Fifteen years ago

Fifteen years ago yesterday I had my first date with a very special young man. He took me to the theatre in Aberystwyth to see ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, which was very lovely of him as, I’ve discovered since then, he’s really not that bothered by musical theatre at all! Fifteen years ago today, right now, I was on my way to work, looking forward to seeing that handsome seventeen year old, watching him doing his work from behind my delicatessen counter! Fast forward through those fifteen years and I’ve been married to that gorgeous man for nine years now and have the two most wonderful sons with him.

Here’s to the next fifteen years!

Definitions #1

I’m toying with the idea of a little series of posts involving definitions of words, but not those definitions as supplied in the Oxford English Dictionary, but more in relation with my own life. So, entry #1:


A feeling experienced when one’s husband drives the wrong way twice in ten minutes, both times whilst less than five miles from home.

Yesterday, at the beginning of our 30 hour mini road trip(of which, more later), GG managed to first take the wrong exit off the roundabout at junction 32 of the M4 motorway, putting us on the road to Brecon rather than the eastbound M4. He rectified this at the first opportunity, but then once actually on the motorway, managed to leave it at the very next exit as he hadn’t noticed that he needed to change lanes until he was half way up the slip road, having missed that he was in a designated lane for that very purpose! I suppose that amused exasperation would be a better description of my mood at that time, given how much I was laughing, but I wanted to narrow it down to one word. Bless him! You’d never think he was a scout in years gone by!

Happy Birthday GG (a.k.a. Beethoven)

Today my most belovedest hubby joins me in his fourth decade. Yup, 30 today! Or, as one of GG’s cards said, 18 with 12 years experience. So I’ve decided to call him Beethoven (1812, geddit?).

I’m honoured and blessed to have such a wonderful, kind, caring and generous man as my soulmate and partner for life. Few can boast of such regular spoiling and pampering from their partner. But enough of the mushy stuff. He’s fab, you all know it, end of! Let’s get to the good stuff!

A while ago, I was chatting with a friend of his from work and may have mentioned that I could send him some pictures of GG as a child, if he would like. He did like, and so (with the gleeful connivance of his mother) I chose a few choice photos of my beloved, scanned them into my computer and e-mailed them to his office. I had a reasonably irate phone call from GG at 8.30 on Friday morning, informing me that his friend had printed a load of them out and had distributed them around his department. So, in a spirit of love (naturally) I decided that I should (lovingly) share them with you all too.


GG as a happy, smiling toddler

GG nearly 30 years ago - cute!

GG nearly 30 years ago - cute!

And of course, I’ve saved the best for last;

GG, aged 7, livin' it the living room!

GG, aged 7, livin' it the living room!

Bless him! Wasn’t he cute?! And check out the boy tan lines on his legs and his neck! I love you, hubby of mine, and I only publish this post as I feel safe in the knowledge that your memory is atrocious and you’ll have forgotten that you want revenge by the time my next birthday comes round!

More progress

So, those WIPs are starting to feel a little more finishable now. The end is definitely in sight for my dishcloths and kitchen towel – just edging the latter this evening – and I’m hoping to have photos to show you by the end of the week.

In other news, GG came home early again today and went straight to bed – his convalescence is obviously taking longer than we both thought. However, seeing their Daddy feeling unwell spurred both boys into being uber-helpful, with Handsome tackling the washing up while Cheeky peeled carrots and parsnips and made vegetable soup for his ailing parent (both of them thoroughly supervised, of course!), which went down very well.

I can’t wait for our few days away, which is coming up soon now. I think that the change of scenery and country air will be just what GG needs to get completely back to his former energetic self!

Oh, and apparently, I’m a daisy;

I am a

What Flower
Are You?


So, we (eventually) managed to get GG an appointment to see a doctor at our surgery. He was diagnosed with tracheitis, and given a big bottle of medicine containing codeine to help with the pain. Tracheitis is inflammation of the airways, basically, which is why he was suffering with a burning pain whenever he coughed or sneezed. He’s still really tired and not himself, and has very little appetite, but we’re hoping that given another day or two on this medicine he will begin to perk up.

Poor GG. He’s really had his share of illnesses recently, with this and his conjunctivitis. I prescribed chocolate (which is an expectorant, so purely for those reasons!) and made him a spicy vegetable soup which he enjoyed at lunchtime. Hopefully he’ll manage to get a good night’s sleep, which I think would do him the most good.

Cheeky is much improved, although we’ve decided to keep him home now this week. There is apparently a very nasty sickness bug going round school at the moment, and as he has had this cough and cold this week, he may be more susceptible to catching baddies like that, and I really don’t want to have to deal with that sort of thing during Easter and birthday season! Handsome remains rude with health (touch wood) and thoroughly deserves an all-out fabulous birthday for the grown up way in which he has been helping out recently. He has been fetching and carrying, making drinks, and many more small things which have all added up to make our lives just that little bit easier whilst GG and I have been so tired, fighting off infections.

Finally, many thanks to those of you who have left comments recently, sending good wishes to my poorly husband and son – GG was very touched that you people care! Hopefully in a couple of days we will be able to put all of this behind us and start to really enjoy the warmer weather and longer days.

Husband down

Cheeky woke up this morning feeling much better than his poor feverish self yesterday, and so I duly packed him off to school (no unnecessary sick days in this house!). Went shopping with Mum, got back to her house and had a phone call from GG (husband) telling me that he feels awful and is coming home. He got home by 3pm, went to bed until 6pm, got up for a few mouthfuls of dinner and now has gone back to bed. Bless him. He booked tomorrow off to get some extra sleep already, so hopefully that should see him right.

He basically has what Cheeky had yesterday – irritable cough, feverish (high temperature) and he’s dizzy if he stands up. Hopefully he’ll shift it as quickly as our youngest did. I bought lots of fruit and vegetables today though, so there are lots of vitamins for him to consume! We’ve all been hit by a bit of a burst of various lurgies recently (except Handsome, touch wood, who is by far the healthiest of us all, touch wood!) so hopefully the warmer weather and longer days will help us to get rid of them for once and for all.

Frankie and Benny’s, Cardiff Bay

On Wednesday evening we had, at short notice, a childless evening after my lovely mother in law agreed to have the children to stay for the night. Staying with ‘Gu’ (pronounced Gee with a hard G as in grape rather than as in gee up horsey! Oh, and it’s short for Mamgu which is Welsh for Grandma) is always seen as a special treat by my children as they are spoilt rotten every time they visit, so we had no difficulty in persuading them around! With our free hours we decided to go out for a meal, as it is rare that we make this sort of opportunity for ourselves.

We were undecided for a long time as to where to go. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to go somewhere that had good puddings! We tried TGI Friday first, as that is nearer to where we live, but when we got there we were told that we would have an hour’s wait for a table, and the bar area was full so we couldn’t even have relaxed while we waited. So we passed on that and made our way to Cardiff Bay and to Frankie and Benny’s. We’ve been there a few times before now and have always enjoyed the food, so it was a fairly safe bet. They were also busy when we arrived, due to a Wednesday offer they run of a large pizza and two soft draught drinks for just under a tenner, and the hostess told us there would be a thirty minute wait for a table. However, in contrast to TGI Friday there was plenty of room (and seats) in the bar area so we went and sat ourselves down with a drink each.

I don’t think we did have that long a wait in the end before we were seated. The restaurant all of a sudden seemed to quieten down as a couple of large family groups finished and left, and so we had a very attentive waiter (who I am sure I’ve seen somewhere before, he looked very familiar!). We ordered a tomato and pesto garlic pizza bread to share for a starter which was delivered promptly and was delicious. For our mains, we both wanted the calzone but knew that if we had a full one each we would never have room for a pudding, so instead we opted to share a calzone and then share a (smaller) pasta dish. It actually worked out quite well that we chose to do this as the wrong pasta dish was brought out initially (one with mussels, yeuch!) and so we tucked into the chicken calzone while they cooked the correct pasta dish. It was ready in plenty of time before we had finished the calzone, so all was well with our world. Then, to carry on our sharey themed meal, we shared an ‘East Coast Sundae’, which was chocolate and toffee ice cream with mini maltesers, mini marshmallows, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Mmmmm! We left the restaurant two very happy bunnies, well satisfied with the quantity and quality of our meals and not even significantly poorer, the bill having come in at under ¬£30. The only minor ‘beef’ (as my husband phrased it!) was the volume of the music. They play easy listening music such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Buble, which is great. We just would have liked them to turn the volume down a little, as it was a bit too loud to carry on conversations comfortably. Great if you want to sing along though!

A very satisfactory late Valentine’s Day meal, I think! And not too extravagant, given that we haven’t had a meal out together since before Christmas, and they were only lunches. It was really lovely, spending time with my lovely husband. I’m still quite happy to sit and gaze at him with a soppy smile on my face, even after twelve and a half years together! Long may it continue!

Gadget Guy

Gadget Guy is my blogname for my husband, as I got bored of typing ‘dear husband’, ‘other half’ etc and he’s really not a ‘hubby’ type. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to write a post about him for some time but I’ve not had the opportunity to sit quietly and collect my thoughts for long enough until now.

GG and I have been married now for nearly six and a half years, and have been together since we were seventeen, twelve years ago. We met at our Saturday jobs while we were both in high school, as we worked in the same supermarket. I worked behind the delicatessen counter while he was a shelf stacker. This gave me plenty of opportunity to eye up his fine form, an opportunity that I never tired of exercising! In the months before we started going out, I must have talked about him to my friends in school ad nauseum, but to their credit (thank you, Jo!) they put up with me very well and even helped me to come up with ideas to engineer a date between us. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we started dating, but were only able to see each other on Friday nights and whilst we were in work on Saturdays as we lived a fair distance apart. Many people around us said that it wouldn’t work out as we were seeing each other so infrequently. Then, after our A-levels he went to university one hundred miles away from my home while I took a gap year. Once again, as we were only able to see each other once a month, almost everyone around us thought that this would be the end of our relationship. We proved them wrong, however, and exchanged letters and phone calls frequently through the year and before we knew it he was home for the summer. Then, due to various circumstances, we unexpectedly ended up sharing a student house with two of our friends. The ‘gloom-mongers’ around us were convinced that this, finally, would be the straw that would break the camel’s back, as we had never before been able to spend so much time together. However, if it was possible we grew closer and even better friends from the time and space that we now shared.

In my final year of university, we discovered that I was expecting our first child, Handsome, and this was when GG really showed the generous and loving nature of the man with whom I had chosen to spend my life. I was cossetted and spoilt throughout the pregnancy and beyond (it never really ended, if truth be told!), with him taking over the majority of the cooking and cleaning, and then once Handsome was born devoting much of his out of work time to caring for our new son so that I could complete my law degree. Ever since the day when the midwife first put Handsome in his arms he has shown himself to be a devoted and selfless father, more than willing to take on as much of the parenting as he is able. Three years later, we were delighted to welcome Cheeky to the world, and once again GG showed just how wonderful a man he is by taking over complete care of our newborn and our (then) three year old while I fought off both chickenpox and the baby blues which were exacerbated by not being allowed to hold my new baby for fear of passing on the infection to him.

Even now he cares for me and spoils me by regularly taking over the cooking and cleaning duties, and giving me a lie in every single Sunday, complete with breakfast in bed. He is there to share my giggles and to pick me up when I am feeling down. He has never been critical of me in our twelve years together, and I can’t remember having any serious arguments with him. I feel very fortunate to share my life and my children with such a wonderful man, and I am truly blessed to¬†have found him at such a young age. He is patient, kind, loving, giving, tolerant, funny and cute, and I feel myself to be the luckiest girl in the world to have him for my husband and best friend. I wanted to write this to publicly let him know how much I love, admire and appreciate him, and to tell him that I know that my housekeeping skills are not the best (I would have been sacked years ago if this had been a ‘proper’ job!) but I really do want to work on it and become as good a wife to you as you are already a brilliant husband to me! Love you!

Best investment practices?

Last night, my husband was happy to point out this article which highlights a far more productive use of money over the past year than many traditional savings or stock schemes;

This is the best financial advice I’ve heard all week:

If you had purchased £1000 of Northern Rock shares one year ago it  would now be worth £4.95, with HBOS, earlier this week your £1000  would have been worth £16.50, £1000 invested in XL Leisure would now  be worth less than £5, but if you bought £1000 worth of Tennents Lager  one year ago, drank it all, then took the empty cans to an aluminium  re-cycling plant, you would get £214. So based on the above statistics  the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and re-cycle.

From ‘The Spectator’, article written by Michael Millar.

So basically, this is your classic example of having your cake (beer) and eating (drinking) it! You get to drink to excess but then appease your ‘green’ side by recycling the waste and getting a small return on your ‘investment’! Bonus!

I think he was probably quite disappointed at the missed opportunity!

Quiet time with the Husband

Today I had a treat. My husband (who I won’t refer to as NDT, Jo!) took a half day holiday from work today and took me out for lunch. We went to La Tasca and enjoyed our last uninterrupted meal and calm daylit half hour which we will have for the next week and a half. Yep, school has broken up for half term, so I can look forward to a week of trying to find things to keep the boys amused (and I’m including Hubby in that!).

True to form, school has sent home a half term project for Cheeky again. This time they want him to “create a mobile representing ‘light and dark'”. Oh good. Something to keep Cheeky and Hubby entertained while Handsome and I find better things to do with our time!

But back to our meal. It was all a bit muddled up, really. We originally decided to have lunch in La Tasca because I had found a voucher entitling us to two for one on all tapas dishes. However, when I looked at it this morning, I found that it was only valid Sunday to Wednesday. Duh! And so then I remembered a £5 off voucher that I had for joining their online club. However (again), on closer inspection of that offer, it was likewise not valid for use today.

Never mind. They have a lunchtime offer of which we took advantage instead of these other promotions. I had already decided that I didn’t want a huge meal, so it suited me fine. The offer was a choice of any three tapas dishes and one of the set drinks (from the special lunchtime menu) for ¬£7.95. We each chose three different options and then shared the lot – yummy! And then Hubby bought me a cake to have with a cup of tea after collecting the boys from school. I was spoilt rotten today!

When I got home, my Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness magazine was waiting for me, but i really wanted my cake so I’ve not opened it yet! I’ll save the guilt trip for tomorrow, when I’ll probably open it to find a whole feature about the perils of eating tapas and iced danish whirls. Ah well, it’ll get me back on track, I suppose. But I did really enjoy my meal out, and feel no guilt about the excess food that I consumed today. I might do tomorrow, but I’ll deal with that when I get to it!