Hello, where has this week gone to? It's flown by in a bit of a haze to be honest, I need to apply the brakes and slow things down just so I have the chance to catch up a bit!
Our Chester trip has been and gone and on the whole we had a good time. We had a few problems with the guest house which did, if I'm honest, annoy me somewhat. I booked it rather hurriedly back in the Summer and I now wish I had taken a bit more time selecting our accommodation. The guest house was very cold, they opted to turn off the heating at 8pm regardless of the outside temperature and we also had problems with our en-suite stinking of cigarettes. Apparently the smell comes in through the venting from the next door guest house. It was over powering and once the smell of cigarettes got up your nose that was all you could smell. We did move room on the second night and it was better but we then had problems with the shower either running freezing cold or scolding hot!
Chester itself was very pretty and had some fabulous old buildings and very good shops! We spent the Sunday afternoon mooching round and took an open top bus tour of the City which was very interesting. I stupidly left my camera back at the guest house thinking I would get another chance to take some photographs but we didn't have time to go back into Chester, so no pictures of the City I'm afraid.
Monday was spent at Chester zoo which was fab. Its a really big zoo and well worth a visit. It was a very cold morning so we wrapped up well and made sure we spent lots of time inside as well as out. The butterfly house was toasty warm and the monkeys were hilarious to watch, particularly the orangutans. We spent ages watching them swing on their ropes, there was one who liked to swing upside down and one with a wicked set of dreadlocks going on! Here are a few pics from the zoo.
Spot the two little monkeys swinging from the bars!
Here is one of my favourite animals. I love giraffes and could watch them for hours. They seem so gentle and elegant despite their enormous size.
Tuesday was very wet so we spent the morning looking around the Cheshire Oaks outlet village, which was rather boring if I'm honest. I'm not a fan of designer outlet centres as I find the shops full of last seasons stock and a bit of a waste of time really. After a quick look round we decided to go and have a game of bowling before we headed home. The kids enjoyed it but it's not really my thing. I hate the noise in these bowling places and all the arcade games. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a kill joy really! It was lovely to come home to a nice warm and cosy house.
The past few days has been spent catching up with friends, a football day for Alex and yesterday we had our Halloween tea which was good fun. I finally made my ginger cake with lemon icing ala Delia and it was fab. So much nicer than my last effort. Here are a few Halloween pictures to amuse you.
My quickly and rather badly carve pumpkin. I hope it lasts until Sunday!
My attempt at scary Halloween fairy cakes.
Spot the lovely new mixer, it was used to knock up the cakes and to make my ginger and lemon cake.
A rather rubbish photo of said cake. It looked so much better in real life once it was cut into squares and it tasted really good and yes, the icing was supposed to be dripping of the edges!
I haven't posted a picture of the fatty ginger puss for a while, so here she is lounging on the work top as normal (not very hygienic I know).
PART TWO - written on Friday evening
Today we are supposed to be going to the local farm to meet up with some more friends but I had a phone call this morning to say my mum is very ill. My Friend kindly took the children to the farm as arranged and I went over to see my mum with my sister. She is in a nursing home and is very poorly and frail. I'm really not sure that she will make it through, she has a chronic chest infection . They are dosing her with antibiotics and trying to make her comfortable but I fear for the worst. The doctor suggested that due to her age, and the severity of the infection we sign a "no to CPR resuscitation" form.
I have had an estranged relationship with my mum over the years, she walked out on us (my dad, two sisters and brother) when I was 14 and contact over the years has been rather limited to a couple of visits each year and a handful of phone calls. My mum suffers from Manic Depression as does my sister, and it is really hard at times to equate the feelings I still carry from childhood of a mum who was very unpredictable and at times very mentally unwell to this very frail old lady. As an adult I now understand her illness fully and can understand why she behaved as she did but it doesn't remove the feelings or some of the not nice memories that I still carry from childhood.
I think my main feeling is just one of utter sadness, my mums life has not been a happy one, her illness prevented her from being a good mum and as a result she choose to walk away from her family, which as a mother I now realise must have been an incredibly hard thing for her to do. At the time this was such a relief as life became very stable and probably for the first time in years became really happy and relatively worry free. My dad did a fantastic job of raising us. I still have feelings of guilt over the utter relief I felt when she did finally leave for good.
I feel so angry that this destructive illness has deprived me of a mum and deprived my mum of a normal happy family life.
I just needed to get this off my chest to record how I feel today. The first part of my post was typed this morning before the phone call and is all normal and cheery. I just felt that I couldn't end this post without mentioning my mum.
I really hope that she recovers enough to be able to regain some quality of life or if that isn't possible then she doesn't suffer unnecessarily.