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2012. A mostly pictorial review of when the World didn’t end

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For my DHW retrospective of 2012 I shall attempt to not use any profanity.


2012 may well have stood out as the year of sporting prowess and nationalistic fervour, overuse of the words ‘Olympic’ and ‘Jubilee’ and the playing of the theme tune to ‘Chariots of Fire’ and of Bruce Forsyth not dying, but I will remember it for other reasons:-

I survived another Y6 residential; taught another successful end of year dance number; met up with old friends long missed; danced to Inner City, ‘Pennies from Heaven’ in my wellies; cycled my mobile back to life; finally saw DJ Yoda; visited a nudist spa (it wasn’t for me…) and despite feeling thoroughly & inexplicably miserable a lot of the time, I have also laughed so hard I almost peed – and I have my friends to thank for that because again, inexplicably… I do have some.  Bless them & love them every one of them! Xx


 My favourite phrase of 2012 came at the end of the year from my eldest..

“I’m not beefing Mum.  I’m whining!”



However for me, without question, the highlight of 2012 was the (eventual) safe arrival of my first niece in April…

Becoming an Aunt

Becoming an Aunt = awesome!

All the joy of being a part of a new life, with a slightly lower chance of screwing this one up because she doesn’t live with me 24/7.


The force is strong with this one…

Maybe in 2012 I can introduce her to nights under canvas, waterproof trou and eating lukewarm noodles from a mess tin on one of my; “When can we go on a proper holiday mum?”  festival gigs.

Last year I managed to get to  3:-

Lounging - magic!

Lounging at Magic

An arresting sight

An arresting sight

Mum's brought us to live in another bloody field!

We’re living in yet another bloody field!

Assume the cooking position

Assume the cooking position

One of them, even childerbeast-free!

Look at me. High up & child free!

Look at me. High up & child free!

Unlikely to manage more than one this year as I can only afford one, so will have to choose wisely (having blown my chances of crewing again for the Angel Gardens by being a massive dingus!) 


Non-festival related nights out in 2012 were very few and far between:-  Miss Sunshine’s birthday in January, Bman’s birthday in February, an 80’s themed leaving bash and the odd village pub visit in Chester – making drunken accusations against TV personalities (several of which have turned out to be purportedly  true) and of baffling the Landlord by deliberately requesting drinks from the 1970’s. 

#cinzano #dubonet #snowball #maraschinocherry


To top them all off… Only last week, the piece de resistance of “Not Quite Boxing Day” when I was lured into going out in the Boro to see a ‘Thin Lizzy’ tribute act.

Not a big fan of the old Lynott, I’ll be honest, although I could pick out a couple of their best known songs if pushed.  I do know though that this is nothing remotely like a Thin Lizzy tribute act:- 

... the hell?

… the hell?

Unless Phil Lynot has gone all “Bay City Roller” that, my friend, smacks of the old Noddy & Dave to me.   Cup a soup anyone?

(Still, it gave me a chance to show off my new faux fur giraffe print jacket).

Mekon, her mum & I, clearly being the only element of glamour in the place, but not enough for any of the leering auld coots hunched around their pale ales to actually get up off their freshly ironed cords and offer to buy us a drink.  Shame on you, aging rockers of Scarborough.

To get to this pinnacle of festive entertainment, which had cost us £4 a piece to get in,  we had to sit through the bar owner’s brother’s band –  The Warriors (who incidentally bore no resemblance in any way to the movie of the same name).

They WISHED they looked like this

They WISHED they looked like this

…and only.  Only. In the Boro, could this song, be requested from the DJ and it immediately fill a previously empty dance floor:-

Keep smiling.. at least we're out-out!

Keep smiling.. at least we’re out-out!

I hold higher hopes for better things this year because in all honesty, 2012 was pretty much a wash-out in more ways than one. 


We’ve already booked for the Harry Potter Studio Tour in February, where I have every intention of embarrassing the childerbeast by having my picture taken in full Quidditch garb, astride a Nimbus 2000 grinning like a loon. 

We have a holiday to France booked for July with the Anson Fam. I have tickets for ‘Cats’ and ‘The Woman in Black’ and I have every intention of dragging my sorry ass down to Northants to make DTR wish he’d never invited us down… be prepared my old friend… be prepared!

I see from Slydealive’s website that they are booked twice to play in Chester this year.  I can see at least one other night out brewing…


I leave you with some of my favourite snapshots from the year, which I shall leave uncaptioned for added randomness.

2012-12-27 22.01.44


 026  098 133051

 148 152 017


022  061 154





017 018


022 021


 102    081


Group hug2

IMG_0286 076  


    And don’t forget… there are always pies….


Ciao for now everybody peeps.  Thanks for sticking with me…  XXx



Satsumas anyone?

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So, after a day yesterday of mortifying prejudice, mimicry and full-contact wrestling (should have worn the ‘Hulkmania’ vest Bman thoughtfully got me for Xmas). Then had to administer first-aid to the First-Aider who accidentally shut the safe door onto her own thumb, with nothing more than a serene, “Ooooh” (I would have said more than “Ooooh”, I can tell you that for nothing!)

Plus side (cos you should always look for one) was that the WWF manoeuver seemed to click my bad back into place temporarily.  Let’s hope it lasts.

Today though was my turn for wardrobe malfunction, albeit in a slightly less spectacular way than ‘Roundersgate’, when I held a conversation with my Boss for 5 minutes before being discreetly told by my friend that my dress was undone to way past the bra line.  Brilliant! 

Thank goodness I hadn’t been asking for a payrise cos you don’t get anything for a pair in this game my love especially not with my shit tits!

“Nice too see you. to see your tits”


I guess you had to be there…..

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After 2½ days in Loco Parentis to 20 ‘lively’ primary kids at an Activity Centre in the middle of nowhere, what is it that tips me over the edge into the realms of hysteria?

It was on the coach home and a colleague was being shown a picture on a child’s camera of something very similar to this:-

Road Kill Tour 2012

and the conversation going like this:- 

“Look Miss”                

“Awww cute”                                 

  “Eh? but it’s dead Miss”                                                        

  (sighs wistfully)  “Yeahhh… I know…”  


Not even a Bunny Wheelchair could help this poor bugger out I’m afraid!

Highland fling, dead beasties & ting

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How many times can you sing, “I’ll take the high road and you take the low road in a faux Scottish accent over a 4 day period? Ditto the word ‘Stoneybridge‘ in the style of Naked Video? Quite a few as it goes

 The Griswold Family Highland Tour 2011 began with a 9 hour road trip North, which from around the 3 hour mark, I had to endure listening to Bman bemoaning the price of 2 fruit smoothies purchased under duress for the children.

 Word of the entire holiday was ‘Midgets’ and the theme of the entire trip transpired to be that of spotting road kill and dead wildlife. I had optimistic hopes of Pine Martens running freely through the campground and Red Squirrels sharing their nuts with us for breakfast, while majestic Golden Eagles soared above our heads posing for photographs atop the tent. Instead I had to make do with a Tawny Owl, some tiny wee frogs and 2 dead badgers, a dead doe, a dead cat and a half a fox in the road on the A82.

after 2 nights in the tent with Bman & Kids – these bad boys looked tempting

 Bman’s pal, who invited us up to Fort William for a visit some months ago and who was the reason we were that far north at all, seemed strangely reticent to make arrangements with us after telling Bman a few weeks ago that there was no room at the Inn & that if we did come we would have to camp. He didn’t even let Bman know his address! They were friendly some 20 years ago in the Boro and my guess is that the lad invited us up there, we called his bluff and then he remembered what a lairy drunk my husband can be and decided to play that game of hiding behind the couch and closing the blinds when the carol singers come round. Needless to say, we didn’t actually get to meet up with him. Nice one, crappy friend who shouldn’t make offers he doesn’t mean.

 We took ourselves off for a walk up the mountain opposite Ben Nevis, up to Dun Deardail Fort. The ‘Ben’ would have been too much of a challenge for the wairns although it would have been great to get at least half way. TBH they moaned like buggery on the forest track that we walked on and that was a proper cinder track with just a 5 minute scramble at the top.

The weather changing tack every 20 minutes didn’t help. The layers came off, they went back on again, we got soaked, we dried out, we got wet again and broke the monotony of the whining and protesting by promising jelly beans at 15 minute intervals as an incentive to keep going.

View from Dun Deardail Fort over Glen Nevis Valley

The hike was great and the views were phenomenal, though I have to say that the sight that cheered me the most was the sign that read ‘Launderette’ when we got back to the campground. I spent a most pleasant 20 minutes and possibly the best spent 80p of the holiday watching my trousers and the kid’s leggings & fleeces whizzing round in the dryer. I also noticed this in the washing up room.

How thoughtful of the campground to leave supplies

Emergency supplies for the frustrated parent for once the scotch has all gone and the wine box is empty perhaps?

On Monday morning we hit the local Morrisons to stock up and to fuel Bman and the childerbeast’s constant obsession with what was to eat for the next meal. After 2 nights tent-bound by midgets, I decided against buying myself a bottle of wine and opted for a 3litre box instead and feared that it may not actually be enough…

And so to the Ben Nevis Distillery Tour. Whisky made same way as beer, flavoured by different waters and peats, yadayadayada, let’s just cut to the tasting my good man. Very nice, I’ll take a bottle of that then please.

Onward then to Fort Augustus. Beautiful scenery and every possibility of a sight of the elusive eagles, wildcats, deer and pine martens and what were my Childerbeast doing? Faces stuck into their DS’s, wired for sound on their MP3’s & merrily singing along. Nothing makes you wish you had not packed the scotch in the boot more than 2 girls in the back, one singing along to Bruno Mars. ‘Grenade’ for the umpteenth time while the other sings Jessie J’s ‘Price Tag and the Bman plays one of his infamous mixtapes in the front. For the uninitiated, the running order of one of these tapes could go something a little like this (and all at slightly different volumes):-

1.Black Sabbath – Paranoid

2.Blondie – Heart of Glass

3.Theme tune from ‘Minder’

4.Theme tune from ‘Ulysses 31’

5.Cramps – Garbage Man

6.Theme tune from ‘Rab C Nesbit’

7.Theme tune from ‘Metal Mickey’

8.Ramones medley

9.Girls Aloud – Something Kinda Ooh

10.Theme tune from ‘Around the World with Willy Fog’

I’m not making this shit up. There were several times that I considered throwing myself from the car into whichever Loch or Gorge we were driving past at the time. Never, never, under any circumstances allow my husband near the decks or stereo at a party after a few drinks. Particularly not in his own home with his own CD collection.

Fort Augustus was small but very busy.   As the first point you see Loch Ness if coming from the North it was full of coachloads of Japanese and/or old people going for a cruise on the Loch.   Let’s face it, if there was no such rumour as the Nessie legend no one would bother much other than for a Kodak moment for yet another breathtaking view.   The Scots aren’t doing badly out of us tourists as far as Nessie tat goes though. My kids have come home with bookmarks, pencils, rubbers, ‘wee monster’ socks, flags, soft toys and even I got myself a fridge magnet and an inflatable Nessie (to add to the camping menagerie).

Bman opted instead for the ubiquitous ‘Jimmy’ hat, which he wore all the way around the Loch Ness Trail, although I put my foot down and wouldn’t let him get out of the car with it on at Urquhart Castle.

Reasons to supervise your husband in the gift shop #1

The castle, I might add which is cunningly designed by the Heritage Trust or whoever, so that to get a half decent view of it, or the Loch from it, you have to pay £7.20 per adult and £5.30 for child to get in! Screw that man Jimmy lad canny bag o bollocks! I had just been fleeced in the gift store of the Loch Ness Exhibition at Drumnadrochit for 2 bags worth of Nessie kacka so I wasn’t forking out any more. We lifted Allie over the wall and got her to take some pictures through the bushes instead. Job done!

Stuff your entrance fee!

On the last day we too hit the Royal Scot Cruise on the Loch for a bit of Monster spotting. They had on board sonar equipment so you could see exactly how bloody deep it was. There was also a bar so a wee dram helped to take the edge off the biting wind on the top deck.

Thar she blows Nessie lass

Bit breezy up top


I've booked the childerbeast in for next year

We then looked around a weird farm, which despite the sign. had no children in it at all. Perhaps they had been take off to slaughter? Who knows. A giant rooster like Foghorn Leghorn took a shine to the Bear and she now has a fear of poultry after it chased her round. Traumatising for her but quietly amusing for me and the Bman. Not so discreet her little sister who is threatening to print out this photo and blow it up to life size and stick it at the end of Bear’s bed. (Where does she get that kind of devilish humour from I wonder?)

It was about 2 ft tall

I enjoyed the trip despite disappointment at not seeing a Pine Marten or a Red Squirrel. Thoroughly loved the walks, although we won’t mention the fact that we went wrong a few times and it was nothing to do with me because someone else, (male, Caucasian, 6ft 2, scruffy looking, late 30’s) was in charge of the map. The scenery was superb and the natives very friendly. I’ll be honest though and say that as much as I had fun; next year my idea of a relaxing holiday will be one without childerbeast or a husband. Then I can eat what I like, when I feel like it, not spend the entire holiday listening to others obsessing with meal times or moaning continually about where it is we are going or what it is we are doing. I can buy something for myself other than just a fucking fridge magnet because I don’t have to spend all my money (and money I don’t have) on overpriced shite in every single shop, museum or exhibition that we look at.

 Yes. I feel a Shirley Valentine holiday coming on but perhaps in Italy rather than Greece. A pasta and wine tour, girls only, mobiles off, who’s in? Until then though, next port of call is the mighty Boro at Ma B’s. Thank god there’s tequila left from the Beacons Fest that never happened. I feel I may need it.