An unofficial guide to visiting Newcastle Upon Tyne - the best city in the world

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Personal Post - A Little Catch Up with Life Lately

As a blog reader myself, I really enjoy reading personal posts and I really feel like they help you connect with the author of the posts a little better. So despite this blog mostly featuring life and things to do in Newcastle, I do want to feature the odd personal post too. I thought I would start by sharing a few random thoughts on life lately.

Gorgeous flowers from my friend Nyomi

Death of a Grandparent 

Sadly my grandad passed away recently and this has been playing on my mind. He moved into a lovely care home in October but a combination of dementia, vertigo, numerous falls and chest infections/pneumonia did mean that his quality of life had deteriorated quite a bit over the last few months.

When my Grandma passed away (Pancreatic Cancer), it was pretty quick. I was able to hold conversations with her right until her last moments. She died peacefully at home with my Grandad by her side.  Whereas with my Grandad, the process was a lot longer. It was so cruel to watch. He was confused, scared, couldn't move or articulate himself, clearly in a lot of pain at times and at times, he didn't know who we were. It was horrible to watch (and awful for him too).  I really struggled with seeing my mam lose her last parent and I hope I can be as strong as she was when my time comes.

Death of a Guinea Pig

Sadly one of Heidi's Guinea Pigs passed away this month too. She was on a sleepover when it happened and it was absolutely heartbreaking having to tell her when she arrived home. Cream was such a character and will be missed. Heidi was really upset by it all and I have never seen her so sad :-(

You are supposed to keep Guinea Pigs in twos where possible which leaves us in a bit of a pickle about Cookie - should we find her a cage mate? We decided to monitor the situation and see how it goes. I don't want to be caught in a cycle of buying never-ending Guinea Pigs but I also want to do what is best for Cookie. We have moved her into the Living Room where I spend all of my time and we take her out and play with her every evening. In all honesty, she seems to have flourished since her sister died! She licks us, quietly squeaks in her cage, popcorns when her food is coming, interacts with us and has put weight on. I didn't expect this at all but I am pleased she is happy.

When Parent's Go On Holiday 

My mam jetted off to a well-earned break in Mexico today. She insists on having 17 day holidays which she totally deserves but selfishly, I hate it when she is out of the country for so long. It might be something to do with being the eldest cousin so I feel like the responsibility of being at the head of the family, it might be the fact that I cant pop in for my twice-weekly coffee before the school run or the fact that she won't be there if anything goes wrong. Does anyone else feel like this? I hope the next two weeks pass by as quickly as possible. I have a special day planned for us in Newcastle when she returns for Mothers Day which I am looking forward to.

Booking Spree 

When I am feeling sad, I book things to look forward to so as you can imagine there has been a flurry of bookings recently. We have booked trips to Warwick Castle, Birmingham, Wales and London over the next few months - I cannot wait! 


 The unpredictability of the Coronavirus is frustrating. Lots of my blogger friends have had trips cancelled this month and there is obviously the seriousness of the illness to consider too. I have a few breaks booked on deposit only and I just want to know if they are going to be able to go ahead or not. I hate not knowing.

Steve's New Shift 

Steve is going through a shift change next month - he usually changes his shifts every 2 years. He is going back to a 12 hour shift pattern which I much prefer. Although it means I solo parent a lot more, it does mean he has more days off including every Wednesday. My mam is going to have the kids for tea every other Wednesday and that is now going to be our date-day. I went on a little bit of a booking frenzy (see above) and booked tickets to Shandyland, Gatsby and The Invisible Man at Northern Stage plus a Science Lates at Life and Girls of the North Comedy with my friend. Wednesdays are the new Friday right!

Expensive Few Months 

Just as we have got over the expense of Christmas, new expenses creep up on us. I have just had to pay £160 for a school trip for Heidi, Heidi is moving into a new school year and needs a whole new uniform and laptop as does Harry who is moving into the Senior Learning Village, Heidi needs a new passport, the kids all need new coats, we need a million things done to the house  (as my mam so frequently reminds me), we are desperate for a new garden fence and front door and have Heidi's birthday and then our trip to the Netherlands in May to pay for. Eeek! Ever feel like a lottery win is in order?

Luckily, work is looking good at the moment and I have a few exciting collabs/jobs booked in which I cant wait to share - fingers crossed they still go ahead due to the Coronavirus! I have already had one cancellation but luckily, they had paid in advance and I was allowed to keep my fee so that didn't work out too badly.

Boys Arguing 

Harry (13) and Jack (9) share a room and are currently going through a phase of arguing from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep at the moment and it has been SO draining for Steve and I. Yesterday, they had a physical fight before 8am which resulted in Harry smashing his phone screen! The fights are usually down to Harry provoking Jack and then Jack reacting in an over the top manner.

We have given them a stern talking to and I said I would turn the WiFI off if it continues. Fingers crossed for an improvement soon! Jacks behaviour mirrors how Harry's was in Year 7 right now and it is like stepping back in time. I know it will pass - hopefully sooner rather than later.

Roll on our Wednesday date days is all I can say!

Speaking Events 

I have been asked to take part in a few speaking events this year which is out of my comfort zone but something I am keen to try again as I feel like I have loads to say about the world of blogging and influencing.  The next event I am speaking at is about the world of Instagram with The Grammers at Ramside Hall. You can find out more and buy tickets here. 

We are heading into Newcastle next weekend to see the new exhibitions at the Great North Museum (I will be sharing over on North East Family Fun) . If anyone has any recommendations for somewhere cheap we can grab a bite to eat in the city centre, let me know.

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