10 May 2009

Itchy fingers

Had them for a while now, been weeks since I did any crafting and months since I've done a serious scrapbooking session. Pete is duty again on Monday so I've decided that that is what I'm going to do, get all my gear out and in preparation I've been looking at the ever expanding list of blogs in my favourites for inspiration. Some of the blogs I read to look at the pretty pictures, some to be nosey and others for a good laugh. There are some bloggers who make me laugh so much, they have such a way with words. I love sarcasm and a little black humour....especially when people say things where I know I feel exactly the same. One blog I really enjoy that makes me laugh is Choice Words and Tasteful Doings. I have no idea about the author but enjoy her little musings on life, especially the blog post about her husbands choice of birthday gifts.

Another I really enjoy is Sarah Heaps blog. I can actually take the credit for her starting a blog, although hers is far more entertaining and the photos much nicer. Pete was on a boat with her husband and that's how we got to know each other and I really wish we lived a little closer at times as we've only physically met the once at a posh frock do with the Navy, less than a week after I'd been sterilised and wasn't really in the best party mood. It's not a crafty blog but she takes some amazing photos and she's always good for a giggle.

It was through Sarahs blog that I found Cake Wrecks which seems to have become a kind of underground cult! Whoever thought that a blog about peoples cake mishaps could be that entertaining!

So tonight I'm off meet some old friends and raise a glass (or five) to Chris and arrange a collection to get some flowers for the funeral. I'm half looking forward to it, and half not, being the emotional mess that I turn into when I've had a few so will probably come home looking like a cross between Alice Cooper and Baby Jane and then try to seduce Pete.......yer average sunday then!

9 May 2009

The news about Chris' death is still taking a while to sink in. This time last week we were chatting about the new Windows Beta he was testing and this week I know I'll never be able to do that again. Tomorrow I'm off to meet up with some people who worked with him when we were at PC World, some of whom I haven't seen for years also. As one of my friends said, it's so sad that it takes something like this for us to get together. I'm so fortunate to have Pete home at the moment and to be surrounded by good friends.

On a positive note, I did manage to get hold of the photos that appeared in the Herald last week.

It's strange seeing the beard now that it's a distant memory....and strangely part of me is missing it a little....never thought i'd say that.

8 May 2009

Sad sad news

Coming home after the school run yesterday I notice a missed call from my friend Chris. Thinking it an odd time of the day for him to call, I call back thinking maybe he was finally coming over to have a look at my crappy network set up and have a general chit chat and catch up....I'd given him a hard time of it online on Saturday bemoaning the fact that he hasn't been over for an age.

When his dad answered the phone I knew there was something wrong. I was then told that Chris had died the night before, suddenly. I felt absolutely numb knowing that someone that meant so much to me, was always there for me, helped me through some tough times and was always first port of call with my constant random PC queries.......was suddenly not there anymore. My thoughts go to his family who I know are very close. I was honoured to call Chris a true friend and will forever remember all those road trips ..... especially up and down to Barnstaple with me constantly whinging about his crappy musical tastes and telling him to put on something less 'dreary'.

I'll miss you big man. XXX

4 May 2009

A weekend to remember

I cannot gush too much about this weekend. It has been absolutely immense and I've been surrounded by everyone who means so much to me. Thursday night was spent excitedly running around like a headless chickens getting ready for the big homecoming, even the littlies got in on the act with Natasha wanting curly hair like mummy and getting the bendy roller treatment.

Up early the next morning to get ready for the grand homecoming. This is something rarely done for the subs on this kind of scale and I wasn't going to miss it for the world. We met coaches at the Dockyard to take us up onto Devil's Point where you get a great view of Plymouth Sound.

As we came up the sun was shining on the boat making it look silver. There were around 200 people there, shivering in the wind but kept warm with a constant flow of coffee, pastries and the immenent promise of seeing their loved ones shortly. I think the ever growing mass of seagulls were appreciative of the amount of pastries on offer too judging by the swarm of them that arrived and settled around us. Poor Natasha didn't know which way to run.

We watched as the boat moved from the buoy around Drakes Island and having never watched them before I was surprised at just how fast they were travelling.

The sail past was far more emotional than I'd bargained for and at one point I was close to tears, especially as Emily was waving so enthusiastically thinking that her dad was one of the guys on the casing. She later said, 'mummy, i had tears in my eyes seeing daddy's boat'. It was a gorgeous thing to say. The tugs that followed the boat in had their water cannons tured on which was a really nice touch too.

I had taken my zoom lens with me and luckily the railings provided some much needed support against camera shake as i'm usually hopeless with the big zoom unless i've got a tripod. It was lovely to watch all the families getting more and more excited, especially as we've all formed some great bonds over the past few months.

So after the guys sailed past it was a short ride back to the yard to meet the boat. This usually takes ages but entertainment and MORE food was laid on for the kids. With them all amused it was the adults who were chomping at the bit to get a glimpse of heads popping up out of hatches. The girls busied themselves with facepaints and a free ice cream van, plus entertainment from Jungle Jim (who's PA system was a little overbearing for a small marquee and who left me wondering if my hearing would ever fully return), whilst I paced up and down for around an hour wondering if I'd get to see by beardy baby.

When he finally emerged to people around me going, 'oh my god Terrie, have you SEEN how long it is?' I was jumping up and down and complaining that I was too short to see him above the bloody flag that he was behind. Luckily he was easy to pick out, not many wear white overrals and fewer have beards that have been grown to his standard! We ran around to where the gangway was assembled and as soon as the girls saw him, all three legged it towards him screaming 'daddy!'. It was amazing to watch, and to be honest, not a time where i was wondering about the camera. Despite the many people around us, everyone else seemed to disappear. There was Pete, crouched down with three girlies hanging off his neck and as I came up I saw him well up and that just got me. There's always the glassy eyes when he goes, but it was the first time I'd seen such emotion on a homecoming. You could sense the relief and joy of just being home and being surrounded by the people that you know are waiting for you and thinking of you everyday.

Luckily there was a photographer there from the Navy who managed to get this lovely photo of us just after Pete came off. It appeared in the paper on Saturday so I'm hoping that I can get a proper copy of it when the offices reopen tomorrow as I absolutely love it.

So off home we go, the distinctive submarine smell was more of a comfort than anything and after catching up with photos, news and hugs and kisses, the kids went to bed and left myself and Pete to let loose, open a couple bottles of wine and fool around on Singstar.

After waking up in the morning with my guy beside me, I left him to catch up on some much needed shut eye and readied the girls for a day packed with May Day celebrations. We got a few phone calls about the article in the paper and I was so pleased with the photo in it. After emerging from bed, we all walked down to the town to check out the celebrations. This year it's been coupled with the 150 year anniversary of Brunel bridge.

Freya loves this statue on the way down to the waterfront of Isambard K. Brunel and is convinced it was life size.....if it is, then I guess we can see why he made such bloody huge structures because he would have had a SERIOUS case of small man complex!

We ate, we laughed, we hugged, the girls bounced on bouncy things, span on spinny things and generally ran themselves ragged.

We ended up down at the waterfront where we went in to see Freya's entry into the Brunel painting exhibition and cast our vote for the winner. The girls ran along the waterfront and watched the parades but it was clear that not all of them would make it til gone 9 when the fireworks would start so we decided to take the long hike back early and watch the display from our house instead.

The beard was then ceremoniously cut and shaved....it was nice to see my husband still there under all that fuzz! Then yesterday we had family over for a BBQ and singstar night. A few bevvies and good company and now a lazyish bank holiday Monday.......this weekend has been perfect....and it's so nice to feel complete again.

Tomorrow everyone is back to school, nursery and in the case of Pete, work. It feels like so long ago that Pete was coming home in the evenings so i'm going to make the most of him not having duties this week and feel like a normal family for a bit. I'm trying to resist the countdown to the next deployment as it isn't far away at all, but instead make the most of the short time that we've got together.