Weddings and who to Invite

I have joined so many wedding groups on Facebook over the last month or two and one thing seems to be coming up practically every day.  Who to invite to the wedding!

For me this wasn’t really a problem, I personally don’t come from a big family. I was the youngest born and at 54 on the day of my wedding, have practically run out of relatives on both my mum’s and dad’s side.  I have one Aunt living now out of 4, my mum’s youngest sister who in her 70’s and living right up north would be unable to make the trip even if I did invite her.  I have no contact with any of my cousin’s and haven’t for over 30 odd years,  other than that I have my brother, and apart from babysitting his budgie while they are away on holiday on their boat in the south of France I have hardly any contact with at all. so the original plan was I wasn’t even going to tell him I was getting married never mind invite him.   Allan comes from a family that was split when his parents divorced when he was one, he is quite close to his sisters on his dad’s side and their mum his ex-step mother, and we see his dad usually once a year at Christmas but that’s about it. and his mum he hasn’t spoken to in about 6 years, or his sister on his mum’s side.  Anyway, he decided to be the bigger man and invite both his mum and his sister and her husband and son to the wedding reception. admittedly much to my disagreement at the time. however, it is his wedding as well and I had to respect that. 
We have invited a lot of close friends and some neighbours that we wanted to celebrate with us. and to me I consider my friends more important than my family, in fact, I consider some of my friends to be my family. 

Both Allan and my first weddings and receptions were small,  His reception was in a pub after the wedding with about 8 people there and mine was 6 people back at my mum’s house for a slice of cake afterwards.  so although we were not interested in having a big wedding as such. to us that was just the legal bit, we wanted to have a big reception to celebrate with friends,  Yes there are some who we haven’t invited who have the hump but hey we really are no more than acquaintances if I am honest.

Anyway, Allan has kept mentioning that I really should tell my brother that I have finally got divorced but am getting married as well and that we really should invite him and my sister in law to the reception.  after a lot of thought, and the fact that maybe for my dad’s sake I should at least let them know and invite them. I sent a text last night letting him know and will get an invite to them probably, later on, today.   
But I have to confess that it would be nice if they are busy at such short notice lol 

I saw this chart on a group on who to invite if you have a big family etc and thought what a great way to work out who to invite to your wedding, especially when for some if they had everyone come would be impossible to afford.  and it is holding them back on actually getting married. 

So here it is. and I hope it help’s someone. 

Goodbye Andy It’s been a pleasure knowing you.

Andrew Robert Smith
3rd August 1966 – 15th August 2014 – Always in my heart.

So goodbye my friend
I know I’ll never see you again
But the time together through all the years
Will take away these tears
It’s okay now
Goodbye my friend


Today is a day I have dreaded ever since I heard the terrible news that I had lost a dear dear friend.
Today is the day we say goodbye…  Today is the day of Andy Smiths Funeral.  He will be missed so much.

Sleep has not happened so I’m sitting here counting down the minutes until noon when the service starts.

Not only have I lost a good friend, Alex has lost his godfather, The world has lost one of the nicest people ever.


The promised update:

Ok I must start off  with the pictures of Vickie during her head shave for red nose day…  I’m not sure of the exact amount she raised…  but the just giving site says its
£432.10  although I have a feeling its a lot more than that because there were some who donated directly via her.

hair it is (pun….. get it get it get it 🙂 … going going gone……



this long?

this long?

and away we go

and away we go

I love this picture

I love this picture



Right the next thing boring news update was Easter……….. I made the boys a basket each and we took them out over the Easter holidays…

The baskets I made the boys and Amber for Easter

The baskets I made the boys and Amber for Easter

One trip was to Chatham Dockyards Medway Festival of Steam and Transport which was also showing off the set of the tv series call the midwife.

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On Another day out we had been to the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre 

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Obviously I didnt take this one but its hard to give you an idea of the size of the place

Obviously I didn’t take this one but its hard to give you an idea of the size of the place

We went to Hornby make and paint days a couple of times…….  the kids love it here so it’s another of the places we have an annual ticket and keep going to over and over again

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We had a morning of cake decorating which was gratefully received by friends …………   Now I usually stick to butter frosting and or just Glacé icing  or Royal Icing when it comes to things like Christmas Cakes but for a change I used Fondant Icing and petal paste…..    This has now convinced me I really must do more because some are pretty dire :/

And then we had a quick trip to Pontins at Camber…….  I had it well planned I packed school uniforms with me so they would have a clean one , I collected the boys from school, we drove straight to Pontins……… spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday night there and drove back early Monday morning in time to get the boys to school… I timed it perfectly… we had them outside the school gates at 8.40 🙂
After having such rainy or cold weather….. we had a fantastic weekend it was lovely and warm and yep I got sunburnt…  I do confess we go club.. which is kinda like as close to first class as you are going to get at pontins.. with the free breakfast and bottle of wine , free electric, tv , newspapers , welcome packs blah blah blah.. I have no idea what the Popular or Classic flats are like , some of them looked quite dire…………  we stayed in one ten years ago when I was pregnant with Alex and it really was pathetic and grubby and they don’t look like they have changed much since…   Hence why we go club….
To be fair I didn’t take many pictures this time as I took loads last time we went and we are going again this year……… ok I was having fun……… I didn’t want to miss out standing behind the camera 😆
Not only that we spent 50% of the time in the pool , One slightly worrying moment when Alex ran off and went on the big inflatable Aqua Course which starts at the deep end and goes all the way to the shallow end about 3ft deep , Alex leaps on and at the first bit falls off right into the water about 7 ft deep……..  at this point I seriously wonder how good his swimming is lol but he bob’s up to the top and off he swims front crawl to the side of the pool. joins the queue and starts again only this time he completes the course and joined the queue again… over and over… I think after the 5th go he got bored with it..

the boys playing in the indoor sports hall.

the boys playing in the indoor sports hall.

The boys on the quad bike we hired  (of course we got discount with our posh club flat lol)

The boys on the quad bike we hired (of course we got discount with our posh club flat lol)

The view right from the top of the dunes..

The view right from the top of the dunes..

Doesn't everyone

Doesn’t everyone

the sea from the top of the dunes

the sea from the top of the dunes

another picture on the dunes with the windfarm in the background

another picture on the dunes with the wind farm in the background

Doesn't everyone take their laptop with them.

Doesn’t everyone take their laptop with them.

Alex in the play area

Alex in the play area

Ali in the sanded play area.. with the rather dire  commoners chalets behind him lol

Ali in the sanded play area.. with the rather dire commoners chalets behind him lol

playing on the famous sand dunes

playing on the famous sand dunes

in the evening....... three nights and they were exhausted....

in the evening……. three nights and they were exhausted….

In between All these activities as such of course Allan still does his recycle round collecting cardboard for the scouts and doing his leader training ….

here he is getting invested into the scouts as cub leader

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And last but not least yesterday we went to the District Scout Inspection, Formal Service and St George’s Day Fete  where The Sittingbourne and Milton District Scout Group had invited the Mayor to jointly inspect the Scouts with the District Commissioner, at Bexon Lane Scout Camp  All the troops were asked to wear full uniform with school /smart/ uniform trousers and school shoes or their scouting hiking boots (cleaned up of course lol)  sadly a few let us down but with a little maneuvering the *scruffy* ones were put in the middle

It was Allans first Official Duty as a Scout leader and to top the day off Alex was chosen as flag bearer  all in all a lovely day.. and the smash a plate stand that we manned afterwards went well, and to top off the day we had lovely sunshine all day despite the weather forecast.

Allan In his uniform...  I have to confess when I said I had a thing for men in uniform this wasn't quite what I had in mind.

Allan In his uniform…
I have to confess when I said I had a thing for men in uniform this wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

Alex ready with the flag strap on

Alex ready with the flag strap on

Ali killing time before the parade

Ali killing time before the parade

Alex and Ali queuing up ready to join the parade

Alex and Ali queuing up ready to join the parade

Alex with the flag and the cubs and allan trying to get them all in a straight line ready for inspection

Alex with the flag and the cubs and Allan trying to get them all in a straight line ready for inspection

Allan in his bib and tucker so to speak

Allan in his bib and tucker so to speak

the Mayor of Swale (in yellow) starting off the parade

the Mayor of Swale (in yellow) starting off the parade


And  That is it for now………….. Phew………………  Hopefully I can keep up to date in future but that’s not a promise lol

The return of the de-clutter has appeared, the loft has loads of space.

A few weeks before Christmas a friend of mine was told her landlord wanted to re insulate the loft… she had 30  years of clutter up there… her house made mine look minimalist..  It took them two weeks and two empty bedrooms to get everything down and sort it all out ready to be done…

That got me thinking… we had stuff to go up in the loft but the loft was full right up… floor to ceiling  and that was just ten years worth of stuff, Anyway Allan recruited the help of a friend of ours to come over and help him gets stuff sorted up there..  

so David and Allan and I went up there the day before  yesterday and slowly moved things around… we had about 6 dvd players  4 video players… two old tv’s  old pc monitors and that was just a few bits…

Yes I know there is a fair amount of Christmas tree’s and decorations up there and of course our tents and loads of camping stuff.  and of course loads of other bits that were my mums but there was also a lot of stuff we didn’t even remember we had…

Why had we kept convector heaters that had a foot broken?  then we got to the baby stuff…  

Now I admitted to myself a few years back that I wasn’t having any more kids so did pass on all the baby equipment to a couple of friends who were having babies…   I kept a cotbed and the hexagonal room-divider /playpen for any future use by grandchildren.. however the one thing I have never been able to part with was baby clothes for some reason… bearing in mind some of the stuff every one of my children have worn.. I had a togs grey baby grow that  was even put on Michael for a few hours, so it’s very special…

Yes I confess I kept that and a few of the very prem stuff i had  that are now a couple of carrier bags full but  The Attic is now devoid of six huge fit to burst black bin sacks full of baby clothes… It may have taken me 26 years to part with some of the bits but the time is right….. Besides there is another special little girl who can wear them now and any little brothers or sisters she may have in the future.

It all went to Charlotte for Shelby~Anne  so in a way I guess i feel ok about it as I know it may seem weird but I will see them worn now…..  I feel like a chapter in my life has closed but I don’t actually feel bad about it…    Now after two tip runs full, boxes of stuff to freegle,  and a landrover full of stuff that went to David and Charlotte’s (along with the clothes) not to mention a land rover full of old tvs and stuff and old metal beds that went to Ambers boyfriend for scrap metal.
I was going to do a boot fair but really we just want it out the way asap… we have this huge space in the middle of the loft…… and I’m already planning on what can go up there now out of my way… the next step is declutter my room and then work on swapping the boys and Ambers room over…  so she is in the smaller room and they are in the bigger one..   this is work in progress but I am so impressed how much stuff I have convinced Allan to part with ..
So all the stuff that we have decided to keep is now stacked tidy on the sides and all the cardboard boxes were flat packed and Allan took them to the recycle point with the rest of the cardboard he has collected for the scouts… (will go into detail another day but he is now a scout leader and does all the driving of the scout van collecting paper and cardboard for the scouts to recycle and the money is split between the beavers, cub’s and scouts for any equipment they need) oh and I have a front garden fill to take up the tip…..

Watch this space……… soon this will no longer be the house of the hoarders we will be organised but with probably more stuff than anyone else lol

Christmas Has Left the Building!


After a fun and food filled Christmas holiday with friends and family,


New years eve was spent with Allan’s family The nice normal ones on his dad’s side and not the Evil ones from the dark side…….. Ie… His Mother and Evil Sister……..


It was a great evening filled with laughter, food, and karaoke ….


Funny enough this is the first time we have been out and the boys haven’t wanted to leave early… they are loving spending time with their cousins…. I think we are really going to have to make an effort to have regular family get togethers….. They really do lack any family contact…… Ironic considering how many bothers and sisters they have… I know Alex knows he has older brothers and sisters but hasn’t actually asked about them but I can see it happening soon…….. Anyway… as I was saying… Christmas and New Years Eve and New Years Day are over now…..


The kids have a room full of rubbish and Now I need normality to prevail yet again..

As Normal as possible in this house.

I just needed the clutter and the chaos to be gone. Like that is ever going to happen but I live in hope.

Yes, the house is a mess but the kids are happy and everyone had a great time! well I hope they did.


Even though I do admit that the house was hardly like Santa’s grotto like it usually is In comparison to previous years, due to me not being well, it was quite minimalist without any big tree as I have said before….


ironically Now Christmas and New Years is over I actually feel ok, except maybe a little tired and the legs and hip are playing up but If I’m honest its the extra weight I have gained (yes I will do something about it soon)

and the cold damp weather oh and getting older that cause that.


I woke up this morning and thought Now it’s time to take the necessary steps in order to cure that Christmas Hangover of over eating, drinking and just excess of all that is good edible and yummy.

All I could think about is getting our house back in order after the craziness that was Christmas.

I just needed the clutter and the chaos to be gone. ok the Christmas Clutter and Chaos….


I did mention this to Allan and like a shot he was all for the idea……. By the afternoon there was not a decoration to be seen, Not only that everything was up in the loft again as well, Well everything but the Christmas door wreath which of course was out of sight out of mind…

But that will go in the loft up tomorrow.

I have never known him so keen to get up in the loft and put stuff up there… Usually I have to nag for weeks to get bits put away.


Problem is now I look at bare shelves and wonder what was actually there before……. Ok one shelf that is bear had a hamster cage but I’m not mentioning that incase the boys decide they want another one…

What I do have a strong compulsion to do is change the furniture about…… Now we don’t exactly have a lot of room to play with in the front room but even so I need to change things around… Years ago I was known for changing furniture around on a regular basis but with Ali the way he is I tend to leave things the way they are because he really hates change….. but the changes I have planned are small and I’m hoping that this time he wont kick off as much as he did last time I moved the front room about..


This year I want to de-clutter……… A friend is going to go up in the loft with Allan and de-clutter up there… I think even Allan is willing now to admit there is far too much junk up there…

Plus at some point we want to swap the boys and Amber’s rooms around… When the boys had the small room to sleep in and the big room was a play room and junk room and exercise room it was fine… but now Amber has the big room and the boys have to share the smallest room in the house and to be honest I don’t think that’s fair…… So the plan for future is move the boys bunk bed over and her bed in the small room… plus that way I never need to go in there as I have never known anyone make so much mess as she does.


once the kids rooms are done I want to do ours….. yes de-clutter there as well… and then we will work on downstairs……..


New Year New Start………..


I will probably be saying the same thing about moving bits around and sorting them out this time next year…….. The hoarder in me is slowly seeing the light, I so want to have a normal house like normal people instead of stuff everywhere……..


Now if Allan could be the same we would be well away…. My first treat to myself when I get the cash is some stair baskets to store bits in that end up being put on the stairs….

maybe once everything is de-cluttered we can actually get around to decorating… Of course finances allowing… because as usual, decorating and putting new carpet on the stairs etc cost money…… and with bills mounting up and the cost of everything doubling… finances are not stretching as far as they did before……

I have a feeling this year is going to be a hard year for all concerned… Especially us…..

But for now………. one day at a time…..



Good-bye 2012, Hello 2013


Good grief! I can’t believe that in just a few hours 2012 will be history.

I don’t bother to make predictions or resolutions.

I’m not psychic, so I can’t see the future, and resolutions are usually broken in the first week.

So, I’ll try to be a better person by taking better care of myself. That way, I’ll feel better, my attitude will be better, I’ll have more patience and understanding, and I’ll have more tolerance toward stupid (I have a serious problem with stupid).

And finally, I will try to let those who are important to me know how important they are to me.

I won’t regret telling people how important they are to me, but I could regret not telling them.
I Dont make predictions or resolutions such as i am going on a diet because as well All know they are always doomed to fail.

Maybe in a few months we will think about doing a few life changes but for now… the time is to spend with friends and family around us.
family that we want around us anyway.

Happy New Year to All…….

I have a feeling its going to be a tough year ahead… both emotionally and financially for the majority of us….

Good luck folks I think we are going to need it..


It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas :-)

Last week a couple of friends and I went out for a Christmas Meal, I have to say it wasn’t a great meal, 
but the company was great 🙂

First Christmas dinner of the season

First Christmas dinner of the season

The other day I got the decorations out of the loft… Well when I say I got.. what I mean Is Allan and David got the decorations out of the loft… The downside to Christmas this year is I cant have my big tree up due to the fact that we have a small puppy that chews everything in sight and a tree and all the decorations and wiring wouldn’t stand a chance so we decided this year we would stick to Arthur…. Named because Arthur is HalfA tree it fits on the wall. My Christmas decoration OCD has had to go right out the window this year as the boys wanted to decorate the tree in the red white and blue jubilee colours…   and As soon as they saw the union flag decorations they had to have them so tradition of red and gold or brown and cream kind of colour theme has gone right out of the window this year..



So the decorations are now up… we have some on the fish tank, some on the wall unit and some on the mantel shelf and that is it ok not quite there is the ceiling dec’s and a few other bits on the walls and the lights in the window but compared to last year it does look rather dull. I can’t wait until next Christmas when I can have my big tree out again.

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Oh and it wouldn’t be Christmas without the kids having the decorating chocolate……. 

I get these things every year and they still love them

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And then they eat them…………

The countdown is on……… 16 days until Christmas 🙂