Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Jesus My Last Three Posts Have Been Huge...

So here's small one.

Jenny xx

Time To Dig Out The Black Clothes...

I'm attending a funeral tomorrow. I won't name the deceased and the reason for that will become clear soon enough. Suffice to say it is a female and as a family we've known her for over 25 years. There's numerous connections with her in our family in one way or another. We went to school with her 2 boys. Her Mum worked with mine and was one of our neighbours when we grew up. My Dad and Uncle worked with her Brother-in-Law back when he was still that (they've since divorced). My Mum and Dad were friends with her and her Husband for many years and likewise her Sister and her Ex-Husband. My Brother-In-Law was in the same "social circle" as her Husband...meaning he drinks in the same pub and knows them through that.

She was a nice woman with a lovely personality. Never the sort to pass you in the street, always stopped to say hello. Never passed my Mum and Dad's without pausing at the gate for a natter and to say how gorgeous the grandkids were or to comment on how grown up my sister and I were now. She would often say how lucky my Mum and Dad were to have Grandkids and say how she couldn't wait to be a Granny herself.

She got her wish and her son and his wife had not so long ago had a baby boy.She and her Husband had just sold their house and were moving down there to be nearer their Grandson. They'd made plans and were looking to the future.

Now this is normally where the old "but fate had other ideas" line would be used. Sadly it doesn't apply here. For her life wasn't ended by an act of fate. It was ended by her own fair hand when she made the decision to kill herself. There is the reason I will not name her. Her family have asked that it not be made common knowledge, possibly because of the stigma attached to suicide and possibly because it's not how they want people to remember her. Of course it'll come out in the end...these things always do but I will respect the families wishes.

Her Husband came home and found her. One year exactly to the day that her Mum had died. Apparently she had struggled to cope with her Mum's death and had taken it hard. Her joy at being a Granny, her plans for moving down south to begin a new phase of her life were all just a cover up for the grief she felt. It's a tragic and sad ending to the life of a lovely woman who always walked down the road with a spring in her step and a smile on her face.

So tomorrow I'll be putting on the funeral clothes and heading to the crematorium with many others to say goodbye to another poor soul.

Jenny xx

Most Haunted....

Last night I went to do something I hadn't done for a very long time. I went to the recording of a TV show. That show was Most Haunted Live. Most Haunted is a big cult show which is shown over here on Satellite TV and was so popular when it began that it's now shown all over Europe and the USA.

Periodically they do a "Live" event such as last nights where the team head to a reputed haunted hot-spot and do the show live from wherever they are. They're backed by a team in the studio who do all the links and such like. This Hallowe'en they decided to come to Edinburgh for their Live specials and my mate Eileen managed to get her mits on a couple of tickets (one of which she offered to me...cheers Eileen!!) so her and I headed down to be part of the studio audience last night.

The team consists of a bunch of regular joes all of whom began life as sceptics, they're headed up by Yvette Fielding a former Blue Peter presenter and they're joined by a para-psychologist who tries to explain the strange occurances they encounter with science and a medium/spiritualist who tells them what he can see. The studio support includes a historian who searches for fact to back up the vibes the spiritualist gets.

Edinburgh is a good place to go ghost hunting. The city has a grisly history and there enough spooks, spectres, ghosts and ghouls to keep anyone amused for much longer than the 3 nights the Most Haunted team are in town for. The very fact we have a resident tour company who make big bucks doing ghost tours 50 weeks a year proves that one.

Among the ghoulish history in the city we have Burke and Hare, the notorious grave robbers, who dug up bodies from the city's graveyard's and then sold on parts as research tools for cash sums to the medical scholars. The witch trials which began under King James 1 Scotland (James VI in England) where women suspected of being witches were tied up and thrown into the Nor Loch, a site which is now Princes Street Gardens...legend has it that if the women sunk and drowned they were proclaimed innocent and if they floated to the top they were fished out and burnt at the stake in a public ritual up on the Castle Esplanade but not before many of them were tortured and humiliated in private.

One of the best known haunting hot spots in Edinburgh are the closes of the Royal Mile, in particular Mary Kings Close which is about half way down the street. The closes were home to many impoverished familes back in the 16th and 17th century, nowadays you'd need to splash out in the region of £450,000 for a two bedroom flat in one of the closes especially one with a view! The closes were ravaged with the plague in 1645 and hundreds were killed by it. Mary Kings Close in particular was affected badly and the city officials, desperate to try and contain the plague and stop it's spread decided to seal Mary Kings Close up, trapping everyone inside and leaving them to die. Men, women and children were all trapped, families members who did not yet have the plague were also trapped as it was condsidered unsafe to try and save them as they had been in contact with people carrying the disease. It's rumoured the screams of those trapped inside and dying in agony could be heard in the surrounding closes for weeks. It was some years after the plague had finally gone that Mary Kings Close was opened up again. Edinburgh was a city with a growing population and the officials needed the close to provide housing for other familes and so it was decided to clear the close to make it ready for new families to move in. In addition Mary Kings Close lies upon a steep slope and there had been a steady stream of fluids running from the close for several years!

What was discovered within was a grisly sight. The carcasses of the dead had rotted to the extent that the flesh was hanging from the bodies, the smell was putrid and the area damp. There were hundreds of corpses all needing to be removed. The city officials gave the job to just 2 men who armed with axes and wheelbarrows were left to clear up the mess. The men had an altogether different trade in usual life....butchers! The first couple to rehabit the close were a Mr & Mrs Coldhart. Within days they reported unusual sightings and sounds and stories of sightings of severed heads and hearing the screams of a little girl were soon being reported on a daily basis. Therein began the tales from Mary Kings Close. The Close was finally sealed off considered unhabitable in the early 1900's and remained sealed (for the second time!) until the early 1990's when it was re-opened as a historical sight. It is now a world famous haunt spot with numerous sightings and reports of strange activities. Other Closes in the area provide similar tales heightened by the fact that fire swept through them in 1750 causing the loss of hundreds of lives.

We also have Greyfriars Kirkyard which is said to be the most haunted graveyard in the world. Numerous people have reported being injured whilst in there including bite marks, scratches, burns and bruises.

There are also the Niddry Street Vaults and the Blair Street Vaults which are caverns of old housing built in the heart of the Old Town underneath what is now the South Bridge, a street built to connect the Royal Mile with the streets of the New Town. Both sets of vaults are widely accepted to be haunted with hundreds of people feeling, hearing or seeing strange phenomenon whilst inside them. I've been inside the Vaults myself and swear blind I heard a cat miaow right by my feet...there was no cat to be seen though! That is where the team headed to last night. From experience I can say that the vaults in Niddry Street are a cold and eerie place. The ground is uneven, it's damp and in places very dark!

So we sat in the studio and watched live like the millions at home as the team toured the area looking for strange occurences. It seems they found a few! The medium felt the presence of a female spirit whom he declared was named Alison Balfour, the historian managed to back that up by finding a resident of that name in 1694! He later saw a man who he described as a "religious zealot" and whom he said hated women, he suspected he was a gay man and gave the name Alexander Clarke..again the historian managed to find him from records. He had been a city official and a religious preacher who was involved in the witch trials. Now I am a believer in the spirit world but I'm what I call a sceptical believer relating to shows like this, meaning that I fully believe this could all be down to clever staging but I'm open minded that it might just be something else...I'm willing to be convinced shall we say!

So far I hadn't seen or heard anything to make me believe this was nothing more than a staged event designed to make good tv. When the medium said he sensed the presence of a "beast" with cloven hooves I was erring towards definite scepticism. However, what followed had me wondering. One of the team members began screaming out and complaining of a stabbing pain in his back. He pulled his jacket and t-shirt off and there was a series of large, deep, bleeding scratches across his back and side. This was followed a bit later by another member receiving a similar wound to his leg, another receiving a series of smaller scratches at different intervals across his back before the team member who had already had his leg gashed was hit again. These were proper, deep straight wounds very similar to knife slashes and there was plenty blood dripping from them. Definitely not the sort caused by human nails and not the sort you'd self inflict...these were requiring stitches jobs!

I admit to being a bit lost as to how this could be explained away with science or clever staging...one of the guys is in camera shot the whole time just before he's attacked and there's no way he or anyone near him could have done it without being seen...Geoff watched it back with me earlier and he is the biggest sceptic I have ever known...he like me originally thought it was all clever camera work and staged but even he couldn't explain the slash marks with logic!

I'm now planning a return to the vaults. Geoff has never been and quite fancies having a look so we're going to see if we can get a visit in sometime soon.

Meantime I will be tuning in tonight for the Most Haunted teams final night of live broadcasts from Edinburgh. Rumour is they're heading to Mary Kings tonight! Of course that's after I've taken my offspring out guising (as we call it here but trick or treating to the rest of the world!), my 2 are going out as the character from Scream and Mortica Adams tonight! I'd better get moving actually as I've still got a pumpkin to carve and sweets and apples to buy...no rest for the wicked eh?...and you may insert your own punchline to that comment if desired!

Happy Hallowe'en guys and girls.

Jenny xx

Friday, October 27, 2006

Old Folks...

Did you know that the average age of the population of Britain is getting older and older? There's a few reasons for this according to the national statistics office.

Every year since 1901 (with the exception of 1976 when everyone was too busy dancing to "save all your kisses for me" by Brotherhood of Man) there have been more births than deaths.

Mortality rates are dropping rapidly - in the first 15 years of the 20th century over half the population (61%) died before they got to blow out 45 candles on their cake. In 2005 only 4% of UK deaths accounted for people under 45, so we're all living longer.

Fact is that 16% of the Uk's population are now 65 or older...by my calculations that's about 3.76 million people.

The good news about us all living longer is that most of us will get the chance to hang around for longer than our ancestors did. More of us will get a chance to know Granny and Grandad, as someone who missed out on ever meeting one of each of mine due to them dying very young, that is a nice thing. It means we're making breakthroughs in health research and are more educated than before...seriously, I have old death certificates for family members of mine back in the early part of the 1900's and I kid you not some of them lost their lives to "diahorrea" and "coughing". I mean "diahorrea" and "coughing" what sort of things are they to die from? I'd hate to have that on my death certificate! Or what about one of Geoff's relatives who's death certificate states "Fall of stone in mine accident, wound to forehead, concussion and shock, asphyxia on blood for 30 minutes, profuse bleeding from wound and fitting, attended, watched and waited for death to certify"...poor George from 1932 had no chance it seems, the Doc actually stood by and waited for him to die as he choked on his own blood! Not nowadays though, oh no...they'd have patched him up and given him paracetamol for the pain and sent him back to work the next day and as for dying from diahorrea? When was the last time you knew someone who died from having a dose of that?

The bad news of course is that most of us will get the chance to hang around for longer than our ancestors did! The queues in the Post Office on pension day are not likely to get any smaller, there will be more adverts on tv for discreet pads to help with incontinence and they'll still produce Spam cause there will be still be old folks who want to buy it. On top of that anyone under 40 will still hear comments of how the old folks fought the Germans to save the world and how we should appreciate bananas or a juicy orange more.

It's all tongue in cheek of course because you need to love the old folks don't you? I mean they are comedy value at it's highest level. Some of the things they say and do are just enough to crack you up. Many of them now have a "I'm too old to put up with any shit attitude". They say whatever they like, whenever they like and are sometimes so damn rude it's hysterical.

I remember being about 14 years old and waiting to get on a bus in Gorgie with my mate, We timed it so we got caught at the bus stop just as the Bingo was coming out. We'd queued for the bus and had been waiting for 20 minutes. The bus arrives and we're shoved out the way by demonic looking Grannies who wanted on the same bus, and I mean shoved out the way, they were using their brollies as weapons! I get on and sit down, about 6 of the Granny offenders are sitting in seats in front of me...you know the ones for the eldery and infirm...being 14 and full of attitude I say rather loudly "Honestly, how bloody ignorant, shoving people out the way to get on the bus, it's not like there was a queue or anything". One of the Grannies turned round and replied "There was a queue was there? well I've stood in queues to get bread to feed a family, men in my family stood in queues to sign up to fight the Germans and if they hadn't stood in that queue there'd be no bloody bus for you to be getting on, ungrateful bugger that you are, think about that!". I swear I nearly wet myself laughing. It wasn't helped by the fact she was wearing a rain mate on her head at the time and the water was dripping from it onto her nose!

Then there was the old man who lived downstairs from my pal. He came to the door one night to complain about how loud the stereo was. After making his feelings clear by ranting for several minutes, my pal told him it wasn't that loud, cause after all she'd heard the doorbell over it and he should calm down a bit before he had a heart attack. The old man was incensed and in his wee fit of anger responded by banging his walking stick down on the stair floor shouting "I lost a leg in the war so the likes of you could live withoot speaking german, but ye cannae understand that can ye, fucking retards, naw ye cannae understand that at aw cause yer fucking mongols that's what ye are, if I'd known then what I wis fighting tae save I'd have told King and country tae fuck off. Bastards the fucking lot o ye" before about turning and heading (very slowly) back to his own flat. Yet again I was left in hysterics. I mean I can be rude when it occurs to me but you don't go round calling folks fucking retards or mongols!!

Only the old folks can do stuff like that!! They just don't give a fuck and to them retard and mongol are acceptable words because they don't understand or bother with political correctness...gays are still poofs and queers, all asians are still pakies, disabled people are still spastics, people with learning difficulties are still backwards and coloured people are still coons. They refuse to acknowledge times have moved on, they don't like metres and centimetres, they still count in old money, shout into telephones, refuse to operate anything with a remote control and still believe that music is only music if it involves a big band sound.

I'd never wish my life away but I'm kind of looking forward to being rude as hell without apologising and getting down on a Saturday night to Dr Dre and the Chemical Brothers with my old homies.

Jenny xx

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's All Going Pete Tong...

down Tynecastle way. Or so they'd have you believe and by they I'm talking about the media and a fair portion of the supporters. However, I'm a glass half full kind of girl so I'm not having it! Here's why some of us are reaching for the razor blades and here's why we should leave 'em alone!

We drew 2-2 with the Hibs at Easter Road on the 15th. This is unacceptable especially as we fielded a eyebrow raising team.

I agree that the team selection was poor and was not the team I'd have put out against those peg selling docksiders. However...2-0 down in 16 minutes, a man sent off, not won there in 4 seasons, playing a team nowhere near our best 11 and we came home with a draw! Or to put it another way...a 2 goal lead, an extra man and the chance to play against a weakened Hearts team with home advantage and still the Hibs couldn't beat us.

We got beat 2-0 by Kilmarnock on Saturday at home.

Aye we did. The shame and humiliation of it! Get a grip...we will be beaten from time to time that's how it goes, even the best get gubbed now and then. Anyway we're still second in the league. Defeat from a well organised Kilmarnock side hardly warrants the knee jerk reactions of some folk. Hearts played well in the first 20 minutes but were piss poor for the remainder...that's just your luck sometimes.

Valdas has been given two weeks "sick leave". It's all a conspiracy and he's going to be sacked. Anyway he's not the man for the job and he's under way too much stress.

Or maybe he's just ill and needs some time off. Maybe he will be sacked. Who knows? Vlad says he won't be and he may well be lying and it may well be a conspiracy to get rid of him but if he's not the man for the job why the hysteria? As for him being under stress...he's a premier league manager it's in the job description and really he's probably not feeling a 10th of the pressure that Polly Gwen must be feeling right now cause his team are well rank and the great unwashed are starting to revolt!

Squad rotation is destroying our team and Vlad is interfering too much in the selection of who plays.

Agree entirely that a more settled squad would be better than the 59 changes in 9 games we've seen but on at least 4 occasions those big team changes have produced fantastic results. 4-0 over ICT, 4-1 over Dundee Utd for example. Where else will you see 3 different players scoring their first goals for the club on their home debuts??

Supporting Hearts is and always has been a rollercoaster. Massive highs and stomach churning lows. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Jenny xx

Speaking Of Addicitons...

My Mum appears to have developed one for the Jewellery Channel!! She's just purchased herself a big mystic topaz gold ring. Apparently mystic topaz was only discovered in 1989 and it's so pretty and she didn't have one like that...she's now after earrings to match it! This follows her Anythest purchases not so long ago and her "I need something red to match my outift" purchases.

I swear she is a jewellery-holic my Mum. Diamonds, Garnets, Sapphires (they're her favourites), Amythests (her birthstone), Topaz...you name it, my Mum will have a ring with the stone in it and she doesn't favour small delicate pieces either...no my Mum likes a nice rock and a thick band of gold to hold it in place! The only thing I've never seen her wear is either Pearl or Emerald. I'm not sure why that is.

She has pieces which her Mum's and her Mum's before that, she has chains, bracelets, watches, brooches, earrings, bangles...in fact I reckon my Mum is a human magpie!

Still it's better than her having a crack cocaine addiction I suppose!

I'm trying to convince her to buy something in white gold with diamonds...she won't wear it of course because she only likes yellow gold but I know someone who'll keep it safe from her!! I am partial to a bit of white gold!

Jenny xx

A Wake Up Call...

My Friend Steven over in South Africa has a blog which is one of those I read regularly. The usual pattern is that I'll stop by every day and he'll have written nothing new and then one day you go in and there's a post which is huge and full of news or views on something. As I said earlier, I've been off the Blogs for a while and last night I had a wee catch up.

Wake Up Call Part 1 ....

Steven has done a fair bit of writing since I last looked. The main topic of his posts of late have been about his Dad who had a wee health scare in the form of a mild heart attack. Luckily he seems to be doing well and has been released from hospital. It looks like Steve's Dad has taken this wee scare as a wake up call and he's decided to give up smoking for the sake of his health. It's good news. It's a disgusting habit and however much you might want to protest there's no denying it screws up your health...I'm not preaching here...I'm just one of the millions of nictotine addicts round the globe who knows the facts but still chooses to poison myself every day. How intelligent is that?

The fact is smokers are addicts but more importantly it's the habit part of smoking that's damn hard to break. I'm a big believer that you need a reason to stop smoking, something that's individual to you. I quit completely both times I found out I was pregnant. Didn't touch one from day one of finding out. Knowing I was carrying a baby was the reason I needed to give up. It was a piece of cake both times and I continued not to smoke for at least a year after both my kids were born. However, it wasn't the addiction that started me again...that was long gone from my system, it was the habit and as soon as I returned to work both times I automatically bought a pack on my way and joined my colleagues outside for our wee mid morning ciggy break. It was habit.

Steve's Dad has got his reason now and I wish him all the luck in the world as he bids to give them up.

Wake Up Call Part 2....

It was nice to hear that Steve made the long drive down to be with his Mum and see his Dad in person when he heard about his illness. I think Mum had tried to reassure Steve (as Mum's do) that it wasn't necessary for him to make the trip. Steve (like kids do) initially agreed with Mum but then (as kids do) decided to do the opposite! I'm glad Steve took the typical kid route and I'm sure he felt much more settled having seen first hand how his Dad was and despite Mum's reassurance I'm damn sure she was pleased to have her Son there for a cuddle and a bit of moral support.

I went to see my Dad on Sunday morning. It was chilly and damp and the only sound to be heard was the wind moving through the trees and making the various windchimes tinkle, that and the sound of a woman two rows away from me sniffing as she replaced the flowers in a vase on her own Dad's grave. I couldn't give my Dad a hug and neither could she. There lies wake up call number 2 folks...

Jenny xx

I've Been Slacking...

I've been very lazy Blog-wise for a few weeks now. Not only have I not posted much myself but until yesterday I hadn't read any of the other Blogs normally look at for about 2 weeks. I've rectified that now and I'm all up to date with my Blog reading. All that's left is for me to get posting and I'm sorted.

Jenny xx

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Following The Gut Instinct....

I'm home again and there's stuff to be written.

Firstly, you may well remember that I posted on here a wee while back about a job dilemma. It kind of went along the lines of "do you take the secure permanent job that provides stability but may be boring or risk it for the temporary one that may become permanent that you really enjoy"

Well it was decided to take the risk, follow the heart and go with the temporary job. Looks like it was the right decision after all. The temporary job is now officially a permanent one! Better Half has officially kissed goodbye to 20 odd years in civil engineering and management for a job he likes and enjoys.

I'm going to give myself a bit of kudos for being brave enough to support him and take the gamble on not being able to pay my mortgage if temporary job had not become permanent job. What the hell though eh? Life is full of gambles or at least it should be. Some pay off, some don't but I'm big on following your heart instead of your head. Gut instinct wins out everytime with me. I believe in fate....whit's fur ye'll no go past ye and all that.

Jenny xx

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm Away...

Right then that's me away. I'm heading down the M6 to Southport with the troops for 5 days.

To repeat for Max's benefit....I am going on a wee trip, that means I will not be posting until at least Friday night, so don't go throwing your toilet in this direction!!!

Have a good week ya'll!!


Jenny xx

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Speaking Of Kennedy's Birthday...

Her Dad bought her Buzz: The Big Quiz for the PS2 as one of her presents. She's been playing mine (and the music version) for over a year every time she comes out.

She's having some friends in today and various folks will be heading up to say Happy Birthday. There's to be a wee Buzz challenge. I am a champion at Buzz. My darling niece has told me she's not having me on her leader board! The cheek of it! It may be her birthday but I'm heading there now to kick ass Buzz style. Not only am I going on that leader board but I'm going to the top!! I don't care if the average age of the competition will be 10!

Competitive? Moi? Never!

Jenny xx

Happy Birthday Honey...

A big fat Happy Birthday to my gorgeous niece Kennedy who is 11 today.

Not only is she my favourite niece (well she is my only niece!) but she's also my wee pal.

She joins in with my silliness, dances with me in public places, joins me on shopping trips, stays up late with me to watch tv, comes to Hearts games with me and is my ally in keeping secrets like a few weeks ago when I hung all the ironing on the curtain pole as I was doing it only to find the weight of it has pulled the pole away from the wall! We laughed our butts off when we saw what had happened but decided against telling Uncle Geoff!

11 years ago today (she was born on a saturday) at this very time I was in the car on my way to Simpson's to see her with my Mum. I think we were as tired as my Sister having been at the hospital from 4pm on the Friday through to 7am on the Saturday morning. It was a long night given she didn't make her appearance into the world until just before 6am! I managed a whole 2 hours sleep when we finally got back to Mum and Dad's just after 7am and I was in the local shopping centre (flanked of course by a very excited Granny and Grandad) buying pink clothes by 9.45am!

I will always remember the first time I saw her and the way she opened her wee eyes when I held her. It was almost as if she was saying "so you must be Auntie Jenny then". When I put her back down she started crying, so I lifted her again and she stopped instantly and looked at me again. I knew then we'd be pals!

Happy birthday honey.

Mind your Hearts top for tomorrow and you and I will sit in front of tv and cheer the Jambo's on against the Hibees! Mon the Jambo's!!

Love and Kisses,

(Anutie) Jenny xx


We found out yesterday that our long time family friends May and Bill are going to be grandparents! Their daughter Angie and her Hubby Ian have announced that she's 3 months pregnant following IVF treatment.

It's nice news as I know they'd been trying for some time before turning to IVF and after having one unsucessful attempt already they must have been nervous waiting for the results of this one.

May and Bill have been like part of the family for over 20 years. They lived in the house next door to us when we were growing up but the connection goes further back than that...May used to push my Mum round in her pram when she was a bairn as they grew up a few doors from each other and Bill worked with my Gran on the buses many moons ago. Angie is their only child but they've got lots of knowledge of what being a grandparent is all about having had my kids and Gill's around. I'm a bit gutted actually cause May and Bill have been fantastic babysitters for me for many a year now, I reckon I might need to come second in line for that now!

I saw May today and she's so excited. She thought this might never happen following her triple bypass last year and her being very near 70 now! She and Bill will make good grandparents I'm sure. Congratulations to all of them.

Jenny xx

My Mum...

Mother Shaw was in hospital yesterday for a wee op on her feet. She has rheumatoid arthritis and although it's not too dibilitating for her due to a fine concotion of daily drugs and weekly injections it has formed these sort of nodule things at some of the nerve endings on her body. Yesterday she went in to have 2 of these said nodules removed from her feet.

She opted to be out to sleep for the procedure instead of taking the spinal block as she wasn't too keen on remaining awake while they cut her feet open, filleted the offending bits off the nerves and achilies tendon and stiched her back up!

Everything went well and she was free to go home by 1pm following her 9.40am surgery. They don't keep you long in the old NHS now! It's only a few years ago that you'd have been taken in the day before an op and only allowed out a full 24 hours afterwards. Nowadays getting home merely depends on being able to have a pee and eating a bite of a soggy NHS sandwich!

She's got a hefty bandage on her foot up to mid calf and has to go back in two weeks to get the stitches out and a lovely blue velcro fastening shoe like those they give out when you're in plaster! I'm away in 2 days so I'm leaving her in the capable hands of my sister and Mike.

Jenny xx

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tragedy Of Little Jack...

I've been reading the news items on little Jack Anderson and it just breaks your heart.

For those from further afield who don't know about the story, Jack, who was 10, was knocked down and killed last Thursday in an Edinburgh housing area not far from where I grew up. He was crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing on a green man, the traffic lights at red but the driver of the car that hit him headed straight through them passing stationary vehicles who had stopped at the lights as he did so. The driver was travelling at the time at an estimated speed of 80 mph. It was about 3.25pm, that time of day when the kids are getting out of school and making the walk home. Jack was just 200 yards from his front door. The driver hit him, left him for dead and kept driving.

It has emerged the car used was a former police car designed for high speed chases. It was a peugeot 406 GTX V6. It has also emerged that police were chasing the vehicle in the lead up to the accident following another incident in the Corstorphine area of Edinburgh. This wee revelation has led many to question why the hell the police saw fit to chase a car at speeds of up to 80 mph through a built up that they must have known would be full of kids at that time of day...the area the chase went through is home to at least 4 primary schools.

The driver, who was accompanied by 2 other passengers, then dumped the vehicle in the car park at Saughton Prison and all 3 were seen making a run for it. They have yet to be found.

Bizarrely, last Thursday we had gone into my Mum's at 4.15pm. My Mum lives within stone throw distance of Saughton Prison and her window actually looks onto the Prison car park. We seen the police out in huge numbers, they were doing door to door and had cordoned off an area in the prison. We watched it all from the window in Mum's lounge and we commented on how something big must have happened. You get a bit blase though and having grown up next to the prison we had witnessed on a number of occasions police in the area and it was normally linked to an escape or attempted escape. Sadly this one was linked to a wee boy being needlessly killed as we found out later.

It has left that horrible feeling that you get when you hear of the death of a child especially one from round "your neck of the woods". In this case it's a bit more sad for me as I actually know Jack's Mum as we are former work colleagues. My heart goes out to her and the rest of Jack's family and friends.

I hope they find the bastards who have robbed Yvonne of her little boy, who have stolen precious memories yet to be made, who have cut that wee boys life short in the most senseless and needless way. To leave a child lying for dead in a road and drive off is a sickening act of cowardice and I hope those fuckers never get another nights sleep again, I hope their conscience eats at them eternally and the guilt kills them. For you can bet your ass that it will be along time before Jack's family sleep well again.

Rest In Peace Wee Man.

Jenny xx

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Great House Hunt...

The last week has seen me drag my troops round a variety of houses in my bid to see if there's another one out there I fancy moving to.

I've got a bit mad as we're looking much further afield than I would have a few years back. Once upon a time I thought this wee village of mine was in a land far, far away...well 6 miles from Edinburgh when you've been raised in the Big City and know nothing else seemed like far away! Now though we're looking a bit further off. Since we moved out here in 2000 the house prices have rocketed. Ours is now worth double what we paid paid for it, although I have to say anyone who pays the money required nowadays for a house like mine has more money than sense quite frankly! The prices have risen mainly due to location (and low intrest rates in recent times of course!) as we're slap bang between Edinburgh and Livingston and in the last 5 years Livingston has become a far more desirable neck of the woods and now has some of the best shopping facilities in Scotland.

Still to get the most out our money it's wiser to look further afield. To show the difference...a 4 bed detached house here about 10 years old would cost us about £270,000 where as in somewhere like Falkirk or the outskirts of Glasgow it would cost about £200,000 for a bigger, newer house. It's all about commuting distance to Edinburgh. The nearer you are the more expensive the housing. Glasgow doesn't seem to be growing quite as fast but probably due to there being a shit load more wee towns and villages on the outskirts over that way. Demand for housing won't be quite as high.

So we've looked in Lanark and a few wee villages nearby, Lesmahagow down the M74 from Glasgow and Newarthill just outside Motherwell. So far I've seen 3 I really liked but the locations have been wrong. We even looked at a townhouse in a converted church. It was beautifully done with high ceilings and original features mixed with very modern touches but it felt wrong. Kind of empty and it would be hard to make it a family home.

We've mainly focused on older properties as they are always much bigger. In fact we agreed we'd only look at older houses...until last night that is! There are so many new homes being built round the area that we decided to have a look online at the various developments nearer our current location. Two have caught our eye...they're new builds but much bigger than average and we'd gain an extra bedroom, en suite, family room, dining room and garage. So today since it's Geoff's day off I will be dragging him round a few showhouses!

In order to do that I need to go and drag the lazy sod out his bed...10.06am and he's still snoring. He's hiding up there till he hears the dishwasher start and the hoover stop which signals the all clear in the housework duties!

Jenny xx

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Oh My God....

Scotland 1 - France 0

Holy Shit!! We have just beaten probably the best team on the planet right now (no offence to world cup holders Italy!) us little old Scotland a team who under Bertie Voights couldn't beat an egg!

Well done Walter Smith, well done Gary Caldwell and well done to the Jambo's in the squad...Scotland's number 1 Craigy Gordon, Steven Pressley and Paul "so good looking it hurts" Hartley!

I watched the match on Tv with Geoff and his mate in typical Scots fashion...lots of shouting at the tv, mad cheering at the goal and a few beveridges to help it along. We rounded off the night in the company of said mate and his wife with a chinese and a few more beveridges!

It may not last. It may yet end up in us failing to qualify for the Euro Championship in 2008 but tonight we're top of a group that includes Italy and France and have a 100% record with 9 points from 3 games...tonight we're fucking unbeatable!!!!!

Jenny xx

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Right So I've Been On A Downer...

for the last few days, but I'm going to meet it head on.

I've decided it might be time to move on so I've started looking at other houses and have arranged a few viewings for tomorrow.

I've ended my sex drought of a month twice over in last 24 hours...just don't tell Geoff (only kidding!).

And we're going on holiday on the 16th for 5 days. It's only Southport, I've never been to Southport but I wouldn't care if it was Portobello right now. The main thing is I will be out this house for 5 whole days, just me, he and the bairns.

So it's all good. Who'd have thought a trip to Southport and a bit of how's your Father could make a girl so happy!

Jenny xx

Monday, October 02, 2006

Do You Ever Feel...

That time is at a standstill? That life seems to moving around you but not for you? You know that feeling that other people seem to be doing things or moving on but you seem stuck in the same place? That way when you seem to be going through the motions day after day and each new day slides into all the ones that have gone before?

That's where I'm at right now. Every day has the same ring to it and my weekends now merge with my week days with the exception that the kids are home!

In all honesty it's a wierd place for someone like me to be at. Don't get me wrong, I've never been a big dreamer. I'm nothing if not practical about life. I'm so basic and straightforward sometimes it hurts! I left school at 18 with a clutch of decent exam results under my belt and no idea what lay out in the big, wide world for me. In fact at 18 I didn't know there was a big, wide world. I didn't realise half the opportunites that where out there. If I had I'd more than likely be writing this from the USA. At 18 my big, wide world was Edinburgh and it's pubs and clubs.

I had no idea what sort of job I wanted, so much so that I couldn't even settle on a University course and ended up spending my first year after school partying in various establishments and living off a giro of £60 a fortnight. My year out I called it. Eventually though I fell into line, commenced employment, got married, had kids, moved to the suburbs. All very basic and straighforward. Everything that's expected of you.

However, underneath the practicalities of life, while not harbouring mad ambitions and unrealistic pipe dreams, there has always been a feeling of wanting something else. That feeling that something is still missing. In that repsect I have noticed an affinity with my Dad. Looking back it seems clear that he, like me, had that longing for a different life. He sat contented in his house for over 20 years but the very fact he was willing to give up that house for a "new life" at 56 shows he was after trying to find that elusive something.

So I guess I need to figure out what it is I want from this life of mine. On the surface I have it all. Nice house, good family, healthy kids, fantastic partner, holidays, cars in the drive...but I still feel unfulfilled.

Maybe it's a case of the black cloud of depression heading my way caused by a feeling of entrapment due to my recent troublesome butt (over a month in and I've got an infection, back on antibiotics, painkillers and still being packed and dressed almost every day!!!) or maybe it's down to the fact that it's hard to feel alive and attractive on strong painkillers when all you want to do is sleep cause you feel so woozy and slob about in trackie bottoms and a vest top. Poor Better Half will die of shock the next time I put on make up or straighten my hair (benefits to be had though that my make up free skin is looking remarkably healthy!) I seriously doubt he'll ever find me attractive again! Did I mention he is now the one packing my wound? No? Well he is...shoving the packing in with a remarkably gentle touch for a big laddie. How attractive is that? It's not really the kind of anal action your man's after is it?!!! Talking of which, don't even get me started on my sex life. The bloody logistics of finding a position without hurting my ass and back is enough to send you to sleep, if the painkillers haven't gotten there already!

Of course maybe being entraped has given me too much time to think about my life. Too much time to think about what I could be doing. Too much time to sweat the small stuff. Too much time to compare my life to everyone else's. We all know how dangerous thinking can be!!

I think I'm possibly going stir crazy now. I've upped my bleach obsession to crazy levels. Nowhere is safe...I'm surprised there's not a hole in the bath from all the scrubbing. The mop is seeing more action than it has in a while and god forbid anyone leaves my bedroom without closing the door behind them. That has more to do with the dog who is currently my number one enemy right now. I've developed a serious dislike to her and her bloody dog hair. Yet another addition to my life caused by my arse...I'm at war with germs and dog hair. Am I filling a gap or is it because I'm obbessive about infection now? Who knows?! Really the poor dog should be my new best friend...after all she's the one here with me day in, day out!

Fuck it. I'm going to make a "To Do" list! That always cheers me up! I'm going to write a big list of everything I want to do or need to do and I'm going to bloody well start ticking them off from tomorrow. No point starting today....there's a bar of chocolate in the fridge, the kettle's boiled and there's a true movie on the planner with my name on it...anyway I'm pissed off and the emegency sure is always chocolate and a cup of tea!

Waffle/Rant over.

Jenny xx