...is a cigar called? Well I wouldn't know, though the last time I had one, after the birth of my second child (forced on me by the lads in the pub) I did enjoy it. I'm not a smoker as you know, one of the few sins (as well as drugs) that just aren't me. As for all the other things, well, you have to enjoy life, don't you.
And enjoy it, I certainly do. I have a pretty enjoyable lifestyle I have to admit, I earn enough money, in one way or another (don't ask) on top of Claire's earnings for us to have a pretty comfortable life. Quite honestly, I think people should turn their talents to whatever suits them and if you can find a way to live, without having to work yourself into an early grave then do it.
I say this, because if it hadn't been for that health scare eight years ago I doubt whether I'd be here now. At 33, I may have owned a house, had a good job and all the rest of it but I wasn't happy. Two nights in hospital with blood pressure of 200/150 was enough to convince me there was more to life than driving up and down the M1 to present bullshit figures to arsehole people.
I have had an amazing birthday week. We've already covered the London trip, well on Wednesday the kiddies came home after a fantastic trip (for them) to the grandparents. In fact I think Ollie would stay their permanently if he could - so much more fun than with the boring old parents he has to see every day! Bit harsh really, they don't know how lucky they are. Today I have spend a fair few hours with Ollie "heading the ball" - a little football game we play, drawing pictures of triangular stairs (don't ask) whilst me and Jamie have been row-rowing the boat and wheeling a toy truck back and forth across the floor to each other. He never tires of this but my limit is about 20 minutes.
I play with my children all the time. We run around the table, hide, tumble about, whatever they want to do really. Jamie is growing up into a lovely little boy. I still have concerns about Ollie, but I want to speak to the school and see how he is getting on there, we will see how the next parents evening goes.
He behaved very babyishly (is that a word?) at Wyevale. I just think it's a bit pathetic to cry at the age of 4 1/2 when an 18 month old girl bumps you in the ball pool, and equally wimpish to climb up the frames and then cry because he is too scared to come back down or go down the slide. Which every other child from the age of 2 to 9 is gleefully and happily doing.
Thank God (and I can say that because he is in a C of E school) that there is such a caring environment in his school because back in the 70s when I was his age or probably even now in a rough inner city school he would get eaten alive. I just want him to toughen up and man up a bit - am I being so harsh? It's something we all have to do at some point or another. I certainly wasn't the toughest kid, physically or mentally back in my school days, but I've learnt to be strong over the years. Now I see myself as a very kind, generous and loving person who would do anything for my family and friends - but equally, woe betide anyone who threatens us, as I can and will do anything I have to to protect my nearest and dearest.
Hopefully I can help Ollie to draw on some inner strength, in the same way I have some very close friends of mine in recent times, who I like to think I have helped, in whatever small way I could.
Some people get me - some don't. All the crazy stuff I have done over the years - a few off the wall, JTV schedules, the Grand Annual, Ham and crisp obsessions, mad letters to Walkers, I could list millions, my quirky and weird sense of humour, and all the other things that make me, well, just "me". That is "me" - warts and all. I never ever make any pretence about myself - I am totally honest about everything. If I am good at something - fine, If I am crap at something - I'll admit it. But what you see is what you get with me. And I will always treat people back the same way that they treat me.
I have some amazing friends who love me for who I am and I am so grateful to every one of you for making the effort to get to know me, even if first impressions (never been good at them) weren't encouraging. I'll do anything for any one of you and you know it. But those who don't like me - fine, just keep out of my life. Best for all concerned.
On Thursday we went to Oxford and discovered that once again our favourite restaurant (this time Brasserie Gerard) had closed down. I seem to be able to curse any restaurant in Oxford to bankruptcy just by patronising it. So this time we went to Giraffe, which I highly recommend particularly if you have kids. In the evening all my friends went to the Kings Arms for the karaoke where a little surprise had been made for me. My best friend Lynda baked me an amazing cake in the shape of a ham. This was the best and most amazing cake anyone has ever made for me in my 42 years, and you can see a piccie at the top of this blog entry. It's one of those moments you cherish when you realise how much your friends really care about you. Like that time when I left Nielsen's and they presented me with a 48 pack Box of Walkers Beef & Onion crisps.
Friends, family, what would I do without you? Thank-you so much for being so kind to me and appreciating me for who I am. I like to think I more than return that love and you know, those of you that count, I'll be there for each and every one of you.
We've had a fantastic week, and you've all been part of it in one way or another, we've loved, laughed, sung, drunk, played and been merry. Life should be like this for all of us, all of the time. Happiness isn't hard to achieve, you just need to find the right people. And I know that I've found mine x x
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Jason x x