Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Twenty Fourteen

Goodbye 2014 - 

It's been a year with lots of ups and downs
I wish that I could look into 2015 with confidence -
but 2014 has taught us that there are no certainties, no promises,
only faith and family and living as well as we can.
New Year's Day visit to see Gill, Russell, Elizabeth and Joyce in Leicester
Peter Pan at the Octagon 
Megan's art on display at the Brindley
  London Day - with Jonathan, Karen and Katharine at Coram Fields - 
then Henry V with Jude Law
Al and I saw the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Musical in Manchester 
{nearly 25 years after we saw the film}
Day trip to Wales

Miranda at the Echo Arena
Orlando at the Royal Exchange

Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 at the RSC {Anthony Sher as Falstaffe}
Week in Wales 
Elbow at the Echo arena {soooo close to the front!}
Ben loved seeing the Chuckle Brothers at the Brindley 
Jonathan, Karen and Katharine stayed at Gma's
{Jonathan broke the news that he had oral cancer}
Gill, Russell and Joyce visited
Bellowhead at the Bridgewater Hall
I broke my elbow (radial head fracture) - it healed well and I have pretty much full function back - but it does tend to ache now
Gill developed ascites - the first of many hospital admissions
Weekend in Aberdeen to celebrate Laura and Wayne's wedding

Bank Holiday in Wales
Megs started her GCSE exams
Church Anniversary
Al's birthday - 47
McBusted at the Echo Arena
Jonathan's surgery

Megan sat more GCSEs 
Weekend in London - saw Jonathan (2 weeks post surgery), Karen and Katharine -
then Kevin Spacey in Darrow at the Old Vic
Megs left school
Scouts Chester Parade
Indoor Skydiving at Airkix

Ben's birthday - 13
Megan's birthday - 16
 Tour de France - Harrogate and York
Meg's Prom
Al and I celebrate 25 years together
London Day - Jonathan (2 weeks into radiotherapy), Karen and Katharine - 
then The Crucuble at the Old Vic with Ricahrd Armitage
Giants in Liverpool

20th Weding anniversary
London Day - Jonathan mid radiotherapy
Megs GCSE results {2A*s, 9 As, 1B}
Wales - photos and ice buckets

Megs starts Sixth Form and Ben moves into Year 9
London Day - Jonathan - 2 weeks post radiotherapy, Karen and Katharine then
Richard III with Martin Freeman
The Man Jesus at the Lowry with Somon Callow
Tour of Britain passes through Widnes
Southport Airshow
Ben awarded the Foundation Attitude to Learning prize at School

Hamlet at the Royal Exchange with Maxine Peake
Clannad at Liverpol Cathedral 
My Perfect Mind - Unity Theatre
Megs college trip to London
Day in Leicester to see Gill, Russell and Joyce
Last week in Wales

Fireworks at the river
Loves Labours Lost and Loves Labours Won (Much Ado About Nothing) at thr RSC
- called in to see Gill on the way home
Megan performs in Dracula the Musical 
War of the Worlds at Phones4U Arena

Chrsitmas Fair at FMC
Manchester markets
Rotary Father Christmas Float/Candlelight Carols/Carol Singing
My Birthday - 44
Jonathan, Karen and Katharine stayed at Gma's
Christmas Day with Gma, Gpa, Jonathan, Karen, Katharine and Uncle Chris
Shrek at  Palace in Manchester
Visiting Gill in Loros, Leiceister
The Little Shop of Horrors - Royal Exchange Manchester



Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Snowy Sunday

Trip into Cheshire for afternoon tea and the 3 o'clock show at Gauntlet.

Saturday, 27 December 2014


There was still snow on the ground in the morning - 
so decided it was best to take the train to Manchester -

Lunch at GBK - 

Then Shrek at the Palace -

Ben found a couple of bits "awkward" 
{cue fingers in ears and eyes shut}
but with great seats on the second row 
we loved the show -

funny and brilliantly performed
{with lots of musical in jokes}
a super afternoon's entertainment


Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing Day

Goodbyes to Jonathan, Karen and Katharine

An afternoon at Martin Mere

 A visit to see Andy, Sandra, Stephanie and Charlotte

 Then snow!
 Which led to an "interesting" drive home-
And a VERY excited Ben!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Morning

A 6.30am start to the present opening
{Ben set his alarm!}

Ben loved his cuddly Ninja Turtle, his strawberry chocolates
 and of course his new Pokemon game. 

Megan got some DVDs and CDs - 
and as a HUGE surprise, tickets to see her favourite Idina Menzel in concert in the summer.

As soon as he'd finished opening presents Benjamin started to play his pokemon game - and the rest of us went back to bed for a bit more sleep before Church at 11 o'clock.

A lovely family service, the children showing off their presents
and some fabulous singing -
before time to swap presents with Godparents and friends.

We spent the rest of the day at Gma's house -
we read the last part of our Ann Voscamp Advent Book,
ate lunch, shared yet more presents and generally had a wonderful family time.

Uncle Chris came at tea time, 
{more presents!} 

then once Katharine had gone to bed we played Doctor Who Trivial Pursuits
 and watched the Christmas Special.

{Last Christmas - oh - this year that meant so much}

 The day was pretty much perfect - 
but like 2 years ago, there is sadness as our dear Gill is so tired and ill - 
 at the end of the evening - all I  could do was to pray for her - for peace and strength -
and for God's blessings on us all.

Christmas Eve - My birthday!

Poor Al had to work on Christmas Eve - so we were both up at the usual 5.30am
Megs joined me at nine for some very last minute shopping 
and Al was back by 11 o'clock with flowers for me
and we spent the rest of the morning at Gma's with all the family.

The afternoon was present wrapping time,
 then it was off to church for the children's Christingle Service.

In the evening we all went out to Frankie and Benny's for a birthday meal
{me, Al , Megs , Ben, Jonathan, Karen, Jude, Richard and Fiona!}
It was just lovely to be together - chatting, laughing -
and of course singing Happy Birthday!

Home again to lay out the traditional sacks for Father Christmas,
bed time for Benjamin,
then Megs and I were back at Church for the beautiful, peaceful Midnight Service.

A long Christmas Eve - but a pretty perfect one!


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas is nearly here....

.... and Jonathan, Karen and Katharine have arrived at Gma's

much to Megan's delight!


Sunday, 21 December 2014

On the 4th Sunday of Advent

Ben was DELIGHTED to light 4 candles on the Advent Wreath at Church during the morning service as we watched the younger children perform their Nativity play.

The evening service was Candlelight Carols - 
I sang, Megs read, Al filmed and Ben sat at the back playing on his tablet!
{We have to face the fact that 2 services in a day is just too mcuh for this autistic teen}  

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The most Christmassy Night....

.... walking the streets with the Rotary Father Chrsitmas Float

{The next best thing to being an Elf}

There was a bit of rain - but NOTHING like last year!

Ben managed virtually the whole evening too!


Sunday, 14 December 2014

The weekend before the weekend before Christmas

We spent the day in Manchester
{along with Meg's best friend Jamie}
Christmas Markets in the morning
Ben happily buying sweets -
Me buying cheese
{oh the cheese stalls at the markets!}
Megs and Jamie hitting Waterstones bookshop HARD.
Then it was time to enjoy/sob through
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
{best seen in the brilliant IMAX at the Printworks}
Tea was at Meg's favourite - GBK
Shakes/burgers/skinny fries/sweet potato fries -

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Christmas Fair 2014

I sold cakes
Megs painted faces
Al took photographs with Father Christmas
and Ben sat quietly in room 2 playing on his tablet.