Return of the Bouche

A couple of months ago, I realised that I hadn’t blogged for a while and I thought to myself that I should get back to it and write a post. But, if I am honest I just couldn’t be bothered. It wasn’t that I had fell out of love with the Bouche blog or that I didn’t want to write (I have had plenty to write about!) I can’t even say I haven’t had time as I had six and a half weeks off in the summer after having carpal tunnel surgery!
I can’t really pinpoint what has made me not want to blog. It is probably been an amalgamation of things. I know feel like I want to blog again and hopefully this time, I won’t lose my momentum.

My last post told of my pending motor test for HD and touched very slightly on how I was feeling about it. I was very nervous as I had convinced myself that I was showing signs of HD. I have always had a firm plan regarding any kind of testing for Huntington’s disease.
I am very anti having the genetic testing for Huntington’s disease done. I have always said that if I was concerned that I was showing symptoms that I would have the motor function test done first. If this showed that I was showing some symptoms, then I would have the full genetic test done.
So I had the motor test done and I am not showing any symptoms of HD, which means I won’t be taking the gene test in the foreseeable future. Which came as huge relief. It also gave us the green light to start trying for a baby. Our baby plans came to a halt last year as Mr Bouche’s mum was diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2012 and passed away in November 2012. But, we decided to start trying in July this year (I have another post on this, following shortly!)

I have put all my personal fears to rest for now. However, Daddy Bouche has been going downhill slowly in 2013. Nothing major, but I just know in his eyes he has had enough. He has had some chest infections and his eating has become a little erratic at times where he does not want his food when being fed. He coughs quite a lot when being fed and his feeding is becoming a concern as he cannot be fed safely anymore.
After a meeting with his gp, speech therapist and staff at his home, it has been decided between us that he will have a peg fitted to feed him directly into his stomach. I have really battled with this in my head as his eating was the last one pleasure he had (albeit eating puréed food). I feel like I am forcing something on him that he wouldn’t want but I also cannot let him be fed dangerously or not at all. It has been really hard and we are just waiting on the appointment for the gastroentologist.

My younger brother M has also decided to have the HD test a few weeks ago and he gets his result next week. I am terrified for him. There is a part of me that thinks he has HD and I have done for a long while but I still hope that he is HD free. My wonderful uncle (Daddy Bouche’s brother) had the test earlier in the year and was negative which was amazing news. I just hope M has the same result!

More to follow……

Bouche x x x


Something on my mind

Blogging has been the last thing on my mind recently.

Regular visitors to Bouche in the City will know that my father has Huntington’s disease and that I have a 50% chance of inheriting HD. I have never been tested and my mantra has always been that I will not be tested until I became aware of possible symptoms of the disease.

I guess for a long time I was not concerned and I guess deep down I thought that I didn’t have HD. I have a good memory, I wasn’t showing any motor symptoms and I wasn’t showing any emotional symptoms.

That was until last summer. I had some work done on my teeth and I had noticed that I occasionally bit down on my crown, which caused me to pull a face. It soon passed after a couple of weeks, or so I thought. Then after several months, my mother and husband noticed that I did it quite frequently. I am not aware that I do it and if I really concentrate then I can stop it.

During the same time, I also noticed that I would get involuntary movements in my feet and would get pains in my legs, at night whilst asleep.
I didn’t mention it to anyone, not a soul. I desperately wanted to tell my husband, but his mother was battling cancer and was very poorly. We needed to focus on her and making her comfortable through the cancer treatment.

My mother in law passed away in November. It was a difficult time (still is to be honest) I focused on being there for my husband and put my concerns back in the box in my head. I started to feel so angry about my mother in law’s death and would often find it hard to keep my emotions in check.
After Christmas, I decided I had to book an appointment with the genetic counsellor for the new year. It was after I had arranged it, I told Mr Bouche. He was obviously upset but understood why I needed to see her.

I went to the appointment and after speaking to the counsellor, I have decided to see a geneticist to have a motor test done. They will be able to observe me and conclude whether I am showing signs of HD. Depending on the results of that test, I will then decide whether to have the full gene test or not.

There is so much to think about and I am terrified to be honest. I am trying to be positive but some days that can be really hard. I will probably have a few weeks wait before I see the geneticist and is going to feel like the longest wait ever. But, what will be, will be.

A nervous Bouche


Goodbye 2012, hello 2013

So here we are, in 2013. 2012 brought much sadness and I am glad to see the back of it, if I am honest. 2012 brought a fantastic new job for me and greatness, work wise for Mr Bouche. Little J passed his 11 plus with flying colours and 2012 had the potential of being a great year. However, Mr Bouche’s mum was diagnosed with lung cancer in February and sadly lost her fight in November.
It has been a difficult 12 months and some days are better than others. We are all grieving and Mr Bouche is finding it particularly tough. It is hard to start a new year on a positive note with the sadness that surrounds us. But, we are battling on.

I did make some resolutions last year which you can read here

Did I stick to any of them? Well, one maybe. I found my dream job and work wise I am so happy. I didn’t do great on the blog front. I did not manage to do much about my body but I did become less pessimistic and I think I did ok at being a friend.

So what resolutions do I have 2013? Well I have decided on quite a few and I do aim to stick to them!

I am going to wear more sequins – When purchasing an outfit for a night out in 2013, I will be seeking out sequins and bling. I am 34 this year and realise that I may have to start being cautious when choosing outfits soon, as to not look like mutton dressed as lamb. So while I can, I am going to rock the bling and sequins!

I am going to try and eat less and exercise more – I am not going to go on a diet this year but I am going to join the gym and start doing the spinning classes I love again. When I was at my happiest (figure wise) I ate sensibly, ate out, had the odd treat and did three spinning classes a week. So I am adopting this mantra once again and hopefully I will start loving my figure once again.

I am going to wear less makeup – I love looking glam but looking back on some photos from 2012, in some instances I look more drag than fab. I am toning it down for my daytime look, going easier on the eyebrow pencil and going for a more smokey eye / neutral lip look for nights out.

I am going to let things go – I am going to stop worrying about things I cannot control. Sadly in 2012, one of my friendships deteriorated. One of my oldest and closest friends and I drifted apart. I have tried to keep things going but it has not been reciprocated. I am not sure if I could have done more from her point of view but I have tried to keep the flow of communication going but it hasn’t. Obviously, I am sad about this but I guess this is what happens in life. People drift apart and people can be in different places. I need to stop worrying and pondering on this situation and maybe in time we will reconnect but for now, I am going to let things go.

I am going to listen more – I am a bit of a whirlwind at times. I can be excitable and when friends are talking to me, I can on occasion be known to butt in and talk about myself. Friends have told me things and I have been so airy fairy that I haven’t taken things in. I know this must be frustrating so in 2013, I am making a conscious effort to listen.

I am going to stop saving things for best – If 2012 taught me anything, it is that life is too short. I am going to light my posh candles, use my expensive bath oil and drink that expensive bottle of wine.

I am going to try and dress nicer than I think I should – On those days when I think I’ll just throw an outfit together, I am going to stop myself and think about dressing a touch nicer. I am going to think about my outfits for work the night before and accessorise more. When just going to the pub in the evening I am going to dress up more, than I have in the past, and when going out for a special occasion I am going to try and not wear my faithful skinny jeans and pull out all the stops.

I have high hopes for 2013. I am hoping for a happy home life, no more sadness, successful work life and fingers crossed, maybe our plans for a baby may come to fruition.

Here’s to 2013.

Bouche x x x

Bouche is back

I posted a couple of times last week. A brief picture post and my follow up post on Jimmy Savile. I needed easing in gently. The past three months have been hectic, emotional and pretty awful to be honest. Mr Bouche lost his mum six weeks ago after a mere 8 months of battling cancer and hence I have really not felt like writing.
He is obviously devastated and although I am trying to be the best support that I can, I also miss her immensely. Some days I break down and some days it still doesn’t feel real. Grief is a bizarre thing and I think Mr Bouche and I are in for some emotional roller coaster rides in the coming weeks and months.
I don’t necessarily think Bouche in the city is somewhere to share my thoughts, memories and sadness. As my wonderful mother in law would not want me to pour out my thoughts about her in such a public way.
She would however want me to get back to blogging (which I love) and write some humorous, witty and random posts. So that is what I am going to do. I am feeling like my mojo is returning slightly and I am feeling ready to write. I am sure some of the posts I will write in the coming weeks will be utter bollocks but I will write them all the same!
I hope I haven’t lost any of my audience (if sparse at times) and my coming posts are not too shabby.
Sorry I have been away but I know you will all understand! (And if you don’t you can do one!)

Bouche x x x

Quality time with little Doris

When I was 22 my Mum and step Dad announced that they were going to have a baby. I was mortified. One of my best friends had a little girl and I knew a few other girls my age who had, had babies. This was not something my mother should be doing! She was in her forties and as far as I was concerned well past having babies. Plus, I was 22. That large an age gap was unaccepable!

After a couple of months I soon got over the shock and was thrilled when my Mum asked me to be her birthing partner. When the time came I supported my Mum and when the midwife tried to hand little Doris over to my step Dad he refused as she was so small and she was passed to me. I will always remember that day and the feelings I felt. I have never felt emotion like it.



Over the years I have spent some fantastic times with little Doris. However, the last year or so I haven’t spent quite as much time with her due to one thing and another. So this week when I had some free time, I decided to spend a day with her, just the two of us.

We watched a girly film, painted our nails and headed out for a walk. Ingress Abbey is really close to where I live and has a heritage walk through it’s ruins. So we headed out mid rain shower to check it out.

Ingress Abbey…

Little Doris on the steps to the abbey…



The grounds…


Little Doris taking a rest…


Little Doris and her big sister….



Bouche x x x

Goodbye 2011

So that’s it. 2011 is over and 2012 is upon us. I can’t lie, 2011 has been a disappointment but that said I thought I would give you a run down of Bouche’s year anyway!

January – I started my blog! After months of tooing and froing I finally did it! Mr Bouche turned 32. I joined Weight Watchers, with the view of losing three stone.

February – Was a quiet month but I spent 5 hours at Guys hospital having my root canal treated. I helped a good friend move into her home after a turbulent 18 months for her

March – Little J turned 9 and I suddenly realised that he as becoming a young man. My good friend Doris and I headed to the cinema and ended up in London Gallery’s and had a fab night. Mr Bouche took me on a date, even though I had, had three hours of root canal treatment!

April – April brought Easter and lots of family time. I spent lots of time with Daddy Bouche. I also visited my GP to be referred to the genetics clinic at Guys. The first of the 2011 babies was born to a good friend and he is a beaut. Our girly trip to Butlins was booked for later in the year. The royal wedding brought a houseful at 11am and some hangovers the next day!

May – The second of our 2011 babies arrived and he is a handsome chap. My mother in law turned 60 and we had a lovely day at my sister in-law’s. More root canal treatment for Bouche and a big girly night out. We also went for our first appointment at Guys Hospital to discuss our options at the Genetic clinic.

June – My sister and law and I headed to Wembley to see Take That in concert. June also saw Huntington’s awareness week and the summer party at my Dad’s home. I attended an Ann Summer’s party which was more than fun. We also had a family get together at Mr Bouche’s Dad’s house and I finally met his aunt from New Zealand.

July – July brought the third of our 2011 babies and she is absolutely adorable! I also headed to Essex for Essex Polo which was hilarious and so much fun. Amy Winehouse passed away and I wrote the saddest tunage tuesday. July also brought a client go karting event at work and despite being very competitive my team came second from bottom!

August – I bravely had my second tattoo, of our wedding date in roman numerals on my wrist. We joined the local Huntington’s Disease support group for a meeting and made some new friends. We also celebrated our first wedding anniversary and had a bit of a shindig at home.

September – I turned 32, this involved a carvery lunch, a girly breakfast on my birthday, dinner with my aunt and uncle and a big girl’s night out. We also took Little J to the O2 to see Batman live. Babies number four and five arrived (twins) and are real smashers! I took my cousin to a wedding fayre and she asked me to make a speech at her wedding. Both Mr Bouche and I were personally affected by 9/11 and we remebered the date by purchasing a beautiful canvas of New York for our lounge. I also worked in the disaster recovery site and got to see Daddy Bouche lots that week, as I was based near his home. September also brought worry. We went to Guys Hospital and after they had looked at family history, they wanted to test me for a duplication of chromosome 15. It was one long week but all was well and I was negative.

October – October started with a sex and the city afternoon tea in London and a family bbq at my aunt and uncles (otherwise known as mum and dad number 2). We had a wedding reception which was fab and a visit to Mr Bouche’s uncle’s restaurant in London. I started organising my cousin’s hen weekend. Work was frantic and looked as if we were in trouble and our jobs were at risk.

November – We had another wedding reception, a 30+1 birthday party and the girly Butlins 80’s weekender. It was also the month that my company collapsed and I was made redundant along with half of the company, with the further 50% go early in 2012. With that it brought leaving drinks and an interview.

December – The start of my unemployment! My little sister was 9 and we had a tea party at Casa Bouche. I had a girly curry evening. Lots of christmas shopping was done. I met up with my cousin for some wedding preparation shopping. I signed on. I claimed ppi. We had an appointment at Guys and missed it as we were stuck in traffic. I had two interviews and am still waiting for the result. We had a visit from an absent friend. I avoided my family at christmas (I saw them on the 23rd, this isn’t really christmas is it?). We saw Little J on christmas eve and gave him his presents. Christmas day we visited Daddy Bouche and then came home for the Bouche’s christmas where we saw no-one but ourselves! Boxing day, we went to Mr Bouche’s sisters ( and had a lovely day. The 27th saw us at Mr Bouche’s Dad’s which was eventful as usual. The rest of December has seen me mainly eating cold meat, cheese and pickles and drinking wine in my pj’s! I have managed to apply for some jobs and have an interview lined up for early January. Mr Bouche and I spent New Years together in doors, toasting the new year in and ushering 2011 out!

What will 2012 bring? Below is what I know will happen for certain!

An interview in January, which I hope will be successful and bring a whole new adventure.

A wedding in February. Mr Bouche’s best friend’s sister gets married.

A hen do in March organised by myself for my darling cousin.

A wedding in April, where I will be the acting mother of the bride and will read a speech about my fabulous cousin in a father of the bride fashion.

Little J doing his 11 plus. Wowsers, where has the time gone?!

The Olympics hitting London.

Our nephew goes to university.

Everything else will be, no doubt a rollercoaster!

Happy new year everyone, lets hoping 2012 will be fantastic!

Bouche x x x

Bah humbug!

This time last year I was half way through my christmas shopping. New decorations for my tree had been bought, I was busy making menu decisions for christmas day and had even made my own mince pies.

Now, don’t start thinking I am one of those Kirsty Allsopp types who start their christmas shopping in June, pickle their own onions and make fantastic personalised gifts. I am not! I don’t even really like christmas!

Mr Bouche and I have a mutual dislike for christmas and would happily stay indoors from December 24th to December 28th and not see a soul! We always shun family christmas dinner and instead choose to eat christmas lunch together and enjoy the day, just the two of us. We do visit Daddy Bouche on christmas morning but we always decline invitations.

You see, Christmas is not the same as we both feel a little lost. I have never enjoyed christmas since my Dad was diagnosed with HD. Christmas has never been the same. I don’t get along with my step dad and cannot think of anything worse than spending christmas day with him, over my dad.

Mr Bouche always feels a little sad. Little J usually spends christmas day and boxing day with his Mum and her family. It is hard for him to spend christmas day without little J and even harder to spend it with other children.

Last year, however, was the most perfect christmas. Little J had decided to spend christmas eve with us and woke up with us on christmas morning, the first time in 8 years. Even if it was 4.30am, it was just perfect. We had a family breakfast and we got to see Little J’s christmas morning face! I went into overdrive to make it the perfect day. It was the first christmas as a married couple and the first christmas in our house. The tree was up, on the first week of December and all the presents were wrapped weeks in advance.

This year could not be more different. I have bought three christmas presents. Every time that bloody coca cola advert comes on, I turn the tv over. Whilst in the supermarket this week, when I heard the christmas songs being played I put my iPod on and listened through the head phones and don’t even get me started on the John Lewis ad. Has christmas started early this year?

We have no definite answers from Little J as to whether he wants to stay on christmas eve, but I guess we are both expecting it to be a no. I can’t even start to get organised. I have zero interest this year. I don’t think being made redundant has helped and I am hoping the whole christmas period will pass whilst I am asleep.

I know it will be different when we have a baby. Maybe Little J will want to be with us all christmas, maybe we will embrace all family gatherings and not feel like something is missing, maybe I will buy presents in June and pickle my own onions!

Bah Humbug Bouche x x x

End of an era

Bouche in the city has never been a space where I write about my work. I have always wanted to keep my job segregated from my views and opinions that I post on here. I won’t go into much detail but work wise the past few weeks have been hell.

This time last year my role at a top tier investment bank was moved to Glasgow and I was made redundant. This wasn’t the first time that I had been made redundant and was starting to think I was a little cursed. All I want in life is to do the job I know and love, get paid a reasonable amount of money and have a work life balance.

When I was asked to go for an interview, for a job I could do,do well, get paid well (even with a pay cut) and have a 8.30am – 5.30pm working day, I jumped at the chance. The interviews were tough but I could hold my own and I was offered the role. I was over the moon and I joined the firm on the 8th November 2010. I saw this as my last career move. This was the job I wanted to do for the next ten years at least. I had room to stretch my wings and I thought I could grow roots and spread those wings.

I passed my probation and had an excellent appraisal. I wanted to show off my skills and on occasions show boated when I needed to.

A couple of weeks ago, our parent company in the US filed for bankruptcy. The past few weeks have been tough not really knowing my fate and when I was asked for information I provided this to management and the administrators.

Us staff were advised a few days ago that we would know whether we would be required for another couple of months by the end of the week. I had been praying that I might have been kept on till new year. I was thinking about christmas and all the things little J wanted in his stocking. I just prayed I could coast it out till january.

Today, was D-day. There is no coasting, little J might not get everything he wants, and my career dreams have come crashing down. Mr Bouche and I had discussed trying for a baby early in 2012. Those plans have now been put on hold.

I walked into my senior manager’s office. I could see the tears pricking her eyes and I sat down. I am not being kept on for a couple more months. I am redundant at the end of november. 50% of all staff were being made redundant at the end of November and the remaining 50% would be coasting. I am not a coaster. After many tears in that office I left, I packed up my desk and have left the office for the last time. I am on gardening leave for the next two and a half weeks. In that time I am hoping I will find the job I dream of, the one which was doing two weeks ago.

I loved my job, but I loved my colleagues more. They are amazing people and I do believe I will be friends with some of them for years to come. I am going to be sad starting a new job (when I find one) and not seeing their faces.

Goodbye beloved job and goodbye beloved work colleagues.

Bouche had a blast x

A plan that works

My baby plans are not going quite to plan. After our last appointment at Guys, Mr Bouche and I decided that we would try and get pregnant naturally, and go for the CVS testing at 12 weeks once we are pregnant. We discussed when we would start trying and we agreed that we would start early 2012.

I am already 32 and aware that time is a factor, bearing in mind that we need to have these CVS tests and we may not have a HD embryo on our first attempt. So as far as we were concerned the sooner the better.

This past week has been pretty rotten and our quest to start making babies could be postponed as my job is now at risk and I am likely to be unemployed come the end of November.

I know I should be more sad that all my hard work and career progression is coming to a close and that I will need to start again but I am more sad that Mr Bouche and I cannot start a family as we had hoped in the new year.

I can’t seem to go onto facebook without seeing another pregnancy announcement. It seems even girls that I least expected to be announcing a pregnancy, are at the moment and I feel like the last one to do so. Yes, I am jealous. I want a baby! I want to show off a scan picture and tell people that the weight around my middle is not caused by my love of wine and crisps but a little human being.

Nothing ever seems to go to plan with me and starting a family is definitely not following the plan I had envisaged! I guess I will just have to create a new plan. Maybe a plan that will actually come to fruition!

A plan that works!

Bouche x x x

Woop for winter

In recent weeks, I have heard many people complaining that the summer is over and the winter months are here.
Me? I am secretly rejoicing! When I’ve explained my pleasure to people about being able to get my winter coats out, it has been met with a bemused response.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the summer, I have a fondness for sandals and I love a relaxing beach holiday. However, I do love the autumn and winter.
I love being able to accessorise my coat with gorgeous hats, scarves and gloves. I have found myself lusting after the accessories in Reiss of late and I cannot wait for payday when I am going to treat myself to this.
I love patterned tights and long boots and I love my chunky knits to snuggle in. Not to mention slippers. Oh how I love slippers!
Winter fashion always seems so much more formal, even when it’s casual. I think my style just suits winter so much more and I feel more elegant and stylish.

However, my love of autumn and winter is not just about fashion, it is all that comes during the seasons. I love seeing all the children dressing up for Halloween, it is also has fond memories, as Mr Bouche proposed on the spooky night in question.
I also love getting wrapped up warm and watching firework displays. I don’t love fireworks but I love the bonfire and the tradition. Plus, I love a bonfired sausage!
Then we have Christmas. Whilst I rarely spend it with my family. I really look forward to spending quality time with Mr Bouche when we lock ourselves away on christmas day, enjoy a lavish dinner together and generally get quite drunk on champagne!

Then we have Mr Bouche’s birthday in January which is usually followed by snow. Whilst being a nightmare for commuting to work, the fun we had last year with little J, my little sister K and a sledge still makes me smile when I think about it.

So if you ever here me moaning about how cold it is, remind me that I love it!

Bouche x x x