Fabulously Festive End

I have come to the end of my posts about my Fabulous at 50 year 2017. I have not written about every single event as I didn’t want to bore my readers senseless and also I managed to do 67 instead of the intended 50.

To finish off my very busy year my last few fabulous things were blessed by the Christmas fairies…….

My nieces and I decided to take part in the Santa run in Bristol Harbourside to raise money for Children’s Hospice Southwest. If it wasn’t festive enough running through the streets with a load of other Santas, we even had snow!

team gardiner girls santa run

For the first time in quite a few years we had a hospital ball. The Women’s and Children’s directorate of our trust gathered at the Passenger Shed of Brunel’s Temple Meads Station for a “Fairy Tale in New York” themed extravaganza. It was a fabulous night filled with bubbles, entertainment, dancing and lots of snow.

Just before Christmas 5 crazy friends gathered for a house party full of festive food, fizz and laughter.

Unfortunately son number one, Scott, had to work Christmas Day so a visit to Winchester was needed to deliver pressies and have a mooch around the Christmas market.

scott christmas

The main event was spent with the rest of my fabulous familam.

I had the amazing year celebrating reaching my half century and I’m so happy I decided to do 50 fabulous things instead of having a big party. I’ve had so much fun enjoying spending time with all my family and friends, parties, cocktails, going on jollies, visiting new places and doing slightly daft stuff.

Thank you to all my fellow fabulous thing partners in crime, you have truly made my birthday year unforgettable. I love you all



Many Fabulous Happy Returns

My fabulous at 50 year couldn’t have been such a success without my wonderful friends and family, so every birthday event was a fabulous thing.


Scott's birthday

Son number one (Scott) and Natasha (niece)

tart bday

The bestie tart (Jane B)

Janey's birthday

Bestest bestie Janey

deb's birthday

Bestie Flossy (Deb)

mum and hannah bday

Mum and Hannah (niece)

sally's birthday

Bestie Sally

donna bday


caz road trip

road trip for Caron

Karen bday

Party for Karen

mark bday

Weekend away for Mark (bruv)

arr deb bday

Arr Deb

arr selena bday

Arr Selena

kate bday

Bestie Kate

bevvy bday

Bestie Bevvy

jake's birthday breakfast

Brunch for son number two (Jake)

dawn's birthday

At the Ivy for Dawny

george's birthday

Cocktails for bestie George

shaz bday

Sis in Law Shazzer

Aren’t those the words?

There was a small pocket of good weather on our journey to a spa day on Tuesday, so my friend Jane and I had the top down on her car and sang and the top of our voices in the sunshine. While we were murdering Take on me by Aha we discovered that neither of us had a clue what the lyrics of the 3rd verse were and just fudged our way through with our own made up words.

It got me thinking about how we sometimes get lyrics wrong, while being absolutely convinced that we are correct. Phoebe from Friends famously sang  “hold me close Tony Danza” instead of  “hold me close tiny dancer”  by Elton John. Another example I found online from Bon Jovi’s Living on a prayer, “it doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not”, which should be “it doesn’t make a different if we make it or not”.

Getting lyrics wrong is not a new thing for me, I was only 7 when Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen was first released. Nevertheless I felt confident that I knew every word and sang with conviction every time it came on the radio. My dad fell about laughing one day when he heard me get to the part  “spare him his life from this monstrosity”, I actually sang “sparing his life from his hot sausage tea”.

Sounded reasonable to me.

BR words Queen

Girl power

I was reading my “Woman and Home” magazine today and there was an article on the importance of friendships for women.

I’m lucky to have many friends, women and men, that I have met through the different areas of my life such as; nursing, guiding, bringing up my boys, travelling, exercise classes etc. But I’m even luckier to have a core group of girl friends who have all, in their special way, been an invaluable support especially over the last few years.

I feel I need to name them all as if I’m making an Oscar acceptance speech because they could be reading this post, well at least I hope they are!

My good friends from work are Jane.B, George and Kate, when we are able we meet up on Fridays to have coffee, catch up on gossip and have a mooch around the shops. They also keep me updated with the news from the unit, which is essential to me now as I will be working there on the Return to nurse practice course.

Living next door is my lovely neighbour and friend Debbie, she is always around for good company and she is also my companion and support at fat club.

My friend Bev has her own health problems that are similar to mine and a very lively grand daughter to run around after, but she always makes time for coffee shop meetings to listen and chat.

Married to my brother, Sharon is fabulous, I consider her a friend and a sister and she lets me kidnap my lovely little nieces very often.

My best and oldest friend is Jane or BB as I affectionately call her, (long and complicated story to the name), we have known each other for about 30 years. We first met through scouting and although initially we didn’t spend a lot of time together, when we started having our children we became inseparable. We have shared many good times and plenty of bad times together. We have been ill for about the same amount of time and both seem to be recovering at he same time too, so we are supporting each other trying to get our lives back on track. Jane is going through her own personal problems at the moment, but we always seem to have a good time and often laugh until we cry.

A good friend listens, doesn’t judge, gives advice if needed, says nothing if that is best, tells the truth even if it might hurt, will give support unconditionally and tell you if your bum looks too big in that skirt!

I know my recovery wouldn’t have happened so well if it wasn’t for my special group of friends and I wouldn’t be without them.

The things we say

One of the problems in a mixed cultural marriage is the differences in language. Even before I met Hasan, when holidaying in Turkey, I learnt a few Turkish phrases such as hello how are you?, yes/no and where is the toilet?. But when Hasan and I got together and later married the need to speak Turkish was more important to me as none of his family and very few of his friends spoke English. As anyone who is married to a Turkish man knows, I had very little help from Hasan so I attended quite a few Turkish lessons, but the best thing I got out of them was meeting some very good friends. So through my own research, perseverance, practice and support from friends in the same boat, I can now understand a lot of what is being said to me as long as it’s spoken clearly. I can now speak enough Turkish to get by in basic conversations, for shopping and out and about.

Luckily for me Hasan’s English is relatively good due to working in tourism for a number of years. But English is a tricky language to master completely with words with many meanings and different ways of saying the same thing. One of the things that usually foxes Hasan is my use of old English sayings, and I have to try and explain what they mean. There are many of them that are used regularly in our lovely language and I’ve just chosen a couple of them and their origins.

Daft as a brush: a nice way of saying someone is a bit silly.

There are 2 possible origins for this saying, the northern word for silly or stupid is soft and a foxes tail is known as a brush, so the original saying could have been soft as a brush. In the second one the brush refers to the chimney sweep boys who were repeatedly dropped on their heads when lowered down the chimney head first, making them a bit daft!

Between a rock and a hard place: no good alternatives in a situation.

This saying comes from Homers tale The Odyssey, the main character Odysseus has to choose a way to go between Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla is a monster on the cliffs, the rock, and Charybdis is a dangerous whirlpool, a hard place. Both were very difficult to overcome.

Hasan’s favourite English saying is “better than a slap in the face with a wet fish”, no need I think to explain that one!