Happy Birthday

No, its not my birthday, I’ve had enough of them in the past. More about birthdays later.


Michelle doesn’t work Thursday mornings, so we had a morning together. It was spent with us going for a 4-5 mile walk round Horsley and up into the surrounding countryside towards Hadrian’s Wall. I always marvel at having Hadrian’s Wall so close to Michelle’s home.

I can’t recall the last time I walked so far other than sightseeing or on a pub crawl! Still it meant I got to see Michelle in lycra leggings – and to think she thought I was struggling to keep up with her and that was the reason I was walking behind her.

The weather was great for walking. We will have to do this again soon. Yes, eating healthy salads, walking etc. I’m clearly getting old. Don’t worry though Michelle has ensured I undo all the good work by keeping my wine glass topped up all week.

Michelle had to go to work on Thursday afternoon unfortunately, so I took the dogs out for a walk. Yes, 2 walks in a day! I then visited a friend to drop off some video clips and went out shopping to buy a final item for my son Tom’s birthday.


Sadly Michelle was at work all day today. I did offer to ring in sick for her, but sadly she was sensible and went to work. She did leave me a list of chores so I spent the day:

  • cleaning the patio – bloody dogs
  • sorting out her washing – despite her threatening my life if I brought any of my dirty  washing from the USA trip to her house
  • vacuuming the house
  • making the beds
  • doing the washing up
  • going shopping
  • walking the dogs

After doing all that lot, I only just had enough time to watch The Jeremy Kyle Show, Loose Women and Judge Judy! I tell you this housework is never ending.

Friday night, Michelle and Josh were off to Solway Holiday Village for the weekend as Josh was playing for Ryton in an end of season football tournament. This meant that I was left at her home alone for the night. I could have driven home, but I was due in Rothwell near Kettering on Saturday as it was Tom’s 18th birthday. So, I spent Friday night with Michelle’s dogs. They were a little thrown by the fact that I was there, but Michelle & Josh weren’t there.

I could have spent the night drinking wine, except Michelle had left a bottle with one glass of wine left in the fridge & took the remaining eight bottles with her to the holiday village!  Oh well, I suppose I can’t really complain as she bought the wine.


Today was Tom’s 18th birthday. Can’t believe I have an 18 year old child offspring. So today, I was was meeting Louise, my ex-wife and going out with her, Tom and Louise’s partner Steve for a meal in Kettering.

I set off to drive down to Kettering and had arranged to meet my parents for a spot of lunch in Sainsbury’s in Bishop Auckland. I managed to turn up 30 minutes late, and its only 40 miles from Michelle’s to Bishop Auckland! I have to say it wasn’t my fault. I drove down the A68, a single carriageway road which is difficult for overtaking and got stuck behind:

  • A Sunday driver (on a Saturday!) who was apparently unable to go above 30 mph even in a 60 mph zone; then when he turned off
  • An HGV carrying heavy plant machinery; then
  • 2 vehicles towing horseboxes at different points on the road
  • Another Sunday drive who read the 40 mph speed limits as 20 mph and was determined not to risk accidentally exceeding the limit
  • A slow moving white van man – I know its hard to believe & if I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have believed it

It was good to meet up with my parents. Shame it was such a brief meeting. The next time I’m in the North East, they are away on holiday.

I eventually got down to Rothwell to see Tom. I gave him his birthday card and presents. It turns out I gave him the same card as Louise did ( and my parents gave him the same card when they saw him on Sunday). Then it was out for a meal with Tom, Louise & Steve.

After the meal, Tom & I went for a pint with his friends & he had his 1st legal pint.


I then headed back to London as Tom was heading for a nightclub in Kettering. Seems I’d cramp his style if I came along! (PS the time on the photo is 5 hours out- I’ve forgotten to adjust my camera since I got back from the USA)


A day of rest. Apart from a bit of food shopping, I did very little and enjoyed it. I managed to unpack my bags from America and put on some washing, but not much else.


Today was the 2nd birthday function of the weekend. I was invited by a friend to the 1st birthday party for his little one. The function was at a Hotel @ Chessington World of Adventures. It was a really good do. It was good to meet up with an old friend and spend sometime chatting with his relatives whom I’ve not seen since his wedding some years ago.

As well as a fantastic spread for a buffet lunch, Kevin paid for drinks for everyone- shame I was driving. The zoo staff at Chessington had been asked to bring over some of the animals, so there was a chance to discuss insurance with the Meerkat, See a parrot performing tricks and finally see a ferret – not putting them down my trousers though.

Kevin had even thought to hire the Wii room for the kids to play in. All in all, a great function and you should be thanked for such a good day Kevin.

This evening, I got to speak to Michelle at length for the first time this weekend. I did say at length didn’t I? I get free phone calls up to an hour in length, so I had to call back more than once. Quite how we can chat for so long and who steals the time I do not know. It sounds like her weekend was more eventful than mine. She handles delicate situations better than my sledgehammer approach.

Finally, on a football note, Swansea City won promotion to the Premiership today. I need to just advise all those Mackems that a trip to Swansea does not count as a European game.