So, it seems we've reached that time of year where I traditionally have a total BLAAHHH!
Looking back it seems I've waffled on every year at this point about how much I hate winter after Christmas has passed. How the lack of sunshine has me flagging. How the weather gets me down (worse this year as its just rainy all the damn time). How much I long for spring at the point in the proceedings.
In keeping with tradition then. A look at the little things that cheers me up somewhat in the grey and gloomy January days.
One of the best things about January is new season TV (I'm a telly addict, what can I say?). January brings new seasons of all my favourite shows from the US. There were some doozy cliff hangers last seasons as well so it was great to pick up the action. Like catching up with old friends. LOL.
I don't always have my nose in the TV though. Sometimes I have my nose in a book. At the moment I'm reading this:
2014? Really? How did that happen?
I honestly cannot believe how quickly the last year has flown by. It was another doozy round here by all accounts with the unexpected loss of my baby brother. I'm tentatively hoping that 2014 will make less of an effort to kick us in the teeth!
On a positive note, we began the New Year with a new addition to the Cookie family. Much to the excitment of Kendo and the kidlets (and indeed myself) this (not very little) guy came to live with us on 27th December:
His name is Jethro. Not after these guys:
- There is a fly in my office. It is making me nuts and refuses to leave despite the fact that I have all the windows open to allow it to make a bid for freedom. It's cold outside too. Dumb fly.
- The students on my programmes are completely incapable of using a lavatory. They either pee on the seat or don't flush it when they're done. Makes me insane. How hard is it?
- People in management positions who get paid a whack of money to make decisions and then ask me what to do. Its not my job, I don't get paid for that. Make a goddamn decision already.
- The mess on my desk which feels insurmountable. I'm basically just moving piles around in an effort to look something vaguely resembling organised. Hoping no one notices the total disarray!
- Students who knock like bailiffs. My desk is 4 feet from the door, do you think I can't hear you?
Definitely time for a cup of tea. Probably a biscuit too. It's Friday after all.
Time for something of a Spring, or in this case Autumn, clean up round at Chez Cookieblog.
It's been a long time coming. Can't remember the list time we moved the metaphoric furniture round around here.
The HMTL dust bunnies are hellish, I tell you!
Hoping it will see more blogging action. Hoping, hoping, hoping!
This very special baby boy came to live with our family when he was 3 months old. It was October 1983. There'd been a family meeting about whether we could take on this responsibility. Did we want another sibling? Could be cope with being a family with a Down's Syndrome child? The answer a resounding YES!
He enriched our lives every day this boy. Mischeivous and funny, stroppy and moody, loveable and occasionally narky. Lover of tea towel flicking and ousting you off your seat on the sofa. Mine sweeper of alcoholic beverages. Pincher of biscuits.
That pretty much describes him his whole life. He never lost his childlike innocence. Held no malice in him. Charmed every person he met.
Sadly this little boy didn't live to see his 30th birthday. My lovely cheeky baby brother passed away in the hospital on 15th June (3 weeks before he hit the big 3-0). Such a sad loss of such a gentle, funny, loving soul. I'll miss him always. Rest in Peace little man.
Last year we were lucky enough to get a bit of a financial windfall. After having some work done on the house (windows and doors painted, gutters replaced, bricks repointing - so our house no longer looks like the Clampets live here) we offer the kids a choice of holiday destination. They could have a 4 day visit to Disneyland Paris, or a week somewhere warm.
After persual of this video:
The First Choice Holiday Village at the Costa Del Sol won the unanimous vote.
Having never taken the kids abroad before and having been 13 years since either of us set foot outside the UK a full round of new passports was in order (eek at the price of that lot!).
Fast forward an unbelieveably quick 9 months later and we were getting up at 3.30am for a 6.10am flight out to Malaga.
I was a little worried how the kids would do with the flight (both of them having glue ears issues but Ewan being particularly prone to ear problems) but they coped with if fine (easily distracted by downloaded movies on the Android tablet :)).
We had the truly most amazing week over there. Ordinarily our holidays are Haven caravans in the UK which any of you fellow Mums will know is no really holiday (when there's still cooking to be done, and a caravan to keep looking respectable so as not to be mortified when the cleaner come in at the end of the week!).
The Holiday Village really was a holiday though. All inclusive for food and drink, beautiful warm spring weather (between 22 and 27 degrees), clear skies for the most part, kids club to entertain the kids (we barely saw the two of them all week long), mail service who changed the towels and made the beds everyday), comfy sun loungers by the pools.
Even with my pasty milk bottle white start I've still managed to come back with something resembling a tan.
We're already plotting how we can manage to afford to go away again next year. Definitely bitten by the sunshine holiday bug!
Here's some memories of our lovely trip:
Doesn't take along to get back to reality though does it. Ah well. We'll just have to make do with nice memories to get us through the awful British summer!
A strange thought occurred to me this morning.
Perhaps not everyone exists in a constant state of feeling somewhat overwhelmed?
Maybe that's not normal?
On a completely separate note.After years of doing battle with double point needles completely unsuccessfully (I find it somewhat likened to juggling an inebriated hedgehog!) I finally managed to gain control of them long enough to produce my first ever pair of handknit socks.
I'm quite proud of them, it has to be said. Hopefully they'll be as comfy as they look.
A short but socky interlude into the weirdness that is my life these days.