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C is for ...

Agent D is stock car daft.

He used to go with his family when he was a got and it's a passion that has only grown (to the point he wants to buy and race his own stock car)

It's something Agent M and I are trying to get into cause it means so much to him and last weekend we experienced our first ever world final event.

That's why C is For Coventry.

Last Friday and Saturday, Coventry Motor Speedway played host to the Brisca F1 World Final and we got to witness the Final race from the comfort of a Hospitality box :)

Agent D's uncle was there and was kind enough to give us free tickets to the box. *I looked up the ticket price and was shocked. £75 per ticket! We 3 lucked out big time!*

In the box we could see the whole track and I was delighted to be up so high as big crowds freak me out. It was kinda relaxing being high enough not to see them all.

Lots of people render me stressed and anxious

They had a great food spread on so we had a party style dinner and there was a bar right out side the box which was reasonably priced (plus we got a complementary drink each).

Lots of yummy food

The racing was brilliant.

We saw the banger racing the night before along with some F2 cars but Saturday was mainly dedicated to the F1's as it was their world final (though we did see some saloon stocks and one heritage race).

Heritage in the afternoon

Saloons in the evening

The main event was brilliant. It started out with fireworks and you could feel the buzz in the air. Everyone was getting so into it. Shouting for their favourite driver. Even I got into it cheering on number 388 - Paul Ford (the only Scottish driver ... I was feeling patriotic).

Congrats to the winner :)

The race started and was stopped only minutes in with a mass pile up at the turn right in front of us. It took a wee while to clear the track and get started again but thankfully no one got hurt.

It took a few more tries before the race could continue to completion and the crowd went nuts as number 55 - Craig Finnikin won the race and got the gold roof.

It was a fantastic atmosphere and I could totally see how Agent D gets so excited over it all but I don't think I could stomach watching him race. There are so many crashes and bashes as it's such a competitive sport. Pretty sure I'd have a nervous breakdown watching him.

All the excitement did get a little too much for Agent M who was fit to drop by the end of the night :)

All got a bit much for Agent M

All in it was an amazing weekend.

We finished up in Northampton on the Sunday for the mini stock world final. By then I was pretty beat and watching the children driving cars was blowing my mind a bit. (Mini stocks is for aged 7 - 15 ... That's Agent M's age!).

A windy day in Northampton

It was nice to experience the whole family thing with Agent D and his uncle. It was like being part of his family tradition.

Only thing I will say is I'm still finding bits of Shale in my shoes :)

Not all step parents are evil

I've been searching the blogosphere for any and all personal experiences on step families.

SOOOOOO many on the 'evil step mum' but nothing on the 'try hard step dad'.

So i thought id throw my penny into the pot.

Being a single mum is hard. There is no support system there to hold you at night when your crying into the pillow cause your not gonna make the rent without sacrificing something else ... like food for yourself.

Ive done it all. Ive lived on the bread line where i literally went all day with nothing to eat just so Agent M had food to having a disposable income *remember those during the pre kid days* and i could take us out for wee "adventures" (Like a weekend in Edinburgh to go to the zoo and see the sights). I've struggled and pulled through without having a man in my life so I was used to it.

Agent M has always got what he needed because i done my damn hardest to provide for him. His biological dad is non existent in his life since we split *which didn't come without its own host of problems* so for a long time it was mama busting her ass to make it work so that Agent M didn't go without.

Enter Agent D.

He knew i was a mama. It was cards on the table from the get go. I'm a package deal but he is NOT baggage. He's my mini man and always will be my number one.
*I know that sounds harsh but I've seen the way some guys act to the girlfriends kids and i was hell bent that Agent M will NEVER think hes being replaced*

They took to each other instantly! Agent M thought it was great that he had someone who could talk to him about Pokemon *cause mama just doesn't get it* and build Lego with. He loved "having a boy" around cause he never really got to do the bonding thing with a guy. He was always around me or my female friends.

I saw right away how much he was craving the whole "guy thing". They would sit and look at cars or talk about how engines worked at the dinner table.

Even Agent D's dad takes a keen interest in Agent M. He has plants that he let M grow from seed in his glasshouse. He teaches him about the benefits different foods have and gives him books on the universe and how things work *cause Agent M loves that kinda thing*.
I didn't realise how much Agent M was missing out on. His biological dad and his family never really took an interest in him so he only had me and mine. But Agent D and his family have accepted us as we are and like we belong.

Its so weird to belong.

My previous relationship was very destructive and to be fair on Agent D, he was coming into a very damaged home. We had been through the ringer which i know hasn't made it easy for D. If anything, its made it worse.

That's what makes him all the more special in my eyes.

He treats Agent M like he is his own. He checks the homework and makes him meals. He gives the kisses and cuddles at night and when he phones or txts, he asks about M.

Its strange having someone there that i can actually depend on. It took me a few months to realise that i could depend on him. I could install a gate in that massive wall i put up and let him in. I could cry in front of him (something I've never been able to do before). I could confess to him when i felt like i was messing up as a mum and he would calmly talk me down explaining why i was over reaching. And never underestimate the power of a cuddle! He walks in and i get a cuddle. Agent M used to race me to the door to get a cuddle first :)

We have had our rough patches, I'll grant you. Its hard when your child is acting up and you have to try to reassure your partner that its not because of him. He doesn't see the crap i get sometimes cause hes not here. But he still has that little niggle thinking its his fault.

Kids are hard. Even as Agent M's mama, i sometimes have to walk into another room cause he frustrates the holy hell outta me. Kids act up. They all do! They all have phases where they just do what they want and it would be more useful talking to the blooming hoover.

But Agent D is still here (all be it frustrated to an inch of his life right now). He may say he's "giving up" ... but he never does.

He chose to take us on and to join our family.

Guess that makes him as crazy as us :)

My boys 

Winter is coming

I'm sorry.

Sorry for my absence from the blogging world.

Sorry from the absence on social media.

Sorry for the absence in my general day to day life.

For even when i was physically there, mentally I'm stuck in the oncoming winter with the dark demons scratching at the door.

Its safe to say ...

The last few weeks have been a struggle for me to keep my head metaphorically above water.

Starting college and getting into a new routine hasn't been the easiest as Agent M has decided he wants to act out. I don't know if its just cause hes 7 and wants to go through his own 'difficult stage' or he's genuinely just not wanting to listen or do anything hes told. Its beyond frustrating when your used to having a child that was relatively well behaved just turn on you. Agent D who isn't too thrilled at the back chat or defiance either which makes things awkward when hes here.

Ive spent the last few weeks dealing with alot of hostility and aggression from the people that should be there for me to turn to. Be it a family member who doesn't respect my views and wishes as a parent or arguments with some that are over the most stupid things with others that just leave me completely gobsmacked that its even happening.

Its hard not to feel like the contributing factor when i look back on it all. People seem to be getting aggressive around/toward me so it makes sense that I'm the cause. I just don't know how to make it better.

But that's just what it's like to be depressed. 

You just cant make it better. 

Having depression is like having an illness like everyone else. You cant just get over it. But people expect you too. 

Your not supposed to be feeling lonely when your in a relationship. 
Your not supposed to feel miserable when you've got a kid you adore. 
Your not supposed to feel alot of the shit you feel ... 
but you do.

Its not like your doing it on purpose. I know i don't intentionally go out of my way to feel the way i do just to spoil someone else's day.

Its hard to care about someone else's day when your focusing all your energy in just keeping going through yours. Watching the clock till every ones in bed and you can break down. 

Having depression and anxiety makes life so much harder.

I struggle to make myself get outta bed in the mornings cause I'm convinced something is going to happen. I'm constantly expecting the worst. My mind is the most venomous part of my body. Ideas and thoughts seep out and poison the rest of me.

This weekend i went to a stock car world final for the full weekend. 
Its not something i would have ever done off my own back purely for the fact that I hate big crowds. They freak me out. An example of how my mind works is i spent the entire Friday night on the verge of a panic attack cause i had that little voice in my head going 

"somethings gonna happen" 
"[Agent M] is gonna get hurt" 
"someones gonna do something" 
"your gonna get hurt" 
"[Agent M] is gonna get lost"
 "your gonna freak out"

I was so close to falling over the edge i just couldn't enjoy myself. I was close to tears 90% of the night.

But i couldn't let it show.

I can't ever let it show.

I have to be the strong mum. I have to be the girl Agent D first fell in love with. I have to be the dutiful daughter so as not to 'disappoint' a parent. I have to keep my shit together when all i seem to be doing is bursting at the seams.

Its hard.

I'm tired.

But as always I'll trundle along. Just not as fast as normal till the darkness starts to slip away again.
I'll keep going, being my own cheerleader. Reminding myself that I've done it before. That 'summer' will return. Maybe even for a few years. Maybe winter will never come back. I can only dream.

Till then ...

Global Market Madness

It's been advertised in the local buses for weeks and the time finally came.

The global market was back!

It's one of the busiest times in our wee Killie when you get to see all the stalls filled with different bits and pieces from across the globe ... and some home grown goodies too.

On a Thursday I usually meet up with my wee Granny so we got the luxury of being there on the first day to check out what was available this time round.

*This is just a small selection of the stalls on offer ... I couldn't get photos of them all due to the mass of people ... told you it was popular*

For food there was there are loads of options available from the sweet like crepes and churros.

To tasty chocolates and biscuits from Italian bakers. Their nutella cannolli is delicious!

To the macaroons ... *I'm not keen on the taste of coconut but I love the smell*

Or if you want something more savoury there was meat for the more adventurous I.e Kangaroo and Buffalo

Or some French cuisine like creamy garlic mushrooms or potatoes provenance. These smelt amazing. Made by mouth water!

Or a massive selection of sweets ... though you'll be there for a while with all the choices. It was done by weight though so it would have been pretty easy to rack up quite a tab.

There was also a large selection of handmade bits and pieces like candles and soaps. Many of the scents were similar to the big brand names but at a fraction of the price.

There was a stall with a lady selling  upcycled furniture as well as little bits like door signs. Many pieces were made to order but I liked the idea of taking an old boring piece of furniture and making it look new and unique.

There was a stall that I just LOVED! This man made animals and other figures out of metal wire and decorated them with beads. Some of them he used drinks cans which were all done by hand. They were AMAZING! I really wanted to buy one but I just couldn't justify spending any money just now. The joys of living on a tight budget :(

The stall with the knitted goods just made me really envious. I'd love to be able to knit and crochet and the second I work it out I'm making a sully hat for myself. It would match my onesie :) The knitted ponchos were so beautiful and the wool was really really soft. I'm not sure why they were all made so small though. Perhaps it was just ment for children.

Jewellery was big this time round with 2 stalls with rings, bracelets and necklaces all with an Amber theme. There were some really nice pieces there which were worth the money being asked. *In my opinion I'd rather spend the £18 on one of these necklaces that are limited designs than £15 silver plated necklace from Argos with the latest celeb favourite all over it ... but then I like one of a kind*

Another big hit were hand carved wooden figures and boxes. Again there were 2 stalls though one stood out more than the other with the sheer quantity. Every one of the items in the picture below was from one stall run by an older couple. I didn't get the chance to talk to either of them because it was getting mobbed by that point but if they made them all by hand themselves, then awards need to be issued. I was in awe!

Lastly, there was a large chunk of the  market taken up by flowers from Holland. There were loads of different varieties to see. A gardeners dream! But a hay fever sufferers nightmare so I stood well back :)

I love when the market comes to town cause I love to see what people can make. It would be brilliant to one day have my own little stall at a market or craft fair. Would be so cool to have people wanna buy my makes :)

To see if the market is coming to an area near you, have a look at their calender here

Do you know of any other markets coming to Scotland? Let me know in the comments below :)

B is for ...

I like to cook. Its fun taking things that are essentially nothing and making them into something lovely *suppose that's why i love crafting*.

That's why B is for Baking.

You take some flour, sugar and eggs ... then add some extras and bibbidy bobbidy boo you have a delicious treat that's yummy to eat :)

I bake alot.

Agent M often comes home and asks what ive been baking *little do i know ive walked to school and stood in amongst the other parents covered in flour and icing ... doh!*

There are a few classics in my house that get asked for alot but i do like to experiment in the kitchen.

Here are some of the bakes ive made so far

To get recipes for my makes, check the recipe tab. It will be updated as and when i post a recipe :)