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This tragic tale of the failure of our justice system starts on a warm Friday evening in September (2001). Myself, my hubby and a group of my work colleuges lets call them Paul, Adrian, Debbie, Stu and Marie-Clare (now known as MC) were out enjoying a goodbye and goodluck drink for Paul as it was his last day at work. Debbie had had quite a few to drink and had been gradually sliding down her seat before rushing off to the loo. I followed a while later to find out how she was and managed, eventually to get her up. After she had been sick we gave her some water and she sobered up, you know get rid of the alcohol and you feel better. About 9:30 that evening Chris and Emma tried to join us but Emma had the wrong footware so wasn't allowed in so they went over the road to another pub. Paul went with them as he wanted to spend some time with them. Just before 10pm we decided to go and get him and move off to Brannigans. We entered the pub and it was decided to have a drink in there first. Debbie by this time was feeling a lot better and said she was heading of to make herself a bit more presentable. We left it 10 mins and then myself and MC went up to get her, well check on her. We got upstairs and found her chatting to a couple of people she knew. The 3 of us left the loos and went downstairs. As we got to the bottom a couple of girls were heading towards the stairs obviously with the intention of going to the loo. The bottom of the stairs was blocked with only enough room for one so I let Debbie go first. As she got to the bottom she accidently knocked on of the girls arms and this girl swore at Debbie. As we walked away I said to Debbie that this girl should just grow up. We got back to our group and I took my drink off my hubby and turned round to continue conversation with MC. As I turned I heard someone shouting something and then the girl who Debbie had knocked punched me in the right side of my face hitting my jaw. I was absolutel y stunned. I didn't react at all. Some other people grabbed the two girls and the bouncers removed them from the pub. It took me a while to recognise the pain I was in but eventually all the fuss died down and I was able to put my cold drink against my face and cuddle my hubby. You would think that these girls would have been happy to get away with that but no. They waited outside for us. As we came out I told my hubby to keep an eye on Debbie as she was talking to some other people. I walked with Stu and Paul towards Brannigans and the others followed on behind. Someone warned us that the girls were talking about what they had done and it wasn't long before I heard running footsteps and the girl who had hit me was trying to do it again. This time I hid behind Stu and Paul. Of course there isn't that much blokes can do when being attacked by a girl and eventually she managed to get hold of me and hit me again. Whil this was going on my hubby tried to get to me but the other girl barred his way. He tried to push past her but some other blokes thought he was attacking her and had a go at him. Chris helped my hubby out by telling the blokes what was going on and they disappeared. Debbie ran down and got my girl off me and got handfuls of her hair ripped out. Meanwhile the other girl managed to corner MC in a dark place and punched her in the face cutting her lip and inside her mouth. The police came along and managed to catch the two girls and had some racial abuse thrown at them. We went down to the station and gave witness statements. We were told we would hear about it in about 4 weeks time. Fast forward to Dec 28 2001. A strange brown envelope drops through my door. On opening the letter I discover I am being asked to attend court on the 11 and 14 Jan. I am shocked as I hadn't expected to hear anything after all this time. My other two witness have letters as well. Now for the first of the let downs. Of all the things the girls were arrested for these are the charges being taken to court. Girl 1 - Resist PC, racial harrasment and common assault (she hit me) Girl 2 - Resist PC and racial harrasment (she hit MC causing her to have a number of cuts to the mouth and a week off work) At court we sat around for many hours to be told that they had bargained and had the resist PC dropped but pleaded guilty to the others. We went through hell that morning. MC really didn't cope well and felt extremely let down by our system (she is from France). We were told we could go in and see what happened to the girls, which we wanted to do. We had to walk past them to go into the court. It was very disturbing walking past them with their eyes boring into our backs. We waited in court until they were sentenced. Number two (the biggest one I might add) on our letdown list. Girl 1 Fined £130 for assaulting me. Fined £180 for racial harrasment and ordered to pay court costs of £220. Also has to pay £35 compensation to me. Girl 2 Fined £180 for racial harrasment and ordered to pay £100 court costs. How is it that hitting someone is worth less than calling someone names. I know that racial harrasment is bad but what happened to "sticks and stones". I knew that my compensation would be a token amount but I was stunned by the pathetic amount. What hurt the most was watching the emotions playing on MCs face. The disgust that girl 2 had got away with punching her, the disappointment at being let down by the people who were supposed to bring this girl to justice and the hurt that she still carries round from the assault. Even now she is unable to go out in the dark as she doesn't feel safe. She used to go to the cinema regularly but now she doesn't. By curtailing her social life the way she has she has now had problems with her partner. I have faired no better. I had to go out and walk down my road just days after the assault. I was scared stiff doing it. I didn't feel safe at all. about 2 weeks later I fell ill. I went to the doctors and was diagnosed as having depression again. I am still on antidepressants now and will be for another 4 months. I cannot believe how little the girls were punished for what they did to us. They have destroyed one girls confidence and they have destroyed the life I was trying to build up after my last brush with depression. I was just starting to get high enough in the black pitt and they pushed me back down again. However I will not let them beat me. I will win. I am going to get myself back up and I will be a bigger, brighter, better me. I WILL WIN! that is now my mantra.
I have always been a chicken freak but there is something almost intoxicating about it when it's smothered in mayonaise. My parents had always taken us to the KFC in Dorking when we were gorwing up as it was better for us than Wimpey (the only other fast food joint in the town). So I suppose it was unsurprising that when I fell pregnant that the love of KFC would come back to me and it did with a vengence. I probably spent more time in the KFC in Crawley than was healthy but baby didn't seem to mind in fact he was very healthy when born. He loves chicken and mayo himself (and onion rings, my other major craving). The staff are always polite and helpful and the food is delightful. Always piping hot and made to order unlike some places I could mention (Burger King say you can have your burgers to order but don't seem able to remember to remove tomato when you ask them too). My husband and I walk in and ask for two fillet tower burger meals with loads of mayo. We wait a few minutes and we get the most succulent chicken burgers with cheese, a has brown, lettuce, BBQ sauce and more mayo than you could imagine. Heaven on earth. The chips are hot and have just enough salt on them. And it's always nice to have the wipe to clean yourself up with afterwards as the paper towels just stick to you. I have never found KFC food to be over or under cooked. Nor have I found them overly greasy. The best thing about them is that they seem to care about the people who visit them. The staff are cheerful, even on a really busy night, and the premises are spotless. I would highly reccommend KFC to anyone. At least there is more burger to bite into than at McDonalds or Bruger King!
On a bright summers evening a young 23 year old woman is sitting on the patio in her garden dreaming of her prince (39 year old fiance) taking her to see the film he has promised to take her too for 3 weeks. This young lady is doomed to disappointment. The geek didn't take her (but she married him anyway). Fast forward to Christmas and imagine her immense delight on christmas morning to find that her darling husband had bought her Shrek on video. Then see her disappointment when the video (from WH Smiths) didn't play. Well this weekend the poor girls dreams were answered and a new video was produced and the princess and her prince were able to sit down and watch the video in their ivory tower. Shrek (Mike Myers) is an ogre who has become a loner due to the reactions he gets from people who see him. He is disgusted to find all the fairytale folk dumped on his doorstep by Lord Farquad (John Lithgow). He sets off to tell him to remove the fairytale folk so he can get his swamp back accompanied by a smart mouthed donkey (Eddie Murphy). They enter the city when a contest is going on to find a champion to rescue princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz). He is set upon and beats the knights up. Lord Farquad sends Shrek, with a promise to give him back his swamp, on the journey instead. Shrek and donkey make it to castle where the princess is held prisoner by a dragon. After much ado the princess is rescued, uncerimoniuosly I might add, and the donkey makes friends with the dragon, managing to sweet talk his way out of becoming dinner. She is less than impressed when he goes. On the journey back they run into a few problems but the inevitible boy meets girl they fall in love but there is a misunderstanding follows. The Princess Fiona has her own little problem at night which comes to light around the middle of the film. The one liners from the donkey help keep the film going at this point. Lord Farquad is pleased with his princess but unhappy when Shrek appears at his wedding. Donkey gives a hand with the help of his infatuated Dragon, who does the honours and devours Lord Farquad. Princess Fioana and Shrek give the happy ever after that ever fairy tale should have. The start of this film gives you a great insight to the minds of the writers. How they decided on a toilet scene so early in a movie I will never know but it sets the scene wonderfully. I can garauntee that the majority of the jokes will not be seen coming. Unlike many others who have tried and failed, this film really is one for all the family. The mickey take at all the disney films is marvellous though I think some of them passed me by but I particularly liked the french Robin hood and his singing merry men especially when dealt with by the stunning princess. The twist to the princess is hinted at at the beginning of the film but somehow forgotten until later when it's sprung on you again. Eddie Murphey (the smart mouthed donkey) is superb. He really hit the mark and no-one could have cast the donkey better. The script must have been written with him in mind as they just go so well together. His funny man approach to the straight man Shrek is great. Shrek is an likeable, unconventional ogre who breaks the ogre mold by not eating anyone and having a great like of rat. Jonh Lithgow as the short baddie was wonderful. Rarely do you get a bad character that is so hilarious. His scenes are outstanding but he has to come second to donkey. The whole film is made up of wonderful state of the art graphics which are not quite life like but that doesn't matter in a fairy tale . The whole way the graphics are put together is a true accolade to the grphics team and the very hard work that must have gone into it. There side splitting jokes (though fortunately the kids miss most of them). The digs at disney and fairytales in general are smashing. On the video there is b onus footage which is a riot. The swamp karaoke. Bit parts from all the characters, singing beautifully. I especially liked Lord Farquad singing "Staying alive". Again donkey takes centre stage but that seems to be his role. A well produced and graphically designed film. A cartoon that is definitely one for the history books and will no doubt be well loved for generations to come.
I am a self confessed chocaholic with no thought of reform. I could eat chocolate til the cows come home but ferrero rocher holds a special place in my heart. They are somewhat of a delicacy for me. As they are a little more expensive than your regular choccies (though not much) I don't get them that regularly. In fact I never buy them for myself. I get them for birthdays, anniversaries and Easter, you know the sort of things. My husband knows me so well that if he wants to make a show of his love for me he knows that I don't need flowers, champgne or cavier he only has to bring home a box of ferreo rocher and I am his. I love opening up the box to touch the beautifully individually wrapped chocolates. Their gold foil glistening at me. To take one out and remove the foil and discover the delicious nutty chocolate coating. Gently nibble the chocolate off and expose the fragile wafer shell. Crack the shell to see the wonderful hazelnut and the luxurious chocolate centre. Mmmmm heaven on earth. I have always loved these chocolates and they will always be my favourite. There is nothing more sensuous than lying in a nice bubbly bath all the way up to your neck, in a bathroom lit with scented candles nibbling on ferrero rocher. If you don't believe me try it!
As a child growing up I was witness to two forms of parenting. My parents came form different backgrounds and this was most noticable when they came to discipline us. My Mother was bought up to do whatever her Father told her to do. She had a stable family life and if my Grandad raised his voice they knew they were in trouble so they stopped what they were doing and didn't do it again. My Father however was smacked. In fact he came from an area that if you were naughty and the coppers got hold of you they would box your ears then take you home to your parents and you would then get walloped by them too. As you will no doubt be able to tell this meant that my Father smacked us whereas my Mother didn't. Unfortuantely this meant that we found our Mother to be a bit of a soft touch. We played here up much more than our Father. We had a healthy respect for both but we knew when we had gone to far with Dad but the lines weren't as clear with Mum. I love both my parents dearly and don't think that they treated us badly. However I always said when I was growing up that I would never smack a child of mine. A hollow promise. On the birth of our son my husband and I loved him to pieces. That love hasn't diminshed but sometimes he is just too much. He has started the terrible twos and is so cheeky sometimes that there is nothing for it but to discipline him. He responds to his Dads raised voice much more than mine and must see me as the soft touch as he always pushes me more than he does his Father. He will be an angel all day for his Dad but tries it on as soon as I get through the door. I seem to be a mixture of the parenting I recieved from my parents. I am patient and understanding of the fact that he is only young and trying to express what he wants up to the point where his demands become unreasonable or dangerous. At this point I give him an ultimatum that he will understand something along the lines of "do that agin or I will take away the toy". If that doesn't work I take the toy away then if he still persists I resort to the threat of a smack. This usually does the trick but sometimes he is past reason and a smack follows. I am a firm believer that if you say you will do something then you must follow through, probably why I never tell him that if he continues to play up that I will kill him!!! I have had the looks of disgust in town. The people who obviously don't think that smacking is right. As long as it's not abuse then I don't see that anyone should be allowed to question your right to parent as you see fit. I smack my child. That's the way it is. No-one can change it. I discipline him with love so that he knows right from wrong. There is more crime than ever and there are so many children that run riot. So many parents who are unable to control their children. I don't want my son to end up like that. Both myself and my two sisters were smacked as children we turned out fine. We have never been in any trouble and are well behaved and polite as adults. I'm not convinced that this is totally to do with the discipline we recieved as children but it certainly helped us become the people we are today. I have never questioned my parents right to smack us and I would never question anyone elses right to parent. That doesn't mean that if I see someone hit a child in a way that is excessive or abusive that I won't step in. I firmly believe that there is a line that has to be drawn. Unfortunately it can be a bit grey. A light smack to the hand or bottom is fine. Anything more than that and I would be uncomfortable. That is why although I believe smacking should be allowed I agree that something should be done to set limits to what is acceptable and what isn't.
I have spent the last 4 years being poked, prodded and generally mauled by the medical profession. I have been given so many drugs that I should really rattle. Many of them were ineffective or worse caused side effects that were worse than the problem they were trying to diagnose (then treat). Each time I had to pay. Well not strictly true I had a baby as well in that time so I managed to get some time off the payment lark. However I am now havning to pay again and am now in a worse condition than ever. At the moment I am on prescription painkillers and antidepressants. This means that once a month I am forking out £12 just to be able to get through that month. My specialist is less than useful about helping me in my quest for painrelief and has just told me to take the painkillers. Currently I am just one step from morphine derivatives and I don't want to take them as they are addictive. I have no idea of the long term effects of taking the drugs I am but don't see any other way of keeping myself going on the really bad days. I find £12 a small price to pay for having some quality of life each month. I know that some people cannot pay this money and there are certificates you can get which mean you do not have to pay. Some of the drugs you get from the GP are cheaper than the £6 charge but some are much more expensive. This way we all get charged the same. One day it may be you who needs a more expensive drug. If you want to pay less for your other drugs then will you be willing to pay a higher rate for a more expensive drug? I would rather pay a flat rate whatever I get than have to pay through the nose if I got worse! My life may not be the best in the world but it's mine and I am not going to let the £12 a months stand between me and a life I can lead as opposed to being led by the pain.
Set in the Barle river valley, on the Somerset/Devon border there is a lovely town called Dulverton. It has a town hall, a small selection of shops, a post office, a school (primary and middle) and three pubs. The shops of Dulverton are reasonably basic. They have managed to keep hold of their local shops (butcher, greengrocer and fish and chips!) They have a nice newsagent in the Tantivy. You can get some lovely local ice cream and clotted cream here. They will even post clotted cream for you if you ask, but if you don’t try some while you are here because it is second to none. THE PUBS The Rock Inn A pub frequented by the locals. Though the people behind the bar are welcoming I wouldn’t recommend this pub for outsiders, as the local can seem a little aloof. The Lion The quality and quantity of food you get here is marvellous. The drinks and food in here are reasonably priced for the area. The Lion is also a stunning hotel, the rooms are clean and airy and beautifully set out. The Bridge Again the food is great here. It is slightly cheaper than the Lion but the portions aren’t quite as generous. The drinks are about the same price as in the Lion. I would recommend this pub for families. Dulverton has a great town spirit. This was particularly noticeable when I went there in November to attend my Grandmas funeral. The whole town came together and many of the shops and business’ shut for the half day so that the owners could attend the service. The town does appear to pull together when things go wrong. The shops of Dulverton are reasonably basic. They have managed to keep hold of their local shops (butcher, greengrocer and fish and chips). They have a nice newsagent in the Tantivy. You can get some lovely local ice cream and clotted cream here. They will even post clotted cream for you if you ask. The town leads you straight onto Exmoor National Park (if you go down Lady Street). Mind you, you ought to be careful going down there as the road (like so many others in this part of the world are windy and narrow). If you use Dulverton as a base you can explore the surrounding area at your leisure. There is Tarr Steps which is worth a visit, not only for the walk but to wonder at how they were put there in the first place. Minehead is a great seaside town to go to as it has all the stuff that you traditionally associate with the seaside. I love Dulverton. Maybe in a few years time I will be able to make it my home, but until then I will have to make do with visiting it as often as I can.
My mother always took us into chartiy shops as kids. It started for her when she was pregnant with me. She went in to get some bits and pieces that she just couldn't find anywhere else. I got the bug from her as I could increase my Enid Blyton collection with my pocket money much faster at a charit shop and have even managed to pick up some first editions which are worth a damn site more than I paid for them. As with any shop you can go in for weeks and not find anything worth buying but then a real gem will be there when you go in and it has been worht the patieint that you have shown. These shops need your help. They have all manner of items in them and you can pick them up for silly money. Example, my husband picked up a suit and sports jacket for £6.50, recently purchased a full length beaded wedding veil £19.99 (they would normally set you back the best part of £100). I work in a really messy environment, I play with bitumen emulsion (or you would probably call it tar). It gets everywhere. I don't want to ruin any of my nice clothes yet it gets to hot inside the lab to where the trousers provided (not withstanding the fact that the trousers are designed for a bloke which I most definitely am not). So what do you do? Well if you are me you head straight down to the charity shops and pick yourself up a couple of long flowy skirts for about £2 each. If you spill stuff down them you try to clean it and if it doesn't come off at least you have only lost a couple of quid. For you normal long flowy skirt you would expect to pay around £15, so I can get almost 8 skirts for the price of one. Economical isn't it!! There is nothing wrong insupporting a charity and if you can do this and gain a bargain in the process then what's stopping expect the daft notion that only poor people go into charity shops. My sister used to have that problem and so would wait outside while Mum and I went in. I thought she looked much sill ier outside than in because at least if someone she knew came in then they were in the same boat as her! Charity shops are a great way to help people while helping yourself. When I go through my house I always look at everything I am throwing out and ask myself if someone else could use it. If the answer is yes then I pack it up and take it down to the nearest charity shop! That way I get to give twice and recieve once. That should mean I am doing my bit which is only fair because charity shops have been looking out for things for my all my life!
The NHS has been in decline for many years now but no-one will take any responsability let alone blame for the state that it has got into. I live in Crawley in West Sussex. We have a hospital that was built with the town in the 1950's. It must have been good in it's day but Crawley has grown bigger since it was built and more facilities are needed so what does the health authority do about it, NOTHING!!! Well actually what they did was worse than that, they decided to remove services from Crawley to an already overstreched East Surrey Hosptial in Redhill. Lets give you a bit more of an idea. Crawley has over 100,000 people living in it. The hospital also covers the needs of Horsham (around 100,000) and the surrounding villages. East Surrey covers Redhill, Reigate and Dorking (well over 500,000) people when you include all the villages. Redhill already had A&E waiting times in excess of 4 hours and they wanted to shut Crawleys A&E. The maternity care in Crawley was second to none and they shut it. Unsurprisingly Crawley and Horsham mothers anre now being split between three hospitals to have thier babies (East Surrey, Haywards Heath and Brighton) as East Surrey cannot cope with the increase in births!!! Alarmingly a Crawley lady was rushed to East Surrey to have her baby, then there was no Intensive care bed for the child who was then transferred (with all the risk that entails) to Crawleys special care baby unit. The mother was left at East Surrey as the maternity beds in Crawley are shut. Eventually the mother was allowed to travel but had to stay in East Surrey. Happily the Health Trust has decided not to transfer any more services for the time being though they won't be re-instating the maternity unit in Crawley. My husband was speaking to a nurse yesterday and discovered that there are now plans to shut the maternity unit in Brighton. Are they mad??? Where the hell are the ladyies of Brighton going t o have their babies????? I might like the idea of a National Health Service but we don't appear to have one! Surely we are entitled to the right to have our babies in our own town and not have to dash half way across a county to give birth. Obviuosly they would like us to go back to home births and biting on a stick to get through the pain. We are trying for our second child at the moment and it looks like a home birth is going to be the only option open to us!
Normally associated with the older woman (my mum has had a bottle for years and not worn it much, so I might be a bit out of line with my first statement, but forgive me if I am), I was stunned to be given a bottle by a current boyfriend at the age of 20. However I had always liked the smell so I wasn't not going to wear it. However I didn't get a chance to try it out on that particular boyfriend as he dumped me a month or so later. t sat in my cupboard for a few more months until my 21 birthday. I carefully spayed some onto my pressure points being aware that I didn't need much to smell of it. The scent followed me around all night and it turned a few heads, meanwhile at his house my latest boyfriend was sitting down watching telly (he was liked by parnets so couldn't come out wiht us). The following day at work I saw said boyfriend and he was instantly turned on by the slight scent I had left. He was very aware of the smell that I had lingering on my body and loved it. I found out later just how much he liked the scent. Up to that day I was unaware of just what effect a perfume can have on a man. Opium has a wonderful aroma that is full of eastern promise. It promises so much and can deliver to you and him. You only need a little of the perfume to smell beautiful all night (and even into the next day). I personally would only use it in the evening, but some people do use it during the day. It does have an effect on the older men though younger guys do notice it as well. It is a little on the expensive side but then most perfumes are and as it lasts for years (see openning comment about Mum) it must be value for money!
I have very personal experience of Kleeneze. For 18 month I was involved in this business. It eats up all your time but you can make some money from it, we did. However if something should crop up unexpectedly then things can and do go wrong. Let go back to where it started. I was a couple of months pregnant and we were looking for a way to make a few extra pennies to subsidise the very low maternity pay I was going to get, so we looked around. I answered a seemingly innocent add and got invited for an interview. At this early stage I was happy just to pop the catalogues out and collect orders. We did this and made a little money. Infact we were quite happy with the small income we recieved. Eventually (about two months later) we found that there was a pressure being placed on us to try and get other people involved. We were shown how to "interview" others and how to find these other people. Before long we had a big team on our hands and weren't too sure what to do with them. We were never left to do things on our own as the people above us in the chain had a higher interest in all that we did so we were always pushed by someone else. Then we hit a snag. Were hit the first major target and so did the person below us. We then discovered the small print. When the person below you hits "gold" (the target) you have to have big sales to earn money from them, if you don't you don't get a penny! We had very little money coming in from the effort we were putting in so we decided to give ourselves a break while we both worked hard at our jobs. We were hasseled from above and below so we told them to give us a break. Eventully they got the message but the trouble was just beginning. We were sent ten catalogue pack which we didn't order. Kleeneze froze our account and demanded the money from us, which we were unable to pay. I packed up and returned all the goods to them and then waited for the letters t o stop. They didn't. They said they hadn't recieved the goods. I sent them a copy of the drivers note and the goods return note which the driver had signed. They did an investigstion and said that the delivery company had denied that this driver existed so they were going to take us to court. In desparation I did my own investigation and called that local depot. They said that they hadn't heard from Kleeneze and that they did have a driver of said name who had worked for them for at least 10 years. The man looked through his paperwork and found my consignment number. Armed with this and the knowledge that Kleeneze had recieved the goods that morning and that "name" had signed for the goods I called them back. I gave them all the information I had and then gave them the depot managers name as he had said he would back me up I finally (after three more calls) got the money credited to my account. Not once in all the calls or lettes I recieved later did I get an apology for all the problems they caused me. From this little diversion into my own business I have learnt these hard lessons. Do NOT get involved with multi-level marketing as you have too much to loose. The only ones who make any money are those who have been involved for years and are prepared to tread all over you to get where they want! You can't trust the help desks of anywhere. Sometimes you are lucky and get a truely helpful person but most don't know their arse from their elbow! I am now happily employed and will never get involved in anything like this again! As for the products themselves... well some of them are really good value but if you pay a small amount for it don't expect it to last forever. Also as you can't gaurentee that the agent you see will ever come back as most only last a few months don't hold out much hope for the money back gaurentee.
When I left the hospital after having my little boy I was armed with the new mother pack containing Pampers. A few days later the midwife and myself noticed a nasty nappy rash develoing on my boy bottom. Naturally upset I asked what I should do. She suggested many things involving creams and other funny concoctions but none seemed to work. After a couple of weeks I changed nappies and went for Hugggies. I have had no more nappy rash since. We got through teething and not a sign of a spot. I couldn't believe my luck. I would go for any other nappy now that I have used huggies. When they changed the packaging I was a little thrown as I knew what colour pack I was going for before and didn't have a clue on his size. I'm still not too sure! They make my life easier as I know that I have one less thing to worry about. One criticism I would make is that when you are just starting potty training the training pants are too expensive so you tend to use normal nappies. There is a small problem in that my little on has tried to hold on in the mornings ie he stays dry during the night but if we all get up late then he can't wait and he wets his nappy. The nappy is unable to hold this on-rush of wee and so either it leaks or the nappy explodes leaving lots of gel everywhere. I might add that when this does happen the gel isn't that easy to collect (so if anyone has tips on cleaning it up I would be grateful for them). I like the design on the huggies nappies but if they get wet on the outside they aren't that soft and can cause a nasty sore spot on the legs. Most of the time though they are second to none. I would highly reccommend them to other parents.
When we arrived in this lovely town I was struck by it's beauty. I am glad we chose this gorgeous place for our honeymoon. Of course everytime we told someone where we were going we were greeted by a barage of giggles or a "what an apt name for a honeymoon". Set at the north of the lake district it is surrounded by stunning scenery. Huge hills and deep valleys. Winding roads lead through these hills. The Lakes (Bassenthwaite being the nearest) are just as stunning. There is a calmness about the lakes. Now I know that foot and mouth has effected the area but you wouldn't know it from the number of sheep and cows that were milling around the place. OK there were a few closed paths but the majority of the place was open and we found many lovely walks. In Cockermouth itself there are many places to stay and a lot of places to drink. Obviously the locals like their drink as there are loads of pubs. The best place to go for breakfast has to be Pops Chatanooga (something-or-other). He does a mean cooked breakfast and just up the road there is his pizza place which I would also reccommend. All in all (if you ignore the fact it rained but what did we expect going to a place known for its water) we had a wonderful time. I would give Cockermouth a big fat 10 out of 10 for its town. There is everything you could want. I will certainly be back.
I am getting married on August 4 2001. I am looking forward to my big day with a mixture of delight and apprehension. I am so scared something will go wrong and it will ruin the day. My parents have provided me with a wonderful upbringing where I was one of the minority at school by the fact that my parents were still together. In fact at the end of June they celebrated 25 years of marriage. I know there have been hard times but at every stage they compromised because they made the ultimate commitment. Their love has grown each year and my Dad still remembers the flowers my Mum carried on the wedding day. MY Mother is envied by all her work collegues as Dad remembers her birthday and their anniversary by sending her a bouquet of flowers at work. They are an ideal that I am sure I will find hard to live up to but I have every intention of trying. I was brought up to believe that marriage was for life. I have seen the damage that a divorce can do to a child and I hope my son will never experience that. My fiance is divorced and I know what that did to the family unit. Our marriage isn't accepted by two of his girls but at least one of them will be there for our big day. We have lived together for three years now and have learnt to compromise. I truly believe that if you work at a marriage then you will last. You don't get something for nothing in this world and that includes a lifetime together. I know how much work my parents have put into their marriage and I intend to do the same with mine. I do think that living with someone before you marry is probably a good idea. Marriage is difficult enough without adding the strains of money worries. At least if you have handled the every day problems before you settle down then you have more of a chance. The statistics may be against a couple when they marry but if you go in with your heart and mind open to all the possibilities then you can make it work. When I wa lk down that aisle I will make a promise to my fiance and myself that this is the one and only time I do this.
When I feel pregnant I was very excited. I was going to have a baby. I wanted one so very much that I couldn't believe it was happening. When I got to around 6 months I started suffering from insomnia. The baby would wake up just as I was going to bed a kick me continually all through the night. I was lucky if I got two hours sleep a night for the last trimester of my pregnancy. I worked on the theory that I was getting into practice for the baby. Finally the great day came and I had my little boy. They had given me a shot of pethadin which knocked the baby out so I got my first good nights sleep in months that first night. The second night I was having problems feeding him so he got me up quite a bit. That morning I decided to revert to bottles as I was worried that he hadn't had any milk. I was up most of the third night feeding him as well. So I was very surprised to go to bed at 11pm on the fourth night and not be woken til 7am the following morning. I thought it was a one off but was soon to discover that he just wanted a good nights sleep. The last 18 months we have only had a few broken nights and one of those was with croup. He has a bad night when he is teething and if he has a bad cold. We have been really lucky. However we are due to get married in less than three weeks time and he is starting to play up. On Saturday my partner had his stag night. I knew he was going to spend the night at my parents house so I wasn't worried about that. I tried to put my son down at normal time but he resisted all attempts to get him to bed. He cried a lot and I did the controlled crying thing it just didn't seem to work. His crying didn't change. Eventually (because I was totally shattered and wanted to go to bed sometime soon) I put him in the car and took him for a drive (this was at 12:15am). I drove around for 45 mins. He finally went to sleep and I went home. I got to bed at 1:20am. He woke (scre aming) at 6am. I went into him and he was very distressed. I tried everything to calm him (including clambering into his bed to give him a proper cuddle but in the end we just got up and went downstairs. We snuggled together on the sofa and gradually he calmed down. I don't know what caused the crying but he was very unhappy. The last week or so he has been reluctant to go to bed. I don't think he is having bad dreams as he doesn't tend to wake up in the night it is just difficult getting him down in the first place. His Dad works as a removals man so sometimes spends a night (or two) away from home. He is away Wednesday Thursday this week so I am a little aprehensive of how my son will react. However he has never behaved like this before. I don't know quite what to do. My Mum and partner seem to think it is a phase he will grow out of but can be annoying if we want to spend some time alone, when we have alawys been able to know that the boy will go to bed at a reasonable time. Hopefully it is a phase, as he is supposed to be staying with my parents while we are on honeymoon and I wouldn't want them to have late nights.