Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Good Morning Campers

If you told me a year ago the I would be sleeping on an air bed, a sheet of plastic between me and the outdoor world and a hike to the loos, I would have laughed hysterically!! If you told me I would really enjoy it, I would have had you committed!

During the course of the last year I have surrendered the tight hold I have on 5 star hotels and en-suit bathrooms, as a direct result of pester power! Come on parents, you know what I am talking about!! They wore me down.

In the UK we have two bank holiday's in May; one at the beginning and one at the end, giving us two nice long weekends. The first bank holiday saw us borrow a tent, pack off to a site all of 20 minutes away (just in case it was horrific) all to see if I could hack it!! Guess what, I loved it...we all did, the only thing we wanted to change....a bigger tent. That weekend, the rule was NOBODY ROLL OVER!!!!

This weekend we set off for the second time, our own bigger tent packed up, on our way to the seaside! We pitched in the wind, it was actually quite fun and set up our camp....or maybe we landed. Our tent is huge, although saying that there were others of similar girth by the end of the day, which at least limited the embarrassment I first felt when we put it up!

There is one thing I don't think I will get used to....tent envy! The amount of people that stopped by the tent over the three days we were there, just to ask about the tent and admire it....here's a thought, I wonder if I could charge for tours?!?!

Marcus Humongo Maximums (as named by the Happy Campers)

My favourite part of both trips and a must for every camping trip....toasted marshmallows and warm milky coffees. All we need to do is find a site where we can build a proper campfire!!

One thing checked off the bucket list, some wonderful memories made and looking forward to the next trip.

I'll leave you with this, from the new 30 Seconds to Mars album.....because my other half still knows that music makes me smile!!

What have you guys been up to while I have been AWOL? Any ambitions ticked off your bucket lists??

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Before I Kick the Bucket

Sometime ago Larissa at Papa is a Preacher discussed the concept of Buckets lists, or at least my mush of a brain seems to recall commenting on something vaguely along those lines before and of course can I find the post....nope!!

Any way, fragments of this along with the last few weeks have had me re-evaluating the concept of a bucket list. I have always had ambitions, a wish list of things I wanted to do....at some point. The concept of a bucket list, however, always seemed a bit morbid to me. But as I eluded to in my last post I have been converted to the advantages of bucket list.

So last week I began by choosing the perfect notebook from my considerable stash (come on admit it we all have a stack of notebooks waiting for that perfect project....don't we?) And I started to note down the memories I want to make; mostly with my girls, some are just for me and others to make with other half or friends. I have to admit the list has started to get a little long, already!

So far I have 20 items on the list, ranging from 'visit a pick your own fruit farm with the girls' to 'attend a masquerade ball' via 'keep a daily journal'. I have been adding items almost daily and have even managed to tick a few off. So in one of my brain waves I have decided to add another page to my blog to keep a track of how my bucket list is shaping up. Click here to see what is on there, you can even help me fulfil one or two if you like, I have a feeling I am going to be a very busy bunny, I may need the help!!

Don't run out of time, make every second count! A philosophy to live life by. Have you ticked anything off your list lately?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hello Ma'am, this is your wake up call!

"But I don't recall requesting a wake up call??"

"No Ma'am this is one that Life thought you were over due!"

The phone is hung up and I sit for a while contemplating what was just said with what can only be described as a 'derp' face.

* Warning the following post is extremely self indulgent. A bunch of feelings that I have to get of my chest for my own sanity feel free to discontinue reading here!*

For those of you that know me or connect with me on various social media sites you will know I have been a little under the weather recently. Ok so pending abdominal surgery and a four week headache isn't your average common cold but there are other people worse than me!! This knowledge, however, has not stopped the inevitable mortality wake up call.

There are some things in life that make us realise we are only human; our bodies are built to fail, we have an expiration date - we just don't know when it is (would it be better if the date was stamped on our ass like a tin of beans?? A long debate I may come back to, at some point!)

Quick history of Sleepy Joe, I may have already written about this but can't remember how much detail I gave, any way....I was 6 when my Dad became ill, an inoperable brain tumour caused by some lymphoma type caner (I have never really asked for the technical details, at the time I was too young.) All I knew at the time was Dad was really poorly, he needed help dressing and with his meds, which nurse Sleepy was happy to assist with!! My parents didn't keep anything from me and that made it easier to deal with when two years later he passed on to a better place. Mum and I survived for a while and then thrived and I have an amazing family of my own now, our loss lingers and hurts from time to time but life goes on.

Back to the here and now; I have been eating painkillers like sweeties for four weeks (for the headache), all the standard things have been ruled out and I have graduated on to the big boy tests like CT scans etc... I have no doubt that there will be some kind of simple explanation for my headaches and associated dizziness / visual disturbance. In the meantime the human brain cannot help but think the worst, especially when I have had to stop doing most of the things I love and when there are some really close comparisons to be had, yeah stopping there!

In a couple of weeks when all the tests are done and all has settled in the head of Sleepy I will look back on these few weeks and be thankful. Why? Because it it has been my wake up call, I have realised what is important; it's not the things I do that make me happy, it's the people I share them with that elicit a smile.

The sun shining in the garden, working hard digging out weeds and helping things grow, yet it's that quick glance at my girls giggling that makes me happy. Watching a good film is nice, what makes it a truly great film is sharing it with my cousin or curling up with other half enjoying nibbles and laughing at the stupid parts. A walk in the woods or up on the moors is lovely, the ones I remember were in great company. Writing a great story means nothing if someone doesn't read it and enjoy it.

What ever happens I am dying; be it 10 years or 50 years (hopefully longer) it will happen one day. I don't know about you but I want to look back and say I did all I wanted to, I lived every minute and I didn't miss a moment of what is important. So if that means cutting back on time sapping activities to focus on my babies, if it means ignoring the ironing to write the story floating in my mind, so be it. I am alive now and there are so many experiences I have yet to have, so many things I want to share with my girls, maybe it's about time I write them down to makes sure nothing is missed! I will be thankful for this wake up call, it has made me wake up to what is really important to me.

I'm off to listen to some great music and write my bucket list. What's top of your list?

In the mean time please stick with me, I will post when I can but writing this one has done me in for today! Love you all and hope all is well what ever you are doing!