Friday, 31 July 2009

31st July 2009 day one Harbour Festival 2009

Today sees me waking up to , blue sky, no headache, no sore throat and all the other symptoms I have suffered the last week, I still feel a little delicate but overall I am 99.9% recovered. I have to go out to the local shops this morning, Mrs W has her carers in today to assist her. I also have a mystery visit to an American style diner today too. This afternoon I have to go and help Mrs W's mum to sort out her new sat nav system to help her to get to her destination on Saturday as she is taking our children on holiday for a week, then also later today the Bristol Harbour Festival commences for the weekend, three days of live entertainment on the Bristol Harbour front. A spectacle not to be missed by anyone. Last night saw a wonderful sunset here in Bristol too, the sky was deep red, I have not seen such a wonderful sight in ages as to be honest the sun has rarely made an appearance lately. I was so impressed with it's wonderful display I took a photo of it and placed it on my twitpic page. We had an early lunch and made our way to the Bristol harbour festival. There was a french market, plenty of boats, free samples to be tasted, the music stages were still being set up. The real fun begins tomorrow around mid-day, weather permitting myself and Mrs w will be attending the event all over the weekend. It has to be said i am still feeling myself, much more energy too. A bit of warmer weather could be just what the doctor ordered. The picture on the blog is of Bristol harbour.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

30th July 2009 Feeling more spritely

Good morning to you all!!!!, yes, that is how I feel, at long last I am feeling much more my old self, if only still a little tired I feel much better, healthier and much more alert. God I sound like an advert for dog food,!!. The weather looks a little more promising today too, but, I won't hold my breath!. Woke up very late for me again at 9.30am, went to bed at 11pm last night a good half hour or so earlier than usual, but I obviously needed it or I wouldn't have slept. I do as I say feel a lot better today too as a result of sleeping it off the last few days or so too. I have to go out to the local shops for every day essentials then later sees me and Mrs W carry out a mystery visit to a local pub for lunch. As the day progressed we have had a few showers, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip out for lunch today, but am now feeling a little washed out and drained, I am supposed to be taking our daughter to football training tonight. I think I shall willingly give it a miss this week. I have 2 days left of my course of Tamiflu. The children were able to get out for a while this afternoon as the weather has been a little kinder. Mrs W had her nap and I sat filling in my mystery pub visit report, the pub was very friendly, warm and inviting, the food was very good too, mind you I haven't had any pub food for a while so that May have had something to do with my finding it very nice. I sat watching a film or two on the movie channels, oh and not forgetting writing this blog. I have not forgotten about my wildlife photos, but when you feel so tired it is one of the last things on your mind, I do miss not taking the close up pictures I had been producing and will in due course start to take some more again I am sure.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

29th July 2009

This morning I woke, feeling very tired, sore throat and headache, but I did have a good night sleep following taking the medication and strong pain killers. For those who know me I rarely make comment on feeling ill, if I am ill I usually battle on, much to my detriment as a rule, those who do not know me, I assure you, this is not a case of man flu, I hate being ill, in bed or seeing the doctor come to that. Those who truly know me will know, I am rarely in contact with the GP and the only real time I go is for my asthma review, it was at one of these reviews that my recent BP troubles were diagnosed which led to my new healthy eating and cutting down on the alcohol regime, following which I get taken ill! ironic or what, months of not healthy eating and over drinking, with exception of my asthma I felt wonderful, OK I had high blood pressure which was accompanied by some side effects, but I felt great, healthy and bushy tailed as they say. Today sees Mrs W off grocery shopping with her carer, something I know Mrs W loves doing as I have said previously in my blog. Daughter got up and did her morning paper round as usual and our son, well he is once again making the most of his bed and surface, he shows no incentive to get out of bed and earn any money, do anything useful with his days unless he really has too, I am getting quiet concerned with his lazy attitude. I hope and pray that our daughter does not go through the same spell, although I am afraid she will in time. As Mrs W was going shopping we thought it was about time we DE-iced the freezer, the ice was about 5inch thick in places, the children did a wonderful job on it and now we have much more room for the healthy delights Mrs W had purchased. The afternoon saw myself and the children watching some rubbish afternoon television and listing various items on E-bay while Mrs W had her nap, I admit I spent most of the time napping in the chair drifting in and out of the proceedings. This fatigue part of the virus is beginning to annoy me. I struggle to stay awake at every stage of the day from the moment I awake, I now have some experience of what it must be like to suffer narcolepsy I think! The weather has been somewhat rubbish again with reports of a mini tornado in the Bristol channel. Some fine British weather we are having lately, to think February was saw inches of snow that lasted weeks, June was hot for the most part and now summer is here, rain, rain and more rain I think this global warming is now beginning to rear it's ugly head in dramatic proportions with such drastic weather extremes becoming more and more the normal.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

28th July 2009

Today I woke up, later than usual again!, I am currently sleeping around 11- 12 hours a night compared to my usual 7-8 and still have the urge for yet more sleep, often falling asleep at no notice while watching television and such like. My symptoms seem to be getting easier to live with, my biggest issue now apart from the tiredness is my back, it is so uncomfortable I cannot seem to get to a satisfying position sat or laid down. I am now taking pain killers along with the Tamiflu as well as my Asthma medication, anymore medication I could open up a chemist of my own. The children have both gone out again today, our daughter is washing cars including our car, well at least I know where she is for an hour at least, joking aside she did a very good job too, so much so that even a neighbour asked her to wash hers too. Our son is off with his friends to a local supermarket doing a project for school. The afternoon saw a peaceful time, sat watching some old films, sleeping and just feeling out of it on medication, Mrs W had her nap and our son sat with me! what a turn around from yesterday. Still feeling the effects of the bug/ swine flu. Tonight sees the children out again, they have more social lives than we do I think. They are going to the local youth centre for the evening. I do not have any mystery shops or audits for a couple of days, probably just as well I reckon the way I currently feel in myself. One other positive thing from me having this illness, is, I am losing weight as I have no appetite like usual. The family are also still very keen on my healthy food ideas and meals too, even our son is keen to cook some meals. he was and is a great cook, but he really looks forward to cooking with new and healthy food ingredients now. Tonights offering was Jacket Potato, with Coleslaw and Grated Low fat Cheese with a side salad. Very tasty it was too!.

Monday, 27 July 2009

27th July 2009 Got Tamiflu at last

This morning saw us cancel the carer as I woke up still feeling under the weather, I actually slept on again, this is totally out of character for me as those who know me will verify, even on holiday I am usually the first up with the lark sometimes too!.
I tried yet again to contact the GP and seem to be going between them and the National Pandemic Flu Service for answers and advice, actually getting nowhere fast if truth be know, the GP is either engaged, in a queue system or I get a recorded message telling me to call the pandemic flu line, I have already done that and they tell me to contact my GP!. I still have the symptoms and actually thought I was getting slightly better last night but it seems to have struck back with vengeance today. MrsW and one of the children are going to go to the local pick up point for Tamiflu later today, when the children return that is, one, our son has gone to the Banksy art exhibit with his friends and the other, our daughter has gone swimming with her friends. Well it turned out my son did not get into the Banksy exhibit as the crowds were too big, needless to say him and his friends did something I detest with vigor, they walked the streets all day until his return, he then blamed me for him not going into Banksy as I insisted he came home for his dinner for five pm, how the hell does that work?, crowd to big he cant be bothered to queue and I get the blame, I am already annoyed with him following yesterday, I found out that as a result of him I am banned from Amazon, a site I used a fair bit I might add, He apparently, broke a number of their terms of service and as a result any account will be closed, I am now double upset with him as I find out he was not where he should have been with no telephone call or text to tell us either, he on the other hand just smirked, put up an argument which was probably a good one but not when it is against your father, who has been there, done that etc, the trouble is I am sure that he forgets I too was young and have done the things he is doing now, he now sees me as the big bad dad again!, I am seeing him as someone I would rather not be with right now due to his constant smugness, needless to say the air is tense right now too . My daughter came home from swimming and made a dash out to go and try and earn some cash washing local residents cars. I hope that the medication will work and I will soon be feeling myself again soon. I was able to take my first tablet this evening after my dinner.
While Mrs W has her nap I am sat writing my blog and watching some very old black and white film on film 4, I think it was one of John Waynes first war films it is that old, yes he is in it too. Tonight I cooked roast pork, roast potato and mixed veg, like I feel like eating Pork, given the fact I have a suspected case of swine flu. The children are upstairs, both annoyed and sulking, what is new lately?, we have six lovely weeks of this, oh joy!, I wish I could afford a posh school, one where holidays are a luxury and learning is the most important thing there is, or even better, One where there are no holidays at all and a school day would run from eight in the morning till ten at night with a night time curfew after school too, what bliss that would be for parents. I am sure the children would object though.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

26th July 2009 still got the bug

Well since Friday I have been feeling rough to say the least, Friday saw plenty of time in bed, sweating, lack of appetite, sore throat, headache and aching bones, much of Saturday was spent in bed with similar symptoms. I have never slept so much in my life, last night saw a disturbed night along with plenty of cold sweats, still feeling very poorly with little or no improvement. Went to bed last night at 11pm and slept through till 10.30am and could have slept on had it not been for the family beckoning me to wake up. Am feeling very lethargic and have little or no energy. Have avoided family all weekend in case it is anything that I would rather they did not catch. I find it ironic that I fall ill after going on a healthy diet and lifestyle burst too, I have been well with exception of my Asthma and blood pressure that is, having not caught any coughs, colds, virus infections for an age, as soon as I change my eating, drinking and exercise habits I fall ill. Our son has been away for the night with his friends at a sleep over much to my better judgement, I was out voted and out voiced by him and Mrs W. I seriously have concerns about groups of teenagers getting together for a few hours let alone over night, I have seen the things him and his so called mates post on facebook, bebo and other similar networking sites and on you tube too. I know my son is not innocent and have concerns that by default he will be branded a "hoodie" or "undesirable". I also know that he considers me of no consequence and somewhat of a joke too, which is I am told a thing teenagers go through, a "I know everything" spell. One which I hope he will soon grow out of too I might add. I wonder if my illness is an omen of the Summer holiday and all that is coming our way during it. While I have been unwell I have been watching the various blogs, facebook friends and those on Twitter, however have not had much energy or inclination to return or follow in return. I hope my friends will appreciate this fact. If there is no improvement in my condition tomorrow I will endeavour to contact the GP yet again.

Friday, 24 July 2009

24th July 2009 and 25th July 2009

Well today is starting off nice and easy, the carers are in and Mrs W is being well looked after, the children are finishing school early today for the summer holiday too. I have a mystery shop at a fast food outlet lunchtime. Once again the weather sees a little improvement too, when the sun shines everyone seems so much happier, there seems to be a feel good factor around too. I took Mrs W to the doctor last night and was quiet alarmed to see huge notices with" infection control" in big letters, they have even removed toys and magazines to prevent the spread of swine flu. I cant help wonder that we are being kept in the dark as regards to how bad this pandemic is. It is the first time I have seen such measures in my doctors surgery ever. I could not help notice as I sat in the waiting room the number of people walking past the huge notice without even glancing at it, did they read it,? have the even noticed it?. The surgery even had supplies of Alcohol gell too.

25th July 2009.

What can I say, I must have had a premonition, yesterday afternoon and all day today I have been in bed, high temperature, very sore throat, bones aching, cough, blocked nose and nausea, I have checked the NHS flu pandemic website and have been advised to seek help at my GP, If only I could get hold of them, I would!!. I have also been authorised to take Tamiflu as soon as I have seen the GP!. This is one of the brief moments that I have been able to stay awake, long enough to check emails and complete the blog. Will update my blog as soon as I can.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

23rd July 2009

What a difference a day makes, well as far as the weather anyway, after days of dark and damp weather, today sees Bristol basking in Glorious sunshine. I have managed to get some laundry done at long last and it is drying nicely on the line as I type this blog. I did have a couple of audits to carry out today, but the company failed to send me all the documentation I needed, so I have had to cancel them, I am quiet annoyed, they are quick to call me when I have made a mistake and very slow to respond to a request from myself for help. I now find my self at home watching mundane day time television and tweeting and facebooking, as well as somewhat lighter in the pocket as a result of the cancelled audits. The children have once more cycled to school and only have today as a full day at school before they finish for the summer, tomorrow is a half day where they finish at noon. My asthma and hay fever seem to be quiet unsettled lately too, quiet strange given the weather lately has not been particularly warm or the usual suspect weather for it either, I find my asthma is always worse during the hay fever season and also when the weather is damp, both times equally bad, when I refer to damp I usually mean early autumn, when the weather tends to turn cold along with the trees dropping the remaining leaves, spores and such like. Thankfully though the medication tends to work overall, with only the odd attack. Mrs W's stair lift has developed yet another fault, so called the emergency repair line, it took ages to get through as it was engaged time and time again!, how can that be?, it's an emergency number for gods sake!. Anyway, it now means we have to wait in until they have fixed it. Good job the audits got cancelled in a way now. We had a lovely lunch today skinless Turkey stirfry, I took a picture of it as even if I do say so myself it was as we say in Bristol "gert lush".The engineer came, had a look, hummed and ahhhed. before leaving took the cover off the stair lift, fiddled with a few connections and said "that should do it", was not here more than two minutes in all and I have an inclination that the fault may not be fixed now, time will tell on that. Tonight is my daughters football training, at least so far the weather is looking far kinder than it was last week. I have even managed to wash and dry two loads of washing, the domestic god that I am.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

22nd July 2009

Woke up to a slightly more cheerful Bristol sky today. Well at least there are some chinks of blue, what a wonderfully bright evening last night too following such a rubbish few days!. Mrs W has her carers in today to assist with showering and shopping too. I am sat here having to ponder, why oh why. When ever we put socks in the washing machine does only one of a pair ever make it out, I mean they go in together so how come we always end up with odd ones, I have hundreds of socks and not one pair!, I have black ones, green ones, grey ones, but not one is a complete pair, where for gods sake do they end up!?. I mean other garments go into the machine and make it out complete, but why not socks?. Okay so moan of the day over. So I hear you ask, how is the diet and lack of drinking going?. Well, I have to say the lack of drinking is going well, I have completely cut down, the diet is going alright, I am a little confused as I have weighed myself a few times on various scales and they all say different, I think I will stick with mine though as they make me the lightest and to be honest nearly at the top end of the BMI scale measuring in at 25.5, much healthier in such a short time. How this will compare to the doctors measurements I have no idea. Some of you have asked me how I am feeling and to be honest, so far I do not feel the difference within myself at all. I am increasingly aware of my fat and salt intake though and I find myself comparing ingredients on tins, packets and boxes of food before they make it into my trolley. For example Green Giant Sweetcorn has more salt in a tin than the Co-Op own label sweetcorn. Now usually I for one would have always picked up the branded product, now I actually use the own label product where there is a health benefit even if it does mean spending a few pence more, you even have to be careful when buying the so called "healthy cereal" some of them are nowhere near as healthy as say a bowl of coco pops are for you. After all what price can you put on your health?. The fridge has never seen such a healthy mix of fruit, vegetables, salad ingredients and yogurts, low fat cheeses, spreads and sauces. Even the children seem to be enjoying the new food stuffs which in the long run can only be a good thing right?. I have started to invite my friends to my 40th birthday too, will be a smallish event here at our house, will put the gazebo in the garden and even light the BBQ, see I am optimistic the weather will improve and we shall have some summer, even if it turns out to be an Indian one. The children had some use of the swimming pool early on in the summer, but of late it has not been used due to the foul weather we have experienced, you can guarantee that if I put the pool away the sun will most definetely shine!.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

21st July 2009

Well here I am again, another miserable day weather wise, I could get a rust tan rather than a sun tan. Today I have a couple of mystery shopping assignments, one a fast food outlet another a clothes shop in Cabot Circus, god I detest the place, so expensive, although I admit it is a wonderfully designed shopping outlet I feel that the shops there do not somehow reflect Bristol, however, what do I know? I am a mere minion in the cog of life, plus the fact like most men I really do hate shopping anyway, except for food and drink that is. This is the last week of the school year too, then we have the dreaded summer holidays, although I have to say the weather lately is far from summery!. As a result the children will be home from school!. If the weather improves the holidays will be a breeze, they will probably keep themselves busy, in the swimming pool, over the park and such like, if however it is wet and dank then it falls down to Mrs W and I along with our bank account to entertain them. That said we have the Bristol harbour festival and the Bristol balloon fiesta within the first two weeks of the summer holiday, again only really suitable if the weather is good, especially for the balloons. The children will actually miss the harbour festival as they are going on holiday with their nan to Wales so in actual fact we will only have them with us for 5 weeks and not 6, a small improvement on the time we have them to entertain and a great improvement on our food budget, well I mean you have two teenagers for a week constantly eating and see how your budget fairs!!. As we were not far from one of our favorite pubs today following the fast food mystery shop, we opted to eat out for lunch, I had a grilled Salmon Cesar Salad, not the usual steak, chips etc, I am finding it really easy to avoid the chips and all the other fried food and processed food that had been the main stay of my diet and some, not all of the low fat, diet fad food is actually growing on me now too. Those who said it would become easier were right and I am finding healthy food shopping quiet a breeze with lots of inspirational meal ideas popping out of the air and from friends on facebook and twitter too!. That said I have failed to lose any further weight in a few days, however I have been a little naughty and over the weekend I did have some Cider and at lunch today I had a couple of pints of lager, as I have said before though I fail to see how drinking a few here and then will make a great deal of difference, compared to my past drinking I have almost gone tea total! :)

Monday, 20 July 2009

20th July 2009

Today has been a little on the slow side to be honest following yesterdays adventures of Fairford, Woke up feeling tired as did my son. Took Mrs W to Weston today and while there we had a pizza hut buffet, I had plenty of Salad stuff and no alcohol, mind you I did have some last night following the rather stressful journey home, I still cannot get over it taking 4 and a half hours to travel from Fairford to Bristol, mind you 2 hours were stuck in the car park with the queue not moving an inch!, the diversionary routes seemed to go on and on forever!. Anyway back to today, still on a high from yesterday, feeling tired but happy, had lunch and then came home and made a video of yesterdays airshow, I am placing it on my youtube page if you want to have a look later on, already in talks about next year, not sure if I shall go to Fairford or Yeovilton though. Went to the optician today and collected my glasses, wow! what a difference they make! I can actually see what I am typing now too, I noticed a huge difference as soon as I placed them on in the shop. A short entry today, not everyday in my life sees anything exciting happen or indeed worth blogging about, but I know I have avid followers and for this I thank you very muchly!

RIAT fairford 2009 19th July 2009

Well, my son and I got up at the unnatural hour of 6am today sees us heading off to Fairford for the RIAT ( Royal International Air tattoo). We packed the car with wet weather gear, dry weather gear and back packs of food and water, cameras and of course plenty of batteries too. We arrived at fairford in very good time, in fact it took around an hour to get to our eagerly awaited destination. We were guided in by various Marshall's and Police officers. We disembarked the car and followed the snaking crowd through a marquee to the security check point where our bags were searched and a metal detectors were brushed over our coats and trousers. In all the process was very quick, as we headed into the arena passed all the wonderful static displays, the rain started, light at first and more of a nuisance rather than a disruption. We browsed the many trade stands and exhibits from the many supporters of the event, the rain continued only now it was giving us some concern.Luckily the Army along with Chevrolet were handing out Poncho's, needless to say we grabbed one each as the rain continued to gain in strength. The cloud cover gained in strength too, much to our annoyance. Eventually after exhausting the trade stands we took our place on the crowd line, all the time getting wetter!. The Red Arrows departed the airbase early leaving a trail of moisture from the runway as they did so, off to perform at another airshow, before returning later in the day to perform for us, hopefully. My son turned to me and said, "grandad loved the Red Arrows, it will be sunny for them I am sure he won't let us down, he wouldn't want to miss them dad". After a short while we met up with my brother-in-law, his wife, child and my mother-in-law too, they had come together to watch the show. Arriving somewhat later due to not being early birds. The rain continued on and off all day, displays were cut short, the runway was like a river at times, I had some sympathy for the young air cadets who were stood along the inside of the crowd line in shifts throughout the day too, some looked quiet unhappy as they stood in the gusting rain. The pilots did the best they could during the heavy showers, but as a spectator I did feel a little deflated at times. As the day went on timings and flights were shuffled around to accommodate the relentless rain showers, some of which were monsoon like too. The red Arrows returned in good time to finish the show which was running around 5- 10 minutes late as a result of the weather, we made our way back to the car as we figured they would not fly as by now the rain was sheeting down, visibility was poor to say the least!. It was not that bad that my son could not manage an ice cream though, typically British I say!, some might say stupid, I will leave it to you. Anyway back at the car, the rain stopped, the cloud parted and the Red Arrows flew, we both looked at each other and the first thing we said? " Grandad was watching, he was here making sure that they flew in fine weather". We joined the queue to get out of the car park in all it took just over 2 hours to get to the car park exit!. then the diversionary route took us what seemed an eternity away from Bristol too, in all it took us nearly 4 and a half hours to travel an hours drive!!, was it worth it?.... yes!!... will I do it again?..... Yes!!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Thoughts of a wonderful Father, GrandFather and Father-in-law. 18/07/2009. RIP.

Today is family day, we go visiting various members of the family as we have done since we were married. Today is also a very special day, it is my father-in-laws birthday he would have been 66 had he not been cruelly taken by cancer 2 years ago. He has left a huge hole in my life and those who knew him, he would do anything for anyone and often helped me out and put me on the straight and narrow, we have shared so many good times together including Castle Combe racing, Renault festival of speed at Donnington, in fact that was the last big event we attended together. He also loved Fairford another event we attended many times together. Another reason why I feel the pilgrimage to Fairford is important, especially this weekend for his birthday as I know we would have made a special effort to get there come rain or shine had he been here, the air would be buzzing with excitement too as this was his personality, I can hear him now making gasps out loud at the display teams and the huge crowds that were gathering. i remember one fathers day we went to kemble airshow, again much to the annoyance of our Mrs's, we had a ball, we made a point of reminding the women that it was fathers day and we were both fathers and this is what we wanted to do for our day. He helped a lot with our Garden and well looked after his. He loved his flowers and his pond. And spent ages building a gazebo, which had many family gatherings and barbeque's. He helped the children with their bikes, helped maintain them and keep them working. He spent many hours making the children a go kart too. He was a fantastic organiser and helped to arrange the B.A.E family fun days, I would always turn to him should I need anything because I knew he would more than likely know someone who would be able to assist, or if not he would be able to assist himself. When the Grand Prix was on he would sit in the living room, turn the television up, to the annoyance of the family and sit and watch the races with huge excitement and enthusiasm too following every twist and turn with bated breathe. When we had our first child, his first grandchild I could see the look of pride and happiness on his face, we named our son after him, I had so much admiration for him, infact I had and still do think of him as my own father as he gave me so much inspiration and advice, far more than my own ever did. It was hard to watch such an upright, tall, life and soul of many peoples lives become an old,helpless figure due to the cancer, but even until his departing day he still managed to stay somewhat composed and positive, making plans for a holiday with his grandchildren which I am sure he knew would never happen, that was him, he would make sure everyone else was happy around him, that was his goal in life right to the end. I have never seen such wonderful tributes to a man, so many people attending his departing ceromony, so many people affected by one man. Such alot of empty lives without him around.

R.I.P Alan, Husband, Father and grand father 1943 - 2007 18th July

Friday, 17 July 2009

17th July 2009 very dark day!!

Today has started off very dull, dark and miserable, it is the first morning in ages that I have had to use lights to be able to function in the home, the most noticeable area was the kitchen, I know the days are getting shorter, but please let us have some Summer first! . The carer came in today to help out with the house work for me, gives me a little bit of a break I guess. I remember when we first had the carers in I used to feel so angry, "they were taking my job" they were in my house doing what I should be doing, I used to go round and clean before they arrived, a bit pointless as we ended up paying for them to come and do what I had just done, that is my pride I guess, I have however learned they are a good thing for us. On one hand they are a god send, on the other it can be so restricting having them in, I would not be without them now though, as on the days I feel a little under the weather I know they are coming in and will be able to take over looking after Mrs W. Go shopping if needed, clean the house or even get Mrs W to an appointment or pre- arranged meeting and such like. It does however mean that sometimes our days are limited and by the time they have gone me and Mrs W have no time left before the children come home from school. I mentioned to Mrs W and the carer today that there were 161 days until Christmas, depressing isn't it?, mind you we have made a start on various supermarket savings clubs, also I budget with a hamper company too, it really is a very good way to afford all the things that growing children want and insist on for Christmas and saving a little here and there we do not miss it or worry about big bills after Christmas either, Mrs W's carer was well impressed with my planning. I went to Bath today on a mystery visit, no time for sight seeing and to be honest the weather was not the best anyhow. Still very dull and I have a headache,sore throat and feel tired. I feel we could get a storm, I hope it is that and nothing more, I have a trip to Fairford for the Airshow on Sunday, the last thing I need is to be taken ill after looking forward to it for so long I would hate to miss the event, the weather looks very dubious for the airshow too, low level cloud, rain has also been forecast too. I hope that is not the case as it will mean a severe lack in the high level flying displays, the ones that bring a gasp and a lump to the throat of a mere mortal like myself when watching them from the ground. I spent the afternoon, blogging, tweeting and facebooking, while doing so I watched a film on Channel 4 while Mrs W has her afternoon refresher nap prior to the children coming home from school. I find myself back in Bath later tonight on yet another mystery visit, yes it is another fast food outlet, all this temptation and so far I have resisted eating it. Instead offering it to the children or throwing it away. Once again I have had no alcohol, I know I am blogging about it, but for me this is a big issue, I have been drinking around 2 litres of Cider a night plus 2 pints of lager nearly every lunchtime for a while now, so to cut down as much as I have is really a big achievement I reckon. The day never did improve either, the weather remained dull, dark, dank and wet!. I have been keeping a close eye on the news and weather for the RIAT Fairford and it looks bleak to say the least, already seen some planes cancel and those that are doing displays will by the looks of it be doing low level saftey displays, they do not have the same wow factor, so may not be the spectacular event I and hundred of others were looking forward too.!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

16th July 2009

This morning I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, the alarm clock went off and I jumped out of bed. Pulled back the curtains and greeted the morning with great gusto, the weather will not upset me today, the children will not upset me today, nothing will I thought.I had my now regular bowl of oat Granola, after which, I stood on the scales and weighed myself, the last few days have seen little weight loss, but today I crept just below the 10 stone mark, so now I am heading towards the 9 stone that I have been for many years until recent weight gain that is. I am confident that despite my recent lack of will power regarding the alcohol I will hit my target and sooner than the 3 months the doctor has allowed me, after all I have cut down my alcohol intake dramatically, if nothing else my pocket is noticing this. A question I was asked recently is, "do you feel any better for losing the weight?" my answer so far is a defiant "no". Mind you, I remember all those years ago when i gave up smoking all the medical professionals and family members asking me the same question and I can honestly say I never did feel the benefits of quitting smoking and even after all this time I still have the craving for them and I gave up nearly 14 years ago now!. A fact that I did not feel the benefits of quitting could be that it was shortly after that I was diagnosed with Asthma and emphysema and actually spent around 3 weeks in hospital as a result of a massive attack, followed by an infection and a flare up of emphysema too, I even missed the chance to meet Mrs W's all time favorite comedian. Jethro, I had been in contact with his agent and arranged a personal back stage meeting for her as at the time she too had been through lots of health issues, needless to say I couldn't take her as I was in hospital, the event was cancelled and we never did get to reschedule( so if anyone knows his agent please let me know). Anyway I digress. This morning I am feeling positive that there is now a significant weight loss and the healthy lifestyle is beginning to kick in. However I have noticed my bowels are protesting and I have never experienced such irregular movements or indeed stubborn ones at that( yes I am very constipated) I do suffer with I.B.S but never to this extent. I am also noticing my skin changing too, I am noticing lots of spots appearing, I thought eating healthy was good for you in that respect?. On top of all my health worries I have had to remain calm and caring and help Mrs W through her own trauma including a brain tumour removal in 2006 which saw her lose some of her personality, mobility, co-ordination etc etc, it has been a long hard struggle but as I tell her she is slowly returning to her normal self and even people who have not seen her say she is looking happier lately too, when she first came home from hospital I described her to people as my candle without the flame, every so often I had the candle with a small flame which would blow out, now she is more like a candle with a gloriously welcome flame, but it occasionally gets blown out when a gust of wind in the shape of a down day or a bad health day would blow it out. Overall she is far better and happier as a result so are we, we have seen a tough few years between us and I am sure if we were not stronger these last few years would have seen the end of us as a family unit too. Today sees me carry out a fast food assignment, again I shall resist the temptation and will not eat the food, we also have a quiet relaxing day today other than the one assignment there are no carers, no chores, nothing that needs attention, We went out for lunch, yes I know twice in 2 days, but, again we have cut down the amount of outings we have, yes I did have 2 pints of lager, but again I will refrain from the 4 pints tonight, that is a total of 8 pints less in 2 days!, quiet impressive don't you think?.This afternoon saw the nursery school parents causing the usual traffic chaos, one parked across my drive, needless to say I went out there all guns blazing, gave her the copy of the highway code too, she was not impressed, asked who the hell I was, I retorted, I am a disgruntled resident who has to put up with idiots like you blocking my drive!, why who the hell are you to go parking across my drive?. She pulled up down the road, not on my drive, just try and do it again lady!. Tonight I have daughters regular football training too. Just hope the weather stays kind for that, nothing like standing on the sidelines in the pouring rain!. It did not stay kind and as a result the training session was cut short, I managed to park the car in the car park so I could sit and watch in the dry, while my daughter and team mates trained, well I do get wet during the matches, so I was damned if I was going to get wet during training!.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

15th July 2009

Last night we had a late night caller, I went to the door and ........ there stood my mum, with a small white envelope, inside it contained, you guessed it, the money for the Castle Combe trip, myself booking it had spurred her onto come round with the cash so I could repay my credit card in plenty of time and therefore cease any interest on the monthly payment. I never expected that or even saw it coming!. I feel much happier knowning my all time birthday treat has now been bought and paid for. I have an early start to a fast food take away today at Cribbs Causeway, I don't usually take the early morning ones as a rule, as I am usually doing the school run, but the company rang me and asked if I was able to help them out. Last night saw me finish the 2 litre bottle of Cider, I am determined not to buy another for a few days, I must admit I am finding it hard, mystery shopping visits sometimes require alcohol purhcases, a trip to the supermarket is a strain not to purchase any too. I am sure I am able to avoid it far more, not sure I can avoid it altogether in the circle of life I find myself in. Mrs W has her carers again today, one helps her go shopping for groceries, they seem to get on well telling tales of their trip out together on their return. Today saw myself and Mrs W going out for lunch at the local Harvester, while there we saw just about all our neighbours too. Seemed we had all had the same idea and were all sat with in feet of each other. The unlimited Salad cart was a great success with me, I had several bowls full and at least 2 brown bread rolls followed by my main meal of the dreaded stuffed mushrooms I had and absolutely detested last time we were here, this time they tasted suprisingly nice, I think my attitude to healthy eating might be changing too, yes, I did have 2 pints of lager too, but I still have the knowledge I have cut down considerably and I have no guilt. I can't see anyone going without any little treats in their lives and the alcohol is one of mine, infact my only one lately.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

14th July 2009

Okay, confession time. Last night saw me open a bottle of Cider, I had 2 pints, leaving 2 in the bottle, something I have never done. Usually I would drink all the bottle in one night. Since last week I reckon I have drank around sixteen pints less in one week, I have eaten more at home rather than eating out in pubs, a habit I had become accustomed to, one which inevitably led to a drink normally two. I have eaten a lot more healthier too, a lot of pasta, rice and fruit as well as salad and cereals too. In a week I have lost around half a stone, I now weigh (by my scales) 10 stone a remarkable loss considering I weighed in at just over 10 and a half stone this time last week!. I am impressed with my will power regards the drinking, albeit I let it slip a little yesterday night. The children had cycled again today and bless them they let me have a sleep in too, I woke up at 8.30am after they had got up, had breakfast and stuff. A lovely rest in bed compared to my usual 6.30am rise!. I have a petrol station to mystery shop today and a fast food outlet this evening. I shan't eat the fast food, I shall either give it to the children or throw it away after sampling it for the report. I love the petrol station visits, nothing like driving round on some free fuel especially in the current climate!. Came home and made some lunch for myself and Mrs W, brown rice(cold), tuna, cherry tomato's and black olives, mix together and eat!. While eating a friend popped in for coffee and a chat, we do have some, (I just never think to blog about them that much, not sure why I did today?!). Sat watched the television, some cold war movie on movies 4 men, while Mrs W has her afternoon nap and I wish the weather would make it's mind up, one minute it is raining the next brilliant blue sky. typical British weather!. This morning saw the arrival of my ticket for my 40th birthday treat a session racing around Castle Combe in a Formula Ford racing car, I purchased it myself and will use any money I get to reimburse the credit card, well that is the plan. I did mention it to loads of family and friends however none seemed to take the hint,so booked it myself!!!.

Monday, 13 July 2009

13th July 2009

Last night saw a much more comfortable night sleep, no Cider last night either, the second night without it!. For those who doubted I could go even a night without it I proved you wrong!. I do not have a school run today for the last week two weeks of school as the children have opted to cycle to school instead of being driven and arriving too early, suits me, gives me more time for my everyday chores. Today sees me carry out a couple of mystery visits to locations around Bristol including Bristol Airport. So far I have managed to avoid assignments in fast food outlets and pubs, my biggest fears now that I am trying to watch my weight, however those assignments were and still remain my biggest income provider. The last few weeks have seen our daughter going to school with so called non-compliant shoes, basically black trainers with a pink tick on the side of them, every morning she has been stopped at the school gates and questioned as to why she is wearing non-compliant shoes, basically I am refusing to buy new black shoes with only weeks of school left for this school year, this morning my son has to go to school with white trainers on, even bigger foe par but again I am not going to buy new shoes right at the end of school, if the school do not like it then they can send them home as far as I am concerned, my biggest concern is they get stopped and questioned at the gate in front of all their friends, it is not our fault we are a low income family and we certainly do not need charity as one of the senior management team at school suggested to my daughter, she was told the school could assist in the purchasing of new shoes if finance was a problem, if nothing else I still have pride and to be honest they always start the school year with the correct uniform and additions, some of which I have never seen them wear! money that could have been spent on new shoes if I had not wasted it on stuff they do not use!. After the carer had gone today me and Mrs W set off to Cabot Circus on a bit of window shopping and to carry out a mystery visit to a sports shop, I used my reimbursement to purchase a Carbrini jacket reduced in price to within my spending limit allowed, I showed my Daughter and she was well impressed, I think I might be turning into a" hip hop" dad again, getting with it as they say, in effect I have just got a new "trendy jacket" for nothing! . While there it fell over our lunch period, so being on this health improvement we checked out "hey potato" very good food, great value too and a healthy option was available too. Still had no alcohol since Saturday night here too, I thought I might experience some withdrawal symptoms but so far all seems okay. Despite the rain I managed to get a machine load of washing done with the thanks of Mrs W's carer who went on a mission to rescue the washing from the impending rain that I followed home from a mystery visit from Bristol airport too, I could see it heading towards our house and called ahead and asked if it was raining, it was not at the time and the carer saved the dry washing in plenty of time, when I returned the roads were like rivers, but the washing was dry!. Thank goodness for mobile phones and carers !. Am sat here writing the blog before the children come home from school, no school run today as I said earlier in the blog they cycled to school I think this healthy lifestyle is rubbing off !!, anyway while typing I have the television on and Mrs W is having her nap, the room is so peaceful. I am watching the parents of the local nursery school struggle to find a parking space as they cannot be bothered to walk a few extra steps to the car-park designated too them. They rather park across our drives and cause all kinds of chaos for the local residents.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

12th July 2009

Last night saw the first meal-time that has filled me up, I had chicken breast lightly fried along with some mushrooms and baby tomato, (yes I know I said lightly fried, but I used the smallest amount of cooking oil, just to stop the chicken from sticking to the pan, I did not drown it at all), pasta twists and garlic bread followed by a fruit smoothie consisting of 6 strawberry's, 1 banana low-fat yogurt and skimmed milk, absolutely lovely! see the blog picture for the meal. Well last night I did manage the evening with no alcohol, not a drop!, now I wouldn't say i craved it or missed it, but I had a very disturbed nights sleep, I seemed to develop super sensitive hearing, I heard the drunks returning from the pub, every little drop of rain there was ever to fall on the bedroom window, the wind chime in the landing, all of which I never hear normally!. I seemed to be spending the night tossing and turning too, as well as clock watching, it seemed a very long night. I had a step on the scales today too, on Wednesday I weighed in at 67kg . Today I weighed myself at 64kg, not bad I don't think since Wednesday?!. Had a lovely lunch today, pasta, boiled egg, cherry tomato and black olives, mix them together and put into a bowl as Gordon Ramsey says, lunch done!. This afternoon we had a mystery visit to do out towards Dursley way so I thought why not head to Berkley castle on the way, we did a bit of research and thought better of it as it is not particularly disabled friendly due to the nature of the building. Where to go instead?. we saw a sign for Cattle country park, we followed it and found a lovely attraction plenty to see, do and get involved with too. Better they did not charge for disabled guests or their carers so we only paid for the children!. There was an animal encounter area where you could feed the animals, as well as pet them too. We finished the visit to the cattle park with an obligatory ice cream sitting in the patio area of the cafe over looking the servern and the estuary into wales and the surrounding countryside. We came home after the mystery visit, myself and the children sat and watched a film on the television and I then prepared some dinner for us all, another healthy recipe, again suprisingly it went down really nice too, tonight saw brown rice, red onion, olives, tuna and sweetcorn, cooked, warmed up what ever is required and mixed together, served and eaten with great gusto, especially by our daughter, she got hers last and finished first!. I am hoping that the eating healthy regime is going to remain such a hit with everyone. If it does it will make it much easier for me to stick to it too and hopefully have a positive impact on my health in the long run too.

11th July 2009

Today sees the obligatory visits to the family, spent an hour with each one to be fair to them both, then it was off to Weston for a short while to carry out a mystery visit, while there the children went to see the sand sculptures, however they did not go in as this year they are charging children to go in and see them, previous years have seen children allowed in for nothing, I wonder if they are charging to make up for some of the loss in income from the pier being closed, however I find this a little conflicting as according to recent reports Weston has far from seen a decline in visitors in fact the reverse has happened, so a little unfair if this is the reason behind them charging. While I was walking to the shop concerned I heard the unmistakable sound of the Red Arrows, I looked up and there were four of them flying low along the sea front, presumably on their way to the air show at Yeovilton. There is something about the Red Arrows that stirs inside me, they are very skilled pilots, I know my late father in law loved them too and had great admiration for them. The diet is going well actually, I think I have already seen some weight loss, I am still very cranky and hungry all the time, but I am told this feeling will diminish after a few more days.Lots of people have been giving me support on Twitter and for that I thank them, some wonderful meal ideas too!. My next challenge is to cut down or even phase out completely my alcohol intake, I know I drink far too much above the recommended units each week and I know I should cut down, but it is my only vice left and my only real pleasure too. I am going to start tonight and to aid me I have a money box into which I will place the cash I would normally spend into it, therefore I should be able to see the financial gain from not drinking as much or anything at all. In theory I could save £14.00 a week from not drinking my £2.00 2 litre bottle of Cider a night. or put it another way nearly £700.00 a year. Theory is always good, but putting it into practice is another thing altogether. I now have Mrs W and the children on board the new regime so that should help make my diet a little easier to deal with I guess.Last night saw a meal of can of tuna, lettuce, cucumber, baby tomatos and pickled onions( see blog photo), followed by a bowl of yogurt and sultanas, (not telling anyone but I actually enjoyed the yogurt and sultanas!) Had some cereal today something I havent had since i was a child, it was a nut cluster one with raisins in, rather tasty actually, i am now just waiting for the feeling of hunger to finally go, once that has happened i think i might be alright on the new diet and alcohol free etc.

Friday, 10 July 2009

10th July day 3 of healthy eating diet.

What can I say, this healthy eating lark is not doing me any good, I am becoming more cranky than usual, constantly craving for the food I love. Yesterday I thought I did very well, went to bed absolutely starving hungry, well not really because I know millions of people are actually starving, I mean it in the sense that my belly thinks my throat has been cut, I am constantly making sounds and feel hungry,Woke up this morning jumped out of bed to make breakfast, toast, two pieces of it with a very thin layer of low fat butter alternative.YUM!. NOT! I still feel hungry after that breakfast, I am starting to feel sick, I even contemplated eating the soles of my shoes yesterday too, but would never eat anything that tough without lots of salt and I mean lots of it so thought best not. Now usually I would drop the children off at school and then have a packet of crisps or bar of chocolate or even pop to Tesco and have a breakfast, yes I know I had breakfast at home but it always tastes so nice when it is made for you and at such an affordable price too! the last few days I have not done that and to avoid so I am even shopping at a different supermarket, it adds about five minutes or so to my morning routine but I think it is a small sacrifice in a good cause, or at least that is what i am telling myself to help me through this period of time. mid morning I felt hungry, now normally it would require a bar of chocolate, cream cake or packet of crisps, however this morning saw a healthy treat, yogurt and sultanas, yummy!! (not). What a good boy I have been today, lunchtime saw the thoughts of Pub lunch disappear from my mind as soon as they had entered, self reasoning, reasons not to go to the pub, will be cheaper if we eat in at lunchtime, we could have jacket potato, isn't that exiting!? then of course if I fail to make the pub for lunch I would of course fail to drink the two obligatory lunch time pints that go with the meal. I always drink two, one with the meal and the other afterwards, my desert the children call it.! In my mind and in that reasoning it has been a very low calorie, low fat and low cost day! bargain all round, except try telling my stomach that, I am constantly feeling hungry and some of the sounds coming from deep within the stomach are surely backing that up!. Tonight I am considering having a fruit smoothie with the remainder of the yogurt from this morning, will add some banana and apple to it I think, then if I am still hungry I have a real treat, cream crackers and Philadelphia spreadable cheese! yummy!. Can you note the sarcasm in the blog here ?. I seriously didn't find giving up smoking half as bad as eating or at least trying to eat healthy like this.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

09th July 2009

Well today has been an interesting one to say the least, have tried to stick to a healthy diet,only 2 pieces of toast with a smearing of butter, no morning snack of chocolate. Then off to lunch, what an interesting one that was, Mrs W had roast chicken, mash and veg. I had Salad and stuffed mushrooms. I might as well turn into a bloody rabbit, I feel so hungry all the time, this healthy food is not very filling at all!. I got so hungry I even considered eating the soles of my shoes at one point, I went shopping and stocked up on yoghurt's, fruit and nuts, half fat cheese, skimmed milk too, the very thought of it is making me feel ill, give me a plate of chips, covered in salt, not mash with no butter or no salt or even no cheddar cheese!. Everything today has seemed so bland and boring. I have even taken to eating my nails, well I guess they have calcium in them!? and they are healthier than the soles of my shoes. Do not like water so got some fruit flavoured water with added vitamins in, tastes foul too!. I think right now I favour going on the bloody tablets to lower my pressure if this is what I got to look forward too everyday. The diet is going to kill me if the exercise don't get me first!. I even contemplated buying a selection of nuts and dried fruit to add to some yogurt, then I remembered the last time I had nuts like that I hated them so promptly put them back on the shelf, the yogurt is still an option I guess but the really healthy ones have no flavour, so why buy them?. Oh yeah one more thing in case you cannot tell from the tone of the blog, I am grouchy as hell too!. Got to go to football training later with daughter, will consider joining in, but right now have no energy, need something healthy and energy giving. Oh and I can find low alcohol alcohol, but I can't find low calorie non low alcohol, alcohol. Any suggestions, it is the only vice I have left since giving up smoking thirteen years ago. I do not take drugs, smoke or even have much of a social life since becoming a full-time carer. Many if not all of my friends have gone their separate ways, those that I have met as a result of marrying Mrs W are slowly becoming more disabled and less able to get out and about too, or unfortunately due to their conditions have passed away so sometimes even at times like today i am feeling very lonely and in need of support.I think that is why I like spending so much of my time chatting on the internet on sites like Twitter, I feel I have friends, some of them I have met albeit briefly and would like to think we could meet again.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

08th July

Today has been another stress free day for me, took the children to school as usual, came home and saw Mrs W off shopping with her carer, she goes once a week with her to go grocery shopping. Sat and watched a film on one of the sky movie channels. Got to take my mother-in-law on the school run with me today as she and my daughter are going to see the Banksy exhibit after school. Got to take my son to doctor for follow up booster jabs that they need or something or other or he would have been going to the exhibit too bless him. Talk about double booking!. I should also finally get my blood pressure results today too. Okay not the best of news regarding my Blood Pressure, has the usual lecture from the doctor too, drink less, ok I do drink but not to the excess that some people do!, no smoking, which I haven't done for some thriteen years now, eat healthy food. I would if I could afford the flipping prices of some of the healthy foods!I take it she means Salad and bloody lentils or something like that, see the picture of tonights tea, I hate salad but to have to eat it is so unfair!, actually I don't eat much anyway to be honest, might have to try some of them weight watchers ready meals, low fat, low salt and low in taste meals etc. Then she said about hobbies and walking, I turned round and said "I am a full-time carer, to be honest I do not get much time to have a hobby and I do walk when I can even to the doctors, shops, bank and over the local park too". Her reply "well maybe we should just put you on the tablets now then?". I then mentioned that both my father and my younger brother have been on medication for some time with similar conditions, her reaction was a questioning one and to be honest one that I could not answer as it is something we have never really discussed, I never think to ask why my dad and brother are on BP tablets, I just know they are!. I told her I had just been away and that some of the weight I had put on could be more than likely to the over endulges of the family holiday and that most of the weight she wanted me to lose, only 2KG so nothing major my BMI was 27 she would like to see it at 25, not an impossible mission, but baring in mind I had already had problems when I had weighed in at 60KG with a BMI of 23 I fail to see the new target working out somehow!. I have a feeling that most of the problem might not only be family related but could be as a result of stress due to my role as a carer?. Was going to try a head massage while on holiday, but the Spa was full of orange faced women and I didn't feel comfortable asking them. When at home it is nearly impossible to find the time to spend that much time away from my caring role too, so not sure how I can get some therapy of that sort, might see if there is someone that does house calls or something. It is strange though in my mind I had had a stress free day, however right now I feel slightly stressed after my visit to the doctor. Even at the visit to the doctors today my BP was a high reading too and yet I had felt somewhat calm all day too.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

07th July 2009

Today has been a pretty relaxing day, no mystery visits, no audits and no stress! yippee!. I did the usual school run leaving five minutes early following the chaos on Fishponds road yesterday and took a slight detour to avoid the traffic that I expected due to the wet start to the day that usually occurs. I arrived to school some 5 or 10 minutes earlier than expected to the annoyance of the children who muttered under their breath as I pulled up at the school. I returned their comments with "I cant help the lack of traffic can I?". If I could I would never be early and never be late I guess and it would mean the end of the traffic reports on the radio too. I returned to head to home but stopped off at the shop before doing so to get everyday essentials, Cider,funny how I got the Cider first!, milk, bread which today was a bargain at only 25pence a loaf too, oh and not forgetting some apples for Mrs W too. Today I also went to the optician for my yearly eye check. About 2 years ago I was undergoing tests at the eye hospital following extremely high pressure in the eyes and as I have family history of Glaucoma I now have tests every year, predictably the pressure was once again higher than they would like and I have had to purchase a new pair of glasses too at an expense I can do with out. After the optician it was time for lunch, I had spent nearly 2 hours in their company, if nothing else they were very thorough. We went to one of out favorite places to eat luncthime or indeed anytime come to that, Bottelino in Emmerson Green fantastic meal there too. Came home and then it was time for the school run. Taking Mrs W to the Mall tonight clothes shopping, something that I detest with vigour, but she does have some birthday money burning a hole in her purse, Did the shopping at the Mall, forgot my PIN code for credit card so had to buy Mrs W's present on my overdraft!, then looked for a handbag, picked one up and nearly passed out on the shop floor, some of the prices were extreme to say the least!!. Then came home and watch the television while dowing the now very cold Cider I have in the fridge.I think I need it after tonights shopping trip! boy they sure know how to charge for a handbag don't they! not sure we would have had any money left to put in the purse to go into the handbag at the prices they wanted!!

Monday, 6 July 2009

06 July 2009 frantic catch up day

Do you ever get days like it? you wake up and you never seem to catch up with the days events?. I made breakfast as usual, took children to school, then that was it, the day just seemed to run away with me. Went to the shops got the shopping, came back to see Mrs W's carer leaving, I must be about 15 minutes later than usual already I thought, I was right. I came into the house to see Mrs W sat on the sofa with some crappy music station bellowing out into the front room, now I like music but not ear drum burstingly loud like she does. Went to the post office and waited an age to pay the regular bills, I do not know why I do it, I know it will be busy yet I still go!. The postman arrived earlier than usual today too and in the post was yet another great gift from Jack Daniels drinks, I think it is a BBQ glazing brush, have placed it with my collection that is slowly growing from them. I came home then realized I had to be a Cribbs Causeway in very short time. So double edged sword went to Cribbs and took Mrs W out for lunch at Franky and Bennys, lovely lunch, thought I had plenty of time to drive Mrs W to Frenchay Hospital for a long awaited outpatients appointment for her regular M.O.T as I call it. Hit unexpected traffic jam, it is now 2pm, appointment is at 2.30pm. should have been at the hospital now looking to find a parking space. Made it to the hospital and found a miracle parking space. Ran through the corridors of the hospital, then, bladder started to call too me, I need the loo, so ran to the loo, and made the appointment with 3 minutes to spare, not bad. The receptionist told us to take a seat, then proceeded to write in big red marker pen, appointments are running 50 minutes late! and there was me busting a gut to get there!. Saw the doctor who was a jolly chap, made a laugh and a joke with us and we left, next I need to be at Muller road, so off we trundle out of the hospital and hit a mother of traffic jams, while sat there it was mentioned on Heart FM a little bit late I muttered to myself, made it to the destination where remakably we met up with our son who had just missed his bus home from school, fate or just pure luck?. Came home then had to dash out again, got stuck in yet more traffic and it seemed to take an age to get there. While out the mobile phone rang and it was someone saying the goods I had ordered would be delivered, now I have to get back as I know Mrs W has no cash at home. Rushed home and the guy is now over an hour late of the agreed time. Still at least I think, well I know I have finally caught up with the days events as I am sitting here writing the blog for you to read and have a good laugh at, are there any film directors out there, I am sure we could turn this into a film!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

05th July 2009 Family BBQ indoors

Well today started off leisurely. It looked a fine day, so I thought why not invite the family for a BBQ. Went out, spent a fortune, invited the family, keeping Mrs W in the dark as a surprise for her. The time went so fast, managed to find some pool chemicals today too at last, refilling the pool following the scrubbing out it has had following our holiday and it going green. Then it happened, the family came round and the clouds moved in, closer and closer, it rained, then the sun came out. It rained some more despite the prayers it was so unpredictable so a BBQ was out of the question. Out came the George Foreman grill, the Halogen oven and the grill pan, well there was a lot of food to cook and several hungry mouths to feed. The food was cooking in amazing time and it was appreciated by all, there was cake too and a candle for Mrs W to blow out, the second time this year, wasn't she lucky! We ate the food, drank the beer and cider along with many cups of tea too. After the last chicken breast was cooked, I finally managed to sit down and join in the conversation, then the sun made a cheeky appearance and stayed there until the last guest had left,that darn sunshine certainly knows how to time its arrival and departure, although I have to admit it is a somewhat welcome respite but completely badly timed too.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

04th July 2009

Today sees the return to "normal" life, no cheesy entertainment, no sea views, no over indulging in Devon ice creams, fried breakfast or lots of cans of Natch. Saw some family this morning, showed off the tan and the hundreds of photos and video clips we took, I am amazed how many too be honest! before digital I wonder if I would have taken half as much? I very much doubt I would have done. Did a spot of shopping and guess what, still I forgot the washing powder so desperately needed to wash the mountain of holiday washing!. The pool requires some attention having turned a lovely shade of green while we were away, the grass too seems to have grown greatly while we were away, grass cutter was due last week but I put him off due to holiday, will see if I can get him back next week or we won't see the pool if it gets any longer. Sat watching an old western film while Mrs W is napping and the children well I ain't seen them all day, I suppose they are out doing what teens do!. Did some research into the photo I took of the wonderful moth I saw on the first day of our holiday and it seems to be that of the Scarlet tiger moth a day flying species. Taking Mrs W and children out later to a pub for a dinner as we haven't as yet celebrated Mrs W birthday, poor I know but what with the holiday and all, just too darn knackered on our return. Am going through all the other wildlife photos I took while away and hope to identify some if not all in due course, for those who follow on twitter I will be sure to twitpic my results in due course, also for those on facebook then they will at some point arrive in my nature album too.

Friday, 3 July 2009

03rd July 2009

Today we travelled home along the winding A roads then onto the Motorway. We stopped at a very busy Taunton Deane services for a short break. Once arriving at home we found a mat full of post, mostly the usual recyclable rubbish, switched the PC on and had stacks of E:mail unopened as I couldnt get much if any signal for internet or mobile phone signal on the camp. The grass is very long and in dyer need of cutting but it seems to hot to even contemplate that today after the long drive home. The pool has gone green so it now needs emptying and refilling due to the lack of maintenance needed for it to flourish in good condition. Mrs W had her nap and while she did so I considered doing the mountain of washing, but though twice when I realised I would need to take a walk or drive to the shops to buy some washing powder having run out before we went away!. It is Mrs W's birthday so we have also seen a flurry of visits from family to wish her well and good wishes too. Just gave her an ice cream cone with a candle on it as we havent made any official plans to celebrate her birthday due to the holiday. We couldnt be bothered to cook anything for tea so used the final holiday funds to purchase a Kebab, a perfect end to the holiday for us and the weather is still great too!.

Holiday Diary - Summer 09


We set off for our holiday today, leaving Bristol at 8:30 looking back at a sky of grey clouds, driving into blue sky and sun. We hit the last shower of rain at Taunton Deane Services. We arrived at the holiday camp where we got to our first problem, the car park. There were people parking illegally on the double yellows, causing chaos with the cars arriving for the new holiday. So we knew we were not going to easily find a space, as the new people are arriving and the old people are leaving. We finally found a space disembarked and took a stroll around the hilly and very anti-disabled park. The recently re-developed facilities were clean and had ramps and 1 lift, which seemed to be out of use, but people were still going in and out of it. We entered the caravan before the set time. To our surprise it was disgustingly filthy. It looked like the other people had had a rave. Even after the cleaners had finished we still found evidence of previous occupants, including some toddler swimming shorts, a winnie the pooh blanket and a book. The master room only had 2 single beds as well, so I went to the customer services and they were about as much use as a chocolate tea-pot. I left feeling unhappy but resigned to the fact that we were here. Once settled, I’m feeling pretty down about the holiday. Although, my family seem to be enjoying themselves, making the best out of the bad situation. I put on a brave face and we took in the entertainment for a short while, and then headed of to the Beachcomber Bar. Where we saw the sea, the beach and much to my delight we saw various nature, such as rabbits and a butterfly which fell on the floor as if to tell me to take a photo of it, which I duly did. We came back to the caravan with some chips, to await the arrival of the next day.


This morning we awoke, somewhat later than we would do normally. Had a leisurely breakfast of bacon rolls. We sat in the caravan taking in the stillness of the caravan park. Soaking in the sun from the window, as its too hot outside. We eventually took a stroll into the complex and found the arcades, everyone’s favourite. Mrs W tried to have a go at skittles but ended up throwing the ball 10ft into the air. The kids spent half their spending money in one day! Mrs W had her afternoon nap, as it was a nice day me and the kids went on the local nature walk, to see what was roaming around. We saw loads of rabbits but not a lot of anything else. We then went to see the prices of the Laser Quest, but when we got to it we saw it was a big inflatable. As the weather was hot, we decided to settle down in the crazy golf bar area, soaking in the sun. On the table next to us we saw a pile of tickets, which you can win in the machines in the arcade and trade them for prizes at the end of your holiday, nobody seemed to be in charge of them. So we took them. Myself and Amanda then went to play pool. Where I won one game, she won one game. Johnathan was upset, as he didn’t want too spend his money. I gave him a pound, which made him quickly addicted to a gambling machine. What a bad dad I am, he spent all his spending money in one day! We went to the local gift shop and we purchased Mrs W some gifts for her forthcoming birthday. I was now dreading the evening entertainment, due to last nights cheesiness and rubbish entertainment. However, to my satisfaction, Capones was far better. I felt like I was at Butlins, which is my favourite holiday resort. We then had 2 pizzas between us, which we later found out; Mrs W missed her toppings, due to me and Johnathan trying to help her not get in a mess by removing the loose toppings on her pieces. The kids then went back to the nature walk now it was dark. Much too their delight they saw their first sightings of badgers. John took snaps of bats too. Then we went to bed, to await the arrival of Day 3.


I awoke this morning very stressed for some unknown reason. Failed to cook breakfast with this gas contraption! The fry-up then ended up in the sink! Shortly followed by the frying pan and grill pan. Not in a very good mood to say the least. After calming down and eating the remainder of the surviving breakfast we made our short way to an attraction just up the road called The world of country life, it was brilliant lots of animals, old machinery, history of farming and a play area with slides, go-karts and there was even a chance to feed the deer and lamas too!. We spent a good two hours at the attraction before making our way back to the campsite where we had our lunch, Mrs W had her regular afternoon nap and myself and the children went into the onsite arcade and played pool. The children have booked some water activities tonight including water walkers which kinda look fun if I am honest!. Tonight is bingo again, seems to be the main attraction here and the children get exited at being one or two numbers away from a win, it’s really not that big a deal but the thought of winning a few extra pounds is quiet exciting for them I guess even though they are not allowed to play!. The weather has been kind to us again today with a few minor threats of showers which never amount to much; it is still very hot and muggy though. We have heard from resort staff they have not had significant rain for a few weeks so they are probably due some shortly, just hope it is not while we are here!. The children went out to see the badgers again last night too, we came back to the caravan at about eleven pm along with some pizza, the second of the holiday, I have to say they are surprisingly good too. The weather was turbulent during the night with very heavy rain, thunder and an amazing light show with lightning making the night sky as bright as a dawn morning!.


Woke up today somewhat refreshed from the sleep, had a shower, now off for a cooked breakfast at the on-site cafĂ©. The weather is once again gloriously bright and sunny. Then I went off to do some boring old shopping. I returned to the camp site and picked up the family and dragged them to Exmouth. We walked along the front where in return from being dragged I bought the family an ice-cream “bribery paid off”. We then strolled back the other way to hit Exmouth Fun Park, where the children went on Pedal Swan Boats. Whilst I was there I saw a butterfly, I tried to take a picture but it was too fast (darn those butterflies). Came back Mrs W had a nap; the children were hoping to get a bit of rock-pooling done. They asked the guy down by the beach, he told us that the tide wouldn’t be ready for a couple of hours, despite the fact they had already purchased a crab line and bucket. The next few hours were occupied with, beach viewing, arcading and drinking. Then we headed back to the caravan, on the way booking a holiday same time next year, knowing Mrs W wanted to return. She had so far made the most noise and enjoyed herself the most bar Johnathan (the seagulls are scared to approach her, even though they are braver than the seagulls at Weston-Super-Mare). We then went to Capone’s, more bingo, more cheesy entertainment, more badger watching, more drinking. Finally all finishing off with a pizza.


Woke up to the carnage of empty pizza boxes and dirty glasses from lasts nights late treat, we all had breakfast cooked on the gas contraption again seemed to take forever!. The seagulls once again seemed to sense the potential food offerings and began to settle on caravan roof tops waiting. Went off in search of the Tesco store I heard so much about and at last I found it! Woop woop! Cheap food we shall all have at last. Children went swimming whilst myself and Mrs W sat in the caravan recharging our aging bones and drinking tea, soaking in the atmosphere, the peaceful nature and the gentle calm of the site with only the calm voices of children playing and the hum of the odd aircraft flying by, I can feel the stress slowly draining from me as I sit and listen, its only taken the best part of three bleeding days!!, but at last I am starting to enjoy everything the site has to offer, just a pity it is such a hilly location as the walk too and from the entertainment complex is proving difficult and tiring even with the aid of a teenager and the electric power pack attachment on the wheelchair. Tonight sees the nightly ritual of bingo and cheesy entertainment again, I have to admit it is slowly beginning to draw me in, I found myself heckling the compare. I am surely getting into the holiday spirit especially with the aid of the 48 cans of Natch that I brought with me. We once again finished the evening with a late night supper of Pizza, I think we might be addicted to them!.


Had a lazy start to the day today, woke up gone 9.30am, had a shower and fed the seagulls some stale bread rolls, within seconds the greedy beggars had eaten them, they appeared from nowhere to devour the offerings!. Having bacon rolls for breakfast today, getting a bid bored with Fried food now, the cooker is so unpredictable too, it either cooks things to charcoal or refuses outright to cook it at all. Once again we wake to blue skies and sweltering temperatures, a good thing considering the accommodation I guess. Funds are getting low now too, I find myself thinking twice before spending the little cash I have left, that we had budgeted so hard for. We do have a back up plan in the shape of a not so flexible friend should we need it however. Drove to the local village Littleham to the Co-op did the lottery and purchased yet more soft drinks, we seem to be drinking lots, not just alcohol either. Having a relaxing day in the caravan sunbathing, playing cards and such today, trying to slow down the pace and expenditure of the holiday. Just found the laser quest and paintball too! Might try and get a game in while Mrs W has her nap, but not entirely sure we can justify the expense; I am sure holiday head will prevail over financial head. As suspected holiday head won along with holiday heart, while Mrs W was having her nap, the children and I played what seemed a very long game of laser quest, in the heat of the afternoon it nearly killed me! After being killed several times in the game the guy in charge just kept sending me back in, I think he was having a laugh at a 40yr old being picked on by 2 teenagers. Later in the afternoon we sat on the decked area in the glorious hot sun waiting for Mrs W to awake, once she had done we all had what appeared to be a siesta type afternoon. Having slept for an hour I awoke full of vigour and ready for the evening entertainment, which surprisingly was actually one of the best nights entertainment so far, so good in fact that we came away with a CD and DVD of the comedians previous work, even the children understood his humour too, bonus entertainment!. We returned to the caravan to settle for the evening.


Today is the last full day of the holiday, I have mixed feelings about it, more towards the “I can’t wait to go home” but also, some what sorry the holiday is nearly over too. The weather is a little overcast today along with the atmosphere and mood in the caravan too, Mrs W and I have had several dark words with each other, the signs that we might slip back into the negative state things had become between us before we came on holiday. I was hoping that coming away would have changed how we were with each other but after this morning I am far from convinced that has or will happen. The weather just got even more miserable, it is raining, foggy and gloomy. We made a decision to drive to nearby Torquay to a living coast centre, aquarium and bird life centre, very informative and a great time was had by all. The mood of the family has been somewhat stressed and argumentative to say the leaast. We had a chip bap each even though it was a little on the wet side! We returned to the campsite and Mrs W had her nap for the afternoon, the children and I went into the Arcade area, well it was dry and warm if nothing else. The children have become obsessed with the tickets for prizes, they are a real pain you need a million or more to get a pack of playing cards!, the gabber machines have caught their attention too with the football ones being of significant interest to my daughter, my son won one after much trials and tribulation, he promptly sold it to his sister, then played again to try and win one but failed miserably!. I am sat in the caravan writing the blog and listening to the comedian on his DVD that we purchased last night. The weather is somewhat inclement and the view is as a result restricted too, the place is not so welcoming in this kind of weather. Tonight we shall play bingo and watch the entertainment that they put on. Tomorrow sees the arrival of Mrs W’s birthday too, I have brought the cards that I have been given in advance and the children have brought her small gifts here in the resort.