Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas Thoughts..Part 1

I have been getting ready for Christmas. We put our tree up this weekend and today I spent all afternoon writing my Christmas Cards.

I added little personal notes to people and gave it all my care and attention, which is why I am saddened when I hear people say, that they are not sending cards this year.

Personally, I feel, that this is part of Christmas, its is a time to think about friends and family and to take time out to write to them.

I love receiving cards as well. Just knowing someone is thinking of me and has taken the time to sit down, write a card and post or hand deliver it to me. How lovely.

Blatant self promotion, these are available in my shop
Now, I do understand why people say they don't want to send cards, I really do, saving the environment is important but the cards I use are made of recycled card and are for a charity, and I know people say that they will give all their money to a charity, but by sending your card you are promoting a charity and extending it's reach.

I love buying the Christmas stamps that come out every year and look forward to seeing the design.

There is no stopping me, it is all about the magic of Christmas. So come on, get out your pens and go old school, no eCards for me, just the real tangible lovely thing. 

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

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Cat Person or Mad Cat Lady?

Firstly, apologies..I have been absent for the last month, this is due to a combination of school holiday's, my head is in a funny place and general world upside downy-ness. I will talk about all that another day, however, because today I want to talk about cats.

I am a cat person, I had to ask my friends to stop buying me cat related presents as it became more 'mad cat lady' than cat person.

I admit, I did, by accident, have 4 cats at one point, when I was single...this was not a good look.

How do you have a cat by accident I hear you say? Well, I had two cats, then a friend of mine, who also had two cats temporarily moved out of a house with a garden, to a flat with no garden, so I took his two cats as well, because I am nice like that.

I now have two cats. Tao who is ten and has face cancer, which means my once handsome boy has the look of the elephant cat. Sad (Can't talk about this as there will be tears). And Millie who is about 6 or 7.

Tao - Before the face cancer

A rare moment of both my cats quite close together

Both came from the RSPCA, both had the names they had prior to me having them.

I like most animals, except chickens, can't stand chickens, nasty pecky greedy things - we kept chickens when I was a child and one of my jobs was to feed them - they are pure evil. Unlike the ducks we had, which were lovely, even though they thought they were chickens.

People think I don't like dogs because I like cats - not true. I like other people's dogs, I just don't want to be responsible for picking up warm dog poo with my hand inside a plastic bag, the idea of that makes me want to retch. Happy for other people to do that and for me to go and pet the soft velvety ears of my friends dogs.
This is Penny, my friends dog, one of the many dogs I am friendly with
My biggest gripe though, is about posh cats, you know the ones, that have been bred and aren't moggies. It's not the cats I have an issue with, it's their owners, or specifically the owners of cats who don't let their cats go outside.

The Oxford English defines cats as follows:

 A small domesticated carnivorous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractile claws. It is widely kept as a pet or for catching mice, and many breeds have been developed.
Our cats are domesticated, but they are animals that like to hunt and go outside and chase and kill things. They are independent animals who choose to live with us. Tao currently chooses to live mostly with me, but I know he also spends a significant amount of time about 5 doors up the road.

Imagine if you weren't being allowed out.

To all posh cat owners;

  • Allow your cats out, and don't give me the 'oh he/she doesn't like it' or 'it has been bred out of them' nonsense. It is a cat. You are being cruel. 
  • Don't put your cat on a lead. It is a cat. Get a dog if you want to put something on a lead. They like going for walks with you.
  • And don't even think of saying to me, 'I can't let it out as some one will steal it, as it is such a posh cat'....then you shouldn't have bought such a posh cat. 

OMG. Infuriating.

OK rant over, just for the record, I do quite like a number of 'bred' cats but as there are so many cats available at the RSPCA, I just can't bring myself to buy a posh one.

This is not a sponsored post for the RSPCA I just think they do a great job.

And finally...
This is Millie
She was about 3 when I got her from the RSPCA, for the first few days, she lived under a bookcase. I don't know what happened to her, but she is very nervous of people when they stand up, or walk. She is an incredibly affectionate cat and when you are sitting will come and sit on your lap and look at you like you are the best thing in the world.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Face Sweats - Or how can I avoid the Menopause?

I have reached a 'certain age', my body its getting all geared up to having the menopause.

I have face sweats - it is perhaps one of the most horrible disgusting things.There are great droplets of face sweat, my glasses steam up, I can't see.

I do not glow, I do not perspire, I sweat. UGH! My children make this noise 'errrrrr'.

I also feel like I am pre-menstrual most of the time and my brain is functioning at about 75% capacity. That may be just after I have had some wine...

I thought I would read up on the menopause.....OMG.... it is a horror show - don't do it to yourself.

Hair thinning, vaginal atrophy, anxiety, sleep problems, urinary tract 'issues' - dear lord. This can last 3 - 5 years...holy crap!

I am reading all this stuff, and being told this is a normal part of a woman's life and in some cultures it is seen as a sign of women reaching a time of wisdom and respect in their lives. 

Three - Five Years of hideousness!!!!

No, no, no. I am not going to do it. I refuse. Periods where horrible but this sounds much much worse. 

So please could you all send your suggestions of what I am going to do to avoid this completely -  the face sweats are bad enough. Thank you. 

Me and my friends, blissfully unaware of what is ahead of us.




Saturday, 16 July 2016

How do you explain terrorism to your kids?

Every morning, I watch the BBC news and eat my breakfast with my girls. They don't particularly want to watch the news so this encourages them to get ready for school and get going. Which is good.

Every so often a news story grabs them and they are drawn into it, Lola, my 9 year old makes a fart noise every time she hears the name Trump, which is the correct response, and usually there is giggling afterwards.

Heather (13yo) was horrified over Brexit as her school had all voted to remain.

But these terror attacks baffle them. They baffle me,  and the one in Nice really caught their attention as we had been on holiday there last year. Here is how I explained it to them,

'Bad people take advantage of vulnerable people, using religion or whatever motivates that person, to do horrible things. To the vulnerable person they absolutely believe in what they are doing. They think they are doing it for their God or because it is the right thing to do because they have been brainwashed (brief interlude, whilst I explain what brainwashed means) into believing it.'

I then go on to explain that we mustn't show fear to these bad people because if we do they have won.
The only thing we can do is try and help the vulnerable people before the bad people poison their minds with the terrible things they want them to do.

I explained to Heather that her age group were particularly vulnerable, as teenagers can feel very isolated and alone, and people will pray on that, and that it was important for her to talk to me or her friends or teachers if she feels that way.

I don't know if I have explained it well or effectively but I don't want to hide this from them, as I said if we fear it or shy away from it, they have won. In my view if we can educate our children the world may end up in a better place than where it is now.

My thoughts are with the families or all those effected by terror.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Table for One

I recently went to a restaurant alone.

I did this by choice, I wanted some 'me' time.

It was interesting, I walked into the restaurant and the waiter looked behind me for my friends/family. When I said I wanted a table for one he seemed genuinely shocked.

After he gathered himself he led me to a table.

I ordered a drink and mulled on the menu, there was a special offer for two courses and they were two courses that I would really enjoy, but two courses, alone...should I ....Ahhh, sod it, thinks me, two course sounds like a great idea.

Lovely nutty avocado starter followed by a cheesy pizza fiorentina, Nom. I love food.

So I order my two courses, again, slight surprise from the waiter, who seems to feel sorry for me and is just a tad over attentive... In my head I am screaming,

'GO AWAY, I came here for me time, I am quite content, STOP TALKING TO ME. Gah!'

As the meal continues, I watch the people walking by outside. They don't see me, it's lovely I can properly people watch, thinking my own thoughts to myself.

I realise I am taking my time, I am enjoying my alone time, I am enjoying the food, it is delicious.

The waiter continues to lurk.

I decide to order a coffee to finish the meal off.

This gets a raised eyebrow from the waiter, he really can't get this concept of woman alone, eating.

I then begin to wonder, would he be like this with a man? This line of thought makes me cross.

I decide to continue with my coffee and people watching to avoid rage.

Shall I have sugar in my coffee as I am out? Yes, yes I will.

I consider not tipping the waiter due to his possible sexist behaviour but decide this may be unfair as he may treat a lone man the same, or everyone.

Momentarily, I feel bad for the waiter.

After about an hour in the restaurant it is time to go. I do tip the waiter.

Afterwards, I feel refreshed and liberated. I would definitely do it again and would recommend it to you all.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Sink or Swim?

The world has continued spinning.

Wimbledon has started. Summer carries on as normal.

Andy Murray has won Queens for a record breaking fifth time.

We are going to come out of Europe.

Glastonbury was muddy and amazing.

Slovakia lost in the Euro's (I had them in the sweepstake)

What a weird few days.

Random picture of a bumble bee, indicating summer time. By me.
Life is never what you expect. Just when you think you have it all sorted...Wallop....It's all change again.

But, it is not the change that is the problem, it is how you cope with change. Do you sink or swim?

My Gran used to say, 'Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe'. Which I have understood as, have faith in yourself and your own abilities.

Which I agree with. Having inner confidence is a brilliant thing to have, but we don't have it all of the time, not even the best of us,sometimes that confidence can take a massive blow. I believe that the love and support of family and friends is crucial when you have something huge happening in your life.

As a country we have something huge happening, whether we love or loathe the decision to come out of Europe we still need to love our fellow man/woman to help us cope with this change. Sadly, a small minority see this as an opportunity to bring hatred and distrust to our country.

Just because the small minority behave this way, doesn't mean we should, lets not lower ourselves to their standards, lets rise above it and be better.

Treat everyone as you would expected to be treated, it is what we tell our children.We just need to
 remind the leaders of big business, the politicians, the powerful and the important of this simple message.

I don't believe in many things, but I believe in that.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

3 Days of my Teenage Diary

I have recently started to read my teenage diaries. They are cringe.

I thought it could help me understand what it's like to be a teenage girl, so I am better prepared for what is going on with Heather, who is 13 going on 20.

I am aware that the complete lack of social media, internet and TV channels, may make it slightly different to being a teenage girl these days, but the hormones are the same, surely.

In 1984 my grammar and spelling is awful.

And I seem to be quite up my own bum. Gah.

So as a weird kind of catharsis/learning experience, I thought I would share with you some my diary. It was over 30 years ago so it's practically history. *Feeling Old*

To set this up - I am just about to go to Sixth Form and I am waiting for my exam results. I am the only one of my friends* who is going on to further education, the rest are starting jobs. I have a part time job, working on the burger and ice cream vans that are at various festivals. I have a German pen pal called Greta and have a cottage industry breeding and selling gerbils, as you do.

As a point of reference, I grew up in Shrewsbury.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent

This is me in 1984, yes, this is a mullet, and a perm. I was completely on trend. For younger readers, this was the equivalent of a selfie.

19th July 1984. Thursday

Today I woke up at 10.30ish, the weather seemed nice. It was sunny. I watch some television for a while, while I ate a pot noodle (beef and tomato) then went down to Morris' to collect the money I earned for working on the ice creams.(£20). After this I cleaned out the Gerbils, all seven of them, and tidied my room. Preparing my room for when Greta comes tonight.
                After dinner I went to Vikki's; we made up stupid silly stories, (typical) as we lay in the sun sunbathing. I went home 3.30ish, and had a bath, while I was in the bath I started what seems to be a very good book by Graham Greene (Brighton Rock) Mandy then arrived and we set off to Birmingham airport to pick up Greta. The journey took about an hour. We then got Greta and returned home. She seems happy. We had stew for tea at about 9 '0' clock. I naturally had my vegetarian stew. Then Greta and I went to bed, exchanged photographs then went to sleep. Tomorrow I hope to go to Bomere with Vikki and and Greta but it depends greatly on the weather.

Points to clear up.
  • Bomere - It is a lake where we would go swimming
  • I am vegetarian at this point (Pot Noodles, at this time, had no meat in them - don't know if they do now)
  • £20 probably seems like a lot for 1984. It wasn't for what we had to do, often up at 3am in the morning to get somewhere by 7am and then home by midnight. They were long days. 
  • I loved reading, but most of the stuff I read, which wasn't for school, were Catherine Cookson novels. I loved a Geordie romance, me.
  • Greta and I had met before, I had been to Germany and this was her second visit to England.

20th July 1984. Friday

Today we went to Bomere, however Vikki did not go, the weather is lovely however while Greta and I rode along a lot of thunder bugs stuck to us, pretty yukky!!!
We didn't get to Bomere until about 11ish and we left 3-4ish. After tea we went to Mandy's we didn't stay long as Greta was very tired, she didn't sleep very well, Greta went to bed about 10ish but I stayed up until 12ish watching television. 
Today my period started so I felt pretty rotten however, I felt better after taking one of my big yellow pills. I hope years from now I can say this with humour. Brighton Rock seems to get better after every page. I think my reading of 'soppy' novels is over. I could get to like this type of book.

  • My periods were awful when I was younger and I had pills prescribed by the doctor to help me out. They were MASSIVE and yellow, and no, I still have no sense of humour about my periods..nor do I want to go roller skating or rock climbing. 
  • Main forms of transport at this time, was my legs (walking or biking) or my Mum and Dad. Occasionally I would use a bus.

21st July 1984. Saturday

Today Greta and I went to town, I showed her all the usual shops including St.Julian's Craft Centre. I met Karen (fairly yukky) and had dinner at the Pantry. Later we met Mandy from Francisco Group the hairdressers where she works. We finished looking around town and Greti and I went and played some tennis against my brother and his girlfriend. 
After this we had tea, then Greta and I went to the local flicks (the pictures) (the cinema) to see Indiana Jones in the temple of doom with Harrison Ford, what a hunk (pity he is 41).
At the pictures we also saw Mandy and Gaz and Jeremy and Vick. The film was good and very very very funny. When we went home we picked up my Uncle Roger from my Grans' then we went home and Gretta and I went to bed. It is very unusual this going to bed early lark. I like to stay up late and watch television or go to discos or parties but, oh no not Greta, early to bed and early to rise and all that......!?!

  • I cannot nor do I ever, remember thinking Harrison Ford was a 'Hunk' and I have no memory of using this word ever. Someone has clearly taken over my body to write this bit. (possession may explain some later entries)
  • I did and do enjoy a late night and mornings were never my thing.
So that was your first outing into my teenage diary, I have no idea if you will find it interesting or if it is just self indulgent mush, so I will see how this one does in the blogosphere before I commit to more.

Friday, 10 June 2016

33 of my Favourite Things

I have posted a number of blogs about things that make me grumpy - here for example.

So today I thought I would post about a few of my favourite things.

  1. Firstly, my kids and husband are top of the list. Obvs.
  2. Then my friends and family.
  3. And now it gets a bit strange, I have a favourite meeting room at work. Don't know why I like it more than the others but I do.
  4. Similarly, I have a favourite parking bay (it's number 3). I park in one of those swanky car parks that take your car away and return it the right way round. It's very nice.
  5. My garden is one of my favourite spots to be in, particularly on a sunny day
  6. I like to nap in my pod - that is definitely one of my favourite things to do.
    My pod, invaded by hubs and my smallest child - rude.
  7. In fact napping, full stop is very near the top of my favourite things.
  8. I have a favourite bra, being a larger breasted lady, finding a bra that doesn't dig in and doesn't look like it was made by an architect and feels comfy, is a thing of wonder. When you find that bra, stick with it. 
  9. My favourite insect is a bee - because they are awesome, and make honey.
  10. My favourite pet animal is a cat, but my favourite animal is an otter - because they can swim and look super cool, but also look amazing on land and they are funny, and play and have fun. I want to live somewhere with otters at the bottom of the garden. 
  11. I do like a spider, because they do a great job with flies. Well done them.
  12. I have a favourite seat at work, but shhhhh....because we are supposed to hot desk.
  13. One of my favourite smells is the smell of a new book. 
  14. Another great smell is my first coffee of the day.
  15. I don't like gardening, but I get a great deal of pleasure out of seeing things grow. 
  16. My favourite alcoholic drink is red wine, closely followed by gin and tonic on a sunny day. 
  17. Ohhhh Port at Christmas.
  18. Christmas
  19. And Autumn, and Spring and Summer....I love to see the seasons change, and it is weird these days when the change is less dramatic than I remember as a child.just
  20. My favourite flower is either a Gerbera or an Allium, but to be honest I like most flowers.
  21. My favourite fruit is a tomato, ideally with basil and a bit of mozzarella.
  22. Rather logically my favourite herb is basil - see above.
  23. I have lots of favourite films and pieces of music, they are too big a genre to cover so I won't (same applies to books, food & TV).
  24. My favourite Shakespeare play is Measure for Measure (but I also like Twelfth Night)
  25. But my favourite play is Noises Off.
  26. My favourite cheese, and this is an important one is Comte
  27. My favourite super hero is Tank Girl - which is a bit of stretch, but I see her that way.
  28. My favourite techy thing is my phone, aren't they clever these days. Although the internet is up there.
  29.  My favourite sound is my garden, birds, bees and the running water in the pond.
  30. My favourite pasta is spagetti because it is silly and messy
  31. My favourite poem is The Horses - By Edwin Muir. Its a bit post apocalyptic, but if you like that sort of thing...I do enjoy a gloomy poem. This one always makes me cry.
  32. Crying at films, is an excellent way to remove excess 'feelings' - I am British. Come on. 
  33. My favourite snack is twiglets for more about this - go here
An Allium coming to life in my garden

And that is all I can think of right now, I am a little bit exhausted, and there is definite over use of the word favourite in this blog. So apologies. 

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Less Money. More Life.

This week, I started working part time. I haven't worked part time since I was a student. I have always been a full time girl. Even after maternity leave. Back to work, full time.

I am now working a 3 day week and doing 27 hours a week. Its a three month trial with my work, so if it doesn't work for them or me I can go back to my old hours.

But, I am sitting with my feet up in the garden whilst I write this. The weather is glorious and it feels like the right decision.

So after nearly 28 years of working full time I have decided to go part time.

I am tired, the CML (Chronic Myloid Leukaemia) meds are, on the whole, brilliant, as I pretty much have a normal life, but after nearly six years of taking them I find my energy is really low. You can read more about my CML here.

Then there is my girls, they are 13 and 9 now, unlike when they were babies, they don't need me all the time, but I think they need me to be around more, to be, just more present.

Gratuitous picture of my gorgeous girls

And my Dad, he is nearly 87, he has steadily gone down hill since my Mum died. He can hardly walk, hear or see. He has a full time carer with him, but I am looking after a lot of his financial stuff  and I try to see him regularly, but it's a two hour round trip (on a good day...the M6 is involved so, you know...)and that takes time.

So typically, I am a time short 40 something, with responsibilities and 'stuff' going on all over the place.

So where is the compromise?  Less money, more life.

This was a tough decision, not because I am super materialistic, although I am fond of the odd luxury item, do I need Molton Brown soap and body wash, of course not*, but I do want to continue to give the kids organic food where I can, and a holiday once a year, and be able to pay for school trips.

And what about their future, how will I save for that!

All of this went through my head.

Have I mentioned my husband is awesome.

At the beginning of the year all of this was getting on top of me and I didn't know what to do. My husband and I talked. Then we talked a bit more. And finally we got to this. He said all the right things.

"I want you to be happy"
"We will be OK"
"We have enough money"
"I will help you if you need it"

I have always been financially independent so hopefully, if I tighten my belt, he won't have to do the last one. I am still not sure how I feel about that.

So here I am, on a sunny Wednesday, listening to someone mow the lawn, the birds singing, the bees buzzing, writing this.

Which was the last thing, I wanted to do more of this, but have had no time. so hopefully you will hear more from me now, and with that, I wish you well, whilst I enjoy this sunny day.

*I do!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

10 Things to do when you are ill

I am just getting over a nasty cold and I thought I would share with you, how to remain productive even though you feel like rubbish. I blogged about this before here.

I ended up having a week off work. On days one through to three I was like death warmed up and mostly slept. It was only really on days four and five I started to feel vaguely human again. (Today is day six and I am pleased to say I can now string a sentence together, and my face has stopped hurting - stupid sinuses!)

So here is my list:

  1. Sleep - you will regret it if you don't, it may not seem like a very productive thing to do but actually it is, your body is fighting a little battle and it works best when you are asleep.
  2. Eat lots of fruit - it will help your body do the battle thing I mentioned above.

  3. Turn off the TV - and chill, Enjoy the silence and quiet - Again, it is all about the battle
  4. Make a list - If stuff is rolling about in your head about what you should be doing, write it down. It will help get it out of your head and you can tackle it when you feel better.
  5. Go outside - By day three, I had a bad case of grumpy cabin fever. So I wrapped up warm and had a cup of coffee whilst sitting in my garden (this is weather permitting - do not do this in the bleak mid winter!)
  6. Read a book - Because why wouldn't you?
  7. Watch a film - That makes you feel better - see previous blog, but Practical Magic is a personal favourite.
  8. Do something mundane - I downloaded Windows 10 onto two tablets, dull but productive and involves no brainpower whatsoever.
  9. Think about your next creative project - I have been mulling about vlogging...? 
  10. Have a shower/bath - It will clear out your sinuses and make you feel just that little bit better...and your family will thank you for just being clean.
And that's my list, I am sure there is more, or you could personalise it to suit you, but don't over do it, you are poorly, after all.

Friday, 19 February 2016

An Irish Holiday

I have been a bit lax lately. I haven't blogged since October. That's ages. In blogging terms I have officially gone AWOL and will be long forgotten. 

I only have the usual excuses, work, life, stuff... rubbish.

It's not like this takes long, and as I am on holiday at the moment I thought I would get back to this blogging malarkey, as I really don't have any reason not to.

I am currently in Ireland at my home from home staying with my in-laws, having a lovely time.

I love visiting Ireland, it has a completely different pace of life. My in-laws live on the borders of County Roscommon and County Galway, it is beautiful countryside in the west of Ireland. The wind and the rain can be wild but it just adds to the lush green of the 360 degree views.

One of the things I like best about Ireland is the light. There is so little pollution where we are, so the light seems clearer and I am convinced I get better photo's here.
The sky is massive in Ireland
I think part of the joy of coming to *Ireland, is visiting family, my children have a great time catching up with their Nana, Grandad and Aunty, and of course, the much loved, Rocky the dog (As I type this he has just farted, and I have to admit, I love him a little less right now).
Rocky getting plenty of cuddles
There is no pressure here, each day we get up when we want, we are fed, we snooze, we read, we go for a walk up the road, we look at the fairy ring, we might visit Roscommon town and have a coffee. We have a few drinks of an evening.

Perfect holiday if you ask me. 

*Not  sponsored by the Irish Tourist Board...sniggers...

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