Back Pain, not going back pain and Applebees

Just as I start to think I a recovering from post WDW blues, someone does something which brings all those thoughts and longings back.

Twitter is a cruel mistress

As much as I do feel honoured that the chap or chapess who runs the Applebees twitter account found me and decided I was worthy of a follow, as I read that email it hurt.

There were two reasons for this.  Firstly it was 4.43am.  I was just about to set off down south to get to Head Office for a couple of days, but secondly and mainly it reminded me that the joys of an Ultimate Trio at an Applebees was so beyond my reach that the pain was tangible.

I suspect it is more likely that Applebees will open up some UK branches before we get to go back.  That’s right, I am declaring right here, as is my annual tradition, that I don’t think we’ll be back next year.  The new house demands attention like a naughty toddler, and more than that, it demands whatever disposable income we are likely to stumble across.

I won’t go on about it, as we all know that isn’t the first time I have been here, so we’ll leave it there and wait and see.  It is Emily’s 18th next July, and she has been less than subtle in declaring where she wants to be for it, but that doesn’t magic up the multiple thousands of pounds required, regardless of the amount of guilt I would feel if we didn’t do something special for her.

In real world matters, Louise’s back is improving, thanks to some physio and lots of medication.  She should be returning to her hospital placement tomorrow which is excellent news.  The physio seems to think that the back problems are caused by a long-standing ankle problem which is forcing Louise to walk in a way that compensates for the pain she feels, and this in turn throws her pelvis and back out of kilter, and leads to her back “going” from time to time.  So the end game is to resolve the ankle thing.

The first step (pun intended) in this process is naturally to throw away the £50 trainers she has had for a few weeks and buy some new ones which will be better suited to her needs.  Smashing.  Should anyone want a pair of black Sketchers that have been worn about six times do let me know.  Best price guaranteed!

With Louise mobile again, I am hopeful that we will tonight complete a long-held ambition to enjoy a night with a Bat Man costume in a darkened room.  This is not a Shades of Grey type reference, more a 50 pounds of Pick n Mix reference as we are heading for the cinema.  Our local Cineworld is still showing the Dark Knight film, despite the fact it has been out since July, and having heard nothing but good things I intend to snack up, settle down and slob out for a couple of hours.

Next week sees me in Manchester, Marlow and London, none of which have an Applebees and this is something I am struggling to come to terms with.

However, my pain is but a low throb compared to the white-hot burning heat of a post WDW depression that @tweetwizzo is feeling right about now, having recently landed back in the UK.  He’ll be starting his trip report soon so look out for it.  At the rate I am getting through mine, not only will he finish his before me, he will probably have had another holiday too.

Mind you, neither of us seem to be enduring a lack of mojo on a scale to compare with Gordon (The_Finkelstein) who hasn’t been seen much since his return back in the early days of summer.  I am thinking of hosting a 24 hour telethon appeal to get him the support he needs in these tough times.

Right, I must go.  The X Factor repeat has come on the telly so I need to go and throw it out of the window.

Till the next time…..



Back to bad backs

As if I hadn’t let it be known enough already, Day Five is done.  If somehow you are missing the social media bombardment announcing these things then you should follow me up and stuff, so I can be all up in your grill n stuff fo shure.

I have noticed, or more truthfully Louise has noticed, there are lots of spelling and grammatical errors in each day.  This is a symptom of writing it in my hotel room of an evening, in a bit of a rush.  Apologies, and I will try to do better as I hate that sort of sloppiness.  As ever, my desire to write a good trippy is exactly balanced out by the amount of time I cannot find to concentrate on it.

Last week I was away again.  I did three days in Marlow, enjoying the delights of the Prince of Wales.  This is not another royal scandal involving one of them with too much flesh on display, rather the executive level accommodation afforded to one of my lofty status.

I don’t enjoy being away to be honest.  At the moment though needs must, but hopefully after the next few weeks I can keep that to a sensible level.  It is doing nothing for my waistline I can tell you.  Thankfully the Price of Wales is low brow enough not to have the facilities or will to provide a full English breakfast.  No matter how good my intentions are the night before, if I wake up and have even half a chance of such a feast, I can only spit at the croissant as I trample folk to death en route to the bangers.  Again, that isn’t a Royal reference.

A yoghurt and some cereal are my start to the day, but it is at night where my waistline attracts further girth.  I have no issue with sitting by myself whilst eating. After all, I am still eating.  To be honest though, I’d rather just sit in the room, watch a bit of telly and relax, so I have taken to going to Sainsburys and getting some tea from there.  Something noodly with chicken, some salad, olives with feta and perhaps some chorizo, followed by a family bag of pretzels.  Yep, I’m a fat knacker and it must stop.

Next week I just have the one night away, and I am determined to do better.  I had resolved to “do better” this weekend too, but I’d only give myself a 6 out of 10 to be honest.

Louise is still suffering quite badly with her back, and despite some brief episodes of relief (again, no Princes involved) it hasn’t really improved at all.  Indeed yesterday we spent a few hours in A&E as the pain was so bad.  She literally could not sit, stand or lie in any comfort, and as you might guess, that isn’t any fun at all.

All that A&E could do was offer a leaflet on back pain and one dose of Diazepam.  Louise necked the tablet and battered the doctor to death with his bloody leaflet.  Hopefully things will improve over the next few days as she is desperate to get back into her hospital placement.

I had been looking forward to going to the pictures this weekend to finally watch the Batman film.  Yes, Bolton Cineworld are still showing it incredibly.  Mind you, Carrie only finished last week.  I did get to go to the cinema, but only to transport the girls there and back, as they went to watch the House at the End of the Street or whatever it is called.  Emily went with her friend Chloe and Rebecca with her friend that is a boy, Tom.  Their relationship is not yet officially confirmed as anything more than that, but they spend more than enough time together for us to guess that she may be playing it down slightly.

Of course, as Rebecca suspects, Louise and I were beamed down onto the planet just before she was born, and we’ve no experience of this sort of thing.

House at the end of the street
A vest for breasts

As far as I can make out the film seems to be entirely about that girl from the Hunger Games running around in a sweaty vest.  Well, I have no objection to that, and Bruce Willis built a career on it.

The girls thought it average though, and not as scary as they had hoped.  The fact that Emily slept suggests that this is an accurate review, as at the first sign of a scary film she can go weeks without closing her eyes.

Having ironed, cleaned, made the tea and generally been an all round great guy for most of the weekend, I now intend to enjoy my Sunday evening.  I worry for my intentions though as Emily has the remote, and is insisting on X Factor, which I can hear has just started.  Louise is in bed and Rebecca out with her not boyfriend.  I can feel a wrestling match coming on.

If there is visible bruising tomorrow then I shall do my best to conceal it.  I wouldn’t know how to explain them to work anyway.

I shall assume my position in my “Dad’s chair” and see if I can find anything worth watching, that is if I can see the bloody telly over the dog!

What's on telly?
What’s on telly?

Till the next time….

The return to work ramblings.

Rain, Downtown Abbey, Strictly, X Factor, darker nights, wearing my large pants and a lack of planning.  All these are signs that we are entering autumn, and our holidays are well and truly behind us.

So the world turns most years.  I am quite impressed that I have managed to get three days of the trip report done, which is a lot more than I thought I might.  These low expectations of output were mainly as my return from holiday saw me start a new job…again.  I really do want to keep the blog away from work as much as possible, so I won’t rattle on about it too much.  To summarise, I was approached shortly after starting my last new job, by an ex colleague about an opportunity where he now worked.

It took some time, but just before I left for holidays it all got sorted and I started as we returned.  Suffice to say it is just “better” in pretty much every way, and I’m a happy chap and consider myself lucky to have had the offer.

So on we go, and I really hope we can avoid any further talk of work for quite some time now!

I write this post on the day that is exactly 100 days to Christmas.  I only tell you this as I don’t see why I should be the only one to deal with that fact.  I simply cannot cope with a Christmas in my condition.  There was no pre holiday diet this year, and despite only eating salads for the entire trip (plus the odd Donut burger, and a few desserts) criminally I have added a few pounds.  For me though, the first few weeks back afer a holiday are the toughest food wise.

Banana Cream Pie
Why did I put weight on????

Whilst away your body is used to taking on food whether you like it or not.  Indeed the biggest challenge of most of our days in Florida is trying to convince your body that you are actually hungry even though you have already consumed the calorific limit of a small town already.

So when back in the UK, mix in a massive change to the body clock, and a reduction in calories of around 3000% and you can pretty much guarantee that hunger is a constant companion.

With my new job I have also had to be away from home for a few nights.  This means that getting a healthy diet is less than easy.  So no doubt since returning, I have added yet more poundage.

So as I was saying about four paragraphs ago, I can’t afford any thoughts of Christmas just yet.  So if you are feeling in any way festive feel free to keep it to yourself until around the 15th of December.

In real life news this week, Louise has a bad back.  It “went” on Thursday, in a similar way in the way in which it last went in 2010.  I know it was then, and can tell you the exact day as we were away in WDW, for my fortieth.  I remember her literally having to crawl across the room at Beach Club Villas to use the loo.

Similarly incapacitated this time around she has had to spend much of the last three days laid low, and in a lot of pain.  There are signs of returning to normal but she is still struggling.

Emily went to Blackpool yesterday.  It was to work on the second part of her Photography coursework.  The first half was to take photos in WDW, and then once home do the second half somewhere not quite so glamorous as some sort of contrast.  She did OK and enjoyed most of it, apart from the drunken brawl on the train on the way home.  She wasn’t actually involved of course, but was very close to what sounded like quite a bad punch up.  The police came and turfed them off the train, and Emily and her friend continued their journey pretty shaken up.  On top of that Emily has had a bit of a set back, in that it appears she is unable to apply for the Disney Programme she wants to do until she is 18.  That isn’t until next July, which would mean she probably couldn’t start until the summer after.

So now, she has the problem of what to do with herself during what is looking like an enforced gap year.  Ideas on a postcard please.

Emily has started work at a local charity shop to get some retail experience for her Disney application whilst she looks for proper paying part-time work.  Again, ideas and offers of employment are welcome.  Her specialist skills are lie ins, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook with a high level of expertise in shoulder shrugging and TV remote control use.

Rebecca’s weekend has centred around a “gathering”.  She went to a boy’s house last night with a few friends for a “gathering”.  We suspect she has designs on said boy as there has been quite a bit of socialising and tweeting, and the preparation for this casual “gathering” began at around 9.30am on Saturday and she left the house at about 7!  It is best that I don’t ask too many questions in these situations, but I have sent the boy in question the customary horse’s head so that he clear of the consequences of any behaviour that may not be in the best interests of my daughter!!  These are testing times for a Dad.

So my weekend has been a bit hectic with Louise laid up, with big shops, trippie writing, taxing the girls, tidying etc.  Before writing this here blog today we all watched The Father of the Bride for about the millionth time.  It is one of our all time faves and one that we can watch time and time again.  Each time I do watch it, it reminds me that the events of the film rush ever nearer to us, and whilst I can guarantee that neither of the weddings I will be paying for will be as expensive as the one in the film, I do wonder how I would cope with “giving” them away.

Father of the bride
As long as it is in WDW it’ll be OK

Granted, some days I would gladly pack their bags and drive them where they wanted to go, but I have to say I’m not looking forward to that.

So after waffling on about nothing in particular I shall leave you.  It is clear that I am not yet back in the swing of blogging and promise to do better next week!

Till the next time…..


And we’re back in the country….

Hello All.

Apologies for blogless Sunday, and this is just a very quick post to confirm that we have indeed made it back home in more or less one piece.

There is perhaps a little more of me sat typing this than typed the last blog update, but such are the perils of a Florida holiday and I am classing every extra pound as a badge of honour for our latest adventure.

The trip report has started, but only just, and Day One, can be found over at the Dibb.  Day Two has not yet been started but I hope to get to it this week.  Work has had me all over the place since getting back, both mentally and physically.  I’m away again Tuesday evening, and this, as it did last week, should give me the time to get it done.  There is little else to do in the bustling Metropolis of Marlow (no offence Marlowians).

We are all back into our respective routines, me as I said above, right in the deep end of a load of new work stuff on my return, the girls into their own important school and college years (we’ll have one doing GCSEs and one doing A levels this year!), and Louise’s nursing course now has her in her placement doing some actual nursing.

She’s doing shifts and all sorts, and working hard, as nurses do, but she is enjoying it which is the main thing.

I won’t steal any of my own thunder by talking about the holidays, but I will give you this photo, as I think it made it to Facebook via Emily anyway.

donut burger
Don’t knock it till you try it!

This was without doubt the tastiest thing Emily and I ate all holiday.  Honestly.  Right there on that plate are about half the pounds I gained!  I shall leave the rest of the story to the trip report, and await the varied comments from “Yum” to “Vomit”.

Normal service next Sunday hopefully, but I shall keep bloggage light so that I can spend the time getting more days done.

I should also encourage anyone who doesn’t already to follow Wizzo from the Dibb, as he is about to embark on what I think is his sixth trip in as many months…something like that anyway.  @Tweetwizzo is what you need if you twitter, and I’m sure he will be treating us to food porn and extreme gloating pretty much from Wednesday onwards, and I don’t hold it against him one bit!

Till the next time….