Hello Banjo

Late last night while Man was snoring away, I had one of those moments where I thought I was either being robbed or a horrific and deathly apparition would appear at the end of my bed. Yes Demon Dog was downstairs in the house. The truth of it is, if we did get broken in to I’m pretty damn sure Demon Dog would welcome any intruders with a cup of tea and a very large hug. Or in reality a bouncy hello and a sloppy puppy kiss.

So lying in bed thinking I was about to be murdered the sudden realisation hit me! The likelihood of the burglar/murder/deathly apparition actually being able to reach the bed or even the upstairs quarters would be highly unlikely with the amount of rubbish, clothes, cat toys and dog toys all over the floor (from the front door to the bed. Imagine a ripping tornado screaming through your home – yeah, that’s our animals, me and Man on a long week. Habits that must be broken before the little addition arrives. This little and very logical realisation lead to another – operation tidy/clean must certainly commence in the AM once the Mini had been dropped at the garage for the MOT and service.

I’ve been mad at my Grandmother for a couple of weeks. My close family will understand exactly why, and because of this I’ve not managed to see my Granddad for a couple of weeks either. This morning I had a call from her asking me to sit with my Granddad so she could do out and take some flooring back to B&Q. Initially I was mad and didn’t want to go, but this was purely for my Granddad so agreed to pop over in the afternoon once I had my car back. I finished operation tidy/clean and cracked on with lunch for man and I of scrambled eggs on toast once he had got home from work and I had pick up my failure of a car (knowing it’s going to cost me more than it did today as it is back in next Saturday as well).

Arriving at my grandparents, my Grandma faffed about a little and then left with the promise of “I’ll be as quick as I can”, leaving me and my partner in crime alone so the mischief could begin. At first he was all over the place, he was trying to tell me about the episode he had had that morning. His mind plays tricks on his eyes sometimes, it sends messages to his vision centre and he ended up seeing multiple of actual reality. His reality is doubled and skewed. He was very confused and it came across in the way he was trying to tell me about it. I picked up his Banjo, he’s had it for years. It’s probably never been re-stringed and it has never really mattered as I can’t remember him playing it since three house moves ago. I will have been about seven or eight. We used to sit in his little man cave, he would have been watching footy on the smallest TV in the world when I’d interrupt. He’d grab his banjo and start to play George Formby he would be singing along too “I’m leaning on a Lamppost at the corner of the street until a certain little lady comes by, oooh meee, oohhh myy, until a certain little lady comes by”. I can still hear him singing it with a smile on his face.

Regardless of his eye sight not being what it was, he watch intently as I unwound the strings and came to my first problem. The 5th string is wound round a key about half way down the neck of the banjo. The key was loose and I needed a screwdriver to tighten it. This triggered a little conversation in where he told me he had a guitar to show me. We broke into the conservatory (I say ‘broke in’ as my grandma keeps it locked so he cannot make a mess *sigh*) and he pulls out a barely used electric guitar he had been given. He told me it was too heavy and we packaged it back up and placed it back where he got it from. He was then adamant that there was another guitar. In his wardrobe of all places – I wasn’t really on board for the hunt for this guitar, yet I followed him like I did as a child in his garden when I used to throw up the leaves he had just raked.

Granddad started rummaging through the wardrobe like a crazy thing under my watchful eye. I couldn’t see anything, but then he asked me to look. I did. Low and behold there is a guitar stuffed at the back of the wardrobe and as I pull it from its hiding place his eyes came alive. We peel it out of the case, it’s the classical I knew he had. Haven’t seen it in a while, it’s nothing expensive but it holds memories of when he used to play. We sat in his room while I tuned in and played a few chords from my teens and a piece that I love for him. “I’m sure there’s another one” he said to me and starts looking for another guitar literally everywhere. Literally EVERYWHERE.

In the wardrobe, in the shower which is in the wardrobe (the previous house owner had a James Bond style appetite for gadgets), in the brand new kitchen, in the living room, behind the sofa, under the sofa cushions, behind the curtains, in all the cupboards. No avail. So a hunch tells me something, I follow the hunch. I present to him the electric guitar he has shown me previously. “OH where did you find that?” he was utterly amazed. I tried not to laugh and told him it was hidden away in the other room. I then played for what seemed like hours on all three different stringed boxed. Fathomed out his favourite “Duelling Banjos” on the banjo as he hummed it out perfectly by my side.


It’s taken me since Saturday to write this post, but on Sunday I got a call from my granddad asking me to get him a book so he could learn something on his Guitar. He was so excited and so him again. I’ve been stuck home since Sunday with the most relentless migraine. It has eased up today and turned in to more of a headache with a killer side of acid reflux (the joy) but my concentration span isn’t so great.

Evan managed to cause a riot on one of the lovely mum sites this morning when airing my opinion about the lack of reasonably priced brightly coloured gender neutral baby clothes. Looks like we will be finding out the gender of the baby.

L xox

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My Least Favourite Things to Throw Up

Finally I can start to write freely about that last few months. I say finally because the last two most has properly dragged. We FINALLY announced that we are expecting. We are getting Aro a human sibling. I am currently 13 weeks pregnant and my experience so far has been that of a roller-coaster, probably a similar idea if not the same for most expectant Mams.

I found out a day before my missed period, with a curiosity test after several failed pee sticks in the back of my mind. Genuinely thinking that the small strip test, bought in bulk from the internet was going to come up with just the test line and nothing else. My first challenge was peeing in a cup. Well not a cup, because the last time I did this I felt too strange about re-using the cup for anything actually drinkable so it ended up filed under B1N. I opted for the lid for the shaving foam on the side of the bath (thoroughly washed out)… nothing was ever drank out of it, nothing will ever be drunk out of it. Problem solved. Although it was a rather small pot to pee in, which comes with its own difficulties.  The little card strip got dipped in the pot of pee up to the ‘do not cross’ line and the two mins wait while I dried my hair wasn’t too bad as I was expecting it to do nothing anyway –“I’m not that lucky” I thought.

I peered at the pee stick with no hope, to see what I expected. Absolutely nothing. I continued to get ready that morning (it was a Saturday so a leisurely job). I picked up the stick again, admitting defeat and about to throw it in the bin. BUT, in whatever different light I picked it up in there was an ever so pale and slight second pink line. I was adamant that it was my imagination. Even took photo’s half ready to post it online to see if anyone on my fave mamma site could decide either way. My head won the battle and remembered there was a digital pee stick in the bedside draw (groupon purchase). Disgustingly the pee pot was still on the side of the bath, which meant for east testing. Dip and wait.

Only the longest 3 freaking minuets of my entire existence. The pee stick had this stupid count down on it, and with each flash of a grey square I got closer to the stick till I was knelt on the bathroom floor with my nose practically touching the dip stick.

One word appeared after the damn thing stopped flashing. PREGNANT.

Between that moment and Man getting home from a Saturday morning shift, I was almost certainly more of a fidget than normally. Id prepared how I’d tell him months before. Making a somewhat geeky joke involving a T.A.R.D.I.S baby grow and card. Implied meaning “bigger on the inside”.

The week we found out, was the week we lost Man’s Dad. So very mixed emotions and it didn’t feel like we could be amazingly glad of our news when something unbelievably sad was going on. We told our closest family in early December with Christmas cards, and wrote a Christmas card to Granddad and asked for it to be placed in the casket with Man’s pops. I know he will know now where ever his spirit is, but I know Man took it hard because he couldn’t tell him.

The rest of the family found out on Christmas day. One of the first questions ask was “well does that mean you’re getting married then” – URGH archaic thought process.

From week 7 through to current I have thrown up almost every single night. I can confidently tell you that out of all the tea time treats I have vom’d that Spaghetti is my least favourite thing to chuck up, closely followed by sausages (these were horrifically spikey on the wrong way out, and I’m pretty sure I damaged my oesophagus regurgitating this delight). I’m very much looking forward to not throwing up on a night…. I’m hoping at least that it will ease off. 

L xox 

Wool Socks and Stubbornness


By 10.30am I have a grand total of 5 missed phone calls. The only reason I knew this was because my brother had called Man to try and get hold of me. My Granddad had gone walk about after a heated (out of the blue) moment with my Grandma over socks and pyjamas. He has vascular dementia. They’ve recently moved back from Lincoln for extra family support. This has been the first ‘episode’ we’ve had since they’ve been back.

We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and it would have its challenges. After convincing himself that there were three women out to take his money and the post office and tax people were doing it wrong; my granddad decided that he didn’t like the ‘wool’ socks (actually cotton ones) and the pyjamas my grandma had bought for him. When she told him to calm down, he told her he would lash out – she told him she would call the police and pretend to call the police. With that he headed to the door with £40 he’d taken out of his wallet and his Tesco’s club card. No coat and no walking stick. Hence the 5 missed phone calls.

Man and I, my brother and my sister-in-law headed out to find him. We drove round the streets for about 40 mins with no luck. Plus side of this was that we did have the ultimate tour of the area. We are now well equipped to follow any trail he could possibly take to hot foot it out of there for when it happens again. Man dropped me off with Grandma to make sure she was okay. While I was soothing her, Sister-in-law stayed amazingly calm and reported him missing to the police. Man went out looking again. Everyone pulled together. Even the brand new neighbours had headed out to find him. We sent a picture of him to the police woman that showed up, now he’s on the database and they’ll know his face as a ‘walker’.

Brother, with a little help from the neighbour, found him. He’d done a good old walk and was heading to my house. We must have only just missed him. They bundled him into Brother’s car and took him to his abode. We got the call telling us he was safe and well and with my Brother. Sigh of relief. Grandma had the urge to tell the two lovely police officers her life story as she went off on a tangent. They were so sweet and patient with her – massive huge thank you is being sent out to all the officers who helped look for him. There was quite the search party for him.

A lunch out with my grandma, and a wander round the supermarket gave her a little space to cool down before we reunited them. He didn’t understand that she was mad because she cares. She didn’t understand that it isn’t him when these episodes happen and she can’t treat him like she would if he was consistently sound of mind. The truth is, he doesn’t have all his mind any more. It is dying slowly and there is nothing we can do about it. It’s dreadful watching your grandparent crumble back to a childlike state, breaking down because they can’t cope. They were the ones that always picked you up and dusted you down, making you believe that it wasn’t the end of the world when you were convinced that your world was over.  I hate watching him cry the most, it hurts my soul.

This situation reminds me that we have to be kind to one and other. We have to be strong and remain sweet because if you can’t then what is the point of being human? Be benevolent in your actions and words. It will be the different between a full on shit storm of a day or giving someone the sparkle of hope they need to carry on.

The reunion wasn’t an easy one. When we returned to my Grandma’s place she was still pretty pissed. Understandably, he caught her face while flailing before he walked out. We all sat ready to interject and put our two pennies worth in as my Grandma broke down for the third time since I’d seen her. We played council and advised her. I witnessed a touching moment when their eyes met for the first time since we’d brought granddad back to her. Their hands reached out and clutched the other. 56 years is worth a hell of a lot. With a sideways half smile and a squeeze of the hand, everybody relaxed their shoulders and the tension vanished. Stubbornness is a wonderful thing sometimes, but there has to be a little give.

Pasta etc.

Last night I forgot to mention my pasta disaster. It’s often I roam my cupboards and throw things in a pan.  Last night was no different. 

I chopped half an onion like a pro, minced garlic like champ and the chorizo was sliced to with an accurate inch of its life. It was all going swimmingly until the pasata. I couldn’t locate the damn scissors when I decided to rip open the box. Which of course didn’t work. In this instance I opted for a sawing motion with my pairing knife. It was going perfectly well when I wasn’t applying any pressure, well apart from the box wasn’t cutting and the pasata remaind inside the box. 

Pressure was applied. Stupid here; in a sawing motion, in slow motion, sawed straight into my index digit. Not my most wise move of the day. So now I’m advertising my Jams and a big fat warning of how not to open a box of pasata. My Jams are still cool though. War wounds – barely. I’ll live to fight another day, and as I do I’ll be raising money for the Poppy Appeal while I try not to saw off the rest of my fingers with a pairing knife. 

Love, L xox 

Evening Ramble

My goals for writing are slipping away and I keep promising myself that I’ll get back to it. I’m the only one who sets and aim for these goals. I’ll keep it to myself and see if I can do it, I’ve often found is to be the best method for other goals. 

I smashed the hell out of my Jamberry business goals in October. Hoping it will continue for the run up on Christmas too. It’s very moral boosting when you exceed your very  own expectations. Probably a good thing when the stupid cold/ flu thing is floating round work again. Note to self – wear scarf over your mouth and nose during office hours.

My bipolar is on a level or high at the moment, with only two minor dips in the past 2 weeks. These lasted a mere couple of days. Delusions are at present, softly humming in the background. They’ve been  a comfort, and there is no chance that they will subside. I don’t mind this, as mine are a constant and non-threatening sort. An idea which will always linger, like a religious person with their God. 

Here is to the random ramblings of a want to be writer. I’ll make the promise to be more coherent in my next post. Probably. Promise. 

Gnight hey, xox

Lipstick to Bed

Last night I had a very daft (and somewhat honest) conversation with man. It started out with me having a hot flush in this random early September heat wave we are currently in. I had borrowed his lounge pants, which are far too big. They are made from brushed cotton so didn’t exactly help with the heat. I was trying to clean up the kitchen from dinner before heading for bed and had to strip down to my knickers to be able to complete the task at hand. This lead to a manic moment where I decide that I could find any clothes to sleep in while listening to the beauty and the beast sound track (yes, singing along). Eventually, after pacing and wondering and somehow managing to find my shorts to sleep in we continued to talk nonsense for a little while with the window wide open.

In part of this conversation the topic drifted (I can’t keep my thought in a straight line when an episode is going on) we got on to me being a secrete ninja or something. This in turn lead to the sentence (and I have no idea how) “like when you are convinced that someone is always watching you or listening in to your conversations”. Now man at this time thought I was continuing the silly, he thought I was playing. Until that very moment when that statement escaped passed my lips I had no idea that this wasn’t normal.

At the time I laughed it off. This has danced on my faltering mind all day, so much so I have a stupid pressure headache. The worse part of this is I have been so convinced of this for as long as I can remember and I know it is literally nonsense. For a logical person this is a very illogical thought process. I’m conscious of my mentality and have been for a very long time. It is manageable for most parts, but some days I am full on crazy.

The mania has been bad recently. Bad enough for even me to consider a trip to the Docs. I hate the place, but genuinely worried that this is the start of something more than Bipolar. I’m hoping that it’s just a pinch of manic getting to me, but who knows. It’s bad enough I think my car might be bugged- and I talk to myself a hell of a lot in the car (which I thought was normal too, now I’m not too sure). It’s not like I feel threatened by this constant listening in or watching, I’m just conscious of it all the time. This is classed as delusional.

Today marks the first day I’ve blogged about this as a current issue. Normally it takes a while to open up about it. I don’t really know what is different. Potentially still manic, in fact I’m pretty sure I am. My concentration is crap.

Now all I can think about is the night before last. I put on lipstick before I went to bed. I was testing it out. I couldn’t get it off, so slept in the prettiest, brightest red lipstick ever. It was the most glamorous I’ve been for bed. Ever.

Love
L xox

Call on Line One

i_m-going-crazyI think stupid is catching on today.

In my job I deal with so many different workers, and not all of these workers are full of sense. All very lovely in their own ways. The cockney lads, with the “a’wight darlin’”, our Yorkshire folk with the “fanks luff” along with the “I did some work for you, me”. Fascinating creatures, people.

After today, I came home to make tea and choosing not to cook. I went to the cellar to get out something to throw  in the oven, came back upstairs to the kitchen with an ice pop, a piece of ice for Demon dog and a loaf of frozen bread. Logic.

So my first cracker of the day was a lovely gentleman id been trying to get in touch with for the past week in order to get him set up with a payment company. This particular gent had given me his basic details, including address and phone number in order for me to forward on said deets to the payment company we use. I’d left a voicemail for him to call me, I needed his ID you see to make his file fully compliant. I’d had no returned phone call until today. “Lotty, there’s a call on Line one” And hour before the last payment was supposed to go out through the payment company. Turns out the payment company couldn’t get in contact with the chap either, they had left him voicemails and even resorted to text just as I had.

It transpires that the gentleman had given us the contact phone number for a phone he wasn’t carrying with him, nor was it working at the time. Now correct me if I am wrong, but if you wanted to be paid wouldn’t you give out a number that was correct and true? I mean, how does one expect to get payment for works completed if the contact number you pass on to get you fully registered ready for payment isn’t active? Okay so this was only guy number one. We have several of these a day.

My second fire cracker was a lovely man. We had a great chat when I was taking his details over the phone to get him set up. Really genuine honest Yorkshire man. I get all his detail, check the phone numbers twice (after what happened earlier I’m going to start triple checking) and then informed him I would send him an email to the address he had spelt out to me on the phone asking him to send me a form of ID. The question on his lips was “what part of the passport do you need” and after explaining it was the picture part with all his details on we bid farewell and I sent him an email requesting the documentation.

An hour and a half later, I hear my colleague taking a phone call from the guy. “So you just want an email address to send your passport to” he repeats the email address out to my friend on line one. I turn to my colleague after the call was terminated. “Was that my friend”. Turns out he wanted to have an email address so that he could reply to my email that I had just sent him… yes, it is exactly as it sounds. He wanted an email address, so that he could reply to my email.

No words can describe today. I really do feel like a mad-as-a-hatter lollipop triple dipped in crazy.

L xox