The Unforgiving Dress

You fill up my senses
You fill up my senses

The countdown has begun. Only five days to go. FIVE days, less than a week and I have a very unforgiving dress to fit into for the start of the Football Season at
Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane.

She wears a dress for the football match?

I know, how bizarre. But never fear I am not stood on the kop singing the greasy chip butty.

I am in the “posh” part the members and corporate area. AND I work there.  How exciting even though I have to wear a dress. If I wasn’t working though I would be on the Kop because when you are from Sheffield you are either red or blue. And I am most definitely red and white. As are the whole family except Dad.

Four seasons ago I started work on match days hobnobbing with the members making sure that their needs were met and they enjoy the match day experience. Even if they do not enjoy the actual match (which is unfortunately a regular occurrence)

Last season we got a new uniform. A black jacket and dress. The dress is very unforgiving, I know its unforgiving, because it was last season.

It’s now this season and I haven’t ran for a long time. My muffin top has been replaced by a full on bakers dozen and a couple of bloomers too.

You see I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I am happy, I eat when I am sad, I eat when I am stressed, I eat when I am distraught, I basically eat if I have an emotion any emotion. There has been a full on tsunami of emotions. I have eaten and not moved much although when typing my fingers and hands are pretty impressive but I don’t think that counts.

So I know that when Saturday comes I will have to accommodate a Big Squeeze.

A squeeze that has not been seen since my teens, squeezing into those oh so skin tight jeans.
Not like the ones we have today which are sat on the hip. No we had to pull ‘em up to our natural waistline. This produces a whole five inches or so of zipper to pull up. This activity was like an Olympic event.  It often involved laying on your bed with a coat hanger threaded through the zipper,  pulling whilst simultaneously wriggling and writhing on the bed (alone no one needs to witness this sort of writhing) getting hot and sweaty,  holding your breath for an unbelievable amount of time until that god damn zipper went up.
Gently easing off the bed, after resuming an upright position and breathing a sigh of relief. The pointy Rebina shoes went on and off I tottered into town for a Grolsch and a Hooch or two.

 Saturday will soon be upon us and I break out in a cold sweat when I think about that unforgiving dress.

Now normally I would just opt for some holdy- in- knickers (Spanx) but the problem with them is that what they hold in has to escape somewhere and with the holdy-ins they roll it, in and up. So the rolls of womanly wobbliness end up just below the bust line causing the illusion of having four boobs with the lower pair unfortunately being the larger package.

So holdy-in’s are out.

Do I try a try a Full Monty body wrap? That would suit me sat in the garden shed with a mars bar, wrapped in cling film listening to hot chocolate.

I know it’s obvious Jillian Michaels tells me to work and push it every day – Its working but it aint moving.

Jason Vale tells me to juice and blend anything to within an inch of its life but he isn’t married to a fantastic baker who makes Paul Hollywood look like Michael Crawford in the kitchen.

Pat a Cake Pat a Cake Bakers Man
Pat a Cake Pat a Cake Bakers Man

Mitch can make the tastiest breads and cakes. But not satisfied with that he cooks 99% of our meals all from scratch so they are healthy, nutritious and taste fantastic.  This is great news for wifey and kids but not so great news for wifey’s figure.

I am well aware it’s my entire fault. I have eaten too much, not moved enough and worn too many pairs of leggings that stretch with the spreading.


Note to self they do not look good and yes your ass is fat in that.

I’ve got a feeling that I will be nipping to the shops to grab myself an extending black dress and hope that I don’t have to fasten my jacket.

Lordy Lou I hadn’t even thought about getting my bingo wings into my jacket until I started typing this.

But at least I know my neck tie will fit – it just needs an iron.

Wish me luck.


Dementia the Face Changer.

I read The Sun today – don’t judge I was at my Dads.

The news about Cilla Black was obviously prominent and I read the tributes. One thing that stood out for me was that she hadn’t wanted to be a burden, hadn’t wanted to suffer and had wanted to go out at a reasonable age without being too ill.
The universe served you well Cilla. – Thank you for the entertainment I didn’t like Surprise Surprise but I liked blind date and even recall watching Cilla in Black and White when I was very young obviously.

There was also a quote in there regarding her mum, Cilla said her mum had said during her demise she was trying her best to die, she’d had enough, she was in pain and suffering knowing her life was not the quality or quantity she had wanted. It was her mums suffering that had prompted Cilla’s thoughts.
The universe didn’t serve Cilla’s mum.

Another piece was about an ex-nurse who had travelled to a Swiss suicide clinic. She ended her life on the 21st July as she thought she had reached her ideal shelf life. She had no illnesses; she had no problems. She was fit and healthy. She also had a partner and 2 sons.  But she had decided it was her time and her family supported her, if not understanding her.
She had the capacity to tell the universe what she wanted and it listened.

I went to see mum today and for the first time she didn’t know me.  For the first time I wasn’t heartbroken I didn’t cry. She knew me as someone, she knew she knew me. She greeted me with a smile and said hello love. In all honesty I wasn’t aware, but as the conversations went on I realised through her eyes was I was not her daughter, not today at least.

We went outside and sat in a chair. She looked quite well actually, although her skin is like tissue paper and she has those old lady bruises and skin tears. Because she has spent so long in the garden, just sitting and watching she is a nice colour. A stranger could well describe her as having a healthy tan.
But I know better, healthy isn’t even close. Her breathing is laboured but it has been for a long time now. Her words are no longer fluent but each syllable is a raspy effort.  I’m not sure if it because she struggles to breathe or because she struggles to form words and sentences.

Today though she chatted, she didn’t tell me I shouldn’t have come to visit her. She didn’t accuse me of not caring and she didn’t tell me how disappointed she was in me. This has been the basis of her conversations with me since she has been in the home.

Neither did she ask how our kids were, she didn’t ask if we were enjoying the school holidays and she didn’t ask how Dad was.

The tanned face with the beautiful blue eyes looked tired and withdrawn. Mums conversations were random about people who were not there, names I had not known.

I was trying to engage with a stranger. A stranger wearing my mums face.
Have you seen the film Face Off?
It reminds me of that two characters a terrorist and an FBI agent swap faces.  Opposite ends of the spectrum, different personalities. It feels like that has happened to my mum.

Only a stranger would not ask how her adored grandchildren were; only a stranger would not acknowledge the plant I had brought for her and surely only a stranger would not recognise me?

I was glad today that the mum I have got to know over the past few months wasn’t there. She wasn’t upset or agitated or wailing. I don’t know if I was glad for me or for mum. Probably more for me as there was no accusations, no distress and today in mums world not too much emotional or physical pain.

The mum I knew before dementia would have been devastated at not knowing her own daughter, at not knowing where her husband was and at not asking about her beloved grandchildren.

A once proud, intelligent and strong woman has to have all her personal care needs attended, she has to be guided at every movement and she has no idea where her room is or where she is.  She does not sleep at night afraid to go to bed, she walks the corridors or sits in the lounge area just waiting, waiting and waiting. Waiting for the next day for the sun to rise and for the day to begin but she doesn’t know the day, it doesn’t really matter.

Today she was counting and got “stuck” at 6. She holds her head in her hands and prays for relief, relief from the confusion, the pain, the situation?  I do not know and I don’t think she does either.

What is happening universe we don’t understand?

A Unique planter in the Care Home Garden
A Unique planter in the Care Home Garden


Tha Dunt Do It Like That

As its Yorkshire day (Just about) and I am a proud Yorkshire lass and the youngest daughter of a proud Yorkshire Man and not just any man he’s my guiding light and solid rock.

Always has always will be – I am so like him as the youngest of 6 I have many qualities and quirks not only from Mum and Dad but also from my older siblings, I also have Youngest Child Syndrome.

Never heard of it? Let me explain I really truly believe that everyone and I mean everyone is older than me.  That was fine whilst I was still in my twenties but really? Still being surprised by peoples ages now I am a ‘certain age’. Remember Jeff on Casualty? He died sometime last year. (In the drama not in real life) and when it was his funeral they said he was 42.
42 He was 42!
I was in shock that he could be younger than me even though it was fictional. I may have even tweeted about the subject.

But back to Dad, methodical, organized and straight forward everything has a place and is put away, everything is useful and will come in “handy” one day. These are his positive traits and ones which I am sadly lacking, as I missed out on the timekeeping and organisational gene. I look at his cupboards, shelves and tiny boxes of organisation and lament the gene that got away.

One less human in the home and a very organised Dad results in less housework for me.  I still go to see him almost every day but it is a bit more of a challenge keeping him occupied.
Mum was a shopper “let’s just nip there” fine by me as we generally just “popped” somewhere for lunch and before you know it the day had gone and it was time to pick up the kids.
Dads style is not to just nip anywhere.

Dads straight forward, hard working, methodical nature dictates there are two ways of getting things done.

His way and the other  way. (for other read wrong)   A positive of youngest child syndrome is that I generally do agree with my hero, however my patience has been wearing thin of late because I have inherited the  my way gene.
That one didn’t miss me. Ask Mitch!

So far in the last week or so Dad has Shown me the right way to.

Put the liner in the Kitchen Bin.
It’s a bag – it goes in the bin. I have been doing it wrong in the 26 years since I left home.  He has shown me this three times. I now have decided that I will not empty the kitchen bin unless he is asleep or not in the house.

We live in the same city, we have the same recycling regime but every single time I take something to the bin that is paper or plastic he tells me which receptacle it should go in.

Hang the washing on the line.
The washing I was failing so badly with was the bedding. It Is Square Dad It is Square! How can I cock that up?

A beauty that required a square hole
A beauty that required a square hole

A Square Hole.
It was for a rose bush. Dad had made a frame. I had the audacity to dig the hole without the frame restricting my leverage. I must confess when he came round the corner I slapped the frame down over the hole and pretended I had used it all along.

Trimming my Tomato plants.
Note I said My plants. I have taken lots of guidance from my dad on the growing of our produce.   I know he likes to show me how to nurture my produce and I appreciated his guidance as I really don’t have a clue when it comes to growing things. But this year I have one plant that I am leaving as an experiment. It is growing as nature dictates. Dad is not impressed by my plans.



Mowing the lawn.
Dad has a beautiful garden and a powerful petrol mower. A couple of weeks ago our boy cut the grass for him. I could see Dads inner battle as boy sashayed across the lawn with gay abandon pretending to be revving a motor bike. The grass was cut but not in Dads regime. Bless Dad, he did well and restrained himself from telling our boy how to cut the grass he even got a fiver I believe.

I was not so lucky.

No blades of grass were harmed in the writing of the blog
No blades of grass were harmed in the writing of the blog

I got out the lawn mower and started her up.  Apparently you can gas up a lawn mower. That went down well. I started on the outside edge, something I thought was logical. Well not in Dads world. Thankfully he stopped short of drawing a diagram but I was instructed which blade of grass would need cutting at what angle and degree and time in the proceedings of operation grass cut.

Let’s just say I was so glad that the engine was revving up a treat that day as I would have got done for my language. I’m not being mardy honestly.

But if I hear the words “Tha dunt wanna do it like that” much more…