Monday, 29 August 2011

Muffin tops must go!

After the kids have been off soooo long now and there has been many a day out, nights away, festivals etc etc and that can mean only one thing..................lots of food, unhealthy food, yummy picnics with cakes and biscuits, lots of over sized ice creams (it is supposed to be summer you know!).
However, that's so not good for my already established muffin tops that seemed to have expanded into fully grown over sized family sponges!!!! No longer can they be squeezed into already snug fitting jeans and the tops have begun to get longer and more spacious.
So after our great overnight stay in Dover at the weekend to go to the castle for a birthday trip for the OH, which came with a very yummy dinner and pudding and an all you can eat continental and cooked breakfast!!! That just about pushed me over the edge. The dreaded 'D' word was mentioned which pretty much throws me into a panic as the mere mention of the word tends to make me think of food............................................all the time, more than I normally would and leaves me literally wanting to eat everything in sight!!

So it has been collectively decided ( that means generally I have decided and my OH has no choice but to join in as I am the main cook!) that we should be on a 'healthy eating' regime. Not a restrictive diet but more of  portion control with a few healthy choices thrown in and an odd treat here and there (instead of everyday).
That started yesterday and for me it has gone OK so far as my OH have been at work over the bank Holiday working very extended days. However tomorrow is his birthday, and a chocolate cake has already been acquired so this could go rapidly downhill from here!

I have also been approached by Think Slimmer to try their 'Drop a jean size' Slimpod that should be coming soon. So with that and the fact I have started to use my Slendertone again I'm hopeful that I should shift a few pounds. However, I'm restricted with exercise due to having M.E so trying to be active around the house is exercise enough for me so hoping that will help a little.

So my motto is going to be 'Everything in moderation'!!!!

That way I wont get over obsessed by the food I'm trying not to eat so much of. I have been good for 2 days and tomorrow will go downhill but hopefully I will be back on track Wednesday.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Reliving my youth........via REWIND!

I have just had one of the best weekends of my life! What's more I was able to enjoy it with my OH and 2 boys who seemed to enjoy it at much as me.

We spent the weekend in Henley on Thames camping at the Rewind festival 2011. Having never been to a festival of any kind before it really was a new experience all round. I have never seen so many campers and tents in one place in all my life!!
And this was the 'quieter' field!!

We decided to go Friday and try to include some of the extras that were on offer before the music filled days...........that way we wouldn't have to miss any of the bands on Saturday and Sunday.
However, we were late leaving (as organised as ever) and then had to tackle the M25 on a Friday afternoon ( you can see were this is going!!) and then sat in a 5mile tail back just to get onto the camp!!

Once there it was pretty much a free for all. There were already lots and lots.....................and lots of people already pitched and settled ( I was so bloody jealous at that point and mumbling under my breath why we are never that organised!) As we couldn't get a trolley cart to help with the baggage, the queue was humongous, so we decided to grab the tent and find a pitch and at least get the tent up (which is no easy feat in itself) and that way we could come back for the rest..........................which really is a lot as we never learn to travel light!

The gear minus our duvet and pillows which we nearly forgot!!
And then the tent of course!!!!

After traipsing all around the world, or so it felt, we eventually found the 'Family field' that was already full and not all with families!! We eventually ended up in a field that was closer to the car park and certainly had more room between tents without being squashed in like sardines.
We trooped on and sorted the tent which isn't easy peasy at the best of times without a hinderer like me helping (but not in a good way). Anyway all hands on deck and it was sorted and I left the boys to ferry the rest of the gear back from the car as I cooked the dinner!!

still haven't quite got sorted as you can see and it was getting dark!!

At that point the plan of enjoying the extras ie: silent disco etc had gone out the window. But at 10pm we thought what the hell- lets go grab a cold beer and have a wander. The kids were up for it with a promise of a go on the amusements!! I'm so glad we did as we came across these peeps:-

brill costumes and they were soo nice to the boys too

Eventually we fell into bed around midnight totally exhausted. But all was great in the morning as we had a lay in and we woke up to a glorious morning. We topped that with a fab cooked breakfast which set us up for the day ahead.
nothing like a cooked brekkie when your camping.....YUM!

That was before the impending doom of the rain clouds that were quickly approaching. We ended up like this.......

There's Pimms in that there cup! The rain didn't dampen my drinking LOL

Soooo not funny!!!!
However, someone was definitely looking down on us as the sun eventually came out and we enjoyed a great day with totally fab music.

Billy Ocean was absolutley FAB!!!
Howard Jones one of my absolute fav's did a fantastic set but didn't play 'Hide and Seek' very dare he!!!!!
Bananarama were brill.......very funny in between songs too. The crowd loved them!

Ohh I do love a firework display.......yes sad I know!!

That night finished with Holly Johnson's rendition of 'The Power of Love'  and a fireworks display thrown in for good measure.

We trudged back to the camp exhausted and cold and fell into bed pretty much comatosed!!

Sunday..............and it was all to come again. But we were more organised this time. We packed for all eventualities, coats, ponchos, sun cream, hats, umbrella ( for rain or shine!) and some sneaky Pimms to boot!

Spot the festival welly socks....minus the welly's that I had to take off it was so warm!
Me and OH grooving!!

Our sky that evening......stunning!

Boys will be boys!

That night finished with The Human League, not my favourite by a long shot and really would have liked Kim Wilde to have finished the night as the crowd completely 'rocked' when she was on. as well as The Village People ( don't laugh) they really had the crowd going, even the security guys up the front were doing the YMCA!!!!!

The boys today were in full festival mode, singing to the crowd karaoke and rocking with their Glo sticks in the evening.

That's us screaching.....'We're the kids in America'!!!!!!!!
The Human League.....great set just not my cup of tea!!!

Sadly we trudged back to our tent with the knowledge that we had to be up at 5.30am to pack up and be away early as my youngest was going to be on a course that day ( such bad planning on my part!!). So after not sleeping a wink I was up to this view making tea at 5.30...............................lovely in an odd sort of way.
Truly gorgeous, calm and quiet!!

Surprisingly, we were packed and on the road by 8.45am ( how would have thought it) very impressive as it's no easy feat with two whingy boys to get up and fed and ready!!

However, chatting in the car on the way home and playing one of our 80's CD's we asked the boys who they liked:-
13 yr old............Nik Kershaw!!
                           Haircut 100!!!
                           Kim Wilde ( although not sure he should admit that to his friends)
                           Village People ( definitely not mentioning that one!!!)

10 yr old.............Billy Ocean ( good choice as he was fab)
                            Go west!!
                             Village People!!! ( really he won't live it down!!)

When asked if they would go again it was a resounding .....................YES!!

They loved the 'grunge''..... not showering for days, eating cooked breakfasts and staying up very late!!
I thought the 'grunge' would be too much for me to bear ( festival camping is a whole other experience than normal camping............don't get me started on the porta loos......................that could really scar you for life!!!)

However, I never knew 'dirty' could be soooo much fun!!

Needless to say after a coma style sleep when we got back my shower has never felt so good.

So here's to next year! ( oh forgot OH has a leave ban from mid June through to September due to the Olympics.......................Ok I think he feels a sicky coming on already............................ssshhhhhh don't tell anyone!! LOL

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Ready Steady camp!

Yes you read it! We are off again, tomorrow in fact. Now there's lots of festivals going on over the summer with great bands, brilliant music, lots of alcohol, playing how to find your tent at the end of the night etc, get the picture.

So when we heard this festival being talked about and advertised my OH and I looked at each other, a plan hatched and tickets were booked. Now being in our early 40's we are not hitting a mid life crisis and pretending we are younger than we are, or trying to be 'hip and down with the kids'!! So before you all get very impressed thinking we are heading to a Glastonbury style festival and that we must be really cool and laid back parents to be taking our kids off camping 'a la festival
style'............................we are not!

So although we may at some point over the weekend re live our youth, embarrass our kids with our dancing, and force them to wave luminous Glo sticks at any sad songs whist singing ( very out of tune) at the top of our voices..........................................we will not be cheering to any 'cool' bands of recent years!

Oh no, not this family. We will be heading to Henley, hoping for sunny dry weather. For a whole weekend we will be surrounded by luminous clothing, mullet wigs, legwarmers (and that's just me......only kidding!) as we will be at the REWIND festival. A full 2 days of 80's bands, beer in plastic glasses, people in our own age range who remember these bands and the words to their songs, and OK I might have to wave a few Glosticks!!

So wish me luck as Friday brings a long day of packing, unpacking, hawking everything to our pitch, erecting a very large and heavy tent (actually that will be OH and the boys), cooking dinner(that will definitely be my job) and then dragging our boys to the delights of the 'Silent Disco'!!!!!

I feel a nervous breakdown approaching very rapidly!! Or at least a body breakdown after a very bad M.E day today!!!!!!
So lots of coffee, berroca's and energy drinks I think.............................and that's before the Saturday and Sunday of fab 80's music!!!!!

I sooooo cannot warned it could will get messy.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Week 2 ...................survived!

So that's week 2 of summer hols gone and we survived again, although kids arguments and petty nit picking (not literally) almost got the better of us and nearly tipped us over the edge!! However, all four of us are still in one piece and miraculously still talking............only just!

We decided pretty last minute to make use of MIL's caravan along the North Kent coast for a few days. We arrived Wednesday in glorious sunshine, unpacked, had lunch and then headed to the beach for a while before attempting a food shop with the boys (honestly you would think they would get better as they got not be fooled). After dinner the evening was still lovely and warm so we headed down for a last walk along the local Leas, and as the boys took their skateboards they were well worn out when we got back to the van.

We woke up Thursday to this.....


However we were undeterred and played games until the afternoon, who would have thought that playing Bingo and Charades for sweets could be so much fun..........honestly, what a giggle we had!

Yes really....Bingo for Maltesers and Lemon sherbets!!
That's 2 words!!

Then when the weather cleared we thought we would have a mooch around the local shops and check out the docks to watch for the enormous 'tanker' ships coming out!

Friday we headed off to Whitstable and Herne bay for the day. We made an early start and had a yummy picnic on the beach at Whitstable watching the little sailing boats going in and out from the club there.

Yes you read it right............'ginger nuts' .........and he is......ginger and nuts!!

After a wander around and the biggest ice creams I have ever seen and eaten, a picture of which is on my phone for proof, but for some reason I'm having difficulty downloading!!! Anyway, we headed off to Herne bay for the rest of the day.

I love the pier and the pavilion at Herne bay and this time we decided to try our hand at a bit of crab fishing!

However we were not very lucky or the crabs knew something we didn't as we didn't catch a thing!! Next time I'm sure LOL

It can be a very serious business this crab fishing!

But we had a great time and finished our day off with the best local fish and chips................YUM!

Saturday we drove down to a 'blast from the past' and visited our old RAF camp at Manston. There are two great little museums there, one mainly for the adults and one definitely geared towards children with aircraft they can climb about on and lots of other RAF stuff that brought back great memories for me and the OH!! We had a picnic overlooking the airfield and the old Air Traffic building I used to work in and we can see both our old rooms from the front of the camp ( our boys love this.....sad but true!)

No you can't take it home!!

I used to be winched in and out of these things for rephrase that.......for work!!!!

However, the weather was not very kind to us that day and so we ended up in a very rainy Margate in the amusements, much to the boys delights.
This lucky player can make a pot of 2p's last a very, very, very long time!!

By Sunday I was completely shattered and so a lay in was had by all!! It was also the 9th anniversary of my Dad passing away, so the day was never going to be brilliant anyway.We had planned to pop along to Leysdowne ( not the loveliest of places but the beach there is fantastic) to have a BBQ on the beach but the weather was grim and we contemplated coming home! But by the time we were ready it was like a new day...........sunshine.........hooray. So we took our chances, and so glad we did, we had a fantastic afternoon on the beach there complete with BBQ burgers for our lunch!

The chef..............and very nice they were too.
The water was surprisingly warm.

And the tide went out amazingly far!! Can you spot the 2 dots that are my sons?????

Although there was a small fair there, we had been playing Bingo in the van when it was raining so the boys opted to play the 'proper' bingo inside the amusements instead!! We had a blast for about an hour and 3 out of 4 of us had a win!! Sorry OH .........but you were rubbish.

Anyway we headed home for tea and a few card games before bed, and although we had a great day my 'sociableness' had worn off and I was glad to head to bed as we were going to leave fairly early the next morning.

So, today is now Monday and another week of the hols has past and so far we have had some great days. Yes there have been arguments, tiffs, tears, tantrums ( and that is just me!!) but overall it has been fab!

Here starts a new week, I have returned and unpacked, washed and ironed and re- packed as tomorrow we are heading to Devon to stay at my Mum's!! OH is staying here as he has to work. This will be the first time I have attempted to drive the journey on my own since being diagnosed with M.E!! I am not looking forward to it as I normally sleep for a few hours when my OH drives so not quite sure if I will make it!!

So wish me luck as it is going to be a very long journey. And I am already kissing goodbye to Wednesday as I know most of that will be spent in bed!! However, my brother has planned to take the boys on a 10 mile hike along Dartmoor on I can sleep to my hearts content and enjoy the peace and quiet when I am up!!!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

I'm off!!!

Not literally..........well maybe.

Anyway we are off on a short holiday! I would love to tell you all that it is somewhere exotic but I would be lying. We are staying at my MIL's caravan along the Kent coast!!!! However, a holiday is a holiday and we will enjoy the break regardless.

We have a few days out planned with Whitstable and Herne bay very close. We will probably visit our long lost  'forces' home at Manston and pop into the museums there too.

So I am taking a break from all things technical...............OK I may post a few pics on twitter but apart from that I wont have WIFI and therefore wont be posting until I get back!!

So long, farewell, have a great time yourselves over the next week.


Here's hoping for dry weather LOL

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Week 1 of holidays...........survived!

I thought that with the start of the school holidays I would have so much more time to do............things, chill out, catch up on a bit of telly, blog amongst others.


I cannot believe that we are into the second week of the school holidays already. In fact a slight panic has set in, have I actually got enough time to do everything. My eldest has already been and returned from his week long scout camp!! We are heading off tomorrow to my MIL's caravan along the Kent coast until Monday, as hubby now has a few days off work (thank God!). Now my boys are pestering me to go to their Nanny's, who happens to live in Devon, which would be fantastic but I'm not sure I can drive that long on my own ( due to the M.E sometimes my muscles are extremely painful and an almighty fatigue can set in). We also have a festival in the middle of August and I haven't even thought about uniforms ( apart from my eldest's new blazer..........which I never forget after leaving it into a dry cleaners once only to wake up middle of the night on the day he was due back to school, in a total panic about what to do!!! Believe me my OH was not best pleased as I almost gave him heart failure thinking someone had broken in!!)

Anyway, last week was great with one child away it was great to spend time with the other on his own, and boy did he have his week planned out. OH was off Monday so my son decided he wanted to visit St Paul's Cathedral in London!! So naively we thought great a little afternoon up there, we would listen to the tour gadgets and take a few pic's and then home....

Oh no were there for 5 hours!! Yes you read it right.........5 hours. They convinced me to go up the stairs to the Whispering Gallery, which I really wanted to do anyway. However, then they persuaded me to go further to the Stone Gallery! Which turned out to be fantastic as it was a beautiful day so we sat and had our lunch there!

That's us on the stone Gallery

View from the Stone gallery

 Then they persuaded me to go a bit further, to the top in fact. From there we had just the most fantastic view across London, so I felt it was worth it in the end.

More steps!!!!

View from the very top!

However, I started to struggle coming down and after several rests I got to the bottom only to find my legs started shaking uncontrollably and I was stuck to the spot for about 15 minutes!!!! It was sooo not funny, bad enough when people pass you on the stairs and look at you as though you are a complete pleb for not being able to get up there, let alone how people look at you when your OH is practically holding you up in the middle of St Paul's!!( M.E is invisible so people look at you as if your are an idiot when your OH helps you up or holds you up for whatever reason). We made it to the cafe to recuperate ............a cuppa and a chocolate crispy cake is like a miracle cure.

Then a purchase in the shop ( I very sadly collect fridge magnets from wherever I go) and a snoop in the Crypt and we then being practically thrown out we had been there so long.

When I thought it was all over my son casually mentions going across the Millennium Bridge ( which is practically in front of St Paul's) so I plodded on.

That's us heading towards the bridge..............slowly.

The day was fantastic although I knew I would suffer the next day.

So on Tuesday my OH took over and the pair of them built a 'den' in the garden while I watched from the sidelines taking pic's and drinking tea.

The finished product!
Complete with warning.

Wednesday my Oh returned to work so I promised my son that we would use our prize from a competition and go play our free round of mini golf at Bluewater. That was great fun until my son beat me by 2 points!!! I was so not impressed.........I'm not one of those lovely parents who let their child win at things. I don't know what happens to me but a competitive streak takes over and not an inch is given.

However, I consoled myself with a Krispy Kreme and a coffee before letting my son window shop around Bluewater to get a few ideas for his birthday.

Thursday, I had a lovely invite to HMS Belfast which you can read about in the previous post. So little ol' me and my son and his buddy spent a fab few hours on the ship before returning home. He then was invited to his friends for the afternoon ( his mum is a start and knew I would be heading to bed after a busy morning out) and didn't return until dinner time!!

Friday was a meet with a friend at the pool, boys went swimming we had a coffee and then went back to hers for lunch and a great catch up in the afternoon!!

By then I was completely drained so Saturday was a complete blur to me and spent most of it in bed. But my eldest returned from his camp very happy but tired!!

This week had already started with an impromptu water fight yesterday afternoon and a swim 'play date' with their friends this afternoon.

A make do water spray!! LOL

We will be off to the caravan tomorrow but I'm yet to get everything packed and I am sitting on the computer doing this!!!!!
I'm waiting on the magic fairy to come in the night and sort it all out for me...................OK that means I will be up late and then not sleep as I think of the things I have forgotten to pack!!! Meanwhile my lovely boys (including OH) will sleep fantastically well as they only have to remember to put on clean pants......and sometimes that's a struggle.

So here's to a few hopefully relaxing days away where I am hoping my OH will take over the 'entertaining' of the boys for a while as I sit on the sidelines and recuperate a little in readiness for the next few weeks!!!