TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Book Review : Double Click by Lisa Becker


Double Click

Synopsis: Fans of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley's judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends.

My review: The sequel catches up with Renee and her mismatched group of friends through new relationships, new babies and friends moving. The e-mails continue to fly back and forth at a fast pace filled with wit, banter and lots of puns. I still can't keep my brain focused on the date and time part that is involved with the e-mails so I switched off to that and enjoyed the book for what it was.
The happy/sad ending left it open for another should Lisa Becker wish to go down that route.

Would be interesting to see how the dynamics of each friends relationships work out now there are partners and distance involved for them all

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Book Review: Sometimes it happens. By ~Pauline Barclay

Sometimes It Happens


A single mum, working all hours to make ends meet wins the lottery. She and her daughter take a holiday in a complex that is out of this world. She meets her ex- How did he know she was there? Her old best friend lives nearby and is having an affair with one of the apartment owners who happens to be her neighbour while she is there.

Its all happening here. Coincidence or contrived?

This is a laugh a minute fast paced read. Highly recommended. Its light hearted. Highly unlikely to ever happen yet you can't help but join in the dream.

5/5  read from me, can't wait to read more of this authors work

Boot Fairs

I had my first experience of selling at a boot fair today. I've been saying for years I should do them as I collect junk like no body's business, but I've never got there. my stuff ends up in the charity shop for two reasons. 1- its easier to bag/box it up and 2- I don't do well with getting up at 5 am to be there by 6 ready to set up.

Today was different. The boot fair at a Tesco near us starts at 5pm. So easy, you get the day to sort and load the car and then a couple of hours mad rush selling before going home for dinner. I'm pleased we finally did get round to it. I managed to get rid of some of the kids old clothes and a few of the larger items I had sitting there unused. We came home with some things, but in all I made my pitch money back and some more.

Mum made a little more but took more with her. Lots of books, both reading and craft ones.
My friend also did well.
The children were pleased with their results too. They took some of their unwanted books, games and toys and sold a fair few of them. son even wants to go again to sell more. He did however spend most of his money coming home with 50p. Daughter did the same but she bought me a plant and came home with a little more.

We're working on going again soon, the next time we could go we're actually booked up with a gymnastics competition so it will have to be the time after, or we collect and store until spring and try again. Having been once I shall definitely be going again.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Book Review: Bedknobs and Bachelors by Kathryn Brown


Bedknobs and Bachelors

My Thoughts:

Another great read by Kathryn Brown.
Getting into the mind set of a mid 20's bachelor and staying in 1st person narrative all the way can't be easy. I found myself warming to the characters and changing the way I felt about them as the story went along. Lisa came across as the axe murdering type of girlfriend when in fact the obsessed one was really Janice.
We're left until the end wondering how everything will turn out. And even now I'm questioning if the main character he's done the right thing.

I give this my full 5/5, Please go buy it.

I can't wait for her next book. Fingers crossed she won't keep us waiting too long.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Shouting for a friend

This is a bog shout out for a friend of mine who love dog clothes. Please check out her FB page and give feedback.
Pretty Pooch Canine Couture

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Like Jerky and fruit Leathers then this is worth a read

This post is for my friends Martin and Suzie Cowley. They are fab people and make great Jerky and fruit leathers. They also happen to make the best dog treats ever! This is no understatement... As you know we feed our dogs on very high quality food. The kibble they are eating now is £35 for a 3kg bag, they also eat raw and have treats containing 90% meat. Well Cowleys Fine Foods make dog/cat treats from raw chicken dried and they fight over it. They knocked a bag to the floor the other day and we had 2 of them actually attacking each other to get to it! Not something we've seen before, so I can say that not only are the dog treats great so are the jerky's and fruit leathers (particularly the strawberry and the banana and peach ones)

Please check out this link for some details of their business and how they work http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1667553872/dragons-den-refused-will-you

If you like what you see and hear why not help them out, I for one can promise you won't be disappointed.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Chilled weekeds.

Watching the off roading

The last 3 weekends have been wonderful for me. ~I have been to Bug Jam, Berkeley and Loxwood and they have all bee chilled and fun. All have had changing weather, but despite that I have enjoyed each weekend.
Looking at all the VW's


Bug jam partying


 
 
The next weekend away was Berkeley Skirmish. Held at Berkeley castle in Glos it is in beautiful grounds and was a relaxing weekend catching up with people I haven't seen in a long time.
 

 

 





 
And the weekend just gone was Loxwood joust. Even less of our friends there this time but the weekend was just as good. We took daughters friend with us for the fri night through to sat and I then drove home and dropped them off ready for their hol. Friends really seemed to enjoy herself. Son slept in tent alone for the first time ever- he's now old enough and played it down by saying "it was just like sleeping in a different bedroom" but secretly he was really pleased to be allowed. This will become the new arrangement for future shows now.
 
 As can be seen we even had a rainbow. It was actually a double. It can be seen faintly.



My baby Yoda even had a good time and was on his best behaviour. I'm so proud of him as this was only his second show and he didn't bark at anyone. he saw lots of big dogs and was friendly with all of them, bar 2  breeds that he's known to dislike.



I'm now looking forward to some more chilled time in the summer holidays x.
 

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Book Review: The Virgin Queen by Juliet Baranne




Review:-

This book is a fable about a strong female who is queen of her world, and surrounded by female advisers and men to use and abuse as she so wishes.

It reminded me very much of the many stories of Arthur and the Round table tales. Very much an imagined world but with Amazonian type women. The queen came across as a lady who abused her power and beauty over men and controlled them using her feminine wiles.

It was a pure imagination and its only grip to reality that I could see was its loose connection to tales of the past. Not something I would pick up to read myself, but if you want to read about women in charge and getting their own way over other lands. Something to escape from the daily grind of life then it is a very light read and could be for you.

About the Author:-

The Lost Kingdom of Nan
July 2013

Hidden in the Highlands far to the north on Bangkok is the lost Kingdom of Nan. It lies on the border of Laos and the Kingdom of Siam. Nan was long a free city, but is now a province of Siam. Nan still has its own royal family and king.
Nan still has a section of its old city wall. The Siamese tell you it is 10,000 years old ! The kingdom is rich, with fertile land along the banks of the mighty river Nan. In the hills are the tribal Hill People. The Siamese see them as primitive, who still hunt in the forests. They live by making cloth in their huts and tending their garden crops.
The people of Nan tolerate poets who wander into their vale, men who are clearly a little mad. The people are kind to men of the West, and the women are lovely and graceful.
In October, the Dragon Boat races are held.  The fleet boats were once used in wars. Nan was once conquered by the king of Burma, and its people carried off as slaves.
The people of Nan honor the traditions of their fathers. Processions are held in festivals. The sound of drums thunder forth, as the people happily march through town. The temples are filled with the throngs of the devout.
Stranger, tread lightly the fields of Nan if that way you pass. The past 10,000 years sleep in the lost Kingdom of Nan.

Jerome Brooke

Jerome Brooke lives in the Kingdon of Siam. He is the consort of Jira, a princess of the lost Kingdom of Nan. He has written The City of the Mirage (BtGN) and many other books. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Blog silence

I have of late been very quite on here. I've been busy trying to get my craft stocks built up I readiness for fathers day and end of school. Although I have a very meagre supply, I am only doing one craft fair before fathers day, so this Saturday i'm hoping I have enough little bits. I've made them all so they are pocket money items ideal for children who want to use their own money to buy something special.

On top of that we had our first Championship show a the Newbury Show ground with the puppies. Both of them did very well. Yoda was in a class of 12 and was shortlisted amongst the final 6. He wasn't chosen for a placing but for his first champ show we were very impressed. This was also on a day when he didn't perform to his best.
His sister was in a round of 13 bitches and the judge when going over her commented on how glossy her coat was, she asked whether she was given cod liver oil or was it the food. My friend replied that she was raw fed and the judge was very pleased, she apparently is of the same mind and she's in her 80's. Unfortunately Shelby didn't making the shortlist but the judge spent a long time dithering over her and another dog. It was like splitting hairs for both of them. Overall despite not qualifying for crufts in this show we were both pleased with our babies.
It was however a very long and tiring day for us all. We were up at 5 and on the road shortly after 6. The judging started at 10 and we didn't know how early we our class would be in the ring. It was roughly a 300 mile round trip for me to drive, and the longest single way drive I have done in years.

My time is also being taken up preparing for our largest craft fair so far on the 6th of July. We are working with Rye College to raise funds for their PTFA by running a craft fair and fun dog show. My friend and breeder is a show organiser, she has judged shows too and is the driving force behind the dog show side of things.
I have forms for table bookings arriving daily and there are boxes with sponsor gifts for the dog show arriving at the same time. Its getting manic here in some ways. I'm not sure where i'm going to put all the stuff. My craft things already take up a lot of the space.

Looking at my diary for this month I have something booked on every day except fathers day weekend and part of the last weekend of the month. Obviously on fathers day I have to go and see my Dad, so that's the Saturday out as well.

The day before the Craft fair i'll be going to see Bon Jovi in London with a friend and we will be getting back very late! I can't wait. I've been to see him 5 times now and never tire of the bands performances. I only missed the last time he was touring here because he was at the O2 arena and they charge a fortune for seats where he would be the size of a pin head. I'm not paying £150+ to see that. These tickets weren't what I call cheap but they were a lot less than that. Have I said I can't wait!!! I'm getting so excited. I will be writing a blog on the event and posting pictures once I have loaded them to my laptop.

Anyway enough waffling. I need to get my beauty sleep ready for another busy day.

Sleep well dear readers

Yoda 23 weeks old fast asleep xxx
 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Big Thank you

Although i always have my problems health wise i have been much better till my fall last week. I had forgotten how much i still need the help as i'd been managing so well on my own.

Now i want to say a big thank you to some people who have helped me out such a lot over the last week.

My good friend Nat, who has now officially moved in. not only has she kept things running in the house, she's cooked almost every meal, made sure the dogs are ok, kept the children under control and generally run up and downstairs for me when i've been in bed almost being sick through tablets.

My good friend Claire from Crafty Claires who has been there at the end of FB chat. Despite being stuck here we've made good progress on our Craft fair planning and the Crafty-claires page has been started and i've at least managed to push it and in one day get just over 40 likers for it.

Another good friend Ann who has been here laughing with me, taking daughter to gym, helping where she can despite living in kent.

Various other friends who have helped with gym run, shopping and the other tasks that have needed doing.

So here from me

   I appreciate everything you have all done for me, and i'm sorry i'm a pain in the rear for moaning about my pain in the rear.

I love you all lots xxxx
C x

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Ouch.... still

Yes thats right my bum is still very painful. After my lovely fall on the rocks it it damaged in some way, or certainly feels like it. Mum decided it was a good idea to go to A&E while i was up there for my MRI scan on sunday. So we sat there for the usual immensly long time and finally saw the Dr. His answer- not worth x-raying as even if fractured they won't do anything and i would just wait the 6 weeks ish for it to heal up. NOT good enough for me i'm afraid. I'm fed up with being fobbed off by the dr's now. My GP on the other hand is great but the specialist ones seem to think that they can say what they want.
So i insisted on an x-ray. Back into the waiting area for another hour before having it done, only to argue with the radiographer that i couldn't lie down on a flat hard bed. Couldn't even do so on my memory foam bed at home! So finally they took it standing up. Back off to waiting area i went for antoher eternity.

We finally got called in again and Dr said he could tell whether there was damage or not. Great!!! What now?! He wasn't sure what to do with me. I'm standing there telling him something is wrong as i know dues to the problems i've had for past few years. I know what the area feels like when standing sitting and if it touch it. Finally he decided he owuld refer me to the fracture Clinic. I am going this fri am and we'll see what the dr's there say. I won't be fobbed off though, not any more. I've been told now that the Coccyx is at least 2 inches away from the spinal nerves so i know they can do something. A physio has also told me its not as dangerous as they make out to do an op and remove it!

In the meantime i've been living on high pain killer and anti inflamitories, needless to say i've been doped out of my heat, shaking and sweating like crazy. Not able to sleep with pain and i've been talking rubbish at times.

I am deliberatly not doing a spell check on this so you can see just how bad i'm being right now. Have a good laugh, i ceertainly have been when i say things wrong or trip over something that not there.

This is what your coccyx should look like- tucked under and slightly moveable. Mine however was tucked out and fused so it didn't move. Now however it feels all gratey and  different.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

It started as a lovely Beach visit with the dogs.....

Last night with daughter at gym we arranged to go down the beach with our dogs (I will often refer to my friends dogs as 'our' since they live with me, but they do not belong to me) and a friend from gym who has 2 spaniels. It was lovely and sunny yesterday so we thought rather than sitting at gym for 2 hours again tonight we could have a good time on the beach and the dogs would love it. Also the 2 boys would get away from the computers and they enjoy each others company.

Despite the weather being overcast we duly went with 6 dogs to the beach. We must have looked a rag tag bunch. Friend and son were sensibly attired in wellies and the rest of us in trainers! Needless to say they got dirty and wet quickly. An odd bunch of dogs- 2 spaniels, 3 chi's and a chi x pug. Non the less we were there having fun and watching the dogs run around like loons
The Chi's
The chi x pug

Friends Spaniels.




The boys had a great time looking in all the rock pools, finding crabs and star fish. Jumping over the rocks and clambering up the banks by the beach. Us adults just relished the relaxation and marvelled at how this is the life. Chilling out on the beach with the dogs. Watching them have fun without the constriction of leads. The followed their noses, galloped through the water and pools, over the rocks and got filthy.
 
Its was such a shame that the worst had to happen.....
Yes i fell over. I slipped on the rocks and came crashing down with a huge thud on my bum. Not even worth mentioning other than for a laugh if i were a normal person, but as my followers will know i have a number of conditions that mean knocks and viruses and stuff make it more challenging for me. Landing as i did will no doubt set off my Fibro, it jolted right through me. But the worst part of it is i have Coccydemia. My coccyx is fused to my lower spine at an angle where it sticks out. This isn't the norm for most people. and if it does stick out the average joe can have a routine op to tuck it under. I have been for that op and all they could do is inject me with a pain reliever. This worked for 6 months in the 1st instance and in the 2nd had no effect at all.
 
So here i am, having landed right where it is probably the worst for me to and i'm now at home trying to find a comfortable way to sit or lie. It doesn't matter as its not working. once the bruising and swelling goes down i may be able to have a feel and see if anything is damaged, so far as far as i can feel it does seem different, but then the area is always swollen and now even more so.
 
And why is it that normally really comfy and soft cushions seem like rock when you have pain anywhere???
 
Despite this i had a lovely time and look forward to hopefully doing it again maybe on friday- weather permitting and friend and children coming over. We will have to wait and see. Until then i will be nursing a very sore bottom and avoiding too much driving or standing around.
 
C x

Monday, 6 May 2013

Events being organised

This is something my friend and I at crafty Claires are organising this summer:

Rye College Summer Craft Fair and Dog Show

And for the first time we have involved Stormchi Chihuahuas in the helping of a fun Dog Show. We have never attempted this before so with the expert help we are hoping to have a great day. Stormchi Chihuahuas can be found using this link. The lady is a Breeder, Show organiser and well respected for her knowledge of chi's and other breeds.

Rye College Summer Fun Dog Show and Craft Fair follow this link to the page and find out more details on the classes we have on offer.

Although we attend Craft Fairs as stall holders and organise them as events this is not all we are able to do. Crafty Claires between us has many years of experience in organising events. Followers of my blog may remember last year when i was Events Organiser at the local museum. My Team and i organised many varied events from sponsored walks to music nights. The other Claire has also organised many such events in her capacity as a museum professional and event organiser. We are now hoping to move on from just craft stall holders to regular organisers and also organisers of other events too. The website is almost done and will give more of an insight of what we will be offering.

C x

Bank Holiday fun

This Bank Holiday was fun most of the time. Daughter was in Nottingham at a Napoleonic Re-enactment with her dad, Son was with his grandparents for a couple of nights. For the 1st time in months i had some well deserved time off.
So what did i do with that time you wonder. Not very much in the end. daughter didn't go til saturday afternoon and it was raining so not nice for going anywhere. Friend and I watched Angel Season one back to back (well almost all of it).

Sunday was show time again, this time we were off to a local fun show nearby. My baby came 5th in Best Condition class.




His sister came 2nd in the AV Non Sporting Class, the winner of that class eventually went onto be the Best in Show winner for the pedigree side. So she did very well.

In Addition to this i came home with another present.


Yes a bad case of sunburn, silly me forgot to take sun cream. I blame the fact that its one the fist sunny days we've had this year and i'm not in the habit yet. Once at Mums house she provided me with relief of after sun, and the redness continued to come out! We had a lovely roast beef dinner cooked for us by mum while we relaxed for a bit and the dogs went mad in the garden.


When we came home i finished off one of the craft i've started for our fairs. I've been making squeaky dog bone toys. I'm hoping they will go down well with other dogs. My baby loves his so much he ripped the seam open with too much playing.



Along with the tuggies that I already do i'm trying to think of more toy idea I can make. Crafty Claires (my venture with my good friend Claire) is also making dog blankets and beds too with a patchwork theme. So far all the bedding has been made out of fleece. All the doggies that have tested the toys and blankets have loved them so fingers crossed this grows and more doggies become aware of what we make and benefit from hand made blankets and bed.

Today was not such a great day. Although the sun was shining, i was having difficulty wearing anything so i stayed home. I did however manage to get 2 loads of washing on the line. Also had the bright idea (not) of cutting the edge of the grass with shears!!!! Yes i am an idiot. My arms still feel like lead and don't want to work. I felt sick after that so decided a lie down would be a good idea, cue 3 hours later and friends dog jumping on me to wake me.

I've had dinner cooked for me and am feeling slightly better, but i think this evening will be more of the same- sitting and watching tv or dvd.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Yoda is 1 today!




Happy birthday to my gorgeous bundle of fur. I love him to bits. This is a little time line of his 1st year.


His whole litter



9 weeks and already cheeky

















Beginning of April, 5th in Best Condition.


Early Morning Birthday Picture.

 

Birthday cake from Mummy Nat




Aunty Claire sent cards.

 
One of the toys from Nanny Mo.


I have dozens and dozens of pictures that i could include in his time line, but i wanted to keep it fairly short and put in some of the nicest. My darling still has one droopy ear, but he has lost all of his puppy teeth now, and as of sunday will be enter the show ring in older classes. No more puppy classes for us sadly, but he's to bigger and better things to come for him.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Parents Evening- I dread it

Parents evening is one of those nights i dread. I know what the teachers are going to say even before i get there so i wonder why i put myself through it. An hour minimum of sitting with lots of other parents hot and crowded with time running over and trying to catch up.

This time wasn't so bad, the teachers still said what i thought they would, but they were also very complimentary of son. Apparently he is a joy to teach according to his English teacher. He couldn't praise him enough. Vivid imagination for stories, contributes well in class, happy outgoing boy. Only downside is his handwriting.

I didn't see all the teachers as there were only a few subjects i was really bothered about. I was requested to see R.E, and dreaded that the most, as son is anti religion in any form, and doesn't bother with this subject. I needn't have worried, she was lovely, even made a point of telling me to remind son he doesn't have to believe. And to look at the subject as a study. Remove himself and take an outsiders point of view- why do so many people feel the need to believe in something. Homework is an issue as that lets him down, but again he contributes well in class and is polite.

The other subjects pretty much said the same. Good, polite boy, contributes well in class, has his own opinion and will share it. Has a tendency to talk lots and has to be stopped, but what he talk about is relevant.

The worst and regular comment was Homework! Something every child tends to dread. And son is no better than the rest. Comments varied from not handing in, to needing more content.

I have spoken to him on all of the points raised and despite some of them not being so positive i am very proud of him. He's had a tough year so far and he's doing well.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Perverse by Larry Rodness

Perverse

19 year old Emylene Stipe, a 2nd generation Goth, is shaken to the core when her make-believe world turns out to be real.


My thoughts

Interesting, inspired, twists and turns but with a sadly normal ending. The author kept me guessing and i was surprised with a few twists that didn't turn out how i thought it would. I enjoyed the writing style and found that it flowed well. Has been left open for another should he choose to.
My rating is 4/5, i would like to have had a better ending, i feel this one was too 'normal' considering the rest of the book.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Daughters' 2nd Gymnastics Competition

Warning!!!! This will be a rant. But i am also doing the proud mum bit.

Another long sunday! This time we were heading off to Gillingham Gymnastic club. Despite it being called Gillingham Gym its actually based on the outskirts of Chatham. And what a strange place it was. To get there we had to go through a housing estate to a small industrial estate. There it was in a small compound without parking. We had to park at the bottom of the other end of the industrial road and risk a ticket as there was no parking within sight. I couldn't have gone and parked by the houses as i couldn't have walked that far.
Once outside the gym all you could see was a mass of people standing there. Off to one side working from an open hatch was a man doing burgers -they smelt nice, and there were lots of appreciative comments. but in front of his hot plate they had placed a pallet to keep customers from getting too close. My concern was that the pallet had a rough edge on the top. Not just from it being a wooden pallet, but where part of it had broken off! Good health and safety there!!!

Next came the signing in. We were early but we thought we'd get daughter registered and then we could find seats. Nope, we had to wait an hour, and then her club rep had to do it, so we had to find her. Not difficult as we'd seen her. So one part sorted. The changing area was so full of childrens clothes that there was no floor and you had to step on clothes for daughter to get to toilet. I made the descision along with many other parents to keep hold of all clothes just in case.

Next we had the joy of queueing up to get in and watch. Again that was in the outside part of the compound. Lucky this was the 1st really sunny day we've had. We were standing around outside for 2 hours. The amount people waiting was huge. Not surprising as parents and grandparents as well as brothers and sisters want to come. while we were waiting the queue started moving and the round 2 parents started to go in. Then came a problem. There were too many people to fit in the small, and i mean small spectating area. They were standing almost out the door. One of the doors couldn't even be opened another Health and safety point- What if there had been a fire! Those people wouldn't have been able to get out as the door was blocked with parents. Outside there were even parents who had paid but couldn't get in and see their children perform. There were complaints building.

In the end we were lucky, we were at the front of the queue for round 3, which was daughters round. just as it started raining they decided we could pay and wait in the foyer, at last chance to sit and rest my back and legs, which by this point were in agony.

Once inside we rushed for a good seat- there were very few of them. We went upstairs and i looked at the size of the floor space and vault run. Not enough space is an understatement, and the vault iteslf- i don't know the proper name but it looked like a pommel horse without the handles. Not what our children had been training on. It was obvious once the events started that some had as they were doing straddle leaps over it, they were placing their hand on the markers exactly. Whereas our squad had more of a struggle, some of them not even managing to make it. It was slippery and one girl fell and was crying. Don;t get me wrong our squad weren't the only ones who stumbled, there were many others. My main gripe with this is that there were one or two gyms who had clearly practised on one of these so called vaults and they had an advantage. I feel very strongly that if this type of appratus was to be used all gyms should be aware so they can train all their gymnasts on it. Or since they had the correct type of vault in the gym, that should have been used.

The floor space i can't complain too much about, it wasn't long enough or wide enough as when i came to daughters turn they had split it in two so they could speed up the event. So two gymnasts competing next to each other. I understand they have to get used to different size floors, but when 10 minutes previously the 1st group were competing on the same floor on their own i feel that they were again given an advantage. They didn't have to shorten their moves, or turn round a lot more to get all of their moves in. So why make another group have to do so.

Gymnastics is about having fun 1st and foremost, but they all work so hard to get somewhere and they all want to get the best score they can. I feel that they should all be given equal chance. That means they all train and can use the apparatus they are used to. and they are all given the same space to move about in on the day. Not have the shambles that we had yesterday.

At the end of the day, daughter improved on her overall score from her last competition. She increased an entire mark on her vault, despite the difference in vault. Although she has had 2 private lessons to concentrate on it. Her floor was lower, but she did stumble on a couple of her moves. But i have to wonder that if she had been given the space as the 1st group had would she have stumbled or not. This is something we will never know.

One thing i do know, is that i'm not the only parent who was unhappy with everything and who will be saying something to our gym manager. I know the answer will be a non commital- i can't do anything about it. Fair enough he can't. But for the future i think they should consider whether they go there again. I will update, no doubt with another rant once i have spoken on the gym.

There we go. Proud parent but with a rant.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Blog frustration

I decided it was about time to update the look of my blog last night...... i wish i hadn't started. for some unknown reason i cannot get it to look the way i want. Other people have done it so i know its possible, but despite going into every possible section of the template and settings and so forth i still can't do it.
Three hours later at 1am i called it a night and having spent lots of those hours talking to myself and muttering words of frustration i left it at what i had done. It doesn't really look any different and i'm not happy.

Today i had an e-mail from TOTS100 asking me to update my details and my button. They have done something to their ranking system so off i went trying to remember how i got it on my page in the first place. Another hour and a bit later and i finally managed to do it. but i couldn't get it where i wanted to. I tried all sorts, moving the <div> code thingy around the HTML programming page and it wouldn't do it.

I know i'm not great with these things, but i didn't think i was that stupid. Now i really feel i am.

All i wanted was to put a photo at the top of my blog to personalise it a bit more. Looks like i won't be unless someone can come and do it for me!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Book Review:- Arabelle's Shadows by Fleur Gaskin.

Arabelle's ShadowsEverything in Arabelle's life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she's even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn’t as wonderful as he first appears. Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle’s mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle’s refusing to remember and, if she’s not careful, they’ll use it to destroy her. Based on a true story, Arabelle’s Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression.

My Review:

Written in a diary form the book needs concentration. There were times where i forgot where in the time line the writer was as she jumped between present past and dream states. Modelling and the fashion industry isn't really of any interest to me, but i found the Shadows part of Arabelle's life very gripping. I can totally relate to the way she was totally controlled by them and caught up in what they were telling her. Since the book is based on a true story i can only make the assumption that the author has first hand experience of depression in its many forms and guises. The different cultures was also of interest to me and the way that they helped or didn't some case.
The author has a good grasp of language and manages to draw the reader into feeling for some character while turning them away from others. This is always a good point for me, as not all writers can do this for me. I like to be able to feel part of the story, and for the most part i did in this. I wanted to go travelling with the main character. And i wanted so much to be there to help her with her Shadows.
I rate this book as 3 stars. Had it not been about Fashion and modelling then it would have rated more highly for me.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Whatever next?....

This question could mean so many things when you read it and start thinking, nut in this case its very simple.

Daughter went to the fair with her dad today. We went over the Easter weekend, but she's a real daredevil and loves all the rides. The faster the better as far as she's concerned.
She came bursting into the house all red cheeked and grasping a another addition to the family. "Sam" the goldfish. Thus called because it can be a girls name or boys. She put lots of thought into it.

We now have 3 mice, 2 dogs and the goldfish. In addition to this daughter is going to be getting a puppy from our close friend when she has another litter from one of her dogs. She wants to have a show dog of her own to train and use for Young Handler competitions. At least she takes her responsibilities of looking after animals very seriously.

Therefor the reason for my question Whatever next?
 I almost forgot to add the fox and wild birds who visit us every day. We will have a virtual zoo soon

C x

Saturday, 30 March 2013

So its supposed to be spring?

Mum has just reminded me the clocks go forward tonight. Its the sign of spring as we all know. So where has it gone then??? Certainly not here.

We even had a few flakes of snow here today. It has to be said it was fun because we were at a fun fair at the time. It was really far to cold to be there but Grumps and nanny gave some money for the children and i decided we should spend it on some time out. I couldn't afford Chessington or anywhere like that so this was next best thing. We were able to buy unlimited bands and had 3 hrs to go on as many rides as we wanted. We therefor did. I even managed to get son on one he has previously refused to try because of the height.

We decided because we're at a Dog show tomorrow (Easter Day) we would bring it forward by a day. The children were given their presents early and loved them. I don't buy Easter Eggs as i think they get enough from family so this year i got daughter a chin up bar (strange you may think) and son a LOTR lego set. Daughter has used the chin up bar to practise her gym on and is already swinging away with her legs straighter than before and her toes pointed. "Success!" i cry. She did ask for one after she saw a friends daughters one and had a go on it. Son set the lego up and placed it together with another set he had saved up for and bought and had a few hours left to play with it.

With the dogs bathed and ready for the show tomorrow all i can say is i hope tomorrow is a nice day and if at all possible that there is some semblance of spring in the air. If not we will be getting very cold in the show ring outside.


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Yay its the Holidays




Hooray, our Easter holidays have arrived. I'm so pleased, despite it being a short term for us, we've had so much happen that i'm ready for it.

This post was going to start about how i was looking forward to my first lie in of the holidays. But alas its not to be, as i started writing i had to delete and think again- I have an appointment at  9.45. Big bummer. Normally i try to make sure that the first day is a lazy day, we do nothing unless we want to. That means we can laze about in pj.s all day if we want to and watch tv, or in my case stay in bed til lunch time reading a book.

Then we start thinking about the rest of the holidays. We were going to be going to Cornwall to stay with some lovely friends of mine, but unfortunately due to my car having to have lots of work done on it for the MOT and also needing car tax at the end of this month we can't afford to go. I'm so disappointed as it was the summer that we last saw them. We skype regularly but its not the same.
So having re-evaluated our plans we will be doing cheap days out.

Daughter has gym on her normal days and in 2 weeks she will have her 2nd competition, so as a special bonus i've arranged for her to have 2 private lessons leading up to it. This will hopefully cure some of her bad habits and give her a boost on some of the areas she is lacking in confidence.
She will also be having a friend from gym over to play, and a friend from school, although the days for that aren't set.

Son will be doing the same, he will be having a friend from school over to play.

We will also be having one of the gym mums i have got to know over to visit with her children. All of them get on well so they should have a lovely time.

In the holidays we normally go out with mum one of the days too so we'll be planning that shortly.

I have an appointment at the hospital too, so when i actually look back at this post i realise that we've probably got enough here to fill most of the days of the next 2 weeks.
I almost forgot that we have a dog show to go to on Sunday too. That is on the Kent border and will take most of our day. It will be a good day out as all the dogs can go and can be entered into at least 1 class each. Since its a Companion dog show its more relaxed and everyone has fun.

We shall be enjoying some of these too:-


HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE XX

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Another winner

Last night was "its a Knockout" at Ring craft. The short tale is that every dog gets a no and is then paired with another and judged against each other on movement, and form and behaviour. One is knocked out and the loser's handler judges the next pair. The winner from the former pair waits until all the pairs have been and the same starts again until there is only one pair left. Yoda and i have never got beyond the first round until last night.
Last night we got through i think 3 or 4 rounds until we were in the last pairing. Very nerve wracking as we were up against one of the clubs experienced handlers with his dog and the handler is also an experienced judges so has a distinct advantage. My heart leapt in my mouth and i expected to get no-where but thought i would use it as good experience and tried not to show my inexperience, especially as the man judging was also experienced as a handler.



You see correctly, to my huge surprise we were declared the winners!!!! A big round or applause and a huge well done from people and it sank in. I won the night. To make matters even more exciting the gentleman who hand declared us the winners was the 2008 Best in show winner at Crufts with his champion dog.
Can you believe it, this hugely experienced man who has shown at the most prestigious and famous dog show event in the world judged me a winner!!!!!

Yes i'm still very excited at that. This is another reason i was nervous, my friend had told me at the beginning of the evening who he was, and then i have him standing in front of me. now i'm not someone who gets starry eyed at someone famous, but this person i know has worked so hard to get that title, and i'm so impressed that he thought my Baby was good enough to recognise the work we've done. I really can't put into words what it means, but it makes me more determined to push forward and get that qualification for Crufts next year.

In other good news, Son took Max along for the first time and they did well. Max walked round the ring, showed his movement nicely and has given us a good idea on where we need to start working on his behaviour while out and about. He is amazing with other dogs and wasn't at all fazed by the amount of animals there. When not needing to be doing anything he sat or layed down quite happily and went to sleep. Son did so well and came away excited.

A good evening all round.
Cx

Monday, 25 March 2013

New family addition

We have a new family addition. After our sad loss of Buddy the gorgeous cat, son was not doing very well. He was missing someone to talk to. So we decided to rescue another animal, this time we have Max.

 In the picture we also have a gorgeous Shelby. Max is a Shitzu and we were told he's 18 months. Having checked him out with breeder friends of mine she's thinking he's around 2-3. He has been moved around bless him.
We took him off a gentleman's hands as he was scared for his children, he had only had him 4 days and had cut mats out of him and cleaned him up. Had had done so to a degree, we had to sort him out some more after a bath and clip the mats out of his tail.

From what we understand the gentleman bought him as a companion to his female form a lady who was very timid and couldn't control him. I'm not sure what that meant since we have had no trouble so far. Yes he's a little possessive over his toy- but then you can tell its playful- he's wagging his tail the whole time and jumps away, showing you he wants you to chase him.
he's not keen on being groomed- but again, considering the matting in his fur, its no surprise.
And then we come to his feet. He has dew claws on his back paws and they are growing into his paws!! Yes its that bad. Whoever had him either didn't realise he had them on the back, or the lady was so timid that she never went near his feet. From what the gentleman was saying Max was in a state when he got him so i'm guessing the woman didn't really bother trying with him once he started to answer back.

Pretty much everyone knows that with all dogs you have to show who's the boss, if you don't they will rule you and you will have no control at all.

We don't back down to him, use a firm voice and my son is doing really well with handling him. He was a little jumpy at first when Max growled and snapped at him, but then having had the attack from a friends dog that's no surprise. Now they have bonded he is much stronger with him and cuddle together on the sofa and at night.

 More updates on the life of Max as he settles in with us as a family.

Cx

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Bullying

The worst time has come, my son admitted one of my biggest fears to me today. He is being bullied at school.
Currently its only name calling and snide comments but the people doing so have pushed the exact buttons to get him in tears.

I noticed his temperament begin to change after Christmas- He gave up doing cadets, decided to give up gym and didn't want to go to Free running anymore. Free Running was something he really enjoyed doing as well. He has also turned into a very introverted child who clings to me and is telling me he loves me at every opportunity. He cuddles me much more than he did before as well. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with him telling me he loves me, but as often as he does now isn't normal for a 13 yr old boy. They should be off seeing friends and being independent. I've always brought him up to stand on his own 2 feet. My outgoing boy is now no longer there.

My first action was to give him a big hug and tell him that it will be sorted out. My next was to call the school and speak to his head of year. She called me back this afternoon and we had a long talk. I told her everything that he told me and we discussed the change in his manner and temperament. And we arranged what the next step will be. She will be talking to him in the morning and will be taking things further with the children involved. Also his form teacher will be asked to keep a close eye on things and see if he notices anything.

One thing i can promise- i will not let this get worse, if i see any sign of that i will be taking the matter up with the head of the school and then the governors of the school. Bullying is not tolerated in my house! I have always taught my children that they should treat others as they would like to be treated. Another of my favourite phrases is that if they can't say anything nice then don't say anything at all. Its a shame that other parents don't teach the same and take care to ensurer that their children actually do so.



There are so many images to show anti bullying, but these 2 stood out for me.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Crufts

On Friday 8th March i had the pleasure of going to Crufts for the Toy and Utility day courtesy of my lovely friend. Because she is a registered breeder she can get discounted tickets. It was a very long day for us both. We were up at a silly early hour to catch the 9am train and didn't get back until midnight.

The journey up there was so boring, i have never like trains for various reasons, one of them being the lack of control.I can't just stop and get out when i want, or come home when i want. Also suffering Migraines the idea of an attack on the train is terrifying. I digress...

Once in Birmingham its a hop off the train and few mins walk until we were in the NEC and could see the enormity of what is the worlds largest dog show. For more details about Crufts see http://www.crufts.org.uk/

Five, yes 5 huge halls full of stands, show rings, display rings, competition stands, you name it if its to do with dogs it can be found there. All round the outside of all the halls and in between the halls are food stalls. Again all you can think of can be found to eat.

Let me get to the dogs. We arrived just in time to see the judging of the Chihuahua puppy round judging. We didn't actually stay long as there were something like 24 puppy in the round, all of them to be walked round, then the favourites pulled out and then narrowed down to the final 4. It does get quite boring, but seeing the puppy's performing was amazing.

We also stood and watched the Golden retriever display team at work. Something spectacular, around 10 dogs and their handlers almost dancing in the ring to music. Ok they were walking around the ring, but it was in time to the music and they were making patterns and shapes. The dogs were left in certain places while the handlers walked away and around them. All the time the dogs were simple enjoying themselves. I've never even seen it on TV and my friend said it was even better in real life.

WE had lunch there which i can say was a disappointment, it was mass cooked and not that flavourful. I can however say i got an awful lot on the plate so they were generous there. If we had found them we would have chosen something like a jacket potato, but at the point when we were hungry we hadn't seen all the individual stands around the halls, only the big ones like Burger king and we didn't fancy those so i ended up with sweet and sour chicken and rice and my friend had pizza. By the time she's queued for drinks the food was cold too. They had one person serving and making latte type drinks with a queue reaching way back- more people were collecting cups and dishes than really needed.

Anyway back to the show. The shopping was amazing, i've never seen so many stalls offering so much stuff. Some of it really useful, others rubbish, some cheap other expensive. And then there was the normal rubbish food and treats and the really decent food.


There is so much i can say about it that i'm getting all muddled and because there is so much to say this post has taken me 3 days to write with gaps in between.

The outcome of the day was that my aim is to get Yoda qualified and showing there next Year. It will take hard work and lots of money but it will be so worth it.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

R.I.P My darling Buddy.

This is my Baby. His name is Buddy and he was around 15-20 years old.

  He was a rescue and when we got him he was already a young Adult. Until last year he had very few illnesses bar some trouble with his teeth. But over the last 9 months he's had cat flu twice and some sort of vascular disease. He recovered each time but the gaps between each bout were lessening.
This time i took the choice to do the best for him and end the suffering. A friend very kindly came to the vet with me and having discussed it the vet agreed that we could throw lots of money at him and discover that there isn't really anything they can do. Any thing they did need to do under anaesthetic he probably would survive due to his age. I don't agree with pumping animals full of drugs for it to happen again a few months later, and with no quality of life how is it fair to him. All he wanted to do was sleep lately.

So with much sadness we wish Buddy a very sad farewell and keep him with us in a special place in the garden. He will have a nice plant buried on top of him so we never dig in that place accidentally.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Interesting timeline for Fibro.

I was surprised to find how old fibro actually is. Looking at the time line Dr's discovered and labeled symptoms of it back in the 1800's. I felt this important enough to share with my readers.



Thanks to Cindy on Fibro Colours, Fb

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Joining the 21stCentury

I have been thinking for a while now that i am wasting lots of time while a gym 'watching' daughter. So i thought why not join what millions of others have done and "go mobile" with my laptop. Not easy with an actual laptop though since you need 3G or wireless. Since i don't have that capability and my mobile is to small in memory and screen size to do anything such as my blog or proper e-mails, i treated myself. Or rather my lovely mum did.
I am attempting to type this on my new android tablet! It takes some getting used to. At thispoint the space bar is really annopying me as i have to press it rather hard or in the exact center. I replied to a post on a blog i follow using the touch screen, but so far can't  decide which i prefer.

I will have a play around with it at gym and in other places, i will also attempt to add pictures using it at some point, but right now i will content myself with seeing how posting this goes

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Time for Personal reading reviews

I thought it was about time to add some reviews of some of my personal reading. I read a lot of books for review as per request by the author themselves or a publishing house, and it leaves little time for reading my choice of books. The first book here is one i downloaded to my Kindle for free. I had no idea what it was about, but i thought it sounded good.

Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep #1)

I loved this book. It gives such a clear viewpoint of farm life in New Zealand, i was drawn to the characters and found myself really feeling for Amy. I could not put this down and found myself willing the until i could sit and read some more to go quicker.


Mud and Gold (Promises to Keep #2)
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Time to Show yoda off again

 
 
This is my lovely baby with his latest achievement.
 
 
 
We were at the Kent County Association Open Show this weekend just gone. It was a cold and miserable day, but the amount of people there with their precious dogs was amazing. This is the first Open show i have been too and i'm not sure what i expected, but it was lovely to see all the different breeds. And what a fuss people were making! They were primping and preening their dogs on the tables, some has bows in their hair,, others were putting whitening powder in their coats. And then there was me, just sitting there nervous as anything wishing the time away.
We got there just after 9 am and collected the guide book. Looked up what ring we would be in and settled by the side to wait. We saw and chatted to a few people we knew, wishing each other good luck in the various classes our dogs were registered, and by the time we were due to go in for our class i'd been for a wee at least 6 times. I don't get butterflies or need the loo when i'm nervous i only react when its a scared nervous then i get clammy. But this was silly. I wasn't drinking that much and yet i had to go.
 
Anyway, The Junior class came up and i entered the ring with my friend who had Yoda's sister. we tried to have some other dogs in between them as they normally want to play but we didn't manage it. So Yoda went first and did his moves and his his sister Shelby went second. I wasn't expecting much as Yoda was pulling on the lead and he wasn't holding his head up all the time.
 
 
When we lined up at the end and i was handed 2nd place for him i was so shocked i looked at the judge as if to say are you sure. Everyone else went off and i was standing next to the 1st place winner waiting to say thanks to the judge still in amazement.
 
 
I'm so proud of my baby. His sister was given reserve place, and his mum in her class was also given reserve place. So in the end we all went home with something.
 
 
now we practise harder with the training, Hope his last 2 teeth come out before the next show in march so that he can get the same if not better placing.
 
 
If you're interested in reading more about Yoda and his family please go to yoda's facebook page
 
or he can be found on his breeders page along with other members of his family Stormchi Chihuahuas 
 
 
Until my next proud moment of his achievements
 
Cx

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Book Review: What do you call a baby Lion By David Chucka

Synopsis:

This book is perfect as a bedtime story and also for your loved ones who are learning to read.

In this book you will discover the names of various baby animals. Each animal is represented by the adult with a cartoon image and a real life photo is used to represent the baby animal.

Young children will have fun trying to guess and remember the names of young animals plus you will be helping them expand their vocabulary.


My Thoughts:

I found that this book was interesting for myself as i learnt a few things about animals, but for my 3 year old he liked the pictures but the words left him bored and confused. He loved looking at the pictures, but language wise it was too advanced for him. This book would be good without words or with more complex pictures and a bit more story and then aimed at an older age range.
Still something for an adult like me to learn from though.

Book Review: Billy and the Monster who loved to fart by David Chuka

Synopsis:

Billy loves Monster and Monster loves Billy. They play together. They have a bath together.They even go to school together. There's just one thing that threatens to spoil their friendship.

Monster loves to Fart!

Will Monster make Billy the uncoolest kid at school? Will Monster cause an irreparable hole in the Ozone layer? Will Monster and Billy both learn how to behave properly in a social environment?

This book deals with friendship, doing things in moderation, behaving properly in social situations and is very funny. You will have a blast reading this children book filled with great pictures and jokes with and to your little ones


My Thoughts:

This book is designed in my opinion for children of 3-6. With cartoon style pictures the child is able to follow along as you read, the words are large print so as they learn letters they can start to follow the words too.

This was read to a 3 year old boy, who absolutely loved it and wanted to go back and read it again. The whole mention of the word 'fart' has most children laughing and gets them interested in what is being said and in this case it was the same. He was laughing along happily and couldn't wait to fine out what happened next.

As a child's book i give this 5/5.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A good Description of fibro

While on facebook one of the posts added by a group i follow was the following. It's something that struck a chord with me and i thought i would share it with my readers.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME

1. My pain - My pain is not your pain. It is not caused by inflammation. Taking your arthritis medication will not help me. I can not work my pain out or shake it off. It is not even a pain that stays put. Today it is in my shoulder, but tomorrow it may be in my foot or gone. My pain is believed to be caused by improper signals sent to the brain, possibly due to slee...
p disorders. It is not well understood, but it is real.

2. My fatigue - I am not merely tired. I am often in a severe state of exhaustion. I may want to participate in physical activities, but I can't. Please do not take this personally. If you saw me shopping in the mall yesterday, but I can't help you with yard work today, it isn't because I don't want to. I am, most likely, paying the price for stressing my muscles beyond their capability.

3. My forgetfulness - Those of us who suffer from it call it fibrofog. I may not remember your name, but I do remember you. I may not remember what I promised to do for you, even though you told me just seconds ago. My problem has nothing to do with my age but may be related to sleep deprivation. I do not have a selective memory. On some days, I just don't have any short-term memory at all.

4. My clumsiness - If I step on your toes or run into you five times in a crowd, I am not purposely targeting you. I do not have the muscle control for that. If you are behind me on the stairs, please be patient. These days, I take life and stairwells one step at a time.

5. My sensitivities - I just can't stand it! "It" could be any number of things: bright sunlight, loud or high-pitched noises, odors. FMS has been called the "aggravating everything disorder." So don't make me open the drapes or listen to your child scream. I really can't stand it.

6. My intolerance - I can't stand heat, either. Or humidity. If I am a man, I sweat...profusely. If I am a lady, I perspire. Both are equally embarrassing, so please don't feel compelled to point this shortcoming out to me. I know. And don't be surprised if I shake uncontrollably when it's cold. I don't tolerate cold, either. My internal thermostat is broken, and nobody knows how to fix it.

7. My depression - Yes, there are days when I would rather stay in bed or in the house or die. I have lost count of how many of Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from FMS as well as other related illnesses. Severe, unrelenting pain can cause depression. Your sincere concern and understanding can pull me back from the brink. Your snide remarks can tip me over the edge.

8. My stress - My body does not handle stress well. If I have to give up my job, work part time, or handle my responsibilities from home, I'm not lazy. Everyday stresses make my symptoms worse and can incapacitate me completely.

9. My weight - I may be fat or I may be skinny. Either way, it is not by choice. My body is not your body. My appestat is broken, and nobody can tell me how to fix it.

10. My need for therapy - If I get a massage every week, don't envy me. My massage is not your massage. Consider how a massage would feel if that charley horse you had in your leg last week was all over your body. Massaging it out was very painful, but it had to be done. My body is knot-filled. If I can stand the pain, regular massage can help, at least temporarily.

11. My good days - If you see me smiling and functioning normally, don't assume I am well. I suffer from a chronic pain and fatigue illness with no cure. I can have my good days or weeks or even months. In fact, the good days are what keep me going.

12. My uniqueness - Even those who suffer from FMS are not alike. That means I may not have all of the problems mentioned above. I do have pain above and below the waist and on both sides of my body which has lasted for a very long time. I may have migraines or hip pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, but I do not have exactly the same pain as anyone else.

I hope that this helps you understand me, but if you still doubt my pain, your local bookstore, library and the internet have many good books and articles on fibromyalgia.

Author's note: This letter is based on communications with people throughout the world, males and females, who suffer from fibromyalgia. It does not represent any one of the over 10,000,000 people with FMS, but it can help the healthy person understand how devastating this illness can be. Please do not take these people and their pain lightly. You wouldn't want to spend even a day in their shoes...or their bodies.

I thought this would be good to share!
Fibro Colors
 
 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Book Review of Nightingale Woods by Kathryn Browne

Nightingale Woods - Paperback version


Synopsis:

Rachel Phillips, mid twenties, a little naive, rather gullible, has fallen for a married man. The thing is, he's also fallen for her. In too deep, Rachel and married man Steve, begin an affair and develop intense feelings for each other, knowing what they're doing is wrong. But after nine months of lies and deceit, Steve's wife Olivia finds out and gives him an ultimatum. It was inevitable that someone's heart would get broken, but Rachel truly believed it wouldn't be hers and certainly not twice within a matter of days. Seventeen years later, Rachel has been married, widowed and moved on to a new life in a little Scottish village in Perthshire. But one day her life comes crashing down around her when she spots Steve and Olivia in a nearby town, looking happy and very much together. So sure she'd got over Steve, she soon realises she's never been able to move on since falling in love with him and when Steve sees her and follows her home, Rachel has to make it clear that she’s no longer the naive twenty-something he once knew. But is she? Does the flame reignite when they meet again after seventeen years? And is Steve still in love with Rachel, or has he moved on? Nightingale Woods is a down-to-earth romance focusing on the difficult issues infidelity creates, but with a humorous mixture of trying to overcome being "the other woman"

Review:

If you're expecting a standard romance novel then be prepared to think differently. This novel is not like that. It gets you very involved with the characters. I felt sympathetic yet angry with the main lady both at the same time. Katheryn Brown has a very humanistic way of writing about people. She truly captures feelings and behaviours. I could almost imagine that she is writing from experience.
This was not what i was expecting as it is totally different from her other novel "Discovery at Rose Hill", but i have to say it is just as good and i was not expecting the turn of events in the last few chapters.
Well done Ms Brown, another great success.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

It all comes at once

Why does everything happen at once.
Last weekend i had the competition and Yoda had a show. This weekend i'm out for my mum's Birthday on Friday night, then to a friends on saturday night for Chinese and sewing evening get together of our re-enactment group. This is on top of our normal week and the monthly meeting of ESAS.
I think for the next month or so i have something to do every day of the weekend.

It may sound as if i am complaining about being busy, but after the kindness of spectators behind us at the Gym Competition coughing all over us i have a stinking cold. I was in bed all day yesterday, and today but managed to get Daughter to gym training. I'm not sure i'll manage the ESAS meeting as it finishes at 10 pm and i really don't fancy going out at that time again.
I'd like to know that just because i have things planned i end up feeling ill- its feels like i'm not supposed to go and see people. Last time we were invited to a friends for a gathering i was ill with a cold that turned into sinusitis. I know i shouldn't be moaning as there are people far worse off than me, but i'm really feeling the effects of colds nowadays, whereas a few years ago i never did. I used to carry on and plough through- it feels so debilitating now.

Sorry whinge over now xx

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Mango and Passion Fruit: Buttons + Paperclips = Bookmarks!

Mango and Passion Fruit: Buttons + Paperclips = Bookmarks!: Another straight forward tutorial. This one by Jamielyn , from I {  heart  } Nap Time , it's the kind of blog worth coming back to at least...

Daughters 1st gym competition and Yoda's Open Competition

Sunday was a very long and exciting day for us.
We were up at 5.30 getting ready for a trip to local gym competition for my daughter. I say Local, it was an hours drive away and we had to be there at 7.45am as we were taking her squads coach and daughter was in the 1st round of the competition. Neither of us have been to watch anything like this live before let alone taken part, and for her coach it was her 1st squad that she'd trained to competition, so the excitement could be felt in the car.
The journey up was uneventful, as was the waiting around to register and pay our entry. Despite being in the 1st round the children were called for warm up 15 Min's late. We sat on the benches watching as all the children paraded in and cheered and clapped for them all. Its a wonderful sight, so many boys and girls dressed in their gym competition uniforms.

Once the competition got going it was hard knowing where to look and who to watch, the club was split across the room. Waiting for daughter was awful, she kept getting up to doing something and then sitting down. An hour later when she was supposed to have moved onto her next section, she still hadn't done her 1st bit. At this point i really needed a cup of tea, so off i went to get one. I come back and whats happened- Yes she's been and i missed it, she was not impressed and still hasn't forgiven me. I spent over an hours thinking i can't go as she'll be up and then i miss it- Just typical. I did however get a picture of it and her face shows the utter joy she feels while doing her gym.
While waiting for her next section the sirens went off and we were asked to evacuate the building! Something had set the fire alarms off so we were evacuated out of the building for an hour into the cold. All the gymnasts in their leotards poor things, and the parents running around trying to get their clothes to them.
Once back indoors they had to warm up again before they could continue, the show was now running 2 hours behind schedule.
The next tense time was watching daughter do her floor routine, would she remember her arms?, how would her foot old up (we'd been in A+E again 2 days previous as she sprained it)? Would she collapse on her handstand? But she did the best routine i'd seen her do so far, not perfect but her best effort. I was so proud of her.

Maybe one of the tensest times was waiting for the scores. I didn't expect her to get a medal, but i was nervous for the rest of the club members. And as a club we did well. I think we ended the day on 4, 3rd position medals and 3, 2nd place medals. Not bad at all. We finally left there at 6.30 and got home after the drop off of coach and collections of son and dog at 8pm. A very long day.



Added to that, Yoda was entered into a big Open show and came 1st in the Open class. This class is for dogs of all age and breed. He even beat a dog with a Junior Warrant Certificate (apparently this is really hard to get) and was considered for Best of Breed and Best Puppy in Breed, but was pipped at the post because he still has 2 retained puppy teeth and one ear not quite fully up. But i am so proud of my lovely boy, he is growing into a great dog.

All in all i had an exciting day on sunday.