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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Christmas in Westleton

The most serious floods since 1968 (apparently) hit our corner of the UK on 24th December. People I know had their houses wrecked with water damage and no power. So I did feel rather like I was abandoning ship when I left the village in the afternoon with the dog and 3 youngsters in a car packed with goodies.



It took us an hour to find an escape route out from the village to the motorway; every bridge over the river was under water. So arriving at Westleton was like Christmas Narnia.





This wasn't our first stay at The Westleton crown. The two other times were such bliss that we decided it was just where we wanted to be for Christmas with the family this year. A real break from tradition (apart from Christmas 2007 which we spent in Africa). I have to admit I was rather nervous about how it would all go but I really didn't need have worried. It was bliss from the moment we arrived to find our room festooned with a little Christmas Tree, doggy treats, doggy stocking and all sorts of presents. They really had thought of everything. The atmosphere is that of a stylish modern country pub with attention to every little detail. No wonder Kate and William chose to stay when they went to a local wedding a couple of years ago.

Christmas Eve was spent in the bar with a jar of Adnams, mulled wine and chestnuts and marshmallows to roast on the open fire. You know me, I will talk to anyone and everyone and so it wasn't long before we had made friends with a lovely family and where chatting like we had known each other a life time.



If you've read my blog, you'll know about my love affair with the north sea. Wow. Southwold. I just want to live there. Fancy opening your door to this every morning :



We spent the morning on the beach in Southwold with the dog, watching some crazy Christmas Day swimmers getting very cold indeed. We were warm and toasty with more Adnams outside the Lord Nelson pub, standing with the merry makers in the winter sun. 

There was no need for me to be nervous about going away at Christmas. It was kind of an adult thing to do, if you understand that. I know Christmas is all about the children but I don't have any young children any more and we did feel rather grown up with our oldest two toasting with Champagne and being very civilised. Even the dog surpassed himself with his good behaviour, getting lots of treats in the bar and chef's sausages in the morning. 

The staff at The Crown were amazing and deserve a mention. A real special bunch of youngsters waiting front of house and in the kitchen. We felt rather mean that they weren't at home with their families but that's the nature of the job I suppose. I've been there and in the not too distant future, Mr Moule will be there. She will be running around a hospital with a BNF and a bleep in her pocket. 

I was in two minds if I should write this blog about The Westleton Crown because selfishly I want to keep it to myself. But in the name of blogging I have let my followers in to this little secret. Perhaps I might see one or two of you there........it really is one of Life's Luxuries.



















Monday, 16 December 2013

The 12 Days of a Sexually Healthy Christmas

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A Stinging Sensation when I wee.

On the second day of Christmas                           
my true love sent to me:
Microgynon                 
and A Stinging Sensation when I wee.                    

On the third day of Christmas                                                       
my true loved sent to me:                            
K-Y Jelly
Microgynon
and A Stinging Sensation when I wee.

On the fourth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
All Kinds of Swabs
K-Y Jelly
Microgynon
An A Stinging Sensation when I wee.

On the fifth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Pee in A Pot
All Kinds of Swabs
K-Y Jelly
Microgynon
And A Stinging Sensation when I wee

On the sixth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Text Results
Pee in A Pot
All Kinds of Swabs
K-Y Jelly
Microgynon
And A Stinging Sensation when I wee

On the seventh day of Christmas 
my true love sent to me:
Azithromycin
Text Results
Pee in A Pot
All Kinds of Swabs
K_Y Jelly
Microgynon
And A Stinging Sensation when I wee

On the eighth day of Christmas 
my true love sent to me:
Partner Tracing
Azithromycin
Text Results
Pee in A Pot
All Kinds of Swabs
K-Y Jelly
Microgynon
And A Singing Sensation when I wee

On the ninth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Clear Fallopian Tubes
Partner Tracing
Azithromycin
Text Results
Pee in A Pot
All Kinds of Swabs
K-Y Jelly
Microgynon
And A Stinging Sensation when I wee

On the tenth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
No P.I.D
Clear Fallopian Tubes
Partner Tracing
Azithromycin
Text Results
Pee in A Pot
All Kinds of Swabs
K-Y Jelly
Microynon
And A Stinging Sensation When I wee

On the eleventh day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Chocolate Flavoured Condoms
No P.I.D.
Clear Fallopian Tubes
Partner Tracing
Azithromycin
Text Results
Pee in A Pot
All Kinds of Swabs
K-Y Jelly
Microgynon
And A Stinging Sensation when I wee

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Safer Sex
Chocolate Flavoured Condoms
No P.I.D.
Clear Fallopian Tubes
Partner Tracing
Azithromycin
Text Results
Pee in A Pot
All Kinds of Swabs
K-Y Jelly
Microgynon
And A Stinging Sensation when I pee.




http://www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk/









Wednesday, 13 November 2013

My Love Affair with Prams

When I was little, I wanted two things. Firstly to be a mummy and secondly to be a nurse. Both these were achieved by the time I was 24 years old and my obsession for both continues. Every year until I was at least 12, I had a dolly for Christmas. There are too many to remember but here are a few. Does anyone remember:


  • Tiny Tears (of course who doesn't?)
  • Amanda Jane
  • Pippa
  • Sindy (Barbie was too trashy!)
  • Baby Alive
  • Carrie and Christopher
  • Penny Puppy Walker
So of course I had the baby dolls and then I needed what every girl and wannabe mummy needs - a doll's pram. My love affair with prams was born and as I said, it has never stopped. As a child, one of my favourite outings was to the nearest big town and it's department store. Children these days are deprived of the wonders of a department store for they take trips to John lewis as part of their birth right. Or perhaps that's just my children! If I ask them, I am sure they will say that John Lewis was as much a part of their childhood as fish fingers. 

In the 1970's, our department store was Williams and Griffin (nicknamed Willy-Gees). My favourite department was not the toy department. Oh no. It was the baby department. Those prams. Oh my goodness. See I am still getting excited; can you feel it? My favourite pram was the the big bouncy coach built sparkly blue hard bodied pram with the white and blue decorative pram blanket (*takes a breath*). It was probably Silver Cross or Marmet. That pram became my gold standard. One day, when I was Kathryn McCrone Staff Nurse and Mummy....I would own that pram.

Let's not jump ahead though. I have owned 9 prams in my life, starting here.



I look about 3 years old so this would have been 1971. I have been in this position ever since, tending to a dolly or a baby. As you'd expect, I can't remember this pram but I do remember the next one; unfortunately there is no photo of it. Perhaps I was 7 years old and perhaps it was my birthday when my grandparents bought me a blue dolls pram from Howlett's toy shop in town. It was so gorgeous. How proud I was to push it home from the toyshop, flanked by my adoring grandparents. The pram was much loved and adored; I can't even remember what happened to it sadly.

Come the teenager years prams were replaced with boys and Duran Duran (as previously mentioned). I waited until I was 24 to purchase this baby ..



Don't worry, I'm not going to post a photo of every pram, just the highlights. This was delivered after a trip to John Lewis Oxford Street. It was my pride and joy. We can't wait to take our prams out of the boxes can we @bumpmoirs (her pregnancy blog inspired this post http://www.bump-moirs.blogspot.co.uk/ Finding The perfect Pram ).  A few months later, this Bebe Confort pram transformed in to a push chair.



Along side my proper prams came the essential umbrella buggies, of which I have owned two Maclaren numbers and a light weight Bebe Confort one. Baby warning - two very cute photos to follow so I want to hear some collective ooooos and ahhhhhhs or I shall be offended that you don't think Strong and Silent and Mr Moule were cute.


Strong and Silent, 1995.




Mr Moule, 1994. (plus some chocolate ice cream I think).

Now I am a Proper Mummy and Proper Mummy needs a double buggy. So another trip to John Lewis . We're still talking pre-internet here so I actually had to visit John lewis Kingston. That was fine though. As I used to say, it was my second home.

All these lovely prams and buggies became redundant as my children grew up and I passed them on or sold them until eventually I was pramless. This could not possibly be right. I love babies so much and couldn't quite believe that my family was complete. This is how Willy Wonka came along in 2000 and therefore the excuse to go pram shopping again. This time it had to be my Gold Standard of that blue Silver Cross in Willy-Gees. My husband took some convincing but in the end he gave in to my childhood dream. His childhood dream was to be a premier league football player (errrr, Div One in those days) and if I could have waved a magic wand and made it happen for him, I would have.

This Silver Cross pram came from a shop in Queenstown Road in Battersea.



I was 7 years old again, pushing my pram proud as punch, home from the toy shop. Ok it wasn't practical for popping in the car but I pushed that pram for miles and miles. Every time I went out with it, someone would stop and talk to me and comment about how lovely it was to see a proper pram. The ladies in the dentist on recepetion still talk about it every time I go with Willy Wonka for check ups, and he is 13 now. He used to sit up against a pillow, under the sunshade, secured with a leather harness with a sheep illustration on. My blond, blue eyed boy wearing his Patricia Smith smocked rompers. www.patriciasmith.co.uk.

I have a feeling that this is not the end of my love affair with prams. With three children, I am hoping to be a Granny one day.My next ambition is to own a Silver Cross traditional dolls pram which will live at Granny's house and get played with only at Granny's house. I hear that being a grandparent is all about bribery and spoiling the little darlings. I'll let you know about that if I am still blogging in 2020. 






Friday, 8 November 2013

Running

At school I was teased. A lot. Could it be called bullying? I don't know. I didn't think it was at the time. Children tease each other and can be down right cruel to each other so on balance I don't think it was serious bullying. It did however leave a scar. I have never been blessed with the sporty gene, in fact I don't know what genes I was blessed with. I was reasonably bright at school but didn't probably reach my full academic potential due to poor teaching and a healthy interest in boys and Duran Duran. I wasn't in with the cool girls - you know the ones - pretty girls who were sporty and petite. Being tall and gangly with no boobs wasn't a recipe for popularity at secondary school in 1982.

My worst momenst were in sports lessons, or P.E. as it was called. You may or may not know how it feels to be last to be picked for a netball or hockey team or ridiculed by the P.E. teacher for not having breasts (glimpses self running through post hockey showers clutching towel). Athletics was a hoot. I must have looked like Pheobe running through Central Park. No wonder the Rachel's of my school days thought I was funny!

The sporting attempts of my school days left me with the belief that I couldn't run. After Mr Moule was born and I was very over weight, I knew I had to do something which resembled exercise and so aerobics classes became my friend. That was aged 25 and I haven't stopped since, introducing gym and swimming and spinning and boxing and pump and...................   everything except running. There was still a mental block about running. I looked at all the girls in the gym who were runners and thought "I want a piece of that"; never thought I could do it though.

Then my life changed when someone (Bare Faced and Blonde) was listening to my moaning at the gym and said "of course you can run". I thought she'd lost her mind! I came up with all sorts of reasons why I couldn't run like joint problems and shin splints and flat feet but Bare Faced and Blonde (BFAB) just looked at me as if to say "yeah right". Almost under the cover of dark I got on the treadmill and did what she told me. Boy was it hard work. All I could manage was 30 seconds running and 1 minute walking. This went on for about a month until I could manage 1 minute running and 30 seconds walking racking up 3 km. This was last January and by the end of February I was seeing no progress. "What you need is a goal" said BFAB. We booked the 5km Race for Life that evening which gave me 4 months to train. This race is literally a walk in the park for BFAB but she supported me all the way. It was booked and I couldn't let her down. Her life is not a walk in the park at the moment and I dedicated my race to her and her family.

Smultz over. BFAB had enough of my treadmill antics and her next plan was to get outside and see how different running was out of the gym. The result was 3km straight off! BFAB was almost at walking pace (she's a pro) but I was running. Actually running. With both feet off the ground and everything. The whole shebang. The adrenalin was flowing, I just couldn't believe it. How many times is that round the track I wondered. I did a 3km once more and then went straight for 5km on a route shown to me by BFAB. Religiously I ran 5km three times a week until the Race For Life with BFAB by my side.


This is us about 500m from the finish line. You may guess that I'm the taller one. Olive Oil I used to get called at school. I hated it at the time but now I wish I was that slim again. I didn't know how lucky I was at the time. And I'm  not THAT tall, a nice 176cm.

Since the race I have kept up my running, my next goal being to run 10km. Slowly slowly does it.The fittness side is a bonus but the most important change has been mentally. I'm not saying that now I think I can conquer anything, but I have grown in self confidence. Pushing myself in to something that I was convinced I could never do has taught me that I don't have to believe what other people say about me. Really it is up to me to find what is inside, no one else can tell me who I am or define me. With my life changing so rapidly from one stage to another, my children growing up and some of them leaving home, this self belief could not have come at a better time. Move over Forest Gump, Kate is going for a run!





Thursday, 10 October 2013

WIFI

I like to think I am reasonably computer literate. When Mr Moule started playing word games on the new pc in 1996 there was no choice but to get down with the kids and follow them on their computer relationship. Progress was steady, going from word games to Disney games to SMS to Bebo and My Sapce and Facebook.Obviously their knowledge super exceeds mine now, and Strong and Silent is studying computer science at university.

Of course I remember days before the internet and mobile phones. Our children have no concept of such a life. Imagine that (they can't). It's like me growing up without TVs and therefore having never seen Grange Hill or Play Away. Brian Cant was my first crush aged about 7. Heady days!

Nowadays in 2013 we all have a relationship with the internet. Mine is a deep and meaningful and sometimes frustrating relationship. The high point of my relationship with the internet is discovering a free WIFI zone. The luxury of being in a public place and discovering the pub/gym/restaurant/tourist attraction has WIFI is a modern day euphoria. I recently kept a count of the number of times I used the internet in one day and it came to over 50, so forgive me for getting ever such a little bit excited if I can get my fix when I'm out. I'm not sure why I needed the internet whilst I was on a tour of The Houses of Parliament but I believe it was something of a state matter.



Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Going Back to Bed After the School Run

Today I’ve had a day off. Not a day off work because most days are days off work for me as I work part time. Today was a day off my normal exercise routine. Every morning I get up at 7.10am and take Willy Wonka to school and am back my 8am. Then I go to the gym and do a class – either spin or aerobics or Body Pump.  Not that I really enjoy it whilst I’m doing it, but it makes me feel good and hopefully it keeps the doctor away. Wednesdays are my run only days but today I had a day off all exercise. I ran on Monday and Tuesday and done aerobics and Body Attack (killer) and spin so I decided that this old body needed a recovery day.

I didn’t have a busy day planned, just some chores to do and walk the dog. My school run is so very early that I did today what I have done a handful of times previously – I took my coffee and went back to bed, put on breakfast telly and fell back to sleep. How luxurious to do the school run in my pyjamas and ease back in to the still-warm-sheets. With Strong and Silent installed at university and being down to one dog (yes those two things happened on the same day, ouch), the house is so quiet.  This is one of the only of my Life’s Luxuries that I feel ever so slightly guilty about. Getting back in to bed when Husband left for work at the crack of dawn and is busy earning a crust to keep me in this style is not perhaps something that I should do too often,  but when I do succumb to it, boy it feels good.

My school girl brain tried to justify my action in the same way it used to when I was trying to get out of a P.E. lesson. “Well I do feel like I have a cold coming on and my throat is really sore”.  Yeah right. The truth is I wanted to be a sloth for an hour or so. It wasn’t the first time I have done it and it won’t be the last time either. I just won’t tell anyone about it.


Saturday, 7 September 2013

The North Sea

People are asking the question "did you have a nice summer?".  I don't really know how to answer. It sounds rather like the American question "where do you summer?" (Friends reference number 2), and the answer should be something like "in the Hamptons". Summer doesn't seem over yet, the weather is still pleasant, the chickens are still laying and I'm still wearing flip flops. On the other hand, it is dark by 8pm, I have cooked a roast lunch and the children of the UK are back at school. The family summer holiday seems like a distant memory, back in July before Mr Moule went to Europe and before Strong and Silent went to Aiya Napa.

Turkey was fabulous, but really.......you can keep the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea, the Baltic Sea and give me the North Sea any day. Nothing replaces life's luxury of the North Sea no matter what the season, no matter what the weather. I regret that my children didn't grow up by the North see like I did, with the salt air, crabbing, beach huts, wind surfers, skating rinks and swimming "off the pipe". The pipe was and I believe still is, the sewage pipe that lead out in to the sea. I don't remember it going very far out to sea because as children we would leave our mums at the beach huts, probably having a cheeky Cinzano and lemonade whilst discussing the latest Sanderson wall paper, saying "we're just going over the pipe". No-one seemed concerned that we were swimming amongst the town's sewage, Blue Beaches had yet to be invented. I don't know where they got them, but someone would always drag along an tractor inner tube to play on.

The pipe was also an excellent place to go crabbing. The joy of tying a piece of bacon to the end of your line and pulling up a crab was better than completing a level on Candy Crush. The crabs would be put in a plastic bucket (mine was shaped like a castle), filled with sea water and taken back to the beach huts for crab racing.



Being a teenager by the North Sea held different charms. Beach parties, hand-in-hand walks with a boy friends along the sea front ( making sure we stopped to sit down on the wall where my Dad dropped a can of peach coloured Dulux exterior house paint - I must have a look and see if the paint is still there next time I visit). It was great to live there in the summer but the winter had another charm by the North Sea. It became wild, with Heathcliff proportions. Grey sea merging with grey sky with biting winds that made a kiss almost painful. Any sea or ocean lifts my heart but nothing lifts it as high as the North Sea.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Sitting down in the Shower

It has taken 3 months to re-furbish the family bathroom. I say "family bathroom" but it's not like we have lots of bedrooms and lots of bathrooms, en suites and cloak rooms. The term family bathroom makes me feel better about the fact that my children are leaving home slowly but surely. At the moment the family bathroom is used by me, Husband and two sons. Feel sorry for me......I have to share facilities with boys (Friends reference no. 1). It is a fairly small space too and now consists of the compulsory white hand basin bowl sitting on top of a vanity unit, a shower and a loo. It doesn't quite look like the computer image that the bathroom company emailed me but how was I to know the image was not to scale. So my shower tray is a little more squat than I had expected but I have just discovered it is the perfect length for my hip to toe measurement.

I just needed to sit down in the shower. Why wouldn't I? It's one of Life's Luxuries. Back against the wall with legs out stretched and water pouring on to my lap. Mr Moule introduced me to the 'sitting in shower' concept a few years ago. As the oldest child and the only girl, she was given the bedroom with the only en suite when we moved in 11 years ago. Aged 17 I found Mr Moule in her small square shower cubicle enjoying the luxury of sitting cross legged with water falling down on top of her head in pure bliss.

With Strong and Silent going to university this September, the bathroom traffic will be down to me, Husband and Willy Wonka. I need a plan to keep the dark grey floor tiles free from white toothpaste drips, the taps free from soap and the shower screens free from water marks. I'll come back to this plan in 6 months when it's novelty has worn off.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

In The Begining

There was a nurse, a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, a musician. I'm sure there are many other ways I can be defined but for now this will do. Everyone will see something different but to me this is who I am. Could I be so much more? I wonder. What makes us who we are doesn't have to define us. Someone said to me today "you don't want to be defined by this episode".  Correct. Perhaps blogging will release a new me. All sounds terribly trivial and navel gazing but hey ho, if I don't do it I will never know. In a year or two I may be totally mortified but this first blog entry but we all have to start somewhere.

If you're really lucky I might throw in some diary entries from my diaries which I kept between the ages of 13 and 35. Some are hilarious, especially the teenage entries, and some are sad and too near the knuckle. I'm hoping to find some of Life's Luxuries by re-reading these diaries and indeed just re-reading them is one of Life's Luxuries that I have indulged in many times over the years. In bored moments there is always fun to be had by opening a diary on a random page and reading about my efforts to meet up with my latest beau away from the prying eyes of my latest fiance; or how to get First Born to sleep more than 20 minutes so I can watch Richard and Judy in peace.

Life is full of such little luxuries which can go by un-noticed. What are yours?