Morrisons!

C92A2C31-319F-4D2F-B050-12DC6C7AC8F9

Now I don’t write about supermarket chains very often in this blog and Morrisons in Abergavenny has a controversial history, however our younger son James got some great news yesterday when he found out that the new store opening on the old cattle market site is going to offer him a permanent job!

This was great news all round and a fantastic reward for all his hard work as unpaid volunteer, as well as an occasional paid relief manager, at the local Blue Cross charity shop.

We found out when after visiting “Get Noticed” design shop to get some posters printed for Debbie’s up and coming 60th birthday and popped into Blue Cross on the way back to see him as usual.  Out of the blue James shared the news that he’d just been phoned up after his interview earlier that afternoon to confirm they were offering him a role and he was to start his induction training soon!

I don’t think anyone observing in such a busy charity shop has ever seen four people so excited, as Debbie, Emma and I took it in turns to repeatedly hug and congratulate James on his brilliant news!

To celebrate we bought ourselves a rare bottle of red wine and James a bottle of special lager for consumption at home and I have to say personally I savoured every sip, although I’m so unused to drinking I had a nap late afternoon in between glasses!

Judging by the exterior of the new store (artist’s impression above) its opening is probably going to be late February or early March, but despite some local opposition to the store in terms of its design or location, we shall definitely be changing our grocery shopping loyalty thanks to the 100 jobs they have brought to the area for sure!

It’s interesting when I look back on our time in Abergavenny just how must economic regeneration has occurred both there and in Llanfoist where we “escaped” to.  Firstly the whole town centre was repaved in time for the Eistedford, the famous Angel hotel front totally refurbished, the large grade II listed building next to the post office modernised and numerous run down shops closed and reopened as new in the High Street.

In Llanfoist itself of course two new housing estates have been completed including our own at Mountain View and just over the Heads of the Valley Road next to the other is the Premier Inn, Costa Coffee and good old McDonald’s and the adjoining Persimmon estate.  There was quite a lot of local opposition historically to all those in the past too despite the undoubted increase in prosperity that they deliver to the local economy.

Interestingly Mountain View itself was built on the old derelict Cooper’s factory site that closed down a number of years ago and as such qualifies as a “brownfield” development, whereas  the hotel and retail developments took place under a series of electricity distribution pylons which probably would have never been developed otherwise and left as rather unattractive waste land.

Understandable “not in my back yard” fears have to be balanced by a thoughtful response to ongoing economic development, which of course is never easy to get right. Recent plans to construct a footbridge over from Llanfoist to Abergavenny are a good example of safety improvements I’m sure by most, even if other developments are resisted by the vocal naysayers.

Still, on balance for my family at least, things don’t look half bad at this point in 2018! 😀

Morrisons!

There be Pirates at Blue Cross!

Yar!

It’s been an interesting day here in Llanfoist with us just getting back from Brynmawr Asda to pick up some vegetarian stuff for Emma who has just gone back to not eating meat on ethical grounds.  Also emergency supplies of breadsticks, rice cakes and melba toast for Debs who can’t find them in Aldi.

This necessitated a drive up the roadworks on the A465 and what a lot of progress they’ve made in the last month or so.  It really will be quite spectacular when they complete it.

Earlier I’d taken Emma swimming where we both completed ten lengths of the Abergavenny leisure centre pool.  Even a few weeks ago that would have been nigh on impossible for me and totally impossible for Emma as she couldn’t swim!

Before these aquatic adventures though Debbie and I had driven into town to support James at the Blue Cross charity event (10,000 steps for pets) and this was the sight that greeted us as we approached the High Street…

Country music accompanying James & Phil
James dressed as a pirate and a singer dressed as a cowboy
Mam supporting James with a big smile
Mam supporting James with Dad’s crisp fiver!
A svelte looking Phil with a touch of the Freddie Mercury?

The event was well supported and the singing duo very good too, I believe the main chap was called Jeremy and the other chap stood in when the former’s wife hurt her foot!

There be Pirates at Blue Cross!

26 Years Ago…

I woke up about 3.15am in the morning on Friday the 22nd February 1991 with Debbie shaking me awake in bed as she cried, “the baby’s coming, quick have a bath!”

Now for those readers of this blog well conversed in childbirth there may be a slight raised eyebrow as to why the two B’s (birth and bath) are linked, so please read on to the end of the post when all will become clear…  In any event we both wish our daughter Emma Jayne Shores a very happy twenty sixth birthday today!

In those days scans were rather primitive compared with today, so until Emma was born we had no idea if we were having a boy or girl!  Although this was Debbie’s third birth, for me it was my first, so with each passing day beyond the due date, yours truly was getting more and more on edge waiting for the moment of truth.

What didn’t help was the fact that the “Only Fools and Horses” episode on TV we’d watched on the 3rd February 1991 showed Del Boy’s wife Rachel having a baby with blood curdling screams stemming from extreme labour pains!

Fortunately for posterity Debbie bought me a diary of sorts from Mothercare called the week by week pregnancy guide which explained in gory detail what was likely to happen over weeks 1 to 42 and in which we both recorded our thoughts day by day!  My entries are in italics while Debbie’s are in normal type…

debs7

Week 1 May 7th 1990

Bank Holiday Monday

(First day of Deb’s last period).  Went to fair in Aberfan.

Week 2 May 14th 1990

Wednesday

Flew to Barcelona. Spain.  Arrived 9.15pm Joan met us & took us to Maritim hotel in Cambrils.

Thursday

Peter went to work, took kids to supermarket shopping.  Went down to pools.  Romaine took us back for supper.

Friday

Went to Joan & Marie-Jesus for supper.  Tasted squid!  Got back to hotel late.

Saturday

Peter ill with Spanish tummy.  Felt better by evening.

Sunday

Dad goes to Finland.  Peter left 2pm for the airport.  Packed ready to go home.

Week 3 May 21st 1990

Monday

Debs & Alex/James fly back.  Arrived back house 11.30am.  Peter rang.  Took kids to Sainsbury’s.

Tuesday

Kept Alex off school.  All still a little tired from trip.

Wednesday

Alex started back to school.

Thursday

Jonathan popped over.  Had Kentucky Fried Chicken for supper.  Jon left, I put kids to bed.

Week 4 May 28th 1990

Monday

Dad returns from Spain.

Wednesday

Peter finished work has two days off because he worked previous weekend.

Thursday

Took the children to Thorpe Park.  Saw Pat Sharpe (Capital Radio DJ) had lovely day.

Friday

Packed picnic & went to Runneymede.  Went to see where Magna Carta was signed, saw TV personality Nick Owen.  Went into Windsor for a drink.

Week 6 June 11th 1990

Tuesday

First test at home (Clear Blue) POSITIVE!

Wednesday

Second test (in morning) Debs POSITIVE!

Thursday

Chemist test ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE!

Week 7 June 18th 1990

Monday

Visited Doctors E.D. Date 12.2.91.  Took James to clinic referred to speech therapist.

Wednesday

Debs gets craving for barbecue style ribs.

Thursday

Debs feels very sick in morning.

Week 8 June 25th 1990

Tuesday

Antenatal 9.40am.  Blood pressure & sugar level normal.  Midwife – Felicia

Friday

Drafted letter re adoption!

Week 9 July 2nd 1990

Monday

Feeling extremely sick and tired all day.

Saturday

Visited all in Thame.  Had a wonderful day.  Went to Carnival.  Weather lovely.  Visted Vanessa in pub.

Sunday

Feeling constipated!  World Cup final W. Germany v Argentina.  Edberg won Wimbledon.

Week 10 July 9th 1990

Wednesday

1st hospital appointment 11.10am.  Visit Hampton court James falls in nettles!

Thursday

James broke the television again!

Sunday

Visit Gary & Hilary – no idea how to barbecue but good fun even though we don’t drink!

Week 11 July 16th 1990

Monday

Rumbelows collect television for repair.

Wednesday

James sick & running a temperature.

Thursday

Alex’s sports.  Even dad has a go & comes second!  James much better.

Friday

I get back from office at a quarter to one in morning after computer disks move.

Saturday

Mum & Dad arrive.

Week 12 July 23rd 1990

Tuesday

Alex breaks up for school holidays.  Took Mum & Dad for drink to Mitre in Hampton Court.

Wednesday

Peter took me to Windsor.  Went to fair and for burger & fries.

Thursday

Hospital 9.15am.  Allyson had baby boy at 11.30am.

Friday

James appointment to see speech therapist 9.30am.

Saturday

Leave for Hornsea 6 am arrive 9.15 am.  Simon’s wedding.  Mum (s) birthday.  Disco boogie.

Sunday

Boating on the Mere & copper bargains at antique fair.  Debs very constipated and ill on journey back.

Week 13 July 30th 1990

Monday

Tele unrepairable.  Weather very humid.  Take lactulose – yuck!  Nicola had baby boy (Luke Aaron) delivered him on the toilet!

Friday

Unbelievable 90 degrees Fahrenheit plus!  Rented TV arrives – thank God.

Saturday

Take dad to office & “secure” a fan & visit “Swan” for a pint.  TV only works on B&W!

Sunday

Early morning start to take mum & dad back to Wales.  Weather much cooler & fresher.

Week 14 August 6th 1990

Tuesday

New TV (the second delivered).  Much cooler.

Wednesday

US go into Saudi Arabia – please God not war at the moment (or ever)!  Debs not feeling well.

Saturday

Wonderful day out with family & David Howley on trip to West Wittering.

Week 15 August 13th 1990

Thursday

Took children to park.  James cuts his lip on razor copying Dad shaving and is very naughty all day.

Friday

Busy day doing ironing & housework.  Peter finishes work for 10 days holiday hooray!

Saturday

Debs very ill in night little sleep.

Sunday

Called doctor – runs & stomach ache – everyone very tense & worried.  Doctor suggests certain foods & drinks to stop diarrhoea & cramp pains.  Did not experience this in last two pregnancies.  Video not working.

Week 16 August 20th 1990

Monday

Took children to Bekonscot model village for afternoon.  Bought garden swing.  Came home.  Made pancakes for tea.  Peter erected swing.

Tuesday

Dental visit James, Alex & me. & Ante Natal clinic.  Alex had 1 filling I had two ugh!  Very unpleasant.  Bought Alex new school shoes.

Thursday

Went with Claire, Keith & Danielle to West Wittering beach – beach olympics organised.

Friday

Planning to meet Eileen, Ken & family for nights stay.  Stay up till 1.30 Sat am!

Saturday

Forced to buy new pair of jeans (& two pieces of copper).  Visit theme park with David & Katherine at Wickstead Park.  Very good.  Great barbecue.

Sunday

James floods kitchen & pours shampoo down bath.  Debs now not “gone” for nearly a week.  Put on budgie’s nesting box.

Week 17 August 27th 1990

Monday Bank Holiday

Lazy day around house.  Watch tele.

Tuesday

Pete goes back to work.  James & Alex have chicken pox!  Go to doctors early.

Wednesday

Receive letter from Julie with all the latest news.  Feeling faint & dizzy.  Late night working till 8pm.

Thursday

Pick up Joan Baiget from Runnymede.  Come home early in lieu of last night to go shopping.

Friday

Gemma’s 4th birthday.  Alex & James couldn’t go to party so Janet sent food over for them.

Saturday

Took car journey round central London.  Went into Staines for pizza & cherry pancakes!

Sunday

Claire’s birthday.  Went to Greenwich took picnic.  Saw Cutty sark & Gypsy Moth.  Came back through central London.  Feeling very low & weepy all day.  Rang Nicola & Claire.

Week 18 September 3rd 1990

Tuesday

Alex back to school.  James started using potty properly!  Alex enjoyed his first day back.

Wednesday

Peter took Alex to school.  James doing excellently on potty.  Bought trainer seat & grow step.  Went shopping in Sainsbury’s.  Had enjoyable night.

Thursday

Took Alex to school.  Peter in London for the day in meeting.  Cold & windy day.  Baby kicking a lot!

Friday

Not sure about New York office trip yet.  Alex gets new reading folder!  Insurance cheque finally arrives.  Debs feels a bit sick – overdoing it again!

Week 19 September 10th 1990

Monday

Janet took Alex to school & picked him up for me in the afternoon.  Simon on flexi leave.

Tuesday

Feeling very tired and upset.  Simon ill!

Wednesday

So am I – we can’t seem to talk on the same wavelength.  Simon still ill & no-one told me of conference at Pfizer – lunch with Jon highlight of day.

Thursday

Felt baby kick for the first time!

Saturday

Nicola & Gareth & family coming to stay till Monday.  Arrived 3pm.  Had barbie.  Nicola not very well in night.  Lucy & Alex went to bed 11.20pm.  Played Trivial Pursuit.

Sunday

Had cooked breakfast.  Went to model village.  Went onto Windsor.  Had McDonalds.  Took walk round Windsor & children went on small funfair.  Gar & Pete went for an evening pint!  Children in bed early.  Luke had a touch of colic.  Made pasta for supper.

Week 20 September 17th 1990

Monday

James appointment for hearing test.  Everything OK.  Nicola etc left 2pm for home.  Bathed children early.

Tuesday

Antenatal 9.50am.  Everything normal.  Heard baby’s heartbeat!  James has start of eye infection.

Wednesday

Eye infection now in both eyes.  Poor James!  Peter ill with flu comes home from work early.

Thursday

Appointment for scan 10 am.  Drink 2 pints of water one hour before scan.  I saw baby’s outline, single foetus, posterior placenta, spine normal, but have to go back as laying face down & can’t get all measurements.  Week 18.5 really.

Friday

Off, ill with flu!  James sees doctor – conjunctivitis.

Saturday

Andy & Marlys coming for supper.

Sunday

Should have put a maximum of 5lb on at end of this week.

Week 21 September 24th 1990

Monday

James not very well kept us up all night.

Tuesday

Called doctor to house.  Very ill with flu and James is spotty again and very grizzly.

Wednesday

Janice’s birthday.  Still feeling ill.  James better.  Central heating quote 2pm Mrs Spooner.  Accepted quote and should be installed in 2 weeks.

Thursday

Simon’s 18th birthday.

Friday

Scan 4pm rebooked.

Week 22 October 1st 1990

Saturday

Went to Wales to pick up Nana & Popsy, Alex is great help with my cricked neck as lookout!

Sunday

Alex goes to Windsor – terrible worry waiting for arrival & departure of the “penguin” (& his sidekick Mary) but passed off relatively quickly.  Debs & I go for Indian to celebrate Alex’s safe return.

Week 23 October 8th 1990

Tuesday

Had meeting with teacher.  Peter & I went to parents antenatal night.  Went to Harvester after.

Wednesday

Started putting heating in.  Quite a mess in the living room.

Thursday

Finished putting heating in.  Looks lovely!  Came back to finish packing his case etc.  Told I’ve got a salary increase & larger bonus.

Friday

Peter left early for Brecon T.A. camp for 8 days.  Rang Nicola.  I go video recording soldiers in Brecon.

Saturday

Missing Peter already.  Claire rang.  Sleep in Lansdowne again!

Sunday

Meet Colin & Margaret my landlords, very nice but miss Debs & kids so much.  Go to bed early.

Week 24 October 15th 1990

Monday

Missing Pete terribly.  Took Alex to school.  Went shopping.  Dad hung the door.  Peter rang.

Tuesday

Took James to park.  Went shopping.  Dad varnished door.  Peter rang.  Sleepless night with James.

Wednesday

Dad gave second coat of varnish on door.  Took Alex to school & picked Gemma, Many & Alex up.

Thursday

Had beautiful card off my wonderful husband.  Only 1 day to go!  Went shopping.  Alex finishes school.

Friday

Peter came home earlier than expected.  Big hugs all round!  Brought me a lovely video & chocs .  Took me out for Indian after a drink in “our” pub.

Saturday

Peter took me shopping.  Bought me a new cooker.  Ordered bigger television as well.  Mum & I went to Staines.  Peter, dad & kids went for a drink & picked us up after.  Baby kicking strongly.

Week 25 October 22nd 1990

Monday

Went to DIY to buy paint & brushes to decorate baby’s room.

Wednesday

Peter left early to have radio/cassette changed in the car.

Thursday

My cooker arrived!  Nicola rung.  Bedroom is finished.  Looks wonderful.  I get early birthday shirt & put up cot with Deb’s guidance.

Friday

Lazy day.  Peter took me to Richmond.  Went for burger & fries and to see Robocop 2.  Had really good time.

Saturday

Went into Staines shopping with mum, Peter & Alex.  Cooked my first ROAST DINNER in 10 months.  It was wonderful!

Sunday

Peter set off early to take Mum & Dad back.  Arrived here at 3pm.  Had dinner and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Week 26 October 29th 1990

Monday

Alex back to school.  James very naughty all day!  Went to sainsbury’s shopping.  Alex & Peter played with computer.  Had supper & read in bed.

Tuesday

Gareth, Nicola, Lucy & Luke come to stay.  Luke is much bigger!

Wednesday

Nicola & Gareth visited Windsor for day came back 3.30.  Debs, Alex & James visit Heathrow with Gareth & Co.

Thursday

Gareth & co depart back to Wales.  Went shopping in night with Pete, Alex & James.  Hired “Twins” & “Roadhouse” videos.  Cooked curry for supper.

Friday

Alex off school not well.  Rose rang.  I made batch of jam tarts.  Really enjoyed cooking again.

Saturday

Visit Tom & Phyllis for super salad tea – as always made very welcome.  Promise to visit them soon.  Went onto firework party at Ed’s.

Sunday

Lazy day in, go to park with Alex & James.  Debs cooks fantastic roast pork and homemade thyme stuffing.

Week 27 November 5th 1990

Monday

Guy Fawkes night.  Alex goes to Mandy’s & James, Debs & I watch their fireworks from bedroom – just wait, next year!

Tuesday

Receive letter today from Wales.  Sat pickup only for Alex – best result possible probably.  Wish they’d leave us alone.  Baby really kicking, James speaking more.

Wednesday

Peter off work ill.  He looked after James for me to go to antenatal class.  Really enjoyed it.

Thursday

Took Alex & co to school.  Took James to Sainsbury’s.  David came to tea with Alex.  Went into Staines late night shopping for new clothes for Alex.

Friday

Very stressful day.  Damp & miserable weather.  Jonathan rang to say he’d baby sit for us to attend Peter’s Xmas dinner.  Get surprise £100 vouchers!  Shopping here we come!

Saturday

All family up before 8am.  We go hounslow & Staines get loads presents.  Alex goes to Waterloo (not metaphorically) with the invaders!  Very stressful evening, but Alex very thoughtful & considerate to Debs & me.

Sunday

Got up.  Made lovely beef Sunday dinner with all the trimmings.  Whole family made jam tarts & “pastry animals”.  Lovely relaxing day.

Week 28 November 12th 1990

Monday

Midwife calls, Debs feels awfully dizzy.  Simon ill, I have busy day.  I go shopping for curry!!  X I love my husband so much X

Tuesday

Antenatal appointment.  James first day at play school.  Went very well!  He enjoyed it.  Pete & I have heart to heart.

Wednesday

Feeling terribly constipated.  Janet looked after James for me to attend antenatal class.  Came back and had chat and cuppa.  Felt queasy & irritable early evening.  Poor Peter!

Thursday

James 2nd play school day.  Alex has Parents’ Assembly.  Yes, I took him, great experience but forgot to say goodbye & he cried!  Put up Xmas decorations early – but who cares.

Friday

Debs thinks I’m distant but I’m really just tired, work very busy & Debs is very emotional – I do love her so much.

Week 29 November 19th 1990

Monday

Mum & Dad went to Kingston.  Cooked chicken dinner.  Peter & I went to Sainsbury’s to do “PARTY” shopping.

Tuesday

Dad & James’ birthday.  Had superb day.  Both parties went full swing.  Car broke down (new battery needed).

Wednesday

Went to antenatal.  had relaxing morning.  Mum & Dad went to Richmond for afternoon.  Pete went to London until 3pm.  Went for Indian in evening.

Thursday

Mum & Dad left for Hornsea.  Car wouldn’t start.  Took James to play school he was very upset when I left him but very settled when I picked him up.  Had quiet evening with family.

Friday

Did housework.  Went shopping to Sainsbury’s when Peter came home & James fell & cut his lip & mouth.  Watched Children in Need on tele.  Peter made me a lovely curry.

Saturday

Peter had to go into work at 9am.  Took Alex & James to school Xmas bazaar.  Peter came home 6pm for food.  Watched “The Money Pit”.  Pete went back to check computers at 9.30pm (poor love).

Sunday

Had lie in.  Get up 10am.  Took the children to Bluebell railway.  Had a nice lunch.  Had train ride, went on to Eastbourne.  Took children for fish & chips.  James was fascinated by the accordion player!  Got back 8pm.  We all had a smashing time.

Week 30 November 26th 1990

Monday

Janet took Alex to school.  Wet & miserable day.  Cooked roast dinner.  Randal Mason starts!

Tuesday

Took James to play school he was very tearful.  Picked him up and he seemed very happy.

Wednesday

Couldn’t go to antenatal class.  Peter tried his best to come home to baby sit James but he was too busy.  Had drink & videos had wonderful evening together.  Took James’ dummy away!

Thursday

Janet & I dropped James in play school & went pressie shopping in Staines.  Came home to pick up James.  went back in 3.45 to take children to see Santa.  Met Peter 4.15.  He took me to buy Mothercare stuff & Kentucky for all of us.  Gave Janet card & pressie.

Friday

Janet’s birthday.  Simon Clayton ill in Madrid – even gone to hospital!  Debs spots outbreak of worms for James – doctors.

Saturday

Took Alex to Staines to see “Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles”.  Get Debs flowers as compensation for being stuck with James.

Sunday

Lisa’s 20th birthday.  Should have put on a maximum of 15-20 its so far.

Week 31 December 3rd 1990

Monday

Decide not to pursue play school for James.

Tuesday

James said “the most important rule” – well at least I reckon it sounded close.

Wednesday

Debs rearranges furniture into boy’s bedroom.  Much better but wished she’d let me help!

Thursday

I’m off ill with the flu.  Debs gets (& is my) “Pretty Woman” video.  See a baby born on TV first thing.  Sprayed snow on windows.

Friday

Peter still off work with flu.  James has terrible cough.  Cancel going to dinner dance.  Cancel babysitters.  Had letter from Wales.  Very relieved no visits before Christmas.

Saturday

Go shopping together & get food in.  Snow forecast for tomorrow here.  Phoned dad but none at Hornsea.  We miss office Xmas party but whole family is now coughing!

Sunday

Put new curtain rail up in living room.  Frost bad, very cold.  Debs cooks lovely roast.  Problems with Janice & Lazlo carry on.  Debs is getting more Braxton Hicks contractions!

Week 32 December 10th 1990

Thursday

Mum’s 70th birthday.  Alex’s school nativity play.  Debs, James & I really enjoy it.  Alex says his words perfectly!

Saturday

Set off just after 9am to Yorkshire.  Mum & dad glad to see us and Sam & Lady.  Decide to stay extra day.

Sunday

Visit Grandma in morning, she gets me to ask Mum for family bible.  Mitchel is a family name.  Mum cooks turkey dinner.  Go out for drink at Marine with Simon & Joanna.

Week 33 December 17th 1990

Monday

Drive back after early start from Yorkshire.  Happy Eater lunch.  Janet, Martin, Gemma & Mandy come round for spa bol & Trivial Pursuit.  Great!  James says “more beer”…

Tuesday

Debs visits hospital, baby OK but blood sugar up!  We decide to go to Wales tomorrow.  Visit Thame in evening to drop (& pick up) presents.  Go last minute shopping in Staines!

Wednesday

Suffering badly with Thrush.  Using Canestan tablets.  Peter very supportive & caring.  Prepare for earlier trip to Wales.  Clean house & wash & iron.  Stay night with Nicola & Gareth.

Thursday

Wake up terribly hung over – takes until lunch time before I feel human.  Visit Julie in Post Office before we pick up Nana & Popsy.  We visit Auntie Bertha & Adeline.  By time we reach home I am exhausted 1100 miles on clock!

Friday

We buy baby mat & clothes in Staines.  £150 shopping bill (excl. meat) at Sainsbury’s – at last OUR turn.

Saturday

I worry about amount of housework Debs is doing.  We buy fish a “No Fishing” present.  Debs cooks sausage rolls & mince pies.

Sunday

Jonathan pops round with presents.  Super casserole lunch.  Need still! Changing bag, 6 bibs, 2 bras, 4 knickers.

Week 34 December 24th 1990

Monday Christmas eve

We play Trivial Pursuit & have a great laugh with mum & dad (mum does well!)

Tuesday Christmas Day

Get up at 6.15am to wait for kids, finally I wake them up at 7.30am.  Favourite presents – James teaser, Alex Thunderbird 2 & turtle suit.  Hot turkey.

Wednesday Boxing Day

Popsy gets all shivery & needs to keep warm.  Cold turkey.

Thursday

Mum goes into work with me in morning to shop in Staines, gets baby towel.  Popsy & Nana look after children while we go out to our favourite Indian – great.  Salad.

Friday

Pay Andy off finally for pine furniture!  Roast beef.

Saturday

Take popsy & Nana back to Wales.

Sunday

Peter gave us all a surprise lovely day out.  Visited Marwell Zoo.  James loved the Giraffe!  Went on  to Bournemouth didn’t stay long.  Made our way back & had lovely meal in Little Chef.  James very wound up but well behaved!  Peter saw the baby move while I was having a bath.  Claire rang.

Week 35 December 31st 1990.

Monday New Year’s Eve

Debs & I stay up to wish the New year in – incredible to think next month…

Tuesday New Year’s Day

Scalextric derby – even James can do it now!  Pork joint dinner with Jonathan coming over. James very unsettled had bad night’s sleep with him.

Wednesday

Bad news from mum in afternoon – dad’s going into hospital in Jan/feb she might not be able to come.

Thursday

Good news from Mum she’ll be getting us a Mothercare high chair!  Legs and ankles swollen.  Children very demanding.  James comes out in chicken pox spots!

Friday

James quite perky all day.  Both children go to bed late and James has Mummy up until 3am.  Very bad night with itchy spots.

Saturday

James grizzly & tired all morning.  Peter goes to work early.  Comes back 10.30am with baby bath, vests, shawl etc.  He’s such a darling.  James perks up for the rest of the day.  Have game of Scrabble.

Sunday

I have to go into work from 10.30-12.30 to make sure B60 comes OK from Park Royal.  Debs very sick in morning & listless – feel awful about leaving her but rush back ASAP.  Earth shattering news when Martin comes round & tells us Janet has lost her baby – we both feel very upset & sad for them both.  The grief must be awful for them & I ca’t help but feel how lucky we are – the baby is really kicking a lot now – Debs very uncomfortable.

Week 36 January 7th 1991

Monday

Feeling better than yesterday.  Peter takes & picks up Alex from school.  Quiet evening watch tele.  James much better.

Tuesday

Peter has day off to take me to hospital.  Have lost weight & sugar is up.  Go to Staines for Nursery stuff.  Come home & finish the room it looks beautiful.  I visit Janet.  Very emotional time but relieved it’s over.

Wednesday

Peter takes Alex to school.  Showery & blustery day, even have thunder & lightening.  Baby Shores very active!

Thursday

Seen Peter & Alex off to school & work.  Peter popped home for lunch.  Went to Sainsbury’s with Alex.  Nice to get some fresh air!  Had terrible night with James.

Friday

Very routine day.  Janet & Martin picked up Alex for me.  Had quiet evening watching television.  Peter & I had game of Scrabble after kids in bed.

Saturday

Had lie in till 10am.  Went to buy Thunderbird models but had been sold out.  Peter took family to Camberley.  Had smashing dinner.  Fish & chips.  Looked round town centre.  Came home.  Didn’t feel at all well so had bath with James, felt slightly better.  Had red rash on tummy.

Sunday

Took kids & Debs to Three Horseshoes pub – didn’t win in raffle though!  Spent afternoon at Jon Swan’s – ham sandwiches & Rebecca playing hide & shoot.

Week 37 January 14th 1991

Monday

Hear Randal arrived safely in Geneva OK.

Tuesday

Lunch in little Italian restaurant in Ashford with Alan – like to take Debs there one day.  We go out shopping to Sainsbury’s.  Debs cooks curry.  Paul rings to wind me up about Gulf.

Wednesday

Glucose tolerance test 9am in hospital.  Deadline for Gulf pullout by Iraq expires at 5am.  I take day off.

Thursday

Antenatal checkup.  Taking James to work!  James loved playing on the computers & being the centre of attention!  Glucose test negative.  Peter dropped us off & went back to work.

Friday

Routine day.  Didn’t feel at all well.  Had nice evening watching tele.

Saturday

Dad’s birthday (78).  Rang Dad.  Went into Staines bought ANOTHER Thunderbird video.  Mama Too t-shirt.  Came home had tea.  Made way to Claire’s, James had accident in park.

debs
Debbie in Body Shop “Mama Too” smock with bump Christmas 1990

Sunday

Had long lie in.  went to DIY bought pine shelf & frieze for kid’s bedroom.  Had chicken dinner.  Peter put shelf up & I tackled the bedroom!  Hectic day.

Week 38 January 21st 1991

Monday

Alex up all night with ear ache.  Took him to docs & prescribed antibiotics.

Tuesday

Jennie (Ponting – midwife) called to check me over.  Kids really noisy & naughty all day.  felt like a break, so Peter took us all to Sainsbury’s shopping!  Lots of goodies.

Wednesday

James helped me make corned beef pie.  Went with Janet to pick children up from school.  Felt weepy & ill in evening.  went to bed 9.30.  got up again until 1am couldn’t sleep.  Poor Peter.

Thursday

Hospital appointment 10.45am.  Only a trace of sugar today.  Baby’s head is down.  Thrush is really bad.  Felt terribly sick.  James is as good as gold.

Friday

Very hectic in office.  Simon annoys Sally & Julie, I persuade Nigel to get his own PC.  Obviously obsessed got up at 5am, wrote memo & washed up!

Saturday

Peter not working after all!  Go to Thame & visit Uncle Tom & Auntie Phyllis.  Great buffet dinner.  Tom gives me red cloth & tape for dad’s medals.  Debs forgets her purse.

Sunday

Nip back to Thame to pick up purse – meet Auntie Phyllis’ mum.  Debs not quite right, I start to realise just how close we’re getting.  Should have put on a maximum weight gain of 24 lbs by now.  Have actually put on only approx. 13 lbs!

Week 39 January 28th 1991

Monday

Phoned Jennie had been experiencing mild contractions most of the night.  She came & examined me.  Everything OK.  Very relieved.  Make casserole.  Pete home 3pm to take Alex to party.

Tuesday

Clean through & iron.  Jan rang twice in morning.  I am getting to feel very nervous.  Still experiencing slight twinges now & again.

Wednesday

Made corned beef pie for dinner.  Janet & Martin have baby’s funeral.  Mandy & Gemma came in for tea & have good time.  Peter having busy time in work.  I love him so much.

Thursday

Drop children off at school.  Peter takes James to work & drops me off at hospital.  Everything OK.  Came home.  Invite Janet in for cuppa.  Peter picks Mandy & Alex up.  Letter arrives from QY.

Friday

No working at weekend due to Gulf interrupting software shipping.

Saturday

Going to Dee’s for afternoon.  Bought Alex shoes & slippers.  Watch Thunderbirds & Stingray.  Three dogs Lucky, Merry & rufus & two cats.  Debs thought she had cold starting.

Sunday

Jonathan coming round.  Cancels, more lamb for us.  Send off for Thunderbird videos a gift from baby to Alex & James.  Feeling anxious & nervous.

Week 40 February 4th 1991

Monday

Didn’t get good night’s sleep.  Tired all day, but got through quite a bit of housework.  Washed buggy cover came up like new!  James good all day until Alex came home!

Tuesday

Jennie calling to give me antenatal checkup.  Gave me suppositories for constipation.  Managed to “go” once after.  Baby’s head 3/5th’s in.

Wednesday

Snowed through the night.  Woke 5.45am felt really weird.  Peter made me a cup of tea, he’s such an angel.  He took day off to look after me.  Went to get cards etc.  Pte made dinner.  Cut kids’ hair.  Had relaxing day.

Thursday

Got car seat, pine coat rack today.  Lots of snow, Debs seems much better tonight.  Rose rings to see if she’s gone yet!  

Baby Shores due 14.2.91 or 15.2.91 (scan).

Scott John or Scott Mitchell for boy…

Kate, Kelly or Emma Jayne for girl…

Friday

Changed my mind again!  Snow thick on the ground.  Peter stays home to take care of me.  He & kids have snow fight in garden.  Make pancakes for tea.  Mum rang.  More snow forecast.

Saturday

Deb’s does dad’s and grandad’s medals, they come up so well with sewed on matching ribbons.  Grandma phones to see how we are.  Debs gets early birthday present & fits photos into family frame.

Sunday

Chicken dinner, still snowing but clear car & it starts first time thank God.  Very much stuck on Emma now.  Both Emma & Mitchell are family names!

Week 41 February 11th 1991

Tuesday

Up all night.  was very sick.  Felt very tired all day.  Went to sainsbury’s to get shopping done.  still having falls of snow.

Wednesday

Was slightly sick again during the night.  Senekot & bran finally working!  Cleaned through & took it easy in the afternoon.  Wrote Alex’s birthday invitations.

Thursday

Hospital appointment .  Valentine’s day and the E.D.D.!  James very ill with croup.  Up in night with him.  Called doctor, prescribed antibiotics.  Advised to give him fresh air so picked kids up & then went to Dr’s.  Peter put up shelves.  They look lovely!

Friday

James had a  better night.  Took him to Docs.  Peter dropped me off at hospital.  Took James to work with him.  Sugar up again.  Everything else OK.  Peter gave me a lovely surprise.  He cooked  a steak supper for the 4 of us.  I love him so much.

Saturday

Got up, Peter had washed up all the dishes.  went into Staines.  Bought baby nest, rein for James & socks.  We all went to McDonalds for lunch.  Watched baby video – getting extremely nervous & excited.  Went into work with Peter – updating computers – met Randall.  Had “show” and mild contractions at 9.30.  Went to hospital – sent me back home.

Sunday

Feeling a little low, but had a nice day lounging around.  Kids went to bed.  Started having painful contractions at 2am.  Sat up all night.  Watched “Singing in the Rain” at 3.30am!  Contractions settled down by 6.45am so went to bed to catch up on sleep.  Pete took day off.

Week 42 February 18th 1991

Monday

Both of us tired.  Kids slept till 9am.  Very tense day expecting something to happen.  Jennie & Marie called to examine me.  Janet offered to have Alex & James.  Went to Docs for note and did Sainsbury’s shop.

Tuesday

Pete took Alex to work with him.  Went to Janet’s for cuppa.  Good news – Joanna & Simon are expecting in October.  Still experiencing contractions.

Thursday

Debs goes into hospital & meets Registrar, has injection against Rhesus negative, comes out feeling niggly, given date for inducement next Wednesday/Thursday!  Decide to have drink to relax.

Friday

Debs wakes me up at 2am rings for midwife but can’t come.  Ring Janet she comes over to look after kids.  Get Debs to hospital at 4am after cold bath and lots of coffee.  On monitor, regular contractions.  Debs gets up about 5.30 & starts phoning her mum.  Suddenly sat down she gets urge to push, I call midwife in & incredibly breaks her waters & Emma Jayne arrives 6.25am covered in meconium but healthy & beautiful & weighing 6 pounds 9oz.  We are both overcome!

debs5
Not long to go now at around 5.25am wondering if it will fit he or she, note I’m still wearing my Three Horseshoes Feltham pub t-shirt where Debbie & I had our wedding reception
debs2
Midwife wrapping up a freshly cleaned Emma Jayne ready to hand over to Debbie
debs4
One very proud mother & father!

Debbie & Emma believe it or not were released from hospital and both back home by 2pm! Emma slept with us for the first month or so, next door to her newly decorated “Gemma & George” box bedroom in 56 Southcote.

debs3
Cot ready in box room next to our bedroom
debs6
Proud popsy & nan, dad & mam and brothers (Alex is taking the photo) with Emma Jayne
26 Years Ago…

A Welsh Christmas 2016

I can hardly believe a year has gone by in what was, in many ways, a tough Christmas 2015.

All I can say is that this year it seems to have gone really well, last night we did our traditional family “Night Before Christmas” aided by FaceTime for Alex and Emily to join in.  Today we’ve had an invasion of elves as can be seen from the following pictures!

img_0094
Andy and Helen dressed for lunch….
elves-at-xmas
The Llanfoist Four…
img_0097
Don’t drop the turkey mum, but of you do, two little Santa’s helpers…
img_0099
Emma & Josh at the piano singing carols…
img_0101
Pre-serving Christmas table
img_0102
James asking Molly if he can have some of her food…

For everyone out there reading this blog I hope you have a merry Christmas 2016 and a very happy New Year in 2017!

Walter Mitty 25.12.16

A Welsh Christmas 2016

The Curse of (Fu) Man Flu

I can’t believe my luck!  After Debbie finally managed to shake off her cold I then immediately started my own, but of course dear readers many, many times worse…

I should have known this would happen now, just as James was departing on a Flybe flight last Thursday evening to go and stay with his sister Emma in Glasgow where she’s researching her Masters in Victorian Literature.

This meant that Debbie and I would have ourselves together “home alone” (excluding 2 dogs, 1 hamster, 1 snake & 2 tarantulas) for almost 3 whole days!  I was so ill driving to Cardiff airport, near Barry Island for the second day running, I almost turned back I was finding it so hard to breathe.  In fact I had a shivering fit after parking the Galaxy up in the short term car park & walking James to the terminal.

Somehow we made it back home safely but I’ve pretty much been in and out of bed coughing, spluttering with a sore throat ever since.  Feeling better only really today which, you’ve guessed it, is time to pick James up from Cardiff airport at 10.15pm tonight…

Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse Hamish has been to the vet twice over the period having eaten something that didn’t agree with him (I won’t go into too much detail but he did eat sheep’s poo on the way to the summit of the Deri recently) and  needless to say he was prescribed antibiotics to fight the infection and Zantac to settle his stomach.

Now for my part I didn’t go to the GP knowing that I wouldn’t get any sympathy nor prescriptions which happen to be free on the NHS here in Wales, unlike Hamish who cost me about £80 in consultation fees and drugs!  Braving myself towards self medication I opted for a mixture of Halls cherry smoothers, ibuprofen, Lemsip and a number of other over the counter cold remedies.

Alas the canine cost equation didn’t stop with the vet as Hamish’s last “accident” in James’ bedroom the day of his departure to Glasgow didn’t respond too well to the 4 spray canisters of Bissell Oxy Pro Pet Spot and Stain Remover (£10 each) used to try and mask the evidence.  No, we needed something stronger, namely a full fledged carpet cleaner called a Vax V124A Dual V Upright Carpet and Upholstery Washer – Grey/Red – a snip at £150!

img_0066

Now to be fair with Amazon Prime delivering this morning, despite it being a Sunday, our carpets throughout the house where “accidents” have occurred now look & smell like new.  So maybe something good has come out of all this illness after all!

🙂

The Curse of (Fu) Man Flu

Molly Goes on Her First Walk

Last Monday James and I took Molly and Hamish up to the Foxhunter car park at the top of Blorenge.  I’d managed to get her to wear her harness for the second day running without any fuss again which was a huge relief, so with Hamish in the lead we exited the front door and she followed.  To Debbie’s alarm straight through the border bushes and almost on her tummy she was so nervous!

In the end we decided to put both dogs on the back seats in the Freelander, with James holding onto them, as the dog guard I’d ordered hadn’t yet arrived.  So after a few moments to draw breath I set the air conditioning up to high & we made our way slowly up the Stumble towards the communication mast at the top of the mountain.

IMG_1278
Freelander parked to left, communication mast to rear

I don’t think without Hamish being there and so obviously enjoying himself she’d have left the car park but with a little bit of encouragement from James she was off sniffing around as if this was a normal thing for her.  After about 15 minutes walk, stopping off to say hello to some fellow hikers coming down the path, we arrived at the top and as you can see Molly was enjoying the view perched on James’ back.

IMG_1282
Climb every mountain, in this case to a rather nondescript trig point

As we made our way back to the 4×4 I glimpsed Foxhunter’s grave, spookily she died the day after I was born and for some reason I’d never seen the plaque before despite losing out for it.

IMG_1284
Fox hunter’s grave, the first time I’d ever seen it believe it or not!

As the trio rejoined the back seat together I took this fabulous photo, it has to be one of my all time favourites now.  Hamish and Molly really are like chalk and cheese, not just in colour but in temperament, but one thing I do know they share is the love of a good walk!

IMG_1288
A happy trio of passengers!

 

 

Molly Goes on Her First Walk

James: The Dog Listener

James, our younger son, loves working at the Blue Cross in Abergavenny.  In fact he often volunteers to do extra hours as he so believes in the cause and likes the people he works with as well as the customers.  He once told me he prefers animals to human beings and I believe him, not only does he look after Hamish our Westie every night, but his bedroom also houses two tarantulas and a snake!

James was very close, as we all were, to our previous golden retriever Tom who really was more of a cream colour as can be seen in the two photos below.

Given the events of the past two days, we may see Molly our new rescue golden retriever upstairs with James soon once her legs are strong enough to climb the stairs, as we have three floors in our new house!  Her back leg muscles are wasted due to her old life in a breeder’s kennels…

IMG_1146
Don’t come too close….

Debbie and I have been encouraging Molly to move out of her sleeping crate in the kitchen and come outside into the garden and inside into the living room with lavish helpings of incentives in the form of kibbles.  Although she is starting to trust us more she is still wary of us and her tail rarely wags as she approaches us carefully for the nibbles on offer.  The only time I really see a difference in her is when I take out the raw lamb breast from the fridge and on sniffing her favourite delicacy she shoots into the garden, but even then she’s still wary of me.

IMG_1147
I can still hear you….

What a difference though when James comes downstairs for breakfast.  She’s instantly up on all fours, tail wagging and eager to please him.  James has this knack of going down onto the floor and she approaches and she lets him stroke her.  Today he even managed to get her new harness on and follow him into the living room.

 

IMG_1187
Molly & two friends (James & Hamish)
IMG_1192
Molly with new harness and new “best friend”

We need the harness and collar plus two leads as extra security tomorrow when James & I take her to Abbey vets for her second vaccination, although we may well have to restart from scratch again  as I think our vets use a different make to the one done by the “Many Tears” vet.

Never mind, the sooner she’s protected the sooner we can take her out for walks in the Abergavenny hills although we’ll have to keep a very keen eye on her not to escape.  Maybe I’ll carry some raw lamb breast just in case…  It’s a dog’s life (with the right owner).

IMG_1175

We need to be careful that Hamish’s (pointy) nose isn’t put out of joint so Debbie and I treated him to some of his favourite yogurt this afternoon in Cafe Nero…

IMG_1196

James: The Dog Listener