The Weekend Post #20

So, this weekend was one I would normally dread. In fact, it was one I was dreading, especially after losing Gatsby. It just so happened that I lost my best bud, and then a few weeks later, Bill and Mark were both going to be away, leaving me and Elsa on our own. 

I was worried because I knew I'd feel lonely. Elsa is quite the outdoorsy gal, and you can never tell when she'll hang around, it just depends on what she fancies. 

And it was the bank holiday. Everyone else had plans and I didn't want to push myself on anyone, and really, I just needed to buck my ideas up and stop being such a wimp about me-time. I swear I must be the only person who gets like this sometimes. 

Luckily I had Mark around on Saturday, so while he had a lie-in, I woke early and pottered around downstairs.

We had plans to do a bit overhaul of the spare room, which had just become a dumping ground from when we started decorating the living room. There was stuff everywhere, a double bed that has never really been used, and, considering we'll be knocking through into this room, to make a huge kitchen-diner, we thought we may as well clear it and sort everything out in preparation.
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Reading & Watching

I have learnt something massive about myself this year. And that is that I can't sit still for very long. It's nothing to do with my attention span, more that I am a workaholic. I can't stand to not be doing something productive these days. I don't know when it happened, because I'm pretty sure, once upon a time, I was a pro at sleeping until noon. Maybe it's motherhood, or maybe it's just the efficient side of me taking over, either way - I do have a really busy life. And it was only something I realised in recent weeks, especially when we lost Gatsby, because that was the first time, in a long time, where I just did not care about getting things done.

When I didn't lie there - a puddle of tears - I slept, cuddled my son, or read a book.

And I remember turning to Mark and saying: "Books are the best form of escapism." And then I realised that, maybe, I've been so secure in the driving seat of my life that I've not really fancied escaping anywhere. And I wanted to change my mindset - I was too busy living a fast-paced life that I wasn't allowing myself much time to daydream anymore.

I used to spend my nose in books, or my evenings curled up under blankets watching SATC or countless rom-coms. Now I barely ever do that.

So recently, I ordered myself some books and I've gotten back into reading. It was on the train at first. To and from work. But now, I'm finding myself sneaking hours here and there.

And it's not just books.

It's telly too. Normally a fidget bum, I'm getting into programmes like a true telly addict. It's grand.

So what's got me hooked?


The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson - the first book I read out of my small pile and it didn't take me long. It followed a clever plot of two women wanting to escape from their lives and involved love, friendship and even horses. I loved it and it was nice to read something romantic but not too sickly sweet.

That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson - I'm in the middle of this at the moment and I'm a die-hard Dorothy Koomson fan, so it's safe to say I'm hooked. I really enjoy the culture she brings to her books. She broadens my mind and talks about topics that I've not always had chance to think about. This is about adoption and being a black woman who grew up in a white family. It's gripping. I can't wait to finish it once I've finished writing this!

The State We're In by Adele Parks - I love Adele Parks, having read some of her books before. And I'm really looking forward to this one. I can't tell you if it's decent yet, but the blurb tells me: "What are the odds that the stranger sitting next to you on a plane is destined to change your life?" I'm in.

Gurgle - It may not be a book, but I've been loving this little mag at the moment. It's fresh, not too frilly and talks about motherhood and all of it's tricks and treats. I really like it - I've never read a mama mag before, and I can see this being popular the next time I'm pregnant too. Which might not be too long away!


Jane the Virgin - How could I not like a show with such a tease of a name? This is similar to the telenovela style shows (think Ugly Betty) and my God it's brilliant! I love it for it's crazy plot and wild characters and I've been addicted to watching this when Mark's in bed or being a bloke somewhere. It's my show and I kind of like it that way!

Lip Sync Battle - Oh. My. Word. Yes, you need to throw any British cynicism out the window, but this is just classic. A range of celebs lip-syncing to their favourite songs? Featuring wigs, crazy dance moves, LL Cool J and John Legend's beaut of a wife - Mark and I absolutely love it. And we don't care who knows it.

The One I Love - This is actually a film but we really loved it. It's got such an amazing plot that you would never expect and we were pretty gripped throughout. It starts off a couple on the rocks, attending counselling, and then, well, it goes pretty crazy.

What are you enjoying at the moment?

I could do with a few recommendations if you wouldn't mind.

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A little catch-up

I haven't written a post like this in a while.

You know, the: "Hey, so I fancied a ramble, would you like to read?"

I've been in a strange state when it comes to blogging at the moment. I don't always enjoy the pressure and the pace of it. It's 100% another job really. From remembering to pick up the camera, or charge it in the first place. To replying to emails. Or doing things justice. I try my hardest to read other blogs and be part of the community, but that mainly consists of watching my Twitter feed flow constantly, watching other lives pass by in a blink while I'm working at my desk.

Trying to do all of this, and work full-time, and be a decent mum, it's really quite a task. Luckily I like being busy and it's part of my personality, but I just can't keep up sometimes. I can't attend every event. I can't do meet-ups. I can't meet a blogging chum in London for a drink. And sometimes I'm frustrated by that, and other times I just have to let it slide.

I have decided, after much frowning into a wine glass, that I won't be doing BritMums Live this year. Which is bizarre for me, as I've been the last two years. I'm not the sort to seek out a sponsorship, but the cost of getting there, when I'm up here in the rainy North, is not something I feel is right to spend, at least for me. Plus, June is Bill's birth month, and I know that some mums might eye-roll and think I can't want to spend that much time with my kid, but I genuinely hate passing up Bill-time. I never feel it's worthwhile. And I always ache to find my way home.

I wondered if I would get FOMO about it all. I normally hate missing out on things. But I think I'll be happy to watch the weekend unfold via Twitter. Though I will miss seeing certain pals of mine, I have  lots of friends through blogging that I wish I could drag onto an island so we could all just take photos of our food, together, sometimes. But what it is pushing me to do is to try and organise something that isn't about blogs and more about friendship.

Speaking about Bill's birthday, I can't believe he's going to be three. He's so big now. We're having these brilliant conversations. He sings me songs. Not just cartoony songs, but UB40 or old-school stuff. He's so clever. He's so me. He learns exactly the same way as I do. Rubbish at numbers (sorry mate, you'll be a wordsmith I can tell), but instead he has this fantastic memory. My dad used to marvel at how I could remember so many song lyrics, especially when we used to do musicals together. At the time, I thought he was just being a silly dad, but now I understand that marvel. That "my kid is so incredible" feeling. And I'm kind of touched he ever felt that way about me.

Speaking of musicals, I have decided to go back on stage again. I don't know if I have ever mentioned this? Have I? I can't remember. But I used to sing, a long time ago. In fact, the last time I was on stage I played Laurie in Oklahoma and I was 22 years-old. I thought I knew so much, and then very next year I was pregnant. Just like that.

I haven't sung in such a long time. Like muscles that go soft, my voice has lost its strength and, in turn, I have lost my confidence. But I want to show the two most important people in my life who I am. Neither Mark or Bill have ever heard me sing properly on stage. They don't know such a big part of me that got put away with jazz shoes, musical scores and stage makeup. The show is only an am-dram thing, in the old theatre I've performed in so many times, but it will be nice to give it another shot, even if it might be the last time for a while, if our baby plans have anything to do with it. I'm excited though. I don't know if I will share anything of it on here. I could film it I suppose, but I wonder if you'll cringe seeing someone who you associate with words, or the very most, a Primark Haul, singing at you. It makes me blush bright red in all honesty, even at the thought of it.

And while I'm on a video note (look at me tying paragraphs together), I am so touched to be named one of Tots100 Top Video Blogs of 2015. That's a turn out for the books isn't it? I don't know how I have managed to do that. But I'm so proud. I must say that, YouTube, while I'm a complete novice, is a real passion at the moment. I think it's the fact that it's so new, so exciting, and I'm learning again. I also can't beat the video clips of our family. I watch them on the way to work on a Monday when I'm feeling the blues. And I can't wait to look back on them each year.

One thing I have decided, and I think I really want to go for it - is to get to a size 12 by September. It was a big deal writing that down. Because now I feel like you'll hold me to it. I just feel like I've lost the plot recently. I'm eating so much rubbish and lying to myself. And this week I've really tried. I don't want to slip back to how I was. I was so proud of myself and I never expected to be a size 14 and I think I tricked myself into think I was invincible. I'm really not. I'd just like to go on holiday and feel a million bucks. Or pounds. You know what I mean.

I forgot to add before, what do I buy a three year-old for his birthday? What do kids like? I feel so out of touch. Having a June baby means garden toys could be a good idea - a scooter, a bike, or something that will make lots of mess or lots of noise. But he has so much. I'd like to get him some new books. So please recommend your favourites below. And any other ideas you might have!

I feel a bit like, if I closed my eyes, I could be saying this aloud to you. We might have a brew, or a glass of wine, and we'd definitely be in PJs. I think it's the nice thing about the opportunity to just write sometimes. Like no one's watching. Or reading.

It's just nice to get it down.

*PR Collaboration.
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Sesame Saganaki Kefalotyri

I feel like I haven't posted a recipe for a while, and that's mainly due to me being in a strange old mood. If you read my latest post, you'll know I'm clinging on to the weight loss wagon. I thought I was going to fall off, especially after everything that has happened recently, but I am fighting it.

I've just got to stick to this. Because I really have realised that "a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips" is kind of true. I only enjoy food when I'm eating it. But the weight worries never leave me.

Anyway, while this isn't the healthiest recipe ever, in moderation, tumbled over a big plate of rocket, and maybe a handful of ripe, juice tomatoes and a few olives, this gorgeous greek cheese dish is spot on for summer.

It utilises Kefalotyri cheese, which certainly gives halloumi a run for it's money - it's just that bit more melty (not as squeaky) and still has that salty kick that I love.

This is super easy to make too.


Kefalotyri cheese (I bought this one)
One egg
A bag of sesame seeds
Olive oil


Grab a non stick pan and let it heat up on a moderate heat. And add a tiny bit of olive oil if you're wary of it sticking.

Take your cheese and slice into triangles - I liked the shape - but you could do whatever you like. Grab a bowl and crack your egg into it, and whisk. Grab a plate and tumble your sesame seeds out. Add a little at a time, so you don't waste any.

Dip your cheese into the egg, and then into the sesame seeds and pat the seeds to ensure they stick.

Pop them straight into the pan and cook on both sides until the cheese is melty and oozing and your seeds are toasted.

Serve on a bed of rocket, as I mentioned, with a good drizzle of honey, or lemon juice if you'd rather.

Works great in a salad, and even as a side. And it's a perfect BBQ accompaniment for when you want to impress people without much work too!

Works great with Prosecco if you were wondering. And I imagine a G&T would be kind of brilliant too.

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The Weekend Post #19

I was a little dubious about this weekend, having only lost Gatsby a week ago, I was a bit unsure about our plans for a weekend away at Alton Towers. Mainly because I didn't like the idea of leaving my little cat girl all alone.

And plus - I just wasn't in the mood? I've struggled for the past week. To the point where I've tried to swallow my feelings because I'm worried what people will think of me. 

But we had plans made, and my parents were happy to take care of Elsa for us, and I didn't want to stop Bill from having a lovely experience. 

On Saturday morning, after his dad had dropped him off, Bill collected his animals together and, shortly afterwards, we were on our way. We had to stop at two different post offices on our way, to collect some parcels, and I ended up with three parcels to open in the car, which helped me pass the time.

You can see what was in two of them by having a nosey at my Instagram.

Alton Towers is only an hour away from us, so, it was the perfect time for Bill to nap, before we arrived around lunchtime. A quick pit-stop for food, and then we were off.

As we had Bill with us, there was no chance of Nemesis and Oblivion for us. We didn't expect to have such a good time at CBeebies Land, but we actually did! 

We ended up going on five rides in the end. Which doesn't seem very much, considering we spent about four hours wandering around, but it was so busy! And we also fitted in some sight seeing and ice creams. As you do.

There was an In The Night Garden ride.

A Postman Pat ride. With an amazing Octonauts rollercoaster too.

And why did no one tell me that Feasts were so good? How could I have forgotten?

We ended up staying in the Splash Landings Hotel. Which was Caribbean-themed. The lifts were built to look like crates underwater, and played a little sailor jig every time the doors closed. Every time we'd take the lift we'd all dance and giggle, something Bill loved. 

I especially liked the sea-themed carpet, underfoot everywhere we went.

The cocktails weren't too bad either.

We spent most of our time, after our evening meal (which, if we're being honest, was a bit pants given the price), trying to win tickets in the arcade, so that we could exchange them for these old-school Lego figurine sets. We tried so hard, and the fellow in charge must have taken a shine to Bill, as he let us take two in the end. That really did make us smile - we'd been working so hard to win those tickets so it felt like a bonus! 

After some drinks, a little boogie from Bill, and some laughter from me and Mark, we headed back to our room and ended up three-in-a-bed for a while. Just chatting, which was kind of lovely.

The next day, we headed back to Alton Towers for a few more rides, while it was quiet. It was so much quicker and I'm kind of kicking ourselves for not doing things the other way around on Saturday.

After an hour or so in the park, we grabbed brunch - bacon subs, fruit and muffins are always a win, no matter what time of day it is - and then headed to Splash Landings to get our swim on and experiment with our GoPro.

The whole trip was all thanks to Konfidence, who have supplied us with all of Bill's swimming gear. We absolutely love the brand and it's so much nicer to see Bill in a comfy swim jacket than squeaky armbands (which he loathes).

Playing around with the GoPro was absolutely brilliant. You completely underestimate that tiny camera, until you get home and see how brilliant the footage is. We've really enjoyed looking through this afternoon (and you can see some clips in this weekend's videos below).

We headed back around 2:00pm, with a stop at my parents' house, because they had been kind enough to rustle up our dinner so I didn't have to cook amidst the mountains of laundry and hours of editing I've had to do. 

Now? Well, it's 22:47 exactly. And everyone is in bed bar me and Elsa. I was so frightened of coming home to find she wouldn't be there. It's irrational, I know. But she's much more carefree with her affections than Gatsby was, and I know she likes to house-hop for a nosey at times. I can tell - which can make me jealous, I admit! 

I was worried that, now Gats isn't here anymore, that she'd have no cause to stay, But she's proving me wrong. She's purring like a fine engine on my lap, and her paws are treating me to a little light acupuncture, she's padding that much. 

She smelt heavily of cold, fresh air when she came in. And grass. Which says to me, she's most likely been wandering, looking for him. I can sense it in her. I know she's lonely.

We have decided, at some point, to get her a friend. We aren't sure when as advice we receive is mixed. She's only two so many people have said she's likely to react much better while she's young. She's also used to other cats too. And I know she's dying for comfort and interaction. Especially when we're at work.

I know that we would like to own two cats again, possibly even more if they came as a duo, like Gatsby and Elsa did, and it was a right fit. But we won't be rushing.

On Friday, I found out who hit Gatsby. And it was someone I know, vaguely. And while I'm very grateful for that person having the decency to take him to a vet, it actually makes the pain raw. 

Apparently Gatsby was stood near a neighbour and he just rushed out. It was unavoidable. But then, our road is quiet, the houses set back from the pavements, a clear view, and I still feel people drive too fast.

And part of me wishes that someone had come forward earlier to tell me. 

He died right outside our house it seems. 

The view from the front window will never be the same.

But time is a great healer. And I haven't cried today.

And the weekend was lovely.

And this little girl on my lap is so very special to me.

Watch the videos:

Join in the linky:

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The Picnic Bench & Last Snaps of Gatsby

On Bank Holiday Monday, just gone, the sun was out, and Bill was napping off a cold. So Mark and I decided to get building this gorgeous picnic bench, which we were sent by Wayfair (warning - you'll want everything you see on that site).

Little did I know it would be one of the last proper memories we'd have with Gatsby too.

I've always loved picnic benches. I have strong memories of them - there's a pub, up the road from us in Adlington, called The Miner's Arms. It's changed hands over the years, and changed inside and out quite a few times too. 

I remember going to Bonfire nights there, with a big blazing fire in the field. I remember family bike rides, with the promise of a lime and soda and a steak sandwich at the end, if we were good. Or sometimes a quick drive up, to share Hula Hoops, pork scratchings and KP nuts, our two dogs panting beside our family of four. When I was the child, not the mother. 

A photograph also springs to mind. Of a toddler Charlotte and a baby James. Dressed for summer - me in a pink dress, him in stripes - and I think I'd been allowed a can of Coca Cola to myself, toes dug into fresh grass, sipping from super-thin straws, which made the bubbles extra fizzy. 

And there would always be picnic benches. 

I know you can get these gorgeous patio sets these days. With plush chairs, and wide umbrellas. But this just seems to fit a little more with us. It's always going to be there, waiting. Sometimes it might have washing ready to hang out on the line atop of it. Sometimes, gardening tools and bulbs. Sometimes a blanket of snow, I imagine.

But mainly BBQ food - that's what I'm hoping! 

We thought we were doing an alright job building it. 

We were following steps and hauling great big pieces of wood about. 

Mark lay on the floor, screwing upwards into one of the seats and Gatsby pads over, in the bulldog-ish way that he did. "No Catty!" I remember mark mock-scolding him and laughing. I nudged him away with my hand and he doubled-back on me and swirled his smooth shiny coat under my hand, from the tip of his nose to the very end of his tail. 

I remember smiling at his affection and persistence. He was just always there. I couldn't hang a single sock on the line without him settling down to watch.

It wasn't just our memory either. 

My parents arrived, back from Bakewell, with a Bakewell Tart for us, and they rescued us from the mess we'd made. 

Given, the instructions weren't exactly the easiest to follow - with little guidance - but we'd messed up and had to undo about half of our work and start again. My dad and Mark set to work, while I split myself between handing them nuts and bolts, playing with Gats, keeping an ear on the baby monitor, and chatting to my mum. 

My mum picked up Gats like a baby and fussed him completely. She and Dad buy the cats treats every single week, even though they have two dogs of their own.

Once it was up, and my parents left us to it, I plated us up some food, and we sat down to enjoy our handiwork. 

It was sturdy and ready - we didn't need to drag chairs over, or get things from the garage. I love the effect of the natural wood and how it suits our garden. Space for a shade has got me thinking of buying a striped parasol. And you could always get some cushions if you wanted to get comfy. 

And as we sat, chatted and munched our way through our lunch, I suddenly felt my side of the bench dip. And to my left was a beautiful black cat.

He couldn't wait any longer, having watched it all happen, and he sat beside us, in companionable cat silence (that said so much) and it was just a lovely moment for me. 

Yeah, I had splinters, and back ache, and my knees were wet from the damp grass, but it was a really brilliant moment. 

And even though I won't see Gatsby again. And I'm still heartbroken. It's nice to know that there'll always be that table waiting for us in the garden, whoever sits at it, hopefully it will last. 
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Bad Habits

If you've read my blog for a while you'll know that I have, over the past year or so, lost over three stone in weight (read my weight loss posts if you want to see more). Which is kind of incredible, especially when I was going from having a wardrobe that contained size 20s, to a wardrobe that even houses some size 12s now.

I know that size is not the be-all and end-all, but the change in my confidence, happiness, and in turn, my life, has been incredible. And I am so proud of myself for making that change happen.

The only problem is that, recently, I feel like I'm starting to slip.

It's not like I'm locking myself in my bedroom with 12 Krispy Kremes and a family-sized bag of Doritos, I just feel like I'm making silly choices.

I'm still resisting treats at work - I don't know how my willpower is so strong there, because at home it's a different story. I keep gravitating towards 'treats' and I'm justifying it most of the time with the excuse of "it's the weekend". Or even "I've had a bad day".

I feel like it all started around Easter time and the bank holidays we've been having. We've also had a few trips, like our stay aboard the Anthem of the Seas, and I've really indulged. Like, really indulged. And I've noticed my weakness is, hands-down, sugar. Not necessarily sweet food, but food with sugars in, through carb form. I know that, the second I start getting a taste for those bloody brilliant Waitrose Sour Pastilles, or a hankering for a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, it's literally all I want. All of the time.

When we found out the news of Gatsby on Friday I felt like any sort of enthusiasm I had for life just drained right from me. I know, I know, some of you will eye-roll because he's a cat, but I can't explain it properly. You aren't me. I'm not you. And he meant an incredible amount to me. It's getting better slowly. But when I have wanted food, the idea of salad, with acidic dressings, or over-tart fruit was just not doing it for me.

What I struggle with is this feeling of addiction to food. I've craved chips, cheese, grease, and it's so unlike me - I feel like I'm going back to how I used to be. I’ve used tips before, like drinking lots of water, and choosing healthy snacks (and painting my nails so I can’t reach into crisp packets at night), but I feel like I need a push at the moment. It's making me understand the struggle to give up smoking now.

I’ve never smoked before, and it’s probably for the best, because I seem to have an addictive personality. It can really harm your health, but it seems harmless at the time, much like eating does too. In the same way that you can get e cigarette kits, which save you money, improve your health, and help you to stop smoking, I feel like I’m still waiting around for them to do the same thing for pizza (Dragons’ Den anyone?). I see so many people using these e-cigarettes now, and I know a lot of people who have been able to quit as a result – so if they could invent something that tastes like food that isn’t food, that would be grand. Like Wonka’s bubblegum, but with less side effects.

I know I am staring at my options. And I know it's a really simple choice. Just get straight back on it. Stop the naughty stuff, and just crack on. But it's finding the will-power to start again.

I have that voice in the back of my head that says: "I just can't be arsed, Charlotte."

I'm still in size 14s and the thought of going up again terrifies me. Genuinely, utterly, terrifies me. I've recently ordered a pair of jeans from ASOS (these ones, I'm channelling that 70's vibe) and they better fit or my confidence will plummet.

It's not even that I feel bigger, I just can tell my body is ready and willing to give up, if I do. And I don't want that.

I know a lot of this has to do with the loss I feel, the fact that it's that time of the month (I'm not even go to apologise for TMI on that one - I'm on period, I didn't poo on the floor) and that I've been feeling a bit stressed all-round lately.

And I really need to change that feeling.

So the point, or rather points of this post are:

1) People often say I'm an inspiration because of what I've achieved, and that's amazing, I love that I can help others do the same thing too. But I also wanted to be up-front and say, actually, I suck sometimes, and I think that's what weight loss is about. It can be cyclical, but progress happens. I promise.

2) Please give me a kick up the bum and tell me I can do this. I don't want to lose all of my hard work.

*PR Collaboration.
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A Little YouTube

If you didn't know (debatable, I'm like a broken record sometimes), I started a YouTube channel not so long ago. It's been a bit of a strange one for me, because I enjoyed it, fell out of love with it (mainly due to camera issues) and then I ended up finding my place this year. I started out with 300 subscribers in January, and today, I managed to reach 1,000 followers!

I know that isn't big by Zoella's standards at all, but for me that's extremely touching because I feel like YouTube is the place that you put yourself out there a a lot more. I can't hide behind words, or photographs, I generally need to be smack-bang in the middle of the screen, and if you've watched, plenty of you have seen me without makeup by now (you poor bunch).

You can read more about why I pressed record here, but I actually came on to share some of my latest videos and to see what you thought about the YouTube world and to see if you had any requests.

My take on coparenting and the advice I wish I'd been given:

An Asda George at Home Haul:

Loves & Hates of Parenting Tag:

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A Weekend for One

The joy of being a football widow is endless isn't it?

Nah, in all honestly, I don't mind the weekly match trips Mark takes to Preston, during football season, but sometimes it can be a pain in the bum.

If you are at all into football you'll know that Preston North End kind of fudged their chances of being promoted automatically last week, which has meant, in the past two matches, the upcoming bank holiday weekend has been held in limbo.

Bill is actually away with his dad that weekend, which is something I dread, always, because I miss him so much.

I like to fill our time with things to do. So whether that's doing loads of chores, or having quality time with Mark, I have to have something to focus on, or look forward to.

Our plan, all being well, would be that we might whisk ourselves away for a mini break somewhere - a romantic weekend away, just us two. We went last year (you can read about it here) and, even though it was early days, it was a defining weekend for us and we came back, closer than ever. We ended up booking a log cabin and it was absolutely amazing. There was a hot tub, countryside all around, and we were able to explore the nearby towns and cities and just really let our hair down.

I remember, the morning we left, I sat on the decking, munching on a sesame bagel and smiling. Mark was still fast asleep and my head was foggy with a hangover, but my thoughts were clear. I really loved him, and I was so excited for our future, five months in, and I was so giddy.

When you have a child, finding couple time is hard work. But starting a relationship with a child - well, it's a whole different ball game (see football is everywhere in my life). We really had to work at it, and while we're settled now, owning a home together and planning future kids and house renovations, it still matters for us to have some time to laugh ourselves silly over absurdly-named cocktails and overpriced food (or in some cases Jack Daniels Honey and two massive bags of Doritos).

I really want to go back to where we went last year, but, as chance happens, Preston are at the play-offs in Wembley of all places, Bill is gone, and I'm looking at a weekend for one.

Usually, I'd just make my weekend so busy that I wouldn't notice. But now Gatsby is gone, and Elsa is mourning in her own way (being needy one minute and disappearing the next) I'm dreading it. Still, I think it will be good for me in a way - I'll just have to enjoy my own company, which is something I'm terrible at.

As for future mini-breaks, I'm hoping we can time one the next time Bill is with his dad, over a weekend. He doesn't go very often at weekends, and I refuse to miss out on anymore time with him.

What would you do with a weekend all to yourself? 

I need some inspiration, so I don't just end up working.
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