Family …friend or enemy..?

During the month of December I have a relative who will have a birthday . Nothing strange in that occurrence you’re thinking. Although it has made me think about how a family can become divided due to a family ……we’ll call it a ‘feud’ until I can think of a more appropriate term. A decade and a half plus three years ago this problem happened, a life time for some of our younger family members. I’m not going into the reasons, to be honest I only know the bare bones, the Chinese Whispers that pass around families. My thoughts are, I wasn’t involved in this feud and somehow it has had an impact on the life of my family. 2017 will be a big celebratory year for the family and there are going to be a few zero birthdays happening. Big birthdays are always a good reason for family to gather. Lots of planning goes into making a special occasion that everyone will remember and talk about in later years. Now back to my ‘estranged’ relative, in retrospect  I have never celebrated any special occasions in their life – other than a wedding almost thirty years ago – that unfortunately didn’t last. I nor my siblings have been invited to any special birthdays throughout the years or looked forward with anticipation and excitement to the birth of a child, as I have done with other family and close friends. My children haven’t cousins of their own age due to my own siblings being much younger than me, which meant their children are still quite young. My cousins children are of similar ages and they simply became ‘cousins’. We had the usual birthday parties at the noisy play barns and summer play dates. We celebrated end of A level results and the moving onto University stages. We also endured each others sad times when losing loved ones.

My feelings are that this relative has missed out on such a lot of happiness over the years and the child that eventually blessed a new partnership does not really know any of their extended family. Maybe I am making assumptions here, perhaps her life is full and she is content?  I can count on one hand (minus a thumb) the amount of times I have had contact with this child or the parents over the years. The child has never had the advantage of spending time with the other young people in the family, there are six of them . Not spent time at the park, eating ice cream or visiting and playing with each others new toys. There are not any photos in my faded albums of these people. Nothing to remember them by, no history to recount, no memories to conjure up when clearing out the cupboards and the old photos fall out. Just distant thoughts and a ‘I wonder what happened to them?’

For sixteen years I sent a birthday card, however I am positive by the time the child could read, the question would be asked ‘Mum, who are these people?’ This year I didn’t send a card….

On the other side, they have not experienced my sons grow from gangly, spotty teenagers into fantastic young men. My siblings become parents to gorgeous children and now looking forward to becoming a grandparent and myself…a great aunt!!

So, am I the enemy by default because I didn’t get involved and didn’t take a side? More possibly I am an innocent bystander that got caught in the cross fire. Do we really need extended family? Are we happier in our own bubble of life? Will the child look back on life in years to come and wish they had known some of those distant relatives? Who knows the answer.

My children look back on their childhood with a smile and recount many happy moments with their family, both extended and just boring old mum and dad! That makes me extremely happy 🙂

Family · New chapters · Uncategorized

New chapters…

Today I have had two thought provoking events that have made me think about my life and where I go next.

The first revelation has been that rude people are always rude and like the proverbial leopard never change their spots. In my position I am expected to always be the epitome of diplomacy never knowingly undermining any of my work colleagues or the system I work in . However, the unwashed public feel that they have the given right to be extremely rude and unpleasant to me without regards to my feelings. As always I must smile sweetly and keep my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself. If I were to meet that person in the street, I say to myself, I will give them what for….but if I’m honest I would not give them the satisfaction of caterwauling in the street. I would look them up and down, with a shoulder shrug and an icy stare I would strut off in the other direction. I am not going to lower myself to their level.

My second revelation today has been, no matter how long you have worked in an establishment, work colleagues are just acquaintances that you are in the presence of for six hours plus a day. An enjoyable work environment is pleasant, regardless of who you are in contact with, but when you walk out of the office and step into your transport of choice you become yourself again. Ringing true the saying ‘I work to live, not live to work’.

Perhaps these thoughts are putting the idea in my head that the time is right to make a move. Leaving any where after a substantial amount of time will always bring emotions bubbling to the top. Yes, people say you will be missed, no one can ever replace you, but the job continues and there is no time to mourn the leaver. It’s similar to throwing a pebble into a stream. It breaks the surface, the ripples subside….it’s gone, never to be thought of again. Perhaps not thought of is too strong a sentiment.. Christmas and special occasions you may be invited to return. Be welcomed back with hugs and kindness, but the in jokes will exclude you. The giggles will not include you and the feeling of being the outsider, the visitor will be a strain on both sides. 

Is it ever easy to leave your job? Would it be preferable to slide away quietly at the end of the day? Without the knowledge that someone in the background is badgering folk to put a few pounds in the inevitable brown collection envelope? The coffee break chats of what shall be we buy? what would they like? are we having a leaving do? who’s going to buy the Leaving Gift?? Yes it becomes a sentence said in capitals! 

It makes me think it would be easier to stay put…. but our lives are lived in chapters and I really hope my time has come to turn over a new page…


Christmas · Family · Uncategorized

An early birthday present…

My lovely husband surprised me last weekend with an early birthday gift. Theatre tickets for the Royal Ballet to watch The Nutcracker at The Hippodrome.

The Nutcracker was magical and not a sound could be heard during the performance. The height the boys reached was astonishing and the girls seemed featherlight. 

Oh to be a ballerina…whom I’m kidding… I’d be the baby elephant in tights… sigh.. we can all dream! 🙄

The #Hippodrome was definitely dressed to impress with its finest twinkly lights and perfect Christmas trees. The foyer buzzed with anticipation and we fuelled ourselves with coffee and fruit cake before taking our seats. We’re so rock n roll 😉

Even the fire curtain was spectacular.The boxes looked plush and comfy. I might have have to stand my ground next time and ask for a box! 

It was a special evening. Not only celebrating another birthday but also the end of a very difficult year for my fabulous husband. 

We’ll live to fight another year… onwards and upwards!

Christmas · School · Uncategorized

Tinsel, glitter and a sprinkle of magic fairy dust please…

Newsflash.. School secretary hits the month of December running!

School is busy during any month, but this December term is extremely short. Much too short it feels to allow all the activities that must be completed. There are calendars to assemble and cards to sprinkle with the obligatory dusting of glitter… dust? no way…you can never have enough glitter! We love to sparkle in our school and that includes the staff!! 

Must remember not to mention that you can sew in front of staff when they are short of costumes! More sparkle in the form of tinsel this time to be sewn onto t shirts. Oh it’s so pretty but tough to stitch into place but well worth the smile on the children’s faces.

1st December brought a new experience to our area…a Christmas market! A few food stalls, the obligatory mulled wine, chocolate of course, beautifully crafted wooden gifts and some fantastic German gifts. All in all it’s a small but perfectly formed market and has the delicious aroma of Christmas.  

Sparkle Christmas Tree!

It even has a Ferris wheel and a merry go round for the children…. what more could you ask for.


Happy Cake Day!

How absolutely sooper dooper delish do these cupcakes look? Well they tasted even more so !

These were the show stoper end to a lovely evening for husband Js big birthday get together.

Thank you to Crystals cupcakes for the tastebud tingling delights.

An enjoyable evening was had by close family. With ages ranging from eighty five down to two. Our cheeky two year old nephew decided outside in the dark was the place to be. Refused his dinner and quite happily played outside  (not alone I hasten to add) taking delight in knocking on the window and passing his cars through them. Mom and boy did eventually return inside where he became thoroughly engrossed in opening and closing the door. If we all could be so easily pleased life may be simpler.

All in all a pleasant way  to celebrate a birthday!


Devon weekend continued…

During our visit to Devon we visited the village of Cockington (although for years I was convinced it was called Crockington!!)


It is one of the prettiest villages I have visited, even in October. Beautiful  thatched cottages, glass blowing demonstrations with a shop full of superb glassware to buy. There is a blacksmiths forge and a chocolate shop to die for! If you ever get chance to spend time here, it is really worth the drive. Free entry, only a few pounds to park and it’s a whole day out.

Register Office decorated for Halloween!
Torbay Register Office, Cockington Court


St George & St Mary is a beautiful Norman  church


 And look …we did find cake at the end of our walk at Weavers Cottage Tea Shoppe. Yummy freshly baked scones warm from the oven with calorie laden clotted cream and jam and a big pot of tea poured into china cups. It was just what we all needed at the end of a fabulous day out.


Alien looking…

It’s Friday, yay…but it’s the last Friday of half term week which means back to school on Monday. Which means chaos will soon reign again…..but…..


Until then I’m sat in the hairdressers sporting a very unusual alien like head of foils. Time for those dark hairs to be banished and silky blondeness resumed. As I’m sat by a large window this is the one time I am quite glad of my short sightedness …if I can’t see you, you definitely cannot see me!