Hard Yards and Halloween

When it comes to the discipline of writing a weekly blog, then these post holiday times are the hard yards. Times are tough enough, but then Louise makes me do gardening for chunks of the weekend and that is the very definition of insult to injury. It is not a recipe for inspiring the creative juices for the creation of captivating blog content.

The holiday to which I refer feels a long time ago already and a full and busy week at work involving too many motorways and meetings has jolted me back into reality.

The good news is (well, it depends on your view point) is that I have made a start to the trip report. Before you get too carried away, I opened the Word document, typed the title and a paragraph of text before having to get back to real life. If anyone has some spare hours and a muse knocking about, I will accept either or both. The title of it shall be an obvious one, reflecting the changing state of our family situation, The Adults Only Tour 2015. Don’t worry there won’t be too much content with an 18 rating!!

Amongst the grim reality of the daily grind there have been very welcome glimpses of metaphorical sunshine from across the Atlantic. We have shared, mainly via Snapchat, Emily’s week, which didn’t start very well, with her being ill with a nasty cold, but ended with a visit to MNSSHP and then yesterday with her meeting popular vloggers Tim and Jen Tracker in Epcot. She had a lovely chat with them at the Food and Wine Festival which by all accounts has attracted more people to it than the population of a small country. Epcot is busy right now!

MNSSHP was affected by the persistent rain for pretty much all of the night, but Emily reported that the fireworks and parade were both superb

emily mnsshp 2

mnsshp 1

mnsshp 2

emily mnsshp 3

We have Facetimed her a couple of times this weekend, which has been the first time we’ve been able to since we came home as she has been so busy. It’s lovely to speak to her of course and to confirm that she is eating and taking medication for her cold etc etc. Twenty years old or not, she cannot escape the parental instinct, even by being on the other side of the Atlantic.

This week has also seen Louise and I begin life in what I believe is called an empty nest. With Emily already having flown the nest, albeit temporarily, Rebecca and her boyfriend Tom now have their own place together which has been some time in the planning. This week they have pretty much now moved in. It’s a lovely place about ten minutes from us and they are obviously very excited about the whole thing. Rebecca is well into forging her way in the world with her recently acquired job and we’re really proud of her get up and go.

Mustard also resumed gigging last night with a great night at a local pub. It was good to get back to it after a summer break whilst we all holidayed and everyone seemed to have a good time. Louise took a short video, which isn’t the best sound quality, and it is sideways too, but here you go. If you follow this link to the Mustard Facebook page (and hey, why not Like it whilst you are there?) you can see it as the most recent post.

You are not allowed to phone in work tomorrow with a stiff neck as a result of watching that.

So my goals for the week to come are, to do no further gardening at all, to somehow find my mojo and get on with the trip report and to get through the working week quickly and painlessly before a double header of gigs next weekend.

Till the next time…..


Back In Body, If Not In Mind.

Hello again. We’re home and already, sadly, back into the routine of our every day lives. After two and a bit weeks in the technicolour landscapes of Florida, landing back in Manchester on Tuesday was like living through the Wizard of Oz but in reverse, ending up in black and white.

We returned home with one of the party missing of course, and I can confirm that it is entirely possible to be upset for an entire eight-hour flight. We were fine(ish) when we said goodbye to Emily in her apartment, but as soon as the wheels left the tarmac of Orlando airport both Louise and I fell to pieces. We apologise to those around us for the sniffles and wailing as you tried to watch that film.

The holiday itself brought us many more new memories and some definite highlights we’ll remember forever. With the other stuff going on during the holiday, it was a bit of an emotional roller coaster at times, knowing that it would end with Emily staying behind and understanding that, with the girls at the ages they are, it could very likely be the last of its kind.

For anyone who hasn’t seen this via Facebook, this is Emily from her first day on stage. By God, it’s been a long stressful road to get there for her, but we’re so proud of her.

emily crp uk pav day 1

It was reassuring for us to meet most of her flat mates who seem lovely, and to know that she’s made friends with her UK pavilion colleagues. It doesn’t stop us thinking about her all the time whilst she is thousands of miles away of course and hoping she is doing OK. She has been so busy with work since we left that we’ve only managed a few quick Facebook chats. Hopefully we’ll be able to Facetime her on her days off soon…..(take note Emily!).

Work was right where I left it, and within half an hour of resuming my place at my desk it felt like the holiday never happened. Imagine how that post holiday grief was magnified as this weekend I have had to go away with work on our annual conference thingy. As much as I appreciate the investment my company makes in taking us all away for these things, this weekend, of all weekends, I just needed to lock myself in the house and rock myself slowly in a corner. A day of Powerpoint slides with Kris Akabusi (true story) in a Birmingham hotel was not at the top of my “must do” list right now.

I haven’t even thought about writing any of the trip report. Work has been manic and my weekend has been seriously curtailed. The coming weeks look similarly bobbins with trips to head office down south and, more pleasingly, quite a few gigs on the horizon. Right now, I don’t feel exactly driven to write the thing, but I’m putting that down to jet lag, worry about Emily and the shock of not being in Florida any more. I’m sure I will get to it, but don’t hold your breath.

We have also returned home to some good news. Rebecca has her first job. Before we left she interviewed for an apprenticeship in Childcare and she got it! She’ll be starting as soon as her CRB check is done, which is just great news and another source of enormous pride for us. Well done pud.

So allow me this weird, all over the place post today as I acclimatise once again to a non holiday life and I’m sure by the time next week rolls around things may feel more normal.

Till the next time….