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Archive for the ‘Alex’ Category


Posted by shinymac on August 1, 2008

Being totally honest, I really have had the absolute week from Hell!
Work is being a complete bitch, and so are some of the workers in it, and I just can’t wait to leave.

Since I started this blog, I have often mentioned tales of getting to work and back at night, being a woman on my own, how threatened I have felt, how much I hate being carted about the store, and generally moaning about having to carry out this job.

Well, finally, finally, finally, there is a HUGE beam of light at the end of the tunnel, beckoning me forward to make steps back out into the daylight of the big wide world.

I HAVE JUST 3 WEEKS LEFT! 3 beautiful, glorious, smug weeks, which would obviously be even more beautiful and glorious if I didn’t have to work them.

And at the end of these 3 beautiful, glorious, smug weeks, a beautiful, glorious holiday for 1 week in the Venetian Riviera! And boy can I not wait!

I have also found the answer to my Mary Poppins issues. Well, at least I think I have. No, I haven’t found Mary Poppins herself, well not yet anyway, but I have found a brilliant before and after school and holiday club, which is literally around the corner held in a church hall.

So I rang them the other day and asked if I could pop in with the kids for a visit. They were out though – at Maize Maze, and I could hear all the kids squealing with joy and excitement on the bouncy castle in the background! Fantastic! The very nice lady said that when it’s nice, they just whisk them all out for the day. I want to be a kid again! I want to be whisked out for the day!
She said to just pop in anytime they’re there and she’ll provide me with all the forms and information I need. The fact that she was so accommodating and not bothered about making an official visit appointment really made me happy. So, hopefully, Alphabets will have two new little ones come September! Although how we’re going to pay for it that month (my first payday from my new job isn’t until 10th October – eeek!), is beyond me as we will have no wages in September from my side of things.

On Monday I have another interview, and I’m completely terrified for it. It’s for the NHS, and I know they’re pretty good with working parents, but my new employers have also been nothing but brilliant in terms of trying to find shifts that suit me, so I’m not even sure if I should stray from my 18th Floor job. We’ll have to see.

Meanwhile, Alex is still desperately seeking new employment, and I am just hoping that something turns up for him soon that he’s happy with.

It’s all change again, but it’s all change for the good.


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A spoonful of shift work does not help any medicine go down!

Posted by shinymac on July 29, 2008

I just have time to write quickly before I go and prepare myself for the usual trip to the Trafford Centre for work. Only now, it’s becoming easier, because I really do know there isn’t long left, and before long I’ll be sat up on my 18th floor office, overlooking the world, well Manchester anyway.

I am starting to worry slightly, and becoming obsessed with keeping my options open, and the reason? Well, it’s because the new job is shift work. Not drastic, no over nights or anything, but earliest start would be 8am, latest finish 8pm. Not bad. Not bad at all. IF YOU ARE CHILDLESS!

It’s causing me all kinds of stress and worry. Alex gets home for about 5.45 pm each night, the after school club ends at 5.45 each night, except a Friday when it ends at 5.30. I have precisely a 15 minute childcare problem! Furthermore, Alex is seeking a new job, one where he won’t know what hours he’ll be working, and I am about to embark on my new venture, also not knowing (yet) when I’ll be finishing at what times.

It’s all just too much!


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Posted by shinymac on July 13, 2008

For a few weeks now I have felt like a baby. Not felt like eating one, or even making one, but actually felt as though I am one. In fact, I am still feeling this way. It hasn’t gone away, and it’s not because I scream or cry when my mummy’s not around, although it is sad that this is the case. It’s not that I demand bottles using my vocal chords, or even food, for if I am feeling hungry, I’ll sort myself out.
No, it’s nothing like that, but it is simply that I feel like I need winding!

All I want is for someone to put me on their knee and gently pat my back for a while.
You see, I have a lump in my throat, that feels like something is lodged there in a way, or like a trapped air bubble that won’t pop, and I just need a little bit of help to dis-lodge it, or pop it.

It’s making me burp uncontrollably, in an effort that the burp might force it to pop or dislodge, and it’s making me feel incredibly sick! It’s awful! I’ve never experienced this feeling before.

So last night, I asked Alex if he would wind me when we went to bed. Hardly the most enticing thing he’s been asked to do, I know, but I’m becoming desperate for a good wind! He promised he would, but because I’d had such a long day after not very much sleep the night before, I was falling asleep way before him, so went up to bed way earlier than him. He could hardly wind me while I was sleeping, for that would just freak me right out. So tonight, I will ask him once again if he’ll wind me, and give my back a good pat to see if I can break this lump or whatever it is.

Fingers crossed that tomorrow I will feel all grown up, and non-baby like once again.

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Don’t get drunk, I will make you spend all your money on food you don’t want!

Posted by shinymac on March 25, 2008

I hope you all had a good Easter weekend. Mine felt like any other weekend, but with slightly more alcohol than is usual.
First off, I had to work on Good Friday, so of course I had to have a good moan and a good old whinge about how I was working both Bank Holidays, and everyone else kind of had a choice. This wasn’t actually the case, but I was feeling sorry for myself at being dragged into work for a paltry 2 and a half hours.

Saturday was fab. Alex went down to London to meet his dad to watch Tottenham Hotspur play against Portsmouth (and they won! Yay!), so the kids and I went and had a late breakfast (almost brunch I guess) at Sainsburys. Then we went and bought educational books for pre-schoolers, with sheets of gold star stickers, and we bought Winnie The Pooh biscuit cutter shapes. Our day was set!

I spent a good hour and a half sat at the table with the kids, trying to explain the meaning of rhyme; “now think about this, does wall sound like frog, or does it sound like ball?” (whilst nodding furiously as I say the rhyming word!)
It was great fun, but I felt ready for a break after the first hour, so I distracted them with the prospect of getting messy making honey and chocolate Winnie cookies.

Once the cookies were cooled, and tasted (YUCK!), we settled down to a colouring-in session with a Spot The Dog book, and home came Alex armed with a chicken bhuna curry, pilau rice, nan bread and lamb koftas from our most favourite take away in the world.

Then we all snuggled up on the sofa and watched The Day After Tomorrow, which must have been riveting for the kids, as they both fell asleep!

I woke up yesterday (Sunday), and I was shattered, having spent the whole of the night before in bed, in complete agony (women’s problems, you know). So, Alex kindly took the kids out to the park where there was an Easter Egg Hunt and a bouncy castle.
They came home with rosy red cheeks, and Alex regaled tales of the geeky kids (I am so glad ours are not the geeky ones), who were dressed very prettily in Easter Bonnets with frilly, flowery dresses. Poor things.

Then Alex went off to the pub to meet a friend and watch (more) football……sigh.
We had arranged that we would go out for tea somewhere local, as a family, so I kind of expected he would be home for around 5pm at the latest.
His battery ran out on his phone…… conveniently! And it was getting ever closer to 6pm, let alone 5pm. He had texted me at 3:45 saying he would have one more, then he’d be home, but 2 hours later, and no sign of him.
By this point, I was starting to worry a little. This wasn’t like him, he was usually reliable, and he had felt guilty about going out in the first place, so panic set in a little. I got online and started to check local news sites, only to find; “Gunman enters pub and shoots drinkers!” OH MY GOODNESS. When I finally connected to the story, I noticed it was miles away, and two nights previous. Phew, although, still OH MY GOODNESS! How awful!
As I contemplated calling the police to see if anything had happened out there, I saw him stroll past the window to the door. It took a few seconds longer than usual for him to get inside the house, and as he staggered in giggling, I knew he’d just got carried away with the moment and got drunk!
So, I still made him take us all out for tea, and ensured I got to choose (he’s been harping on about going to this Greek restaurant as we always have Italian, for ages), so I chose Italian! Ha!

As he sat trying to concentrate on his menu, I thought “If you can’t beat em, join em”, so I ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigot, and proceeded to drink it all to myself. Delicious, although I didn’t think that this morning, or this afternoon, or this evening.

Still, it was a good meal all the same, apart from the shocking price, which was kind of my fault as punishment for him being late, drunk and embarrassing!

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Let’s Shake, Rattle and Roll!

Posted by shinymac on February 27, 2008

One thing I can almost certainly say I am sure about, is the ground beneath my feet. As I walk along the cobbles within old parts of Manchester, or stroll leisurely across grassy canal verges, the ground is pretty much solid and still. As I lay in my bed throughout the night, I am secure that the earth below me, is staying put. Or at least I was…..

 Last night, I was up late, attempting to write articles on , and feeling creative, until my eyes could bear no more of the screen before me, and I decided to head off to bed. Alex had gone up, and the kids were quietly, safely snoozing away peacefully on their bottom bunk.

It was nearing 1am, and despite an urge to fight the heavy eyelids, I caved and headed sleepily up the stairs.

As I was just starting to doze off, I felt tremors. The bed was shaking and creaking and rattling, and my initial thoughts were that Alex was having some kind of weird, violent dream, or had suddenly developed epilepsy!
I stroked his arms and attempted to soothe him by saying “Hey, it’s alright, calm down, calm down”.
Then it stopped altogether, and off I drifted to sleep, thinking no more of it.

I awoke this morning as Alex was getting ready for work, and he announced that there had been an earthquake overnight.
Initially, I thought he meant in LA, or Indonesia somewhere, but when he declared that the epicentre was in Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, I was immediately concerned for my mother, who lives very close to that little racecourse town.
Alex said that only 1 reported person had been injured, some bloke from Barnsley whose chimney fell on top of him, and he also said that people had felt the tremors from the 5.2 quake as far as London.
A light went on in my head, and I quickly asked if he knew what time this earthquake had occurred….. “About 1am” he said.

I jumped up and down excitedly, and shouted “I FELT IT! I FELT IT! I THOUGHT YOU WERE HAVING A FIT WHEN I CAME TO BED!”

I don’t know why I was so excited, but Mother Nature fascinates me at times. When I was working in Oklahoma, I was obsessed with tornadoes, and desperate to see one, so I slept with my curtains open every night for 3 months during stormy season.

I never for one moment thought that I would feel an earthquake in my lifetime, but I’m so happy that I did, and obviously very happy that my house and my family are all still intact and safe.

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Happy non Valentine’s ordinary day!

Posted by shinymac on February 16, 2008

Yesterday, as I’m sure most of you know, was Valentine’s Day. Single people out there who don’t have admirers, or even those who do have admirers, but they are too much of a wimp or too lazy to think that you might appreciate a card, or gift, might envy those of us who are in relationships and happy and in love and all that sickly gooey stuff. Well, to those single people who did not receive a heart-covered card tucked into a shiny red envelope, or didn’t receive those velvet covered heart-shaped boxes of chocolates (one of which I am so going to treat myself to when they go into the M&S staff waste sale, mark my words!), or didn’t receive any acknowledgement from anyone that it was Valentine’s Day, envy no more, because neither did I.

About a week ago, Alex and I decided that we wouldn’t bother doing anything for Valentine’s Day this year. Yes, we were both in agreement, and I was at work on the night anyway, which meant we would hardly see each other all day, apart from first thing in the morning, a quick minute as I bundle the kids into the car at tea-time, and then late at night when I get home from work, so we wouldn’t have had time to “do anything” even if we had wanted to.

Well, that was all well and good, and it was a relief too in a way as we were feeling the pinch on the pennies a little.
However, I decided I would write him a poem and leave it out on the table for him to read in the morning over his muesli.
Just before he left for work, I got up and came downstairs as I realised he hadn’t even given me a goodbye kiss, which normally I wouldn’t even think about, but this was the day of love, apparently.
There he was scribbling on a piece of paper so fast there was almost visible steam coming off it. He chuckled slightly and handed me his effort at a response to my well structured, thought out, piece of poetry. I was not amused in the slightest, actually, that’s a bit of a fib. I found it hilarious, but I pretended to be annoyed, and secretly hoped that he’d have a surprise dinner waiting for me when I got in from work, with candles and champagne and chocolates and treats. Nope. Nothing.

So, the poem he’d written. This is that poem:

“I love you, I love you
Even though you have big hips
I love you, I love you
Especially your t*ts”

Haha! So romantic!

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It’s Not Forever

Posted by shinymac on February 9, 2008

I would love to be saying that I have thoroughly enjoyed my week off. Oh, how I would very much love to be saying that. I would love to be telling you that I filled it successfully with lots of action, lots of fun, and lots of general “doing stuff”. Yes, I would love to be telling you all about it. However, this would all be lies! Lies I tell you! And the reason? Because for the last few days (in fact most of the last week), I have been suffering with the worst cold I’ve probably ever had. At times I felt like my head was going to pop. I have struggled to hear things, I have had to use endless supplies of tissues, and have made my nose all chapped and sore and (dare I say it?) ….. crusty. Ugh!
So, no, my week off has not been the fruitful, productive week off that I hoped it would be. Instead it has been miserable and boring. I just wish I’d had more energy, more umph, more zest, and less cold. That would’ve been lovely.

The end of the week was okay though, I guess. Yesterday I went to meet my old work friends from my previous job as it was one of the girl’s leaving drinks. She’s a lovely girl, and she’s now going out with one of the guys who works there too, and they make a really lovely sweet couple. I like to think I had something to do with them getting together, as I kind of told the girl that the guy liked her some time ago, and it all kind of led to them actually going out in the end. Awww.
There wasn’t many people out, but it was good to catch up with the few who were, and despite getting a bit tipsy, I had a nice time.

Tonight Alex has gone out to see a band in Manchester, Sons & Daughters. He texted me earlier to say he was stood next to them, so I urged him to get talking to them, especially as he’d gone on his own. I would’ve gone had we been organised with money and babysitters, but it was all a last minute decision for him seeing as he’d won £10 on his football bet today.

So it’s back to work for me on Monday night, and I am not at all happy about it, but needs must, and again, it’s not forever.

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A Manchester Day

Posted by shinymac on February 5, 2008

Wow, I’ve left it almost a week since I last wrote here, but forgive me; I have been a busy busy bee!
I now have the worst cold in the world, so it will take me longer to write today whilst I keep having to stop for sniffle and tissue breaks. Eww.
This last weekend was great! On Friday night, I had to struggle home in the snow after work, and walked into the house looking like a snowman. I also had no grips whatsoever on my boots, so skidded and slid all the way home, especially down the little hill from the tram stop. It was fun, but I kept looking around nervously for people waiting to ambush me with snowballs. Thankfully no-one did. Phew.
Saturday morning came and the kids got packed up to go to their grandma and grandad’s over in Hull, along with winter clothing and wellies. I got to work (in my leopard print wellies, which I changed upon arrival into some black ballet style flats) an hour and a half early due to having a preference of getting a lift rather than catching the bus! Oops.
Krista and John came back with Alex, and I met up with them outside Afflecks Palace where Alex had bought me a present, a ring with a Scrabble letter on it! Unfortunately though, he couldn’t get an S for my name, so ended up presenting me with an O. We came up with some suggestions as to what it could stand for, and the best I think was Krista’s “Oh so special” or something along those lines.

We followed the strict instructions of our bellies rumbling and went straight to the Printworks for some food, deciding on Old Orleans, where I had some kind of chicken meal, that was so not worth it’s price, but it filled a gap.

On from there, we went to Urbis


and had a good nosey around the Factory Records/Hacienda exhibition which is soon closing, and we so wanted to squeeze it in. It was brilliant, and I was happy to see that even Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy) got a few words in on some of the videos (especially as he’s a real favourite of mine).


Time wasn’t on our side by this point, so after Alex had prised me away from the Urbis shop where I had my head stuck in a book called “Manchester By Air” for a good half an hour, we had to head home to meet Rob and Gemma who were coming over for the NME Awards Tour gig that evening.

They were waiting outside the house in Rob’s car as we appeared around the corner, and I introduced myself to Gemma, who seemed nice and everyone came inside to get a drink and get ready for the night. I took longer than most (it’s my age!), and in the meantime, Alex took Rob and Gemma to get some food at the pub in Sale, whilst John and Krista waited for me. We went to meet them, and after a couple of beers, headed into Manchester on a perfectly timed tram journey.

Once at the Academy, we were shocked at the length of the queue (and the average age of the queue-er as it even made Krista feel old, and at 21 that’s no mean feat!), so we headed into The Oxford (formerly Hogshead) for a couple, where we spotted Mark Radcliffe (or is it Riley?) from Mark and Lard fame. Alex and I were just telling everyone how we’d seen him in there several years before, when he appeared! Alex wanted to go and have his picture taken with him, but I talked him out of it and told him to play things cool with “celebrities” as it’s just embarrassing.

We headed over to the Academy, but we’d missed the Ting Tings, and Alex and I were gutted. They were one of the bands we were most looking forward to seeing, but we trampled on in anyway to the sound of Does It Offend You, Yeah? who I thought were brilliant, in disagreement with the majority of the crowd who were shouting “Get Off” and were chucking shoes into the faces of the band. Extremely rude, but I shimmied and bopped to the electro-pop madness whilst those around me looked on slightly questioningly.

Next on were Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, after quite a lengthy interval, and they were more than worth waiting for, even if to just eye up the cute indie mod-suited boys with funky hair and skinny legs which dwindled down into their pointy, shiny shoes. Lucio Starts Fires was amazing, and the crowd responded well to them, so it upped the anti, ready for The Cribs to come on and let rip!

After an even longer interval, The Cribs came on, and Ryan Jarman was on form acting like a loon and ripping off clothing. After dedicating a song to the “4th Jarman brother who died just over 2 weeks ago”, he revealed his torso and stage-dived, only to reappear several minutes later (all limbs intact – how do they do that?), and finish off the set.
Suddenly, I felt someone fall into the back of me legs, and I turned round to see it was a girl. It took me a few moments to realise, it wasn’t just any girl, but Gemma! She’d fainted, and Rob acted like a true hero and carted her outside whilst I went to get her some water from the bar. All at the same time Johnny Marr appeared on stage and he and The Cribs fired into The Smiths’s Panic, and I was so glad I’d volunteered to get the drink, meaning I managed to catch this moment!
John was ecstatic, Johnny Marr was one of his heroes, and he managed to catch it too, with a smile so big across his face!

I took the drink outside for Gemma, and something really strange happened. Earlier in the night, we’d been stood next to a guy who looked exactly like Darren, my ex-boyfriend. It wasn’t him, I heard him talk and his voice wasn’t deep enough, but in the first few moments of seeing him, I felt nstantly nervous.
Well, whilst walking towards the wall where Rob and Gemma sat huddled, Gemma in Robs jacket to keep warm, I walked past 2 faces I recognised from my past. One of them was drunk and shouting and looking like trouble, whilst the other one looked exasperated and stressed out, along with upset. The drunken bloke was an ex of mine, although not Darren, and the exhausted girl was his girlfriend who I had also known in the past.
I don’t particularly like smugness, but at that time, I felt a little smirk rise across my face as I turned and saw my beautiful Alex following me outside, not drunk, and not shouting, and not looking the least like trouble. How lucky I felt to be rid of connections with people like him, and to have my nice, normal people in my life who cause me little stress.

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