Tag Archives: family

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.