Category Archives: Relationships

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Hello, blogland … have you missed me?  No?

I’ve been hiding away for several months, busy in a whirlwind of work and stuff, with not much to say.  Let’s face it, 2013 was not the best year I’ve ever had, on a lot of levels.

Unbelievably, it’s now 10 months since my beloved Dad passed away.  It’s gone so, so quickly … I thought that by now I’d be starting to feel better, but I’m not.  I miss him so much (as do my boys).  The house is filled with pictures of him (I’ve even got what I call ‘Martin corner’ outside my bedroom – a chest of drawers covered in photos of him), so he’s an ever present presence – which is funny in some ways, because I think he only came to this house once – and I’ve been here for 14 years!  I suppose it’s probably easier for me in that respect, because I don’t expect him to be here; but when I’ve been visiting my Mum, I still expect to hear the front door open and him walking down the hall, but I suppose that’s natural.

I wish I could say that losing Dad was the only low point of 2013, but it wasn’t.  The latter half of the year brought with it an extreme amount of stress at work, which was definitely not a good thing.  If I’m honest, the stress is still there to a certain extent, but I’ve learnt to manage it, and I’m far more conscious of my stress level these days.  But at least I can say that work has kept me busy and distracted over the worst times.

On the other hand, despite all the negative things going on, and the sadness and unhappiness associated with losing Dad, I’m lucky that I can say that I’m extremely content overall.  Despite everything, life is good – and I appreciate how fortunate and blessed I am to have such a fantastic man in my life, along with my (sometimes extremely challenging, but incessantly loveable nonetheless) boys …

Things are changing here at Martin towers … after describing myself in a blog post some time back as someone who knits strictly vanilla, following patterns to the letter, I found myself thinking ‘ooh, this pattern would look good with THIS pattern … and so I decided to take the plunge and get those ideas out of my head and down on paper … as a result, I’m delighted to introduce ‘what Kate knits …’ a (very small as yet) collection of original patterns, available from my Ravelry store here – and I am hoping to get links uploaded here on my blog for purchase of individual patterns.

what Kate knit ... logo

There’s a fair few ideas clamouring to get out of my head at the moment, so look out for more patterns coming soon …


Something Stinks Around Here …


Recent trips into the garden have brought forth a rather unpleasant smell … not much investigation needed to know it was the outside drain.  Let me explain … He Who Shall Remain Nameless (ie, the ex) left us in a right shit mess, both inside and outside the house.  He seemed to think it was okay to use the garden as his personal dumping ground, couldn’t be arsed to finish any of the jobs he started and made a bodge of the ones he did deign to do.  For example, the outlet pipe that takes water from the shower and bathroom sink … not attached to the outside wall at all because he was too bone idle to put a clip on it … hence the pipe now bows in the middle and fell off several months ago because it was unsupported, leaving the waste water from the shower/bathroom sink to pour out on to the garden … and the stack pipe with a nice hole where the pipe should have been attached.  After a couple of months I managed to coerce him to come back and put the pipe back … but apparently he ‘definitely put a clip on it’ and we must have ‘taken the clip away’.  My arse we did!

Anyway, I digress … one job that was always too much effort for him was putting a cover over the outside drain … I mean, it’s such a complicated job, right?  And due to his penchant for dumping all manner of crap in the garden and not keeping on top of the brambles (he had a blowtorch type thing with which to kill them), the garden up the side of the house consists of brambles galore, and the drain was inaccessible.  Sean kindly burnt the hell out of it all a couple of weeks ago, and hence made the drain accessible once more.

It was full of slimy black sludge … I kid you not.  I would have taken a picture to show you, but you would be gagging, so I thought best not.  Using my dustpan (good for scooping) I set to this afternoon … when I got to the point where I couldn’t really scoop any more out (it’s a long drain which drops down a big hole) because the dustpan was too big to go down the hole, I had to resort to using my hands.  My drain is deep … shoulder deep, in fact.  Yep … all the way down.  I scooped out handful after handful after handful of nasty stinky black sludge.  I was covered in it by the time I’d finished, but Sean very kindly hosed me down before I went off for a long hot shower.  Despite my very long shower, and washing my hands around 30 times since, I can still smell sludge on my hands.  Nasty.  But on the plus side, the drain is draining again.  It’s going to get a good dose of bleach tomorrow, followed by Jeyes Fluid later this week and then I’m going to sort out a cover for it to stop leaves and God only knows what other crap finding its way in.

Following the stinking theme, Ethan was dropped off earlier by his Dad and his Dad’s current partner.  I was sitting on the front wall with Sean waiting for him – earlier today we (me and Mike) severely pruned out my lavender bushes in the front garden.  To be fair, Mike did most of the actual pruning – I came down from my shower to find that while I’d been unblocking the drain etc, he’d pruned out most of the bushes – such a lot of it was dead wood.

Anyway, Ethan came home, and when his Dad was pulling off, he told me that he had something to tell me.  His Dad’s current partner (let’s call her Her Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned) on seeing us sitting on the wall amongst our severely pruned bushes, said something along the lines of ‘I can’t believe it, she’s actually got off her arse and done something’.  Charming, yes?  This from someone on the distinctly chavvy side of the spectrum who doesn’t work and spends most of her time taking ‘well deserved’ holidays with He Who Shall Remain Nameless, while her kids are dumped off on their Dad.  I, on the other hand, work full-time, own a business, have a second job, am studying, and still find time to try and keep on top of the house – so let’s face it, if I do sit on my arse occasionally I should bloody well think I deserve to, don’t you?

Yep, something definitely stinks around here, and it’s not the drains …