Running up to greet a new era.

A new month and a fresh start. Today, Beth gets the keys to her little premises in the high street. It’s up by the Amy’s Pantry end of town which means I’ll be well fed. We now have a month to create a sensory haven; Beth has been ordering all the special equipment for some time. It’s going to be so lovely and I couldn’t be more proud of my girl. Yes, it’s Beth’s work, but also something she wants for our community. There will be all sorts of parenting and antenatal classes held there too. First and foremost it’s a home for Baby & Toddler Rockits and an SEN room for children that who will benefit from it’s special environment. On top of this we have the wedding in 12 days! Good luck Buttercup (and good luck to me as I tackle her 4 tier wedding cake and lots more besides, haha). Xxxx

Ready to start his new school! 😢😢😍😍

I had so many incredibly kind and supportive messages yesterday. Thank you. It’s fair to say that my kids are quite private people and they find it odd that I openly write about my life in this blog, warts and all. I don’t actually like social media posts that are overly personal or needy and I don’t like attention seekers. The main purpose of my blog has always been to leave a truthful record of my life, should I get unwell again. Every year it is printed and becomes an actual book and copies are kept with each branch of our family, so that my boys will know exactly who I was and how our family lived, if I don’t get to show them. I always felt sad that when my Nan died there was absolutely nothing of her left; an old tin of buttons, a sewing box and a few photos. The only place my blog appears is here, the Rockits FB page; it’s not pushed under anyones nose and usually I forget anyone actually reads it, haha. It’s here for safekeeping. More often than not it’s just about songs and events – things that all the choirs are part of. There are a few things I wouldn’t write about (some stories aren’t mine to tell), but generally I’m an open book. Despite what just happened to me, I have absolutely no anger, bitterness or resentment inside me; it’s my new superpower. I genuinely gained the ability to instantly let bad stuff go; how brilliant is that? I first noticed it about 18 months ago. Try as hard as I could, I couldn’t wage a war, hate (almost) anyone, or hold a grudge now and honestly, why waste a minute on someone who doesn’t deserve it? Nipper may have left the building. Sure, sometimes nasty stuff knocks you off balance, but after having a brief wallow (I admit to still feeling somewhat bereft), brush yourself off, press ‘reset’ and start all over again. I’m the queen of pressing ‘reset.’ Boys – you can make the best or the worst of life – I hope you make the very best of your life. Be kind, work hard, make a life to be really proud of. Oh yes and never forget, there’s nowt so queer as folk, haha.

With Amanda and her mum.

Yesterday, I went with Beth and the boys to Redhill for Finns rescheduled birthday party, which was held in a soft play centre. The kids threw themselves around and then we had party food and cake and all was well. Baby number 5 looks ready to burst out of Amanda, haha.

Finn is 4 (again) and loving his chocolate cake.

Running up that Hill. Phew, it’s done! This was a hard one to put together and it’ll be hard to master. It will sound terrible for some time (haha) but if we stick at it, it will fall into place and come to life. So pleased Kate Bush is once again number one, woohoo, just like our women’s footy team. I could almost hear the cheers from people’s front rooms as the Lionesses won Euro ‘22. xxxxx

Out like a light xxxx
Running up that Hill. © Arr. Max Wilson.

The end of an era.

It feels kind of like Thelma and Louise. Two very best friends, who embark on a road trip that ends up in unforeseen circumstances. They drove off a cliff, just like mine and Nige’s (platonic) friendship plummeted to it’s final resting place today. We had a wonderful time in the IoW. We sat in the Mermaid laughing our heads off drinking cocktails. We strolled on the beach eating ice creams. We got along brilliantly, just as we have done for a silvery 25 years. We excitedly made plans for our wonderful road trip next August, touring Italy. He was a part of my family and they always treated him as such and he has shared our lives, our Christmases, our weddings (and funerals!), our hen nights, our ups and our downs.

The Mermaid. Cheers Nige!

Those that know me, will know about the dreadful things that happened to my family a couple of years ago. How we went through a living hell for a year, through absolutely no fault of our own. We waded through oceans of malicious lies, dealt with police and Social Services, courts and solicitors. Of course, we told the truth throughout and that was eventually proven in court. During this time it became evident that Nige’s loyalty was directed entirely in the wrong place. Court statements showed that money was changing hands between him and another party and very odd things were going on. Still, I stupidly believed him to be a loyal and trustworthy friend, who would always support me and the family he was a part of.

And a big cheers from Dad too.

Some time later, when court proceedings were in full swing, we were asked for statements from those in our inner circle. This included Nige. Oddly, his first draft of a statement seemed to be supporting the wrong team! I was totally confused and very cross as we knew nothing he had written was the truth and we couldn’t understand why he wasn’t rushing to help our family. We (and our solicitor) urged him to rewrite the statement and include the truths that needed including. It was like getting blood out of a stone. It’s all crystal clear now.

Ma really enjoyed the food at The Mermaid.

Fast forward to today. I found out that during and after the court case (and who knows when), my best friend was working against us. At the worst time in my family’s life, he was stabbing us in the back. Why? How could he do that to me/us? The penny dropped. The dreadful realisation. Just what people will do when they are scared that something compromising will be revealed. Still, when you make mistakes, however huge, you must come clean, as over time you will find you have dug yourself into too deep a hole to get out of. In all our lives shit sometimes happens. You just can’t stop it, so you have to just keep moving forwards and hope you are lucky. In a bid to lead a happy, calm life, I kept my inner circle very small as people never fail to amaze me (or let me down). I can’t put into words how absolutely gutted I am. I am so sad to lose what felt like one of the best parts of my life. I am an incredibly forgiving person, but I wasn’t the only one betrayed; my son and my family were as well. Beth says the moral of the story is to trust no one. That’s a sad way to live. I think you have to trust and just hope you back the right horse. I have been unlucky several times, but who knows, my luck may change! I will still go travelling next year; I may even be able to get hold of a little VW camper with just enough room for me and Hugo and carseats for the boys.

Blackgang’s Back Alright!

We can’t ever come to IoW without taking the kids to Blackgang Chine and “Dinoland,” as Rufus calls it. This year Ma and Pa came along too and thoroughly enjoyed watching the boys thoroughly enjoying themselves. It’s got a few new bits this year too. Family of four is £120 and luckily under 4’s are free (and over 4’s if they fit in a pushchair and are willing to keep quiet and have a dummy stuffed in their mouth for a few minutes). Great half day out for the smalls.

Sneaking a picnic – Blackgang Chine.

Nige has reached new heights this year and somehow burnt his hands! He looks like he’s had his hands transplanted and his body is rejecting them. They are shiny, puffy and glowing red. How he manages to burn like this (with sun cream on) is a mystery. I wonder if salted caramel syrup (from his coffees) is escaping through his pores and turning to molten sugar in the sun?

Is it a paw? A rasher of bacon? It’s Nige’s hand!

Spent Day 5 evening at the IoW Distillery, The Mermaid, with Pa and Ma. Love, love, LOVE this place. Fantastic all round and mountains of food to eat and lots of Mermaid gin to sample! My fave place to eat so far. They now have eco pods in the fields below for holiday accommodation.

Borstal boys. Pop remembering his childhood haha.

Beth and her boys have returned home, (I can’t stand watching the boys go), so today, Day 6, Nige and I went to Alum Bay and The Needles. Don’t bother. The needles are jagged rocks, but the tourist trap nearby is awful. We walked in and immediately back out after seeing the queues and motorway service style cafes. We then went to Yarmouth (not to be confused with Great Yarmouth) which is small, but we had a nice lunch at The Terrace Restaurant, overlooking the sea. Next stop, Harvey Brown’s in Arreton. It’s a new, beautifully constructed shop, full of great local produce and also a good selection of delights from elsewhere. It’s huge cafe reminded me very much of the ABBA venue – loads of wood, high vaulted ceilings, light and airy with a very organic feel. It was lovely filling my Red Riding Hood basket with IoW fruit and veg, cheeses and figgy and beetrooty things.

Two perfect pearls.

A Burning Question.

Day 2. An early storm, which has cleared the air nicely and disappeared without a trace before the kids, grandkids and (my) parents arrived. We’ve stuck a tent on the Hymer and are praying that the weather forecast is correct and it’ll remain sunny and dry. For some reason, it always says it’s about 10 degrees cooler than it actually is and we have no idea why. Anyway, we measure things by Nige’s shins and now (Day 3) they look like they’ve been blowtorched for a minute on each side. That means it’s about 28 degrees. He will now have to spray on factor 50 when he sets foot outside (any more sun may leave him frozen in time, just like a poor person from Pompeii) or walk around in his duvet cover. Today I’d say they are ‘Hot Tamale’ on the Farrow & Ball paint chart. We’ve been mainly hanging here and going to the beach, swimming pool and restaurants. The kids also went to the IoW Reptilarium today.

The Willy-Whats board the ferry.

We aren’t the best motorhomers. Initially we dipped our toe into it and used to level it up when we pitched, but now we park, put the kettle on and put Blu-tack under stuff that’s sliding off the table. For everything else there is duct tape. Rex stumbles slightly as though he’s on a boat when he walks in the Hymer; it’s the jaunty angle we are parked at. Day 3 family meal was at the utterly brilliant, Hungry Bear in Sandown. It’s a favourite place and the food is fabulous.

Appearances can be deceptive…

I wondered if I actually miss anything when I’m away and the answer is, not really. I am used to not seeing Finn and Maxon frequently and keeping in contact via WhatsApp. I sometimes hate it, but that’s just how it is. I do need to get back to finish off my arrangement of Running up that Hill, as it is plaguing my mind. I know EXACTLY what to do now (Heathcliff). I miss Hugo a little and of course I miss YOU! Bloody blimey, now monkeypox has been declared a global emergency by the WHO. Three weeks until the wedding!

“Crikey mate, look at this beautiful fella.” Xxxx

Italian Greyhounds R Us!

Day 1. Oh I do love to be beside the seaside. It’s hot, but we’re just a skip and a jump from the almost empty beach. I nearly put Nige into a coma after a session of making cocktails, Italian Greyhounds, to be exact. A Greyhound (cocktail) is vodka and grapefruit juice, but I recently had the very lovely Italian variety at Figo’s and they swapped vodka for gin AND added Aperol. I googled it. “3 parts gin, 2 parts Aperol, 4 parts grapefruit juice.” Sounds a bit wrong and how much is a part? I thought a measure may be 50ml, but in the motorhome I can only guesstimate… so we sat outside in the sun enjoying our drinks and then I noticed Nige started sweating and slurring his words, haha. Right, I have worked out where I went wrong (much, much too much alcohol) and I will practice my mixology again tomorrow. I hear Hugo is doing well and managed to get himself fed a lot more than usual. He could star in the cats version of, Oliver. I do hope he behaves (unlikely) and puts the espionage and assassinations aside until I return.

Dinner on the beach at Ryde.

Nige informs me (I care little for politics) that during his final PMQ’s, Boris Johnson rounded up with, “hasta la vista baby.” Haha. Typical Boris and I can’t help but like him. He was good at the huge stuff, but a bit too gung ho with everything else, making one stupid mistake after another (although it did feel like he was being hunted like a witch in the end). Boris pulled us out of the EU and our country led the way with Covid vaccines, good. I think Boris managed well and introduced lots of things to pull us through a worldwide crisis. I know not everyone shares my beliefs, but that didn’t stop many benefiting from the furlough scheme and getting financial assistance, regardless of the huge impact that had on our economy.

Finny can’t wait for his brother to arrive in a few weeks!