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What makes THE Perfect Wedding……

22 Jun

I feel compelled to try to vocalise (in print!) the wedding experience of this week.  I’ve never been married , I’ve been to a scattering of weddings; all beautiful and perfect for the respective couple; all memorable for their uniqueness; investment of energy; time and thought; money; love; passion; location etc.

I don’t know where I would begin if I had to plan a wedding (even assuming ££££ were no object) so I have great admiration for anyone who has made the commitment to get married and then kept it together enough to make all the planning decisions required to present for themselves and to their family and friends their representation of ‘the perfect day’. For me the thought of picking THE dress; never mind doing so several months before wearing it; is enough to give me a minor panic attack.

I can see the appeal though having planned a garden party or two over a 6 month period, planning props and stage setting the garden; liaising with invitees to get some momentum going re costume and theme; making costumes; organising the music etc etc, but a wedding is a much bigger deal.

Maybe though it’s a much bigger adventure.

I’ve always thought that if I had a spare £10,£20, £30, £50 thousand in my bank there would be a million things I would feel the need to spend it on first… getting the chimney rebuilt; replacing my car for something reliable; clearing my immense credit card debt; finishing decorating the house after 12 years; filling the potholes in the drive; felling a few of the overgrown trees in the garden etc etc.  Maybe I’m just not the marrying kind.

Fortunately, my nephew and his beautiful, now wife, are definitely the marrying kind.  And having been on the periphery of privy to the planning I realise now that whatever the budget, it’s not just an expensive day; it’s a period of months/years of excitement; discussion; research; adventure; decision-making; stage setting; engaging with friends; window shopping; shopping; preparing; making things; talking about it; building excitement over it; looking forward to it; and sharing your joy with everyone you know.  The day itself is a culmination of a long period of time and a lifetime of memories made.

So this week I attended ‘THE perfect wedding’

mzpwedding, Mark & Zoe Pearce, The perfect couple

 two people whose destiny it is to be together forever

 

gorgeous bride with THE perfect dress

 

 

 

groom with really funny friends who know how to recount a story

 

 

 

  really attractive best friends to be bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls etc

 

 

the most idyllic location and some hot line to mother nature to provide the best weather

 

 

 caterers who make food to die for

 

 

a cake that is a work of art

 

 

 

 

free-flowing Pimms and lager

 

 

 

 

alcoholic wedding favours

 

 

 

 

the most delightful bunch of family members and friends to share your day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tra-la-hahaha…

15 May

I’m 50 later this year. I’ve spent about forty plus of those fifty years knowing I can’t sing and being embarrassed to sing where anyone can hear AQ me. It started at junior school when everyone was in choir and I was asked to mime my words. That devastating blow to my self-confidence and shame about my voice has been with me my whole life. I never do karaoke, I mime at gigs and on the odd occasion I do sing out loud I become mortified by any funny look I perceive heading in my direction. And on those occasions I’m asked to ‘shhhh’ I’m traumatized for days.

This last year I have been a bit more ‘to hell with it’. After all singing is good for the soul.  We should all be able to sing and dance as if no-one is watching or listening. There are only a few places and occasions I just get on with singing but my self-consciousness and knowledge of being terrible at it do haunt me.

But. And to me it’s a massive ‘but’. Hubby has taken literally my comment at the beginning of 2017 when I stated that this was my fiftieth birthday YEAR!!! I’ve been receiving ad-hoc gifts throughout. ( I know, I’m a very lucky girl)

Today though I got a gift that has terrified me

A mystery envelope

This was inside…..

O M G !!!!!

So…..

Do I laugh? Do I cry? Do I hide myself away in shame? How will I cope with the embarrassment? What if she visible cringes?

Hubby says ‘think how magic it would be if you could learn to sing and felt comfortable joining in”.

I’ll do it. But it’s going to be the most embarrassing and frightening thing I’ve done since… I don’t even know when. I’m 50 nearly. I should try things that scare me….

But what if I’m a lost cause? I’ll be mortified. It’s terrifying!  And poor Mrs Galletta!….

So what is it you have a hang up about? Or don’t you?  Come on, share. Make me feel less freaked…..

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

When someone is not who you thought they were…

11 May

I lost a good friend this week.  Not because the person died.  Or even because we fell out (although I suspect we have); but because the person I thought he was turns out to be a lie.  Maybe not a total lie but a mish-mash of truth, non-truth, fabrication, fantasy and lies so deeply intertwined that unravelling the reality would be impossible.

I dated someone like this once.  I’d forgotten about it actually, perhaps the intense pain of it had been locked deep inside my internal filing system, locked with the key thrown away.  But the issues raised this week have forced open that lock; and with the advancement of my years; the lessons and experiences of various friends and more reading, I now recognise that the relationship I was in was unhealthy and that this person, whilst I am not one of the ones in a relationship with him, still exhibits the behaviour patterns.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic but I think that these days they might recognise it as “gaslighting”.  Gaslighting is defined as “to manipulate someone by psychological means into doubting their own sanity (own truth)”

Gaslighting – signs of…

It’s about the ability to baffle your mind.  Mixing moments of shared truth with detailed fabrication. The fabrication parts go into such depth and intertwine themselves with the bits you know to be true , this together with your love and trust for that person, your own sense of reality is lost.

The person will also take offence at your unwillingness to believe them; or be upset that you might question a representation of the truth that they present. They won’t like you talking to other people they are close to (as you might hear something different from them).  They will show so much compassion and concern at your subsequent confusion that you might wonder whether it is you being overly jealous; or maybe your memory of events is wrong; or maybe you are even mentally unwell.

This man from my past told me he loved me, behaved as if he loved me, spoke to me often and shared the intimate details of his past.  But he intertwined the truth of his life with detailed stories and complex lies.  We met abroad, he was working there, I was backpacking.  We were together over a year.  His truth that I knew was he had an ex in his home country.  I knew they had a child,  According to him she had been his childhood sweetheart but they had grown up and grown apart, their relationship was long over but he still saw and loved his son so they did see one another.  I had never asked to visit him at his home or meet any of his family least of all his son.  He instigated all that.  He wanted to fly me there, introduce me to his parents; meet his son.  To demonstrate he was serious he would phone me from a phone box (pre mobiles!!!) whilst with  his toddler and have me talk to the child on the phone.  He’d repeatedly tell me how he couldn’t wait for me to meet him..

The truth… my ticket never materialised.  She, his ex, was expecting their second child.  Turns out he had several other women too. some drunken sex others probably in the same boat as me.  Friends told me he had flings but he denied it;I thought I knew him; I didn’t see what was staring me in the face.  These and so many other things, should have been signs. They weren’t.  Love truly is blind.

Anyway, this is not something that has happened to me again but it is something I have seen happening to friends in the past .

Sadly,  it is now something I see happening to a couple of female friends who I know (because of him) and the perpetrator is a man I thought was something else.  He’s not.  It’s so sad because I really thought he was one of life’s rare, truly good guys.  It’s weird because I’m mourning the loss of a friendship.  I am in the cross fire of a situation I never wanted to be in and I don’t know how to handle it.  Part of me wants to ignore it and not lose my friend but I know too much that now I know what he has done we can never have the same friendship again.  Maybe we will have a friendship of sorts, it would be easier to have than not in a small community and with shared friendship circles, but that easy banter and easy access will never be there again.  Whatever the relationship becomes, it, like him, will be a fake.  I miss him.

Lucy At Home

Community Project – progress report

3 May

A few weeks ago I wrote about this amazing community stained glass project I’m helping to run:-

https://rosetintedramblings.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/its-more-than-just-a-communuty-class/

It’s now the end of our 3rd six-week block and there is only one more block to go. We’re all excited at the pace of the project but also sad at the thought it will soon be over.

This is where we are now:-

Community Stained Glass Project – progress at week 18

However, like I said before, its more than just a community class.  Friendships have blossomed; confidence has been built; laughter has filled the air; stresses have been relaxed; bonds have been forged; support has been shared.

Our first group consisted of 14 people, 2 left due to commitment at the day of the first block and 8 more joined for the second.  So by week seven we had 20.  Only 1 left after that, 4 more joined. We are now 23.  Next week we start our final block. I think we will be 26 plus us teachers. Eleven of these ladies have been with us since the beginning of January.

Many have taken up stained glass as a long-term hobby.  Several have gone as far as finding a spare room in their home and buying all the kit.  So who knows, as well as new skills and new hobbies, possibly even new livelihoods,

As a group we have shared our strengths and supported each other through weaknesses and doubt.  We have recognised and enjoyed new friendships, formulated new working associations; started new voluntary and community projects for after this one; a social project is developing as a result; business opportunities have come through our networking.

Myddfai Hall gains from the regular custom; we generally have dinner together after class. Visitors to the centre have been delighted and astounded by the achievements to date.  Photos have been taken and word has spread (possible across continents!).  Many visitors want to return to see it in situ.  This project is strengthening Myddfai’s reputation as an enterprising, cohesive and supportive community. Its impact in its location in the Brecon Beacon, far outways its size (population c300),  This is a village that has worked together to create a community and has created a strength, a business and an extended family as a result.  It is truly a cohesive and loving community.

The enthusiasm for the class is such that most arrive much earlier than the official start time to ‘get going’ and many don’t leave until way after the official finish.  Pretty much everyone has taken something home to work on.  Everyone has made enormous progress and managed to make several pieces for themselves (or their friends and family).

It has become a social club that participants anticipate with delight each week.  They want it to continue after the project is done.  That’s fantastic news,. I guess will have to come up with a plan to carry on just for fun……

 

BC – Socialising with social media…

2 May

This afternoon I had some super quality time with my absolutely fantastic friend and superstar motivator, Dinah. I’ve written about her before, but just in case you missed it I will tell you that she is absolutely amazing, and hugely inspirational.

Today after tea and choc brownies in the garden surrounded by some of my free roaming hens, she set to work helping me to refocus my mind on where I want to be in the mysterious world of social media.

The dark art of www presence and successful social media integration. We (she), added vloggin’ to my bloggin’!

Seriously guys I now have a YouTube channel, the means to upload a video to my (this) blog, and I’m on Instagram (ooo, get me, down with the kids!)

My promise to her was to take photos of EVERYTHING and share my moments on there ( there being the aforementioned Instagram). AND, write a blog EVERY DAY for two weeks under a different category… If you’ve seen my blog ( @and I know you have ‘cos you’re here reading it), then  you can see there are several subject headings under which I ramble.

Anyway. I like a challenge and I hate to disappoint, so you guys are my witnesses and this is the first blog of the fortnight… I shall categorise this under ‘friends….’ but also under ‘social media & networking’ so tomorrow’s will not be there, I promise…

 

Oh, and here’s a little “cerdyn villa cwtch” ( yes I’m calling it that because the phrase came up in conversation with Dinah, and I thought it was brilliant!)…

Lucy At Home

Life: Mine: It’s full: Very full

9 Apr

15016351_1247664865307784_3338542209251484497_oI’m a woman.  I’m self-employed.  I’m fairly ‘alternative’ and, am told, slightly ‘eccentric’.  I wear many hats.  Not all suit me…

Life gets confusing and chaotic……

Here’s perhaps why….

13912605_1298769933474183_1529318925936773135_n???????????????????????????????I’m an artist, I occasionally do pet portraits, I often do stained glass commissions. I do have an Etsy shop, which I manage in a very ad hoc way.  I promise to keep a stock of my designs but the artistic bit of me is really only interested in the bespoke commissions and one-off designs , so I struggle to find time to hold stock.  So I make my designs to order.

20170322_123236I teach stained glass.  It’s a new string to my bow.  I love it.  I find it immensely satisfying and it brings me huge amount of joy.

I run a B&B.  This involves being really nice to (mostly) lovely people, talking (a lot), keeping the place clean, ironing sheets (even though I’d never iron my own) and cooking really gorgeous breakfasts.  I do this with my hubby.  We love working together.  It works.  Coming to stay at Cerdyn Villa is like staying with friends (so we’re told) and that, my lovelies was the plan so things her are going well

breakfast

I manage our business website and various tourism pages on social media.  Some of these pages… “www.cerdynvilla.wales” is our lifestyle hub (ooo fancy!), it leads you off to “Pink Butterfly Art and Glass” – my Etsy shop; “Pink Butterfly at Cerdyn Villa” -our FB page combining our B&B and my art; http://www.cerdynvilla.co.uk – our B&B website; “rose-tinted Ramblings” – my blog; “Home of Bog Snorkelling” – the tourism FB page for our town; “@Berni_Benton” – my twitter account

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m a gardener – I look after six people’s gardens.  Mostly elderly ladies, some of whom like to garden with me and its as much about the company as the weeding and pruning.  I LOVE weeding (does that make me odd?  I don’t care, I LOVE IT!)

peanut butter cheesecakeI work shifts in the local cafe and cover for the owners if they go away.  Sometimes I even bake some cakes!

I blog.  For fun, but mainly to keep me sane and promote my work(s) (not necessarily at the same time). Its called Rose Tinted Rambling, but you know that because you are here now.  It’s mainly a brain dumping ground.  Most thoughts evolve whilst I’m either ironing or weeding and I can’t rest until they’re typed.  So there! I try to categorise to avoid you haven’t to read the ‘boring shit’  but I’d say there’s pretty much something for everyone here.

I  advocate for a local elderly lady and manage her finances. It’s my ‘pay-it-forward” – we should all have one.  It’s great to give back.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I volunteer, Working to help run the weird and wacky events in Llanwrtyd – I am the commentator at the World Bog Snorkelling and Man v Horse.  They gave me the job because, and I quote “if the PA system breaks I’d still be loud enough for everyone to hear”.  Hubby said he could hear me from the house last year and I was three-quarters  of a mile away….

… I hasten to add the mic was working that day.

I am responsible for keeping our household accounts.  Although hubby takes my figures and does the scary bit of filling in the returns and sending them off

I do all the food shopping, planning and feeding. Sometimes I do this well.  Other times we eat out!

I ‘manage’ a tenanted house with 5 flats.  Not for fun, at all, but because the landlords were neighbours but now live in Spain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We keep hens, that means they have a house that needs cleaning

11182523_1594413547510404_4888338233642762611_oI’m a mum………

………………………………………….

……..in my spare time (!!)

I do a bit of yoga and belly dancing

a vision in red

I look after my own garden (sometimes I get dressed before I start)

11168862_1046829525379356_5330321855820313332_oI’m a member of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (say hello to Lady Lily the Pink).  I even stood for the Welsh Assembly

I soak in a bubble bath

I enjoy a good live band

I read the occasional book.  mostly I read blogs  and watch TED talks

I snuggle on the sofa with my Hubby and watch Netflix

I play board games with my boy(s) – son and hubby

I eat out with friends

I eat in with friends

I drink out with friends

I drink in with friends

Sometimes I just drink…….

I love my life, but planning is difficult.  Impossible actually.  So it appears chaotic.  and sometimes it really is.  It also appears disorganised.  But actually it rarely is.  ….

….it just feels it

Logistically its a massive challenge.  It’s so far removed from the 9-5 life I used to lead.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

diaryofanimperfectmum

Faith, Spirituality, Empathy and Humanity

21 Feb

I’m not completely sure of everything that I believe in.

For example, I can’t say how I feel about ghosts, spirits and their ability to communicate across planes, the form they take or whether they exist at all. I don’t know what I feel about spirits although I’ve weegee’d a fair bit and seemingly contacted various ‘spirits’.  I don’t know how I feel about sentient spirits interacting with living people in that I accept something is happening but it’s probably something to do with our subconscious minds.  I find it hard to accept that there is a true ability to interact across planes of existence (if there are other planes of existence).  I have several friends who I would explain away as extremely empathetic , but who consider themselves to be Mediums or Spiritual Healer.  I suspect a lot of healing comes from the belief in being healed.  I accept there are a lot of unanswered questions and  I do think there is more out there and more capacity within our brains than we yet understand or tap.

I do believe that we have subconscious and conscious skills beyond those that most of us use.  I also believe that way back before we became ‘civilised’ we were more able to tap into our instincts, communicate more intuitively and work alongside nature/seasons/elements.  I do believe that our energy lives on.  Science proves that energy is neither created or destroyed.  When we die our physical bodies decay and feed the earth, growing plants, feeding animals, continuing the circle of life.  Weather there is a ‘soul’ that exists separately? Whether this ‘soul’ contains consciousness and awareness of life as we know it? Those are matters on which I remain open to further evidence and scientific study.  I am definitely a sceptic.

I am however, completely sure of what I don’t believe.

I do not believe and feel it factual to say that there is no all-seeing divine, super being(s) controlling/orchestrating who is good/bad; who is healed/left to suffer; who is constantly watching/ignoring; who is determining our individual fates here/in any alternative life.  Religion is a man-made conscript which has evolved and changed through the millenia to suit those who dictate it and is dependant on where you were born and with what fables you were raised as to which story/ supreme being each individual worships.

I do however, have great faith in the inherent goodness of (wo)mankind and its abilities to make a difference by offering positive thoughts/kindness/actions to others. I do believe that a charitable and positive outlook makes you a happier more enriched person.  I do believe that actions speak louder than words.  That giving is receiving.  That laughter and friendship are the best medicine.  That love conquers all.

(I would add to this quote “and all life” after “fellow human beings” )

I am, at heart, a Humanist.  I find strength and solace in my friends and acquaintances.  I gain and grow from exploring new paths, listening to others and sharing kindness.  I try to stand up against wrongs; be loud for those who feel they do not have a voice; offer support to those who do not have the strength.  In return I try to accept the love and help of those around me , who feel the same essence of humanity and want to give of themselves as I want to give of myself.

This week I have been struggling.  I have felt pain and weakness and fatigue.  Friends have offered support each in their own way. Sympathy, spiritually, practically.  I’ve had massage, pampering, kind words, visits and positive energy sent to me from all directions.  Its interesting, because those with a religion will say they will pray for you.  Perhaps this is the same as me or other friends , offering positive thoughts.  Although we are offering humanity and nature up as a healing source; and those of religion are requesting that their supreme being consider looking out for you.  In both instances the intention is the same.. it is a human wilfulness to care for your best interests and well-being.

The world around us; plants, animals, seasons, skies, and all of nature are suppressed by the unnatural infrastructure we have created.  Nature will eventually win out.  We cannot tame it .  We might adjust it for a time.  But when we leave, either voluntarily or through our own demise.  Nature will take over again.  The evidence of our footprint on the earth would soon be buried deep in the earth and nature will , if necessary continue without us.  We can forge our own battles against it for our short-term convenience and gain and nature will let us; for a while.  But, when we push too far, get too greedy with the resources of this planet, nature will fight back and win.  And it might well do it without us being part of the natural future.

We think we are supreme, intelligent and resourceful because we build, invent, communicate and utilise the resources of this planet.  Because we are now reaching beyond our world and in time will do the same on distant planets.  But there are limited resources, limited tolerances that this planet and atmosphere will allow us to control.  There has to be balance.  Greed and corporations are not balance. They are egos.  Egos will eventually lose to nature., be they a whole race, an economic construct, or a political ideal.  These artificial controls of resources for greed, control and financial gain will eventually fall; but at what price to humankind?

Interestingly, and surprisingly as I’ve sat here ‘mind dumping into written word’ the words spilling into this blog are not those I had expected.  I was meaning to extrapolate into alternative healing and goodwill and have turned instead to ecology and economic politics!  Fortunately, for me at least, that is the joy of just leaving your fingers to ride the keyboard and spill the mind onto the page.  I never quite know where it will lead … sometimes, quite often actually, I’m not even aware that the thoughts that appear were even in my head.  Oh the joy of letting your mind do the talking!

Anyway, today I am being extremely kind to myself.  I am being mindful.  I am listening to my joints and muscles, I am giving them permission to rest and heal.  I am reading, writing, sitting, resting.  I am allowing my friends to advise me and guide me.  I am letting my husband allow me the freedom to stop.  I am relaxing, recovering and regaling my thoughts to you all.

Try it.  Let your mind wander through your fingers from a starting point of your choosing and see where it takes you.  You may discover something new about yourself .  Or try mine about ‘belief’.

I would love to hear from you xxxx

https://i2.wp.com/orig09.deviantart.net/d608/f/2012/338/8/b/pervez_hoodbhoy_on_secular_humanism___by_rationalhub-d5n19f0.png

My Random Musings

#TheDaddyTag Challenge

9 Jan
Meet John...

Meet John…

My ‘Hubby’ (we’ve now been happily not married for 22 years), in my humble opinion, has been, and continues to be, an amazing dad to our son (now 19 and at University).  He’d also been a dad before (two boys now in their 30s).

Having discovered #TheDaddyTag via the responses on twitter from @ShinnersBrood who has nominated me to do it (Thank God! I was desperate to give it a go and gave a HUGE HINT); and as a result of my unofficial New Years Resolution to ‘get to grips with twitter’ (yes that means #hashtags and #linkys but DOES NOT commit me to being an organised and predictable blogger- I shall be continuing my Random Ramblings at random intervals as life continues to inspire me) I have discovered both #EatsleepblogRT and #wineandboobs ( #snigger)…. anyway, as ever , I digress….

 

John and Jason

John and Jason

I wondered how my man viewed his first and second times as a dad.Here’s his responses to #thedaddytag challenge …

Are you a Stay at Home Daddy or a Working Daddy?

I’ve been lucky enough to have been both, given two shots at it.

Would you have it any other way?

First time I always felt I wasn’t home enough.  Second time I was older and not so financially strapped so was able to balance life better

Do you co-change dirty nappies? Even the very smelly ones?

I did with all of them… thankfully he (they) can change his (their) own now!!  First time round it was my job to wring out the stenching nappy bucket (back in the 80’s it was still terry towelling… I did it with a tea-towel masked to my face.  Modern dad second time round it was a breeze – no poo scraping and bleach soaking.

A little fairy gives you the possibility of breastfeeding? Are you going for it or do you run away?

ooo err, I’d probably have been too busy playing with my tits!!!  Seriously though it would be great to give it a go.  Hell of a bonding experience.

What is the one must-have item for a daddy?

It’s not an item its a mind-set – the ability to not be embarrassed to act like a child.  Climbing trees, jumping in puddles, crawling around on the floor to play cars.

(I must chip in here – he always acts like a child and is happy to make a fool of himself – even if the ‘kids’ aren’t around…. I find it quite endearing)

How many kids do you plan on having?

(Sniggers), not any more certainly!  Threes anti social enough!  I planned on two but then again didn’t expect to find myself having a second chance.  B wanted kids and I think it’s every womans right to do so.  I was, needless to say, more than happy to oblige

(Chipping in again , I might point out that he’s a very lucky boy and I’m MUCH younger than him, I wanted a child before I was 30 and J was born 10 days before my 30th birthday – well done John!)

Lads’ nights? How often do you have them?

I’m not really a ‘lads nights’ sort of guy.

(Even now I’m the one for the nights out and he stays in to enjoy the peace and quiet)

Your children’s favourite achievement?

now they’re grown I can honestly say there are so many and I’m proud of every single one of them from all of them… Proud Dad

(truly proud, and rightly so, all his (our) boys are gorgeous inside and out – he even has a YouTube channel called Proud Dad 1956 – yes he really is 60 now!!! Did I mention I was much younger? 😉 )

What is your best memory with your kid(s)?

Just playing.  whatever that may be ; board games, cars, train sets, running around, kicking a ball, whatever that may be.  Playing…

(we still play – the good thing about boys is they never really grow up so if there’s a game going, they’re all up for it… whenever any of them are home all the board games come out and everyone has always played to win, no discretion even when they were toddlers – john is very competitive , especially at Monopoly)

Name one thing you miss since being a daddy?

nothing.  honest.

(In my opinion, he was born to be a dad, he shines when he’s with his kids… now he’s keen to do it again on a Grandpa scale…. #hinthint)

Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now? And we meanYOU DADDY, not the mummy!

Tee Hee, that’s all to do with beer and bread!!!  Contentment = fat; Worried = thin.  Kids make me content

(John has never and probably will never be fat he may gain  then lose the same stone.  As a teen his waist was 28″ as an adult its been 30-34″, usually 32″… if only mine had stayed at that)

Dream holiday with your kids?

the beach – sand castles, dams and digging holes

(to be honest he does that on the beach even without the kids – it’s just less embarrassing if he’s not building dams alone!)

Dream holiday without your kids or even without the other half? (You’re allowed to dream)

International Space Station

(I guess he’ll be leaving me at home then, I don’t even enjoy flying!)

How has your life changed since having kids?

Bloody hell its been so long!  first time I felt the traditional need to be a provider and as i was much younger and newly married I had constant financial worries.  Second time round I sill wanted to be the provider but was able to provide in a more well-rounded way …so it was less stressful.  But change?  I think you would have to go back to the teenage tear-away me to see anyone different than you see now.

Finish the sentence “It makes my heart melt when…”

When my boys laugh.  (Especially if its me that is making them laugh!!)

Favourite beers brands and football team?

The local brew from the walking distance micro brewery “Big Red Chopper ” by Heart of Wales Brewery

I have no interest in professional football but always enjoyed being on the sidelines in the junior leagues when my eldest played.  The other two are like me and have no interest in it (playing or watching)

Huggies or Pampers?

Being a second time round dad, anything is better than terry towelling

Have you always wanted kids?

yes

Best part of being a dad?

Seeing them learn and grow into happy, responsible adults

Three handsome sons

Three handsome sons

PS: I’ve just let him read it t hough now I’ve added the photos and my comments’ he said , and i quote “well, if I don’t pull after that review …”

NB: thanks to @moderndadpages @omgitsagirl2015 for #wineandboobs ( #sniggeragain #sochildish) and @petite_pudding @animperfectmum for #EastSleepBlogRT and finally thanks to @FrenchieMummy for #TheDaddyTag Challenge.

daddytagchallenge

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Modern Dad Pages

Diary of An Imperfect Mum

What happens to the magic when your kids stop believing?….

10 Dec

 

When our son was five we got up in the middle of the night (with him in tow obviously ..) and got in a taxi to the airport.  From there we took the Santa special to Lapland, where we drank in an ice hotel, rode on dog sleighs, and ventured into the frozen forest to find Santa in his cosy cabin. It was a magic moment, Santa gave him a gift, which was a different Action Man to the multitude of Action Men he already had in his vast collection.   How did Santa know he loved Action Man and that he’d not got this one? (Even i was impressed my that I have to say!).

After some hot chocolate and food we sped back across the frozen lake on a skidoo back to the plane.  The pilot thought he had seen Santa and the reindeer practicing their take-offs and landings so all the kids were glued to the windows trying to catch a glimpse .

Then we were home again.

On the big night that year as in the previous and the subsequent, we tracked Santa with the help of NASA, noting where he had already been and how many presents they thought he had already delivered. Most importantly , how long before he arrived with us!

We’d put milk and carrots outside the back door for the reindeer.  Quality Street and Ribena for Santa (we didn’t want him to get too tipsy before he’d finished his nights work).  The reindeer always spilt some of the milk.  Santa never managed to eat all the chocolates… but who could blame him, mince pies, biscuits and chocolates in every house… he’d eat one or two and take a sip of his drink.

One year our son was amazed ‘look mummy Santa’s used the same wrapping paper that you had last year!”…close call that one.

That magical trip to Santa’s home cemented his belief in Santa beyond that of his friends with elder siblings and those who had never really met the ‘real’ Santa, (just his helper Santa’s who covered the stores and streets taking messages on the run up to Christmas).

One teary afternoon at school pickup a couple of years later my son had a disagreement with a lad who tried to tell him Santa didn’t exist.  He was so frustrated and angry at that boy.

10842032_10152464256613204_5215362404216429676_oOf course over the next year or two the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny became games we played rather than reality.  A tooth under the pillow meant a shiny coin in the morning.  and to this day we still have an Easter Egg Hunt (he’s 19, but he and his friends insist!).

I fretted and became quite anxious about the day he would ask if Santa was made up.  In my mind I over-analysed the potential damage I had done to him through ‘lying’. I over talked it with my hubby and it became quite a nuisance in my mind.  Then I worried and fretted that he was the only one who still did believe and was arguing vehemently with those who disagreed.  I became concerned he’d be ridiculed or bullied.

Of  course none of my fears played out.  The doubts about Santa crept in slowly, we kept playing the game, he kept pretending because he thought if he didn’t he might not get gifts!  And anyway it was FUN.  Eventually the conversation had to happen.

I told him that whilst Santa himself isn’t real the ‘magic’ really is.  The fact that everyone plays along  and joins in the fun makes it pretty amazing.  NASA has Santa tracking software for Christs sake!  The pilot on the aeroplane that time had been in on it.  All the adults, all the older brothers and sisters all played along to make it special.  Never mind the fact that families all got together and had a lovely time together; charities raised extra money; humanity showed itself to be altruistic and generous; empathetic and caring to the wider community.  All of that goodwill and kindness; all of those stories and symbols made for a pretty spectacular kind of human magic.

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Christmas in May

OK so these days we don’t put out carrots and milk or chocolates and ribena.  And we don’t have to keep sending him back to bed because its only 5am, 5:30am, 6am… In fact for a few years through his early teens it was hubby and I knocking on his door asking if we could go down for a fry up and to open presents!  These days we have a wonderfully leisurely morning on Christmas Day. Then, whilst dinner is cooking, we take a stroll to our local pub where the community gathers for a pint and to wish each other a merry Christmas.  Sometimes in the village square there are carols on horse back with riders in tinsel handing out song sheets to the families milling around.  Then its home; a couple more pressies; a few drinkies and then a late lunch/early tea. A Christmas festive bonanza. Usually with at least some members of the family are with us; always with a spare place set to remember those who can’t be with us.  Later its board games, laughter, phone calls, drinking, more present opening (we do tend to take our time).

It truly is a magic time.  Sometimes it happens several times in the year.  With family spread far and wide and parents getting older by the year (as they do), we might have several mini Christmases in several locations over the coming weeks.  For some years, for hubby’s parents , we held a special Christmas during their visit to us in May… seeking out a tree and putting up some decorations,  ensuring we had crackers left over so we could pull them with lunch.. and of course Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings, presents and board game playing.  Yes, magic indeed.

Just because something isn’t real, doesn’t necessary make it any less valuable or meaningful.  For our family at least, the magic which was passed to us, has been handed down to our son. One day, he will be adding little traditions of his own to create a unique magic for his own family….

In the meantime, don’t worry about your kids as they grow.  I don’t know why I worried about scarring our son when he discovered I’d been “lying”.  I never felt scarred by my parents.  My own magic and enjoyment of Christmas has continued to grow as additional practices get added to our family traditions. so on the run up,  I shall very much look forward to this coming Christmas; to the extra effort we all make to touch base with our friends afar; to the arrival of family members; and the spending of extra time with friends.

Merry Christmas, Happy  Festivities, Goodwill, peace and kindness to you all

See you next year xxxxx

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Life is a celebration …..

10 Nov

I think I am almost recovered from the crazy shenanigans of last weekend.  What a blast.  What a testament to friendships and family.  John, my hubby (we’ve been happily not married now for 22 years) had his 60th.

what a cake!

what a cake!

 

At this point I must remind everyone that I am much MUCH younger than him.  I may have mentioned it once or twice before.

Friends and family began arriving on Friday, the pre-party party wound up at 2am after much merriment and a little practice drinking.

I, and my amazing friend Kate, had been at the party for a week.  She created the most incredible chocolate overload of a cake ever (plus an extra one for our son for his birthday 4 days later).  Between us we prepared enough food for a hot buffet to feed sixty people.  Wonderful friends from Essex , acquired fireworks (well a 5th of November birthday really does need a display), as they really are the experts in that field having hosted annual displays for god knows how long.  Family and friends began to arrive throughout Saturday in camper vans and cars, so we headed to the pub.

Musicians.  Who knew we knew so many who would generously offer their talent for the longest open mic session know to Llanwrtyd 9pm until 3;30am was filled with jamming and talent and more talent and more variety of great music – we had blues and rock n roll, folk and rock.  Guitars, drums, bass, djembe, harmonica, violin, vocals, percussion. Music, dancing, friends and laughter. A wonderful, wonderful night.

And what does one buy a man of sixty?  It seems alcohol is they way to go!!! We have enough to open an off-licence…. or see us through to Christmas anyway 😉

So, now I’m recovered (recovering), I want simply to tell you all how blessed I am and how loved he is.  So many people.  So much love and laughter.  So much joy and happiness. So much generosity of time and spirit.  So much wonderful community.  We, because of you all; friends new and old; near are far make our community; our world; our life.

I spent some time trying to finish that sentence with another word.  You make our world “good” “joyous” “safe” “happy” “whole” “fulfilled” …all those things and more….but simply, you really do “make our world”, and we love you all for it xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Happy birthday boy!

Happy birthday boy!