Sunday, 24 April 2011

Silent Sunday

For more like this. Go here.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Gallery - My Blog

This is the picture that makes up the background of my blog. I like that there is a little spider hiding in the petal, I like that the flower is all white except the little pink edges, I like that the sun shining through makes the petals translucent. I like that every time I look at this photo I see something new.

Why does this represent my blog (apart from the bleedin'obvious!)? Because, I use this blog to show off some of my photo's and this is a good example of a photo I am proud of. Because, I don't really have a theme when I write, sometimes I am a mummy blogger, sometimes I am a grumpy blogger, but mostly I am talking about my feelings and all the different things that go on in my head. And, on the whole I am optimistic and hopeful, and for me, this picture represents that.

For more like this pop over to StickyFingers tomorrow, I am getting this in early as I am off to the challenging internet connection back end bit of beyond in sunny Ireland, where I try and forget about technology and chill out with the in-laws and the cows. See you in just over a week. 

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Q & A Challenge

My pal Tara was set a Q & A challenge by her pal Kerry Jean Lister. Now she as set me the same challenge....

The challenge was this:

She poached these Q and As from The Guardian Weekend magazine which are used to quiz a random celebrity/policitician/author/whatever.
She says the answers break you down into the ‘yeah you seem like a nice person, I’d go for a pint with youers’and the ‘Christ what a KNOB! LISTEN TO YOURSELFers!'

I'm aiming for the former . . .

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
There are loads - My Mum & Dad, for different reasons, and my husband, for putting up with me. My kids, because they amaze me daily. And all my friends for all sorts of reasons. 

When were you happiest

About 6 months after the birth of my second daughter, it had been a long journey to have a second child and at 6 months she was so well and robust, I finally stopped worrying that something may go wrong and our little family was complete.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I had just met a whole load of my new boyfriends friends at a house party, I was a little bit nervous of meeting them and may have drunk a 'couple' of cans of cider a little too quickly. I got sick, very quickly and stayed in the one toilet they had, a very long time. Finally I had to come out, but I was still unwell. and I had to go through the living room to get upstairs for a bit of a lie down. So they gave me an orange hard hat to hold like a bowl 'just in case'. Of course I threw up in front of them all, and my sick was black as I had been eating chocolate cake. Marvellous. Lesson learnt, drinking does not help in the making of a first impression. 

Aside from property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
My car, I have to drive quite a way each day for work and since I had kids I like to have something reliable - so I have a fiesta, but with air conditioning, a tech pack (because I am a nerd) and all the mod cons. 

What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring. I never thought I would get married, but now I am (It's been 10 years this year) I love it!

Where would you like to live?
Italy, when the kids have grown, I love the culture, the weather and lifestyle.

What’s your favourite smell?
My children's just washed hair.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
Lori Petty or Sandra Bullock

What is your favourite book?
So many to choose from, can't do one....Oranges are not the only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, Chocolat by Joanne Harris, Good Omens by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. Anything by Christopher Moore, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, and so many more.....

What is your most unappealing habit?
Picking at the hard skin on my feet. I disgust myself sometimes

What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
Cruella DeVille I love the hair the out fit (as long as it wasn't real fur - obviously) and the fact you get to be a bit evil and maniacal for fun. 

What is your earliest memory?
This, I think, but it may be because of the photo.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
America's Next Top Model - I tell people I watch it for the photography, which may not be entirely true.

What do you owe your parents?
Everything. If they hadn't adopted me I am pretty sure my life could have been very different.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
I am quite good at saying sorry at the time it needs to be said. If I have messed up I will be the first to admit it. There are plenty of people I should say I love you to more often though. 

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My husband. 

What does love feel like?
Being able to say anything without having to edit first.

What was the best kiss of your life?
My husband, on my 30th Birthday. Whilst my then boyfriend was out of the room. One of the two times I have been unfaithful (never to my husband and never with more than a kiss). I literally felt electricity from my lips all the way down my spine. And that was that, 7 months later we got together. 

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Rubbish (I use it at work and home to avoid swearing - doesn't always work)

What is the worst job you’ve done?
Being Mr Wimpy whilst working at Wimpy the burger place....hangs head in shame.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Nothing. Everything happens for a reason.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?
In British Columbia in Canada when I was 10. We were staying with relatives and went to look round their fields (big big fields) of corn in their pick up truck, I was in the back and everyone else was in the cabin. Then the back started to tip (they pressed a button by accident)...until I was hanging vertical, shouting for them to stop, I was terrified because they couldn't hear me. Eventually they realised the back was up and stopped. For some reason they couldn't lower it and I just had to let go. I got away with scrapes and bruises, but it really shook me up. There was also a sinking incident in a swimming race, but it wasn't as exciting.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My children.

When did you last cry, and why?
Watching the last episode of Monroe. I cry at the drop of a hat at films and even adverts. It is a rarity for me to cry in real life.

How do you relax?
Taking photo's and doing this...

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Less time working, more time with the kids. The sun on my face - every day.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
What will be will be, you can try and control it all, but really you have to go with the flow.

And so I pass this huge task on to:

Penny at The Alexander Residence
Jen at Mum in the Madhouse
English Mum
Gayle at Bumbling Along

Have fun ladies...This one is quite challenging!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

My Mum - A brief history of time

Normally on Mothering Sunday (not Mothers Day - that's what card companies call it, according to my Mum) we go to Shrewsbury and visit my Mum.

This year my Dad has a nasty cold so we are staying put, at my Mum's request, we don't want to tire him out.

So I thought I would write about her instead.

How do I describe my Mum. Hmmm. Expressions like 'they broke the mold',  'powerful woman', 'eccentric' come to mind.

My Mum is 82 in a couple of weeks. She is fit as a fiddle.

My Mum is a farmers daughter. The youngest of three girls. When she was young, she wanted to be a PE teacher, but she had problems with her knees so couldn't do it (also, around that time it was hard for people her age (she was born in 1929) to get a place at University to study. All the places went to the soldiers who had just returned from fighting in the war)

So instead she did a secretarial course and went to work in London.

She stayed their for a few years then went to work for an insurance company back in Shrewsbury where she met my Dad. When they got married she wasn't allowed to stay on working in the office (that's the 1950's for you). So she became a housewife.

Now, housewife is a relative term. Until my Mum got into her seventies she was:

  • A guide leader and then commissioner for the county
  • A Duke of Edinburgh assessor (or whatever they are called)
  • Leader of the Trefold Guild
  • In the WI, the chair and all sorts of other things
  • Made costumes for the Local Drama Group and for a brief period acted in things as well
  • A school governor for both my Infant/Primary school and my Secondary school
  • Kept Bees, extracted honey and exhibited or judged it at national flower/agricultural shows
  • Kept Chickens and Ducks and always a grumpy ginger cat
  • Grew vegetables year round so we only ate vegetables (and sometimes chickens) from the garden 
  • Plus making various costumes for me and my brother for school or parties
  • When we started doing our exams she decided to do an Open University Degree which she completed the same year I got my degree.
  • Not to mention just being a Mum
  • Even now she is heavily involved in the local community
  • She has loads of friends
  • She has a laptop and emails them, she even emails me sometimes
This is a picture for the local paper, can't remember why, think it was to do with the bees.

Here she is getting her degree (so proud!)

On my wedding day, my Mum and my  Mum-in-law (another powerful woman, she's a story for another day)

But this is how I think of her, always outside, doing or making something, infinitely practical. My friends still talk about her, the story they repeat when we are reminiscing after a few drinks is this one.

We are all about 15, we are camping in my back garden, we have arranged to meet some of our other friends (boys) and are trying to leave, we have no way of letting them know that we can't get out (there are no mobile phones). The light is on in the kitchen and my Mum is in there. 10pm comes, and goes. 11pm then midnight, she is still there. At about 1am we decide to make a dash for it, figuring that we can see her but she can't see us. Wrong. We start to make a charge through the yard (there's about 6 of us) but there she is, hanging out washing. Fail.

She terrified my friends. They all think she is great now they are parents and close to the age she was then. I always thought she was great. We don't always see eye to eye, but I couldn't wish for a better Mum or role model.

For more posts like this, visit The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers

Silent Sunday

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