A Right Royal Driveby

I met the Queen this week.  She came to Manchester on Friday to see me.  See….

It is her!!

Admittedly our conversation was brief and a little one-sided, but we’re both busy people!  In case you are wondering, yes there is writing all over the windows.  It is highly technical gubbins that I draw on the windows to reinforce the perception that I understand what I am doing.  Little do they know I copy it all from Google!

So it is pretty tough to top a visit from Royalty, but there is more important news to report.  I have been ill!!  Yes, I know you will all be shocked, worried and guilty that you were not on hand to nurse me back to health.  That honour fell to Louise.  I completely missed Saturday in a blur of bed, dizziness, escaping liquids and Murder She Wrote.  The latter was the worst.  I was simply too weak and frail to raise the remote and turn the channel!

I have rallied somewhat today, and appear to be somewhere close to match fitness, having just eaten my first meal since Friday night.  You will appreciate now the severity of my condition if it kept me away from food for almost 48 hours!  I hope it only increases your guilt.

Before I was struck down so cruelly by this life threatening condition last week I did manage to write a new article for the WDW Dads site.  It covers (some of) my tip-top tips for a visit to WDW.  All of you buggers with a trip booked should have a read on the off-chance I haven’t bored you with them already.  The pain I went through to write that, knowing a trip for us is anything but imminent was unimaginable.  My hankering for the place is physically painful.

So being as weak as a kitten today, I haven’t done a great deal.  I have enjoyed the sunshine, and I’m told it was sunny yesterday too, but all I saw was the inside of our blinds, the toilet bowl and Angela Lansbury.  Right there is one rock and roll sounding party.

Whilst sat out in the garden today, Louise and I casually arranged the weddings of both the girls.  Don’t worry, you haven’t missed the arrival of new boys into their lives and a proposal each this week.  We were just planning ahead.  It will not surprise you to know that both girls WILL be getting married in Florida.  We checked that this would be OK with Rebecca, and she said yes.  We did ask her about her future husband, and what if he had no desire to get married there.  I can only tell you that he doesn’t know what he’s letting himself in for, and he’d better like Mickey Mouse!

Those of you who are foolish enough to have anything to do with me on Facebook or Twitter will have no doubt seen that Oli has been to the barbers this week.  He did look cute with the long hair, but he was getting a bit luggy and also quite warm, so we took the chance to get him his first close crop.  He did not enjoy the experience one bit, and the lady doing the deed no doubt earned every single penny of her fee.

He went from this…

Oli bath
All nose and hair
oli ice lolly


To this…..

Oli haircut
The expression says it all
Oli with Pumpkin
Cat worrier
Oli's blue eye
Just try that again!

It has been like having a different dog, and it is only his well-known habits, and the look in his eyes that has convinced us we got Oli back.  We’re so glad we had him done though as he would not have survived this mini heat wave over the weekend.

So all this typing has drained my fragile energy levels, and I need to go and lie down in a room that does not contain Angela Lansbury.

Till the next time….

There’s a scum on my decking what am I gonna do?

It’s been a bit of a busy week.  During the week, work took me to Newcastle on Friday.  I was viewing office space and potential staff members for what will be the North Eastern part of our empire.  Both elements were successful, and with the opening of that office in a few weeks, I’ll be spending at least a day a week up there.  It could be worse of course, it could be Central London!

In other news, we have had an actual viewer for the house.  You may have forgotten that we are up for sale, as we’ve had absolutely no news at all in that regard for many weeks.  Not only have we had one viewing, they only went and came back today for a second one!  Never in the history of Williams kind has our house been as tidy as it was on those occasions.  They seem keen enough, asking lots of probing questions, and no doubt noticing all those things that we really should have upgraded, replaced, painted or improved, but we instead went on holiday.

I showed them the holiday pictures instead, so we’ll see if that helps!

Who knows what happens now.  We await a call from the agent to justify their football agent style fee tomorrow.

The second view was to be in broad daylight, and this meant they would be able to see the full horror of the back garden, which no human has set foot in since about October last year.  Drastic measures were called for, and so my Saturday was taken up by blasting scum off the decking.  It took an age and all the use from my right hand (from trigger pulling on the jet wash….get your mind out of the gutter!) to get the decking to state where you don’t have to wear ice skates to make it across in one piece.  It does tend to get a little mossy after six months of shite weather.

I even debarricaded the outdoor furniture from beneath the winter coat of tarpaulin and gave that a jet wash within an inch of its life.  By Sunday, and that all important second visit, our outside space looked almost like something from a house where someone hasn’t pissed away every spare penny on flights, villas and food.  It was almost worth the agony and stiffness I am enduring today.

On a more pleasant note, Saturday evening saw us out on the tiles.  We were at a family do to celebrate my niece’s 21st birthday.  This fact has officially confirmed that I am now 97 years old.  I was 20 when she was born, and at the party last night, my brother and sister-in-law had laid out lots of old photos of Sarah, which I thought were taken yesterday, but it would appear that is not the case.

Prep for the party started at around 4pm in our house, and looked like this.  I joined in with about twelve minutes to go before departure.

rebecca prep party
Four hours pre-party

and resulted in this….

rebecca at party
Party girl

We had a really lovely evening, and Sarah was overcome by her present which was a trip to New York for her and her boyfriend.  This was presented in a lovely speech from her Mum that even had Emily and Rebecca in tears at the end.

sarah's 21st cake
Sarah's birthday cake

We sloped off at 12.30, tired and full of Guinness (that last bit might just have been me) but I believe the festivities went on until 4.30am!!  When we did leave, we were carrying, high above our heads, the glorious prizes, and smug satisfaction only awarded to those who win the quiz. A quiz fittingly all about 1991 was held, and our team won.  I say team, I more or less single-handedly defeated all comers, mainly as I knew what was Number One on the day of Sarah’s birth.  (Chesney Hawkes, in case you were wondering).  Nothing improves an evening more than the sweet smell of victory, and the easter eggs awarded as prizes.

The other major news this week is that Louise has resigned from her job.  I know, I know.  How anyone could give up a job that involves handling boobs all day is a mystery, but she has had enough of it.  She leaves in four weeks to return to University to train to be a nurse.  This of course has been on the cards for some time, but under wraps until her place on the course, and the informing of work were done.  This dear readers is the one of the reasons why we shall not be jetting off to anywhere close to Florida this year, unless my balls drop.  Lottery, not the twins.

Today, once our viewing was done, has been a relaxed affair as we are all feeling the effects, to varying degrees of last night and a very busy weekend of chores.  I popped round to my Mum’s with present and card, returned home to watch half of The Help (Louise’s mother’s day gift “from the girls”) some footy, and then prepared and ate one of the largest Sunday roasts known to man.  I sit typing this now, in the discomfort and glow of an overly full stomach, and the mild concern that with all that Guinness and today’s eating, I’ll be attending work with my shirt unbuttoned to the waist to avoid discomfort.

So, who knows what the coming days will bring.  An offer on the house?  Maybe.  The start of the living hell of actually then having to move house.  Who knows?  The need to diet to avoid the next notch on the belt?  Absolutely!!

Whatever it is, I’ll waffle about it here so…

Till the next time…..

Entertaining Wees and Some Cold Turkey!

Regular readers know that on the odd occasion that I have to go to London, I do so with a heavy heart and a desire to get in and out as quickly as possible.  Last week was no different.  It was the first journey to the capital with the new company, and so had added elements of dread as I am still very much in the zone of trying not to look like a right tit as much as is possible.

Upon reaching London I do go a bit touristy to be honest, and with a new company comes a new office venue, and this one in the heart of the West End.  As you might imagine, the streets in this part of London, are filled with hundreds of theatre types dancing on top of taxis in pink leg warmers, the dancers in leg warmers, not the taxis!  We stopped for a £7 coffee in Haymarket, and had to wait ages for Bob Hoskins, Julie Walters and Robert De Niro to decide whether they wanted a croissant or a skinny muffin.

So having walked with slack jaw past Eros, those large boards with Coke on that you see on the telly (and I don’t mean Frankie Cocozza’s dressing table) and a myriad of theatres I got to the offices and proceeded to blag my way through a series of meetings, nodding when everyone else did, and somehow fumbling my way through a presentation or two.

The reason for all this pre-amble is that during a break in proceedings I had a wee, and I think it may be a contender for an award for The Wee with the Best View in Britain!

london wee view
A loo with a view

These are the perks of working in the heart of the capital I imagine.  A nice as it is to look at the London Eye whilst peeing all over your shoes, it does not (for me) make the daily use of the tube anything like bearable.  I am much happier sat in first gear for an hour traveling the twelve miles or so to the office!!

So the day was pretty much a success, as the meetings went well and I was back home before 8pm.

The highlight of the day, without doubt though was the phone call I got from Emily on the way down.  She was due to pick up her GCSE results for her Maths re-take.  Having inherited the Williams aversion to Maths, she too did not pass it first time around.  This is a family tradition, and having retook it recently she had not exuded confidence about passing this time either.  I do admit to being a little nervy for the first hour of the journey, whist trying to engage in jaunty badinage with the boss next to me, but once she’d called the trip seemed a little more bearable all round.

Thankfully, her call to me was a joyous one, as she had passed, and we were all absolutely delighted.  Having mastered algebra and isosceles triangles she can now forget them forever and just wave her certificate at employers.

One downside of the journey down south was that I missed Rebecca perform in her GCSE Dance group that evening.  One of the very few school performances I have missed since they started being sheep in the nativity in nursery!  She did very well according to Louise, as a zebra!  I imagine it very similar to the Lion King Show in the Animal Kingdom!

The rest of the week was relatively uneventful, my Mum’s birthday aside today.  We popped round with a present and a card, and I spent a comfy hour in the restful grip of my Dad’s brand new “ladyboy” chair.  Only the die hard long standing trip report readers amongst you may get that reference!!

We are now in the full maelstrom of March which is officially the busiest and most expensive month of the year in the world of Williams.  It contains four family birthdays and three Mother’s days.  Yes that’s three.  My Mum of course, Louise’s Mum and Louise.  As grown up as the girls are they still seem incapable of finding their way to a shop and procuring their Mum a pressie.

In other news, I, no we, as I include Louise in this, are in the full grip of WDW cold turkey.  Like the full-blown addiction it is, we are metaphorically rocking ourselves slowly in the corner, quietly whispering random words such as Philharmagic, Applebees, Epcot, and overdraft.  I cannot lie to you, we have both this week spent time on websites that contain flight searches.  This has not helped, and in fact only reinforced how much we cannot afford to go this year.  This makes me sad, in more ways than one.

So our house is like some scene from Trainspotting, but the train in question circles the Magic Kingdom. I made the very big mistake earlier this week of re-reading one of my trip reports as someone had just commented on it.  In light of the coldness of my turkey, this was not a wise thing to do.  It did reinforce my thinking that the writing of these trip reports is well worth the effort at the time, as reading them some years later really does allow you to transport yourself to the exact time and place.  Let’s face it, that’s a lot cheaper than paying for flights.

Till the next time…..



Spring has sprung and inevitable events.

It is always nice to get comments to these posts, and last week I was inundated with a comment, expressing a view that there haven’t been any Oli pictures and videos recently.

It is a difficult one, to know what to drone on about here.  Having said that, I seem to have managed to drone about work for the last few posts (I won’t this week!) so I thought I’d share some recent pictures.  For fans of Oli, I can point you in the direction of Pinterest, which is the latest social media site which has appeared to add to the collection of sites that are a distraction from doing anything productive.  On Pinterest I have a board dedicated to Oli, so if you are feeling the need for a fix of smelly mammoth, that’s your destination.

Anyway, here come the pics….

Yesterday after I walked him (again)
Oli 2
Looking for *that* toy
Oli 3
Making a mess of the couch

So there you go with your Oli fix.  He’s still behaving himself, unless you happen to be a cat, in which case he is constantly making every waking second a living hell.

There has been a distinct change in the weather over the past week, with the actual appearance of the sun.  Granted, it is still freezing, and there has been some snow in parts of the country, but actual sunshine has an immediate effect on the country and certainly me.  I am self diagnosed with SAD, so the dark cold winter months are not my favourite times, so at the first glimpse of the yellow round thing, inevitable events happen.

These events mean, unfortunately, that I immediately drop into “I want a holiday” mode, and my fingers are drawn inexorably to the keyboard, whereby I find them typing in letters such as K A Y A K.  This is NOT a good thing.  It matters not that I know we can’t go this summer, it simply cannot stop me trying endless configurations of flights, eventually even those via the Ukraine, in the hope of an Easyjet style price for a Trans Atlantic journey.

I also start to make other internet journeys, watching videos of the parks, and drooling over resorts and their fine dining menus.  This really is bordering upon an illness.

This is not one of my usual posts were I moan about flight prices, and then two posts later you discover in a flurry of gloating and guilt that  I have booked anyway.  Alas,unexpected inheritances from long lost relatives or lottery wins aside, we REALLY will not be going this year.  Really, I mean it!

This makes me sad.  I miss Florida, and I am truly sorry that we won’t be going on one of our adventures this year.  There is nothing that beats the thrill and excitement of that early morning at the airport on your way to WDW, when everyone is full of excitement, anticipation and over priced airport food.  The world is literally your lobster as the days ahead of you shine as brightly as your brand new white trainers with endless possibilities and about one million calories.

So as much as I accept our fate, I don’t have to like it!  There will be times a plenty in the future to get over there, and I assure you, we’ll be there as soon as is humanly possible, if not sooner.

I don’t know if we’ll go somewhere else instead to be honest.  This is for two reasons –

  1. I cannot summon any enthusiasm for other destinations
  2. I begrudge spending any cash on other destinations as it means we can’t use that cash to go where I want to go.

Hey ho, musn’t grumble and all that.  There are many worse off than us, who have never experienced the holidays we have, and probably aren’t likely to.  I understand that, but I still want to lie on the floor and kick and scream until I’m sick.

The week ahead has a trip to London in store on Wednesday, and as the streets there are paved with gold, I’ll just dig up a couple of blocks and that should sort us out for the holiday we want!

Till the next time….