Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Stand Up to Cancer

On Friday Channel 4 do their yearly Stand up to Cancer event. It is hugely worthwhile and I urge you all to watch it and donate . It will make you laugh (download the Crystal Maze if you missed it), but it will also make you cry.

Last night I watched 24 hours in A & E for Stand up to Cancer. I couldn't get over the conversation of the women in the waiting room, two of them had breast cancer and one had lost a husband to prostrate cancer.

Another lady, had terminal cancer and was very unwell and her family were so distressed, particularly her daughter.

Having lost my Mum to cancer, I totally understood, although my Mum, never had chemo as she just carried on until it was too late to do anything.

I am still angry with my Mum for that. I wish she had gone to the doctors earlier, got diagnosed earlier, looked after herself, instead of everyone else.

My Mum may have been eighty three when she died but she was very spry prior to the cancer, always in the garden doing stuff.

Mum looking after the bees with her grandson and my nephew, about two years before she died
I fully expected my Mum to out live us all out of sheer bloodymindedness and anyone who knew her would agree with me. It was a shock.

I was lucky, I was diagnosed early. Even though I have a cancer you can't cure, I have the best outcome I could have, currently the leukeamia is undetectable in my blood and has been for years.  I have some minor side effects from my drugs, but over all I am well.

So, my message to you is, face cancer straight on, if you catch it early it has less of a chance of taking hold of you. I know it's frightening and Doctor Google terrifies us all but if you feel unwell, or find a lump, go to your doctor.

I know survivors of it and I know too many people who have lost the battle. So donate what you can so we can beat this stupid thug of a disease once and for all.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

18 Cakes & 18 Birthdays

I grew up in a world where you make do and mend, everything was home made, vegetables were grown in the garden and you had chickens for eggs and a cat to stop the mice because of the chickens.

I am not THAT old but my Mum was set in her ways and in all honesty it was pretty idyllic. 

One thing that Mum always did was make a birthday cake from scratch, she was very good and made all sorts of cakes including trains, cars, princesses, teddy bears etc.

In an effort to emulate my Mum, when my kids got old enough to appreciate a cake at a birthday, I have given it a go. I am not as artistic or talented in the baking department as my Mum. This is fact..

Year One - 2006 - Heather's 4th Birthday, A basic pink cake with some pre-made princesses on top, I think I managed to get away with this one.

Year Two - 2007 - Buoyed on by last years success, I was asked for a chocolate cake, It was OK....?

Year Three - 2008 -Cup cakes, basic and simple, I think I got away with it.

Year Four - 2009 -Lola had inside knowledge and knew that cakes were a thing on birthdays, I had lasted until Heather was 4, Lola was savvy and got her first cake at 3. I need to work on icing. This one was a bit grim.

As for this one, well, enough said.

Year Five - 2010 - You'd think I would be getting better ... This was the infamous Pepper Pig Cake, Pepper was so embarrassed by the poor design she went completely red....I know.

Lola didn't seem to mind

So back to the safety of cupcakes for Heather - Much better.

Year Six - 2011 - Perhaps my greatest success - The princess castle cake - I was so proud of this one - took me ages to make, I was supposed to ice the ice cream cones as well, but I was terrified of mucking it up so I left it.

 Another chocolate cake for Heather, she never asks for a theme so is much easier to bake for - Lola always has something in mind...

Year Seven - 2012 - Ahh yes cup cakes, my fall back position

 And something nice and simple for my 10 year old. I suspect the bow hides slightly burnt edges, but the less said about that the better.

Year Eight - 2013 - The year the house was renovated...Yes, the YEAR! including the kitchen, there was no brought all the way this year.

 Yep, definitely shop brought. Look at my un-stressed happy face.

Year Nine - 2014 - Renovations over Lola was promised a big party at home so back to cake making...This one wasn't too bad.

 Heather liked the shop brought ones.....

Year Nine - 2015 - Lola is nine... The instruction was she wanted a green cake. This is it. Looks alright. Again a ribbon  hiding a multitude of sins.

Gone are the girly dresses, laser quest was this years party

I have no cake picture for Heather this year, I can't remember if she had a cake, maybe as she was thirteen she was now too cool for cake, so instead, here is a picture of her opening a present that we told her she was absolutely not going to get as it was way too expensive. Cruel, yes, but worth it to see that happy face.

 And finally, Year 10 and its Lola's 10th Birthday (Heather's isn't until November). This year she requested a giraffe cake. Gah. 

This is my sad attempt.

I would now like you to look at one last cake...this one,

This was my wedding cake, made by my Mum, you can't see the detail but there are tiny roses all around it hand made in royal icing, each layer is a different type of cake, it was so good I didn't get a piece it was eaten on the day. Not much to live up to really....

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Big Change = Happiness

I left my job recently, my big important managerial well paid job.

 I had no other job lined up, but it just wasn't for me any more.

I have worked full time, all my working life; when my babies were babies, when I was diagnosed with Leukaemia, when my Mum died, when my Dad had a heart attack, whilst my Dad has slowly deteriorated after my Mum's death. All that time, in work, full time.

It has been exhausting. Have I given my best to my husband and my kids, no.

So, after one thing and another, enough was enough and I have left the safety of the corporate world with it's pension, regular pay and security. Yikes.

Now I have started my own business, I have an online shop, I make things - you can see it on my side bar.

I spend a lot of time on it, especially at the moment as I have been setting it up.

But, I don't have a childminder any more, I can pick my 10 year old up and drop her off at school everyday,  I am there when my teenager gets home. I am present, I know about school projects and problems with their friends. Before, I got in from work and fell asleep.

I am happy, my husband is happy, for years he has made the girls their tea as I was never home, now I make tea. I am a Mum, but I still have a job, but it is my own job, I can do it when I like.

Now I just have to start making money, at the moment, it feels like it is just outlay, but I am confident that in time I will, I just have to find that sweet spot in the market.

So if you read this and have some pounds to spare, go over to my shop and buy a friend a gift, just because you can, it will be wrapped up beautifully and will smell great. That's my promise. And you will make me and your friend, (or yourself) ever so happy.

Thank you. xxx

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