Oh shit, I’m having a baby!

“Now, I had no idea what to expect from an antenatal class, I just assumed it would be a midwife educating parents-to-be on how to parent. I was wrong.”

I’m not very good at keeping the posts regular here. The last sentence of my last post says: ‘Hopefully my next post won’t take me eight weeks but we’ll see.’ It’s been seven weeks.

Anyway, we are now 38 weeks pregnant which means only two weeks to go until the due date (hence the title). Things have become a lot more real in the last few weeks, and I think we have both almost come to terms with the fact that two will very soon become three.

There have been a few key events that have made me stop, think and face up to the reality of the situation.

I went to my very first antenatal class a couple of weeks ago, it was called ‘confident birthing’. Now, I had no idea what to expect from an antenatal class, I just assumed it would be a midwife educating parents-to-be on how to parent. I was wrong. In this particular class we had the joy of watching a video of a lady having a water birth. You may think this seems like a lovely idea, but you would be wrong. First of all, the lady giving birth was completely starkers, literally all hanging out. Secondly, the cameraman did a real close up on the head as it was coming out. Nobody needs to see that. We were both scarred for life.

A week or so later we had an appointment with the midwife to write the birthing plan – something else I had no idea about. I just assumed the plan would be to give birth. Rachael had the choice of where she would like to give birth, which types of pain relief she would like, and even what she would like to happen when the baby is finally out. I also got asked whether I’d like to cut the umbilical cord, to which I said yes – so I’m the one that gets to set Charlie free from his mum.

During the appointment the midwife suggested that there was a chance that baby Charlie could come early as he had ‘dropped’, meaning that his head was positioned quite low down. You can imagine the panic.

For months I’d been having a debate in my head on whether I’d need to buy a new car. Not because I’d fallen out of love with Trudy, but because I thought I’d need something bigger, more sturdy and with five doors. One afternoon I was browsing on Autotrader and stumbled upon a car I quite liked. Two days later I picked up the keys. Don’t worry, I haven’t gotten rid of Trudy! For now she’s having a rest on Rachael’s parents driveway.

Rach’s mum, Sharon, has been buying stuff throughout the duration of the pregnancy and keeping at the house for us – what an absolute godsend. As soon as I picked up my new car we decided to drive over and pick up everything we needed and bring it back to our flat. The only thing that hasn’t come into the flat is the pram – apparently it’s a bad omen to bring it into the home before the baby is born? So, for now, the pram is sat in the boot of the car ready for baby Charlie’s arrival. His car seat is all set up and ready to go too. How prepared are we?!

As prepared as we’ll ever be I guess. Still scared shitless though.

Chances are I’ll be a Dad when I write my next post.

See you on the flip side.

~ Tattooed Burger Boy x 

 

Living with the Pregosaurus…

“Over the last 31 weeks I’ve made some observations of the weird and wonderful behaviour of a pregnant lady and it’s been quite interesting to say the least.”

It’s been eight weeks since my last post. I’ve been racking my brain trying to find good reason for why it’s been so long and I can’t seem to come up with anything. Of course I’ve been working and what not, but other than that I’ve just been busy not really doing much.

While I’ve spent the last eight weeks not really doing anything out of the ordinary, I am now eight weeks closer to becoming a dad. Scary thought, right?

Most of mine and Rach’s time has been spent getting things ready for the arrival of our little bundle of joy. Endless discussions of what type of cot to get and different types of birthing, not to mention the countless laps of the baby clothing departments in every possible shop.

Over the last 31 weeks I’ve made some observations of the weird and wonderful behaviour of a pregnant lady and it’s been quite interesting to say the least. I thought I’d share some of the highs and lows with you.

The best thing to come from it is definitely the ‘nesting’. Nesting is basically where the mum-to-be gets the home ready for the arrival of the baby. This means constant tidying and cleaning, which is fine by me! The flat is always spotless. I have no idea how but Rachael manages to find enough dirty clothes to do at least one load of washing every single day.

While all this cleaning is great, Rach has developed somewhat of an unhealthy obsession with buying cleaning products. The cupboard under the kitchen sink is chock-a-block with all sorts of sprays, wipes and cloths.

I never really understood female hormones at the best of times, but pregnant female hormones are in a league of their own. I’ve never known anything like it, Rach could be the happiest girl on the planet one minute and in tears the next, its totally inexplicable. I’ll tell you a little story to give you some insight.

A few weeks back Rachael went to the shop to buy a few bits, one of the things on her list was orange juice. She got home, unpacked the shopping and out of nowhere burst into tears. Next minute she’s on the verge of having a mental breakdown. She then locked herself in the bathroom, where she stayed for a good ten minutes, just sobbing into a towel. Why? Because she’d picked up orange juice with bits in it rather than the smooth one we normally have.

Something very well known about pregnancy is that pregnant ladies sometimes experience cravings for different things. Normally these cravings are for quite strange items, sometimes items that aren’t even food – the strangest I’ve heard of is coal?! Rachael’s cravings haven’t been quite so obscure though.

There have only really been two things that she has craved; Belgian buns and Creme Eggs. I’m not convinced they’re even cravings at all, just things she likes to eat. The only difference is that when she uses the word ‘craving’ she can blame it on the baby and not on her sweet tooth.  Nonetheless we always have a supply of Creme Eggs sat in the fridge, ready for whenever the ‘cravings’ strike.

Another very common symptom of pregnancy is heartburn. I’m not really sure why this is, I’d say it probably has something to do with the cravings though. Rachael had never really suffered with heartburn before, so was unfamiliar with all the remedies out there. Now she buys packs of 72 Rennies at a time and carries them with her wherever she goes.

While the little baby grows inside the mother’s belly all of her organs get moved around and squashed. Nothing has made this more clear to me than Rachael’s constant need to pee – I think the baby must actually be sat on her bladder all the time. I don’t know how it can be humanly possible to pee that much. I’ve only ever known incontinent elderly people to pee that much, maybe she’s just become incontinent.

The strangest thing about pregnancy for me is seeing and feeling the baby moving around. We can be sat on the sofa watching TV when all of a sudden he’ll start wriggling and kicking. I first felt him kick at about 18 or 19 weeks, and I still find it as weird now as I did then. I’ve seen him moving a few times , it almost looks like a scene from the film Alien where he could just burst out at any second. I’d upload a video but WordPress won’t let me.

Living with a pregnant lady has been like a rollercoaster ride, there have been some ups and downs, but its also pretty exciting knowing that she’s carrying my son around in her belly. Plus, she buys cools things like this..

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Hopefully my next post won’t take me eight weeks but we’ll see.

See you on the flip side.

~ Tattooed Burger Boy x 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footy for the Lads…

“Then it hit me – I’d accidentally dressed like a hooligan.”

I did something really manly on Saturday – I went to the football. It was an FA Cup match – Southampton vs Arsenal –  at St Mary’s Stadium (that’s Southampton’s ground). Now, this is about as far as my knowledge of the ‘beautiful game’ stretches. I had no idea who any of the players were, I just knew that Southampton were in red and white and Arsenal were in yellow.

The day out at the footy was organised by my old mate Jordan. I’ve known Jord since I was nine or ten. We went to the same primary school, secondary school and sixth form. I couldn’t get away from the bastard. He went to study at Southampton University in 2009 and then three years later I started at Southampton Solent University. This wasn’t to be reunited with him by the way, it just so happened I liked the look of the course at Solent. He left Southampton in 2013 to go back home to Paignton anyway, probably to get away from me. I’ve got a story about Jordan, to read it click here.

Anyway, back to the football. Jordan drove up from Paignton with his girlfriend Lydia so we agreed to meet at the burger shop I work at –  Jordan is a big fan of the food there. The plan thereafter was to drive back to where I live and drop the cars off. Lydia hadn’t met Trudy before, so I was excited to introduce them. We walked around the corner to where the cars were parked, when all of a sudden Lydia chuckled and said “your car is ridiculous.” I was outraged. How could anyone call her ridiculous?! Look at her…

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My Beauty.
We got back to the flat and had a coffee while I decided which jacket would be most appropriate to wear to the game. I had been wearing a denim jacket with a wooly lining but feared it might not be warm enough. The other option I had was my coat. It’s big and puffy, but also really warm.  In the end I opted for my coat, just to be safe. Once we’d finished our coffees we set off for the stadium.

As we walked we chatted about all sorts, and somehow ended up on the topic of football hooligans. Then it hit me – I’d accidentally dressed like a hooligan. I was wearing a beanie hat, a parker and boots. Here’s a picture of me outside the stadium (in front of a burger van).

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Hard nut.
The tickets we had for the game gave us allocated seats. Our seats were in row OO, which was the furthest row back in the whole fucking stadium. We had to climb about 2852817 steps to get up there but we made it, only to discover some other idiots had decided to sit themselves in our seats. After Jordan showed them the tickets to prove they had sat in our seats they moved, probably to try and steal somebody else’s seats.

As soon as we’d sat down the game got underway. I’m not really a supporter of either team so I wasn’t 100% focussed. About 10 minutes in I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket, it was an email from a customer to the restaurant email address. The guy who sent it explained he had a crippling hangover and just wanted to know if we did takeaway. Just like any other good citizen, I wanted to help him out, so I replied.

Also at the game was the head chef from work, Martyn, he’s a big Arse(nal fan). Emails to the work address go straight through to his phone too. As soon as he’d realised I’d responded to the email during the game he sent me this screenshot with the message ‘are you that bored you’re replying to emails?’

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I was just doing a good deed.

After just over 20 minutes Saints were 2-0 down, so I decided to load my Sky Bet account with a whole £5 to place some bets. I’ve never been very good at betting, that’s why I only let myself put a fiver in.  I put £2 on Saints to make a comeback and win the game 3-2. Within seconds Arsenal scored a third.

Halftime came and we ended chatting about hooligans again, when I was struck with a fantastic idea for a new TV show – ‘The Hooligan Apprentice’. The format of the show would be very similar ‘The Apprentice’, but it would be hosted by Danny Dyer. Week to week they would fight rival mobs, all in a bid to be Danny Dyer’s apprentice hooligan. Just imagine all the cockney rhyming slang he’d use. 

“You’re Glenn Quagmired” for fired, “you’re Danny Dyer’d” for hired.

Then, out of nowhere, I noticed the most hooligan-looking man I’ve ever seen (in real life, I’ve seen loads in films) stood just to the left of us. I’ll describe to you what I saw from the bottom upwards. He was wearing adidas trainers, a pair of stone island trousers, he had a swallow tattooed on his hand, a camouflage jacket, a shaved head and GOLD TEETH! He was absolutely terrifying.

Not long after the second half kicked off I got back onto Sky Bet to place another couple of bets. I put £1 on Saints to score the fourth goal of the game, and £2 on both teams to score in the second half. I toyed with the idea of putting a couple of quid on Theo Walcott to score a hat-trick as the odds were 33/1, but decided it was best not to. Soon enough Walcott scored Arsenal’s fourth goal. At this point the real life hooligan left, presumably to hide out in an alley ready to lynch some arsenal fans after the game. 

As the game approached the last five minutes I hoped and prayed that Southampton would claw at least one goal back (just so I would win one of my bets). Then, out of nowhere, Theo Walcott scored his hat-trick goal. Safe to say, I was moderately pissed off. 

Me and Rach are off to Budapest for a couple of days now, or at least at some point today. Our flight was meant to depart 50 minutes ago, but there have been some delays due to fog or something so we’re just sat on the runway. I’ll write a post about our trip when we get back. 

See you on the flip side.

~ Tattooed Burger Boy x

 

 

 

 

 

Ravin’ & Misbehavin’

“She went on to tell me that she’d found him laying on the ground outside my house.”

Back in 2014 me and Jordan decided to go to Global Gathering festival with a mate of his, Matt. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s a dance music festival held in Stratford-Upon-Avon. About a week before, Jordan came up to Southampton to visit and so, of course, we went out. I don’t remember an awful lot from the night, I just know that we went to Oceana. Somehow, we managed to lose each other.

Trying to find a lost person in Oceana is impossible. Not only because it has multiple rooms and the capacity to hold 4000 people, but also because no matter what network you’re on you can’t get any fucking signal. After searching every room I gave up and decided to leave the club and head home. As soon as I stepped outside my phone went mad with notifications, mainly missed calls from Jord. I called him back and an Irish girl answered the phone. She went on to tell me that she’d found him laying on the ground outside my house.

I jumped in a taxi to get there as quickly as possible. As the cab approached my house I could see him, sprawled across the pavement. I had a chat with the Irish lady who had waited with him but she didn’t seem to know much about what had gone on. I called 999 and an ambulance arrived within ten minutes to take him up to A&E.

Eventually, I got to the bottom of what had happened. When we separated in Oceana Jordan decided to head back my house, thinking I might be back there. Soon enough it became apparent that nobody was in, so rather than waiting for me to get back he decided to climb the drainpipe in an attempt to get in through by bedroom window. He fell. Three things got broken that night; his elbow, his pride, and most importantly my drainpipe.

Now, of all the bones to break I reckon elbow has to be up there with the most awkward. His whole arm had to be put into cast to stop it moving around. Here’s a picture of the idiot in the hospital the night it happened…

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Remember earlier I said we decided to go to Global Gathering, here’s a photo of the three of us, featuring the massive cast…

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A large part of the weekend was spent trying to avoid going too far into the crowd. The doctor didn’t seem to keen on the idea of Jordan going to a festival with a broken elbow, that wasn’t going to stop him though. The big ol’ cast actually did us some favours, people were much more considerate towards the disabled, and gave us plenty more space. It made it a hell of a lot easier to get around all weekend. 

See you on the flip side.

~ Tattooed Burger Boy x

Mirror, no Signal, Manoeuvre…

“I can turn as much as I bloody well want to. The turn is my oyster!”

So, that went well! Since posting the first piece on Thursday the blog has had over 400 views, so I guess I’d better thank you all for taking the time to give it a read. I hope you enjoyed it. I guess you must have enjoyed it or you wouldn’t have come back to read this…

I’ve got the night off and Rachael’s at home making dinner, so I decided to bring my laptop to the Brewdog bar while she’s cooking. My thinking was that I could work on a second post whilst working my way through a few pints – I always like to multitask. I’m only halfway through pint number one at the minute, but I’ll keep you up to date with my progress.

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My office for the evening. 

Most of my weekend was spent at work, just like every weekend ever. I don’t really mind working weekends though, because I get my days off during the week and it’s brilliant. A majority of the working population have weekends off, so no matter where you go it’s chaos. It’s hard work having weekends off, probably more stressful than a day at work. Weekdays are where it’s at – town is quiet, restaurants are quiet, everywhere is quiet, it’s lovely.

My least favourite part of working over the weekend, however, is Sunday. Sunday customers are the worst customers, and I’ll tell you why. Sunday customers are miserable. They’re miserable because the weekend is coming to an end. They’re miserable because they’re hungover from their big Saturday night out. They’re miserable because they’ve had enough of their kids running around and screaming all weekend. They’re miserable because it’s busy everywhere. Some of them are miserable for all of the above.

Sunday is unlike every other day of the week. It’s a day of rest, a family day. Big miserable groups, usually with children, turn up at the restaurant expecting us to magic up a table for 14  during peak lunch service,  unable to fathom why they just can’t ‘squeeze’ around a table just big enough for six people.

After a short wait we’ll get them sat at a more conveniently sized table, but they’re still not happy. They were already miffed because it’s Sunday, now they’re even more miffed because they’ve had to wait 20 minutes for a table. Even still, we do everything in our power to make their experience as enjoyable as possible.

The service was fast and friendly, and their food came out quickly with no mistakes. All was well. Once they’ve finished they ask for the bill. They pay the bill to the penny without any kind of tip, make no attempt to clear up the absolute fucking wreckage the children have caused, and leave. This is why I Sunday is my least favourite part of working the weekend. I’m well into my second pint now by the way.

Something that has been brought to my attention by a lot of you after reading the first post is how Trudy was given more of a mention than Rachael. I thought this could be down to the fact I posted a picture of my beautiful Trudes but not of Rach. So, here you go, here’s a picture of the two of them.

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My loves.
Apologies for how dark the picture is, it was taken on a Polaroid. Yes we have a Polaroid. No we’re not hipsters.

Now we’re talking about Trudy, I can tell you all about a new game she decided to play with me over the weekend. I’ve decided to call the game ‘indicators don’t work’ because I couldn’t think of a better name. As the name suggests – Trudy’s indicators stopped working.

Up until this point I’d never realised just how much I used the indicators, or just how important they are. I’d find myself driving along knowing that I wanted to turn off, but being totally unable to tell other motorists. This caused problems, and other drivers were not happy with me. I’d approach a road I’d want to turn into and another driver would be waiting to pull out. I’d turn into the road without indicating, thus making me look ignorant. Let’s just say, I was on the receiving end off a few angry hand signals.

I came up with a solution to this problem. If I ever wanted to turn but there was somebody waiting to come out of the junction, I’d simply keep going. I didn’t want people thinking that I was an ignorant driver. Now, this did result in me making a few very long detours, but at least nobody thought I was rude.

Pint 3 now.

On Sunday morning I got in the car to go to work, dreading all the Sunday customers I’d have to deal with. I started Trudy up, knowing I’d have to wait a good five minutes or so for her to wake up. While I sat there, foot on the accelerator to keep the engine going, I had an epiphany.

‘Why not try the hazards?’ I thought. So I did, and they worked. Then I tried the indicators, and they worked too. I have no idea how or why, but they work and that’s all that matters. No longer do I have to drive in a straight line because I can’t indicate, I can turn as much as I bloody well want to. The turn is my oyster! I’ve started deliberately driving in the wrong direction, just to use the indicators more.

Dinner should be ready any minute, so I’ve gotta down this beer and power walk home. I would run but I’m not very good at running, especially after three pints.

See you on the flip side.

~ Tattooed Burger Boy x

 

 

 

Nice to Meat You…

“I’m currently sat in my flat eating a super noodle sandwich (a creation I’m very proud of), drinking a can of Brewdog Punk IPA and listening to the Smiths. What better way to spend a Monday night?”

Well hello there, I’m the tattooed burger boy. That’s me in the picture, if you hadn’t already figured. I’ve got a terrible habit of poking my tongue out, I don’t realise I’m doing it half the time. Before we go any further I’ll explain the name…

It’s pretty simple really. You’ve probably guessed the reason for the ‘tattooed’ bit already – I’ve got a lot of tattoos. The ‘burger boy’ bit refers to my job – I’m the manager of a well-known burger restaurant in Southampton.

Essentially, the name comes from people knowing of me but not knowing my actual name. I used to go out to the bars in town a lot so people would recognise me, but have no idea of my name. Some would refer to me as ‘the tattooed guy’ or ‘the guy from the burger place’. It sort of made sense really.

I do actually have a proper name. My real name is Connor Mackay and I’m 25. I’m currently sat in my flat eating a super noodle sandwich (a creation I’m very proud of), drinking a can of Brewdog Punk IPA and listening to the Smiths. What better way to spend a Monday night?

The whole purpose behind this blog is pretty much for me to document my life as it happens, talk about things I love and hate, and to tell the odd story from the past. It’s basically like a diary; the only difference is that it’s not private and I’m letting anyone and everyone read it. Okay, it’s nothing like a diary.

I’ve always loved writing. I went to uni back in 2012 to study Multimedia Journalism with the hopes of pursuing some kind of career that would involve writing. I had a blog way back in the day and I also wrote pieces for a few different websites about all sorts. I wrote for my friend’s lifestyle website Expensive Tastes, and I also wrote reviews and did interviews for Fortitude.

My degree finished in the summer of 2015 and I fully intended to carry on writing bits and bobs here and there, but life got in the way and I just stopped. But now life has calmed down a little, I’m back and ready to get pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard – once again.

Now, I say life has calmed down a little, but that’s only temporary. The biggest source of inspiration for me to start it all again is that I’ve got a baby on the way. If I hadn’t got this going before my little boy arrives then I never would have, I’d never have found time.

At least now I’ve got a bit of time, 20 weeks or so, to get the ball rolling and get back into the swing of things. The plan is for the blog to be on its feet before my son is.

Anyway, I’ll tell you a little bit more about me now. I like to think of myself as a man of simple pleasures. I have a few loves in life. I’m not sure whether they can all be considered ‘interests’ but I’m going to call them that anyway.

As the name indicates, I’m a bit of a tattoo enthusiast. I’ve got loads of tats all over me, so many that I’ve lost count. My arms, legs, hands, neck and chest have all been inked, but there’s still plenty of room for more. There will definitely be plenty more.

Something else I’m sure you’ll have gathered is that burgers are a pretty big part of my life – they pay my wages. Usually people go off things when they work with them day in day out, but not me. I bloody love burgers.

Saying that, it’s not just burgers I love, it’s proper American comfort food. It’s all unhealthy, it’s all covered in cheese or fried (or both) and it’s all fucking delicious.

Beer is another of my favourite things. I find it fascinating. Now I don’t mean going down the pub and necking eight pints of Carlsberg. I mean proper beer, nice beer. I love to learn about and taste new types of beer. Thank god for the craft beer revolution!

One of my very few hobbies is charity shop shopping. I’m pretty new to it, but I’m getting pretty good at it. I’d never even considered it until recently, but now there’s no stopping me. I’ve picked up so many bargains that I’m gutted I didn’t start sooner. Yes, an old man may have died in it, but who cares when you’re getting a Ralph Lauren shirt for £4?

Something I probably should mention here is my girlfriend Rachael, not only because she’d kill me if I didn’t, but also because she’s carrying my son around in her belly. We’ve not been together all that long, but I think she realises how lucky she is to be with me. Just joking, she’s alright.

Despite having a girlfriend, there is another, very important lady in my life. Her name is Trudy, she’s 24 years old and she’s beautiful. She lights up my life.

Now before you get too concerned, I’m not having an affair, Trudy is my beloved sky blue, 1992 MK3 Ford Fiesta.

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My love.
Nothing brings me more joy than having to wait five minutes for her engine to warm up before I can go anywhere, or the persistent smell of petrol and burning oil whenever I’m actually driving. I love the constant fear that I won’t make it to my destination.

I’ve now finished that can of beer – plus another – and I’m getting sick of Morrisey’s voice (there’s only so much one person can take) so I’m going to end this here.

… So I’ve been sat here for a good couple of hours trying to think of something clever to end on, but I’ve got nothing. Three years at university learning how to write and I can’t even come up with a fucking ending.

See you on the flip side.

~ Tattooed Burger Boy x