Binging, Bean and Bonkers Behaviour

Remember when it wasn’t raining? Good times, good times…..

The weather has been a meteorological metaphor for my past week at work. Each raindrop representing some element of my working week that washed away my energy, resilience and will to live.

With no immediate end in sight to the current madness and a diary chock full of things I don’t want to do with people I don’t want to do it with, I am clinging onto sanity by looking at my fridge door on a regular basis. Why? Because that’s where our countdown sits.

Evenings have been a vegetative state of binge watching, with Louise similarly busy, it’s all we can muster. Last week we polished off the new Killing Eve in two nights, caught the first episode of the new series of Handmaid’s Tale and then, whilst surfing around Netflix, Louise chose Dr Foster. We are always on the cutting edge of new releases. I probably wouldn’t have picked it to be honest but it was largely good. The end of series 2 seemed to be a case of the writers losing it a bit and letting the whole thing get away from them, but it was very watchable for the most part.

I was out gigging last night at a wedding in Tottington/Bury and Louise took the opportunity to binge watch all of the current series of Love Island. This has to happen when I’m out of the house otherwise I have to set the TV on fire.

Away from exciting TV related news, that I know you live for in these blogs, yesterday Rebecca started her wedding dress search. She, Louise and Emily went to a couple of shops where apparently you now need to make appointments. Clearly I am not involved in this process and will not see the selection until the day, but she has not yet found “the one” but did try a few on which she really liked and found it helpful.

The cake has been ordered now and lots of other things are being looked at and selected. It’s full on this wedding lark isn’t it?

During the hurly burly of my working week I got wind of utter madness going down in Orlando. I have to say it did fill me with a bit of horror and dread for what might be in store with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge. I didn’t have time to read too much detail of what was going on, but for the opening of what (it seems to me) is the re-theming of a fairly standard roller coaster, folks were waiting over ten hours. Ten. Hours!!

I barely tolerate a flight shorter than that to get to Orlando never mind to ride one thing. Come on folks, have a word with yourselves. Apparently the park had to shut the gates at 10am after reaching capacity, and the queue literally filled the whole park.

I mean, I have a soft spot for this ride already. For those paying attention, it was the announcement of this ride that forced Louise into wanting to go back, (next year) to ride it. Sure, another trip then got shoe horned in this year but still, it has played its part in our Orlando obsession. But, look, just, look….

Look at how happy they look. Ten hours…….ten hours!!

I would go so far as to say, despite all my work related moaning that I probably would rather spend a day at work than queue for anything for ten hours. That is the level of my disdain for this stupidity.

Before I go, I need to mention two occasions of note. The first, as Emily would be upset if I didn’t give it a “shout out”, is Bean’s third birthday. She’s a pain in the arse at times, but can also be a loving, funny ginger nuisance. Happy Birthday Bean.

The other of course is Father’s Day. With both of my daughters having the audacity to be spending this morning out of my house with their respective partners, there was no breakfast in bed and I had to source my own bowl of Shreddies.

Having said that, I live next door to my Dad and I didn’t make him breakfast either so I suppose that’s fair enough. I shall pop round later Dad with a gift that will in no way reflect what you deserve for everything you’ve done for me, Louise and the girls. Happy Father’s Day to my Dad, all of yours and of course to those Dads who aren’t here to receive their gifts in person. Louise’s Dad is in that category so a special mention to him.

Oh, and it’s 72 days folks. I don’t know if I’ll remember to give you a weekly update on that but I hope so!

Till the next time…..

Handmaid’s Tales and Grandparent Fails

This is happening a little later than normal as we’ve had a bit of a lazy day. Normally, weekend days are just a series of tasks and chores that need to be done, but today we’ve ignored them so far, and spent our time binge watching stuff.  We are currently knee-deep in The Handmaid’s Tale. We like to be right on the cutting edge of the latest releases! Next, we move on to Bless This House.

There’s a tip run that should have happened as we have our old blinds and a microwave which exploded spectacularly during the week to get rid of, but they sit outside our back door making our house look like Steptoe & Son. It’ll do no harm. I mean, I’ll go tomorrow when it’ll be nice and quiet…..on a Bank Holiday Monday, right?

Speaking of nice and quiet, this week Disney announced that Hollywood Studios will be opening at 6am from the 29th of August for a few days. That’s our first day in Florida, so technically, with the typical first morning wake up in the early AM, we could be there for that. Not a chance. We shall we making our way to the Magic Kingdom which will hopefully have the crowd levels of an Accrington Stanley reserve game. I think that time is only for on-site folks anyway, but regardless, down that path lies a perfect example of how not to enjoy a theme park.

I suspect DHS will be carnage for our entire two weeks, but we will strategically dip in and out to hopefully do stuff and specifically Toy Story Land, hoping that will be quieter than our last trip and we shall retreat gracefully to somewhere else should we encounter the cast of Ghandi.

Our countdown as of this morning sits at 114 days, so two weeks today we shall be gliding gracefully into double digits. Bring it on.

In other news, wedding plans continue to be made. Cake tastings happened this week. That I have to say has been one of my highlights for obvious reason. Less interesting (to me) conversations are ongoing about bridesmaids dresses etc and I think there’s a suit try on looming on the horizon. That’s all fine, but it’s no cake tasting is it?

Louise also had some good news this week. Ages ago, she went through the application process to return to study, this time, to move into midwifery. After weeks and weeks of waiting she heard this week that she had been offered a place. It’s a mighty fine achievement as the competition for places is very tough, so all things being equal, on our return from Orlando she will be back at Uni, at UCLAN, learning how to get babies out of women. I think that’s the correct technical term.

To finish the brief trip through our week just gone, I shall leave you with a masterclass in grand parenting. Yesterday, whilst Rebecca and Tom went to the cake shop to return with the samples I hoovered up, we were looking after Freddie. Louise nipped out to the shops to buy him more stuff we could spoil him with and I was in sole charge. We were playing, and he was doing his usual thing of wandering around the house fiddling with stuff and pressing every button he could find. I was with him of course, and as he made his way to the washing machine I thought I’d get my phone out and take a picture.

Here it is.

The button he was to press one second later actually started the washing machine with a loud whoosh of water. It shocked Freddie so much that he jumped backwards and in complete slapstick style landed bum first into the dog’s full bowl of water.

His little face was a picture of shock and horror as he sat there waist deep in cold water. I whipped him out immediately of course, which was not easy when laughing so much. He was stripped off and wrapped up cozy on the couch watching Paw Patrol by the time Louise got back a few minutes later.

There’s no need to involve social services.

Till the next time…..

Veggie Plight Sandwich

I am pleased to report that I have been strong this week and no further ADRs have been made. I applaud my own restraint.

One change and planning consideration on this trip is that Emily is now vegetarian and I was very proud of myself for remembering to order her a vegetarian meal on the flight! She has been busily scouring the menus of our favourite haunts looking at how well she will be catered for. Most places of course accommodate veggies very well, but a couple don’t seem to have recognised them as a customer base. Teak doesn’t seem to offer much to them (we’re still going though, she can have a salad!) and the biggest sacrifice Emily will be making for the sake of animal kind is to miss out on the lasagne at Olive Garden.

This dish is Emily’s most favourite thing on a plate on the planet and there is no veggie version.  So if any of you are seasoned Orlando veggies I am sure she will be delighted to hear of any tips, recommendations and advice.

One new place we have added to the plan is Sweet Tomatoes. We’ve heard good things about it for years and yet never been. Recognising that this place is very likely to be appropriate for Emily’s veggie needs, it looks like it would still offer enough stuff to interest the carnivores in the party. A lunch here is on the cards which means that if any of us are feeling meat deprived we can make up for it during the evening meal!

It’s been a bit of a busy work week despite its four-day nature. Louise worked the bank holiday Monday and has been doing the same every day including this weekend. That’s a tough stretch. I mean it’s very tough that I have had to do the washing and tidy the house completely unaided this weekend. I have also done a few finishing touches to the bedroom, glossing some bits that were added post decorator to remedy some of the snag list stuff we noticed. I hate doing it but I do seem to have managed not to destroy the entire room which is always a positive when I pick up a tool of any kind.

I know I haven’t shared any photos yet. I will but we are still waiting for some things to get it 100% complete. Our blinds, ordered in early April, are still being made. Their delivery and installation is something I am very much looking forward to as currently, with nothing up at the windows, the now very bright mornings are restricting my ability to sleep. I crave some darkness.

We also have some bedroom furniture on order and that isn’t due until late May. This staggers me. What are they doing, growing the trees from scratch? Anyway, once all that is in place I’ll do some photos so you can all see what I’ve been moaning about all these weeks. The room looks a million times better than it did of course and we are happy with it. The spare room is suffering a little, as there is still a load of stuff dumped in there that needs to either thrown or found a new home for. Why do your possessions always outnumber your capacity to store them?

On Thursday (I think it was Thursday anyway) we all went to a wedding evening at the venue for Rebecca and Tom’s wedding. It was set up to show what it would look like when properly decorated etc and there were a few suppliers flogging their wares. We were entertained by a close up magician, which was handy, as if he’d been far away we wouldn’t have been able to see what he was doing, and discovered wonders that might be available to us such as a doughnut wall. Yep, that’s a thing and I suspect it may be a thing at Rebecca’s wedding too. Whilst we were there we were given a tour of the bridal suites on offer and Rebecca chose the one she (and Tom) wanted. Tom was off watching the Avengers film so he’ll be staying wherever he is told. Not that his presence on the night would have made a huge difference to the decision making process of course.

A few things are beginning to get booked in now, with the make up lady being the latest. I hope she can manage my complex skin tones. It’s a complex business this wedding lark. Luckily, we have years of experience of planning complex family based activities and Rebecca specialises in a list. I can’t think where she gets that from.

Time to go, I have dogs to walk, and then I am on Freddie minding duty later this afternoon whilst Tom watches End Game again, this time using the excuse of taking Rebecca with him!

Till the next time…..

The Planning Has Begun…..

Right. So, a blog every week about normal life. O….K. Erm……I think I remember how this goes, but bear with, this could be a bigger car crash than normal.

Since we last spoke, we’ve been away on holiday. I’m not sure I mentioned that? I should tell you all about it at some point. I still have had to go to work most days which is remains a source of enormous and constant disappointment, and Louise too finds herself still dealing with all sorts of sores, wounds, weeping things and stuff that oozes to earn a crust. Life is cruel.

We have continued to be delighted by Freddie on a daily basis. He was round at ours yesterday for a few hours whilst Rebecca and Tom were out and about and he is just a constant source of joy. I apply the grandparent’s caveat to that, in that we only see him for a few hours at a time and can hand him back, but he’s just lovely. I know we are biased but he is just a smiling bundle of fun and he makes our day whenever we see him.

I said that he was perfect on holiday and indeed he was. We went out for our Christmas meal this year at a local restaurant and again, he just took it all in, wasn’t an ounce of trouble, which was handy as I was sat next to him, and enthralled the waiting staff.

Many of the comments on the final instalment of the trip report were about booking another trip. I know I always say that won’t be happening, before it then does, but really, honestly, it won’t. That is because other events are in the early planning stages which will involve most of our available funds for the foreseeable.

For those of you that have been around a while and have for reasons I cannot fathom but appreciate, witnessed our family grow up (apart from me) over the years, here comes another landmark.

Rebecca and Tom are getting married, and the planning has begun.

The date they are looking at is in May 2020 and, as anyone who knows Rebecca will appreciate, lists exist, venues have been vetted and one looks to have been selected now. At every significant landmark over the years there is astonishment that it is happening, as surely the girls cannot be old enough to, walk, go to school, go to a gig, have a boyfriend and pretty much everything else they have done right up until producing Freddie. But it does seem that this is real, and all the thoughts I had when we produced two girls about weddings and all that it entails are now a reality.

I think the phrase I am looking for is “shit just got real”.

The venue in the frame is one that is quite close to our house, the Last Drop Village, which makes the most sense from a location point of view and, after laughing out loud at some of the prices from other venues, seems to be the best deal too, so that worked out OK.

I suspect that this whole wedding thing will test my planning skills to the maximum, but Rebecca is the queen of lists and getting stuff done, especially when it is something as important to her as her wedding day. That doesn’t stop me being a little bit scared of what this entails. As part of Mustard, the excellent wedding band in which I attempt to play bass, I have seen quite a few weddings recently and been witness to some of the planning problems that can crop up. I am a little bit afraid. With the collective efforts of Rebecca, Tom, Louise, Emily and myself we shall, I am sure overcome, and hopefully deliver a day that Rebecca (and Tom, but let’s be frank, mostly Rebecca) has dreamt of.

As anyone who has planned and paid for a wedding will know, unless you are significantly more wealthy than I, that does not allow for holidays to happen so alas, there will be no Florida based trips that I can foresee. Lottery wins and gifts from strangers from the internet (let me know if you want my bank details) aside, it won’t be happening.

So welcome back to normal life. I’ve probably forgotten to tell you about other stuff that’s been going on. I am ring rusty (there’s a cream for that) and still in the haze of those days over the Christmas period that nobody knows what to do with themselves so these things might get better as we go. I make no promises.

This one felt like it just arrived on the page like some verbal vomit so let’s hope improvement is the ongoing trend.

Till the next time…..