Saturday, 24 December 2016

Its been the most wonderful time of the year

So its Christmas eve, the most splendid time of the year. What a year its been!
For some of you, especially in my pals group you will be working throughout the festive period. Long hours and experiencing sadness for some; as people are poorly and need your care. For some of you there will be your own sadness, missing or remembering people. Whatever your situation, I do hope its not too unhappy.
Here in the Ruellan household we are also remembering people but its a very different house because I am now officially a step mum . I thought that is what I did before but apparently "its proper" now, I have an official responsibility for children. I haven't changed , nothing is different or so I think. My Christmas card reflects that I have underestimated the role of the step mum. There was a build up to receiving this card. It was given to me in private and with glee. Of course there was tears on my part... I was totes emosh which just got worst when the little one said Daddy its your turn for renebells card.

So despite thinking I was always a step mum and Andrew always referring to me as " the wife" ; this year its official. Of course I am happy but this year seems very special. As for the first time, in a long time Andrew has both his children here for Christmas. The only real present he ever wanted. Its been a while but feels very wonderful. Of course I have been baking, ensuring everyone has everything and not took my Cath Kidson chrimbo pinny off. The children tell me its the best rocky road in the world they have ever tasted. Its not, its just its Christmas eve they are excited and dad getting married means a sense of permanence. Clearly something that is a good thing.
So readers may you find your own "good thing". Its not easy finding or maintaining a good thing, nothing is; that is worth it. However right in this moment of eating cheesy puffs with a Kir Royale, educating the children about how amazing Human League actually are and seeing how happy Andrew is .. well its a good moment and a future memory and for now I will take that as the best Christmas present ever.

Sending love, happiness and health and if that doesn't work who cares, soon it will be another year. Finally in the words of a genius.
Come now sing with me,
Proper Crimbo
I'll take you for a drink with me
Proper Chrimbo
Put up your Christmas tree
Proper Crimbo
So excited you might wee
Proper Crimbo Proper Crimbo

Happy Christmas readers xx

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Its the Final Countdown

So I am getting married in 10 days, I have no idea where the year has gone. I keep waiting for the moment when you enjoy the wedding planning but it hasn't kicked in yet. Talk about stressful! Its all a bit overwhelming. My pals have had to do home visits as I sob with "Its all too much!"
I set myself goals associated with getting married. I wanted to be 5 stone lighter, I am not I am 3. Its been challenging. It started well then I decided I wanted to give up smoking. There was something distasteful for me about wearing a wedding dress with a cig in my mouth. So I stopped and was slightly concerned when the stop smoking lady said " you will probably put a stone on" Brilliant I thought! Although I didn't gain weight, I didn't loose it  either.

I am pleased I am slightly smaller than when I got engaged and even happier I have quit smoking. However for some reason for a chick who has always been confident in her skin, I appear to of turned into a emotional wobbling jelly. There is this overwhelming pressure to be the most beautiful you have ever been in your life on your wedding day. It sucks. I have been primping and preening and prepping all year and 10 days before my wedding I look like I haven't slept and have a hacking cough and a ruddy cold.
Whilst doing the wedding plan a couple a weeks ago I shrieked at the dining table that I had forgotten to order the umbilical cords!! Andrew couldn't work out how that fitted with table 2 turtle doves and table 6 geese a laying. Stupidly I had booked the wedding 2 weeks after course directing APLS. My fellow RO's will know that APLS is one of the more challenging resus courses. The outstanding maternity unit came to my rescue and collected cords and the faculty worked hard and achieved a 100% pass rate for candidates. Phew one less thing to worry about.

So I am excited about the wedding but I do need to chill out about what occurs. I keep having hot sweats that my dress will burst at the alter or a chunk of beetroot from my starter will sit in my cleavage and stain the dress. I understand why people elope!

Then there are the helpful people giving me advice.

You have stopped smoking? Probably that is why you haven't done well with the weight. (When someone asked me to have a cig)
Step away from the biscuits! ( I was only getting a teaspoon from a drawer)
Don't be the bride who never stops eating forever once they hit the buffet.

I have decided my wedding day should be like a Vegas for "One Night Only" show. If I want to drink a third of my 60% body weight of water in champagne. I will. If I want to eat a third of my body weight in cheese I will.
Having said all that; it is a coming together of the people that mean the most to us. People for me who have loved and supported me at various crossroads in my life. Who better to feel insecure with?   So in advance I thank those who have listened to me say "Gawd" over and over again.

Its important that I remind myself on the day of what someone recently told me. I am marrying my best friend and that is the only thing that matters.

If that doesn't settle the nerves I will recall what twinkle said last night.
Twinkle: Now that you will be married to daddy you will have parental responsibility of me as a step mum
Me: Don't I have that now?
Twinkle: Well you love me and couldn't love me more but this is more official of me
Me: I don't like the term stepmum, it feels evil.
Twinkle: OK you can be mummy two
I cry
Twinkle: Renebell you really need to stop doing that crying. I wonder what I will have for my breakfast at Longueville?

Roll on 17 December.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Going to the chapel just got a little closer

Two hen parties down, one to go and a stag weekend in Chernobyl (yes you read that correctly)  for Andrew to attend. I have learned the more you say to your girlfriends "no penis" the more likely penis will appear.

Andrew raises an eyebrow when I tell him of my hen events. However his stag has received more raised eyebrows than my choice of cities. When people ask me where he is going and I respond Chernobyl, they say "No, where is he really going?"  Ever since he bought that book 100 places you will never visit, he has the strangest destinations he wants to go. I did draw the line at Tuscan Titan missile site for the honeymoon. I can't really complain. I knew he was outrageous when I met him. One of his finest qualities.

Anyhoo, the wedding is getting closer, seven weeks to be exact. Where the ruddy hell has the year gone?!!?
It was only yesterday when he asked me to marry him. We are ready, I think!
Venue: Check
Dress Check
All other paraphernalia: Check
First wedding dance music: Check.... oh hang on .. hang on. We have discussed it, narrowed it down, discussed it more and decided perhaps dance lessons are needed. So we had our first one last night. The premise is we learn some basic moves and Andrew leads and generally makes it up as he goes along.
Slight hiccup Andrew doesn't dance and for me dancing is about; as a guy once said to me in a club
" no one puts baby in the corner" I think we have discovered our first incompatibility.
Apparently we have to watch Dirty dancing for the brace not the lift; I haven't loss that much weight! Then perhaps Andrew will be less Herman Munster and more Johnny. He does seem to be enjoying it, especially the bit when the dance teacher says " Irene pull Andrew's finger"  for balance whilst twirling. Andrew likes that bit, saying "pull my finger" . As I said earlier he is outrageous.

So we need to practice. However that may be a bit delayed after I had to locate him in the emergency department today with a sore knee. It would seem he has twisted it. The reason I found him in minor injuries is because I heard his dulcet tones saying " my clackers are blowing in the wind when you move my legs that way". Oh the shame. A spot of rest required and practice for our wedding dance maybe a bit delayed. At least his clackers won't be all over the place.

So for the readers attending the wedding it might be you see me push him about on the dance floor like Lou and Andy pointing at various items saying "I want that one". We always have the David Brent Pilates dance to fall back on.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Hen Night Eve

So readers as usual its been a while. I make the same excuses. Busy, but well; I have no idea why its been a while but here I am.

Tomorrow is my first hen night. Yes you read that right I am having three. I didn't insist on three its just worked out that way, particularly as I have friends all over. I am lucky to have  friends who are very kindly preparing secretly a evening, day or weekend of wonderment.

Hen night number one is in Jersey. Six years living in Jersey and I have made enough dear, fabulous, close friends to warrant its very own hen night. For that I am lucky. The ever beautiful "My Rachael" is chief hen working away organising. She knows me well.Planned is champagne, my most favourite little place Relish and of course cocktails in a gin room. The theme, vintage 50's.

Time for swing, wiggle and rockabilly girlies in all their glamour.
To distinguish I am the bride to be, a birdcage veil for me. The discussion was had about sashes and L plates and I wasn't too keen. Contrary to what you know of me, on this occasion I am nervous about being the centre of attention. more of that later.

In preparation I went for a facial and decided to opt for one that infuses your face with oxygen. Yes I hear you, what a load of bollocks! It was like someone blowing raspberries on me. Apparently its 100% oxygen so it has to be good, right? When it had finished, she closed the experience with " you look so much plumper",  I know I scowled. Last time  someone  said that to me was the 60 a day Benson's and Hedges fat club leader, She also said your not bonny your fat in addition to the plumpness comment. Well let me tell you missus, I might be a little rounder, I can do something about that but last time I looked you couldn't get a charisma transplant on the NHS.
So the young therapist blew 100% oxygen via a raspberry blowing system and commentated throughout, the percentage I was receiving. As I am a geek, constantly running through my head was " you only get 16% oxygen from mouth to mouth".

So back to the matter in hand, hen night. I am excited and a little nervous. I am getting married and a hen night means yep I am getting married. Its real! That makes me nervous. Not in what am I doing way but oh lordy its happening!

So I am sure their will be pictures of  magical merriment and glamour; of course there will. The girlies are just adorable.

Hopefully they will not feature the penis. Although my pal the McConk has identified a penis with a lily sprouting from the urethra for table decorations. She said she made the effort because she knows I am sophisticated and demure ( I am sure she is teasing....slight panic sets in).

Demure! I hear my pal  Jenny Piccolo shriek. Shhh.. she can report that on my Manchester hen.... hen number two.


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Washing and ironing and darning too

Happy Mother's day readers! Perhaps you are being spoiled or remembering a mother who isn't here, cursing a mother who is or having your normal Sunday activities. Whatever you are doing I hope you are having at least a semi decent day. The title of this blog is from a song my own mother used to sing to us when we were little.

My "be kind to myself week" is now officially over. I know this as I am sorting the washing. Andrew is off practising for his pistol competition in Germany and Alice is at her mums cooking lunch with her big sister. So although I do have stuff to do I am sure I will fit at least one more episode of Law and Order in.

Yesterday was a proposed day of being with the vicar to discuss our pending marriage but he is poorly. Andrew was a little pleased then I reminded him you can't be happy when a man of the cloth is sick even it is a cold. So plan B was both Alice and Andrew saying I could do what ever I wanted. Much to Andrew's horror and Alice's delight it involved garden centres, charity and things you don't need shops then cake. I struggled with the cake moment as I am on  operation wedding frock diet. It is a terrible thing to say but if someone told me loose weight if you will kick the bucket I would of asked for a second opinion. A wedding frock seems to be a bigger incentive. If I start to show signs of putting weight on post nuptials I will have to look for another husband to incentivise me.
So I ate the cake with my fat club leader's words echoing in my head " you are loosing weight too quickly, its not sustainable and your skin will sag". Righty ho better eat some cake, wouldn't want that prophecy to come true!
After dropping Alice off at a concert last  night I spotted a park. I think Andrew thought I had lost my mind when I said lets go play on the swings. He just stood and watched me as I asked for a push. Not sure when the last time you had a go on a swing readers  but would recommend it. Its quite refreshing  just swinging about. I do appreciate being in a park late at night might not be recommended. I myself fell foul of being in a park late at night when I was setting off fireworks with a boyfriend. It was quite magical looking at them lighting up the sky but not so magical looking at the  illuminated bushes and silhouettes darting about in strange positions shouting "what the f*$*#!!   I don't think they had anticipated cottaging by candlelight by  two idiots with rockets. So perhaps choose your swing moment  carefully. (Easy, no swapping required).

So I think or I hope I have re-centred myself. Its a big year! Busy with  work, dieting and  getting married to name a few, but my "be kind to myself" week couldn't of ended better. A little voice piped up from her bedroom when she heard me get up. "renebell come here". So I sat on her bed as I do most weekends for a "whats ahead in the day" chat. She produced a pink envelope from under her duvet. I knew it would be a card acknowledging someone special as it is mother's day. I received my first last year.
However I sobbed when I saw she had upped the anti with a "like a mum to me " card.
"I got you this because that is what I think" I sobbed some more gave her a kiss and sobbed again.
" Right you can go now" she remarked. I think the sobbing was becoming embarrassing.
As I stood at the door trying not to sob  she said "renebell"
I thought oh I hope she doesn't say anything that will make me sob more.
 "my vans need cleaning"

So its business as usual and whats better than that.    

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Invest in yourself

So I wrote a Facebook post recently  about having a "Be kind to myself" week. I thought about it  later after I wrote it. I thought some might think " I wish I had that time to myself" and " all those cocktails and hotels, how much kindness does she need?!"  

So I thought about it some more which naturally drew me to writing my blog. I am tired, I don't mean late nights tired, I just mean tired. I have lost 2 1/2 stone on operation wedding frock so far,   people keep saying "you must feel better"? I pause and say yes but then think I am still tired!. Recently I have been doing a lot of work, study, wedding planning and children juggling. No more than anyone else I am sure; but once I felt I was so close to the wall I could lick the paper off. I thought  time to stop a little and be kind to myself..

So there it started. I am not saying to be kind to oneself it requires a staycation. I spent 30 minutes staring at the ceiling this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it! I understand that 30 minutes is a little longer than the recommended 2 minutes to appreciate yourself but I thought what's a little over indulgence?
It was certainly better than the 30 minutes I spent discussing what kind of toilet I wanted for my wedding marquee!
In order to be truly kind to myself I needed a little help whether it was getting a week's annual leave off work or Andrew doing the school duties. I have no doubt work will still be there when I get back but Alice on the other hand might not. There appears to be an abundance of apples in the kitchen and on further investigation Andrew has been convinced by Alice that Haribo is one of the 5 a day. No wonder she is enjoying Daddy mornings getting ready for school as it means having a butt warmer in the car rather than the school bus and a Haribo fruit snack.

I wrote a be kind to myself list of things to do starting with "watch law and Order  from the beginning again". I didn't get any further with the list because after 3 episodes I nodded off. With 456 episodes produced I might need to do my be kind list when I am staring at the ceiling for 30 minutes.

Now exercise should energise me I thought. So I have joined a gym. Well I say gym I mean a spa that has a little corner for equipment the Marquis de Sade sold them. So far I have done 3 lengths in the pool, sat in the Jacuzzi and steam room. We all have to start somewhere! So I took it up a notch; return of the cross-trainer at home. I have a plan to get fitter at home before visiting the Marquis de Sade's torture room. There is a trainer at the spa who is ready to get me motivated, I just wave at her as I pass her en route to doing 3 lengths. I am sure if she got her hands on me she would be productive but I will carry on with Alice. I can distract her with a bag of Haribo.

In my early 20's I went to the gym a lot until I couldn't get up from emptying a catheter bag when I worked in  ICU. It required an anaesthetic intervention; meaning one of the registrars oiking me up whilst eye rolling. So that was short lived.

Andrew is also in the getting healthy mood and is supportive. However when he said no matter what you look like in your dress, it won't matter to me. I paused, starred and quietly whispered "I am not doing it for you dear, I am doing it for me".

That's what I really mean about a "be kind to yourself week" . It is about having a moment of doing what you want. I know you might not be able to manage a week readers but if you can find 30 minutes of being vacant I would thoroughly recommend it for recharging your batteries.  That might seem counter productive for a "invest in yourself moment" but whatever it is; do it to be kind to yourself rather than others.

Logic would follow that I complete this blog with an affirmation but as its my " be nice to myself week", I have finished with something inappropriately funny that makes me laugh.


Monday, 4 January 2016

Back to bore you!

So its the start of 2016 and I haven't blogged for over a year. The reason, who knows? Perhaps apathy, being busy or not making the time. I always enjoyed my rambling and after a pal started up his wonderful blog of recipes and other such gastronomic wonderment; I thought to myself maybe I should return to letters from Jersey.

It could be argued that it is no longer "a northern girls start on a new life". Its been 5 years in Jersey and no longer can be thought of as "new" but just "my life".
What a life it has been. I had a 5 year plan to go back home if things didnt turn out and although a challenge at times I am still here; for that I am glad.

The next chapter, I am getting married which hasn't sunk in yet. First stage of planning a wedding is GET THIN!!!
Well I say thin I mean less portly. I am no stranger to dieting and have tried many a plan. However now I am older and can afford cocktails till they come out my ears unlike my drinking  20/20 days, I don't appear to have self control. Policing myself with dieting was not really a practical option as I have come to justify cheating. So back to class I went starting this evening.

My new class is not like anything I have attended. The person that runs it is quite bouncy in an energetic way. I can think myself less portly just by being exhausted by watching her.
Previous class experiences have involved a woman that looked like the back end of a bus and smoked 100 B&H a day I am sure. In her gravely voice she would start with "you're not Bonnie your fat". She didn't bother me in her words of self esteem bashing as I used to sit there and think " at least I don't look like the back end of a bus". However I could see how she might not encourage people to return to class. I used to keep going just for the entertainment of "Bonnie bus bitch" as I started to affectionately to call her.

My new leader of all things less portly could never be referred to as that as she is quite lovely and inspirational. Oh the other different aspect of attending class is errrr Andrew. On further discussion of joining a class he remarked "I will come with you, it will be supportive". Now I heard you readers, you did a little "awww" but I think that had we been at secondary school together we probably wouldn't of been pals.

I have never attended some form of course with Andrew and hadn't anticipated what kind of student he was going to be. Well as he was the only one that had his name referred to 3 times during the class  by "teacher", I suspect I will have to move seats. Now I love him dearly, I must do I said yes but I think he might get thinner because of the constant poking I do of  his ribs.. Firstly he is the kid that can't sit still and makes more noise trying to adjust his comfort. The fidgeting, the rustling the crossing and uncrossing of his legs that sounds like a gale force wind is somewhat distracting.  I glare! Then its the bobbing of the head looking round. When I ask what he is doing he says "I am doing a head count". I glare again and whisper concentrate.

Now perhaps I am being too harsh but you know that kid that asks teacher a question right at home time as you are packing your bag away and have one arm in your coat. Well that's ANDREW!
On the way home in the car we were discussing his sense of ermmm irritation to which he asked can you have extras on this diet? I didn't like to enquire what extras he wanted. We have concluded I will just tell him what to do and eat what I give him, it seemed a better solution.

So that's the start of it, the year, the getting thin, the planning of a wedding. I will try not to bore you with the ramblings but they are a coming.