Saturday, 31 August 2013

Jacket Long Since Lost

This love is undeniable.
I met you in a Dentist’s waiting room.
Thankfully Mrs Parker’s drilling took longer than expected.
We sat in silence.

I stole you. I’m not proud but I had no choice.
My fingers trace your creases.
Born from time and relationships past.
Back old and bent.

I can leave you now.
We will part on a train, from Sheffield no doubt.
Someone else will take you home.
Love you as I have.

You will appeal to another I'm sure
Jacket long since lost
Tatty around the edges


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Ranting About Bugs

Allow me to take a moment to divert from summer holiday memories and to rant about illness. Specifically children's illness.

We can't have a holiday, or even a month go by to be honest, without some kind of illness or related drama. Over the past seven years we have spent four nights in Halifax children's hospital when we should have been on holiday, investigated mysterious bouts of urticaria and kidney function, experienced the trauma of our very little daughter having birth mark related operations, been to A&E following a trolley man meets head emergency, zoomed at speed on a beach buggy in Wales to check out a weird spikey crab in the bottom of foot thing, and that's not even mentioning of course the illnesses (like having chicken pox on Christmas day), bouts of nits and regular bumps on the head and rest of the body.

It's pretty normal I suppose and thankfully none of it the level that some people go through. And I really am grateful because I know in reality things could be a million times worse.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I want to scream "that's enough". Tonight was one of those nights.

As I listened to Tilly recount the story of the nurse successfully removing the tick's leg that has been stuck in her ear since last Friday I carefully selected a specific flannel and towel each. Because it is important to avoid the transfer of yet more verrucas and possible shingles to the other child and the grown ups. It's just lovely isn't it?

I declare tonight that I have just about had enough.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Runswick Bay and Robin Hoods Bay

Day two and it was straight down to the beach early (having failed to get a parking space on a previous occasion I was running this like a military manoeuvre). We were so early the shop wouldn't sell us a bucket for the first hour.

Not that we really needed buckets since Paul took on his first sand engineering challenge of the week and dug a trench to the sea. Which was quite a long way and much admired by children and most Dads on the beach. The others were probably just jealous.

We bumped into a classmate of Tilly's from school and had a chat, watched a man's shoes float away with the tide (it wasn't safe to try and rescue them, honestly) and Phoebe played avoid the dogs, which was a challenge when they all wanted to say hello and pee on your sandcastle. It was a great day though and a cracking beach, in case it's helpful for future North Yorkshire holiday planners.

On the third day we fought through the communication deadspace our house seemed to be in and arranged to meet with my friend and her family in Robin Hoods Bay. It was a fab day involving rock pooling, dog walking (not Phoebe obviously) fossil hunting and fish and chips.

At one point we watched the ice cream van owner kicking over a child's sandcastle. Apparently she had dared to make it where he later planned to park his van. We were agog. And clearly destined to buy ice creams from someone less like a character from That Peter Kay Thing. Evidently the seaside can grind some people down if you sell ice creams long enough.

In the evening we went on a two hour whale watching trip. Or as we shall call it the individual seal watching trip. It was fun though I can't help but feel it was mostly a money making venture. You can't go to Whitby without going out in a boat though, although perhaps the Bark Endeavour would have allowed for more swashbuckling. Maybe next time.

So the week was going well, and I was trying to save money too by taking a flask (yep really) and picnics. Plus I now don't need to pay for foot exfoliation for a bit which is a bonus.


So this is the bit where I return from holiday and bore you all witless with our family holiday in the UK shenanigans. Apologies in advance but it's all part of the service.

So we went to Whitby. Again. In a house we've stayed in before. Again. And it was pretty much brilliant. Again. Apart from the lack of Jumping Jimmies Trampolines which we are all grieving the loss of. Tragic.

But I'd better start from the beginning. I wouldn't want you missing anything.

The North Yorkshire coast has the following benefits:

1. It's near to Sheffield. My daughters can last the sum total of 2.5 hours in a car which gives us 30 minutes for a traffic jam. It's even better when you can split the journey up by visiting your brother and eating pizza.

2. It's beautiful. Especially when you are staying in a house at the foot of the viaduct over the Esk on the steam train line. A house which also has a playground and access to a swimming pool and is in walking distance of Whitby and rowing boats. Even if it does smell quite strongly of dogs.

3. They drive on the left hand side of the road in Yorkshire.

4. We like fish and chips.

5. Our family are keen on fossils, sand, sea, wildlife and always bumping into at least one person you know.

6. We've been there before. Which, whilst perhaps being a bit boring, does mean you don't waste time in tourist information offices, struggling to find a supermarket or generally getting lost.

So our first evening was a trip to Sandsend and the realisation that 5 years old is the perfect time to go to the seaside. At 5 you are still perfectly happy to wee in a hole in the sand and are blissfully happy leaping waves and drawing in the sand. 7 is a good age too. Although I'm not sure she would have gone along with digging her own latrine.

At bedtime the girls struggled to get to sleep with the excitement. They came downstairs at 9.30pm to tell us there were rabbits in the playground. I checked the information sheet and we definitely weren't expected to catch, feed or clean them out which was a relief. And remarkably they seem much more exciting to watch than the two in our own garden at home. Who knew?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


And this is why I sometimes detest the internet. And also why (when in a different mood) it makes me laugh. This comment was sent to me about my article entitled "dropping some bean bags" which was all about not keeping on top of my to do list.

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Ooh, I'm off to buy a bean bag! Oh no, I'm not. Bugger off you automated pile of crap. Human beings will always win (I hope)...

Later Without Jools Holland

Is is true to say that I was a touch disappointed when I couldn't encourage any of my friends to come out with me. I tried not to take it personally and took my husband instead. Who thankfully did not take my not having invited him in the first place personally...

It turns out I am becoming a real fan of the Sheffield band scene. By that I mean I now know the sum total of seven Sheffield bands (two of which include people I know), but you have to start somewhere.

I am specifically a fan of David Roch whose voice is somewhat phenomenal, and through the power of him and social media I found out about "Later Without Jools Holland". It was a night set up by Low Duo as an opportunity to showcase four local bands (including David and themselves) at the Greystones.

Greystones is a pub I love because:
a) they put a range of bands on at reasonable prices (I've seen both Mark Radcliffe and Atilla the Stockbroker there and have the Rory McLeod gig in my sights too) and
b) they sell excellent beer.

The four acts, Low Duo, David Roch, Pete David and See Emily Play were an eclectic, sometimes maudlin, sometimes crackers, passionate and (in the case of Low Duo) zany line up. We couldn't help but warm to all of them, partly because they were so damn musically talented but also for their genuine infectious enthusiasm for what they do. Paul spent most of the evening watching the guitarists somewhat in awe (Pete David in particular) and the genuine comic talent of Low Duo's lead singer has to be noted as an unexpected touch of genius. Not bad for the princely sum of £3. Well and all the beer we bought.

And you know what? I rather enjoyed my husband's company. Turns out he's really nice so I've invited him to come to see Navacross with me on Thursday at Maggie May's.