Tag Archives: family

have a word with me?

It’s time to check-in and have a quick word with yourself.
I want to know: what type of person are you? πŸ€”

If one of your friends was in trouble, are you the kind of person that would do everything you could to help them out of trouble?

Are you a dog lover?

Woof this is Moo, Moo this is Woof

If you saw someone hurting a person or animal in the street, would you step in and stand up for them?

Do you like funny cat videos, and make aww noises between laughs?

what are they looking at?

If you saw an injured animal in the street, would you go out of your way to take it into a vet?

When was the last time you helped out a complete stranger because there are just too many assholes in the world and you don’t wana be one of them?

race for life

When was the last time you did something that did not serve your own interests?

Two years ago, I had a word with myself. Or rather, a few Vegans had a word with me. I was slammed with shock and went on a fear-filled guilt trip.

😱 the animals, the environment – omg I must help save the planet!!!

well, this is rubbish 😏

I decided to stop eating meat. In fact, I didn’t stop there. I decided to quit fish and cheese and eggs. FULL VEGAN.

And while I’m at it, I’m going to chuck the fags in an’ all.

And the recycling, I must get on top of the recycling too!

Oh and I definitely need all new Cruelty Free Make-Up and Household Products…

Oh I never felt more alive. I had such purpose! I finally had a reason to –

Oh who was I kidding.

I was smoking again within a week and eating the odd McDonald’s by month six 😢
Eventually, a year in, I found myself eating animals again πŸ˜–

I made excuses about it because I didn’t buy meat from a shop, and only ate it when I went out.

…Unless I was cooking for friends that came over.

…Or I was looking after my Niece πŸ‘€

…Or getting takeaway πŸ™ˆ

Yeah, I failed miserably πŸ˜”

The change was too fast and I had no idea how to make food that satiated me; most meals felt like they were missing something. Alternatives like Quorn were great and I love their sausages and chicken nuggets (which are better than McDonald’s in my opinion 😌). But what was I gonna do, live on Quorn? I think not.

this is delightful, thanks Karen, I’ll have a tea if it’s not too much trouble

Ok, so I did finally quit smoking, almost everything I buy is Cruelty Free and I’d say I’m one of the top recyclers in Hull – but even if the meals I had at home were Vegetarian it wasn’t good enough and I lived in blissful ignorance with my ‘buts, ifs and maybe’ excuses.

Something happened though; I heard a sound-clip of Pigs screaming in a Slaughterhouse as they were gassed…

the coldest bed

It made me cry. Not just a little bit, but I actually sobbed myself to sleep. It made me take the time to think about it. I mean really, really think about what I was doing and what I was part of.

There were my cats, (all four of them) rolling about on the bed, snuggling up for cuddles as I cried and cried and faced the real truth of what happens every day to millions of animal babies. Every animal has the potential to be a pet, a member of your family… could you cope if you imagined your cat or dog was treated the same way we treat pigs and chickens and cows?

catch me if you can hoo-man

Well, that was two months ago and I haven’t eaten an animal since, no matter where I’ve been or who has been at my house. It’s a bit slower than before. I’m still eating Fish, Cheese and Eggs and I don’t feel like my meals miss anything anymore (maybe because I’m still eating Fish, Cheese and Eggs πŸ™ˆ). I don’t eat them everyday and the plan is to finish the Fish I have in my freezer and then I’m going to let go of Cheese and Eggs. It’s like the past few years have been a bit of prep’. I’ve gotten used to eating meat-free meals (despite all the times I didn’t). In all honesty there were a lot of times I couldn’t face meat, but sometimes the cravings would just take over – and I was weak.

giza kizz Dad

So if you are thinking of making the change, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make it first time round. Most of us are brainwashed from being children to think that this is ok. We don’t often see the consequences of our actions, or worse, we choose to ignore them when we do. I expect only a few people will have made it this far into the post once they realised what it was about – it’s easier to stop reading than to have a word with yourself.

So, well done for making it through, it’s almost over, and with a challenge no less.

thirsty and frightened

If you aren’t going to make the change, have no intention of trying a meat-free diet then I challenge you to eat your pork or chicken or beef meal while you watch a video of caged animals walk to slaughter << Click here, just before you tuck in.

That is the challenge. If you can face it, acknowledge it and still swallow your food then you have a stronger stomach than me.

born to die

If you can’t swallow, if you can’t make it through the video or even your meal, then maybe you just opened a door. Maybe you will make a different decision next time you go shopping? Maybe you will try Cottage Pie a different way? Or, learn how to make a new Taco Tuesday fave? Maybe, just maybe you will think twice before you pick up that cellophane wrapped animal.

i could get used to this

Everyday we make choices about the type of person we are, but do we ask ourselves if they are good choices? Everytime you ignore pain and suffering you are making a decision about who that person is. Nobody is perfect, but there’s no harm in trying everyday to be better. I don’t know who said it but this is one of my favourite sayings is this:

It isn’t about one person doing it perfectly a thousands of times; there just need thousands of people trying to do it – only then, will there be change. So please, have a word with yourself.

forehead kisses are my favourite

If you want to learn more, here are a few links to some informational sites:

Kinder World

The Vegetarian Society UK

The Vegan Society

Peta

spice girls: part 1

Eight years old.

That’s how old I was when Spice World, the Spice Girls movie came out in 1997.

Spice World: the movie 1997

I remember knowing every single dance move and every word of every song. I had their official Spice Fever cheap bubble bomber jacket that I wore until there were big tears with fluff coming out.

Let’s just say, like millions of other young Girls, my sister and I thought we were real Mini-Spices!

To many of us Generation Y kids, they were the original Girl Band. Baby, Ginger, Posh, Scary and Sporty – a girl for almost every personality. Good or Bad – thousands of us Loved It.

Imagine my excitement when my Dad’s Girlfriend messaged me and my sister to say she was dragging us both, with her friend, to see Spice Girls on my 30th birthday (courtesy of Dad’s bank account – thank you, Dad).

Geri, Mel C, Emma, Mel B

The date was June 4th. The place was Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

No expense would be spared. This was the concert of our lives. There were going to be t-shirts, dress-ups, playlists and poses!!!

On the lead up to an event we had been waiting for months, we made so many plans for the day, it had to be just right.

So naturally, when it came to the actual day, a LOT of things went wrong.

THIRTY

I had been lucky enough to have a birthday party planned by my friends on the 1st of June. It was Festival themed – with tents, music, a BBQ and acrobatics in the grass. Despite my friend Amber, spraying us all down numerous times with bug repellent, I was bitten by some cheeky little nipper on my foot.

Nevermind, one bite is annoying, but manageable, ay? Hahahaa, nope!

As midnight rolled over and the 3rd of June became the 4th (my birthday), I was on the phone to emergency doctors worried I may need my foot amputating. Of course, I was being dramatic but I did have a bad infection and I spent the early hours of the morning seeing a GP who had to prescribe me with antibiotics (for a brief moment I was devastated until he advised me that alcohol was not a problem with this particular brand – what a win).

Off I went, hobbling home in pain, now dreading the concert I had looked forward to for the most part of the year.

I flopped into bed gobbling down my first Antibiotic, and with a cold flannel on my poorly, bright red and purple throbbing balloon ankle I tried to sleep.

When I woke up a few hours later I threw back my covers in a panic because I could still feel the ache. Although it still looked like I’d been bitten by zombie, my leg was a lot less swollen. Thank God, I thought.

Keep your leg up, everyone said – and ohhh did intend to. There was a two and a half hour journey to Coventry – plenty of resting time.

From a mixture of road-rage, stress and headaches I’d given up my car over a year ago, but I could still bomb about in my Dad’s if I needed to. On this occasion though, Dad’s girlfriend, Sam had opted to drive so I looked forward to keeping my leg firmly rested on the back seat

We all planned to meet at my Dad’s house, so at 9.30am my sister picked me up with my bags.

I was surprised to walk through the door and see banners, balloons, party poppers, a cake, cards, presents, a breakfast banquet and everyone lined up shouting Happy Birthday.

I was immediately happier. The ache in my foot was fading away and being replaced by excited squeals.

So, let me introduce you to the Spice Girls from Hull. There was me, I was Sporty Spice. Alex (my sister) was Scary Spice. Sam (Dad’s Girlfriend) was Baby spice. Kate (Sam’s bestie) was Ginger Spice (Posh spice wasn’t doing the tour so we weren’t too bothered about finding our 5th traitor Spice).

After a photo shoot by Dad (a real photographer), we had our t-shirts on and our bags packed – the car loaded up and Spice Girls CD at the ready; so it was time to get on the road.

– oh, er after we went to Asda… Oh, and then the petrol station… Oh, and back home for the SatNav…

That was it, really…

…but just as I got my poorly leg sprawled out on the back seat (over my sister’s legs) -“Oh no”, shouts Sam, as we set off for the 3rd time, “I haven’t taxed my car”. We all look at each other.

“I’m on it”, shouts Alex, “what’s your Reg Number?”

They to-and-fro questions and answers as Alex tries to make the transaction on her phone.

“Unable to complete- MOT Out of Date. Sam, when is your MOT due?” Says Alex.

“Whaaaaat?” Squeals Sam. “Not for, like, another month. Let me call your Dad.”

At this point we are only approaching the town centre and not too far away from home.

“Dean, we can’t tax my car it says the MOT is out of date”

“Whaaaaat?” He laughs down the speaker phone. “Hang on, let me have a look.” There’s a pause, some scrambling and paper-shuffling noises at the other side of the line — “Sam, it ran out yesterday.”

“Saaaaam” Me, Kate and Alex shout in unison.

Sam let’s out a nervous giggle and a much quieter “Oh No”. We all see her look about the car and realise she needs to pull over.

“Dad, I shout from the back, can you get your car to us on St Andrews Quay? We will pull over there. You can take Sam’s car home and we will take yours.”

“Going to have to, aren’t I”, he chuckles.

The phone clicks off. There’s a silence before we all burst out laughing and start ribbing Sam.

“I can’t believe it, I thought it was next month”, obviously a bit shocked, she then says, “erm, I can’t drive your Dad’s car though”. Before anyone can get anymore concerned about the situation –

“Don’t worry I love that little Golf”, I pipe up, “it’s a right go-er, I’ll do it.”

“What about your leg though?!” She says, a little worried.

We turn into the car park of the Quay.

“It’ll be fine, I’ll only be using it to accelerate, if it gets bad, you might have to bite the bullet – but Kate and Alex can both drive too. We’ll be fine.”

Thirty minutes pass and my little brother rolls into the car park.

“Yayyyy,” we all cheer, “Thanks Ben.”

We repack the cars, going from a 2006 Ford Fusion 1.6 TdCi to a 2006 Golf 2 Litre SDI 60mpg car in a few minutes. We weren’t messing about.

I strap myself in, adjust the mirrors, make the seat low and get into gear.

We tear out the car park before Sam shouts again, “Oh no, WE LEFT THE CD IN THE OTHER CAR!”

More laughs!!

“Let’s just get there shall we”, Kate and Alex shout.

to be continued…

tails from my cat-fam: Patch

It is no secret how much I love my cat-fam. Hugo, Patch, Jessie & Batcat.

The Cat-Fam

I’m so boring when it comes to my cats and I can almost feel everyone’s eyes roll into the backs of their heads when I start to tell yet another story about them. If I work with you, if you’re my friend, neighbour or family, or a stranger in the street, you will hear me talk about at least one of my four cats during an encounter.

This one is about Patch.

I used to have a beautiful black cat called Scarlet but she took it upon herself to leave me and I never saw her again 😦

She just never came home.

Since then, I have been dreading the day that I notice I’m a cat down.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my cute but scraggly Batcat, had her momentous achievement of getting into the house through the cat-flap (it had been months of trying to coax, cajole and con her to use it). Since then, not only does she come in, but she goes out too; she’s a fully fledged cat-flapper-cat.

Alas, a few days after the cat-flap breakthrough, Patch decided that the day had come to put me through the same trauma as Scarlet.

Although Patch is one of my more aloof Kitties and only comes to have the odd bit of attention when no other cat is about,  I  can always rely on her come meet me in the street when I home from a night-shift..

On the fateful morning of April 12th I didn’t get my usual fussy Hello.

A little worried, but also aware of my tendency to over-react, I went to bed knowing I would be up in an hour or two for my new KCom Lightstream upgrade, (that’s fibre broadband to you non-Hull natives) and she would probably be home by then.

Less than two hours later I was awakened by my horrifcally loud door-bell and two very polite, smiling (& strapping) KCom engineers.

“In there fella’s,” I directed them to the living room at the back of the house, “help yourselves”. I stuck my head out of the front garden gate and gave a short whistle for Patch. Nope, still no sign (“don’t over-react, don’t over-react, don’t over-react”).

After a few trips in and out of the back garden, the odd whirring of drilling and stapling of wires, they were done “Bye, Love” they say, and they were off.

Still, in the hours to come, there was no sign of my fur-baby Patch. Thoughts of all the horror stories I had ever heard were beginning to race through my mind and by tea-time I had resided myself to the fact that she wasn’t coming home or she was cold, injured and hiding – alone and frightened somewhere.

I went out several times into the night looking for her. Every moment that passed only convinced me more that she was gone for good.

By the next day I had over 50 shares on a Facebook post, had driven about Hull with my sister following up on any dead cat sightings people posted about and replied to several comments and messages from well wishers and cat lovers alike providing me with comforting advice (which surprisingly enough, actually was comforting).

"She may have been spooked and is hiding until it's safe to come back"
"She may have just gone exploring, Cats do this from time to time"
cat post
"Mine was missing a whole two weeks before she came back, I  know what you're going through, try not to get too upset at this point"

Other comments included advice about when was best to go and look for her and different ways to lure her back.

It was a horrible day at work, I was worrying the whole time. It was so nice to hear from people and what their experiences had been. I was trying to convince myself that this was a normal thing that could happen and maybe I shouldn’t bee too worried at this point; it had only been a day (this was not me over-reacting by the way).

By the end of the day, one of my posts had racked up nearly 80 shares. That may not seem a big deal to some people but to me I was so grateful that there was a whole 80 people that wanted to help me out.

It was a late finish from work and it wasn’t until 11:30pm that I rocked up at home with a frog in my throat when I realised for a second day that she wasn’t home. All the comments and well wishing that had kept me calm through the day didn’t seem to mean much when I didn’t see her trot up to me in the street.

It was a little after midnight when I went back out shaking my treats, with no real expectation of seeing Patch… but who comes trotting around the corner like nothing had happened?

None other than Mohammed Ali… haha – kidding, it was my little fluff-ball, Patch.

2019-05-22 (5)

Of course I spent the next 20 minutes sobbing uncontrollable tears of joy and Patch did nothing but try and wriggle free wondering why I was being so clingy.

She hasn’t done it since. In fact, in the last few weeks since she has even taken to sleeping upstairs with the rest of the cat-fam. I aren’t complaining.