Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Long time no blog.................

It's been an ultra busy few weeks. Last weekend I had tonsillitis. Worst I've ever had it. Had an IT exam and a Civil Litigation oral assignment on Monday and Tuesday though, so had to drag myself in to college.

I was pretty much better by my birthday on Wednesday though. 28! Don't feel any older. On Thursday the 4 of us that made it to college, plus our teachers Debbie and Aidan went for a meal at lunch time. When we got back, Dan, Laura and I played Family Law charades (Debbie's idea - worked about as well as it sounds!), which was interesting.

Then I got ill again over this past weekend. Think it was because I didn't have a chance to rest and recover from the tonsillitis - that and I still have to run round after everyone else even when I'm at death's door myself. I have had the worst cold/flu the past few days that I've had in the past 10 years - the last time I felt this bad was when I was pregnant with Ruth. There were times then that I was actually delirious. Didn't get quite to that stage this time. So fed up of being ill though. Hoping I'll be better for Christmas. On the plus side I have lost weight on account of the fact that there have been days when I haven't been able to eat. Even fit into the jeans that I bought in the Next sale a while back but couldn't squeeze myself into.

Been enjoying taking photos of the Christmas decorations - the best of which is Pilchard of course! He looks so cute on the new white settee covers.

John's court case is finally sorted, and will all be over in a month, which means we can finally get our new sofa!
As I very much doubt that I'll be updating again in the next wee or so, have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Forgetting to blog

Although I check my blog most days for the blog feed to my faves, I forget to blog myself! Well that and the instant gratification of Twitter :)

Things have been non-stop as usual. College has been a lot harder this year - they're getting us ready for working in law. Have almost defiantly decided to do the degree part time (one day a week) in September. If I carry on getting mainly Distinctions ( have 3/3 so far this year, and an overall Distinction for Year 1) I can do it in 3 years instead of 4. We're having a talk about it tomorrow, so looking forward to that.

Finished the Christmas shopping for the kids today - mostly stocking fillers which was fun, but I have Sciatica ATM and its agony. First damaged the nerve when I slipped in the bath when pregnant with Alex, and every so often antagonise it. Hoping its better tomorrow, cos don't know how I'll manage to carry my folders, notes etc if not.

Have to do a 10-15 min lecture on Care Orders tomorrow, so better go and finish making my handout for the class.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A great day for the world

I am proud of America today - defiantly the right decision. I have real hope that he will make a difference, not just to the USA, but to all of us. Loved his speech when he said that his girls will get their puppy! So cute! Just so sad his Grandmother didn't get to see this. I'm sure she's watching from heaven though.
So proud of my girl at the moment - she's in Year 5 at Primary school, and this year, all the years have been put into sets for Maths and English - and yesterday Ruth got moved from the 2nd to the highest set for English in the whole school. There is only one other boy from Year 5 in the class (he has been in with Year 6 for Maths and English since Year 3) - the rest are all Year 6. She said yesterday was the best day of her life - although 2 of her 'friends' said she was a goody-goody. Fortunately she realised they were just jealous.
On the flip side, Alex is still struggling - he hates being in the lowest set. He gets so frustrated, as his mind is far ahead of what he can actually get down on paper. Still waiting to hear if he will get tested for Dyslexia. Trying to get him to do lots of reading which he loves.
I'm fairly close to being finished with my assignments - just need to refine and rehearse my Plea in Mitigation.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Back in the saddle......

3 years, 1 month and 1 day. That's how long it took for John to get back on a bike after his accident. And what a bike it is! He's hoping to race - can't wait to cheer him on from the sidelines. This is John and Alex going for that first ride.
Tonight is Studio Calico reveal night - Alex helpfully posed in a few masks for the Avatar challenge. He's really poorly at the moment (again, yes I know!). Oooh scary!!

Having a hard time at the moment, trying to deal with a situation with a friend. Doesn't seem to matter what any of us say, she keeps going back to someone who's hurting her. Physically as well as emotionally. She believes him when he says he's changed. Arrrggghhh!!!!!!! Going to try stopping advising, and just be there if she needs me. Feel selfish, but its really draining me, and I even cried at college last week -I NEVER cry in college.

Monday, 20 October 2008

My poorly baby

Last Sunday, Alex was suddenly sick several times. Although he seemed better the next day, the school has a policy that the children can not go back within 24 hours, so we stayed at home. The next day John took him to school and he burst intotears - not like him at all, obviously under the weather, so the teacher said to take him home. Over the past week he has been up and down - no real appetite (but then when does he ever eat properly??), but not really ill as such. But then as he was playing on the Xbox 360 this evening, he had a nasty accident - at first we thought it was him ignoring the fact that he needed to go, ashe was so engrossed in the game (this happened a few days ago, to rather unpleasant consequences for me. TMI I think!). But e got him upsatirs, and hte poor baby has diahorrea. How I managed not to throw up as I cleaned him and the clothes, chair etc I do not know. So tomorrow we have aother 24 hours from school starting. Trouble is I was supposed to be having a lesson with the head of the Law school, and Alex was supposed to be going to the cinema with school - he's heartbroken!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Magazine Karma

Yesterday was good, but tiring! Went with my lovely husband to a Bike Expo at Earls' Court. We went down on the train, in one of the quiet carriages so it was relaxed. Relaxed that is, until I noticed the man in the seat behind me making strange deep breathing (think psycho on the phone just before breaking into your house to murder you type of thing) noises. These then turned to him chanting -loudly, yet under his breath if you can imagine that- something which I think was the Alleluia chorus. I was honestly too scared to ask him to be quiet in case he stabbed me or something! Another man on the carriage kept standing up trying to see where the noise was coming from, but the nutter was bending over so he didn't see him. John said he thought the nutter was chanting some kind of spell in Latin or something. Seriously weird!

I read Heat on the way down - I love a bit of eat for mindless gossip - great for on the train. I'd read it cover to cover by the time we got to Paddington, so I though I'd leave it on the train for the next person to read - wondered aloud if this would bring me magazine karma......

The underground to Earl's Court wasn't too bad, and the expo was great - John got to try a bike out, which he's fairly sure he's going to buy. He got some cycling clothes too (looks really hot in them!). I liked some of the ladies things on the Specialized stand - really pretty purple and black helmet, shoes and gloves, made me want to take up cycling myself! Then, on the stand that had the bike John wants, I spotted this -

It's the same colour as my bridesmaids' dresses were - so pretty! At £600, I thought it was far too expensive for me, but DH says that you shouldn't buy a road bike that coasts less than £500, and if he buys one of the 2008 Felt bikes, rather than waiting a few months for the 2009 ones of the same spec, he'll save £600 - perfect!

As we were walking past the Felt stand for the umpteenth time, I felt someone mess up my hair - unsurprisingly, this made me jump - especially as when I looked round, there was no one there. Then (after about 30 seconds - doh!), I realised the mannequin on the podium was actually a living statue! It was VERY funny, but scared me half to death!

We then went to Oxford Street, as I was desperate to get the new Ipod Nano, having seen the purple one in the new tv ad. Getting there on the underground was horrible - sweltering, packed, stressful. A very small lady was left with only the high rail to grab (which she couldn't reach properly), so I made space for her to stand between me and DH so she could hold the vertical rail - she looked so pleased and surprised - didn't realise that being considerate wasn't the done thing on the tube.

Oxford Street - hmmmm. Like many women, I'd always thought that I'd do well in London - all those great shops, and I do fine dodging pedestrians in Worcester - our local city where I go to college. People just walked at me in London - it was like I was invisible! Didn't like it AT ALL, but it did me appreciate how nice Worcester is - I don't feel like I'm at constant risk of being trampled underfoot, blown up or mugged, and the shops are pretty good - and I'd know my way around blindfolded!

I got the Ipod though! The 16GB was out of stock in purple, so I got the 8GB - probably won't fill that anyway. It's so pretty!

In the train on the way home, a lady sat down at the table opposite us - then she put her bag in the overhead compartment - in the process, knocking a 500ml bottle of water from the ceiling of the train on to my arm - it hurt so much it made me cry - but she didn't even apologise! I didn't tell DH until she got off the train, as I thought he might make a scene. Then she left her rubbish on the table. I was not impressed! The man sitting opposite us however, was really nice. DH was telling me about a story he'd seen about a lady being helped by a random stranger on a train, which nearly got him arrested, and the man opposite us gave me his newspaper to read it, and said we could keep it - so the magazine karma worked - maybe you should give it a try!?

Got a weekend of homework now - gotta draft a Particulars of Claim, and do a problem question on Divorce, and putting my music library onto my Ipod. And its lovely and sunny, and my dehydration headache from yesterday is wearing of, so I'm happy, happy, happy.

Oh, and best of all, my Studio Calico kit came last night, and I LOVE it!

Monday, 6 October 2008


Trying hard not to let things get on top of me. College is a struggle - not the work, just the actual getting there and staying awake all day! Hopefully I'll be over this glandular virus soon, and then I'll start feeling better.

Need to lose weight. Wanting to join Weight Watchers, as I think the meetings would help to keep me motivated, but not sure I can justify the cost. Might just buy some Slim Fast stuff and go it alone for a few weeks and see what happens. I'm only a lb. or 2 away from the top of my healthy range for my height, so need to start sorting this out soon. Trouble is that I'll miss junk food too much :( Ah well - would be nice to look ok in a suit again.

I know now how to sue people - know the academic stuff from last year, but we're doing the actual filling in forms ATM - quite a cool feeling to know that I could start a claim myself if I wanted.

My sister's fiance had an accident during a cycling race on Saturday night - hit a wall at 35mph and fell back onto steps - really nasty, and A&E are being absolutely awful - bordering on negligent if you ask me. He was going back again this afternoon so hopefully he'll get some answers.

Up at 5.45am again tomorrow, and Im feeling exhausted, so better go have a cuppa then off to bed.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Busy busy busy (again)

Had a bit of a revelation today - sometimes I'm so busy looking for photo opportunities when we're out that I forget to actually look at what's around me, and appreciate the time with my family. So today I deliberately left my camera at home when we went for a walk and to re-visit a geocache to drop off a travelbug. And it was great. Well, Ruth did her usual moaning, but other than that, it was a great time in lovely weather (whats with that?!).

Yesterday we went to the open day at a local archaeological dig, which was quite interesting (and messy). Got a speck of dirt on my lens, which I didn't realise til I uploaded the photos :(

I am quite pleased with myself - managed 3 LOs in 2 days! That's rather good for me. They're done using the Principles from Kirsty's course that I'm doing. Haven't had time to photograph them yet, but here's a few photos that use the principles:

Rule of Thirds:


Sunday, 14 September 2008

Bah humbug

Ok, so in the grand scheme of things (especially considering Aleida's tragic death on Friday), this is such a trivial thing, but has made me feel miserable. On top of the insecurity dream I had last night especially (your typical husband leaving you for someone else kinda thing, where you wake up, and can't quite believe they're still there next to you), making me feel well and truely shit.

OK, so here's what happened - I had been looking foward to getting some new clothes for a looonnnggg time - some notion that a new wardrobe would make me magically look like I'd lost the stone I've been struggling with all summer. Well of course, all the lovely clothes I'd had my eye on made me look WORSE! And the boots I waned wouldn't even do up (cue me all red in the face struggling while some young -male- shop assistant looks on, in amusement). I'm sure I'll look back on it and laugh all too soon, but at the moment I just feel humiliated and fat :(

College is, um, interesting. Very tiring. My timetable was changed, so I had to change the childcare arrangements, which went down REALLY well with Alex in particular. IT skills is really hard. I guess I'm a bit spoiled in that I found everything last year quite easy, but I struggle with this module. I hate that. Being a perfectionist isn't easy!

Sunday, 7 September 2008


Just v. busy - got the Twilight books on Thursday - on book 3 now - loving them sooo much, got college starting tomorrow, kids went back to school Thursday, and discovered the joys of Twitter - I'll be updating my blog that way for a while probably until I get into the swing of my new routine.

Also, Kirsty's new class starts today, so I'll be busy keeping up with that too :)

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.....

This was the view as we started down the LOOOONNNNGGGGG path down to Rhossili Beach.

Ruth and Alex looking relieved and happy after we finally found the geocache we'd been searching for for hours (well thats what it felt like!)

Gnorman the Gnome at Rhossili - a tribute to the film Amelie.

Alex with the beach to himself - well it was pretty quiet when we got there. Got busier later on though. Love the reflection in this photo.

Worm's Head. It really does look like a dragon sticking its snout in the air from the beach.

After getting up at 6am and leaving at 7.30, we arrived at the beach around 11am. We had a walk first (its a really big beach), then settled down for digging, and playing in the sea. Even though it was overcast it was quite warm, and John and I managed to burn. WE had a lovely day, even fitting in a bit of geocaching. We got home about 11.30pm, absolutely shattered, but having had a lovely day. Really liked the Swansea/Gower area - trying to persuade everone we should live there!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Mini Album No.1

When I first opened the packaging of the acrylic Papermania album, I was a bit confused by its green colour - but this was just a protective film, which came off fairly easily. They will be retailing for RRP £9.99 for the 6 page acrylic version - maybe this might seem a bit steep, but the pages are really thick, and I love the shape - defiantly worth it in my opinion.

As you can see, I made the book to document Ruth being the flower girl at our wedding. The shape of the pages immediately made me think of flowers, and I'd been planning on making her a mini book with the photos for a while.
I really enjoyed working with the album, and used BasicGrey Euphoria papers, Bazzil Cardstock, Anita's Acrylic Paint, various ribbons, Heidi Swapp Ghost Shapes, Prima Flowers, Stickles and Kaiser Craft Rhinestones. I loved how it came out.
Off to craft group tonight, but will get to work on the chipboard album soon - planning on making a Best Boy album with the photos of Alex from the wedding.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

My baby is 7!!!!!

And so handsome! Can't believe he's 7 already. He has been perfectly behaved today - so proud of him. His current favourite toys are Lego, and almost half of his presents were Lego. The one he'd wanted most was the Lego Fire Station, and had great fun putting it together with Daddy.

The smoking gun - well candle anyway.
For his birthday treat we went to Goodrich Castle (one of my favourite places as a child) to watch a sword fighting demonstration. Alex bought himself a wooden sword with his birthday money, and made a great friend in the more convincing of the 2 knights.

Very proud of this girl - she is scared of heights, and not at all adventurous, but climbed the tallest tower, with a really scary spiral stone staircase with only a rope to hold onto (and at times in almost total darkness) - I was scared, so she did so well. Hope she's proud of herself for overcoming her fear too.

This is a view of that tower from the moat....

...and this is the view from the top.

This was Alex trying on his favourite knights helmet (check out his badge - he loved that total strangers were wishing him Happy Birthday, as he'd never say anything himself).

My favourite view of the castle from the path leading to it.

And got this fabulous parcel today with goodies to blog test for Do Crafts. Yum! Got some great ideas - its so great having amazing wedding photos to scrap :)

Friday, 15 August 2008


My best friend Harriet and I have gone through some tough times together. We were both teenage parents (17/18 - not 14 or something!) and have overcome some serious stuff. She's one of those people who although I don't see her as often as I'd like, we always pick up exactly where we left off. In fact she's more like a sister really. I can tell her anything and she'll never judge me. I know she'll always be there for me, and I hope she feels the same about me.

She gave birth to her 2nd son last weekend, and Ruth, Alex and I popped in on Monday to meet him, and drop off a couple of little presents. They are such a beautiful family. So proud to call them my friends. Josh, her eldest son is just a couple of weeks older than Ruth, and a credit to his Mum.
Love the yawn photo! Why is it so endearing?? Maybe because such a tiny baby can have such a huge yawn. Love baby yawning photos :)

Made a few things today - a clear mini book called 'its all in the details' with all the detail photos from the wedding, and another LO. On a bit of a roll now.
It was Grandad and Grandma's 60th wedding anniversary yesterday, so we're all going up there for lunch. It'll be the first time they've seen the wedding photos of John and I, so I'm looking forward to that.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Please sign this petition if you have a moment.

RMH Haslar is set to close, but is still operational and could be made into a great home for our injured service personnel.
Some background:
'2 Para' alone have on their current tour sent back over 50 casualties to the UK, and even that many cannot be accommodated at Selly Oak Hospital. So when all of the casualties from other battle groups are added to this figure, how is ONE ward in ONE NHS hospital going to cope?
It cannot.
And as a result the individual troops are sent home to recover relying on NHS visiting services which themselves are over committed.
We need a dedicated military hospital if servicemen and servicewomen, who have been committed to hostilities and injured, are to get the medical care they rightly deserve.

A lot more than 5000 names are needed for this petition to survive, and quite cynically, Downing Street has put a time limit of one month - during the summer holidays - for this to be achieved. Please support it - please copy the link below to confirm your signature on the petition.

Please forward this email to as many people as you can.
Go to http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Wounded/ - it takes 1 minute to fill the form

The petition was created by Denzil Connick and reads: 'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Create a dedicated Military & Veterans Hospital within the UK.'

Monday, 11 August 2008

Life's lessons can come in strange ways

Yesterday we were asked to look into a house swap (Housing Association) with another family - they want a 2 bed, we want a 3 bed - perfect. Or so you'd think. Firstly the house is on the 'quiet end' of the most notorious road in our town (although to be fair, we love in such a wonderful place, its better than most others). It was also mid terrace - not the end of the world, but I've always lived in semis. It was rendered in grey concrete stuff too. No actual car parking, and the front door is a long way down an alley, so the back garden was turned into a drive. Ok fair enough, not a good start, but we really NEED a bigger house, so I was prepared to go in and if it was ok, we'd consider it. Bear in mind that after I got the phone cal, I spent every waking hour (about 12) cleaning and tidying for them to look round, and my house wasn't that bad to start with.

Was a bit surprised when we got there and all the curtains were shut. The entire house. There was stuff everywhere. Walls bright red, kitchen falling off the wall, stuff soaking in the bath, and generally grimy. The people were nice though. Just couldn't understand why you wouldn't at least try and make the house look its best to try and persuade people to swap with you.

But it taught us an important lesson - yes, our house may be too small for the 4 of us, and there are things that could be a lot better, but OMG they could be SO much worse. We got home to our light, clean(ish), tidy(ish) house, and realised how lucky we are. We love our house.

I think the whole experience was worth it for us to realise how lucky we are.

And my Studio Calico kit just arrive, and I'm about to go an see my best friends new baby, so I'm feeling pretty good about the world right now.

Been trying to teach Ruth about counting her blessings, and seems like doing the same has really shone a light in here :)

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Wii got one....

A Wii Fit that is. It arrived on Friday, to great delight. I was very pleased when it told me my weight/BMI were ideal, until it told me I needed to loose a stone, (the cheek of it!) as I was a fraction away from the line between ideal and overweight. Fine, I thought, I'll stop snacking between meals, and do at least 30 mins on the Wii Fit a day. So I did - and I've been gaining weight!!! How is that possible?! John, who is slap bang in the middle of ideal decided to loose 4 lbs to be absolutely perfect, and has already lost 3. Grrrrrrrr.
I will persevere though. Even though I feel hungry all the time and am craving chocolate.
Managed to finish the LO I started at Kirsty's on Wednesday - honestly, I'm not really the worlds slowest scrapper, I just had a really good idea for the title letters, which took me a while to pull together.
I've got to the stage at the moment, where I'm loving all the LOs etc that I do - a pleasant change for me.
Right, back off to check the roast potatoes (and yes, I do realise that they don't really help when you're trying to loose weight).

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Looonnnggg journey (well for us)

We have just had the BEST few days with our wonderful friend Kirsty. The kids love her, and her puppy Eddy, who we had to practically tear them away from. Alex especially bonded with him, and was heartbroken to leave him. They would have smuggled him home in their bags if they could have. And to be honest, so would I. He is the most adorable dog I have ever met. I've been thinking of getting a puppy for a while, but was worried that Alex is too young to be sensible with one, but they were so good for each other. Alex's laughter when they were chasing each other round the house and garden was wonderful. They had fun playing on the Wii Fit too, and we got home to find that ours should arrive tomorrow - whoohoo!

Actually the journey up was pretty good - took about 2 1/2 hours including petrol and toilet stops, and the journey back wasn't terrible even though some of it was in rush hour. Took about 3 hours I think.

We did miss John and Pilchard though, but I think you appreciate people (and cats) more when you spend time apart occasionally.

Kirsty took some beautiful photos of the kids, and we picked up our amazing wedding photos. They are so beautiful, and I just can't believe its me in them!

Kirsty introduced us to the wonders of the Range - OMG how can I have lived to 27 (and a half) without ever setting foot in there!!??. I got a few frames for the wedding photos and scrapbook pages. Will defiantly be going back there.

Have a mountain of housework to catch up on now (don't remember the house looking like this when we went away, but guess it must have done), and a load of photos to scrap (yay!) so better be getting off to bed so I'm full of energy for tomorrow. And the delivery of the Wii Fit is any time from 7am-7pm, so we'll have to stay in all day til it arrives. Sure there'll be lots of amusing photos once its set up :)

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Hot, hot, hot!!!

It has been soooo hot here the past few days. I'm really not good with heat - have to be careful as I burn and get heat stroke. Fortunately, our living room is fairly cool though. Haven't done much this weekend as its been too hot to do much other than sit with feet in the kids paddling pool!

On Tuesday we went up British Camp to fly the new kite. Alex had such fun that he wouldn't give anyone else a go! I love that hill - its has such an amazing history.

Have a few good things coming up in the next month - best friends' baby is due in a few days (so excited!!), visiting wonderful friends, my Grandma and Grandad's 60h wedding anniversary, Alex's 7th birthday to name but a few.

Teaching quilling at craft group on Tuesday, so must get on and make some samples - so hard when its so hot though!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Look what I found!!!!

How amazing is this! Was walking past Oxfam on Friday evening and spotted it the window. Of course immediately fell madly in love, but had no time to go in the shop, so spent the next 12 hours or so thinking of little else, until we took John to work the next morning, and I could go and see if they still had it. They did, and it only cost £19.99! Mum bought it for me as a present, as she knew how much I love things like this. Been trying to work out the manufacturer, but there is no makers mark, and the plate that is just by the foot is so worn you can only make out '_(illegible) SEWING MACHINE CO _______(illegible) TOWN LONDON' I have seen an almost identical one, just with slightly different patterns, and its made by Frister and Rossmann around 1878. It may not be, but its the closest I've found. If anyone happens to know any experts in antique sewing machines who might be able to identify it and give me tips on cleaning/restoration, it'd be greatly appreciated.

We went back to the Worcester Woods yesterday, and even though we forgot the GPS thingy (doh!), we managed to find the cache that had eluded us last time. Had a lovely walk around the woods with the kids too. It was a shame that John was working though.

Oh, nearly forgot - my LO is in SI!!! It arrived this morning, and had a quick flick through with trembling fingers - wonder if you ever get used to it? Only my second LO to be published though. It's the one with the cute blue car if you're interested. Will take a photo and upload when I've got a bit more time.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Shortly After The Dream, The Mountains Breathed Out A Morning GlowAcross The Still Surface Of A Murky Glacial Lake

OMG this makes me feel so homesick!!! Found this amazing photo on Flickr, of the jetty at Lake Rotoiti, where I lived in New Zealand. I would jump on a plane and go back right now if I could. Just need to persuade the rest of the family!