It’s my last day of annual leave.
The week has gone so quickly, as it always does.
The good news is that I only have four weeks of work before I have 2 weeks off!!
It’s that time of year again.
It’s become a bit of a tradition for me.
Since I started working again in 2008 I take the last week in November and the first week in December as annual leave.
This allows me to get everything ready for Xmas.
The presents get bought and wrapped.
Cards get written and posted.
Baking gets done and frozen.
Decorations go up.
This year is going to be a little different though.
Me and Ian have decided to take a couple of days in York for some Xmas shopping and a break.
We need it.
Since we stopped selling at collector fairs and conventions we’ve lost our weekends away.
We haven’t had a holiday since 2010.
We’ve not been particularly lucky with our shifts this year.
Ian hasn’t always been able to get annual leave at the same time as me.
If Ian’s working, I’m not. If I’m working Ian’s not.
We might snatch a breakfast out together on a day that Ian is going onto nights.
On the odd day we do get together we try and squeeze in a cinema trip, but that’s about it.
So!, we cleared it with Nan so the kids are covered, not that they need much looking after these days, and we’ve booked ourselves into a B&B for a couple of nights.
10 -15 minute walk away from the walls of York City.
I’ve even got a bit of personal spending money courtesy of Mum and Dad for my birthday.
Anyway, back to today.
The sun is out and my head is telling me to get a couple of hours work done in the garden.
My heart is telling me to put my feet up and enjoy my last day off!
I may compromise and do both.
It’s not yet 9am, I could get quite a lot done in the garden by midday and then I can have the afternoon to chill.
There’s an Unlimited screening of Nightcrawler on at the cinema tonight but as Ian is on nights and it’s an Unlimited only screening it would mean going on my own.
It’s not on until 20:15 so I won’t be home until well after 10pm.
I do want to see the film, just don’t think I’ll be up to it today.
Well, this isn’t getting anything done.
Better make a move.
I’ve had a lovely week off work.
I’ve spent time just pottering around the house, watching movies, going out to breakfast and having a lovely meal out to celebrate my birthday.
I’ve done a tiny amount of college work and absolutely no work in my garden what so ever!!
I may just regret that but… hey ho!!
Anyway, I’ve just taken a look at some of the films I’ve watched over the last week.
Edge of Tomorrow
Day After Tomorrow
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Prince of Persia
The Ten Commandments
Man of Steel
Captain America: The First Avenger
I wanted to see what attracted me to them.
There are 2 films starring Tom Cruise and these films I would put down to great stories and effects, as I have never found Tom Cruise himself to be very appealing.
There is one Karl Urban movie and it is also a great action/comedy.
There are surprisingly no Joel Kinnaman movies in there but that may be rectified tonight as I fancy a little Robocop!
There is a young Mel Gibson movie in there. Blue eyes and incredible looks.
There is a classic movie in there with one of my very first hollywood crushes, Charlton Heston.
The bulk of the movies consist of heroes.
Superman, Prince of Persia, Captain America, The Avengers (Thor, Iron Man, Cap America, Hawkeye)
It’s when I look at those hero movies that I begin to notice a pattern.
The shoulder to waist ratio of most of the actors…. particualarly Chris Evans…… is something I find very appealing.
So does my daughter Marjorie apparantly as I found her giggling to herself everytime there was a close up shot of Chris Evans’ butt walking into shot in The Avengers!
Let’s start with Chris Evans.
He has played 2 superheroes on the big screen, Johnny Storm in Fantastic four and Steve Rogers (Captain America) in both Captain America movies and Avengers Assemble.
He was amazing looking with a cocky attitude in Fantastic four but has built on his physique for Captain America and now he has a shoulder to waist ratio to absolutely die for!
Chris Hemsworth as Thor also has a physique with and incredible shoulder to waist ratio.
Henry Cavill has been a bit of a surprise over the last few years.
He caught my attention in The Tudors but when this show finished he picked up work in Hollywood.
He started working on his physique for Immortals and then won the role of Superman in Man of Steel.
For Superman he expanded his physique even more until he was virtually unrecognisable from his role in The Tudors.
Shoulder to waist!
As a movie goer, I am in fangirl heaven at the moment.
There are countless superhero movies on the go.
Marvel and DC are battling it out for supremacy and so are the actors!!
Where does poor old Joel stand in all of this?
He’s still my number one actor and it looks like he’s working on that shoulder to waist ratio.
Heaven on a stick would be him landing a superhero role with Marvel!!
I took this week off with all good intentions.
My intention was to get some college work done and get the garden ready for the winter.
Have I done any of it?
Do I care?
To be honest, I think I just needed a complete break from normality and it’s been lovely.
It’s gone way too quickly though.
I’ve been out to breakfast a couple of times and I had a lovely meal out on Tuesday evening.
Today is my birthday and I’m spending it alone.
Ian is at work, the kids are all at school/college.
I’ve just paid all the bills for the month and I’m about to do a rather large shop at Tesco.
After that I was going to take a look at some college work but as I’m slightly ahead of my plans with that at the moment I’ve decided that it can wait another day!
This afternoon is going to be a movie afternoon and I’m going to enjoy every minute of it.
Unfortunately there’s nothing on at the cinema that I haven’t seen.
I’ve seen ‘The Maze Runner, Gone Girl, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Fury’
Box Trolls is not really my thing!!
Intersteller is not out until next week.
My next trip to the cinema will be on Monday with an Unlimited screening of ‘Nightcrawler’ which looks really good.
I like Jake Gyllenhaal anyway and it looks like he’s really thrown himself into this part.
Anyway, time to get this shop done, I’m wasting movie time!!
Ian was given the opportunity to take me out to dinner this week after a suggestion he made at work actually got used.
After plenty of thought and recommendations, we finally decided on the De Parys Hotel.
I am so glad we did!!
We’ve just had a wonderful evening eating food we normally wouldn’t eat, drink we normally wouldn’t drink and a bill we normally wouldn’t pay!!
We wanted something different to our usual steakhouse type menu and that’s exactly what we got.
I decided on the slow cooked belly pork with black pudding mash and it was amazing!!
Ian who is not quite so adventurous went with a mouth watering fillet steak.
He downed his with a few pints of stout while I demolished a bottle of New Zealand Pinot Grigot!
We finally ended up spending on just the two of us, more than we would normally spend as a family of five but had no guilty feelings about it at all!!
It was lovely!
I would highly recommend the place to anyone although we went on a mid week evening, not sure how the experience would be on a busy weekend.
Right, time to curl up with a movie.
I’ve spent the afternoon with my feet up just relaxing and unwinding ready for my annual leave.
I’ve forgotten about the EON fiasco. That can wait until tomorrow and should be easily sorted.
This afternoon I’ve watched 2 movies from very different ages.
Both of them masterpieces in their own time.
The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston and Moon with Sam Rockwell.
I chose The Ten Commandments after seeing a trailer for Exodus, Gods and Kings.
This film looks amazing!!
I’ve always loved the big biblical epics of the early film years and have been waiting for someone to make an up to date one with modern special effects.
I was bitterly disappointed with Noah earlier this year.
After the appearance of the rock monsters and guns I just phased out of all interest in that piece of crap!!
Anyway, this looks really good and is based on the same story of The Ten Commandments.
Looks like one that’s actually going to get the blood pumping instead of making me think WTF is going on!
One thing the bible is good for…… amazing stories that make for great films.
I also saw a trailer for another movie that looks good while trawling youtube earlier today.
In the Heart of the Sea.
It’s based on the true story of the sinking of ‘The Essex’
The Essex was a whaling ship and back in 1820 and it was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale.
Survivors spent three months at sea and turned to cannibalism to survive!
There were only 8 crew members left when the ordeal was finally over.
The first mate and the cabin boy wrote accounts of the ordeal and those stories served as inspiration for Herman Melville’s novel ‘Moby Dick’.
I must admit, Chris Hemsworth looks absolutely stunning in this one.
Right, back to chillaxing.
It’s been a long tough week but I am now on annual leave for just over a week!!
I came home last night to an empty house with Ian at work, 2 of the kids checked into the Hotel Nanny and Grandad and one off out with her mates.
It was lovely…. until I had a nose through some e-mails.
One e-mail that came in at 20:09 was from EON telling us that they want to change our Direct Debit.
At first I was a little excited because we have spent the last year clearing a horrendous £700 debt after we discovered our boiler was badly on the fritz and constantly trying to heat water even when the water was to temperature.
Because of that our monthly Direct Debit went up from £145 to £215 and we accepted that because after the debt was cleared we would expect it to come back down again.
This is what was agreed at the time and it has been working.
We’ve just got our new bill and after one more direct debit we will be in the clear which means that by the next bill there will be 2… possibly three more payments of £215 taking our account £430 – £645 into CREDIT!!
Needless to say we were happy with this.
This is why I was expecting something completely different from this e-mail.
This e-mail however, jovially informed us that our Direct Debit would need to go up to £299!!!
There is no way that is correct.
Their system has automatically looked at our usage over the last year which includes a period where the boiler was fucked and has generated an automatic Direct Debit increase to cover that kind of usage over this winter.
Not only that, but they sent the e-mail out on a Saturday evening knowing full well we can’t contact them until Monday morning!!
Needless to say, Ian will be on the phone first thing because I am just too angry right now.
But to put it quite frankly, EON can go fuck themselves if they think I am giving them another £80 a month!!
Come the next bill I want my Direct Debit dropped below the £200 mark.
If they refuse to stop this ludicrous DD increase then I will be cancelling the DD, clearing what we owe using a credit card and going elsewhere!!
It’s been one fuck up after another on every bill since we moved into this place which is a shame because for the ten years prior to this house they were fantastic!
Very disappointed and angry.
Right, now that’s off my chest, I’m going to crack open a bottle of Pinot and watch a movie.
I have resigned myself to the fact that life is hard. (Actually that’s a bit of a no brainer!!)
Married life is harder.
Married life with kids included is the ultimate test.
Would I give any of it up?
I often think about what I’d be doing now if I hadn’t got married or if we hadn’t taken the decision to have kids though, who wouldn’t?
It’s a natural thing to do when pushed to the limits sometimes and the last couple of years has been particularly trying with endless Dr and hospital appointments for everyone and there’s no sign of a let up.
Poor Dharma is struggling with her right knee at the moment and is now taking Codeine as well as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen while we wait for an appointment with an Orthopaedic surgeon. (10 weeks and counting!)
Our GP is a little frustrated and is now chasing it up.
To add insult to injury she also has a really painful ingrowing toenail on her left foot which the Dr has said needs a ‘wedge excision’ to try and combat the problem so she has been referred to a Podiatrist for that one.
Needless to say things are getting her down a bit and why wouldn’t they if you are in pain all the time!
Another concern that has cropped up recently is Marjorie.
Not only is she being seen by a surgeon about her feet problems (the same surgeon we are waiting for Dharma to see) but she asked me a couple of weeks ago if she could be tested for Dyslexia!!
I asked her why and she had legitimate concerns that I approached the school about.
We had a call from the school SENCo yesterday to give us results of an initial assessment.
It turns out that ‘Marjorie presents a ‘spiky profile’ in terms of her scores on the phonological battery results’
The results ‘may mean that learning a new language and decoding new words is harder for Marjorie’. (That would explain why she hated French so much!)
Although her profile doesn’t warrant a full dyslexia test they do give slight cause for concern and they want to give her another assessement in the 14 to adult range.
Great! At least they listened to her concerns and have actioned them.
We’ve been told not to let it worry us but when it’s your daughter who has just started her GCSE years, it’s hard not to.
I myself, should really go back to the GP about my own Orthopaedic problems.
The foot that I had surgery on last year is giving me just as much pain again and now I think it’s affecting my right knee and hip!
It’s just so full on with the kids problems and work and college at the moment that I just don’t even want to think about adding myself to the worry list right now.
The only saving grace this year has been the decision for me and Ian to spend more time with each other.
Going out to breakfast regularly and getting the Unlimited Cinema cards so we can go to the cinema at the drop of a hat and not worry about where the money is coming from.
I know it doesn’t sound like much but it’s the one decision this year that has made everything else just a little more bearable. (39 cinema trips and counting!!)
Murron is the only one who isn’t really giving us much to worry about at the moment!!
I can’t believe I just said that!
Anyway, back to today.
Got to have a good tidy up today after Murron had a load of friends round last night to celebrate her birthday.
Fire pit and pizzas in the back garden.
My living room currently looks like night of the living dead with young people of varying ages sprawled over all the sofas and the floor!
After that we are taking Marjorie to the cinema to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie.
Looks like it could be quite a laugh.
We are going to end the day with a take out.
So, the point of this post?
Life is hard which is not really a surprise to most of you.
It does get challenging from time to time.
You learn to deal with it.
It will get you down at times.
You may snap occasionally.
But ultimately you come through it a lot stronger than before.
Just be patient!!