La Famiglia


I met my wife 7 years ago. I had moved to Southampton with my mum when I was 21 from my home in London. The reasons for my move are for another blog. So I met my wife down here, my mum moved back to London and I essentially stayed down here.

This is fine and I don’t regret this one bit. I have a great life, job, friends etc. But I drastically miss my family.

This became even more apparent to me last night.

All week, my little girl and wife have been suffering with a horrid cold/flu thing. I’ve had a head cold, but nothing drastic. We had planned for months to go up to London for my step-dads 60th birthday. All my mums side of the family were going to be there. This doesn’t often happen and I was really looking forward to spending the time with them. But due to my girls being ill, we couldn’t go.

At the time, I consoled myself with the fact that we were too poorly to go, and that was the case. But I’ve just seen some pictures on Facebook of the party last night, and it really hits home how I miss my mum, my family and being with them (even though they drive me insane!)

Unfortunately, money is so tight at the moment that going to visit them regularly is just not an option. £30 round trip in petrol a week is just crazy. But I need to figure something out. I want my daughter growing up knowing her family and I want them to be a bigger part of my life.

Maybe one day we can all live closer, or win the lottery so traveling isn’t such an issue!

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I’m Just So Angry, But Don’t Know Why


It’s now been 2 1/2 hours since my daughter woke with teething. My body is a ruin and I’m so tired. I’m trying to keep it together and not lose my temper, but it’s not working. I just smashed the switch to the kitchen light.

My wife tells me to calm down and not get angry, but it feels like she’s saying it in a judging way, like I’m weak for feeling this way, which stokes the fire in me even more!

I don’t think it’s a secret I have anger issues. I’ve never gone over the line, thankfully, and I don’t think I ever will. But shouting and venting are all part of my repartee. The thing that gets me more het up is when people tell me to calm down. Yeah, cause you saying it will make it happen! I try my best to stay calm, so when someone tells me, it’s basically saying: “you’re failing, so try harder!”

She’s now practically keeping me and my daughter apart, turning her back to feed her, not letting me help. I’m sure she thinks I’d so something. I understand my temper is scary, but it hurts me so much to think she believes that I could ever hurt either of them.

I wish I had someone I could talk to about it. My family wouldn’t understand. My wife would listen, but I don’t think she’d hear and take in what I was saying. Not sure anyone would. I don’t understand it myself.

Up until about 6 years or so ago, I didn’t think I was a very angry person. My temper never really got the better of me. Wish I knew where I went wrong. At least I could start from there. It seems like it has just appeared out of thin air. My mum seems to think I’ve always had a temper, but I honestly don’t ever remember feeling like this before.

I wrote the above last night. Since then, my wife has been severely distant from me. Can’t say as I blame her. I’m a big guy, I can be intimidating when I’m relaxed, let alone fuming. I’ve booked an appointment with my doctor for Friday. I’m going to ask if there is anything they can do or help with. I’ve had a look online, but I can’t see anything along the lines of government help for anger issues. Inject yourself with drugs, drink and other things people choose to do, they throw money at left right and centre and help them out to be a good government to the people. I don’t choose to be angry, I don’t choose to have a temper. But I don’t think there is any help for me out there unless I pay £40 an hour for the privilege (which isn’t going to do me many favours in calming down when I can’t pay my mortgage!).

Update – Ok, so I’ve told a bit of a porkie. There IS NHS funded help, but I may have to go on a waiting list…… o…k…

I am worried about doing the whole counselling thing. I find it so hard to talk about my feelings (apart from on here) and opening up to my biggest weakness will be something so hard and uncomfortable and even then, it might not work. But it’s worth a try. I just hope that something comes from my GP visit.

Can’t Sleep


Don’t you just hate it when you’re absolutely shattered, but can’t sleep.

It’s so infuriating!!

So I’m thinking of things. So far, lottery win division, an offer for my old job back and San da.

I’ll start with the old job. I left it over a year ago after suffering major stress related depression. It nearly destroyed me and ruined my marriage. Now I’m in a job where I’m VERY happy, feel appreciated and get to spend time with my family (moneys crap though). But I received an email out of the blue today from my old boss asking if I wanted my job back. I’m considering it purely for the money (my wife is only part-time because of our daughter.) Down sides: won’t get to spend much time with the family, won’t be able to train as much if at all, run the risk of depression again.

Other thoughts were just my previous San da fights. Keep running through my mind where I went wrong etc. Hopefully the new mma training I’m starting Monday will solve a few issues.

Then the lottery division. How would I divide up £12,000,00.00? So far, it goes like this:

£2 mil to charity (undecided which ones)
£2 mil into offshore account and live on interest
£1 mill each to my mum and mother-in-law
£1 mil split between my brother, sister and brother-in-law
£500k each to dad and father-in-law
£1.5 mil to rest of family
£500k round the world trip for me, the wife and daughter
£2 mil for house and car etc.

The house wouldn’t be anything too large or grand. Couple of £000k should cover it. Four rooms I suppose. Garden has to be big though.

Christ I need sleep!!!!

The Wife’s New Job


My wife is coming to the end of her maternity period and work is looming. Unfortunately, she will be unable to return to her current job part-time. It was looked at and discussed (to an extent) but was deemed undoable by the powers that be.

So be it.

Anyway, after the way she was treated (another long story I’d rather not get into) we both decided she shouldn’t return there. If for no other reason than we want her to be at home with our daughter at least some of the time.

She applied for a few photography jobs as she is a very keen and talented photographer, but these came to no avail. Instead, she opened up her own business and has been doing portrait shoots in a studio we made in our house (her website is here, please have a look). This has been going well, but isn’t really bringing in the money we need to keep going just yet. Hopefully once word gets around and the wedding season kicks in, things will change.

She did apply for a job working in a kids gymnastics place. I say gymnastics, it’s a tumble tots kind of get up, called Rainbow Mini Gym. This is perfect as she LOVES kids and she can even take our daughter to one of the sessions she’ll be working. Brilliant news came through today that she got it. Hours are great and days work perfectly. The only draw back is the pay is a little on the smaller side than I was hoping for.

So I get told the good news and the accountant in me rears it’s head. I start running figures through my head and alarm bells start ringing. I’m in the car at this time, so no where near my trusty computer and excel spread sheets. I get back to the office and start crunching numbers. I’m looking at tax relief and voucher schemes left, right and centre. The final result was that we can afford it. We’ll be tightening our belts so much that we’ll be wearing girdles, but we can do it. The only draw back is my training.

I was hoping to leave san da shortly and take up mma. This would be a culmination of techniques and arts I’ve wanted to learn but alas, we will only be able to afford 1 of my hobbies and rugby will ALWAYS take precedent for me.

So I was a bit down on thinking of this when I suddenly had a flash back. A little under a year ago, I was deeply depressed with my work and job. I couldn’t see any way out or any light at the end of the tunnel. My loving and supportive wife told me to leave that job. I did and found the job I’m currently in. Doesn’t pay as well as my last, but I’m much, much happier for it. What I guess I’m getting at is the same for my wife. She COULD go back to her job full time, get the good money and we can have our life back, but my daughter would suffer and be away from her mother. I’m not prepared for that to happen. So if sacrificing mma for my family is the option, I’ll gladly pay it.

Con Air Causes Deep Thinking


So I’m sitting here watching the film……. God, I can’t believe I’m going to admit this……. Con Air………… And the biggest shock, not only am I enjoying it (I’m in the right frame of mind for mindless, action crap) but it’s also making me think.

So as you may or may not know, Nicholas Cage is the hero of the film. He gets sent down for murder 3 months before his daughter was born. The first few minutes of the film is a talk-over of his letters to her and vice versa (obviously once she was old enough to write) and this is the part that got me thinking.

I’ve spent a lot more time in the last few days with Shannon (my daughter) than usual (lack of training on my part) and it’s been wonderful. She’s becoming such a character and seems to be becoming a right little daddy’s girl.

And seeing this scene in the film got me wondering how I’d feel about hearing of my daughter growing up without me being there. Already in this 7 months I’ve watched her grow from being a crying, shitting, eating blob to a hilarious, inquisitive, intelligent child. So much has happened and it would break my heart to think of missing any of it. Hell, the first time she crawled, I missed it by 1 hour due to being at work (luckily my wife managed to film it for me) and I was devastated! Sod missing 10 years!

Still, you break the law……..

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt – The Pictures


Ok, so after the disaster of my beloved iPhone 4 screwing me over by deleting my saved holiday blogs, I’ve accepted I will NEVER remember all the details of this fab family holiday. Bit gutted as I wanted to do the whole “Egypt Holiday: Day 1” blog thing. I do, however, have photos of the holiday. So what I’ll do is post these up here with a short blurb about each one and if this jogs my memory then I’ll elaborate. I’ll also try to keep them in chronological order as best I can:

The perfect way to start the holiday! There’s something about a pint of Beck’s Vier at 9am that just puts you in the right for flying

She was awake pretty much all the way there. But throughout a 5 hour flight, she only cried a total of about 40 minutes and most of that was due to hunger. On the way home, she slept the entire flight. Such an angel.

I think you’re a little young angel! (she was sucking the condensation from the tin as it was baking on the plane, before anyone starts yelling child abuse!)

I had to throw this one in, purely as I think it’s a cute picture of us

 The sight of Naama Bay shopping bit. The first few days of the holiday were spent round the beach/pool doing not a great deal, which is fine. But I prefer going out and investigating places. So I managed to talk my whole family in getting a mini-bus thing from our hotel to Naama bay. We get there and my brother is being a miserable sh*t, moaning at every opportunity. We look for food and my sisters kids want to go to Hard Rock Cafe (hardly Egyptian cuisine in my mind!) so we agree. 10 minutes in there and my little nephew is throwing up all over the table (not a great traveller, bless him) so my sister and her brood leave early. We finish our “meal” then my brother announces it’s too hot for his little boy and they disappear. This leaves me, my wife and child and my mum and her partner. Perfect! Finally, we get to do some shopping, mooch around the town, have a nice drink and it finally starts feeling like my holiday.

Shisha cafe’s in Naama Bay

This photo is very special to me. This is a photo of the very first time my daughter ever really cuddled up to me and the first time she ever fell asleep in my arms.

Teaching my nephew a few moves on the beach. He so desperately wants to learn a form of martial arts (he loves all these fighting cartoons etc.) I’ve told my sister to get him into muay thai and when he’s older, I’ll move him over to san da

This guy was a regular on our beach. There were loads of little tiddlers swimming about in the shallows of the sea, so it must have been like a fisherman’s buffet for this guy.

So caring of the wife to stand in my sun. Jealous much that I was getting a better tan than her??

Zip-wire fun at our hotel. I have to say, the hotel we stayed in (Holiday Village Red Sea, in case you were wondering) was fantastic for families. Can’t knock a thing. We had a few little things when we first got there, but they solved the problems quickly and no fuss. Great service.

Manly pose……….

On the way to our quad biking adventure, we met a famous star from the past and my brother just had to get a photo………….. What do you mean “you don’t recognise him?” It’s Orvil the Duck!!!!! (I wish I could fly, right up to the sky…….)

All I need is an AK-47 and I’m sorted baby!

This was the view I had from my quad. The scenery on the Sinai peninsular is truly breath-taking. I honestly thought I was on Tatooine and expected to see R2D2 fly by me.

On the quad ride, we stopped off at a Bedouin camp for some light refreshments. The whole sitting on the floor thing was remarkably comfortable considering there is only a blanket thrown on the floor.

Tourist shot……… Sorry…….

My first Shisha Pipe. And contrary to my wife’s thinking, you do NOT have to smoke tobacco in the shisha pipe. We were sampling a lovely cherry flavour and was fantastic. I was with my brother, brother-in-law and mum’s other half, we’re all ex-smokers and all loved this, but didn’t in anyway want a cigarette. Lovely experience.

My first bit of REAL culture in nearly two weeks and it came at the end of my holiday.

The wife and I finally got out and had a love Egyptian meal outside of the hotel (well, she had pizza). Again, such a shame we only did this towards the end of our holiday.

In closing, it was an amazing holiday where I saw and did a lot, relaxed wonderfully and got to spend some great time with all my family. I did miss out on my holiday type where I would immerse myself in the country and avoid all touristy things, but Sharm El Sheikh was built for tourists, so you can’t expect much more from it. That being said, if you have kids, this place it amazing and the people are really friendly and honestly love kids. Go there!!

Will It Never Stop?!


It’s now over 4 months since my little girl came into this world. As you know from my previous posts, this has not always gone so smoothly for me and “culture shock” would be an understatement! But as times gone on, things have gotten sooooooo much better.

I’m calmer now with her. This comes from my understanding of her needs and her growing up and not being such a blob (all new born babies are, you can’t deny it).

She’s becoming such a little character. She’s laughing at things, getting annoyed by things, learning so fast and is a total joy to have in my life.

But one thing is alluding us……. That infamous night of sleep!

 

Don’t get me wrong, we put her down at 8, dream feed at 11, then she goes through to about 3.30. Then we get her off and she stirs every half hour to an hour until 8. Not too bad really, but I’m dying for a full nights sleep. I think the missus is feeling it just as much (although she’s a total champ). My eyes feel like lead balloons, attention is zero and my energy levels are desperately low (and when you play rugby and fight san da, this can be a dangerous thing).

But we’re getting there. We have a holiday booked to Sharm El Sheik, Egypt at the end of September. That gives us 4 weeks to crack this night sleeping at get two weeks of peaceful bliss.

Wish us luck!!