow route of selling candles that smell like our body parts. Because seriously? WTF?

😦

It was Blue Monday this week. Something to do with it being so many weeks after Christmas and about the time everyone starts to get their credit card bills or something, after the big festive overspend (in the name of our LordSexyJeebus). Supposedly the most depressing day of the year.

I can testify that this was indeed the case in our house.
Doom.
Gloom.
We had both in spades, seemingly out of nowhere.

Obsessive thoughts about being a shit mum/daughter/sister/wife/human being etc. Waste of air completely etc etc. Bad times.  Thank the old gods and the new for my swim classes.  Those young learners of mine and lovely parents to boot are a huge help to my mental health. Everything seems better in the water.

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It seems to have dissipated today but who knows when the black dog will leap out again.  My saving grace at the moment is losing myself in the mindlessness of TV.  This afternoon I was sucked into the drama of whether or not Janet would win the big jackpot on Tipping Point. It was a tense and ultimately disappointing time for Janet and indeed dozens of viewers around the UK who were invested in the result because they have no life either.  She opted to take the money rather than trade her current winnings for 3 extra tokens.

In the old ‘have a look at what you could have won’ – she would in fact, have won.

Such is life eh Janet? 

On a positive note (I think) I’ve been doing Ginuary rather than Dry January. At least 1 G&T a day for the month. And before I start getting pop up ads about joining AA can I point out that I am heavy on the tonic and no, I haven’t actually got 31 different types of gin stashed under the sink.

Stay positive out there people. Talk to your friends, your family, your pets, strangers on the bus. Don’t hold it all in.

Continue on MoFos. If only to annoy everyone.

Xx

Sh Sh Sh Shambala Pt2

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….So now on to Saturday.  Carnival day.  This year the theme was ‘Extinction’.  We had opted for blue macaws. Rio style.  My sister bought caped wing things and masks and this was the resulting glory.

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I had burst from the tent in slightly less, to a joint exasperated response of “NO!” from the teens.

😀

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Embarrassing mum Level 9

Bro in Law, always on board for a bit of fancy dress,  was meant to look like this….

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The Tick has lost a bit of weight

… but it was too hot for the old morph suit so he abandoned that look.
My sister was meant to don an amazing sequinned playsuit, but was too hot for that too (can’t believe I have no pics of that).

The teens opted out of the fancy dress other than the sweaty parrot masks on their heads, which compared to the other flock of blue macaws that we bumped into, looked pretty shite.
To be fair, eldest child tried to get involved last minute by wrapping a tropical island scene shower curtain round herself.

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I don’t know what my favourite fancy dress outfits were, but as usual, our fellow Shambalans went all out.  There were various animals, lots of dinosaurs.  A suited up group waving Shell placards and asking if anyone had seen any oil.  A lady just wearing a sash that said ‘compassion’ and I particularly liked the people dressed as Blockbuster video cards.

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This one is for you Mum

 

Saturday evening on the main stage was a strange and wonderful band called Henge who were like something from The Mighty Boosh.  If they’d sang ‘Eels up inside ya” I wouldn’t have been surprised. Best described as cosmic rave I guess.  Give them a whirl.

Mid Henge, me and the bro in law sloped off to watch 80’s snooker legend Steve Davis do a spot of DJing… like you do.  People kept running in and taking a photo and saying “Look, it’s Steve Davis!” and “Has he played Snooker Loopy by Chas n Dave yet?”

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Snooker Loopy

Such is the randomness of Shambala festival.  He didn’t have the crowds that DJ Rap,  Stanton Warriors or the amazing Helena Hauff did on Sunday night, but he was alright as it goes.

Saturday night I offered to take the little ones round the woods and then back to camp for late night camp hot chocolates, while sis and bro in law had some child free night time. I could also try to have a disco snooze to power up for the ‘OMG it’s the church’ 2am slot.  Niecelings had great fun shining their torches at me whenever I bent down in my sequinned skirt – “Aunty Kit has a big disco ball butt”

 

Eldest offspring had a bit of a hot chocolate/astrodust sherbert straw comedown and couldn’t quite cope with going back out into the melee, but she soldiered on, albeit with a face like a smacked arse.  She didn’t want to miss out on a bit of salvation from the Reverend and his Hail Marys.

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Where my hail Marys at?

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Sweet sexy cheeesus

While we were waiting for the show, we got talking to a man who asked us how festivals worked for us coming as a family.  He said in his capacity as a gay man there with his partner, he was interested in how different an experience it was for families.  He was a bit drunk and kept apologising, but was very lovely.  He told the girls that he hoped they were grateful to their awesome mother for taking them to festivals, because his mother had made him take part in a descant recorder competition as a teenager.  He’d spent his summer holidays practising ‘My heart will go on’ by Celine Dion.  I asked if I busted out a recorder would he be able to serenade us?  Sadly not, he said. He’d come last in the contest as he was so crap.
His parting words, before he fell over and after he’d kissed my grumpy faced eldest on the cheek were, “Think on!  Celine Dion.  Recorder contest.  That could have been you, but no, because you have a cool mum, you’re here instead. Be thankful”

Indeed kids.  Think on.  If your mother is a good ‘un – let her know you appreciate her.

🙂

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On Sunday, the festival had a new idea. They wanted to do a one minute silence across the site at 12 noon for people to ponder whatever they wanted.  Me and the eldest went to sit by the lake near the sand pit. The two younger ones went off to the Enchanted Woods, while sister etc were in the kids field.  At 12-noon a gong struck by the lake and you could have heard a  glittery sequinned pin drop! There was a small naked unknown child next to me at the time, eating an ice cream.  I put my finger to my lips and he just looked at me for a minute not making a single sound.  When the minute was up, the sounds of The Beatles, ‘All you need is love” rang out across site – and it was glorious. Utterly glorious…and very moving.  I may have had a teeny bit of sand in my eye.

The sun was still beating down and we’d been barefoot most of the weekend during the daytime – only employing the emergency ‘bog flops’ (a pair of Bman’s old flip flops) to wear when using the compost loos.

Sunday night after an amazing closing ceremony, I had a moment of pure joy, atop a podium in the Kamikaze, listening and dancing to Helena Hauff – a German DJ recommended to me by the Bman. The teens were at the Swingamajig listening to Tom of ESC DJ and life was good.  

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rave on mofos

I think this was my favourite Shambala yet.  I was calm throughout. I didn’t stress about seeing or not seeing any acts or joining any activities. I went with the flow and the flow was glittery, shiny, sunny and happy.  I joined in, I saw, I listened, I chilled, I had nana naps at camp (FYI the new blackout tent does not keep cool in the heat) and I survived the night time sleeping alone as my (bigger than me) babies were in a separate tent.


For the first time in 6 years I gained control of a hortisculpture pod and it was worth the wait.  I’ve already told my Pops he needs to get some of these over his pond at The Moss.

The younger teens even had a paddle to ease their trotters from the heat. They lost a hat but a kind man fished it out with a stick.

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As we sheltered from the sun in the shade of the Helter Skelter, Jade and I started giving the kids foot rides, which turned into seeing if we could still do it to each other like when we were kids.  When I finally finished laughing and got up off the grass to look around, I realised we appeared to have started a revolution. Well, not quite a revolution, but something… and it too was glorious.

.

 

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And just like that, all this was now a week ago… and I’ll have to wait another year.  I’m trying to keep the feeling alive by only drinking out of my reusable Shambala cup and not flushing the toilet or wearing shoes, but it’s not the same.

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Be more Shambala all year round people.  Keep Britain tidy. Don’t be a cunt. Eat less meat.  Show some sparkle. Be nice to one another.  Spend time with your family and don’t be afraid to be a bit silly…

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Shambala summed up in one photo I think

…and FFS pack up your tent and take it home you lazy dirty bastards. Love really is all you need (& maybe an education, some food and heating), but remember that not every police van you see is a Rave Unit and you can’t draw in chalk all the parked cars you see.

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So Shambala and Out for 2019.  Bring on the 20th anniversary for 2020 when hopefully Bman can finally join us (and please bring back the proper Lost Picture Show, it wasn’t the same this year).

Xx

Sh Sh Sh Shambalahhhhhh (Pt1)

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This time last week we were fizzing with anticipation about No.1 daughter’s GCSE results and our trip to Shambala the following day…

The girl done good!  11 GCSEs in total, lowest grades 2 Cs. The rest all Bs, As and A*.  She must not be mine or Bman’s.  A changeling from the maternity ward at LGI perhaps? 

🙂

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And what better way to celebrate than to go on some Adventures in Utopia at Kelmarsh Hall, Market Harborough at Shambala Festival.

I’m not actually sure where to start TBH?  Shambala is a festival of shiny happy people who make you feel like the country isn’t totally full of fucktards, skanks, unfortunates, spice tramps and bellends.  It’s colourful, glittery, sequinned, eclectic, very vegetarian (but not militantly vegan) and not the sort of place where tents get left behind and loos get set on fire.
Where else would you be asked by a young child on the way back to camp late at night, “Do you want to hear the most amazing sound in the world?”  (The answer of which should always be.. “Why yes, thank you, I sure do”) then the next thing you know, you are dangling an oven shelf from your ears on some string with your fingers in your ears, while child in question drags a wooden spoon across the slats of the shelf.  Suffice to say it was one of the most amazing sounds I have ever heard. Right there inside my brain like angels singing into my ear canal.  Try it! Get the shelves out of your oven right now and get dangling people!

 

This year we also took my youngest daughter’s pal Poppy – one of her friends who was hit by a car at Easter.  This made the family dynamic a little different, but I found it less stressful if I’m honest. Perhaps because the three of them went off together, they all got on well and were able to stay out without me, or head back to camp earlier than me. They helped when I was minding my young nieces.  They didn’t appear to fall out at all and Poppy didn’t bat an eyelid when we watched a ‘cunt walk’ fashion show, or me and my sister did stupid things like starting a traditional family pile-on in the Chai Wallah tent, or tried to embarrass them with crazy outfits.

 

 

I did my usual and went to town a bit on the first night.  I thought I was being quite restrained until I felt a bit knackered and fragile on Friday morning after a night bouncing around in the Swingamajig.  Sleeping bag?  Check! Toothbrush?  Check!  Glittery outfits? Check!  See the Electric Swing Circus?  Check!

I know this is me on these pictures but I have no recollection of them being taken.  I blame Thursday tequila amnesia. You will note my go-to facial expression that is more ‘Manic Loon’ than ‘Blue Steel’.

 

The sun played a blinding set for 4 days. The emergency waterproof trou stayed in the bag and the sun lotion was thoroughly used up. I sat on my sunglasses and fell on the tent.  We fashioned a tiny paddling pool for the folding washing up bowl and turned a blind eye to the naked people washing their bumholes under the water taps.  Boobs were akimbo and glittery. The Police Rave Unit were in full effect and gained a new fan in Poppy, who was also a big fan of the Roots Yard (because who isn’t?)

 

 

Had a special moment on Friday night taking the youth to see DJ Rap in the Kamikaze tent.  Getting my old skool rave back on with my kids.  Nice! 

Old ravers never die- they just creak when they two-step. 

🙂

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Whistle posse blow!

Later the band ‘Idles’ were on the main stage.  Allie and Poppy went to the front.  It got quite lairy so Rhona went in to stay with them.  So then I had 3 children to worry about instead of 2 in the moshiness at the front of what transpired to be a very shouty set. 

 

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As my sister and I stood to the side, looking confused and slightly concerned. At one point I thought I might have to go in, Poltergeist style, on a rope held by my sister, so I could rescue the girls and bring them out unscathed.

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We then got distracted, discussing in hushed tones whether or not the dreadlocked man laid on the grass near us wearing a sequinned catsuit, was in fact the Reverend Michael Alabama Jackson of ‘OMG It’s the Church’ fame.  My sister, more gins in than myself at this stage, sidled up to ask the question, “Scuse, me. Are you ssshhexy Jesus?” to which she was told, “No, but I am the Reverend Jackson”.

Result!  OMG and IN!  Turns out, the band were doing a secret set at the Madam Bayou stage on the Saturday night/Sunday morning.  This festival was just getting better and better!

After a wander around the Enchanted Woodlands – a magical Ewok village/Tree-Walk of strange sculptures and hidden gems, I had an early night to fortify myself for another hot day on Saturday and to finally sleep off the exertions of night before. 

 

 

Ciao for now Sinners.  More to come tomorrow. Xx

 

 

 

 

 

Information Superhighway Emptiness (& messages from beyond…)

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Annoyingly it turns out that we need the Internet for more things than you think. And having WiFi does not always mean you can get online.

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Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – updated edition

 

Ours decided to start dropping in and out about 2 weeks ago. Bit irritating at first, then after a couple of days, it was time to call the service provider. This is the way Customer Service telephone operators earn their stripes and I become one of those people whose phone calls are used for training and monitoring purposes.  And so a saga begins…

9th Jan: Initial call.  Made the error of not listening to full message, so keyed in my mobile number so a Technical Advisor could text me, as per the very chipper recorded message.  Big mistake.  An hour and several pointless messages to and fro later I bombed that off and rang back again. Had I listened to the full message first I could have held on the line to speak to an advisor. Doh!  So I did that.  Got through to a very helpful lady who ran some line tests and told me my phone line was fine and that we had plenty of WiFi.  Explained again that I was well aware we had WiFi in spades – just that the Internet kept dropping in and out.  Naturally, every time they did some kind of test the internet seemed to work fine. I kept explaining it dropped off every few minutes.  By this time I had been trying to sort the issue for 90 minutes.  I had to abandon this exercise in futility and set off for work.  Whilst walking to work, helpful lady calls me back and says she has sorted a better deal and arranged for a new router to be sent within 2 working days and after that we will have amazingly fast super fibreoptic witchcraft power Internet connection.  Cushty.  Job done!

Or not…

3 days later:  No new router and Internet now completely off.  At this stage I can still deal with it. I can take or leave FB, Instagram etc. And can use my data to check messenger for incoming swimming inquiries.  I call again anyway and a different dude does same checks as last time but reassures me that new router will arrive in the morning.

Next day:  No new router and still no Internet.  Another call another different dude has me unscrewing boxes and tickling about with wires and connections, to no avail.  Assures me that the router is coming the next day.

At this stage, kids are getting a bit antsy and have been forced to sit in local shitbag McDs to use their internet and also come to the pool with me to use the internet in the office to do their homework. We have played quiz games and gone out for a walk and had actual conversations.  We have no idea who is eating what for dinner or posting selfies with dog ears on and flowery halos, or what’s going down on Twitter, but it turns out you don’t need to know these things to survive.  Further call made anyway – am once again advised router will be with me be next day at latest

18th Jan: Letter arrived advising my router is “winging its way to me” presumably in same plane as Cardiff’s latest signing (too soon??) but my new witchcraft speed supercalafuckingfragalistic fibre won’t actually be connected until January 24th.  

Wait! What?

I bust out the big guns and ring again and insist on speaking to a supervisor. I am told this cannot be arranged until line checks have been done.  I kick off at this point and explain that this is now my 4th phone call and I’m getting pissed off.  I am put through to Jay, who after dealing with me for 25 minutes should probably be in line for a knighthood or the George Cross.  An engineer was dispatched to arrive the next day with Jay saying “I’m not sure why that wasn’t arranged on your first call Mrs Breevine”- No shit Sherlock, go figure. He also arranges financial compensation for the days we have been without the Internet. He may also have gone onto Indeed.com once I hung up, in search of alternative less stressful employment.

19th Jan: Bman stays in to await the engineer while I go to work – kids come with again to do their homework for the second weekend running.  Bman texts to say engineer not yet arrived despite it being 30 minutes after the time frame we were given for his visit.
When I finish teaching, I see message from Bman saying engineer is finally there and that he has installed a new router so the Internet is restored. However during his visit, the engineer asked to use the bathroom and was gone 20 minutes and clearly had a shit, as it stunk the house out!  Who does that? Who attends a housecall and drops off a load?  Made mental note to mention it when the inevitable
“How did we do?” feedback call came.

23rd Jan:  Actual supercalifuckmehowdoesitwork fibreoptic router gizmo arrived today.  I am afeared of unplugging the one that actually restored our connection to the outside world and setting this one up, in case it doesn’t work.

I’ll do it tomorrow when the witchcraft is supposed to kick in.

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In other news and in a similar vein to being bereft of news, knowledge, and connection to the living – I went to a clairvoyant evening with my partner in crime last week. All in the spirit (pardon the pun) of scientific research you understand.

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We arrived late as per and had to creep in, doing our usual half crouch and apologetic tiptoe to find a seat. We were both immediately distracted by the painting on the wall of a very sexy Jesus pointing at us and winking suggestively in a ‘Dogma’ Buddy Christ style.

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Polite social convention prevented me from taking a photo of it as proof, but trust me, it existed and I think I need a copy…above my bed. It made me want to feel our Lord Jesus all up inside and all on my face just like Eric Cartman Faith+1

So what messages were imparted from the great beyond? The ‘higher state of living’ (death)?  Well, a lady behind us was offered a bacon sandwich from the afterlife by some aunt or other.  This seemed to please her and hold some meaning.  There was something about a clock (isn’t there always?) It was all rather conveniently vague.  Imagine then my joy when she asked if she could “come to you love”.  Careful not to give too much away to this unassuming elderly lady in slacks and jumper, I allowed my chakras to open and let myself be read.  Unfortunately I’m pretty sure the mediumship information superhighway was also suffering some connection issues because I have no idea who she was getting her info from.

Seemingly she had my father’s brother with her.  Hmmm, firstly, the man is still alive and second, why not say uncle?  She then decided she must have her wires crossed and should have been talking to my mate. It didn’t make much more sense to her either though TBH. The lady vicar person at the front then got a bit tetchy with me after watching me intently for the past 10 minutes and said somewhat accusingly I thought, “You do know who she is talking about. I know you do!” (I really didn’t)  There was something else about a man who had died when one of my girls was really small, and they had been really close (nope). Then, to my friend she says “I’m picking up on a swimming connection”. Pal tells he she must mean me. “Oh is it you dear?”  No, love I’m sat here with piss wet hair, stinking of chlorine and wearing a Koolkids Swim School tee shirt and Swim Classes hoodie. Doesn’t make you Nostradamus darling.  Then there was some waffle about keeping up with the admin “Did you used to ever use a computer love?” and then loose talk of hot air balloons (?) which may or may not mean that business will increase.

She then asked a man behind us is he had any connection with trains. He said no. She asked if he was travelling on a train any time soon.  No, he says.  “But in the future, you might” she says. “And then you’ll remember this message”.

So that was it.  The best the departed could give us was incorrectly assigned relatives, bacon sarnies, hot air balloons, stating the obvious and telling you that in the future you may at some point avail yourself of public transport.

Awesome!

What a crock of shite.  Before you ask if I paid for this.  No, I did not. I spent a quid on a strip of raffle tickets and was most disgruntled not to win anything. The star prize was a jigsaw of a herd of zebra.  Gutted!  Might have to go again though, just to get a selfie with sexy Jesus.

Or just wait until May to praise, when we go to see these crazy MoFos again  OMGitsthechurch

Ciao Ciao Xx