Do Do Dave and Na Na Nicky

So Dave has made the headlines for getting caught humming.

Oh the joy.  The joy of knowing that there is someone out there with my habit.

Music Notes. David Cameron. Humming

Ok – so I don’t have the luxury of a microphone at these times, nor a stage in Downing Street.

But hum I do.

The good news for you Dave is that I can identify with this one.

Bloody hell that must feel good.

I’ve got your back on this one.  I know that there are humming times.

Times that can only be approached with a hum.

And not just any old hum either.

It’s been a rough few weeks and whichever side we are on (and there are quite a lot of them), I’m sure you will agree that you’ve had easier times.

But back to this humming thing though, can you believe that I do it too!!

The annoying thing being that I often don’t realise I am doing it.  I believe this is how you got caught out.  Mine is not a tuneful hum either.  It’s the hum to whatever I may be doing at the time.  A dull, monotonous hum.  A working hum.  A hum that drives anyone around me completely insane.  Particularly Iron Man.

Can you bloody well believe that ye and me have something in common though?!

There will be others too Dave.  People come out of the woodwork at times like this.  A bit like when you buy a new car and suddenly every bugger has got one.  There must be a name for that.

Talking of names, some interesting ones in the new cabinet.  This must be like office gossip at its finest.

Obviously you don’t know me (but I know you) – now that must be kind of weird.  It’s less weird if you are on Facebook and Twitter though because you can be friends with people that you don’t really know. You can follow people too.

That’s known as stalking anywhere else but on Twitter, you can fill your boots.

Also, Facebook suggests people you might like to be friends with and I’m just thinking that would probably have been the case for us.   Certainly several reasons for an association.

Because I just see more and more things we have in common.

You are of course about to move and that’s a big upheaval.

You probably won’t have had a chance to read about my loft conversion (understandable) but we are about to go through a similar upheaval.

Actually if you do get a chance, can you have a look and see what you think of the bathroom idea.

I’m guessing that you also live in an older style house and I just wondered what your views were on the high flush cistern?

Maybe run it by Sam and whilst you are about it, ask her if she’s finding she is starting to get hot flushes too.  We are similar in age.

I could go on, there is a rich vein here.

But what I’d really would love to know though is what you think about the new cabinet appointments.  You’ve obviously not always seen eye to eye with Teresa in the past but I’m guessing that you are able to take an objective view. A bit like we all try to.

I know I wouldn’t have wanted to be in her leopard print kitten heel shoes over the last few days.

I don’t suppose she would have wanted to be in ours either.

Boris was a surprise though.

I’ve never really been a fan.  Of course I’d never be rude or pass up an opportunity for a photo though.  Especially if he’s going to hang out in our area.

And talking of Boris, I hear he is going to have to share a home.

That’s really unfortunate – but do not and I repeat DO NOT let on that we will have a spare room soon.

It won’t work.  Not with the snoring.  I really need to know that I have your trust on this one.

But anyway,  back to the microphone thing.

Most of us you’ll find generally use one for Karaoke rather than for our day to day business.  And oh you should see me at Karaoke.  Forget the humming – I’d see you off the stage before you could say I’ve had the time of my life.

And talking of having the time of your life, I’m guessing your kids are breaking up soon, like mine.

I suppose you will be around a bit more this summer.  I will too. You will be muscling in on the many day trips with Sam and the children to all the local sights and parks.  Your picnic hamper will be so used to going out that your bread rolls will be lining up at the door with their coats on.

Believe me when I tell you that you will not want to see another sandwich until Christmas evening.  Neither will you ever want to eat Pizza & Chips from a polystyrene plate with a plastic spoon in a canteen ever again.

Oh and don’t forget the 2 for 1 offers on the Rice Krispies.  They will certainly save you a few bob.

I’m guessing some of your children are similar in age to my daughter.  Tweenage.  I find I have to work a bit harder on the entertainment front these days.   As in, I’m not very entertaining.  Well I am – but just not to The Kid.

Anyhow don’t get too carried away though because that’s probably where the similarity stops.

I mean it’s not all of us that get our ditty turned into a rendition of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony on Classic FM is it.

I know this to be true because my sister-in-law told me.  She also knows you.  And she listens to Classic FM.

What luck you have!  Not that I’m jealous or anything.


Thought not!

See you at the park then.

I’ll be humming away.




We’ve Turned Into A Nation Of Shouters

I am sure that I am not the only one that will be glad when today is over.

You may remember back in April I wrote about feeling the need to understand more about the implications of  voting In or Out.  Where I held up my hands to feeling a lack of knowledge in the area of politics and my desire to learn more about hard facts in order to make an informed decision.

Funnily enough, and not surprisingly, I feel no further forward with that.  I am sure many others feel the same.

As an adult, there are still many things I wish to know.  About everything.  Lifelong learning is my passion.  I love to listen to others.  There is always something new to learn if you are quiet for long enough.

Quiet is something that has been lacking during this Referendum campaign.

Facebook, it seems, has become the medium through which to share our views on the Referendum and I am sure we can all name a few people that have really got on our nerves during this campaign.  I mean really got on our nerves.    Nail your colours to the mast by all means but then just, well – just shut up.    We get which way you are voting.  Some of us may have felt a little envy that you reached a decision before us – but we applaud that.  We don’t then need you to share every piece of evidence that you have read to inform your view.  We do not need you to convince us of your decision.  Or are you still convincing yourself?  I wonder.

The Polling Stations are open.  Go exercise your right.  I shall be.

Equally, there are those that we are always interested to hear from.  Those that will always have a learned opinion.  They can debate from a reasoned perspective, they can talk about your views and their own without breaking into a sweat.  We are interested in how these people are voting.   They are interested in us too.  We trust these people and value their views.  They will value ours.  Whether or not we agree.  We don’t hear too much from them at time likes this.  Their less is generally more.

My question today though is who has had the backs of the children over the last few months.

The future generation.

The very people for whom we are claiming to vote.

The very essence of why we are voting the way we are.

Has anyone checked in to see their thoughts or how they are voting?

Children are like sponges.  They are also very easily influenced.  Children will generally be the voice of their parents.  I was.  You probably were too.  I have been keen to avoid this for my daughter, particularly as she grows into a young lady.

I am really appreciative that our school has had a mock Election for the children and that they have encouraged them to share their views if they want to.  I worked in a childcare business where this happened too.   It is great fun for the children, it raises their awareness of current affairs and encourages them to explore opinion.  They start to think about their own opinion, that they have one, and that others do too.  They will also learn that it is perfectly acceptable to have a different opinion to their friends.  I applaud schools for doing this.  And it’s just as well that they have really.

Because our future generation have been exposed to rather a lot of ‘shouters’ over the last few months.

They have been privy to seeing a level of unprecedented vitriol in this campaign.  Where politicians and leading figures – male and female, are using their fists to articulate their points.  Words like ‘fear’ and ‘hate’ have been bandied around so much they have gained hashtags.  A further example of the lack of eloquence from those in whom we have to place our trust.

What a wonderful example being set for the very group of people that we are claiming to be doing this for.

Debate is healthy.   It can also be animated.   Our children need to know that it is perfectly acceptable to have an opinion.  We call this democracy.

Our curriculum allows our children access to learn about historical political events which have shaped the way we are today.  Children are encouraged to share, to raise their hand, to join in.

Not raising their hand can be indicative of a child’s uncertainty of what others may think.  The fear of being laughed at or ‘turned upon’.

And then they see a bunch of enraged adults intent on humiliating each other by way of an example.

We cannot provide them with these tools in one hand and then take them away with the other.

There is no learning to be gained from that.

However you are voting today, I truly hope that that the result goes the way the way that you wish.

We are all doing our bit in the best way we can by turning up at the Polling Station today.

But let’s go back to being a nation that we are proud of tomorrow.

This is something that we have always done so well.








Going With The Flow

“The first rule of menstruation etiquette is you don’t talk about menstruation, particularly to men. If you must discuss your period you do so quietly and euphemistically.”

1950s woman

You may be forgiven for thinking that this is a charming little extract from a 1950s Ladies Housekeeping Guide.

I did.

It’s actually from The Guardian website on 17 May 2016.


A friend brought it to my attention after a broadly similar discussion we had this morning.

Not very ‘right on’ if you ask me.

“The biggest breach of menstrual etiquette, however, is leaking in public.”

It then goes on to review a device which “saves women from their unpredictable uteri”.

“a girl’s worst nightmare of having blood leak through her new white pants”.

The Bluetooth wearable device that lets you know, via a mobile app, when to change.

The language used in this review has left me questioning which century we are living in.

Regular readers will remember that I have acknowledged in a previous blog that ‘women’s matters’ were very much private during my own upbringing.

That my father living in a house with four menstruating women in the 1970’s was probably torture for a man of his generation.

That was 40 years ago though.

1950s housewife

Today things are very different

Equally, I’m all for embracing technology and entrepreneurship and as a woman, any solution or improvement to current available ‘arrangements’ are always welcome.

But this?

Whilst I agree that this does happen to women all the time, there is generally a reprieve of some kind in what we are wearing and our ability to find a quick short term solution.

Of course it happens.

But there is generally some kind of indication.

Surely as women, this is something that we can pretty much judge.

And I do talk from experience in saying this.

Do we really need an App to tell us what we already know.

Having said that, in all my 40+ years, I have never seen anyone with a ‘blob’ accident that has not been aware of it.

And I think it’s also safe to say that most of us probably don’t wear our new white pants at these times.

This is probably about as welcome as being told we could ‘roller-skate’ safely with our period back in the 1970s by a certain sanitary wear brand.

All this while I’m still waiting for my hair to bounce when I carry a surf board.


It’s not going to happen.

But you know what ladies  – I think we’ve got this.

We’ve managed, we’ve coped, we’ve got on with it.

Yes we’ve had to shove our tampons up our sleeves to go to the bathroom or take the bag but I don’t see that changing any time soon.

So where next?

A ‘Poop Snoop’ that tells us when to expect the next bowel movement?

Watch this space.

Do you agree that we have got this one covered?




Under ‘My’ Umbrella

Umbrella. Queen's UmbrellaSo I see on the news today that poor Liz has come a cropper when muttering under her brolly.

It would seem that said brolly amplifies sound and HRH was overhead saying something she shouldn’t have and it’s all over the Press.

Don’t you just hate it when that happens.

I have to say I’m a bit miffed that Her Maj has copied my choice of brolly.

I clearly had mine first.

And, I know this for a fact.  Simply because it didn’t come in pink.

Not of course that I’m bitter about that as I would only ever have chosen a neutral colour.

None of this matching umbrellas to outfits and all that.  Or to one outfit – bit frivolous – eh Liz!

But hey, a little frivolity keeps the economy moving so who am I to judge.

Spot on with the pink outfit though.  You’ve certainly still got it.

It’s always lovely to see you in bright colours

More importantly thought, Queenie – I want to say thank you to you for taking it for the team!


Because who knew the sound amplified under our brollies while we were trying to keep our little hair-do’s from going frizzy.

Many an innocent carrier could have been gossiping to their heart’s content, blissfully unaware that they could be clearly heard by bystanders.

You’ve given us all a heads up on that one and probably saved a few friendships and embarrassing conversations along the way.

And so you see Liz, when I think about it,  we’ve actually got more in common than I first thought.

I sat and watched your family on your birthday sharing your cine tape memories – along with many others, I’m guessing.

It was a little bit like a posh gogglebox.

Us watching you, watching you.


The thing was though Liz, what we saw was a family just like ours..

I’m not talking about the house or anything and obviously not the money  but I sat on my sofa with tears rolling down my cheeks.

And I’m sure I wasn’t alone.

You see every family across the world would have done that self same thing at some point or another.

Sat down with their elders or youngers and watched cine or video memories.

And cried.

To see your grandsons, William & Harry, give an Ant & Dec style commentary on what they were seeing reminded of my two nephews doing the same thing with their nan.

And of my own daughter and niece with their nana

Blue Giraffe

Then came the toys.

The blue giraffe that William and Harry remember from their own childhood.

The same blue giraffe that is also a part of their children’s lives too.

We all have that toy.  Not your giraffe of course, but the toy that has passed through the generations that every child has played with.

Again, I’m guessing you are a bit like me and you don’t like to throw things away.

A bit sentimental.

We all are.

And I have to say that you have nailed it this time.

Crown Jewels. Queen.

There were many years where we couldn’t relate to you and your way of life and we were very critical of you being out of touch.

I guess the turning point really came when the boys lost their mother.

The public backlash was unforgiving.

Nobody wanted a remote Sovereign anymore, we wanted you to be more like us.

Enough was enough.  Such difficult times.

Yet over recent years you have shown us a different side.

And then you opened your home and allowed the world to share your very private moments.

You have shown us that all along you were doing the same things that we did.

The men played on the beach and rolled their trousers up just like our fathers did.

The Uncles chased the children until they shrieked.  Just like ours did.

And of course there was always the joker that tormented everyone.

Every family has one.

You have done something quite wonderful and shown that it doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from.

Everyone has a blue giraffe.

Happy Birthday Your Majesty!



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In Out, In Out, Shake It All About


So the long awaited official campaign for the EU Referendum has begun.

We have the Vote Leave and the Britain Stronger in Europe parties representing each side.

Up until now, it has been difficult to gather the ‘hard and fast’ facts from which to make our decisions.

We have been presented with biased views and ‘political bufoonary’ from individuals that are intent on point scoring for their respective parties.

It would be an understatement to say that the referendum comes at a time of much disillusion around the political system.

A time of uncertainty and concern that there is ‘no safe pair of hands’.sleep-1027884_640

The bigger uncertainty however lies in our decision making and the way the polls go on 23 June.

This is big, scary grown-up stuff – right?  A big decision we are making.  For us and for the future generation.

This knocks GE2015 into touch.

I’m not sure we can change our mind after 5 years if it doesn’t do what it said on the tin.

It can also be hard to approach writing about things such as this when others appear to be so much more learned.

So, I’m holding up my hand and saying that there is a hell of a lot I don’t know.

There is also a hell of a lot I want to know and learn over the next few months.

Of course there are a few pertinent points around which to hang a decision and many will take this route.

It would be very easy to follow suit here but my concern here is the rest of the implications.  Those that individually and collectively, we may know less about.  There are so many facets to each choice.

We can listen to very persuasive interviews and feel slightly more fired up towards a particularly stance, only to be swayed again when an opposing viewpoint is given.

I am too young to remember life before the EU or whether that is relevant in any way to form a decision now given the changing landscape of our world.

I’m also taking a leap of faith in thinking that there are others that can identify with all of the above.


I have become more interested in politics in recent years and have listened, learned and read as much as I possibly can.

I guess it comes from being more comfortable around your own decision making and views.

Nothwithstanding this, I do still feel a lack and I wish to learn more.  This is for no other reason than the desire to own my vote.

When you are a child growing up, you tend to be influenced by the political views of your parents.

I can remember spending many lessons in a cold corridor in secondary school for sharing my fathers views and thoughts on the world with my very politically charged English teacher.

They clearly held very different political views and I, of course, had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

As we move on some 30 odd years, the world is indeed a very different place.  Many of my fathers views would no longer be relevant now.  I often wonder how his political stance would have changed over the years.

It is at times like this when I look to those more learned and ask their advice.

meeting-1015313_640Unfortunately, all of those people are pretty much in the same boat as I am right now.  They are also unsure.

Perhaps naively, I was hoping for clarity to drop through the post in the form of the government missive.  I was disappointed.

Views vary also cross political parties and whilst the main parties are encouraging a ‘remain’ vote, none of the parties are necessarily united in their stance.

We are now seeing those in the political arena come together to collaborate irrespective of their parties.

It is going to be an interesting few months where I imagine we are going to see the most unlikely alliances standing together on one stage.

And it’s not just here either.  Everyone is getting involved.  ‘Our global influence is at risk if we leave’.  Nothing finer than that statement to cause a knee jerk reaction.


And the celebs are having a say too.  Bring it on if it’s going to bring clarity for us.

It’s difficult not to feel manipulated in one way or another.

Several agendas at play here.

Not much we can do about that though.

My main point here is that I don’t want to be a ‘fear’ voter.

A voter that gets scared off from embracing something that will mean change – particularly if such a change is for the greater good – whether that be ‘in’ or ‘out’ simply through lack of understanding.

It’s very difficult to make a decision that interferes with what we know as the norm.

What we need to avoid is a nation becoming so afraid of walking into the unknown that they react with a knee jerk vote.

Of course everyone outside Britain knows what we should do and they are telling us too.

Understandable that everyone should be looking after their own interests.

But the agenda of others is not ours.

There is nothing democratic about that.  It makes a mockery of our system.

I really want to own my vote and be confident that I have made the right choice.browse-1019916_640

For me that’s going to mean a lot of reading and a lot of learning and a lot of questions.  I also love a good discussion and debate on things such as this.  So if anyone wants to share their confusion or has read any useful pieces to share that have helped them, please do comment.

What are you doing to help inform your decision?

Perhaps you have already made one.

Have you found it easy or are you, like me, still ploughing through the facts?

Either way I’m sure you’ll agree that there are interesting times ahead.


The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback


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A Week In My Inbox


I think my name has come up in the National Email Lottery this week.

I have won the Junk Mail Jackpot.

It’s fairly true to say that we all get a lot of rubbish in our inbox.  Mine tends to go straight to trash.  I’m sure yours does too.

Several have caught my eye this week though.

Some for their uncanny accuracy, others not so much.

Here’s what is on offer for me this week.



Jobs for Nicola

Who knew!  This is synchronicity at its best.  I did not sign up to ANY of these sites.

This is what they have in mind for me though :

Airline Assistant

What sort of assistance exactly?  Would that be in the air or on the ground I wonder?

Maybe my reverse parking skills are in demand!

Or perhaps I’ve been spotted waving table tennis bats in the air like a pro?

Put me forward for this one.

Part-time Packer

What a joke! When I pack, I really pack.  There is nothing part-time about it.  Anyone that knows me well will know that this is my Achilles Heel.

I have been known to spend inordinate amounts of time packing and preparing to pack.  This is not normal, I will be the first to admit.

You will not want me on your team.  Trust me.

Jobs at Pets at Home

I can only imagine word has spread about my spectacular rabbit handling skills.

Now I’m worried.

Saga Home Insurance


There comes a time in our lives when we start to receive these mailshots.

I do not know the precise point of qualification.

Whatever that may be it is wrong.

Wrong!  Wrong!  Wrong!

I DO NOT qualify.  Even if I did, I’m highly unlikely to buy anything EVER from something with Saga branding or any age related product.

Institute of Anti-Ageing

On the basis that I’m not saving any money on my home insurance, I’m pretty unlikely to be able to afford anything like this.

Neither will I be able to attend the Institute to find out how because it’s highly likely I’ll be touching my aircraft down somewhere (see above).



Questions About Pensions?

I have loads.  How long have you got?

Thought so!


Interesting though isn’t it.

As I say, this is not something I take seriously and would normally hit the delete button without a second glance.

Has anything interesting turned up in your junk this week?

Something completely unsolicited that has perhaps made you giggle?

Perhaps that something has been particularly spot on for some bizarre reason.

Do share!!

Nicky x

A Bit Of Everything

Super Busy MUm

My Situation Is Vacant

Wish me luck in my new job.

I didn’t apply for it.  Neither do I have the appropriate skillset.

This job doesn’t take into account anything that I have done before.

In fact, I’ve never been more unqualified for a job in my life.

This has to be the only job that you don’t have to apply for.

How jammy am I?!!!

Let me explain.


As of next week, I am leaving my current job in search of a new one.

I’m treating myself to a bit of time off too – bit of this, bit of that, bit of freelance work, bit of blog maintenance, get the house in order, big old sort out – you know the kind of thing.

I am also very excited about finding my next ‘ideal job’.

In advance of this, I noticed that the paperwork at home was resembling a Jenga tower and given my Jenga prowess, I decided to take a few pieces out.

This resulted in filling a few forms in, making a few grown-up appointments and having a few meetings.

I was so good at all of the above that they offered me the job!

Imagine that.

Simples.  Check me out!


My new job, according to the form filling ‘opinion makers’ is Housewife.

Now, before you congratulate me on my success, I urge you to spare me a thought because I’m actually quite worried.

I questioned the job offer on the basis that I’m not qualified to be a Housewife – was I obliged to take the position?

No choice apparently, homemaker perhaps, (lady of leisure was also touted) or unemployed.

I have to choose one.

What is expected of the ‘Housewife’ then?

I have been offered the job before when I was at home with my daughter as a baby but I wasn’t looking for work back then.  I was just getting by doing the best I could.

I know of others that have been given the job too.

It sounds like it involves commitment to someone.

I wonder if there will be a ‘do’?

This is not a feminist rant, it’s not my style and as for burning my bra – I don’t have enough bras to be so frivolous.

If it was Iron Man in the same position, I would be mortified if he was given the title of ‘House Husband’.  (The fact that he is in training as a Circus performer at the moment is beside the point).

So why am I worried?

Well for a start-off, I’m going on holiday during the first week of my new employment.pool-690034_640

Secondly, not only will I be working but I will also be looking for work.

Moonlighting and job hunting.  Not good for a new joiner that was on holiday the week she was due to start.

Also, I can’t work everyday because I’ve actually made plans.

Oh and there’s The Kid.

Who’s wife did you say I am?



That was it.

Who thought that job title up then?

Do I need to train?


Wait for it though!

The best bit.

No pay!


No bloody pay!

Only me.

What would you do? Would you take it?

Am I crazy to let this opportunity pass – the job I don’t want, the job that doesn’t pay.

It’s also just dawned on me that I’ve been doing this job all along anyway.

You probably have too but like me you’ve never given it a name.

My point here is that I actually want the job I described earlier.

That doesn’t pay either in the short term but that’s my prerogative.

There is no ‘category’ for this.

There are simply “No Vacancies”.

No box available to tick.  No delete ‘as appropriate’.

The Tick Box police have spoken and I have to be a Housewife.

I suppose I should get on as I’ve got a whole stack of things to do before I start this new job.

Did I mention I won’t be there for about the first month?

I would say hold the pay cheque but there isn’t one.

Just keep my seat warm then.pfirsischblute-746604_640

See you around April time.

Nicky x#





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A Bit Of Everything

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Perfect Predictions


Time to dust down the little blog from its Christmas break and to wish you all a wonderfully Happy New Year.  I hope that 2016 brings all that you wish for.

I love New Year and January is one of my favourite months.  I know that not everyone is the same and that January can sometimes be a bit of an anti-climax after Christmas but I particularly love the fresh start.

The opportunity to plan for the year ahead and all of the motivational material that is around at this time of year is right up my street as I am a big fan of personal development.

However, a question has occurred to me over the last few weeks – particularly so because of the time of year.

Whatever happened to horoscopes?

I can remember as a teen dashing to get the newspaper on 1st January as there would always be a double page spread of horoscopes and ‘the scoop’  one could expect for the year ahead.  In some newspapers there would be a completely separate magazine dedicated to the Zodiac.


There was nothing quite like knowing that finances would get a boost in March whilst love was favoured for the latter part of April.   The fact that September came around and I was still waiting for both is beside the point!

I would always read my horoscope on a daily basis and loved to read books on the subject.  Star signs would often come up in conversation and people would often be referred to as being typical of their star sign.

My realisation is that star signs rarely get a mention these days.

As I thought more about this, it made me wonder when I last looked at my horoscope and whether they were even still present in newspapers and magazines.


To satisfy my curiosity I have had to check and I can report that such columns are still present in some newspapers.  More so in magazines.

This had led me to wondering whether the good old horoscope has gone out of fashion.  Is it simply the preserve of the teenage years or has it been replaced by something else?

If that is the case, whatever happened to the likes of Mystic Meg and Russell Grant.  Have they changed career or are they alive and well predicting our futures in the same way they always did?

Who knows?

Maybe I’m just not that into it anymore whilst everyone else is still fully aligned with their stars.

What I do know is that I failed to check the compatibility of my Scorpio self with my Piscean husband.  Bit late now really considering we have been together for 18 years and have successfully made a Taurean daughter.

No need for Meg and Russell to  remind me of the Scorpio/Taurus firework party!

Did we see that little lot coming back in 1997 I ask myself?

Were you ever a follower of horoscopes?  Perhaps you still are?

Maybe we have reached the demise of interest in horoscopes.  Have we lost interest as a nation?

Perhaps they have been replaced by personal development tools and books like The Law of Attraction, The Secret and those that promise abundance?

Do put me out of my misery and tell me I’m not the only one that has noticed this.

For prosperity, I have checked the outlook for Scorpio for the year ahead and can report the following :


This year you will be treading a highly stimulating path and you will come up with creative ideas based on your inner voice. Your ingenuity will be at its best and you will convert your dreams into actual objects. Your innovative qualities and intuition will be at its peak.

I’ll happily take that – sounds pretty good to me.

Go on, take a look at yours – even if it is for old time sake and a bit of fun.

Would love to hear your predictions!!

Nicky x

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What’s Your Story Little Fairy?


There are several reasons why I named my blog Not Just the 3 of Us.

One of them was to acknowledge how our lives are so much richer because of the people who are in it.

Being a bit of a sentimentalist at heart,  the Christmas Tree putting up ceremony for me and mine is full of lovely memories of all of these special moments and special people.

It’s the 5th of December and the decorations are going up so grab yourself a cuppa because we’re going to have a little trip down Memory Lane.

Our tree decoration generally takes a while because as each little bauble comes out there is a little story and memory.

A lot of the stories go back to the days when I moved in to my first flat aged 22.  This was a very significant time in my life and holds a truly special place in my heart.

I think it’s safe to say that there wasn’t much money around during those five years.  It was a time when donations were greatly received.

I also didn’t have a Christmas tree.

Donations came in from various people that Christmas.

Sheila and Johnny

Sheila and Johnny are the parents of my lovely friend, Tina.

Sheila & Johnny came up trumps that year.  Not only did they provide me with a tree (which interestingly was made of all plastic and felt like stickle bricks) but they also gave me some lovely decorations and lights.

Group photo of the decorations


The Lights

I’m going to do a big shout out for the lights here.  I kid you not they have been going every blooming year since.

Every year we have the ceremony of the lights and they have not let us down.  They have been with me for 24 years.  I am not sure how many years Sheila and Johnny had already had them but I think it’s safe to say that they don’t make things liked they used to.  You guys would be proud.


I first met Joan on the 1st January 1991 whilst surveying the empty flat that was to be my home for the next five years.  Joan lived opposite and had been in the block for many years.  She was the ‘Guardian’ of the 6th floor and she told me in no uncertain terms how she would like to things to proceed.

Noise and loud parties would be frowned upon and the 6th floor should be kept spick and span.  I dutifully obliged and felt reassured that I was going to be under the watchful eye of Joan.  I do seem to remember my mum mumbling something about an old cow under her breath but I’m sure she would never have said that.  Must have been beef for dinner that day.

I think I managed to be a good neighbour for the best part of five years and only managed to fall foul of the rules once.  I was well aware that Joan would always know what I was doing.

On entering my front room that first Christmas and seeing my tree, Joan declared “you can’t have a tree with no fairy” and rushed off and returned with this lovely lady who we now know as “Joan”.


I was so touched by this offering.  Coming from a home where Christmas was so steeped in tradition, I knew that every item of Christmas ware held a special place in the house from whence it came.

It would have its own special story.

So thank you Joan for adorning my tree with a fairy that year and for all of the years since.

I would also like to apologise for phoning the council and telling them that my flat was too hot.  I am only grateful that you managed to intercept them when they called and you were absolutely right to be waiting for me on the doorstep when I came home from work that night.

I would also like to say that you were right, I did have a couple of boyfriends while I lived there.  Although, the night you saw the boots on my doorstep was not one of them.  They actually belonged to a friends husband who was dropping off some things for us to take to Australia.  He was ‘old school’ Joan and didn’t want to tread on my carpet with his dirty boots.   I know you would approve of this.

Iron Man and The Kid don’t like the fairy.

They think she is scary.

Your work in my house is done Joan.

The Wicker Decorations


My mum used to love to come to my flat during the day while I was out at work.  She called it her haven.  No 89 John Burns Drive came to us just after we lost my dad and I am glad that it held a special place in her heart too.

I also know that while she was there, Mum would do a cupboard check to make sure I had enough food.  Being a war child, mum’s cupboard was always well stocked with tins.  Emergency supplies.  Seeing my cupboard  empty, she would think I wasn’t eating.  I explained many times that I only bought what I needed and that I didn’t need emergency supplies but she still insisted on restocking and I would come home to a full cupboard.

She also felt sorry for the tree and thought it looked a little bare and so came the wicker decorations.  She was very proud that they had cost 10p each.  I love them.  I often wonder what she would say if she saw how much they were being knocked out for at Christmas markets now.

It is very poignant that we generally acquire many of these things after people have left us.

There are two ways of looking at this.  One is to be sad.  The other is to cherish the memories that they have left behind.

We do the latter.


The top decoration from the family home.  I love these snowballs.


What I particularly love is that they are yellowing and showing their age.

They also smell of Christmas.

There is nothing quite like the smell of Christmas decorations.  That lovely ‘tinselly’, dusty smell that you get as you open the box each year.



When dad came home with these one year, I really thought we had ‘arrived’.  Richer than all riches.  There is such an elegance about these silky baubles that I feel special just looking at them.

When Two Homes Come Together

Iron Man came with a full set of his own Christmas memorabilia to join the gang.


New Additions

And along came The Kid in 2006.

Here are her first tree decorations from her Nana Joy and Nanny Jan.

So there we are.  All done.

And before you start thinking this is one of those idyllic social media and blog stories of a perfect day, I’d just like to say that The Kid was an absolute horror from the moment she got up.

Further I really would love to put Joan on her pillow one night!!!!

I won’t of course.   Iron Man first.

How does your tree decorating take shape?  Do you have similar stories to share?



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What is Listitus?


I am going to talk about a condition which I have noticed becomes particularly prevalent at this time of year.


I can’t promise that it’s not contagious but do read on.

‘Listitis’ refers to a peculiar passion for a list.

I really love a list.

If I’m being particularly honest with myself, for me and I suspect many others, this is a year round condition which becomes particularly heightened and aggravated as the festive season approaches.

Present lists, card lists, food lists – suddenly I feel like a celebrity – do I really know this many people and have they always eaten excessively?

Is it a woman thing I wonder?


I know it’s certainly a man thing to tamper with ‘the list’ once it’s in full flow.

Now this I find particularly bloody annoying especially when there has been nowt so much as a nod towards everything coming together.  Suddenly they see the list and oh yes – they are interested.

So interested in fact that they even go so far as to attempt to do things on the list, completely unaware that the list is not in this alone.

Lists operate generally from the basis of being ‘in the know’.

Many a brave man has experienced his wrath at this very thing.  Because for the list makers among us, what we know that no one else is aware of, is that behind every good list are some separate piles and a history!!

Now I may be given to a little bit of OCD but don’t tell me that you’re not secretly smiling inwardly and thinking “thank god, it’s not just me”, as you stroke your little pile of gifts for the people that you always see the last Tuesday before Christmas (and they, of course, are completely “separate” from the school gifts)!

Can I live without my list – absolutely not!

Does the other half thing I’m crazy – of course he does.

I do, however, live in a household where the list has a history.

A history that makes one particularly protective over their lists.


My list has a history because one fine day a couple of years ago as I prepared the freezer for defrosting, I made a list of what meals were left that needed to be eaten.  I also made a list of what needed to be purchased to go with each meal.  Simples.

So far so good.

I really, really do love a list!

Iron Man offered to go food shopping and I gave him the list telling him there wasn’t much to get as I was running the freezer down.

Over an hour later I was starting to wonder where he was when the car pulled up outside.

Iron Man proceeded to drag many bags from the boot.

Surely, he is joking?  Has he taken it upon himself to go ‘off list’ I wondered?

Oh no – it’s worse than that.  Far worse.

Now it could be argued that I only have myself to blame.  I will leave that to you to decide.

List No. 1 was on one side of the paper.  List No.2 was on the other.

He had gone and bought the bloody lot.  Everything we already had.  Both lists.

To say I overreacted is an understatement.  I think he was about to call an ambulance.  It wasn’t just the freezer that needed defrosting.

He even offered to take it back.

I’m laughing as I write this as it has provided a source of much amusement since.

An hour on a Saturday afternoon with lasting memories – we sure know how to party!

Fortunately, frost never stays for very long in this household.


We ate very well that week and the freezer didn’t get defrosted that year.

However, the household has been left with a Listory (a list with a history).

I now have Lisitis.  A common symptom of Listory.

I hope a cure is never found.

I would be nothing without my list.

Do you have it or think you might be on your way to getting it?



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