Category Archives: General


Another Apple fanboi!

J (18months) is getting really good fine motor skills by using the iPad. He loves Duck Duck Moose’s ‘Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’.

A long time coming

I have been thinking about moving all of my blogging to WordPress for a while. I’ve dipped my toe in the water a few times and then chickened out. Today though, I took the plunge. It doesn’t do exactly what I want it to but then I could have paid for an upgrade which might have done. I did invest some extra on getting a personalised URL though. Only time will tell whether it will be an improvement for me – but right now I feel happy and just need to do some more blogging and get back on track with the 100 Word Challenge as well.

Well that was a bit of a boring post but gave me the chance to try it out!

Oh my goodness!

Well, just look at that.  How long have I neglected my blogging? I have excuses, of course. I moved house, I’m now a full-time carer for my 82 year old dad and BT have given us nightmares with our order for a landline and broadband. (47 days in and still waiting!)
However, enough of the excuses. It is time to get back on track and writing again.  The book I was writing is still sitting there waiting for a suitable ending but I do intend to complete it. I really want to take part in this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups and also in the Gransnet competition to write a children’s bedtime story.  So, I must get motivated and get cracking!
Watch this space and feel free to nag me if I don’t do as I say!

The Strangest 4 days

I feel I really have to document what has happened in the last 4 days. To say they have been emotional is an understatement. Those who know me know that I really enjoy and see the value of Twitter. I have made many ‘friends’ there and find it a hugely supportive and helpful network. I have actually met several people that I follow and they are just as lovely in real life. But as with any social network, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. I have a very trusting nature and really care about people. Now you might think that’s a good thing, right? Well yes, it is most of the time but occasionally that nature is exploited and I have discovered that I am very easily taken in and duped.
At the weekend I was told that a blog I followed last year was fake. I was so shocked that I’d been taken in by it and even donated money to help those people who were stranded far from home with a very ill premature baby and mounting bills. They had also exploited another couple with a genuine story and used their blog to highlight their own ‘dilemma’. This was bad enough but what followed next was devastating.
Another trusted and lovely ‘friend’ had documented her terrible time over the last two years. I won’t go into details because most people reading this know the full story. She called me her twitter mum and I felt honoured to be so. We shared tweets, texts and emails. We travelled with her through births and illnesses, marriages and deaths. Nobody could believe that one family could suffer so much hardship. I sent gifts. I donated to The Meningitis Trust. I tried to always be there through the bad times to console and through the good times to congratulate.
Then Wednesday night brought a flurry of Twitter activity revealing the deception we had all been subjected to. Photographs of someone else’s twins from their blog – that was bad enough – but later in the evening, photos of the alleged wedding a couple of weeks ago. They were indeed someone’s wedding – but not that of the person who drew us in. Even worse, I collected all the tweets on the wedding day, along with some of these photos and made them into an Apple album (which was not cheap!) and posted it to them. This means that I also used someone else’s wedding photos without their consent.
The Twitter community was affected terribly. We had grieved, lit candles and shared some pretty raw emotions and were left with incredulity that someone could do such a thing.
Even now, in my own heart, I am confused about which bits were real (if any) and which were pure fantasy. I’m shocked that anyone could use others’ photos and wonder how these people will react when they find out – as they most certainly will. 
I can’t understand the reason behind this and won’t even try. But I hope I have learned from this. I won’t run away from Twitter because there are so many lovely. genuine people on there. But I will certainly be much more careful about investing any emotion on people I have never met.

Today my dad had Guinness for breakfast

Those who are close to me know my feelings about care for the elderly. My father opted to go into residential care of his own free will and having received a good pension on retirement he’s paid his own fees for the last ten years. That amounts to a lot of money when most months cost £2200 at his home. Do the sums – it’s quite scary.
He has been through the Southern Cross fiasco and survived. It was a bit of a blow to realise that the company which took over were also in dire financial straits and were bailed out by a financial institution but we had faith and gave them time. I now do all of his washing as he was sick of losing clothes in the laundry. But recently there have been more worrying issues. A while ago there was no butter. He was served dry bread. There are two issues here. One – in my humble opinion, no organisation should run out of an everyday essential like butter. Two – if it had run out, someone ought to have nipped down to the shop to buy some. Today when I visited the issue was bread. No bread for supper last night (run out) and then again for breakfast this morning as the delivery was late for some reason.
By this time my dad was in a strop. When the bread arrived later, he was offered it but refused in protest. He then went back to his room and opened a can of Guinness and had it for his breakfast.
I know that he can be a bit of a tinker when crossed but I think he is right to be more than a bit angry when he feels he is simply not getting value for money – a huge amount of money actually. It is also worrying that he is losing weight rapidly as he eats less and less. I must add that this is not solely down to the choice and quality of food but also the issues he has with digestion and teeth.
We decided to take my dad in to live with us but need a bigger house. Unfortunately, the house we wanted went to someone else today (that’s a whole other story!). In the meantime we will move him to a new place where hopefully he will be given a better deal.

Beautiful Blogger!

What a lovely surprise to hear from Sally-Jane that she had nominated some of us for a Beautiful Blogger Award.
You can find Sally-Jane’s blog here  She writes beautiful pieces for the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups and is a talented lady in many other respects – teaching, dancing, boxing and French being just a few!
There are some guidelines to getting this award. First, you should link back to the person who nominated you. Second, you must suggest 6 or 7 people to pass the award on to. Third, you should tell people ten things about you that they may not know already.
So, here goes:
The people whose blogs I read regularly are as follows:
I got to know Harriet through Twitter and she has become so much more than a friend to me. Her blog tells of life as a new mother of twin girls, one of whom survived meningitis in her first year. Harriet’s blog has made me laugh and cry in equal measure and I love her dearly.
I suggested to Kate that she ought to blog to help others going through the same challenge that she is – the desire to have a baby when the odds seem stacked against you.
Martin blogs in several categories but my favourite is his Reflections blog which is totally random. That is what I love about it.
Ronnie loves gardening, taking beautiful photographs, blogging and drinking wine. She started blogging as she approached 60 and had continued since then.
Ross Mannell:
Ross is an Australian who takes part in the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups. I love to read his writing as it almost always reflects my own feelings about the importance of family life.
Now, 10 things about me you may not know:
1               I was once kissed hundreds of metres below the sea
2               I learned to speak Japanese when teaching young people from Japan so I could understand what they were saying about me.
3               I have been known to dress in leathers and cling on to my husband on the back of his motorbike.
4               I once phoned my future mother-in-law and pretended to be a policewoman, telling her that her son had been hit by a steamroller.
5               I was once stung by wasps twice within 30 minutes. One had crept down the front of my dress. The second climbed up my leg and stung me on the upper thigh. My father entered the kitchen just in time to see my husband ripping off my dress to allow the wasp to fly away.
6               When my husband asked my father’s permission to marry me he said ‘No!’.
7               I was once electrocuted in the classroom trying to repair a thermostat on the wall. I flew backwards about eight feet during afternoon registration and the kids didn’t even notice.
8               I was once hit by a cyclist while crossing the road. He flew over the handlebars and ended up head first in a ditch. This was in the days before compensation culture!
9               I once got very drunk on gin and ended up in someone’s kitchen broom cupboard crying.
10           I once got top marks at school for sewing a denim skirt – but actually my mum had made it as I was useless at sewing.

My Wednesdays

I was born on a Wednesday. ‘Wednesday’s child is full of woe.’ I’ve lived for 2986 Wednesdays and can count on one hand the number of them that have been woeful. I have been blessed – a good man, two amazing children, the best two grandsons in the world. I’ve worked hard and earned enough to be comfortable in a job I truly enjoyed until the last few years. I’ve hopefully escaped the curse of breast cancer that took my mother in her early 50s. I plan to see many Wednesdays as I grow old disgracefully, but if not, I can’t complain.

Hope for Hollie

The photos you can see to the right are the candles we all lit tonight at 7pm to show support for Scott, Harriet, Hollie and Alice.  Hollie, who is Alice’s twin sister, is very ill in hospital.  We are hoping and praying that she will recover and they can all be together at home again as soon as possible.  Please spare some time to think about them and pray for Hollie’s fight against meningitis.

A Poem for Year 3 with lots of size words in

I found a book in grandma’s loft and it was full of spells
A big fat book with thin, grey pages and fusty, dusty smells
I took the book down her long stairs and into the small dark room
Examined the teeny tiny letters through the growing murky gloom
The first one was to turn a child into a giant tree
I only needed a miniscule fly and the sting of a podgy bee
A leaf from a towering oak came next and a long grey squirrel’s tail
A massive grape, a mini feather and a puny garden snail
Apparently I’d have to use a whopping cooking pot
And stir with a jumbo mixing spoon, then strain and drink the lot
I thought about it for the shortest while and went for a wee rest
Deciding that being an oversized tree would not be for the best 

Artistic Kids – Week 5

This week’s title was ‘The Nightwatchman’
I had several goes at this one!  I finally came up with my usual childish variety of drawing, featuring a very watchful owl, waiting for his first catch of the night.