Happy New Cycling


Hello….did you miss me?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and gained all that you needed from your Yule celebrations. I have had a wonderful Christmas. The highlight being able to spend some very valuable time with my children and The Hoarder even had a day off work that did not involve his phone ringing every 5 minutes. It was wonderful to have his undivided attention for a short time and I know the girls appreciated it too. I have some very exciting events coming up this year. We are going to centre parc again (see last years visit here!) I have tickets to see Bon Jovi and Biffy Clyro from my clever clever boyfriend as well as a trip to Blue Reef Aquarium to review on here in the very near future!

Happy new year by the way. Have you made any New Year resolutions? I have the usual. Loose weight, do more with my Beautiful Princesses. However, encompassing all of these is one resolution. That is to cycle 90% of my commute. By saying 90% I am attempting to be realistic and allow for snow days and days when The Hoarder has to give me a lift due to his work commitments. As well as this I intend to take the girls out on the bikes more often. Big Princess is getting really good on her bike and Smaller Princess is very comfy in the bike buggy so there is no reason why we cant all go out.

So this is my plan for 2013…to cycle more and therefore do more with my children.

I rode my first commute of 2013 to and from work tonight. Oh my goodness I have missed it so much. I loved every second of  the ride there and the ride back. I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow night.

I am free

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My 5yo has a boyfriend.


I have come to the conclusion that my family are nuts…totally bonkers.

The crap they come out with is truly amazing and I am taking The Hoarders advice and writing it all down.

I often wake The Hoarder on a regular basis. This sounds cruel and it is especially when I could do with a laugh. However, if I didn’t wake him he would actually sleep all day (I should add that he works nights!)

This morning he asked me to” bring them in here (the bedroom) and ask it what it was doing with the decorations at his work???”  WTF? I only asked him what time he was getting up. This is what I get every morning…some random stuff that makes no sense, him sat up and eyes open, looking very much awake…at least to me.

So I’m starting with my 5 year  olds conversation with me tonight. If I can figure out how to do it, I may dedicate a page to them too.

Big Beautiful has a boyfriend

The Hoarder insists he is moving out when the girls hit their teens. He also insists that they are not going to have boyfriends. I can quite believe that he will scare any poor lad that comes calling for either of our daughters as I have seen his Big Brother act on a poor young 17 year old who came to call for his little sister.

So when Big Beautiful told me a secret tonight as I tucked her into bed, I almost laughed my head off.

“Mummy I like Joseph, he always makes me ‘larwf'” (I swear this is how she said it whilst face palming herself!)

“That is good sweetie, you never used to get on with Joseph did you?”

“No, but I like him cos he makes me larwf by pulling faces and calling me to watch him fall over!” I’m thinking Joseph is flirting with my daughter here and he is good at it!

“He sounds very funny baby”

“He is Mummy. I think I might have a boyfriend?”  Ah No! What to say? ok Default counselling mode….Paraphrasing!

“You think you have a boyfriend babe?”

“Yeah mummy, I feel like I have a boyfriend…don’t tell daddy though” She is sniggering behind her hands…where does she get this from?

I’m doubled over by this point ” Why can’t we tell daddy? You know you can have a friend who is a boy and that is a boyfriend” Wishful thinking? I know where this is going, but I am determined to keep it innocent…to keep her innocent.

“No I think I am gonna marry him”…yeah we wont be telling daddy this. Just like we didn’t tell him that she loved Harry from One Direction and felt like she wanted to kiss him ( her exact words!!)

“Mummy, did you have a boyfriend…when you were in college?” Oh Boy!

“Yes baby, but now daddy is my boyfriend”

“I told daddy that he has to marry you”

“Did you baby?”

“Yep…he said Naghhh.” Silence “I think he meant no Mummy”

Yep, great…get to sleep….

 

Daddy will be woken on several occasions on a morning from now on to provide material for our entertainment…no I’m not bitter. (I am!)

 

It’s Christmas time in the city


“I must be insane”.

I thought to myself as I pushed a tired, screaming 2-year-old around the hustle and bustle of a city centre on a Saturday weeks before Christmas. Not only that I had a 5 year old in tow, who after getting a warm chocolate smeared waffle, decided she wanted to go home.

“Who’s idea was this?”

Oblivious shoppers stepped out in front of my push chair…very risky especially as I could quite happily have rammed them with said push chair after the 3rd or 4th time! Some even shoved passed my slow-moving buggy just to stop in front of me, those I could also have rammed with my push chair, quite happily.

The crazy frantic women who assault small children with their large quantities of baggage…sometimes even just their handbag as they rush from shop to shop. I lost count the times I heard “Mummy, that person just hit me on the head!” or “That man/lady just shoved passed me…isn’t that rude mummy?”

Yes it is! It is one thing to shove and jostle each other as you wander oblivious through city streets, but keep an eye out for little heads and feet around you. I can’t imagine how scary all those shoppers look to little people, at elbow hight who are knocked and hit simply because they are too small to be seen under all your Christmas treasures.

Fortunately there are those out there who restore my faith in human nature. I seem to find them around me when I need them most; like little angels bringing warmth and compassion to our cold, hard city shopping malls and high streets.

I don’t look for them, they just appear out of no where and then slip away again. . . This post is for you.

The lovely lady who chatted to my children in the street about Santa and school, who didn’t bat an eye lid at my chatterbox 5-year-old not pausing for breath.

The lady who tapped the two ladies in front of me on the shoulder and asked them to move after she had spotted me stuck there but unable to make myself heard over the loud Christmas songs and shoppers.

But most of all the man at the fruit and veg stall where I bought some chestnuts for the girls to try. He bought my children a small handful of cherries that Big Beautiful had her eye on , but I could not buy today. You made two little girls very happy in what had been a very stressful hour for us all.

As I look back on today, because of some very special strangers we met, I don’t feel harassed or in need of a glass of wine (well maybe a small one?)  Instead I remember the girls joy at seeing the City Christmas lights for the first time, the wonderful Christmas market and the warm waffles we all had with chocolate or Maple syrup, seeing the wonderful Fenwick’ Christmas window, looking for gifts for our family, dancing and singing to Christmas songs in the shops like no one was watching (I’m sure they were lol) and free cherries!

I have learnt a valuable lesson today:

Don’t venture into the City Centre on a Saturday with two small children, especially just before Christmas. I can only imagine it will get worse!

And if I really have to?

It might not be too bad x

Anyway up 360 Toddler cup – a review


For a long time now I have battled with Smaller beautiful’ terrible two’s. I’m actually beginning to think that rather than tantrums she is simply trying to turn my hair grey, make me lose any sanity I may have remaining … Continue reading

{This Moment}


{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. as found on Mothering with Mindfulness and  Inspired by Soulemama.

 

{This Moment}

 

Valuing the simple things


Sometimes in the rush of daily life I forget.

I forget to stop.

I forget to breath.

I forget to open my eyes and to see, to really see the wonderful things around me.

When I remember, when I stop, when I take that deep breath that floods through my body finding all the muscles tight with ‘life’ and I open my eyes and really see …I’m always surprised.

I’m surprised at how much my body has been aching to relax and slow down. I am surprised at how much air I can fill in my lungs and I’m surprised how such simple things can change my mood, the way I feel and how I view myself and the world around me.

I love the moment the wind catches my face cycling fast down hill

I love pushing myself to cycle the incline home, reaching the top and looking back over the city at night lit by thousands of little lights.

I love the feel of little arms around my shoulder squeezing after the softest but sloppiest kiss goodnight from my girls.

I adore the colours of autumn (see Ode to Autumn to find out how much!)

Right now, this very moment. My babies are sound asleep in bed, I am snuggled in a nice warm bed, I have Breaking Dawn part 1 on my bedroom TV (and tickets to see part two in my purse), I have a warm whiskey and ginger next to me and after writing my post I’m going to snuggle down with a book (and maybe another whiskey…well it is Friday).

There are lots of things I am worried about right now such as our finances, my relationship and people I know (and technically don’t know on Twitter) But right here in this moment…I am at peace.

It’s a wonderful feeling and I am going to enjoy it a bit longer and remember it and the next one and the next time I am flying down hill on my bike … I’m going to savour that too.

What moments do you love and want to savour? **Cheer**

Living with a hoarder and 2 princesses.


This used to be the title of my blog.

I changed it for many reasons.

The title was more about what I needed to write about than what I was about or the sum of who I was. When I started this blog, over a year ago, I had no idea who I was so I used the three most significant beings in my life and how I saw them at the time, as my blog title…does that make sense?

Really this title is something I need to write a post about, something I have put off for a very long time. I put it off because I did not really know how to explain it to anyone, I put it off because it is such a raw subject for me that just touching on it causes me to shrink away from it…to hide from it. I am not entirely sure that I can fully explore what it’s like living with a hoarder, especially a hoarder who is in total denial. I also suspect that he has OCD although this is a new realisation and I’m still trying to learn more about it all. I have tried not to make this post sound like I am whinging about my other half. He does have some good qualities, otherwise I would not still be here.

He is a brilliant father for one and our children adore him

He still makes me laugh…sometimes despite myself

and he works really hard to keep a roof over our heads and food on our table…as do I.

That said It’s really not easy living with someone who likes to keep stuff. Often I feel like I have 3 children. I know, I know men can be very much like children I hear it all the time from struggling mums.

But I feel this is slightly different.

I regularly hear “It’s mine”

“that belongs to me, I’m keeping it. You can’t get rid of that broken computer I can still use it” (this is the pc sat under my kitchen/dining table for the last 6-8 months)

” It’s ok I can fix it up and it will save us money. I’ll put it  in the shed (We have 3) We can sell that, don’t throw that away” (about…anything)

The Hoarder: “Emma where is that magazine? I have not read it & there was stuff in it I wanted to keep”

Cycling Mummy: “That was from last September”

The Hoarder “but it was mine.”

This is often the same conversation I have with my 5yo over a toy the 2yo took…He is in his late 30’s!

If I move anything or throw them away it causes a huge argument…even if the items I throw away belong to me or the girls.

Last year our dryer started playing up, so The Hoarder headed to the auction to get a new one cheaply. It didn’t work (Durr!) He got a man out to fix it, he found a broken part and gave it to The Hoarder to get a new one…but The Hoarder could not throw away the part the man had given him…I had to do it for him. That broken dryer is still sat in one of the sheds to this day and my dryer has to be kick started by hand to get it to spin!

We have piles of unopened letter near our front door ( I just counted them and there are 76 approx) There are two carrier bags in our bedroom from the months before and a bag in one of the sheds from years ago…they all belong to him. Speaking of sheds we have 3 sheds that are full…one of which is on my patio (wine drinking area) that I managed to get to use for 1 summer.

 

He hates putting things away. If there is a space then he needs to fill it with something…anything. I love clear empty work tops in the kitchen…he likes to see his stuff .

I see and hear women complain that it’s hard to get the man in her life to help in the house and I also have friends whose partners are so helpful that I often wonder how I can get one. Getting The Hoarder to help in the house is a chore in itself. I can often get him to eventually do the washing up and if forced will put clothes in the washing machine and switch it on. He refuses to put washing up away, or clothes away, even his own. He also has to be forced to put the shopping away. I have often come home from work at 11pm to find the tins and packets on the work bench (which is on top of the cupboards where they live) He claims he didn’t see them there (yes he put them there).

There are elements of OCD to his hoarding and  I’m convinced there is a link, despite a lot of my internet search claiming there is no such link between hoarding and OCD…Rubbish! I am continuing this research so that I can learn as much as possible.

He can never drive home in the same way that he went.
This caused havoc when I first moved to this city as it took me ages to figure out where anything was. Every time we went to a friend’s house we went several different ways, we always go home a different way. I could never figure out where I was or got two routes mixed up…so annoying.

Recently we went to a retail warehouse so we could buy washing powder etc in bulk. There are two entrances…he could not drive out the same way he went in as this would not form a circle and would not be right. If this is not OCD then I do not know what is!

I have brought this up with him and he denies having OCD or hoarding tendencies, but did say he has to complete the circle or it wont feel right…like that feeling something is wrong.

Needless to say he drives me to distraction!

If I get rid of any broken toys or unused toys to make way for more around xmas & birthdays I have to hide them at the bottom of the bin or get someone else to take them to a charity shop…if I don’t…he raids them, taking out toys he has to keep for the girls. His step mother watched the girls at her house over night last weekend. When she came home she brought back a small toy house and toy van complete with dolls that I had tried to sell on a carboot sale back in the summer. I don’t remember her taking it…but here is this toy now back in my house and I am convinced he asked her to take it to her house rather than get rid of it…It’s going in the bin now. the same Step mother had a clear out of her cellar recently…guess where most of the tools, bits of wood and odd and ends ended up? This is despite me asking her not to let The Hoarder know about them or ask him to come and get them…especially the huge metal filing cabinate…Why would we need this?

***bangs head on table in frustration***

His family says it is a family trait and they are all like that…but I cant see it in their houses…I see items being used or utilised creatively…I don’t  see piles of stuff in their house or areas like my patio being used to home a  third shed. Despite this they still talk amongst themselves about my house and the amount of stuff we have. They still buy the girls hundreds of toys and clothes they don’t need and they still buy us other people’s junk from car boot sales that we don’t want and need…but because The hoarder likes his stuff, he will accept it. No matter how much stuff I try to get rid off…I will never get rid of enough to keep up with him. Yet the state of this house will always be my fault and my problem according to them…never his!

I asked him to take a bag if my old clothes to a charity shop, they were in really good condition, but I’m never gonna be a size 10-12 again, so I was honest and ruthless with my wardrobe…he went through each item pulling out ones he thought I should keep and made me explain why I was getting rid of it.

These are just some examples of his Hoarding and OCD behaviours. It is exhausting just trying to fight against him to stop us drowning in his stuff. I have read posts from other blogs and articles on Hoarding and OCD and they all talk about how it isn’t the persons fault, that it is an illness and they simply can’t help it. As a counsellor I would treat a client with total respect, I would not judge them. We would explore their behaviour together in a safe environment so we could reach an end the individual was content with. Living with someone who has OCD or who hoards is very different from counselling them. I am too involved to help him, and as a helper I find this the most frustrating thing of all. That I might actually be part of the problem. That said, until he admits to having these behaviours there really is nothing I can do.  That sense of hopelessness is also exhausting. Knowing I have to get up tomorrow and fight through more arguments over materialistic shite!

My mother will tell me to just bag it all up and throw it all out. It’s easy for an outsider to judge our lives to be as simple as throwing something away. It is not her who has to face the backlash of throwing things away. Just putting “junk” in the shed while he is in bed or at work causes huge blow outs. I also have to think of the kids, because at the end of the day it will be me that blows my lid the most as a result of all this frustration on a daily basis and it will be me who walks out with my girls never to look back at this hell hole house again.

This post has been so hard to write. It’s actually the 3rd time I have tried in the last year. I always wanted to explain why I call him The Hoarder and  to talk about what it is like living with one.

I am sorry if it is a little self-indulgent rant, but this is the first time I have shared this…to anyone, in so much detail.

It’s theirs…all theirs and there is nothing I can do about it.

More Craftiness


I said in my last post crafting post I’m a crafty lady, that I have quite a few projects to show you. I thought I would share a quick one with you tonight while I am busy drafting a post to add here on Friday.

I love wearing things in my hair, especially if they match what I am wearing. I think it really sets off an outfit. A few years ago The Hoarder bought me a hair band, wow I hear you exclaim can this post get any duller…seriously I loved the hair band he bought, it was one of those scarf ones, the fabric covers your head and ties underneath your hair. I still have it and regularly wear it, so much so that I really could do with another one. I looked everywhere for a similar head scarf, but it would seem they are no longer the fashion or are only available in animal print!

A few months ago I was looking at my lovely head scarf and thought, Ya know this would be quite easy to make.

And it was:

Here is how you start

This picture is slightly misleading. There are 5 bits of fabric here. The two thin strips you see are pinned to another strip of identical length and width. pretty side facing each other, we will turn the out after sewing the edges together.  These strips are sewn in the same way as the head band shown on I’m a crafty Lady. One end of these strip will be left open so we can easily turn it the right way out and we  are going to sew them to the large piece of fabric. You can see in the photo’s that I have hemmed the edges of this to make it look a bit more tidy.

 

 

 

So next we will fan the edges of the large piece of fabric. Once you have done this you will need to pin it or press it to keep it in place. It took me a few attempts to get this as it is quite fiddly. You will then need to insert the fanned edge into one of the strips for the tie. (Do sew your hems and the strips before hand, and turn the strips the right way out)

Fan the edge of the large fabric

 

 

 

 

Dont forget to press the seems and hems. I also like to press the strips so that it looks very flat, almost like it is once bit of fabric. Once sewn…which is a bit tricky with a crap sewing machine like mine ( nod to Santa for a better one) It should look something like this

 

Looks very little house on the prairie right now, but promise it looks great on x

 

 

Here I am wearing my new head scarf.

 

Great for painting in, bad hair days and now I can make one to match my outfits. I’m loving the hippy look at the moment so this just adds to my wardrobe.

 

Since making this I have also worn it under my cycling helmet. It was a very rainy day and I was cycling to work. This was great for keeping my hair dry under my helmet and so I waltzed into work looking great, whilst everyone looked like drowned rats.

 

** I was obviously wearing waterproof trousers and jacket, I had also popped into the toilets outside our office to get changed into my work gear…but my hair was dryer than it otherwise would have been!**

 

Have you made something like this? have you ever looked at something you have bought and though…I could make this! Let me know and add your link in the comments below so I can go see your creations.

 

 

{This Moment}


{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. As found on Mothering with Mindfulness

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soulemama.

{This Moment}

Im still here!


I’m sorry I have not posted in a while. It’s not from a lack of material, I actually have a few draft posts that need to be proof read & edited & others to be typed up from my journal.

I suffer with migrains…not often, but regular enough to recognise them & their triggers.

I have not had 1 this bad in some time though. This started on Tuesday evening after I got in from work, I was sent home from work on Wednesday and slept until Today…I still cant shift this headache and sickness that hits randomly.

So I have not abandoned the blog, I just cant face the computer screen right now. This is very frustrating as you can imagine.

Hope to catch up with you all soon

CyclingMummy