Sunday 30 September 2012

Friday Catch Up ( Again ) and a bit of Nostalgia. ( and how I got my name! )

Hello Dear readers ,old and young, established and new, please say hello in my little comment box at the bottom of this post. I am so easily pleased when I find your little gems in there.

I know this is now going to be posted on a Sunday - but I started it on Friday, hence I'm keeping the post title. But pesky real life keeps getting in the way.

This post goes a little way to explain how I came about my Internet Moniker of Rachelradiostar.
Miss Rachelradiostar

There is a man who wakes me up most mornings. This man is not my HG.  ( Hunter Gatherer )

This man is in our bedroom though and at 6.05 every week day the clock radio clicks on and Graham Liver starts my day!

We listen to BBC Radio Lancashire and  in my humble of humblest opinions it's the best  breakfast radio programme ever. I used to listen to Chris Moyles, but preferred it when he wasn't actually on it! Comedy Dave was far funnier. The clock radio crackles like mad on Radio 2, so BBC Radio Lancashire it was.
Have a listen!I think this is a link to the listen again bit.  BBC RADIO LANCASHIRE BREAKFAST SHOW
Cheers Google images! I can always count on you!

We have listened to this show for a few years. Tony Livesey was the presenter then, and along with Alison Butterworth, who  seemed to laugh  non stop! She was the best bit of the show really! A great double act. We were treated to a really lively, funny topical show. I love the Northern accents. Then he left and we were 'given' Mr Liver.

Straight away, listeners took to him I think. He seems to involve them more than Mr Livesey did. Or maybe that's because I never used to text in. Or maybe it's because he is from my hometown.

Mr Livesey was from  Burnley/Chorley/East Lancs way I think, so naturally he talked about that part of Lancashire more. Also, despite never watching it, or being interested in it I was fast becoming an expert of Football! ( A tradition that is carried on with The Graham Liver show! )  It was heavily focussed on sport as I remember.

But, things change, so now when the radio presenter is regaling us with his funny tales of his younger days I know exactly where he is talking about! There is a hardcore gang of his 'Clocking In Club' . Early risers R us! The day 'Jean in Morecambe' and 'Jean in Burnley' don't clock in, I will worry and will probably have to ring someone to go round and see if they are OK!  In fact the are the only pair of Jeans I seem to fit into!!' Biker Nigel' is another character - who I've 'met' on the Twitter! 'Aunty Pat' gets in touch daily as do I! I text in if I have something to add, which is most days and almost every time he reads it out! On a few occasions, the radio station will ring me back but I never answer! I am too shy and squeaky of voice! I do love the way he chats to the  older ladies who ring in!  ( Gulp - I am now one of these older ladies...)  ( See below!) He gives local politicians a good grilling on matters important and he will always try to present both sides to a story. The football is still a feature

One day last week - he actually announced on air that they were ringing me so would I answer! Well, Graham, if you are reading - this morning ( Friday )  I DID ring in...... but  totally chickened out after 7 rings and texted instead! But thanks for reading it out! It makes me smile. ( In a totally NON sinister stalkerish way!! ) and now I'm retroblogging!

My tinternetname 'rachelradiostar' came about when I used to listen, years ago to John Gilmore aka  DJ Gilly, also a BBC Lancashire presenter now , who back then used to work for Bay Radio - our independant City Radio station and he used to run a competition whereby you had to provide the word left out of a piece of speech by a famous person.

Local businesses would add to a daily prize pot and you had to be a certain caller to get through. The Breakfast Bleep was on everyday, and one competition had been running for weeks, and the prize fund was HUGE. One day I got through, but guessed wrongly. When I got to work, my colleagues were asking was that you on the radio? etc. Well I got through  over the next few weeks and had about 5 more guesses -  all wrong. By now even parents were calling out across the playground that they'd heard me!  Staff were saying they heard me on their way to work! I usually would say completely the wrong thing on Air and I was always a nervous wreck.

Especially on the day that I rang in and actually WON! The clip was of Ant n Dec and the bleeped word was 'LAND'. They were talking about TV Land. I did lots of girly squealing etc. I had won a total of £1500 in prizes. IN PRIZES not cold hard cash. Some of the prizes were a little less desirable than the others.

The butcher's voucher was tasty, the £150 voucher for the posh tile shop was spent wisely.  The weekend away at a posh hotel looked divine  ( although we never went! ) and the 4x4 driving experience was given away as a present. The Panini Stickers which came by the box full made me laugh out loud, because they were ALL the same stickers! Approx 250 packets worth!  I still have the box of insoles on the top of my wardrobe. Not sure why I've kept them. They don't fit anyone! And loads more crap generously donated items of interest.

I also won a Fire Eater for the day. Yes you heard that. A real life Fire Eater! He came with his very strange assistant, who was never going to be described as glamorous. There is a sub story here......maybe for another time!

I had just joined the PTA at school so I donated him to the Summer Fair. With the help of  DJ Gilly, who came and opened the fair for us, and gave us lots of publicity, we held the most successful summer fair ever raising about £6000 towards the new Computer Suite. £6000 in 4 hours! What an achievement! The Fire Eater was fantastic and my children stood on him on his bed of nails! I do have photos somewhere but it was so long ago now I have no idea where they are! ( O MY WORD just googled him on the off chance that there were some photos on the tinternet and found out he was 'done' for benefit fraud a few years ago!!!! )

Anyway when I got to work - my colleagues who used to start earlier than myself had hung a huge banner from the windows that said 'CONGRATULATIONS MISS Radiostar'
As it was about 8.45am there were a lot of parents waiting in the playground and more than 7 of them asked me was I expecting a baby!!!! How embarrassing! 

This morning Graham Liver was talking about being off ill when he was a child and watching all the day time programmes back in the 70s/ early 80s. I text into say my absolute favourite was 'A Handful of Songs' with Maria and Keith.  He could not remember it! It was my favourite for a long while.The song that would have me giddy beyond belief was Mouse in a Windmill and I found it on YOU TUBE!!! Hooray!!! So here it is for your pleasure!

I saw a mouse! Where? There on the stairs!

Here is the original programme...

Other  childhood TV favourites were Pipkins, Homfrey House, Rainbow and when I was older: Magpie.  To use a phrase I saw on Twitter once, Magpie was like Blue Peter, but with 20 Embassy Regal King Size tucked up it's shirt sleeve, nestled against a tattooed bicep! ( The bicep bit is all mine! )  I wasn't a Blue Peter girl at all - except I loved John Noakes and Shep and cried along with the nation at the devastating news when he died. Shep that is, I'm pretty sure John Noakes is still alive. { Good grief I am now going to have to find out if he is....}

John Noakes ( still with us ) & Shep ( sadly not )


NB: It's absolutely fine to mention cigarettes - it was the 70s/80s. Children were ALLOWED to see them and buy them from the shop for their mums and dads! Not many of these small children were smoking.

Other daytime programmes  which Graham listed that a sickly child could watch included Crown Court, Pebble Milll at One, Sons and Daughters, A country practice, Shortland Street,  The Sullivans, I used to adore ITV news with Peter Scissors. My mother always made sure we watched the Children's Schools programmes on BBC2. 'The Way We Used To Live' History programme was excellent. If a tad gritty and gruesome. Think Horrible Histories but without the comedy and songs.
Sometimes I watched it twice in a row - but the second time it was in Welsh.
I used to rejoice at Words and Pictures. I was in Junior 3 for crying out loud, but I am not ashamed I used to draw my letters along in the air with the magic pencil! Even as a child I had my rose tinted glasses firmly ON!  The rose tints didn't alter the fact that all the programmes were in BLACK & WHITE!

I shall quit rambling on now - I think you will have had quite enough but will leave you with my memories of Saturday TV in the 70s/80s. Mornings were TISWAS and NO 73. ( Still wasn't a BBC girl back then )  and the wrestling on World of Sport ( eeeaseh eeeaseh! )when I was a bit older.  Best of all was watching Play Away with Brian Cant ( Posh people reading this, please be careful ) and Floella Benjamin, possible the most exotic creature I'd ever seen. It was on BBC2 and it was better than Playschool. THEN at tea time after the boring football results came Bugs Bunny. A. Bugs Bunny cartoon. Imagine the sheer JOY when after it finished, it didn't say 'That's all Folks!' we got ANOTHER one!!!  That kept our spirits up until the Generation Game! TWO cartoons!!

Children these days have access to 24 hours of children's shows. The poor things! Maybe this is why they do not appreciate things!!

Right, a quick read through and then I'll hit publish! Please add any of your favourite childhood TV memories. I bet I've forgotten loads! If you are featured in this blog - say hello!!

Wednesday 19 September 2012

A dangerous world.

People getting killed by guns, in my mind, happens in films and America. Not just up the road from me in the "safe gun free" UK. This is increasingly not the case.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of the two police officers mown down in cold blood yesterday.

The debate rages on in the papers, on the radio,on the TV and the Internet about how our police officers should/should not be armed. I doubt that this would have changed the outcome of yesterday's awful events. Maybe police officers should wear body armour and bullet proof vests from now on. Again, after listening to the reports, I wonder if they would have survived.

What I DO think, is, in this country we are far too lax with criminals and justice is very rarely done. I think the death penalty should be returned. I understand the cries of the 'miscarriages of justice' but with the advance in forensic science now, since it was abolished, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the pure evil scum would get what they deserve. Look at the evil Brady/Hindley pair. No doubt whatsoever there. How many thousands of our tax £ that we have to pay has gone on looking after these in prison?

I could really rant on about prisons. They are giving their guests much better conditions than a lot of old people's homes.Oh and an education that my daughter is already £9k in debt for. Human rights?? Well I'm sorry but I don't think they deserve any the minute they break the law.

And bail?? Too many people are killed by people let out on bail. He was arrested 3 months ago, but let out on bail.

Come on CPS toughen up. Thieves should lose a finger for every crime they commit. Youthcrime should be punished by stocks in the city centre. Rapists should be castrated. Murderers should be dispatched the exact same way they took the life of someone else. A few sick psychopaths could be kept chained up especially for this purpose.

How CAN those poor women RIP?? I'd be haunting that bastard for the rest of his time.

I also spare a thought for his mum. That poor mama. To know your child is a monster?

Rant over.

I am still maudlin over my girl. I worry for her safety. It's hard to let go. I know she is having a good time. Guess it's part of growing up! Her AND me.

Love Rachel x

Saturday 15 September 2012

Here safe and sound

I am blogging from the room, which is jolly nice, within the flat which is jolly nice. The flat mates seem jolly nice too. We are off to do a big shop, while she goes to the S.U. then we will deliver it to her then come home! Meanwhile, these two look comfy don't they?!

Here we go

Friday 14 September 2012

University's Eve


Friday has come round all too soon. One proper day left at home. I'm a bit* raaaar that I have to go to work and spend it with other people's children, not my own. At 3.20pm I'll be hot footing it home. At approx 3.22pm I shall be home!

*I'm a LOT raaar.

I know she will be back before I know it with mountains of dirty washing. I know it'll be fine. I know it'll be the best years of her life. I know I've been working her whole life to get her to this point. See everyone, I DO listen. And thank you to everyone who has listened to me whine n whinge on. I'm pretending to myself, she's just going on another Scout Camp. This, I can deal with!

Her Dad, my HG ( Hunter Gatherer ) who doesn't say much, is struggling too. He spends his whole days at work thinking about his little girl, wondering if she'll be alright!
*rolls eyes* Daddy's Girl.
If she's wanted it, even when cruel, hard Victorian Mama has said no, never, not in a million years, Daddy has got it for her!!! ( Then moaned at her for not putting stuff away- she can't put it away, dear reader, there is too much sodding stuff!! )

Our poor, left behind son is going to feel the weight of all this parental attention!!! He'll be dragged out of his lair and have to take the role of both kids!! *sniggers*!!!! Please note I won't make him wear full make up and short skirts to go to school though! Hmmm nor will I fill his room with teenage girls!

He doesn't say much, obviously taking after the strong silent type his father is, but I'm sure he will miss her too.

They've been good siblings. She's completely bossed him about his whole life, apparently he swears at her on the way to the bus stop in a morning. The way she can strop n boss, I'm not surprised. I think I'd be swearing at her on the way to the bus stop.

But they've always been together. Even this summer, gone shopping, cycling, walking etc. They gave me a heart attack when they let go of the bar, when they were hanging upside down together, on a scary ' people die on those things ' extreme ride of terror at Camelot a fortnight ago! ( I videoed this on my phone, I am screaming louder than the people on the flipping ride! )

So he will be left at home. He takes his GSCEs this year. If all goes to plan, I'll be recycling this post in three years time, if he's been as successful as she at Sixth form.

You think I'm maudlin and whinging now??? You just wait til then!!!!

Here is one of my favourite photos of them. Playing together in one of our favourite places. It's a bit blurry, but that's to help you imagine seeing it through my tears!!!!

I hate to admit it, but my mother was right, the time has flown by and 'they are not babies for long' but they'll be my babies forever. I've already told work colleagues that if I'm not in on Monday, it's because I'm at Uni, under the bed in a tiny room in Newcastle!

No doubt I'll be back on my blog to regale you with The Move. I have NO idea how we are going to get it all in the car :-/

PS please keep little Harry chops in your thoughts today. He's gone for his four weekly Exam Under Anaesthetic. No more tumours, no new growth is what we want to hear.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

You can't beat.......

The smell of a freshly opened Kenco decaf coffee refill bag ( which is what prompted this little post )
The smell of a newly bathed baby
The smell of a batch of bread baking
The smell of that thin bit of corrugated card that covers the chocolates in a box of Milk Tray
The smell of freshly line dried washing
The smell of a Sunday Roast dinner cooking
The smell of my strawberries & buttercream Yankee Candle
The smell of freshly cut grass
The smell of bacon sizzling in a pan
The smell of fish n chips wafting over from somebody else walking past with some
The smell of the Candy Floss/hot doughnut stand on the prom
The smell of vanilla
The smell of Christmas
The smell of fudge

Over to you ... What smells do you adore? You know, the one where you stick your nose in, and breathe in deeply and go mmmmmmmm ooooooooo aaaaaahhhhh!!

Saturday 8 September 2012

One week to go...

Again I'm here on my phone. How lazy of me but I have genuine excuses.

I cannot get to the laptop ( which needs to be permanently on charge ) as there is the European University Stuff She Needs To Take With Her Mountain* in front of the desk. It's alarming at how it's lava is spilling down the stairs too.

Every day it's like an episode of The Krpton Factor as I try to manoeuvre safely round the house.

Students really do need everything.

£98 a WEEK is what her accommodation costs.

This is the lowest budget option too!! More than my mortgage. She is in a four bedroom flat with her own tiny room, sharing a kitchen, lounge and bathroom with three other girls.

Modern technology means that the girls have already 'met' and chatted on Facebook. One has a microwave, mine has a slow cooker, hoping that one of the others has a toaster! But how fantastic is it that they can forge friendships from the beginning? This makes me less intensely stressed somehow!

So that £98 pays for her room, heating, electricity, security and insurance. Internet is included too.

She totally deserves to be treated and spoiled. I am told over and over at how lovely, generous and kind hearted she is. She worked hard for this. Her whole family are so very proud of her.

( Yes of course she drives me insane sometimes, and let's not forget the fact she has been tidying her room for 7 years - I'm hoping for miracles when she's on her own!) ( But equally I will not be there to see it, therefore cannot nag about it!)

She has been spoilt by her lovely Nanna ( my mum ) who bought her new bedding, kitchen utensils, pillows, an iron, matching sets of knives, pads of paper, cleaning up stuff, a colander, microwaveable bowls ..... And stuff I can't remember. It's like the Generation Game. Her lovely other Nanna,( Dad's mum ) who is just as indulgent, will buy her the Student Railcard and a journey or two home. The money she was lucky to receive in her congratulations cards has been spent on the Fresher's Week pass(£55) and Student Union Card (£12).

She is having a purple theme, she's told me! We took her to Dunhelm Mill and got the few bits - few bits !!!!!!! - she needed from there. Including a delightful little lamp for £7. Lovely purple shade. Her quilt and a bedding set were kindly donated from her other Nanna and Grandad with a large bath towel.

Calling in at Sainsburys, we picked up some fabulous new pens and pencils etc all with 80% off. She is also taking all the old stuff from sixth form with her. Plates etc are from us. Pans are either going to be a new cheap but decent set ( I hate false economy ) or the set we gave away to Nanna if she doesn't actually use them!!!

The biggest outlay so far ( excepting the Uni fees themselves ) has been the book list. But with careful sourcing and shopping around I'm confident we made some good buys.

I will furnish her with the basics; pasta, toothpaste, shower gel, loo rolls and porridge. After that, anyone going to see her will take food parcels. She is going to get a job over in the North East where she is headed. She will have to. Her maintenance loan grant thingy will almost be used up on her accommodation. We will help as much as we can, but our income has gone down. Losing her child benefit for one !!!!!! Sorry am laughing at myself there!

Today's mission is to try and get everything into one area of the house. Take stock and see what's missing. She will buy certain things there as and when she needs them. Like an airer, maybe a pop up wardrobe cupboard etc. Tupperware boxes and anything else she can think of. Although I did say not to buy too much as eventually it'll all have to come back again!!

If anyone out there has been through this, what is that ONE thing that was either the best thing they ever got/was essential that's not on my list/total waste of money that never got used?


Keeping myself busy with practical things means I shouldn't have too much empty head space to dwell on the fact that she is going. ( uh oh - my nose is doing that prickling feeling thing, when your eyes water and you are going to cry.) The nightmares I've been having are horrendous. I cannot really get my head round it. I don't want to. Yet I know she is ready. Even though she has only been eighteen for three short months, I know I have raised a smart, independent, confidant girl. She can cook a whole array of things. She CAN clean thoroughly. She can shop smartly, knowing what's a good buy.

The photograph I have chosen to go with this post is a Sunrise shot, from our Holiday appartment in Wales. I've chosen it because it symbolises a whole new world is opening up for my daughter.
(Wow, that's a bit deep from me!!)

Now I just have to set her free ( ish - I will be texting and writing and visiting and ringing etc ) and hope she continues to choose well and set her standards high and is successful and happy. What more could I wish?

Love from
A melancholic mama *wipes solitary tear rolling down cheek*

* photos of EUSSNTTWHM to follow!

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Hi hoooooooooooaaaah!

Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to school I go,
With a book and a pen etc

Oh did I mention my heavy heart ?

I do whine a lot don't I ?

I am lucky to have a job in this day and age. Even though I've been on a pay freeze for four years and I think they are raiding my meagre pension too. I am lucky. This will be my mantra for this year.

Deep down we all know I'll be just fiiiiine when I get there. Today is a child free day too. The huge staff meeting is huge. Full of Important Information that I will no doubt write down and never refer to again!!

It's just a big culture shock that I can no longer do as I please all day! My choice is taken away!

Sigh. I suppose it will provide much blog fodder.

I'd much rather be in Harlech, tramping round the castle!

And as you all know, actually, I do love my job!!
See you all at hometime!
I suppose I should get dressed though. Staying in PJs all day is no longer an option.

But here is a shot of Harlech Castle to put you on till I blog up the castles. The History and atmosphere is palpable! I like to walk round, draping my hand on the Walls, thinking about those who touched them hundreds of years ago!!

Sunday 2 September 2012


Just thirteen sleeps till my precious daughter flees my safe, nurturing, loving nest. I well up just even thinking about it.

It seems worse somehow that I will be part of the team that will take her and abandon her ( with full equipment list; bedding, fluffy towels, crockery, a slow cooker, pots, pans, cutlery etc ) to the harsh, cold reality of the North East.

Dark and brooding is it's skies, bleak, lonely, cruel. ( pause for dramatic effect and maximum sympathy ) Group hug please!

Pass the tissues.....

Saturday 1 September 2012

September September

Remember remember the 1st of September,
Back to school treason I've got.

Quick mobile post today. I'm so heartened by some lovely folks who ask me to blog because they love to read it! I think they are fabulous ( so thanks people, you know who you are ).

I've so much to tell you all:
My absolute nervous trauma and experiences of getting ready to be packing off my first born to Uni, gleeful one minute, morose the next; delivery of my new shiny washing machine, the unexpected death of the old one ( the washing machine I mean ); my thoughts and feelings about having to go back to work ( against my will, will nobody save me??) on Tuesday; gorgeous photos and memories from our brilliant week away in Wales, where it actually didn't rain; how my sister discovered some thieving lowlife SCUM had emptied her bank account, when she tried to pay for her weekly shop; and other waffley waffle that I do! For now, here are a few gorgeous pics from Wales. I wonder if you can guess what we as a family like to do best ..... Oh and a beautiful shot of my new shiny .....

I'll get back to you soon with a proper post n everything very soon! I am trying to add relevant labels to each post. I'm not sure why?!!!