fudge

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Dave D

I know I haven't been around much so this is just a really quick post!

Sorry, things have been non stop and tomorrow we are off to Cornwall - can't wait!!!

Just a quick snippet that I wanted to share ...

A couple of weeks ago SD and I did 3 car boot sales in one weekend (that's selling, not buying).

We didn't make much money but it was a lovely weekend and one was by the sea so all was not lost.

One thing that really made my weekend was bumping into Dave D.

SD and I both know him independently from waaaay back - Dave D was ALWAYS out.

I've always liked Dave D although I've always refrained from posing for him in his photographer days when he often asked me to model for him topless because 'clothes get in the way of ART doncha know' - I suspect he's asked SD to pose for him as well.

Dave D has always been notoriously unlucky in love, in life, in almost everything really.

The love bit is pretty easy to explain - everyone thinks Dave D is gay because he is incredibly camp and they assume that he's in denial.  Maybe he is, I'm not sure but I have to confess to never feeling particularly tempted or special when he asked me out because to be honest, Dave D asked EVERYONE out in those days.

Anyway, it was lovely to see him when he stopped by to say hello.

Dave has a slightly mournful and self depreciating manner and was clutching a small plastic bag of slightly tired looking broad beans.

'It cost me a quid to get in and a quid for these - I think I've just bought the most expensive broad beans in existence .... - think I'll cut my losses and go home ...'

Two hours later as we left to go we passed Dave looking even more mournful in the car park.

'Bloody vans broken down and the recovery service have told me it's going to up to another 2 hours before they get here' he said sadly still clutching his beans.

'They guys here want to lock up so they are going to push me out on to the road and the toilets have been closed and I'm dying for a pee ...'

Poor Dave D - it seems his luck never changes ...

Anyway, I'll be back properly in a week or so with plenty of tales of Cornwall so I'll catch up with you all then and get around to reading what you have all been up to.

Have a great week!!!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Swanning Around

I asked SD the other day why he thought his past relationships hadn't lasted in the long term.

He said he guessed that the girls he'd been out with liked the idea of him, liked the idea of his lifestyle but in the long run they really wanted something a little more stable and he just wasn't willing to compromise.

I get that.  Had we become a couple all those years ago (and it must be almost 30 years since we met) then I might have felt the same.

I've always been drawn to his way of life, the beaches, the parties, the travel, the music events but I wanted a family, a home and a sense of belonging too and those were the things he couldn't, didn't want to provide and I suppose I sensed that and respected his very clear view on the way he wanted to live his life.

I'm so glad I did or we would have been over before we had even begun and there may have been no going back.

We came together at the right time for both of us so, while I'm a little sad that I missed so much of the fun I DID get my family and my house.  The only thing missing was the sense of belonging and now, so many years later SD and I have that together and we both want what we have.

Some people may find out lifestyle too hectic.  We rarely have a weekend without something planned and 'free' weekends and evenings are spend doing jobs either here or at the farm.  We never just sit and watch the TV, in fact the TV is never turned on unless we have a film to watch.  I guess we are both too restless, too conscious of the things we could be doing instead.  Our downtime is spent sitting by the sea, walking the cliff paths or meeting up with friends.

It's right for us, it wouldn't suit everyone, I get that, this isn't a criticism of the way others lead their lives and I'm not suggesting that that our way is the right way.  The right way is whatever makes you happy.

I'm just glad that the same things make us happy.

Well, I've gone a little off tangent.  I really wanted to tell you about our weekend.

Last weekend we hitched up the buggy and headed for Swanage:

Just setting off
Swanage is probably the highlight of my year.  So many of the things we do are VW based but this, this is just for buggies.

37 of them in total!
I don't think anywhere else sees such a large gathering of Beach Buggies and it's all because of the Swanage Regatta.

We are so fortunate to be invited back each year to open the carnival and, as an added bonus, the local football club let us camp on their land only 10 minutes walk from the seafront:

I love this place!
The sun always seems to shine when I'm in Swanage and this weekend was no exception.

As well as it being the start of the Regatta it was also pirate weekend!

So of course there was a pirate ship!

And

Plenty of pirates around ...
We could have up to 3 nights heavily subsidised camping all for 10 minutes work driving through the town centre at the head of the carnival:

And there's nothing a beach buggy owner loves more than a chance to make a bit of noise and show off!

The rest of the time was our own to:

Drink coffee

Pose in front of murals

look silly

look even sillier


Act VERY silly

Every year we have a theme and most people dress up.

This year it was Sit Coms - which pretty much stumped everyone.  It's not so much that it's hard to think of a Sit Com. it's just really hard to find a costume that people will recognise.

So it was changed to Hawaiian.

But not everyone got the memo ...




So we had Dad's Army ...

Actually no idea on this one ...

Hi De Hi

And then the rest of us

Oh, and we also had a Batman but somehow I didn't get a photo of him.

it really was

an amazing weekend!

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Summer Is Officially OPEN For Business!!!

See???



Yes, well, this IS South Devon and to be fair, the thick fog that was almost obliterating the island when we arrived had lifted a little AND the rain eased off a bit.  About 20 minutes after this it was actually warm enough to take my coat off for a bit!

But this was the END of my weekend and I really ought to start at the beginning don't you think?

So ...

Saturday morning saw SD and I load up the van and head for deepest, darkest Devon.  Not a place was often venture but the place of my childhood and for one weekend only I was revisiting not just the place but the people too.

As it was the first weekend of the holidays and the world and his wife were likely to be travelling South we gave the motorway a miss and  headed down the Ex Valley.

On the way we stopped off here:





How stunning is this place?

Bickleigh Mill was built in the late 18th century and was milling corn until the devastating floods of the 1960's. Corn from surrounding farms was raised into the corn loft and then ground. The mill workings and water wheel are still on display. In 1973 the Mill, Bickleigh Farm and its land underwent a major change when it became the Devonshire Centre with crafts, a working farm and the mill.

 The main event of the weekend however was this:


A mini festival organised by an old school friend to celebrate the fact that we all turn 50 this year.

These guys REALLY know how to throw a party!!!

There was a hog roast, a lamb roast, a beer and cider tent as well as a tea and cake tent and not just one, not just two but SIX bands playing from 11am until midnight.

Jessica and the Rabbits

As well as these guys there was a band called Stumpy Drives A Datsun, The Elderly Brothers and Lesley Presley:

More than slightly scary in and out of character!


It was an epic day/night from sitting in the sun catching up with friends to dancing in the rain at midnight.

I'm in there somewhere ...


The following morning some people were feeling a little worse for wear ...
As I said, SD and I don't often go to South Devon, when we head that way it's usually to Cornwall but South Devon is where I grew up and, as we were only a few miles away we set out for Bigbury-On-Sea, the home of my Grandparents and my childhood playground.

The photo at the top is of Burgh Island taken from the mainland.  The tide is out in the photo but it sweeps in from both sides and covers the causeway cutting the Island off from the land.

The only way to get across the sands at high tide is on this:


The sea tractor!

This is the 3rd generation sea tractor and it's actually smaller than the one I remember from my childhood - it's still a pretty big thing though!

The Island itself is well worth a visit.

If you have plenty of money you could stay in the hotel (prices seem to range from £300 to £700 PER NIGHT!!!):



I think actually I need to write a post devoted to the Island and my memories, there is far to much to say about it here so I'll just post a couple more photos:






Wandering around it was good to see how much has stayed the same while at the same time a little sad to see how things had changed.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Things That Have Been Making Me Laugh Lately

This morning:

Me: Examining my hair reflectively in the mirror:

'Do you think I should dye my hair SD?'

SD: 'No, your hair is lovely just as it is' (Awww )

And then:

SD: 'And it's age appropriate' (ok, not quite so Awww ...)

nb:  SD is NOT a reliable source where hair is concerned as HE thinks it looks great like this!





A couple of weeks ago when visiting Mum at the nursing home we pulled into the car park which overlooked the small garden.

As we got out of the car:

SD: In horror -  'What  are those?'  and with a certain amount of trepidation and possibly fear:

'Are they ... are they ...   HAIR PIECES???'

SO tempted to say yes!


My sister phoned me the day before Mum was due to come home to run through all the stuff we needed to remember to bring back with her.

Everything seemed pretty normal, clothes, toiletries, hairbrush etc and then she added:

'Oh, and we mustn't forget the poo tray!'

'Good GOD' I said - 'What the hell IS THAT???'

'You know the one' she went on (I most certainly did NOT!) - 'The one Mum has underneath her when she's sitting in the chair - I brought it from home because the one's they had weren't really big enough (too much information!)  - I expect Mum will need it when she gets home and anyway, it's mine and I use it so I wouldn't want to leave it behind' (for the record - I bloody did!).


MY SISTER LENT OUR MUM HER POO TRAY!!!

'What exactly is it for' I was half afraid to ask  (although it seemed fairly self explanatory ...)

'It's so she can keep her ankle elevated Sis replied.

THANK GOD!!!  The thing she wanted to bring home was a POUFEE!!!

Sis and I took Mum out on Tuesday - the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures hitting the mid 30's and I'm pushing a wheelchair around town!

It was a blessed relief to get into a shop with air conditioning.

Mum wanted to buy something and at the checkout was a very cute baby in a pram who smiled at us.

'Isn't he lovely' said the lady behind the till.

'Yes' said Mum - 'What a shame they have to grow up'

Gee THANKS Mum - I've just pushed you 2 sodding miles through town in the blistering heat and you wish I'd never grown up ...


Then later she had the cheek to tell me I looked terrible because I was bright red in the face and sweating buckets - next time she can push ME - see how she likes that!
















Monday, 18 July 2016

Maybe I AM Stupid ...

If you are a Facebook user you have probably seen this some time in the last week:







I've seen it 3 or 4 times now and each time (up until the last) I have just scrolled past because you know what?  It IRRITATES me!

Actually, it does far more than irritate me, it worries me AND it makes me question the people I know that feel it's appropriate to post it.

Finally I have caved and posted this (genuine) response:

"I've seen this posted several times now and I genuinely don't understand the point it is trying to make (that is to say, I understand what it is saying perfectly, just not the relevance). People kill people and you can't legislate for every eventuality so we shouldn't even bother trying? It seems both patronising and defeatist unless I'm missing something (am I missing something - or stupid ... )"

I'm hoping that someone will enlighten me because I can't see how or why anyone could (or would want) to use this atrocity as some kind of 'pro gun' propaganda (which is how it appears to be being used).

As I have said, I find it both patronising and deeply disturbing.

So AM I missing something?

AM I being stupid?

I honestly don't mind if it's either but I would like to understand exactly what the message is ...

Friday, 8 July 2016

Stop The Train!!!

Life seems to be in fast forward mode at the moment and I've got to admit - it's scaring the crap out of me!!!

Not only are parents getting older - and this really was brought home with Mum's recent accident and time in hospital but Miss Mac has suddenly gone from a school girl with braces on her teeth to a gorgeous young woman planning her future.

A future that doesn't include me!!!

It scares me ...

I know, I KNOW all that 'give them roots and wings' stuff - I know it and I really hope I've managed it.  I know I've done my very best but I'm just not ready for it dammit!

We've been looking at Universities and in just over a year she will be heading off to a (hopefully) exciting new life but I don't think I'm ready for it.

I've been a hands on Mum since just before my 18th Birthday, that's over 30 years, it's who I am and yet, in a few short months, it's NOT who I will be ...

I'm feeling a bit lost already.

SD sees it as an exciting new beginning for us as a couple and I do get that.  I mean, we can pretty much do as we like right now as Miss Mac is old enough to take care of herself if we go away for a weekend or something but this will be different and as SD says, 'we have plans!'

It's an exciting new beginning for Miss Mac too, a time to find her place in the world, make new friends, have fun and start to build for her future.  I know all that so why does it all fill me with a sense of panic and dread?

I'm so glad I can say that out loud here.  I can't really explain it to SD.  He hasn't had children of his own and although he is a great role model for Miss Mac and does everything (in fact MORE than I could have hoped for) for Miss Mac, he doesn't have that same bond that you get with either your own children or even a child that you have brought up as your own. I know he cares for her but he has only been in her life for a few short years so he does remember and look forward to a time where his role is slightly more hands off.

I can't say it to Miss Mac, these are my anxieties to deal with.  Her job is to be excited and to look forward.  I'm sure she will have a few anxieties of her own and MY job is to help her through them not add to them.

You know the really stupid thing that's bothering me most?

MOULD!!!

I was checking the website of her preferred Uni and took a look at the list of things they recommend they bring with them.  One was mould cleaner ...

I hate the thought of her living in a place with mould in the bathroom or kitchen.  I have my own battle with it due to my bathroom being single skinned and although I've pretty much eradicated it there is still the odd outbreak.

Will she clean it off???  Doubtful, the chances are it won't even bother her that much if there is some (and I'm assuming the whole place won't be infected with the stuff or they wouldn't place student there ...) but it bothers ME!

I'm probably just focusing on it so that I don't worry about everything else but right now I can't seem to help it.

Will she change her bedding regularly?  Will she live on noodles and toast?  Who will plait her hair for her at night so it falls into lovely soft curls in the morning?  Will people be MEAN to her??

I have never wrapped my children in cotton wool.  I've let them climb trees, I've allowed them to jump in the deep end of the pool before they could swim confidently, I've let Miss Mac hop on a train and travel across the country (as long as she was met at the other end) from the age of 13 and plenty of that has scared me a little but I've dealt with it and it's been fine.

This isn't the same - it's not the same at all ...

I want her to go because she is bright and clever and SO full of possibilities and I know that I will get over these feelings in time and be happy for her but right now, if I'm honest, I'm just going to miss her SO damned much!!

We have SUCH a good relationship.  She makes me laugh every day.  We talk about almost everything (I'm not so naive that I think she tells me everything).  We fall out so rarely and when we do it's about silly stuff and it doesn't last long.  I've been so fortunate that we have never had big problems to face.  She hasn't behaved badly.  We haven't gone through those horrible times that I've seen some of her friends go through with their parents.

I know so many people bang on about not being their children's friends because they are their parents but honestly?  Miss Mac and I seem to have been able to be both.  We don't enjoy all the same things but we do enjoy spending time together.

There is going to be a lot of adjusting to do on both our parts.  I'm sure she will miss me too but I'm hoping that all the new experiences will mean that it will just be a back ground feeling and that mostly she will be happy and excited.  I'm sure that will be the case.  I think I'll struggle a little more being here with her empty bedroom, without an overflowing laundry basket, without the little pads of cotton wool left on the sink when she takes her makeup off (even though there is a bin right under the sink!), without the box of Coco Pops on top of the microwave ...

I've got a year or so to get my shit together, to stop feeling sorry for myself, to fully buy in to SD's vision of the future, to believe in it and to know that it's going to be great (because it IS!).

But today (and maybe tomorrow) I just want to wrap my arms around my baby and hold her close.

Stop The Train!!!

Life seems to be in fast forward mode at the moment and I've got to admit - it's scaring the crap out of me!!!

Not only are parents getting older - and this really was brought home with Mum's recent accident and time in hospital but Miss Mac has suddenly gone from a school girl with braces on her teeth to a gorgeous young woman planning her future.

A future that doesn't include me!!!

It scares me ...

I know, I KNOW all that 'give them roots and wings' stuff - I know it and I really hope I've managed it.  I know I've done my very best but I'm just not ready for it dammit!

We've been looking at Universities and in just over a year she will be heading off to a (hopefully) exciting new life but I don't think I'm ready for it.

I've been a hands on Mum since just before my 18th Birthday, that's over 30 years, it's who I am and yet, in a few short months, it's NOT who I will be ...

I'm feeling a bit lost already.

SD sees it as an exciting new beginning for us as a couple and I do get that.  I mean, we can pretty much do as we like right now as Miss Mac is old enough to take care of herself if we go away for a weekend or something but this will be different and as SD says, 'we have plans!'

It's an exciting new beginning for Miss Mac too, a time to find her place in the world, make new friends, have fun and start to build for her future.  I know all that so why does it all fill me with a sense of panic and dread?

I'm so glad I can say that out loud here.  I can't really explain it to SD.  He hasn't had children of his own and although he is a great role model for Miss Mac and does everything (in fact MORE than I could have hoped for) for Miss Mac, he doesn't have that same bond that you get with either your own children or even a child that you have brought up as your own. I know he cares for her but he has only been in her life for a few short years so he does remember and look forward to a time where his role is slightly more hands off.

I can't say it to Miss Mac, these are my anxieties to deal with.  Her job is to be excited and to look forward.  I'm sure she will have a few anxieties of her own and MY job is to help her through them not add to them.

You know the really stupid thing that's bothering me most?

MOULD!!!

I was checking the website of her preferred Uni and took a look at the list of things they recommend they bring with them.  One was mould cleaner ...

I hate the thought of her living in a place with mould in the bathroom or kitchen.  I have my own battle with it due to my bathroom being single skinned and although I've pretty much eradicated it there is still the odd outbreak.

Will she clean it off???  Doubtful, the chances are it won't even bother her that much if there is some (and I'm assuming the whole place won't be infected with the stuff or they wouldn't place student there ...) but it bothers ME!

I'm probably just focusing on it so that I don't worry about everything else but right now I can't seem to help it.

Will she change her bedding regularly?  Will she live on noodles and toast?  Who will plait her hair for her at night so it falls into lovely soft curls in the morning?  Will people be MEAN to her??

I have never wrapped my children in cotton wool.  I've let them climb trees, I've allowed them to jump in the deep end of the pool before they could swim confidently, I've let Miss Mac hop on a train and travel across the country (as long as she was met at the other end) from the age of 13 and plenty of that has scared me a little but I've dealt with it and it's been fine.

This isn't the same - it's not the same at all ...

I want her to go because she is bright and clever and SO full of possibilities and I know that I will get over these feelings in time and be happy for her but right now, if I'm honest, I'm just going to miss her SO damned much!!

We have SUCH a good relationship.  She makes me laugh every day.  We talk about almost everything (I'm not so naive that I think she tells me everything).  We fall out so rarely and when we do it's about silly stuff and it doesn't last long.  I've been so fortunate that we have never had big problems to face.  She hasn't behaved badly.  We haven't gone through those horrible times that I've seen some of her friends go through with their parents.

I know so many people bang on about not being their children's friends because they are their parents but honestly?  Miss Mac and I seem to have been able to be both.  We don't enjoy all the same things but we do enjoy spending time together.

There is going to be a lot of adjusting to do on both our parts.  I'm sure she will miss me too but I'm hoping that all the new experiences will mean that it will just be a back ground feeling and that mostly she will be happy and excited.  I'm sure that will be the case.  I think I'll struggle a little more being here with her empty bedroom, without an overflowing laundry basket, without the little pads of cotton wool left on the sink when she takes her makeup off (even though there is a bin right under the sink!), without the box of Coco Pops on top of the microwave ...

I've got a year or so to get my shit together, to stop feeling sorry for myself, to fully buy in to SD's vision of the future, to believe in it and to know that it's going to be great (because it IS!).

But today (and maybe tomorrow) I just want to wrap my arms around my baby and hold her close.