Empty nester.

IMG_4462 (1)Our son left home last year to go to University.

The Empty nest syndrome is something I see all around. Sad eyed middle aged women getting up like clockwork to put out the endless boxes of cereal to feed the ones who have left. Our body clocks pinging at 4pm and the Pavlovs dogs reaction of shovelling a half hundred weight of biscuits onto plates and producing gallons of juice and milk for the hoards to drink when they descend on the house at 4.30pm on their ways home. Only there are no hoards now. All those muddy kneed rugby playing school boy/men are away. Away to begin their lives without so much as a by your leave for the entrenched routines that having given birth to and brought up a child has riven into the homes and lives which they inhabited. The silence. The tidiness. The thrum of music through the wall from his room replace by the ticking of the kitchen clock. The fridge which remains full and the milk which is still bought in gallons going off.

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Until this very moment you have had not a second to think about it as the toddling becomes totting into school turns to hormones turns to teenage battles turns to exams and then to – well this – the point. To bring up a responsible member of society who can clean his teeth, brush his hair, and be independent. This is a success. This was your job. OK its not full redundancy maybe a fairer term would be voluntary redundancy. It is a new beginning for them so why not you?

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So with that in mind I am slinging my bag over my shoulder, grabbing my sausage dog and am off.  Muffin top, hormonal rollercoaster, bouts of dieting, bouts of drinking, bouts of regret, bouts of hysteria, eruptions of spots, despair, creativity, dunderheidedness, insomnia, grumpiness all accompanied by increasing hairiness in strange places – why the inside of my nose is now tufting up is not something I am either proud of or delighted about – and that’s just the half of it, said the bearded slack jawed lady. Still look on the bright side….at least when Santa retires I might be a shoe-in for the big job.

With car, sausage dog and passport am off. Will report back.

 

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Yogaholic.

 

Not me. Yet.
Not me. Yet.


For those who read this blog you will know I love food drink, dogs, music, dogs and my long suffering family and dogs but the one thing which has eluded me over the high days and holidays, low times and desperate days is the love of exercise. The need to don lycra and thunder over the pavements, inhaling great lungfuls of exhaust fumes or standing in a gym with the waft of rubber and old socks all around as forever been a mystery to me and my undulating thighs. So it has come as a bit of a surprise – nae shock – that I may have found my”thing” I am not claiming to be good at it, or changed outwardly – yet – but for the past couple of weeks I have been doing yoga.

Oh hark the middle aged Aberdonian has discovered yoga surprise surprise.

But I Have.

And I am so convinced that this will be a life – body changer – I am going to document my journey here.

From stiff, lumpy, stressed and hunched to a long languorous lithe young thing – no ok fair enough I got a bit carried away with the superlatives there but change is gonna come…..wish me luck!
P.S I know you don’t believe me

 

PPS written with a glass of wine in my hand – you could have apoint.

Heartbreak on 8 legs.

Desperate sadness surrounds this blog post and the person writing it.

My dear hairy friends, stalwart supporters, companions through thick and thin are no longer on this mortal coil.

Flora half haggis half womble and Sam nice but dim Labrador are gone.


P1080799Ever get the impression you're being watched?

The knowledge of adopting and loving and animal is one thing but the acceptance that to be their very best friend right to the end is the hardest thing a person has to do.

So as Floras eyes failed, her hearing went, her teeth became but a distant memory her joie de vivre ebbed away and was replaced by a look of uncertainty and fear.

Sam our delicious chunky lumpy Labradors wee back legs refused to do what she wanted them too. She slipped and fell, even a few stairs became an Everest like challenge and so she took to her bed with an expression on her face that still registered love but also one of deep unhappiness.

Their days of barking, wagging, running chasing a ball, chewing socks, jumping up to greet you, snuggling up on your feet under the table to snore had gone. But what a decision to have to make.

During the hard times they would rest their knowing heads on our knees and gaze into our eyes with a sense of empathy and peace that gave great comfort.

As part of the all encompassing lives we had together it was a decision with the help of our lovely vet Victor that was heartbreaking to make and yet the time had come.

THey had both reached the end of the road. One without the other would be Morcambe without Wise. French without Saunders. Little without Large. So fate decreed they were both at the same stage at the same time.

So Victor come round to the flat and they were cuddled and fed as they closed their eyes for the last time with no idea of what was happening.

So the house is empty. They are together forever.

Teenwolf at Unviersity.

Gulp.

So here we are ……………….what’s next?

IMG_0268 2011-08-14 16.11.35 P1080769 P1080171 P1080110 Flora phone P1070740 P1070220

 

MUST LOVE DOGS

 

Small dogs shiver as this one gets stuck right in. Turncoat and waterproof coat.


Dog lovers of the world unite. Have you heard of this fabulous new website BorrowMyDoggy.com

It is for the time-poor dog owner, for the lively and always ready for a walk dog and for the dog lover who cannot have a dog of their own for whatever the reason ….be it landlords rules, work commitments or a partner that has allergies or frankly can’t stand them (though why you would want to be with a person that didn’t love dogs is beyond me frankly). In fact this may be the catalyst,  if your partner doesn’t like dogs get rid of your partner and join this site as there are a plethora of new hairy pals for you to walk.

Whether you are a dog owner or prospective walker all you do is register on the site, fill in a few details and your postcode then you will see the array of dogs in your area who are looking for a new human shaped friend to take them out for some fun and if you’re the dog owner you will see the people in the area keen to take out your quadroped pal.

 

There is no money that changes hands it is just a happy meeting of local dog lovers. fat_dog.jpg..

So have a look and get thee registered. Exercise, fun, happy waggy friends, whichever your situation if you ask me whichever way you look at it –

It’s the dogs cajaones!

Road Trip Thelma & Louise Day 1

 

So we’re off. Mum and I are heading off to Europe today in the car. In preparation last night we drank a lovely bottle of wine and toasted the next few weeks of driving, travelling and “mindfulness” Yes the buzz word for the middle aged crisis sufferers the world over of which I am one. Obviously. Mum is neither middle-aged nor neurotic so that must have come from my Fathers side of the family. The mad, hairy, ones. Ah yes there’s the clue. Still back to the trip.

 

The first hurdle in leaving is pictured here. The dog.

SMILE IF YOU HEART IS BREAKING
SMILE IF YOU HEART IS BREAKING

Nellie the lurcher. She got a bit twitchy when she saw Mum pack her bags and spent last night pacing the flat then when we got up this morning she was glued to Mums bags displaying her doleful eye.

 

I took a different approach as my dogs are 15 and 13 respectively if I had said goodbye to them it would have taken 2 hours and involved a lot of wailing and snottering so I gave them a biscuit a cursory scratch on the head and  they walked off rewarding me with a lazy wag.

GOODBYE CRUEL WOMAN
GOODBYE CRUEL WOMAN

As they disappeared off into a bushI ran in and gathered the next armful of extraneous goods to stuff into the boot before leaving the flat for the last time tears threatening.

 

For those considering taking a car. First revelation.

 

Travelling across Europe by car is a joy. No one to winge about the size of your cases or the number you have of them. So we have spread out…..there’s just us and over the boot and back seats we have:

  1. The Library; Selection of books to read on the road. Travel books, thrillers, sci-fi-romance, history it’s all in there. NO WE DON’T HAVE A KINDLE and NOW WE DONT WANT ONE.
  2. The larder. Food for stuffing into the face in times of desperation which we plundered on day 1 more details to follow…..
  3. The digital radio – yes I must have @BBC6music at all times when in transit
  4. The footwear. Shoes, flip flops, trainers, wellies, boots, flippers.
  5. The rumbley rolls of clothing. Warm stuff, sandy, old summer stuff, winter stuff, spring and Autumn stuff – fully prepared for all eventualities.
  6. The drugs. Not illegal ones but the ones you end up accumulating. Ibuprofen, aspirin, paracetamol, a couple of back supports as my back as been chronic recently, vitamins, Nytol for the insomnia and then Mums array of stuff for blood pressure. I wonder when you see Posh Spice (Yes I still call her that) swashbuckling through Heathrow with all her bags if they are filled with Berocca and painkillers in case of a cracking hangover after a wild night out with Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana.

But seriously to the untrained health freak we probably look like a couple of dealers. There are a serious number of bottles with pills in them in the boot. I hope we don’t get stopped at customs.

  1. Shampoo. I ordered it twice by mistake on Amazon and thus have 12 bottles of shampoo in the car which we can sell if we run out of money, or petrol, or the will to carry them round Europe.
  2. Lotions and Potions required for maintenance. This is a biggie.

You know the sort of things Cleanser. Moisturise, Veet, conditioner, body moisturiser, deodorant, anti-pespirant, perfume, my make – up which we did consider putting in a separate trailer. Mums make up – pictured. Is slightly less high maintenance.

 

Electronics:

Laptop. Phone. Chargers. Camera. Batteries.

Vital equipment: Maps. Addresses of where we are going. Instruction on how to use the Sat Nav.

By now there is barely enough room for Mum and I.

 

If it doesn’t just burst I will report back tomorrow…..

 
Hasta La Manana

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Road Again – soon…….GULP

The polar opposite to us low slung dark varied, short legged Aberdonians.

I can’t fly. No that is not a comment about my personal feathered wing situation. Fact is I am not permitted to fly on a plane due to an ongoing health condition – yeh I know – yawn yawn. Don’t worry I wasn’t going to splurge out all that stuff – I was just telling you all about it cos I am in the process of planning a road trip with my dear Mum.

Road trip consists of

Her – passenger seat.

Me  – driving seat.

Her – old crumpled map. See below.

Me – GPS

I would be lying if I said I didn’t laugh when I saw this map proving my suspicion that she is no Christopher Columbus.

ImageHer – finely tuned destinations decided and confirmed.

Me – fly by the seat of the pants. Oh I do fly!  By the seat of my pants I forgot about that.

My Dad once navigated his wee sailing boat round the coast of the north of Scotland with an AA Road Map. It didn’t end well.  So I do understand why she is pushing for some definitive answers as to where we are going. She thinks I take after him. I do too.

In May we are off to Spain.

So I am reinvigorating this blog  to tell the tale of a road trip  with me and her.

Or as she would say “You and I,  Alison! Not Me and her”.  Yes the travails and travels of this middle aged daughter and my octogenarian Mum  on the road.

Jack Kerouac style?
Well that remains to be seen.

“Batton down the hatches or you’ll be blown over Ben Nevis and your knickers will be in Carlisle” they shout.

Getting a bit hacked off with these bleedin’ weather forecasters. Sorry Michael but it’s true.

Courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk
Courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk

“Batton down the hatches or you’ll be blown over Ben Nevis and your knickers will be in Carlisle” they shout.

Or words to that effect.

So the plans for the weekend are tempered. We had better not plan anything outsidey, walkish or leaving the house unless we are prepared to battle imminent strangling from fast moving fronds in 100 mph winds.

So here I sit. Saturday afternoon blue sky, cold yes but blue sky having just emerged from the cinema with my eskimo hood, goggles, gloves, boots,  nose guard, GPS emergency system and flash lamps under each oxter to make sure I don’t perish on my way to retrieve the car in the underground car park.

Credited to: weather.about.com
Credited to: weather.about.com

Honestly. My heart goes out to the folk who are battling with the rising tides and whipping winds down South but I wish to god the meteorogical experts would get their act together and stop lumping us all together.

(That word meteorogical looks wrong. It probably is. Well it goes with the territory I suppose. They’re wrong. I’m wrong.)Annoyed and off to take at least 15 of these 23 layers off before taking the frustrated geriatric dogs out for an early evening stroll in the blue pink skied gloaming.

 

 

Hasta La Vista.

Blipfoto. Oh God here we go another time wasting extravaganza here.

Oh look another way to fritter away time.

Blipfoto.

It’s addictive.

Que Sera sera. The futures not ours to see - well it is if you subscribe to Blipfoto I suppose.
Que Sera sera. The futures not ours to see – well it is if you subscribe to Blipfoto I suppose.

But then so are booze, chocolate, dogs, wasabi peas and eggs benedict and that never stopped us.  So what the heck….here we go again.

My friend KC got hooked on this last year. She has kept it up. Posting a photo every day. Charting her year. Her life. Her highs. Lows. Sherrys, dogs, and light sponge cakes with sauce. All in all looking back an interesting slice of life. So love a bandwagon. I’m on.

First entry is a cheat. It was taken on Hogmanay but hey ho. It was the start of this year, the last time I had an alcoholic drink and therefore a moment marked. Though I am heading gin wise now…..well? What of it?

 

So my name on Blipfoto is Gogglebox. I dont’ know why other than it is the funniest TV show I have seen in years.  So www.blipfoto.com/gogglebox

Have a good night.

 

 

 

Ahoy shipmates – The back, the lung and 81 adventure continues…

 

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This photo looks like  Cuba but is actually Cullercoats in Whitley Bay where we swooped in for a couple of drinks with Geordie Els Mum and Dad, brother Derek, wife Mel and pals on the way to the overnight DFDS ferry.So here they are oh and the dogs of course. If you’re a dog lover you will want to know this  white wee puff ball is Stan –  half Westie Half Bichon.

Of course if you don’t like dogs you won’t give a monkeys. If you do like dogs you will want to know this is Smudge Image 13– Ellies folks cheeky wee hairball,

If you don’t like dogs you will be getting pissed off by now but if you do then you will need to know the third dog was called  is the lovely Mollie spaniel, soft silken and eager to please. Unlike us. So anyway a couple of swallies down we were off to the ferry terminal for the DFDS experience overnight to Amsterdam.

 

First things first a good frisking.

My days as a drug runner occasionally catch up with me. But try as they might they couldn’t detect the Class A but being wrestled to the deck by a large security girl meant the bar was the first port of call when we got onboard. Aye Aye captain.. 
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Meanwhile Mums days as a lorry driver showed their colours again.  She loves that belly of the boat where she can talk diesel and  hauling wagons across Europe. Here she is before getting the lift back to join us mere passengers. Ah yes old habits….

Image 5When we got upstairs there was a reception desk.

‘Welcome aboard ship mates – can I help you?’

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Off  to our cabin a 3 bed job.  Well we had pushed out the boat in more ways than one but hell if you haven’t been out of your house for a year you need a wee treat.

 

Joan Collins eat your heart out.
Joan Collins eat your heart out.

After jumping on the beds in an excited state we  read the bar was free so off we went at speed. Campari or wine, endless coffee, tea and pastries.

We scoffed some nibblets and had a drink as we gazed out the huge window which sits right below the Captain’s Bridge – that’s the name for his control deck not his nose by the way.

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The sea was flat calm so were we as a result.

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Explorers hats on we went up to the sunny deck where reggae music boomed out and the eyeballs of all were on everyone else. Age 20 a hoot as this was clearly going to be a snogfest but we slipped off  before mass tonsil hockey commenced and as usual our stomachs led us on….to The Blue Riband Restaurant.

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Dinner time in the Blue Riband Restaurant. The waiter was very taken with Ellie and started over hovering. Still it meant we got served very quickly.  Food was fine though Gordon Ramsays got nothing to worry about but looking at the menu there were some strange sounding items….see if you can spot the unusual item.

Image 3 Image 2

 

After some lady fingers and giving the waiter who by now was in love with Ellie a tip – (the tip? Wash your knickers in Daz)  we were off to bed  for the night. For tomorrow is another very busy day…..

How busy? Hasta manana….