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No, Really, We’ve Moved!

May 9, 2012

So, despite saying that my last post would be…well…my last post, I just wanted to remind anyone who’s subscribed to this blog that you can now go over to the all-new Mum’s the Word and subscribe to receive all of the new posts, straight to your inbox.

So, go on, go, subscribe!

Thanks everyone xxx

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Thank You and Goodnight.

April 25, 2012

That's not me, just in case you were wondering, it's Leonard Cohen.

This is going to be my last ever post on this blog. It’s been a hell of an 18 months since I started Mum’s the Word, lots of good but also some bad.

But never fear, Mum’s the Word is not dead and buried, oh no, we’re just moving to a new home! From now on, if you want to read my brand of self-deprecating, profanity filled ramblings on life, parenting and everything else, you’ll need to go to mumstheword.me.

Anyone who subscribes to this blog by email will no longer get updates unless they hop over to the brand, spanking new Mum’s the Word and subscribe over there (pretty please…seriously, please do it, I’ll cry if this move means I lose all of my readers!).

You can email me at jayne@mumstheword.me if you need me for anything and I really hope you all continue to read and comment on the new space.

Love you all.

Thank you and goodnight.

Six Months

April 17, 2012

My Dad texted me today. It said “It’s exactly 6 months today since I lost my sweetheart”.

How can it possibly be six months already?

But I checked and it is. Six long months since we’ve heard Lorraine’s voice or seen her face. Six months since we held out hope, right until the last second. It’s sunk in now. Or at least, 99% of the time it’s sunk in. Then I’ll be sitting there and it’ll hit me like a ton of bricks. I can’t believe she’s gone.

I’ll always regret not spending more time with her, not getting to know her better, not putting in more effort. I feel guilty that I told my Dad that Sausage couldn’t call her ‘Nanny’ as she had two nannies already and it might confuse her, a ridiculous knee-jerk reaction of loyalty to my Mum. I feel guilty for not visiting more when she was ill.

I know that guilt is an empty and futile emotion, but it’s one that’s stuck with me over this past six months.

There have been times that I’ve worried about my Dad, worried about how he’s coping. There have been other times when I’ve looked him in the eye and been overwhelmed by sadness. Most of the time, I’m just so damn proud of the way he’s coped and the way he made a dying woman comfortable and happy. I can’t begin to imagine how he must feel, but I think his text speaks volumes.

“My Sweetheart”.

We miss you, Lorraine.

I’m doing Race for Life next month to raise money for Cancer Research. I want to do everything I can to be able to say that I contributed towards the effort to ridding our planet of this disease, once and for all. If you’d like to sponsor me, you can do so at Just Giving

Frankie and Benny’s Southend on Sea – A Mixed Review

April 11, 2012

Here at Mum’s the Word Towers we, along with myriad other bloggers and their families, were given a £50 voucher to take along to our local Frankie and Benny’s to give their menu and service the once over. We went on a Wednesday afternoon and it was moderately busy, with probably a third of the tables taken. We were seated promptly, although we were unclear when we walked in if we were supposed to seat ourselves as there didn’t appear to be any staff around.

The first thing we noticed as we were seated in our window booth, is that the windows were filthy. They’d obviously had kids sitting next to the windows as it looked caked in dribble and sticky hand prints, which I understand is a hazard in any family friendly restaurant, but it still made our experience a little unappetizing, right from the word go. We also had to swap Sausage’s fork for a clean one.

Our server was super friendly and came over to take our drinks order right away, leaving us to peruse the food menus. There was a fair variety of meals and a lunch menu including cheaper options for just £5.95, which is quite reasonable, as well as a kid’s menu with more child-friendly options. Sausage chose Spaghetti Bolognese.

Five minutes after we ordered, our waitress came over to tell us that the steak burger that Husband had ordered wasn’t available, so he chose a chicken burger instead. Our food was served about 15 minutes later, which wasn’t too bad a wait. The first thing we noticed was the my mother-in-law had been served the wrong thing, I had ordered her the All Day Breakfast from the lunch menu but they brought the larger All Day Breakfast, which she had not chosen as she didn’t think she could manage it all. I was going to complain but we decided to leave it.

Sausage was very happy with her Bolognese, which I tasted and though was very bland, but she seemed satisfied. Husband was a little disappointed with his chicken burger, which he described as “two overpriced chicken nuggets in a bun”. My mother-in-law, despite being given the wrong meal, really enjoyed hers although she said she was really disappointed to have wasted so much food because, as she predicted, she couldn’t manage the whole meal. I had the ‘chicken and ribs’, which was a mixed bag. The chips were really lovely, crispy and tasty. The chicken was okay, although a bit dry and clearly a cheap cut of chicken as it was about 40% bone. The ribs – well, goodness only knows what animal the ribs came from but they were the smallest ribs I’ve ever seen. To be totally fair, the meat on the ribs was melt-in-your-mouth tender and very tasty, there just wasn’t enough of it. It also came with coleslaw which was okay, just a little bland.

Overall, our food was pretty disappointing. The bill came to £46, which included three soft drinks and a cup of tea, so an average of £11.50 per head, which isn’t too bad for lunch, but I don’t know if I’d go back. The service was great, our waitress was attentive without being overbearing, but between the hygiene levels in the restaurant and the underwhelming food, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to go back.

Sorry Frankie and Bennie’s, I gave it a go!

Silent Sunday

April 8, 2012

Coughs, Colds and Easter Cupcakes

April 6, 2012

As I had a few days holiday owing to me, I decided to use them while Sausage was on her Easter break from nursery and because of my shift pattern, it’s worked out that I have a total of 17 days off. Which would have been great and we had a ton of plans, but Sausage and I have both had a horrible cough and cold since about 24 hours after our holiday started.

We’re both starting to feel a bit better now so yesterday we decided to get on with the Easter cupcakes that we’ve been planning for weeks (seriously, I bought the daisy fondant cutters weeks ago in anticipation of a fortnight of craft!). Anyway, here’s a few pictures of our creations. You can find the full recipe and method over at Flying Start Parenting. The icing just wouldn’t go green enough, but I was still pleased with the overall effect!

Melanoma – You know it can kill you, right?

April 6, 2012

Please read the comments before reading the first paragraph of this post. I jumped on something someone said and took it the wrong way and seem to have got things arse about face. Either way, the main content of the post still stands, just not the catalyst that got me writing it.

Apologies for the provocative title, but I’m feeling rather provocative and I need people to listen.

Yesterday, I read a tweet that bemoaned the lack of sunbeds available by 9.30am. I replied somewhat snarkily and said that I was amazed that people even use sunbeds these days. Maybe I shouldn’t have been snotty, I don’t really know the Tweeter in question and I guess people are free to do what they like, but after watching someone I love die from a disease that can be caused by these machines, it makes me wonder why the hell anyone would go near them?

Lorraine was an otherwise healthy 40-year-old woman when a ‘dodgy mole’ on her leg became malignant. I’m not sure if she used sunbeds, I think she said she had once or twice, but she lived in Jamaica for a portion of her adult life too, enjoying the sun and the easy way of life.

Lorraine’s mole was removed and as she had an aggressive form of melanoma, the doctors removed her lymph nodes in her right groin too as this was the logical place for the cancer to spread to. Unfortunately for her and us, although she had no lymph nodes for the cancer to attack, it went to her brain and her lungs instead.

She had radiotherapy which made her lose her hair and had just been accepted onto a trial for a new drug when the cancer got the better of her. The melanoma in her brain (and yes, when melanoma spreads it’s still a melanoma, unlike other cancers) caused her to have seizures, become confused and made the pressure in her skull build. On the day she died, I stroked her face and was amazed by how hot she felt. They explained that the pressure around her brain was giving her a fever.

Lorraine died 20 days after her 42nd birthday. Melanoma killed her.

This post may seem harsh or insensitive and if my Dad or Lorraine’s family ever read this, I hope they understand the intention behind this post.

Melanoma is not just about having a mole removed and moving on. Melanoma is aggressive and it can end your life. Think about this next time you decide you want a tan at any cost. Think about this next time you look at your kids and decide not to wear sun screen.

Some facts about Melanoma:

  • Unlike most malignancies, malignant melanoma is more common in women than men. In 2008 it was the sixth most common cancer in females. Between 2007 and 2008 malignant melanoma moved from the ninth most common cancer  in males to the sixth most common. This is due to an extra 600 cases being diagnosed in males in 2008 than in 2007.
  • In 2009 in the UK, 2,633 people in the UK died from skin cancer.
  • If diagnosed at stage 1A, 88% of patients will live for 10 years. If diagnosed at stage 4, that number becomes 7-19% living past five years.
  • Overall, people from higher social classes tend to have better survival rates than people from lower social classes.

I know this may be a shocking or depressing post for the Easter weekend, but if I can make just one person wear sunscreen when they go out in the sun, I’ll have done something really important.

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