Thursday, 18 July 2030


yeah, that got your attention, didn't it? A post title of "boobies" is probably always going to get attention :) and, this post is going to be about 'my boobies' :) 

A week ago I received a letter inviting me to attend a "breast cancer screening clinic". Typically women between the ages of 50 - 70 have regular screening. No, I've been telling porkies about my age (ok, so I'm not really 25 but you all knew that anyway 😂) they've just been running a trial where they are now inviting women from the age of 47 and up to 73; apparently they pick the people invited at random, although I do wonder if maybe I flagged up because I went to my gp earlier in the year when I found a lump - she told me it was all part of that joyful experience known as menopause!! (which of course, you all know I've not suffered with / am suffering from, at all!! 😳😳😳😳 Actually, having said that, the 'tropical moments' aren't as bad as they were which is even more surprising when you take into account the hot weather we are experiencing; I'm certainly not complaining about that, although the cheeks still flare up around the 2 - 3pm mark every day, still. 

Anyway, let's get back to what this is all about. Boobies!!

The 2nd biggest cause of death from cancer, in women, is breast cancer (men get it too, so if you're a guy reading this, make sure you check yourselves weekly - it's always better-to-be-safe-than-sorry). Sadly, lung cancer is still the number one killer (I gave up smoking to try and reduce my risks of that one). Breast cancer however, well, there's not really a lot to be done to reduce your risk for that one, which is why checking yourselves regularly (it takes 10 minutes - or less - to do so) is the best way of spotting something that's not-quite-right. I check once a week while in the shower - I have to scrub all my bits and pieces at the time so figure I just as well have a prod and poke while there; that's how I found the lump I went to see about earlier in the year. My doctor was impressed I'd gone to her with one so small, telling me that if it had been anything sinister, I would most likely have picked up on it early enough, and that's the really important part - detecting it early enough. That doesn't by any means guarantee you will be cured, but it sure gives you the best chance. 

My Mum warned it me it wasn't the most pleasant experience (neither is having a smear test but I've always had those every 3 years and while it's not pleasant, it can hurt, and you will feel uncomfortable, it is so worth it - my best friend might still be here had she kept up-to-date with hers!!). Other women I've spoken to (it's amazing how many people want to know why you are closing your shop for a couple of hours during a working day - never one to keep things to myself, they've been told) then all offered up their own experiences for me. Each and every single one of them mentioned it being painful; by the time I arrived at the portacabin (what a great place to house such a thing) I was beginning to flinch at the thought of having it done - not once did I ever consider not going through with it though. A few minutes of pain could mean my life not being cut short; I'll take that any day - or so I thought. I was wrong, very wrong.

I arrived 30 minutes early (I overestimated the traffic) and was going to sit waiting in my car, however, with 32 degree temperatures there was no way I was going to cook so I made my way over to the unit, so happy to find they had the aircon  on - full on 😅 I never got to enjoy it though for no sooner had they run through the health check with me, so I was taken through to the room where you have to whip it off. Again, so quick, I had only just taken off my bra when she called me into the room with the machine that does what it's been designed to do.

Did it hurt? Abso-bloody-lutely; way more than I thought it would but not how I thought it would. I thought it would be the fleshy part of my boobies that would hurt as they were sqished; I felt nothing from them. What hurt was because I have such tiny ones the machine basically scraped in a load of skin from around my boobies so it had something to clamp in between the metal plates. The only way I can liken it is to you having really bad sunburn (we've all had that, right?) Then get a really heavy handed rough person, with the coarsest of sandpapers and get them to drag that across your sunburn and keep rubbing against it for 10 seconds (or longer). That's what it felt like - it still hurts now, some 5 hours afterwards. Everyone warned me, yet they never once even got close to explaining what it was like. I guess though it's different for everyone, for someone else has told me they felt as though their nipples were being ripped off; I guess that's because their boobies are bigger, so their experience would have been different.

However, for less than a minute (in total) the pain is more than bearable and it could be the difference between life and death. Ladies, if you get the letter, make sure you go. Do not leave it to chance. We only get one life.

The only thing that I didn't like - and which left me slightly concerned - was as I was leaving, she said to me "You will probably get a recall as it's your first time and they have nothing to compare the results to". It was only when I got back to the car I thought about what she said. If there is nothing there, then there is nothing to compare it to so a recall wouldn't be necessary!!!! The results will come through in 2/3 so I guess that's when I get to find out what she meant 😨😨😨

Since originally writing this post in early 2017 (I've pinned it to the top so it will be here for as long as I decide it needs to be seen) I have been extremely lucky enough to receive the All Clear, however, 2 women I know have not been that lucky and are currently in the throes of some pretty intensive treatment, and another friend has lost her Mum to this disease.

Please Ladies, and Gentlemen - you can get it too - check yourselves regularly. The slightest difference, no matter how small, could mean you get treatment early enough to cure. Do NOT leave it to chance. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2018


A weird thing happened to me today (ooh, actually 2 weird things happened - I'll get into the second later). The main one though is that I finally realised I am comfortable. Not just with the chair my fat ass is currently sitting on - although it really is very comfortable - but also with who I am. For the first time in my life, I know who I am, I know what I need to do going forward with my life, and I am completely at ease and happy with this knowledge. I am truly happy with me. It is the weirdest feeling I've ever experienced, 

In the past I've always tried to be the person I thought I should be, not because I wanted to fit in (I've never and will never "fit in") but because I was brought up in a certain way, and because life was about being kind to others (it still is, that won't change - as such). This, though, meant that at times I was so busy putting the needs of others first, doing what they wanted, being who they said I should be, I completely lost who I really am. Today, I realised, I've got myself back.

The day started like any other; I was awake by 5.30, finally dragging myself out of bed about 6.30. I showered (didn't shave today) dressed, made my way downstairs for the first cup of tea of the day. I drank it, watched the news to see what's going on in the world (realised it's way too scary a thing to be watching that early with all that's going on) brushed my teeth and came to work. 

Once at work I set about all my tasks - tallied the bank statement to my database, got the days orders ready, checked there no emails needing replying to, then checked all the security cameras from last night - that's where my other weird moment happened. I drank tea whilst doing this!! Then I unlocked the doors, put the plants out the front and went about my daily business. I changed a few settings on social media (I'm fed up with people thinking it's ok to send me crap or ask me to do something for them "now" when the social side of the business is not the main communication route to deal with the business - don't even get me started on people who want business bits and pieces sorting, contacting me on my private social pages!!). 

Then, I heard from the sister of someone who used to be a close friend of mine. She was telling me how disappointed he was that I turned out to not be who he thought I was. How he was gutted at my behaviour towards him, saying that I had been cruel. This was when it really struck me. I finally stuck up for myself and was then branded cruel - all those years of towing the line, being the person they thought I should be, doing what they wanted when they wanted, watching what I said so I didn't offend, being careful of how much noise I made so I didn't disturb, going where they wanted to go so they didn't sulk, and by finally sticking up for myself I was cruel. I laughed when she said "he was so upset because he knew you better than anyone; he would often say how he knew you better than you knew yourself". Ummmm - Obviously not, eh? If he'd known me that well, my sticking up for myself wouldn't have been such a shock to his system. What he really meant was how well he knew the me he could control, but even the most reliable of things can eventually stop behaving the way you want them to. Your favourite car may get fed up with you driving it in a certain way, and having never let you down before, could easily just pop a coil somewhere causing you no end of hassles.  Your favourite food outlet could get sick of you keep wanting "mates rates" because you go there so often, and finally give you a dodgy piece of chicken so you find someone else to try and get a deal from. In reality, he didn't know me at all. He knew only what I let him believe he knew.

We all do that, don't we? I sit here waffling away to whoever may read this crap - my last post got a phenomenal amount of views - and I share my thoughts, feelings, and life with you all. Some of you may think that because of this you know me, may think you know what kind of person I am. You, those of you who think such a way, literally haven't got a clue. I share only what I want to share, only what I need to share. The amount of people who have feigned surprise and shock when I've behaved in a way that is unexpected to them has been quite a few over the years. You see the thing is, eventually, every worm will turn if you poke it with a stick enough. I was part of several different worms, wriggling in different directions, and one-by-one each one of those has got fed up of the stick, has finally turned, and have all (just today) found their way back to join up so they can make one whole, giant worm again. How it should always have been.

The things which used to scare me, worry me, give me sleepless nights, no longer exist. The people who trampled over me, used me only for their own agenda (the ones who thought they "knew" me) have been eradicated from my life. I mean none of them any harm, will say "hello" to them if I pass them by in the street, hope they all find the happiness they were obviously lacking to be such bullies and oppressors to others, and I forgive each and everyone of them, for they are most definitely lacking in areas of their lives to behave in such a way; they deserve to be pitied, not scorned, but in terms of friendship they are dead to me as Donna (my best friend who died 6 years ago this month).  The only difference is, I still miss her - every single day. I don't miss any of the people who have cut me off, or who I have cut from my life. Without them (when the last one cut me off because he didn't like something I had said) I was finally able to regrow the wings which had become so matted to the back they kept stabbing me in, and on this day, this very morning, those wings finally opened and shook themselves off, for the first time in over 40 years. 

If just one person reading this finds the courage to pull themselves away from the bullies so intent on holding them back, I hope they experience that shaking of the wings; it is truly the best feeling in the world. 

One of my biggest fears used to be that of the unknown; death, hauntings, all things creepy and paranormal. This morning my other weird thing was kind of (but not) just like one of those. At 4.13 this morning something triggered the motion detection camera in the workroom of the shop (I have yet to find what did so) and I saw myself staring at the back of someone on the screen. Rather than being scared (how the other me would have reacted) I found myself totally intrigued. Turns out it was the mannequin we have in the shop on a permanent basis, which I had moved yesterday when my Mum came to see me as she doesn't like it. However, it was there from 2pm yesterday afternoon, until I arrived at 7,30 this morning and that camera was triggered only the once. I've been over the footage with a fine tooth comb, all 2 minutes and 19 seconds of it, and I can see nothing that would have triggered the sensor. I can only sit and wonder now, what tomorrow might bring :) 

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Are you feeling lucky?

Don't go getting too excited; I've not one it, YET (the house I dream of owning when I do though has just been reduced again - it came on the market 2 years ago at 980 and is now down to 695 (I am aware this could be because there is something wrong with it, however I believe where it's situated and a lack of parking are probably most likely issues - either that or it's just waiting for me to buy it :) )

When I say I haven't won, that's a bit of a lie for I have; I've just not won big. Another small win on the euro millions on Friday (a whole £7.90) got me thinking about previous winnings.

Back in the early to late 90's I worked with a girl I got on really well with - sorry to anyone I have worked with since but she really was the best workmate I've had. We bonded over a chip (edible potato chip) of all things :) Yes, our working relationship (and subsequent friendship) really was that random.

One Saturday afternoon, the boss was away, it was quiet in the shop and we were chatting about what we would do if we ever won the lottery, we decided to put £20 each into a pot and purchase ourselves some lottery tickets, and scratchcards. Basically we did 1 lottery line each week, and we started with 10 £10 scratchcards (back when we started they only made £1 ones). We never put any of our own money into the pot again, for we were really quite lucky, winning £10 here, £20 there. Anything under £10 winnings purchased more tickets (a £10 scratchcard bought 10 more scratchcards, a £10 lottery win, bought 10 more lottery tickets - all spread out on a weekly basic). Anything over £10 winnings went into a different pot, the money from that we would save up until we had enough to take ourselves out somewhere. We did the Isle of Wight, Longleat Safari park, and many other places in between. I remember the day I scratched off a £50 winner on a card; we both just sat there staring at each other (back then I only earned £70 a week and was working a 6 day week, so that was a huge amount to win). 

After I left that job I carried on doing the tickets on my own. Every win under £5 went into a pot to buy more tickets, everything over £5 went into another pot. I vowed to myself I would never touch a penny of it until the pot was full. Even at my poorest when I had to scrabble around for pennies to make the rent money, I never touched that winnings pot. I knew one day when it was full I would be in for a nice surprise. 

Once I started an online account I didn't buy so many (off-the-cuff) tickets, but once or twice a month I would take the money from the pot to buy more cards, or do a lucky dip (these have been far luckier than the numbers I choose for myself online - my brother now also gives me half towards a euro millions and we randomly choose numbers; this comes out of my online account, so the £1.25 he gives me (yes, the price went up) I use to buy a scratchcard or thunderball lucky dip. When the new £5 notes came into being I realised I had a lot of the old ones in my pot so asked my Mum to swap them for new ones (as I've said, I made a vow to not spend anything from it until such time as it was full - a vow I have stuck to all these years - I've just had to get her to change any £10 notes which might be in there too). She never told me how much there was in there (I'm guessing not a lot or she'd not have been able to keep quiet) although saying that, when I my dog was taken ill last year I had to find some money for the specialist. She told me there was enough in there for me to pay them the £250 cash they wanted up front; I also paid £600 (or around that amount, I can't remember exactly without looking at my bank statement and I don't want o do that because I do not like the colour red) into the bank to help towards the future bills I knew they would be sending me. I was amazed there was that much in there (this pot is well hidden and not in a place anyone would ever even think to look). IT's kept at my home or my work either, in case anyone was thinking of making friends with me and was going to invite themselves round for a cuppa; I'm not quite as daft as I look! 

I still plan on only spending the money when the pot is full - hence why I got Mum to change up the notes for me - and when I have a small win (it's quite easy to get £20 on the thunderball) I always ask whichever shop I go into to get it cashed to give it to me in £5 notes if they can. I've no idea why for when it comes to finally banking them it's going to take the poor cashier ages to count them all out :)

I have, also, on the odd occasion, ventured into the bookies and instead of buying a lotto ticket, I've placed a small wager. I tend to go with Lucky 15, or Lucky 31, but now and then I've done a football bet. Going back a few years a guy I worked with had a bit of gambling problem, but he would go to the bookies and pick up a football betting thing which had several teams on and you picked 10 (I think it was 10) teams choosing whether they would win, lose or draw. A bit like the lucky 15 on the horses, you didn't need to get all the results (unlike an accumulator). It used to cost me less than £1 and the very first time I did one I won £186. He was not happy. I, on the other hand was more than happy - the money from that went into the pot. Actually, thinking about it now, I had a lot of £70 or £80 wins on football bets when I worked with him; I was also quite lucky on the Irish lottery at another shop I worked with where we had a syndicate. Back then 3 numbers got you £450 and we had a lot of 3 numbers come up. My share of those winnings went into the pot as well. No wonder there was enough in there for me to pay for the dog specialist to begin with. I reckon if I'm really lucky there's probably another £500 in there. 

I've never thought of myself as lucky when it comes to money, yet thinking back over the past 20 years and the little flutters here-and-there I've been more than lucky. Now I've talked about the football bets I might have to grab £1 out of the ticket pot and go see if I can add to the lucky pot; I think I might just be lucky enough to have a "big one - ooh, err" tonight :)

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Sorry, not sorry

Or should that be "not sorry"?

The other day (Valentines Day to be exact - actually it's over a week away now; how on earth does time fly by so quickly?) I realised how often I say to people "Sorry" or "I'm so sorry" when I'm not sorry at all. A prime example of this was on Valentines Day when I found myself constantly saying to customers (99% of which were men) "I'm so sorry I don't have any left" along with "Sorry, it's been so busy they've all gone". What I really wanted to say was "Wah hooo; I've had one of my best trading days ever, have sold out of everything - including all the extras I ordered - and if I don't have what you want then tough shit; you should have thought about it sooner". It's not as though there isn't enough warning the day is coming. Since the first week of January shops were plastered in red hearts, supermarkets had row-upon-row of red teddies and cards with red envelopes. Every other TV advert had been for one of those shitty online companies advertising their wares for the day, yet there they were, coming through the door at 4.30 pm on the day and I was apologising for my mind reading powers not working; had they been I am sure I would have made sure I had enough to get them out of trouble. What kind of woman would want to be with such a man is beyond me. 

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't sorry to all of them. One of them did get told to "stop wasting my time and go the supermarket over the road". Not very professional of me, not the kind of thing I should be saying in the shop, but by the time he came in whining about me having nothing left, I had just about reached my point-of-no-return. It's not my fault he wasn't better organised. I honestly didn't care what shit he was going to be in when he got home; not my problem. It was speaking to him the way I did which made me realise just how often I had earlier been "sorry". 

I do it all the time. My letters to the vets (I've had replies) who I was registering complaints with I was still polite too; in fact at one point I stated "I'm sorry to do this". Why was I sorry? They'd put me and my dog through 3 months of hell. Why on earth was I the one saying "Sorry?". She's been gone 9 now and I can still see her little face when I had to walk away and leave her to die, yet there I was, saying sorry to them for registering a complaint about the disgusting treatment she (and I) had received. No wonder so many people have been able to weedle their way into my life and treat me the way they have. I must be one of the saddest 'sad sacks' they've come across. Jeez; sometimes being brought up to be a decent member of society is not as good as it's cracked up to be.

This does't mean I'm going to become someone I'm not. When I do something wrong, then, of course, I will apologise, as it is only right to do so. I'm just not doing it when I've done no wrong. 

Not that I was such a walk over yesterday; oh no. I even surprised myself. I actually told someone when I saw her face-to-face, who had been exceptionally rude to me over the phone (when it was feck all to do with her and there was no reason for anyone to speak to someone else the way she spoke to me) that if I'd not been in work and behaving in the way a professional business woman should, and had she spoken to me outside of work the way she did, that she would have been walking around with a broken jaw right now. I was livid, and I seriously do believe if I'd not been at work, and she'd spoken to me like it outside I really would have smacked her one, and I am not that kind of person. Maybe this worm does finally have the ability to turn. I'm not going to go out of my way to be confrontational, but I am definitely going to try and stop being so sorry about everything :) I surely need to start telling more people to "kiss my ass".

One person who might be sorry he's pissed me off is a local councillor. He's this huge bumbling buffoon of a man, who reminds me a little bit of the guy from Minions, although facially he resembles that father cartoon character from Family Guy - I think his name is Peter Griffin? So put his head, on the minions guy's body and you have a pretty accurate idea of what this councillor person looks like. As with most people who sit on local councils, he does not give a shit about anything but furthering his own career and how much money he can make. The corruption and backhanders that go on in our ward are rife. Everyone knows about them yet nobody is brave enough to take them on.

My little shop is tucked away off a main road in a parade of 4 buildings, which house 5 businesses. Out the front we have just enough parking spaces for 3 cars. Around the corner and across a main road is another larger parade of shops with enough spaces for each business to park 5 cars; these spaces though are time restricted. We also have a doctors surgery (who have a massive car park) yet the staff from there park 2 cars in such a way out the front of our businesses they take up all 3 spaces. We've tried asking them if they'd mind parking further up the road (where there are always spaces when they arrive) to be told there are no restrictions so they can park where they want; one nurse went so far as to tell us to "fuck off". That's just the kind of person I'd want dressing the wounds of my elderly relation - not. The other side of the road to us is waste ground which the council have been trying to build houses on for years. This land address is that of the main road around the corner, yet they want to bring 2 roads out of it into our road - which already suffers heavy congestion. There is not enough space for parking on the other side of the road. 

For 8 years we have been asking the council if we can have restricted 4 hour parking outside - with such a restriction in place it would mean our customers (of which my neighbour has many not-so-able-bodied) would actually have chance of being able to park to visit our businesses. Once, I was told if we were to pay £5000 then there was a possibility we could moved higher up the list and then we'd need to fund it ourselves (as I've said, backhanders and corruption - surely the £5000 should be enough to fund it? In fact the buffoon told me it shouldn't cost more than a couple of hundred). The newest plans for the flats over the road were going through towards the end of last year; I registered an objection on the basis that there are already not enough parking spaces (of which this councillor has gone on record as attesting too - more than once) and the plans don't include enough spaces for the properties they want to build which his just going to add to the issue. This buffoon of a man had the front to come into my shop to try to intimidate me into withdrawing my objection. He is about 18 inches taller than I am, was looming over me, telling me I was wrong and that there is not a parking issue; when I pointed out he has previously stated on 2 occasions there was, he told me that I was wrong, he'd never said that. I asked him then whether he was lying to me while stood in front of me, or if he'd lied on record before because what he was telling me was different to what he'd previously said and all he kept saying was "there isn't an issue". Before he left my shop (I do not back down to intimidating creepy men - he really does have that creepy lecherous feel about him) he assured me he would raise all of my concerns at the meeting to decide about the flats, and that he would get the developers to agree to cover the costs for us to have the restricted parking set up and enforced; he also assured me their vehicles will not be parked out the front of our businesses. He never uttered a single word about us or our concerns at the meeting. My neighbour and I decided at that point, once the building work starts, every single time a work van, lorry or truck is to park out the front of the shops we would be on the phone to him, registering our complaints, for every single one. Even if that means one pulls up, stays 10 minutes, leaves and another turns up; we'll contact him for each individual vehicle. He told me our local council have a duty-of-care to all small business owners in our town, where they guarantee to put our needs to the forefront. The man is a liar. They don't give a flying fudge about any of us. They don't make enough money from us, and we have already refused in the past to commit to a bribe, so I will now become the biggest thorn in his side. I am sick of "playing nice" to people. Today such works vehicles turned up - however, we have given him a reprieve as we spoke to the driver of the guy parking outside, who not only offered to move (nice guy) also told us he was only here for the day, so for now we're letting 'sleeping-dogs-lie'. There is a time and a place for everything.

Monday, 19 February 2018


I went to London - but never bought a heat magazine :)  Do they even still publish it? 

My cousins were here from Boston all last week, and I was unable to get away to see them due to Valentines Day (have I mentioned before how much I hate Valentines? !! ) so Saturday I took the day off and along with my little old Mum, Brother and Brother-in-Law, headed off to our Capital City to catch up with them. 

We made no plans, aside from that we all wanted to eat lunch; that was it. We were going to fly by the seat of our pants. It's a good job we checked in with them the evening before though, as we though they were staying at Canary Wharf (as they have done the past few visits) to find they were staying in the city itself. 

My brother booked and paid for the tickets (thank you brothery if you are reading this). Once on the train which was really busy, he sent me off to find a guard so we could upgrade to First Class - which I did and we did. Much better way to travel. Can I just make a note to anyone who may be going on a journey. If there are just 2 of you and you take up one of the tables that seats 4 when you have a family of 4 behind you, you are complete and utter arses. There were plenty of 2 seats together available, yet all the 4 seater tables were taken up by couples - sadly, older couples too who should have known better. I only hope when it got really busy (which is did just 2 stops after ours) they got stuck with smelly people next to them who like to spread themselves into their neighbours space! Even in first class you still get the same type (actually, they are probably worse because they view themselves as more important - there was just one table of 4 in first class, and only 6 of us in the cabin. We were not on that table. We also did not have huge suitcases standing in the middle of the aisle! Mind you, the man was the same guy who had barged passed me when we entered the station, so I would have expected nothing else - Entitled is the word I would use (when being polite) Wanker, when being honest! 

My cousins were waiting for us when we disembarked so we headed straight off to the Thames and thought it would be nice to take a leisurely stroll, catching up, enjoying each other's company, before stopping somewhere for lunch. That was easier-said-than-done for it was heaving with people. By the time we had made our way to Westminster Bridge we were all a little bit flustered. Thankfully the amount of people thinned out when we got over the other side. 

We took a stroll by the Houses of Parliament, which is when my Mum mentioned she had never seen the sights, or main places, of London. Well, that was it. Next thing we pretty much did them all. In one afternoon :)

Westminster Abbey? Check - Horse Guards Parade? Check - Downing Street? Check - Whitehall? Check - Trafalgar Square? Check - The Mall and Buckingham Palace? Almost :) - Covent Garden? Check. We did so much; I've left out the Old Bailey, St Paul's Cathedral, Somerset House, The Millenium Bridge and oodles of places in between, We were proper tourists in our own capital city, being guided by 2 Americans (the irony of that was not lost on me :) )

We passed the London Eye, London Dungeon, some kind of Shrek thing; the aquarium, Cenotaph (explaining what the significance of it was). We wandered along Fleet Street, Bow Street. We walked through Soho. We passed theatres, galleries and even got to stand outside where London Fashion Week was going on, watching some random models posing - one gave my cousin the filthiest of looks. I was going to stand next to her so she could get an idea of what she might look like if she ate a meal and smiled, but I thought it was most unfair of me to do such a thing. She looked as though she'd not eaten in a month. I know they get paid well for it, but you have to ask "is it really worth it?" They all looked so bloody miserable.

The architecture of the city is quite something. I've never really paid much attention before, however yesterday I got to really take in the surroundings (London in my past has only even been somewhere I've gone to with the specific reason of seeing one specific place and I've paid no attention to the bits and pieces in between). The detailing on some of the buildings is spell binding. It's definitely someone who is into their architectural photography could possibly dedicate a whole lifetime to the buildings and still never get to take an image of them all.

Lunch was eaten in a place called Admiralty, opposite Trafalgar Square and it was one of the friendliest places I have ever eaten. The Maitre D was fabulous (I feel bad we never left a tip in the end, however, they included a service charge on the bill so technically tipped themselves!! I do hate that; it should be down to those eating to decide if the service was worthy of extra and not automatically added). The service charge aside, if you are looking for great tasting food you will do no wrong in visiting the place. I'm not sure what it would have been like to eat on the ground floor level as that was quite open and very similar looking to a basic wetherspoons, however, we were taken downstairs and popped into one of their "booths" which was fabulous as it was totally private and seated the 6 of us more than adequately. The food was delicious. I can highly recommend that Duck pie (we had a small one of these between us all on a taster dish) The Steak pie had huge chunks of meat and was extremely tasty. Apparently the faggots were delicious (I never tried those) and the mashed potato and veggies were cooked and creamed to perfection. The Sticky toffee pudding went down well with those having it, and the crumble proved to be way too big a portion for my Mum who never struggles with a pudding - it would easily have been enough for 2, possibly even 3 people. The prices were really good too, which surprised me being situated where it is. You could not go wrong if you were to visit the place for lunch, that much I am sure of (try the Mac'n'Cheese Croquettes - most odd but so tasty).

As I've said, London is never somewhere I would choose to go, but I am so glad I got to experience all I did yesterday. In fact I'd like to have had more time to stop, look, appreciate and experience, before moving on. I think (when I win the lottery) I'll try to spend a long weekend up there and take in some more of the sights and delights it has to offer. I'm by no means converted to 'city life' however, I am a little more interested and intrigued, than I was before I hopped on that train on Saturday morning.

Friday, 16 February 2018


I have a friend in the USA (I actually have several, and family too, some of whom reside in Florida) however the particular friend I am talking about is in Arizona. He's more than just a friend. He's my "go-to" guy, the person I share every single aspect of my life with (if you ever want dirt on me he is the one you need to speak to for there is nothing about me he doesn't know). He's my voice of reason when I'm not being rational. He's my shoulder to cry on when things get too much for me. He's the one who tell me straight when I am being a total and utter tit - believe me, when I say he's always honest with me, we are talking brutal, not holds barred, honesty. He tells it exactly like it is. 

The circumstances in which we met were quite random, but he's been a part of my life now for so long I can't ever remember him not being in it. The best thing about us, is that we still communicate in the "old fashioned way". Well, almost; I no longer use pen and paper, choosing to use my laptop and printer, but it's almost the old fashioned way. There's a lot to be said for "Snail Mail" I love that feeling when you receive a letter from someone who means something to you. It's not all paper, pens, and printers; we do, on occasion, chat on the phone, however, the majority of the time it is how it used to be. Oddly I think that's why we are still so close. Don't get me wrong, we've had falling outs (big ones) however, in between we usually get another letter and it's soon forgotten about :) I find it really helps if I have a problem too. I put it all down on paper, sned it off, and it's as if the problem goes with it. By the time I get his reply the problem has been dealt with and I'm on to the next one - we average a 3 week turnaround, meaning if I posted today, I'd get his reply 3 weeks today.

We come from totally different walks of life. I am a white, English woman, who grew up in what I guess would be classed a suburb, with working class parents (not quite working class for their were slightly poorer than your average working class). My parents bought their home brand new, in a good area, with good schools and a great local community; I have a younger brother - 8 years younger. He is Native American, born and raised on the reservation with 2 older brothers and 2 older, 1 younger, sisters. They were (by our standards and to all intents and purpose) poor. They pretty much grew up with nothing. Our backgrounds could not be more different if we tried, yet somehow we found each other, connected, and have been friends ever since. He's an amazing artist, with 3 great kids and I could not imagine my life without him in it. 

The reason I am telling you about him today, is because I was writing to him last night, talking about what had happened in Florida with yet another school shooting, and I thought I should really get how I feel out there (as I do with all mass murders on ours and their soil which seem to happen more-and-more these days - I am aware there are mass murders taking place all over the world each and every day that are far worse; I'm not that ignorant to the world, but him and I primarily talk only about our respective countries). I figured that rather than write it all out again, I'd just copy and paste what I have said to him. Hence why I have explained about us, for it could sound as though I have finally lost the plot to read through what I've said, as I'm writing to him directly, not to the general population.

Here's what I said to him.... 

I feel as though we do this discussion way-too-often so I’m not going to dwell on it or give it too much of our time, but I just can't let another school shooting pass by without mentioning it. How many have we discussed over the years? How many more kids have to die? I just don’t get it. I truly do understand the 2nd Amendment - ish, but for crying out loud, it was dreamed up in a different time, when the world was a different place. I totally get that outlawing guns will not stop such things happening, and there is no way you would ever get back all those which are out there; what I don’t get is why the fuck does anyone (other than someone in the military) need a semi-automatic machine gun? They are made for one reason only. To kill as many people in as short amount of time as possible. You will never be able to ban guns totally but there really does need to be some kind of logic as to who they are sold to. We have guns over here; I know how to shoot a rifle, was taught at a young age (I wasn’t a bad shot back when I was younger) however, I was also taught about how dangerous they are and we were never allowed to handle one without an adult present. Every now and then we lined tin cans up, shot them off the rail we had them on, then the gun was taken away, and locked back up. I believe the gun had to be licensed and that license had to be renewed every year. I’ve never once all my years since those days wanted to go and  buy one for myself though. Why would I need one? Over here you buy them because you belong to a club, or you hunt pheasant - again, usually with a club where control of the guns is kept tight at all times. We have shootings over here, there are certain people who can get hold of them but we have nothing like you guys over there. I have to admit if I lived on your side of the pond I would probably want to have one myself as a deterrent, and that’s why I get the 2nd Amendment; it’s better to defend yourself against an armed intruder if you are armed yourself (although I don't totally agree with that because can you imagine how much more carnage and death there would be if those kids had been armed and began to fire at will?) this is why you will never be able to fully outlaw them over there - but jesus; nobody, and I mean nobody, needs a semi-automatic.

The kid who did it (apparently) had a history of mental health issues, was forever posting images of himself with dead things he had killed, would share photos of him with his gun and was the one everyone (supposedly) said would end up one day going on a mass killing spree. If he was known to be that way, why the fuck didn’t anybody flag him up? All those lives ended, all those others which will never be the same again, and for what? Shit, your kids should be safe when they go to school. No parent should spend their day wondering if their child is going to make it home alive again. A friend was saying yesterday that her boy in kindergarten has to go through drills on what to do if someone was to open fire on them while they are in school. Whatever kind of country are you lot living in over there? Fucking kindergarten kids having drills on what to do if someone enters their classroom with a machine gun. I just can't get my head round that. Kids should be learning about bugs, and stars, and their times table, not how to survive being shot in school. The only safety drill they should have is the fire drill. It’s a pretty fucked up world when they can’t play in climbing frames in case they fall off and graze their knee (or, god forbid) break a bone, but hey kids; let’s learn how to survive when someone’s shooting at us in class. I just don’t get it. And all because of 4 words written on a document of amendments some 227 years ago. If they were able to make changes to an original document back then, they can make changes to the amended one now.

I don't get it. I will never get it. I am so glad I live in a country where I don't have to "get it". I just can't help but wonder though - How many more? They said this morning there have been 18 school shootings already this year; THIS YEAR. Not in the past decade, not this century. This year; we're only just 47 days into the year. That's pretty much 1 every 3rd day. How can America sit back and let this keep happening? How many more children, party goer, clubbers, church goers and shoppers have to die before someone finally grows a pair and does something to stop it? Will they still be as nonchalant if it was their child, sister, brother, father or mother? 

I think the image below, which my cousin on the East Coast shared on her facebook, just about says it all  :( 

Friday, 9 February 2018

What are the chances?

If I could have put a bet on at the bookies for the odds of something which happened at work, I think a £1 investment could have brought forth enough for me to retire on. What am I talking about? Who knows, half the time I don't know. :)  Although..... this time I do.

The picture below should help to aid my description - should, I'm not saying it definitely will :) 

So. I have a lovely regular customer, who has a birthday tomorrow. She is at the top of the tree listed as the "Birthday Girl". It is also her daughter-in-law's birthday on the same day too. 

I answered the phone to find one of my customers grandchildren on the line, ordering flowers for both my customer and her daughter-in-law (the grandchild's Mum). We had a good chat and it was left it up to me what flowers I use because I know what both birthday girls like. Our conversation ended, we hung up and as I went to put the phone back in the holder when it rang again. I answered to find myself speaking to the elderly old sister of my regular customer :) She's been quite poorly and recently had a stroke so it took me almost 30 minutes to get out of her what she wanted as it takes her longer to speak and remember, but we got there in the end. She was telling me how she really wants to come and visit for her sisters birthday, but her own daughter won't bring her down - apparently living 90 minutes away is too much to bring her down and back in a day. 

As I hung up the phone to her I smiled to myself, wondering what the odds of having 2 phone calls immediately after the other from 2 family members ordering for the same people. That was literally all I had time for; that one quick thought for the phone rang again (it's a busy time of year, so I thought nothing of it). I answered it to find myself speaking to the Birthday Girl herself. I'd not even got as far as putting the phone back into it's cradle. She, of course, was ordering flowers for her daughter-in-law. At this point I'm really having a little chuckle to myself. I thought the odds of 2 of them calling me were quite high, but to have 3 calls? Well; that's got to be astronomical odds; hasn't it? 

We had a lovely chat - as we always do - and I was careful not to let on I'd spoken to her Grandchild or Sister, which was not easy when she was telling me the things they had both already told me about the plans they have for her on the day - what they're doing, who's coming round, where they will be eating later. She'd been a bit poorly herself recently (she had that flu bug I was grateful I never got) so we were chatting about that and how lucky she is at her age to have come through it unscathed. 23 minutes her call to me lasted :)  Before hanging up I wished her a Happy Birthday for the day.

I put the phone back in it's cradle, half expecting it to ring again. It never so I pootled from the workroom into the office. I'd just sat down and opened up a page on the computer when it did ring again. The time between me hanging up and it's shrill tone whirling around the building had to be less than 1 minute. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I heard my customers husband utter the words "Hello, Sarah; I've got to be quick only I don't want the Mrs hearing me on the phone to you". Apparently she'd hung up from her call to me and gone straight to the bathroom which is when he took his chance to ring me because he wanted to place an order for flowers to be delivered to her. I honestly could not get my head around the calls. I am sure I must have seemed very aloof to him because my little brain was trying to work out what the actual odds would be on such an occurrence. 4 calls from the same family, immediately after the other from 3 different locations in the country, with no more than a minute between each call. If I'd not been the one fielding all the calls I honestly do not think I would have believed it. Surely if I'd been to a bookies and made a bet on it I really would be able to retire?

However, wait; it doesn't end there!!

After ending my call to her husband the phone went quiet so I made my way back into the office to try and sort out what I need to order for next week - some fool invented this thing called Valentines Day! I was getting on well, worked out what I needed, placed my orders with the wholesalers, and thought it might be an idea to get some accounts up together when the shop door opened and in walked........

That's right. The Daughter-in-law. Seriously, what are the odds? Actually, don't tell me or I'll be gutted I wasn't able to put a bet on :)   She came in to place an order for her mother-in-law. It was slightly more difficult serving her though for I had to try and keep the rest of the orders in my book (some of which are for her) hidden from her :) 

I do love how this life at times can still take us by surprise with it's coincidences (as long as they are nice ones; I don't like nasty ones). What happened with this family has never happened to me before and I very much doubt it will ever happen to me again. It did make me think about whether the family are "in-tune" with each other and one making the call triggered off a chain reaction - I have more I can discuss on these thoughts (I read something really interesting earlier in the week) but I shall those for an entry on another day.