Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Year in Review - My Annus Horribilis

Well if the Queen can have an Annus Horribilis, I think 2006 has been mine.

It's New Year's Eve, and I am thinking back over the year.
I suppose the year got off to a bad start when Mark died in January. Another completely unexpected death of a lovely man of 48, fiance to my lovely friend Karen. I remember thinking at the time about how on earth do you cope with such a thing. What would I do if Nigel died? And here I am, a few short months later, in exactly the same position.

After the shock of Mark dying, there were weeks of hideous behaviour from Alex. Lying on the landing all night absolutely screaming her head off. In April we finally giot a diagnosis of glue ear, and were referred to the LGI. The waiting time was shocking, so I complained to my MP, Colin Challen. He soon had it sorted and we were seen at the beginning of June. Although we were seen then, Alex didn't actually have her grommets fitted until September. But the change was nothing short of miraculous. It really was as if I had left Alex at the hospital and come home with another child. She is still a little madam, but is generally so much calmer and obviously not in any pain now.

August, well that was a month I will never forget. I did first aid training years ago, but it was the first time I had had to use it properly. Nigel had told me that when you give someone heart compressions, you will break their ribs. He knew that from doing it for his own father in 1992. So when I did it for Nigel, that part didn't scare me. I did everything I could to keep him going until the paramedics arrived, but realistically, he was dead by the time they got there.

Adjusting to life without Nigel has been difficult. I have had so much support from so many people. From family, friends, colleagues, online friends. All over the world there are people who are looking out for me, and for that I really am grateful. Thank you so much for being there for me and the girls.

I feel very positive about 2007. I know there will be hard times, but I would like to think that there will be plenty of happy times too.

Do I feel angry that Nigel has gone? No, I don't. Feeling angry won't bring him back, and its not as if he chose to go. Do I feel bitter? No, and if I did, it would turn me into the sort of person I don't want to be.

Nigel's life was cut hideously short. But now it is time to look to the future. I will never, ever get over losing him. What I am trying to do is get on with life, make the most of what I have that is left behind. The girls and I have each other and our families, and we will make the most of whatever the world decides to throw at us.

So wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, remember this.

Life's a bitch. But if you let it get the better of you, you will be miserable and miss so many opportunities in life.

Monty Python has the best philosophy.

Always look on the bright side of life!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Just checking in

We are up in Durham visiting my parents. They only have dial up, which is so slow and drives me mad!
Anyway, we are having a relaxing time. We went to the beach this morning at Seaham, and were blessed with sunshine. Obviously the wind was freezing, but it was nice to get out and blow the cobwebs away. This afternoon we went to see an old school friend which was also good.
Yesterday was another day of catching up, seeing Claire, who I last saw when I was 19, with her children, in the morning, and then Jo and Robin in the afternoon. Biggest dose of ex-High school girls I've had in a long time!
We are here until Monday so I will report back then. Can't see New Year's Eve being up to much, but tbh I'm not that bothered for a boozy do.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A day at home

We spent the whole day at home today. Good job too as Alex is really poorly. This afternoon she just couldn't cope and took herself to bed for a sleep. She is snoring her head off in bed next to me now.
We washed the car this afternoon, along with Collette, Isobel and Emily. Sophie enjoyed blasting the car with the pressure washer. I need to wash the car a bit more often really, save myself a fiver at the hand carwash!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Phew its over.

Although I must say Christmas has passed by very smoothly and easily.
Alex decided to get up at 5.50 on Christmas Day, not because she was excited, but because that's what she does regularly! Sophie surfaced at 6.40 and so the day go started. The girls were delighted with their presents, and the living room soon looked like a ransacked branch of Toysrus.
Nigel's mum, Jean, came for lunch after my mum and dad had left to go to my brother's in Sale. Lunch was a very relaxed affair, with not a turkey in sight. I had beef en croute, the girls had sausage, and Jean had a mushroom filo pastry vegetabletarian thing.I did roasties and parsnips to go with it, and carrots and sweetcorn too.
Enough of the trivialities. We enjoyed lunch, and then took Jean home before going across to Sale for Christmas Dinner with my brother and his family. We ate mountains, and had much fun. Sophie and Alex love seeing their cousin Sam.
There were times when I wanted to hide away from it all. Forget Christmas. But the girls would have hated that. So on we moved.
Anyway, it's done for this year.
Here's to the New Year.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Season's Greetings Everyone!

Here's to a day which goes smoothly, without too much sadness. I know there will be some, but I hope happy memories come to mind more easily.
Nigel's grave is now covered in beautiful flowers, holly, and a Christmas cactus left by someone, I don't know who. A friend of Nigel's mum also placed a wreath, which was nice. The girls liked going up there to see Nigel's headstone as they hadn't seen it before. Nigel's new neighbour, Brian, had lots of flowers on his grave. So all in all, a well decorated corner of the cemetery.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas is coming

only 2 more sleeps! I feel ok about it all I suppose. We are taking flowers to Nigel's grave tomorrow rather than on Christmas Day itself. I want the girls to have positive memories of Christmas Day, and try not to shed too many tears for Nigel that day. I have ordered the flowers from the florist's in Gildersome, which makes life easy.
I was reading another blog and saw this.
Made me laugh anyway!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Morning with CBeebies!

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This morning we went to the Hallam FM Arena in Sheffield to see CBeebies Live! Fantasy Circus. We were entertained for an hour and a half by the most popular characters from the CBeebies channel. We met Mr Tumble, the Tweenies, Pingu, Postman Pat, Boo, Fireman Sam, the Bobinogs, Bill and Ben and Spencer and PC Plum from Balamory. It was fantastic, and the girls loved every minute. It wasn't cheap, but it was good fun.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

We love Boden

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Just got my Boden sale order today. The girls love their winter nighties, and you've got to admit that they look cute!
School's finished now for Christmas. I am so tired I feel revolting. Staff night out tonight, so I am going to have to find some energy from somewhere. Should be a good laugh if nothing else!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Day off today

Had a day off sick today as I vomitted last night. Felt rotten today, and was glad to have a peaceful day at home alone.
I have some new tablets from the doctor which should help me sleep better. I start them in the morning so will report back on Wednesday. I hope they do work as I am just so so tired. I know its partly down to having to do so much more now, and settling into a new routine, but there are so many thoughts in my head. So much responsibility to cope with. Decisions for the girls, for me, for others around me.
So the tablets have to be worth a try, don't they?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

And so the sickness bug arrives...

Was woken in the middle of the night last night by a soggy Alex. Soon realised the soggyness was actually sick. Went and stripped her bed and then stripped her nighty off her and she stayed in bed with me and Sophie. She was sick several times more, so my bed had to be stripped too. Argh.
So today has been washing and drying sheets, attempting to tidy up, and watching both girls sleep. Sophie is laid out on the sofa and Alex is in Sophie's bed. I'm in for a late night methinks!

The quilt... a picture at last

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Friday, December 15, 2006

The value of online friends

Today I learned just how important online friends are to me.
Since Nigel died they have been making me a beautiful quilt for me to snuggle into.
Each square was made by a different person, some embroidered, some knitted, crotched, drawn, painted. Tomorrow I will take a photograph of it as I need daylight to do it justice.
It really is amazing. Most of these people have never met me, and probably will.
But at the most difficult time of my life so far, they thought of me and wanted to make it all better for me.
Anyone who scoffs at the phenomena that is the internet forum has not experienced the joy that is the forums I visit. Mumsonline and mumsnet along with various other forums have supported me through the last four months. It has been hell but they are always there for me. Never to judge, always to care.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Headstone has arrived

Nigel's headstone has arrived and has been erected at Hilltop. I haven't seen it yet, so I am going tomorrow to see it. I am so glad it is here, I felt that the wooden cross didn't quite do him justice.

So this is final closure for everything I think. Seeing the headstone will really mean everything is done and dusted.

Sleep tight Nigel xxx

ETA a picture

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tell me on a Sunday

Or so the song goes...

Today has been another busy day, getting things sorted out. I went through all the presents for the girls today and bagged them up, one for Sophie and one for Alex. I will wrap them next week at some point. My bedroom actually looks like a bedroom now, which is fab. The bed is great, I am still struggling with sleeping but it is a bit better than it has been.

This week is Christmas production week at school. Tomorrow is year 5/6 and Hosannah Rock, then Tuesday is my class and the other members of Year 3/4 with On the Sofa with Sandy and Andy. Sounds odd but it is really funny, very cleverly written by my colleague Debs.

I think sleep will be easier once the performances are out of the way. My head is spinning with all the things to think about.

Alex has been poorly this weekend. She has a nasty cough and was sick during the night last night after a particularly bad coughing fit. She has been coughing on and off all day, and is now out cold on my bed. Here's hoping she isn't up all night after such a late sleep.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Busy busy busy

Well another busy day today. Took Sophie swimming first thing, she really is thriving in her new group. The other children are more closely matched to her than her last group, which had 4 complete beginners in it. It does mean we have to be at swimming for 9am on the other side of Leeds, but the lessons are of a very high quality. Dan, Sophie's teacher, is great with the kids and Sophie is making great progress.

Once we got home, it was time to tackle the mammoth mess in my bedroom. My new furniture just didn't look right in the sea of mess! So slowly but surely I have sorted through everything. There have been several bags of rubbish to fill up the skip that came yesterday for the old bed and the forest of cardboard which seems to have accumulated. There is also a big bag of stuff for the British Heart Foundation shop in Morley as I went through my bookshelf too.
Now I am down to clutter left on the bed to sort through and find a new home in the new furniture. I am undecided as to what to do with various booklets of Nigel's. There is a copy of one section of the Licensing Act 2003, nd various other publications he used at work. Feel a bit odd about throuwing them out as they could be used by someone else.

Down the side of the bed there are all the presents for the girls. Loads have come from various kind mumsnetters, and also from the Secret Santa swap on mumsonline. Then there are presents from me, Jean and of course Santa himself. I need to wrap them and then put them in the loft out of the way of prying little eyes. As I need to get the Christmas tree down anyway, tonight could be a good time to get it done. I am still not in the mood for Christmas really, but life goes on for the girls in that sense. I am still feeling that the best way forward would be to go to sleep on December 22nd and wake up on January 2nd.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Manic Day

Tired but happy!

Furniture Village rang just as I was leaving to take Sophie to school, saying they were 5 minutes away! So Mike and Mary came and waited while I took the girls to school. When I got back the bed was nearly built, and the furniture ready to be installed. Now its done and it looks fantastic. The bed is beautiful and so comfortable.

My new mobile phone is also a delight! A Nokia 8800, not quite got the hang of all the features yet but I will soon.

Then my night out tonight was great, had a real laugh about lots of really simple things. It was a nice meal and great company.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Tomorrow is going to be a good day!

It will be manic and I will want to scream, but it will all be worth it.
Ok, first of all get the girls to school and playschool. Then collect my new phone from O2. Sneak in a visit to the Post Office on the way back. Get to playschool for 10.45 to get Alex dressed as the Angel Gabriel. Watch her little performance at 11.00. Then collect Sophie from school at 11.55 and take her to Jimmy's for follow up eye test. Then in the evening I'm off out on the razz with the reception mums.
In between all this I am taking delivery of my beautiful new bed and bedroom furniture! Plus a skip to put the old bed in. I am so looking forward to sleeping in a BED again, and not just a mattress on the floor.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

2007 - aiming for a good year?

I want 2007 to be as positive as I can make it. I have decided to do a scrapbook journal of the year, completing one double page each month to remind me of the year. I think it will be good to focus on lots of good things.
Not a lot of sleep again last night. Will go back to see my GP as now that I'm at work I can't go on like this.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Am I sliding?

I am going through another patch of not sleeping. Last night I went to bed early, but Alex had other ideas. Finally dropped off at 10.30, but then I woke up at 11.15, convinced I had been asleep for ages. Then it was no sleep til about 2. Woke up again after half an hour or so, and the pattern continued until I had to get up at 6.
My mood is not great. School is a bit stressful as we are all working hard for the Christmas performances. The kids are high as kites because of the lack of routine at various times of day. I feel desperately lonely. So lonely that I wonder how things can go on. Of course they will, and my mood will lift again. But for now things are low.

Monday, December 04, 2006

in bed at 7.30

I slept for less than 3 hours last night. So many things to think about.... So tonight I had to come to bed as I couldn't function. Alas Alex is still going strong. She must have slept this afternoon. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Yesterday my advent pressie was some lovely letter stickers. Today some snaps. Well I think they are called snaps... eyelets without holes. Really good colours, I have some papers in my box to match very well.
Am loving this advent swap, it gives me something good to look forward to each day.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I feel lonely.

It doesn't matter how many people I am with. A busy place, or just me and a friend or two, I still feel lonely. I could quite happily sit and wallow at the moment.

But I won't, I have the girls to think of and work to go to.

How can I feel lonely when there are so many people around me?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

On the second day of Christmas....

I was driven mad by this game!
I must get to the next level.... try it!
and I also got some lovely sparkly textured paper squares.

Friday, December 01, 2006

On the first day of Christmas

We went to see Santa at Chester Zoo!
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and also I opened a pack of lovely herma golden stars from Pam. Love em!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


People are unreasonable, illogical, self-centred
... love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives
... do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies
... be successful anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow
... do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable
... be honest and frank anyway.
People love underdogs but follow only top dogs
... follow some underdog anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight
... build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you try to help
... help people anyway.
If you give the world the best you have, you may get kicked in the teeth
... but give the world the best you have anyway.

Someone said this was written by Mother Theresa. I'm not sure but I like it anyway.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sadness for other families

This evening I heard the sad news that a fellow scrapper had passed away. I never knew her, but I knew about her illness through UKS. I hope that wherever she is now is a place free of pain. I also hope that her family have strength in the coming days to adjust to life without her.

Everyone knows I would give everything I have to have Nigel back here again. But one thing is for sure, I am so very glad that he did not have to endure a long illness. He was a terrible patient! My GP has reassured me that he did not feel any pain when he died.

One thing I will never say to the relatives and friends of someone who has died is that they have gone to a better place. I've said it before and I'll say it again now, how can it be a better place when there is so much here for them?

I hope you're watching Nigel, and I hope you're happy with what you see as far as the girls are concerned.

We miss you.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Reading.... which books do I like? UKS blog prompt

Thought I would do today's blog prompt from UKS:

What are a few of your all-time favourite books? What periods of your life were you at when you read them and is that relevant? What kinds of books are you most likely to pick up and read today? Do you read more or less than you used to?

Favourite books....

Well this summer I read Jodi Picoult's 'My Sister's Keeper'
I read it a few days before Nigel died and I thought it was an excellent book with lots of thought provoking moments. As I read it I was happy, on holiday in a beautiful place surrounded by my family. The book showed how even being surrounded by family can mean sadness, and I was to experience sadness to the same degree and greater within days of finishing the book. I have other books by Jodi Picoult to read and I will get round to them soon.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Harry Potter books, and am looking forward to reading book 7 sometime in the future... when JKR finishes it!

I have also enjoyed reading a lot of fiction aimed at young adults. Last year I taught several very able readers, and I wanted to know what they were reading. As a result I have read, and enjoyed, the Alex Rider books by Horowitz, Charlie Higson's Young Bond books, Molly Moon and her hypnotic skills which take her all over the world, and the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy by Philip Pullman.

Adult fiction wise, I love Wilbur Smith's books. I have lost count of the number of his novels which I have read. My favourite has to be River God, and then the follow ups of the Seventh Scroll and Warlock. I just love his writing.

In general terms I don't 'do' chick lit. I am bored when attempting to read it, so don't usually bother! I will look at best sellers, and got started with Dan Brown's books that way (favourite of the four has to be Angels and Demons). I also take note of what other people on various forums are reading and recommend.

I love to read, but since Nigel died I have struggled to concentrate long enough to get through a book. The desire is there but I can't focus long enough to finish. I am sure I will get over that hurdle soon. Until then, scrapbooking fills that gap nicely!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Please leave me a comment!

I know from yesterday that there are quite a few people reading this.... so please, if you are reading this, leave me a comment to say hello!

What a great day!

But boy am I exhausted! I had so much fun at Sarah's retreat, made some fab things, ate much lovely food (thanks Jools) and chatted to loads of lovely ladies. Thank you to everyone involved, I had a fantastic day. And I was chauffeur driven there and back too thanks to Jane.
I haven't put any photographs onto the projects yet but once I have I will post pics.

Friday, November 24, 2006

A day for me

Tomorrow I am off to deepest darkest Cheshire to a scrapbooking retreat, organised by Sarah's Cards. I am so excited, there are 3 classes and lots of yummy food and drink. I am meeting Heather there, and also meeting Lana, Mimsie and Culpepper for the very first time! Oh and Culpepper's daughter too.
Will post pics of what I make.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

being a teacher

I do enjoy my job. The class I have this year is, er, challenging. Made up of 22 boys and 8 girls so life in my classroom is never quiet.
Despite these challenges, I like my class. They make me laugh. They tell me funny things..... they are fascinated by life and what it throws at you.... and if I see that toenail in a box once more I will SCREAM!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Sophie

My beautiful daughter is 5! I can hardly believe it. We went for tea at Pizza Hut with Jennifer and Sarah, Sophie's choice and she loved it.

When I was writing her card I cried :(
Writing 'love from Mummy' was very hard. I nearly wrote Daddy on there too but I didn't want to upset her.

I am so proud of Sophie. She is a sociable, well liked and adorable child.

Her Daddy would be so proud of her.

Monday, November 20, 2006


I spend a lot of time thinking about things lately.

I have lots of things to be glad about. My home. A job I enjoy. Friends. And most importantly family.

There are so many people out there who have it worse than me.

Of course I wish I could change things. But I can't.

Small things make me happy. Today my whole class laughed. And I mean laughed hard. It felt good. And to see 30 faces smiling and laughing was a tonic. Takes your mind off the harder parts of life.

They say laughter is the best medicine, and today I would have to agree. When I am in the darkest place, it seems as if it will be impossible to escape. But I have, and I have managed to laugh a little. One day I will laugh more.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ireland here we come!

Have booked my flights to Ireland so the girls and I will be spending Easter in County Mayo with my very lovely friend and her family.
Can't wait, excited already!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Do I have to? Don't really fancy it.
Got to for the girls but I am not even vaguely in the mood for it this year. People are talking about putting up Christmas trees. I am going to put mine up as late as I can.

And another thing.... get over it.... its been 3 months... what's all that about?

When someone dies, you never get over it, not to get back to how your life was before they died. I will never get over Nigel's death, not completely. It has changed me in certain ways, hopefully not in a bad way.

But for someone to say get over it, well they have obviously never experienced a loss like this. Fortunately it wasn't said to me, otherwise this person may well have been sporting a cracker of a shiner.

Get over it? Never. Move on and make the best of it, yes. But never will I forget my Nigel.

As time goes by.....

.... on Tuesday my baby will be 5 years old. Today she is having a party to celebrate with her friends at Munchkins.
Those years have passed so quickly. It seems like yesterday that Nigel and I brought our tiny baby home. On Christmas Day that year she weighed the same as the turkey!
Some great memories from over the years...... happy times...... I wish Nigel was here to share in the celebrations today....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sleep is a beautiful thing

Especially when you haven't been getting much of it! Alex finally slept all night last night after being poorly this week. I was in bed for 10 and asleep by 10.15! Bliss.
Just a shame I had to get up for work really!
Off for a curry tonight, with some friends from work. My first night out in a while so it will be good!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Party Bus

Sophie went to a party tonight on the Party Bus. Basically its a double decker bus which drives to your house and parks outside. In the bus, upstairs is the party room with space for dancing, games and also a ball pool. Then downstairs is where you eat your party food.
Excellent idea! Think I will book it for Alex's birthday next year. She has never had a party, so it will be a good one to have as her first.
Sophie is very excited about her birthday. I hope I have got her a present she wants.....

Monday, November 13, 2006


Alex was up all night coughing, so needless to say I was up with her. She has a virus, so no medication other than painkillers. Great.

On the plus side, I did get my lovely Crop a Dile today. Jane very kindly picked me one up while she was in the US visiting family. Cost me half what it does here! I am going to do me a mini book tonight with some beer mats and pics of the girls tonight. The crop a dile should punch through them like butter.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Great film.

Load of tripe in reality.

But oh for one more moment with Nigel.

Real life isn't Hollywood.

I'll see you one day Nigel. Not too soon, but one day.

Poorly Alex

Alex got up at 4 this morning. Ah the joys. She was desperate for a drink.
While we were at church she went downhill and slept on Kath's knee. Since then she has dozed on and off all day. She did manage a packet of crisps at lunchtime, but since then nothing. Did her usual trick and brought up a load of phlegm. Nice.

Hopefully I'm not in for a dfficult night.......

Saturday, November 11, 2006

And so life continues

busy day today

took Sophie to swimming and she got her 5m badge :D

then into town to do various bits and pieces.

After that was Dalton's party at the Brickworks.

Slotted in a quick visit to see Grandma Jean.

Then home, and a visit from Bridget and Steve.

Bath time and bed time now....

Friday, November 10, 2006

3 months on

Time really is passing quickly. Three months since you left. I miss you more each day.

This evening I took the girls to see Disney On Ice. The looks on their faces said it all. Sophie was enthralled, Alex kept turning to me and beaming. Absolute delight all round.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes

Washing my hands in the sink between my classroom and the year 1 classroom yesterday, a little girl I recognised but didn't know came over to see me.
She told me that somebody at her mummy's work had died. And that her mummy was sad when he died. And that her mummy realised that the person who had died was my husband. So she asked me if it was my husband who had died and I told her it was. She then repeated how sad her mummy had been.
It was the first time a child at school had asked me about Nigel's death, and I was happy to answer her questions. It turns out her mummy works at the Council like Nigel did. Not in the same office but the same building.
A child's innocent view of death can, as I see it, make it easier to understand. She told me how her mum had felt, and that her mum had made the connection through surnames.
In a strange way I am glad to have talked about it at school. I always prefer it if people just ask. Gossiping behind my back achieves nothing.

And as my friend's little girl says, look for the brightest star in the sky, and you can see Nigel looking down on us.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I love Casualty on the telly

shame the reality is not quite so good!

Three hours and one steri strip later we are home. Sophie gashed her head whilst at a play centre today so off we trotted to Dewsbury Hospital to Casualty. She is fine although she will have a scar. Hopefully not a big one, but there will be a mark.

She was supremely brave, I was so very proud of her. Well done Sophie!

And during the drama Alex had a splendiferous time with Mike and Mary and the dogs. Came home to find her fast asleep on their sofa. Thanks M & M you are superstars.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Keep your fingers crossed please

My brother and SIL are worrying about their baby... please keep them in your prayers. SIL is 23 weeks pregnant and there are some problems. They are seeing various consultants etc, so I am praying this little one holds on.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My name
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

interesting eh

Monday, October 30, 2006

work work work

Back to work. Getting out of the house on my own was interesting. Alex is still Miss Clingy when I drop her off, which is just nasty for me.
Filled in my CRB check form, missed doing it as I wasn't at work. Wonder if this will make a difference in the long term to children's safety in schools.... obviously not me cos I is a good girl! No criminal record here, some people seem to be able to hide theirs nicely.

My bed died a horrible death yesterday. Big crunch while I was just sitting on it. Now the bed is in bits on the landing, and I am sleeping on a mattress. Time for some bed shopping..... typical that this happens just as I go back to work and have less time to browse!

Time to sleep on my mattress so night all.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bubble had a baby!!

Yippee Bubble had her baby, a little boy, all is fine.
So happy for you Bubble, here's to happy times ahead for the Bubble family, not forgetting your angel.

Are you married?

Well are you?
If you're not, and you have kids, then you need to get married asap. If its just a case of you never got round to it, please get round to it. You don't have to change your name, or wear a wedding ring. It doesn't change you into a different person.
The reason I am writing this is because if you are not married, and your partner dies in circumstances like Nigel did, or otherwise, then you will find yourself to be in a really sticky situation.
I know it's outdated in 'this day and age', but legally you are only a widow if you are married. Also, you are not next of kin unless you are married. Your partner's parents or siblings would have more rights than you. There are various benefits available to widows and widowers, but these aren't payable to unmarried couples.

Stupid, but true.

So if all else fails, get down to the registry office and tie the knot in your lunch hour. No pomp and circumstance needed. Just a bit of paper which changes the whole world if the worst happens.

Don't sit and think, 'This will never happen to me.'
I did that when my dear friend Karen lost her fiance Mark in January this year. I remember thinking, 'What would I do if this happened to me?'

Well it did, and it COULD happen to you. You never know. But at least you can be prepared if it does.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Legoland Photographs

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My three favourite photographs!

Been to LGI today for Alex to see Mr Knight, her ENT consultant. All is looking good, and now we wait to see how she is over the next few months. If her grommets fall out they may replace them, got to see if the glue ear returns. She is having a repeat hearing test some time soon.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A little update

Just a quick post as I'm off to the hospital with Sophie for an eye appointment. Alex is going to play at her godmother's house with Nathan, her partner in crime.
Back safely from Legoland, appalling journey as the weather was hideous. Already planning to go again as there was so much we didn't see.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happiness for the Head Family at Legoland!

What a great day today.
The girls just adored Legoland. And I must say I thought it was pretty ace too!
First we saw Miniland, models of London and other famous buildings from around the world. Alex was enthralled. And I mean ENTHRALLED. She would quite happily have stayed there all day!
Then on to Duplo land, and a ride in a helicopter thingy, just up and down on a pole but another source of enjoyment.
The rest of the day passed quickly, spot of lunch in the pasta place, a puppet show, more rides, trains, ice cream, etc. etc.
Then back to the hotel for a swim.

Excellent day.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Time for a little trip

Here we are in a hotel in Warwickshire somewhere. Off to my cousin's baby's christening tomorrow, then on to Slough. On Monday morning the girls are hitting Legoland Windsor! With my mum and dad too, should be great fun!
In car DVD player was worth its weight in gold again today, kept the girls amused with Tarzan followed by the Care Bears on the way here. I must admit, that if ever I was buying a brand new car and was offered a built in DVD player as an option, I'd take it without a doubt!

Will upload some pics of Legoland in a few days.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I am still me

I am finding there are a few people out there who are forgetting that I am a person in my own right.
Yes, I am Nigel's widow.
Yes it is a horrible situation for me to be in.
Yes I would give every damn penny I have for things to be different.

But don't forget, I am still me, I am Anna, and I am still here. My life goes on. I don't want people to back off from me, or exclude me from things because they feel uncomfortable about what's happened.

Its not a situation I asked to be in, but I am managing it ok. At least I think so, and the girls seem to think so too.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hi ho, hi ho

Its off to work I go.
First day back today, a whole morning at work.
It was good to be back, I'm looking forward to getting back into it properly after half term. This morning threw some interesting moments at me, but it was great.
I love being with the kids at school. I really do enjoy my job. Paperwork is a bit of a bind, but the actual teaching is just great. I work with some great people, people I respect, which is more than a lot of people can say. I may not be as driven to pursue my career in management terms just now, but I enjoy teaching. Every day is different, good days, not so good days. So many good times since I started out in January 2000.

Sophie has her first school disco tomorrow, a Hallowe'en affair. She has a witch's outfit that I was cajoled into buying in Tesco's at the weekend.
Ah the joys of life as a four year old.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Birthday Balloons

Here's a very bad picture of Sophie with the balloons we took for Nigel today, a Winnie the Pooh one and a smiley one.

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Today has been ok, sad but ok. Standing at Nigel's plot was weird. I mean, what am I doing stood by the grave of my now 41 year old husband? Why?

Well there is no explanation. No logic. No reason. It just is.

If you listen to the music which plays as you read this blog, you will see how poignant the words are.

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above and down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face

Whoo owoo wo..aa a a a aaa

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you

If only life was that simple.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Nigel

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Your birthday tomorrow. Can't believe its here already. Has it really been over two months since you died?
I wish you were here.
I miss you, the girls miss you.

I love you Nigel

Thursday, October 12, 2006


losing my voice
feel yack
off to bed
night night

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

School photo is back

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What a little beauty!
Can't believe she is nearly five already.

Yipee again!

Heard today that one of my layouts has been printed on the letters page of the Scrapbook Magazine! I sent it in ages ago and haven't had any confirmation from the magazine, but its there and I can't wait to see it! Will have to go to Borders tomorrow and get a copy.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


My layout of Sophie on her first day at school won the monthly LO competition over on Cara. I am well chuffed :D
Busy today. Went to hand in forms at the jobcentre to see if I am entitled to bereavement benefits. Then it was off to the University to sort out Nigel's pension. Then lunch with Tilly and Sue (and a little shopping...). After that I did more laundry before collecting the girls fromDebbie and Gaynor.
This evening my friend was supposed to come round but unfortunately her youngest has got the suits. Seemingly never ending too. Poor little man! And poor mummy too, up to her eyeballs in pooey nappies!!
Tomorrow Sophie has an appointment with the opthalmologist, her eye is turning in again. Think she may need glasses. Had a look in Specsavers last week and the kids' glasses are fan-blinkin-tastic compared to when I was little!
Will have to wai and see if she needs glasses.
That's it for now.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Center Parcs weekender

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Back safe and sound from our Center Parcs weekender with Big Alex, Josh (aka George) and Harry. What a great time we had! Some moments were frought, but isn't that always the case when on the go with 4 kids under 6?
We swam, we walked, we climber, we played golf (erm well there were golf clubs and balls involved) and we chilled out. Ate some good food, drank some vino, archers, lager.... put the world to rights. The kids generally got on well, the odd squabble, but not so bad. And getting Alex and Harry off the water slides proved to be a job and a half!
We had a fantastic weekend. Brought back some good memories for me as last time we went to Sherwood CP was in June 2004, Alex was 11 weeks, Sophie was 2.5 and we had a nice midweek break while I was on maternity leave. Mum and dad came too. There was the small incident with Dad and the bike but let's not go there..... I prefer to remember good times lately. Too easy to remember the not so good things, so let's focus on happy days.
And this weekend was full of happy days so its a memory I'll hold tight.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Work is beckoning

Not long now til I go back to work. I am going in for one morning before half term, I want to feel as if I have made an effort before the holiday.
I think some people think I am mad to go back so soon, but the longer I leave it, the harder it will be to go back. I love teaching (shame about the paperwork!!) and I am looking forward to getting to know my class better. The mix of 22 boys and 8 girls is going to be interesting, but it is a challenge I aim to rise to.
Sophie and Alex are happy where they are for childcare. Sophie adores school, and hopefully Alex can start nursery after Easter. She gets a bit frustrated sometimes I think when she is stuck doing baby things.
I know I will have to run a tight ship on the days I am working, but all will be ok.
It has to.
There is no other way.
Its just me and the girls for the long haul.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Good day bad day

Good day - girls enjoyed the service at church followed by lunch at Grandma Jean's.
Bad day - I feel sad this evening. Just miss him more. Don't know why, I just do.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

We have a date with Dora!

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On Saturday we are going to see 'Dora the Explorer Live' in Newcastle. Alex is a HUGE fan and Sophie enjoys it too. Me? Well, its ok I suppose. Educational and one of the less irritating programmes. One of Alex's first words was 'Backpack'!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I scrapped that photo

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Looking at photographs again

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I cropped this one and I am going to scrap it tonight. Watch this space for how it turns out.

Monday, September 25, 2006

So many visitors

So many people have come to see Nigel's montage. Thank you for watching it, and I am sorry if it upset you.
Nigel was a wonderful man, and I miss him so very much. I wish we had had longer together, but it wasn't to be. I have many fond memories of our six years as Mr and Mrs Head. And of course I have the lovely girls to remind me of him each and every day. Where would I be without them?

I posted on mumsnet
asking where people were ten years ago. Lots of great answers, so if you have a blog, why not write about where you were.

Ten years ago I lived in Enschede, a small town in the east of the Netherlands. I was there for a year as part of my music degree at Leeds University. I lived in Macandra, a huge student flat block, and I had an absolute ball. I celebrated my 21st birthday within days of arriving, and boy did we celebrate in style!

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

New Montage

I made a new montage of Nigel.

Shopping, shopping, shopping

Went up to the Great Northern Papercraft thingy yesterday. Saw lots of UKS sponsors and Art from the Heart, makers of the lovely Blonde Moments papers. Sophie got a certificate of merit for good work at school on Friday, so I said she could choose some craft stuff. She chose the Blonde Moments doll stamps, set me back £25 with some book rings thrown in for good measure too!
Once we've had a chance to do some I'll post them here.
My best friend from school has been here this weekend. Sad she's gone now :(
Am planning some scrapping tonight to make up for it tho.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

School Photos today

Sophie had hers taken and brought home the proof this evening.
What a little beauty! Can't wait to get the full size prints, just need to decide which package to order.
Decisions decisions!
Got my friend Jo staying at the moment. Already had a yummy chinese takeaway and breakfast at Ikea tomorrow morning is planned!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Time to choose a headstone

Not much happening here. I have been and chosen Nigel's headstone, it will be in Bahama Blue (aka navy!) granite. Full polish with gilded lettering. Simple words on it as Nigel wasn't one for frilly. I am going to go and see him in a bit so will post more later.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

My inspiration

Blogger prompt on UKS

As set by JaneH, yesterday but I didn't get round to it.

What's your creative process? Where do you get your inspiration? How do you like to work? What really gets the juice flowing for you? What do you do if it stops? What inhibits your creativity?

I'm going to answer this a bit out of order.
My inspiration is mostly my 2 gorgeous girls. They are everything to me, and I want them to have great memories to look back on. They especially need memories of their Daddy, as already life is moving on for them. I like to work without interruption other than chat from fellow scrappers. When I'm on my own I put music on and away I go. Looking through my photographs can help get the juices going, as can buying new designs of paper with a certain photo in mind.
Scrapping has been difficult for me lately. I have really lacked the desire to scrap anything personal. I want to scrap Nigel, but I just can't. To put down memories of him on paper, using the past tense, is just too painful yet. Its not as if I am kidding myself that he will come back. I know he's gone. I just need to come round to making pages about someone who was so crucial in my life but isn't there any more.
Today I went to a crop. Mum and dad looked after the girls. I had to scrap, well, I didn't have to but for the first time in ages I felt I wanted to. If I don't feel the desire to scrap, I watch telly, surf the net, anything which doesn't need much concentration. I can't read books yet, that requires too much concentration just now. Only scrapping makes me concentrate.
My life at the moment is what inhibits my creativity. But like I said earlier today, I have broken the block, and now I need to make sure I scrap regularly to stop it disappearing again.

Scrapper's Block is No More!

Broke my Scrapper's Block today!
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These two LO helped me break my block. First is one of Sophie, the picture I posted on the day she started school. This layout means so much. It is bittersweet too as Nigel so wanted to be there.

The second is of my team mate on UKS, Lana. We swapped pics within the team and scrapped them for each other. Hope you like it Lana. If you don't, then tough!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Grommets anyone?

Alex has grommets.

We went to the Clarendon Wing today and Alex is now the proud owner of a pair of grommets. The operation went like a dream and Alex was very well looked after by the staff on ward 58. She was so good when she had the anaesthetic, just let them put the canula in and off she went.

Thank goodness that is over with!

Off to the hospital we go

Big Day Today

Alex is having her grommets fitted, a week earlier than expected. So keep us in your prayers today please!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Photograph trauma is over

The CD arrived of the photographs with Nigel on.
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This is my favourite and I will get a decent sized print of this done once finances allow.
Boy do I miss him.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Photograph Trauma

Today was a bit traumatic. In December last year we had some photographs taken at a photographer's here in Leeds. At the time we didn't have enough money to buy a family portrait as well as one of each of the girls.
After Nigel's death I decided to go back and see if I could buy the photographs on CD to keep. And maybe one or two photographs. The original company had gone into liquidation but the new company still had the photographs. Initially they refused to let me buy the photos on CD.
At that point I sobbed. For the first time since Nigel died. I was absolutely devastated. I can only hope that the new photography company had thought I was trying to pull a fast one when I went in on Friday.
Anyway, I sobbed to the office girl and then later to the director. So they have agreed to put the photographs with Nigel on onto a CD, and even better they are doing it for free! Plus prints of all of the shots of Nigel.
I am so sorry they felt they needed to deny me access to the photos initally. Did they think I had made it up about Nigel's death? Horrible to think that anyone would do such a thing. Why on earth would I lie about my husband dying?
All's well that ends well, just waiting for the CD and prints to arrive now.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

All quiet on the western front

Heather and Erin have gone, seems very quiet without them. The girls are having a lazy afternoon and I am doing laundry, tidying the kitchen and other boring stuff like that.
Tonight I am filling in forms for life assurance. I have literally mountains to do! Wish me luck.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Gorgeous New Papers!

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Here's a little hint of the new Blonde Moments Festive Feast papers. Sorry its so small but as they're not on general release yet I don't want to upset anyone by posting this here, especially not Dyan after the help she gave me this afternoon. I came away from Art from the Heart with a chipboard book and dividers to start an album about Nigel. I knew I didn't want to do 12x12 so this seems a great idea.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I've been tagged by my good friend Heather, so here goes:

1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be?
Portugal, on the cliffs near Alvor, overlooking the sea.

2. What's your favorite article of clothing?
Do shoes count? My crocs then.

3. Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex?
A lovely smile.

4. What's the last CD that you bought?
KT Tonstall

5. Where's your favorite place to be?
Anywhere with my girls

6. Where's your least favorite place to be?
Old Trafford. Yuck.

7. What's your favorite place to be massaged?
Head, especially if its an Indian head massage

8. Strong in mind or strong in body?
Bit of both but stronger in mind atm.

9. What time do you wake up in the morning?
early. My kids don't like to lie in!

10. What is your favorite Kitchen appliance?
Senseo coffee maker, makes ace coffee

11. What makes you really angry?
people who tell me I should find my birth parents when I have no need to.

12. If you could play an instrument what would it be?
Play lots already but would love to learn the drums.

13. Favorite colour?

14. Sports car or SUV?

15. Do you believe in an afterlife?
Not sure

16. Favorite children's book?

17. What's your favorite season?
Summer, when the weather is good!

18. What is your least favorite household chore?
ironing. Yawn.

19. If you could have one super-power, what would it be?
super strength

20. If you have a tattoo what is it?
not got one. Yet.

21. Can you juggle?

22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to?
That would have to be my husband Nigel, even tho he is only recent past. I would give everything I have for 5 minutes with him.

24. What's in the boot of your car?
fabric conditioner

25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?
sushi mmmm

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My layouts

A few of my favourites
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First Day at School

It was Sophie's first day at school today and she loved it! I was more nervous than she was as Nigel had been so looking forward to taking her. I had a real lump in my throat as I dropped her off but I didn't cry. I know Nigel would love to have been there.
Anyway, Sophie did us proud. She enjoyed every minute, ate all of her school dinner, and had a great time at playtime.
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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Spa time

Good day yesterday. Went to Spa 1877 in Sheffield. The girls went to my brother's in Manchester and had a ball.
Today I am tired and the house is untidy. So I need to get that sorted before doing some scrapping and breaking the block.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Welcome to my blog

I have been thinking about getting a blog for a while now, just never got round to it!
The last month has seen changes to my life which no-one could ever have predicted, so I thought a blog could be a good way to look for the positive in things.

So what happened to change everything so drastically?

On Thursday 10th August my darling husband Nigel died. He had not been ill. In fact, I can count the number of times he had visited the doctor in the last 20 years on one hand. A massive heart attack took him from me that night, so sudden and so quick I did not even have time to say goodbye. I spoke to him at 1.10am and at 2.00am he fell out of bed. His official time of death was given as 2.55am but I know that it was earlier than that. I did everything I could to save him, and then let the paramedics continue what I had started, but he was already gone.

Nigel died while we were on holiday in Portugal with our two daughters, Sophie and Alexandra. Sophie is 4 and Alex is 2. My reason for living now is these two beautiful girls. Nigel lives on in them and that gives me strength. I miss him more every day but I am trying to get on with things as best I can.

That's where scrapbooking comes into it. I think it will be a complete lifeline for me as I come to terms with my grief. I will post layouts here as I complete them.

Please come back and see me regularly.