Sunday, 28 December 2008

Christmas Moments

That'll be another Christmas done and dusted then!

And what a lovely one it has been. Christmas Day we spent at home, just the three of us and the day just shot by. The Bean was overjoyed by his presents and the Wii was a fantastic hit with all the family! I spent much of the afternoon in the kitchen preparing the feast. I started off feeling slightly nervous but after sipping a glass of rose as I went it didn't seem to matter so much any more! lol Obviously gone are the days when I could hold my drink! One glass and I was rather wibbly I'm ashamed to say!

On Boxing Day my in laws came round and so I created another feast - they love my special jacket potatoes so I made those along with other snacks and platters......I had a little moment at one point when I wondered how I got to that point! It seems like mere weeks ago that I was the one in the front room surrounded by relatives whilst the grown ups beavered away in the kitchen and yet, there I was. In charge of this meal, alone whilst my husband, his parents and my son played and talked in the other room. I'll remember that moment for a long time, it was special.

Yesterday saw more visiting (and eating) and today I'm back in work. I somehow need to break the cycle of endless eating (I've already gained 3lbs!) and get back to some form of normality! Thing is, I can't see it happening this week as the schools are still off and so both the Bean and SLA are home all week!

This morning though I did book our Summer holiday - so that's my new aim! I will be slim and svelte by I just need to find a shop with a wii fit in stock to help me get there........

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick note to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and all best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2009.

Preparations are going well for the big day here, I think. My Dad is over from Spain so I'm seeing him tomorrow - it's been 6 months so it will be lovely. Everything is wrapped and ready so bring it on!

Can't wait to hear about everyone's festive adventures - lots of love and peace to you all

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Blog Wordle

Thanks to Womag for finding Wordle - what fun!!! Being in work today and having no writing with me I resorted to Wordling my blog! I love it! What do you think??

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Not as I planned it......

It's hard to be postive today as a lot of itty bitty things are bringing me down. Not least was the email I received last night stating that a substantial payment I was expecting yesterday is now not going to arrive until the second week of January. It's put a spanner in the festive works as you can no doubt imagine. On top of that I have a second invoice in that I am awaiting payment for, with no official date agreed other than it should be before Christmas and so the finances are certainly weighing on my mind as you can imagine.

Add to that my poor SLA has more tooth troubles. He has pain on both sides of his mouth now - in different places from when the previous work was done. He's back at the dentist for ANOTHER emergency appointment tomorrow - I really hope they can sort him out so that he's not in pain over Christmas, he's just not himself at the moment at all.

The Bean is very grouchy and tired most of the time - last day of school tomorrow so I'm hoping he'll pick up a bit then and get a bit excited instead of just moaning all the time! One positive though is that he has really taken to the film of 'The Polar Express' this year. Last year he was petrified of it for some reason but this week I think we've watched it every night. It's really captured his imagination.

So, tomorrow is my last day home alone til the 6th January next year. I'm planning on heading into town for a quiet coffee somewhere, having a walk to clear the cobwebs away and then pottering around the house until it's time to pick the Bean up. After that we're off to the Christmas Party at our local play barn which had a lovely atmosphere last year - maybe it will get us all in the party mood :o)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Two Points


Only a short post with two points:

1) Never smile at yourself in the mirror - the wrinkles are downright scary!

2) As a freelance writer, never NEVER rely on being paid on a given date. I made this mistake and am now having to cobble together plan B. Not really anyone's fault, just the way it works - or doesn't! Not ideal the week before Christmas though....

OK, grumbling over...... on to more positive thoughts tomorrow!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The Honest Scrap Award!

Oooh - another award!! This is the Honest Scrap Award that has been given to me by Sunshine!! Thank you!! Scrap means left over, fragments, discarded material. Many times truth and honesty are discarded material, considered fragments and left over. People like us need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will. There are 2 guidelines for receiving this award. One, you are to list 10 honest things about yourself. Make them interesting, even if you have to dig deep. Two, present the award to 7 other bloggers.

1. I'm nowhere near as patient as I used to be (or thought I was!)

2. I love Christmas but it makes me cry.....always has. Brass bands and carols lead to tears.

3. I can play saxophone, violin, oboe, guitar and tenor horn - some better than others!

4. I used to play table tennis and was ranked number 33 in England at one point.

5. My degree is in Philosophy and Politics

6. My cat, Tiger, taught me my first word - Miaow!

7. I am vegetarian and have been for 21 years.

8. My favourite colours are orange and purple

9. I spend too much time on facebook!

10. I'm not good at housework and procrastinate too much!

OK, I'm supposed to pass this on to 7 other bloggers. Here are my nominations although I know not everyone likes these things so feel free not to do it if you'd rather not!!!

1. Debs in her shed :o)

2. Tiffiney

3. Hill

4. Jan Jones

5. Suzie at My Digital Desk

6. Emily

7. Pat at Write Up the Hill

Presents, presents and more presents......

Unbelieveably, I have just spent two hours wrapping presents.....and I still haven't finished! I even have some things for the Bean that I think I may put to one side for his birthday in March!

Things are fairly quiet on the writing front this week, so far at least. I've been doing some work for a client on his new product - you can check it out at - but other than that I've had plenty of time to get into the festive spirit! In the New Year I'm really going to push more on the fiction side of things, short stories especially. I have lots of ideas but so far never seem to find the time to get them on paper. Hopefully, that is going to change!

Tomorrow I'm meeting a friend at Starbucks in the morning and then it will be back for more wrapping! I'm hoping to have a good walk around the town centre though, not only is it good exercise but the decorations look fantastic - there's such a special atmosphere about this time of year. I always seem to come back from my walks with more energy than I left with and heaps of enthusiasm for everything - that can only be a good thing!

Last night was lovely as we sat down together and watched The Polar Express. I love that film - so magical........and I can hear the bells, can you? :o)

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Fun and food....

I had a lovely evening on Thursday as it was the annual Christmas meeting for my local writing group. Every other month we meet after hours at the library but, in December, we are all invited along to one of the member's houses. We all take along something to eat and it's always a very enjoyable evening!

This year there were about twelve of us. We all gather in the living room and go around the circle with a reading. Some people choose to bring a festive piece, some they have written themselves, others bring a favourite piece by another author. Not all the readings were festive this year but it was a lovely mix. Many of the readings were funny - I was particularly impressed with Rosa's thoughts on old age and by Val's Christmas song parodies - last year's 12 Days of Christmas shopping was just hilarious and so we had an encore this year too!! I can't remember all the days but the first day of Christmas was 'Buy one get one free'....the second...'free delivery', the 3rd 'Great Mega Deals' and the 5th 'When it's gone it's gone!' - you get the general idea!

I wrote on the same subject as last year - the Bean's school Christmas play. It was a very different experience from last year, not least because it was in a different language! I must type up what I wrote (in long hand in my notebook) and maybe I'll share it on here too :)

After the readings we had a feast of food - we always have too much! And Dafydd's wife's cheesecake was a particular highlight for me! Mmmmmmm

So that was Thursday evening, Friday I went up to Oldham to see my Godmother and do the first present exchange of the year - we had a lovely lunch too....and then I came down with some bug or other. Thankfully I'm feeling much better today, it's a pity I'm in work all day really!

This week I need to get everything wrapped and sorted.....would be an added bonus to get the house a bit tidier too! The Bean has a busy week in school and I can't believe it's only 11 days to go!! Wowsers!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

More illness.... :(

You wouldn't think you could catch the lurgy via blog would you? But so many people seem to be coming down with the dreaded illness and now I'm feeling under the weather too :( I'll take it easy this coming week and up the hot drinks and Vit C in a bid to be back in tip top condition for Xmas.

Today I'm off out to take some photos to illustrate some articles for VisitBritain. Yesterday I submitted Blog 12 for the Weightwatchers UK site - it's still a bit behind but is catching up quickly and I've done a bit of work for a client this morning too. It all adds up :)

Anyway, I'm off to put the kettle on..........xx

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Relaxed and Happy :o)

I'm having a really lovely week so far and a very relaxing run up to the Christmas holidays..... I managed to finish off the Christmas shopping last week, other than food shopping obviously and so it's really taken the hassle out of the next couple of weeks.

Monday saw the Bean's Christmas play in school which was lovely. A friend came with me to the afternoon performance and then SLA and his mum came along for the evening show. The Bean sang beautifully and said his one line perfectly, bless him. The show was his year and the year above so the older children had the bigger parts which they made a fantastic job of. Of course, this being a Welsh medium school the whole production was in Welsh, it sounded beautiful. Well done to them all!

The Bean was quite relieved when it was all over....he's going through a very odd phase and is very self concious of people he doesn't knwo looking at him! I know! Bizarre! He's never been like this before and last Xmas he had the star part in his school play....and the 20 or so lines to go with it. He loved it then. Not so much at the moment though, sadly. I'm sure he'll come through it quickly enough. He was OK with the school play after I explained that the audience would just be the other children's parents, grandparents etc and would be looking at their child - not him. That was fine. Then, yesterday, a letter came home saying that his year and another would be going carol singing at a local church later this week. I read the letter out loud in the car - he cried. Really cried - they might look at him! I wracked my brains trying to calm him again......and we were just getting somewhere when I read the letter again...Oh, they are going to two places carol singing - on the same day! You can imagine the hysterics that caused! I'm sure he'll be fine on the day, he'll be with his friends and that makes a big difference. I may just have a word with his teacher though - prewarned is prearmed and all that!

Tonight we have been working on some of the presents for my dad and my step mum. The Bean has drawn a portrait of them which I have framed...... you should see it. Maybe I should scan it in! lol We did the same a week or so back for SLA's mum and dad. That one turned out really well, they'll love it. It looks great. Tonight's work of art.....I'm not so sure! Honestly, my Dad has a head the size of a pea and my step mum looks like someone's stretched her on a rack and then left her out to dry......and the dog is in the corner... The overall effect is one of some kind of psychodelic, hippy sixties vibe....... I'm feeling I may get them something else to make up for it! LOL

Tomorrow I'm planning on getting more wrapping done, I may well need more paper so that's a good enough excuse to pop into town for a coffee maybe! Tomorrow night it's my writing group's Xmas get together. I've only been to one meeting since Sept which is a real shame, it's just the way things have worked out. I'm hoping to get there tomorrow night, last year we had a lovely time. We all go to the house of one of the group members and we all take something to eat. We all then do a festive reading of some kind (which reminds me I haven't written anything yet....) and then we stuff our faces! Yummy! It will be nice to see everyone.

Right, time to write something festive then eh?!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Rain Rain, Come Again!

Another day, another rain shower........or at least that's how it seems! I love these heavy showers though, you know the kind that make you switch the lights on inside, even if it's the morning? It feels so cosy. So I'm sitting here, on my laptop with the Xmas tree lit up in the corner, the Aussie soaps on the telly, a big cup of tea on the table and the rain pouring down from a dark sky outside, battering the window as it falls. Lovely way to spend a morning!

I'm over the moon with the diet news this week, I've lost 2.6lbs! YAY! I don't really know how, I suppose I've been a bit more active and I've cut bread out of my diet again, pretty much anyway. It certainly seems to have done the trick.

I've had a bit of an up and down morning, emotionally speaking. A Christmas card dropped through the door which I opened. It was from my Step Dad, my mum's husband for 5 years until she died. It was a simple card just said: All good? Like the photos. Love Tony. That's it. And it's all I would expect it to say, he's a man of few words but it's just such a stark contrast to the novel of a card that Mum would have chosen and signed from the two of them. It's little things like that just bring it all back again. Grief can be such an isolating experience too - I suppose it's because everyone has different relationships. No one knows how I feel about my mum and about the love we shared, because no one else was there with us. Don't get me wrong there are no shortage of people I can go to - shoulders to cry on, ears open to listen, my hubby being the main one of course. But I'm also aware that he has his own grief to deal with for my mum and also for his Nan this year too. Grief is like riding a wave - it has it's ups and downs and then contain more emotions than you think it is possible to feel, but you do just have to ride it......problem is no two waves are the same and so no two people feel the same emotions at the same time, no matter how close they's harder than I ever imagined it could or would be....but on a brighter note, preparations for Christmas this year are going well and I'm finding it a whole lot easier to cope in general - good news! Hurray!

Right, that's the aussie soaps done, the sun is starting to peep around the curtain of cloud and I've drunk my tea.......I can't put those Xmas cards off any longer.........they need to be written!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Quick catch up

I seem to have lost the ability to blog!! Don't know where the days are going.....

I've been doing some writing, mainly for one regular client, but not much else as I've been taken over by all things Christmas! The decs are up and most of the presents are bought! Hurray! I haven't started the heinous job of wrapping anything yet and I've not written a single card either....the plan is to break the back of that job by the weekend.

The Bean decided last week that all he wants for Xmas is a £3 car from Sainsburys - comes with a screwdriver and in bits to put together. Had I got him one? No. Did they have any when I went to look? No. Has he asked both Santas he's seen so far for it? Yes, in fact that's all he's asked for! Thank goodness they had one on Monday so it's safely upstairs now....along with all the other far more expensive stuff that he now doesn't want.....typical! Good job I want the Wii then isn't it?! lol

Oh and I have now finished Christina Jones' latest book, Happy Birthday - I LOVED it!!! Highly recommend it for anyone's Xmas stocking!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Diet blogs, brothers and bloody Christmas!!

Stop the Press! My Weight Watchers Blog has gone live today!! Whoooo! Here's a link for anyone who wants to have a gander - clicketh hereth! Hurrah!

Not an awful lot to report really, so I won't ramble on with an entrance for the most boring blog in the world competition! The wabbit has so far not attempted another escape act, or if he has, he hasn't succeeded! He's settled in well and loves to jump around the garden when the sun's out.

The Bean is fine, Sion Corn (Welsh name for Father Christmas) is coming to visit school tomorrow so he's getting more excited by the day! I've already done his Xmas shopping so I hope to God he doesn't ask for something he's not getting! Every day he seems to come home clutching another piece of papaer asking for more money....raffle tickets, non-uniform day, visits to Sion Corn, trips to the theatre to see the goes on and on!

SLA is finally seeming better on the tooth front - next weeks sees the root canal so let's hope that goes well and puts an end to the last few months of agony, poor chappy.

Oooh good news from my little brother too, not that he's very little anymore...he's just auditioned for We Will Rock You, the stage show and has another recall in two weeks! YAY! Go bro!!! Will keep you posted on how he gets on :o)

Right, I'm cold so I'm off to have some lunch.....veg soup, I need to keep the points down now that blog is up there for all to see!!! Someone remind me why I did this again??!!! lol

Monday, 24 November 2008

I've been busy, busy, busy today.....too much to do and not enough time to do it!

I thought I was off to a good start setting the alarm clock a whole half hour earlier - it should have been plain sailing! Things started to go pear shaped as soon as we got downstairs and SLA headed out to the garage to bring our guinea pig (Johann) and our new wabbit(Redding) back into the garden. It was a cold night last night so we left them in the garage for a bit of warmth......SLA is such a sweet, soft hearted chappy, he left music on for them until we went to bed and then left a battery powered light up ghost for them in case it was too dark...bless. Anyway, by this morning, all hell had broken loose - the wabbit had escaped! The shop had warned us he's a bit of an escape artist but this was his first houdini job since we got him home. He was easy enough to catch, big white furball that he is, but by the time I'd rounded him up, got him back, refilled the food bowl etc etc I was back to my usual late running........

Anyway, after dropping the Bean off at school I came home and got some work done for one of my clients and then submitted my week 9 blog for Weightwatchers. Apparently it will go live from tomorrow!!! Fingers crossed!

I headed out and braved the supermarket - why do they get SO much busier on the run up to Christmas? Do most of these people not normally eat? I don't get it.....then came home, had lunch, did some more work, picked the bean up and so it goes on....and on....and on!

Hopefully, tomorrow will be spent in a more relaxed and chilled fashion......hmmm, who am I kidding? Something's bound to scupper that plan!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Blogging, books and bad teeth

Wow, is it really so long since I last blogged?? I'm terrible! Apologies for the break in service, but believe me you haven't really missed much!

My poor SLA has been off work again, with his teeth, again.....this has been going on since July one way and another and he's really struggled. Anyway, one tooth less and one root canal to go I think he's turned a corner and is really starting to feel more like himself again. The whole experience has underlined my dislike all things dental and I will still avoid going at all costs, although I was delighted to hear they can administer sedation at the surgery in case I did need any work doing.....a useful last resort!

I had the delight of starting a new book last night, Christina Jones' new novel 'Happy Birthday' - so far I'm up to chapter five and I'm loving it!!! Can't wait to read more in bed tonight. Thing is I have to be in work for 6am for a broadcasting shift tomorrow so I'll have to be strict and put the book down instead of staying up reading for hours! If you haven't checked out Christina's blog then you should - always gives me a giggle

The weightwatchers blog still hasn't appeared on the site, even though I'm about to submit week nine's installment! Having said that, it seems to be down for maintenance tonight so maybe they're updating it....very uselful timing as it means I really can't track the Indian meal I had tonight. Shame that.

On the writing front, I'm still editing a couple of stories for one of the weeklies. One is ready to go, the other a bit on the short side so I'm going to beef that up early this coming week. I've just sent a query off to another magazine, one of the women's monthlies with an article and I've been working with a client who is setting up a wedding planning site and writing the web content for her and working with a long term client writing text for his interactive music site. It's busy, busy, busy and I'm a bit behind on my VisitBritain work this month and need to get 6 articles submitted onto the site this week! Wish me luck!

Anyway, best finish up so that I can go and read my book before it's time for sleep! Thanks Christina :o)

Friday, 14 November 2008

Writing, eating and a lack of routine!

What a crazy week! I've not managed to blog since Monday......

The bean didn't go back to school until Weds after his tummy bug. He still looks run down, I hate it when he's not at 100%. I hope he can get himself built back up to normal soon. Poor thing. He's gone to school in non uniform today as part of the BBC Children In Need Appeal. He's also taken some money for the Bring and Buy toy sale, I dread to think what he'll come home with. He's a sensitive little chap and quite often picks up the dirtiest and ugliest things because they 'look' at him. I do know that feeling but he even struggles at throwing things away such as broken clothes and toys.....poor mite. The contents of his school bag will be .....interesting this afternoon!

Anyway, SLA is now home from school ill. He felt bad on Wed night and went to the Dr yesterday - sinusitis so he's back on more antibiotics. Today he has to go back to the dentist again and hopefull, FINALLY have the tooth out that's been causing him problems for months now. I really hope he can start to put it all behind him from his appointment today.

With the extra bodies at home I've not got much writing done at all. I've all but given up on NaNo. I've not added to my manuscript for days now so I'm never going to hit the 50,000 mark by the end of the month. I will keep at it bit by bit though, just as a longer term project. I'm just brushing up a couple of stories to send to one of the weeky mags -so I hope they may get somewhere. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!!

WeightWatchers update I've lost 1.2 lbs this week. I thought it was more, but I'd forgotten how much I weighed last week....I know, I know. I'm useless! Anyway, it's a loss and I've just submitted my blog. Still no sign of it up on the site, I'll let you know when it appears!

Monday, 10 November 2008


I'm currently on 8286 in my NaNo word count but I'm getting myself into some real plot holes!!! Any suggestions gratefully received!! For example:

The ex of my main character has been spotter creeping up towards her front door with a mysterious white envelope that looks a bit like a card. He pauses for a second before turning around and getting back in his car and driving away. The neighbour sees him......but what was in the white envelope??? I have absolutely no idea! lol What would you put in it????? lol I should have thought about this first maybe??!! hehehehe

Tummy Bugs and Word Counts

I think I'd better blog quickly now, while it's quiet!

My little boy has succumbed to a tummy bug and so is home from school today. It's 9am now and he's still fast asleep so I hope that the rest will do him the world of good. He was only up twice in the night, he's coping really well, but it will be a day without food for him today as his little tummy needs a rest. He's been looking a pit pale since Friday night really so I'm glad he's getting rid of it now.

I've just read the lastest NaNo email - apparently the aim is to be at 15000 words by the end of play today.....not very likely I don't think! I'm not quite at 7000 yet. Oh dear. Oh well, I'll try to do some more later, depending on how the day goes.

I was supposed to be taking my MIL out shopping today, but I've had to phone and cancel and we were meant to be having lunch out too....hence there is nothing in the fridge to eat....lunch will be another bowl of cereal me thinks! lol

Right, I'm going to creep around a bit more and try not to wake the little man. Bless.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Sunday's here again

We've had a lovely weekend, especially with it being SLA's birthday. It's actually today, but as I'm in work all day we celebrated yesterday. He was like a child opening his pressies yesterday which was lovely then we went out shopping for him to spend some vouchers he had received and then we had a lovely Indian meal last night. Just perfect. Except for the onions. I NEVER want to see another onion! I don't know what I was thinking of but I opted for onions in every course and spent all last night and most of this morning in absolute agony! I'm still not right! No more onions!

I've not got any further on NaNo, I'm seeing the 50,000 target slipping away from me to be honest. Although I did write over 1000 words in 25 mins on Friday night so I suppose if I was strict with myself I could just about catch up if I put the hours in. Thing is, there is just so much other stuff going on as well. I know I'm taking my MIL out to look for new curtains tomorrow and I'm meeting a couple of friends on Weds morning too to try out the new Starbucks that has opened in town......the house still looks like a tip and I'm wanting to really get it sorted in the next few weeks before the Xmas decs go up. I hate it to be cluttered before we even start!

Right, I'm off to do another broadcast now and to keep browsing the menu of a healthy food place I spotted just up the road. I'm spoilt for choice! I normally head to Subway for a salad but the thought of the onions just puts me off. I know I could just miss them out but I think I fancy a change :o)

Friday, 7 November 2008

Phone calls and parents' evenings.

I survived parents' evening! Whoo! Actually they seem to like the little rugrat which is fantastic. We've gone from school to school of people who did nothing but criticise so to find a school that actually recognise what he has to offer is just so wonderful and reassuring!

I had to make a very important phone call this morning to speak to a publisher about a possible book. I've not written a book before, let along a factual reference type on, so you can imagine how petrified I was! Anyway, he was human, which helped immensely! I'll know the outcome in the next couple of weeks so I'll be sure to let you know how I get on.

Tomorrow we are celebrating SLA's birthday. It's actually on Sunday but as I'm in work on Sunday we are pretending it's tomorrow! I have lots to wrap for him later on today, cards to write etc etc I hope he has a truly special day :)

I'm off now to write my weekly blog for's not going well, actually, maybe that's harsh, it's just not going quickly. I've always been like this when some people can easily lost 2 or more pounds a week I faff around with half on and half off. It drives me crazy. This week I've only managed to lose 0.2lb....I may as well not have bothered! Here's to a better loss next how to write that in 500 words to submit! Hmmmm.....

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Fireworks and NaNo

I'm just taking a short writing break to erm...well write this, so I guess it's not much of a break from writing! Hehehe

I've made a good start on my NaNo novel, well by my standards anyway. I'm just over 3000 words now, don't know if the widget on here is keeping up much or not! I'm enjoying writing and making most of it up as I go along, I have some ideas and plans for the characters but nothing is set in stone so who knows where they may end up?!!!

I'm going to break off a little bit now as I need to get 3 articles done for VisitBritain and I need to finalise copy for a website I'm writing for a Chef. It's easy to get carried away in my new novel but I have to remember the stuff I'm actually getting paid for!

Tonight, we're heading on over to my in laws for a little fireworks party. We've got 22 to let off, all nice and quiet ones I think and I'm going to call in at Sainsbury's and pick up the stickiest loaf of parkin cake I can find although I've never found one that betters the one my Grandma used to make. Just scrumptious. I won't be having much though as weigh in day is looming once again!

Have a happy and safe bonfire night everyone!

Hwyl :)

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Tuesday....need a kick up the bum!

It's all gone very quiet.....very, very quiet. Today was the first day in months, maybe longer that I've logged in to no emails. Not so many people seem to be blogging. I've got no new's getting rather spooky. I'm guessing it also means that other people have more to be getting on with than me, or at least they are more strict with themselves than I am!

The Bean seems to have settled back into school OK, we have parents' evening on Thursday. Tomorrow we are heading to my in laws for some fireworks in the garden so that should be lovely too. I haven't heard any more about the book possibility this week so no more news on that front just yet. Amazingly my WW blog is still not up on the site yet and I've just sent in week 6's installment! Obviously the WW team are still extremely busy.

I'm very disappointed in myself on the NaNo front. I still haven't started and I'm beginning to think now that there's not a whole lot of point as I'm so SO far behind. As you can no doubt tell I'm feeling a bit defeatist about most things this morning so maybe after a cup of tea I'll feel different! lol

On a brighter note an old friend got in touch via facebook yesterday and it's lovely to hear from her. We were really close throughout school and lost touch when we went to different univerisities really. It's been about 9 years or so I think. It's great to catch up :0)

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Tic Tacs and Steps

It's another Sunday, another 12 hour shift - they come around very quickly don't they?!

I'm hoping to get some of my writing work done in the quieter times today, I've emailed it all to my work theory being that if I can get the money earning stuff done now I can actually make a start on the NaNo.....I'm falling behind already and we're only one day in!

The Bean gave us a bit of a fright yesterday. He's a fairly sensible type really, older than his years in many ways and forever asking questions about life, the universe and other unaswerable subjects..... Last night, however he reverted to the 5 year old head he should have and decided it would be a good idea to stick a tic tac up his nose. Why? I have no idea. I've asked repeatedly but have yet to hear an answer that makes even the slightest bit of sense. He was in the back of the car when he did it, maybe he was led to a sharp swerve onto the pavement where I thankfully managed to remove the small white mint from his equally small right nostril. Amen. And no more tic tacs for the Bean!

The other Bean development over the last few weeks is that he has found a real love for the music of 'Steps' - the group that is. I'm not sure if American readers will have heard of them, they did support Britney on a US tour once but I don't think they were that well known over the pond. They were big here in the UK though, albeit they were never 'cool'. They did real pop music, loved by children and those of us who are children at heart and aren't afraid to admit and accept it!

I was always a huge Steps fan, as was SLA, much to the amusement of many people, but we never cared. I was lucky enough to meet all 5 members of the band over the years through work and really don't have a bad word to say about any of them. Maybe I'll blog more about that in the future but for now I'm just delighted that the Bean has inherited such good musical taste! :0)

Friday, 31 October 2008

Exciting prospects...and too much food!

I'm back. We had a lovely time down in Cardiff over the last few days and I've come back on year older. It doesn't feel too bad.......thank goodness!

I came back to an inbox of 27 emails...we were only away for 3 days, I ask you! A couple of them were very interesting as it seems the publishing company are interested in my CV from last week. This would be my first book, if I get it. It's a factual one rather than fiction and is very exciting - and rather scary! I'll be sure to spill all the beans if it comes off! Keep your fingers crossed for me :)

I've got some more work to do for a consultancy business on Monday as well.......that should be fun since I've also booked for my friend to do my hair as well. My priorities are all upside down! Ooops! It's a nice feeling to come home to some work though - 12 months ago I never thought I'd get this far. Only 1 day to go to Nanowrimo as well! I really don't have any idea how far I will get. I haven't done anywhere near as much planning as I wanted to have'll all be a bit by the seat of my pants.........eeeeek! We did stop off in a lovely tea room in llandeilo where I would happily sit and write the whole 50,000 words if they kept plying me with their latte and lemon drizzle cake - just scrumptious!

Today should have been weigh in day for weightwatchers but, thank God, they don't have scales in hotel rooms! I've eaten like a pig while we've been away, just so much more than I would have done at home. Don't get me wrong, I didn't completely lose the plot, I turned down dessert every night except my birthday and that was only a kulfi in the Indian so I haven't gone crazy but I still feel yucky and I am dreading getting on the scales in the morning. It will have to be done though. I have to record another WW blog to submit on Monday so I need to confess and clear my conscience so that I can move on and get back to where I was asap!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Coffee and Cardiff

Isn't coffee good? Just thought I'd share after having a sip out of my mug. Mmmm, lovely when you're feeling a bit chilly. And I am. Very chilly. Winter has come in through the door, thrown off its coat and made itself well and truly at home. It's been 4 degrees for most of the day and I nearly spat my coffee out when they mentioned snow on the weather forecast. SNOW??!!! Already? I've not actually seen any yet but it's forecast for tomorrow. We'll see!

Over the next few days we will be spending time in Cardiff. I love the city and we have some lovely plans for places to visit and restaurants to eat in :0) Of course, the snow may scupper the lot but I'm hoping for some crisp, sunny days when we can get out and about. No doubt I'll have some stories to share when I get back.

It's only a matter of days until nanowrimo gets underway. I can't see me getting much written on the first two days as it's a weekend so I'll be behind as soon as I get going! Still, I'm looking forward to the challenge. SLA is joining in too and is doing an album in a month. Sounds like good fun. I hope we can both come out with good results.

Thank you for all the lovely birthday thoughts and wishes :) They mean a lot. I'm sure I'll have a lovely day with my two best boys.

Hwyl fawr a Nos da.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Spiders and books

Why, oh why am I blogging at 7:25AM?? Because I'm in work and have been for an hour and half already I suppose. Yep, it's Sunday. Another 12 hour shift. One coffee down........eleven to go!

OK, it got busy.....its now 8:46. Two coffees down.....ten to go.

Yesterday was rather surreal as I took a spider to a party. I know, I know. I hate the things but I had to. It was wearing trainers too.. Bleurgh! Of all the fancy dress costumes available, why oh why did he pick the spider one?

Anyway, we went, he ran, we came home. Does anyone actaully enjoy children's parties? I came out feeling slightly sick with a banging headache. It didn't do much to quosh my worries for the Bean either. He just seems very different to the other boys and I worry that he will struggle to fit in and all that may bring. We take one day at a time. Not much else we can do.....

Plans are afoot for the coming week. We're heading down to South Wales for a few days which I'm really looking forward to. I just know I'm going to eat too much, which isn't good for the old diet but it's only my birthday once a year right? I'm going to try not to go too mad with it........honestly!

I sent my CV off on Thursday to a publisher which was a first! It's in connection with a book that a friend of mine is hoping to write. All vague I know but I promise I'll spill all if I'm successful :) I've still not sent any of my short stories out. I must try to get onto that after half term. I know I've been saying that for so long now but I'm still unsure where to send them. I been browsing around the various guidelines and looking through the mags themselves but I'm still not sure where to aim my first story. I do know which one I want to send; I'm not convinced any of them are good enough but I think this one is my best bet..... my zero confidence club membership is shining brightly through this morning isn't it?!!!

Ah well, another broadcast toddle off :)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

What to do......?

I am officially tearing my hair out. Why did noone every tell me this parenting jobby was so darn confusing, complicated and impossible??!!

Don't get me wrong, I love the bean to bits, that's why every decision just has me in pieces.

This time yesterday I was convinced we'd done the right thing bringing him out of school and back into the home full time and we have had a lovely day today with home ed friends. I've laid all the ground work for home schooling and not really thought about much else.

Until I got home.

There were two messages from the school on the answerphone. The first from his class teacher, the second from the deputy head. The second was in Welsh so I didn't understand it fully but SLA says that it's a very nice message and that they really want to sort this out and have him back.

Have him back.

HAVE HIM BACK? I'd forgotten that was an option.....and what if it is the right one?

This can't go on...this in school, out of school thing. He needs to be one or the other and it's easy to say go with what feels right but what if I truly don't know what is right? Because I don't. If I wrote a list of pros and cons there would be both on both lists.

It is such a major decision, one that will affect his life in such a huge way. SLA and I are going to talk it all over again tonight but it's ground we've been over so many times now. And neither of us are feeling 100% at the moment anyway. I've left a message on the school answerphone saying that one of us will certainly talk to them tomorrow so at least that's one decision made.

Any advice would be appreciated, as ever. I'm in a quandary.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Strange Old Day!

It's been a strange and surreal kind of day in many ways... I got quite a lot of work done this morning, polishing off 3 articles that needed writing by the end of the month. With next week being half term I wanted to have them out of the way early!

Then I made a brave start on an piece entitled 'Regret'. It's a request from someone on one of the writing forums I am a member of who is looking for pieces from female writers on the subject of regret. She wants them between 1500 - 2000 words.

I have been planning to write something for a few weeks now but I knew it would be about Mum and I knew it would be hard to write. So I put it off....and off.....and off.....until this morning. It was hard going, and I spent much of the time trying to type through the tears (ooh, I like that as a phrase!) and I haven't finished yet. I think I'm about 1200 words so I've saved it and I'll come back to it later in the week to try to put the finishing touches and edit it. It's not a job I'm looking forward to really.

Then I went to pick the Bean up from school...all seemed fine until I got talking to him about his day. I won't go into it all here but I think I will be rejoining the ranks of home education. It's all a bit raw now, he's fine, it's nothing to worry about, but once again we are not happy with certain things. This is three schools now. Enough is enough. SLA has left messages on the school ansaphone so no doubt I will have them on the phone first thing tomorrow. Not looking forward to that much, I'm not much good at confrontation or standing my ground but I'll have to. I've already arranged a play date for later in the morning with some friends who home educate so hopefully we will have a nice day.

SLA is bogged under with work from school. He's got so much that he needs to get done and is still not feeling 100%. 8 weeks is a long half term, I'm hoping a week off next week will make all the difference - that and a whole lot of birthday cake!

Monday, 20 October 2008

It's open!! whoooo!!!

Hurray!!! Remember I blogged weeks ago that they had closed the road at the end of our estate for roadworks?? Well, it's been closed ever since, until this evening! They have finally reopened it and I can't tell you what a relief it is. It's been a very long 10 weeks....we've been pretty much cut off from the town centre and the supermarkets, it's taken longer to get everywhere and has cost a lot in extra petrol. I feel like dancing now that it's been opened!

I've had a productive day today, all things considered. Got the supermarket shopping done this morning and then knew I had two deadlines to hit at lunchtime; one for this week's WeightWatchers blog, the other 3 pages for a client's website. I managed them all and got the invoices off too so that put a bit of a spring in my step...... :)

I've spent most of the evening reading with the Bean which has made my voice a little hoarse! We've read a big book on Mega Machines.......(he loves all things tractor and these look just massive) then we moved onto Spike Milligan's Children's Treasury.....just hilarious! We both laughed and laughed. There's nothing so precious as the sound of his hearty little laugh, I adore it.

Tomorrow will be more of the same. I'm trying to get as much writing done as I can this week so that I don't have much work to do during the half term holiday!

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments yesterday about my mum. They all meant a lot to me and it does help knowing how many others feel these same emotions. The photos are of us both; one on my wedding day and the other my 15th birthday :D

Sunday, 19 October 2008

My melancholy Sunday blues.

I'm feeling more than a little melancholy at the moment.....not helped by being half way through a 12 hour shift behind a microphone...... Also made worse by hormones, no doubt. I'm female - everything is made worse by hormones.

Also adding in to the equation is that it's my birthday in just over a week. I still get excited about it sometimes, but I'm not having much in terms of a pressie as I'm holding out for a Wii for Xmas! Anyway, we'll be away probably for a few days, we'll have a will be lovely. Honestly, I'm looking forward to it but I can't help but go through these melancholy moments missing my mum. It's impossible to think of a birthday without thinking of her - after all she was the one who gave birth to me. It's a bizarre concept that she gave life to me but is no longer here herself. I struggled to come to terms with that for a long time. I'm not sure I've got it worked out yet really.

It also makes me think of birthdays passed....the parties at the swimming pool and at the bowling alley, the cakes that she made, the cards with the longest verse she could find....such special memories of such a special person.

This year, as for the last two, there will be no card with a long silly present with a cow on it...she was the world's best at finding cow related gifts. I miss the dinner she would cook, the hugs she would give and the 'secret' phone calls to my hubby about some plan she had!

She always made such a special day out of my birthday and no matter what we do this year I will miss her being a part of it. I know I musn't wallow in the past, she would hate that but sometimes, and this is one of those times, the future seems a duller place without my mummy.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Four Things and more on the Teeth....

Poor SLA, the dentist poked, prodded and pulled yesterday and his mouth is just so sore............thank goodness it's Friday and he only has one day to survive in school. I've decided to have a change of plan for tomorrow, Saturday, though. So apologies to those who I was going to meet at Tiger Tiger in Manchester at the Romance Panel but I'm going to have to cry off :( Pain is one thing......add in trying to entertain a 5 year old in the city centre for 2 hours is something else entirely! I'm sure there will be other opportunities.

In Hill's latest post she has asked me to complete the 4 things survey. I love these things as you really find out more about the people behind the blog! So, with now further ado, here we go....

Four Places I Go Over and Over:

1. The supermarket! I love browsing and shopping, even for food.

2. Subway - I adore Subway.....I'm veggie so I have the veggie delite, honey oat bread and either sweet onion or south west sauce....sometimes I just have the salad bowl. Yum!

3. To the kettle -I'm always brewing up.

4. Facebook. I'm addicted. Sorry!

Four People Who E-Mail Me Regularly:

1. My step mum, usually through facebook though.

2. My work contacts (thank goodness, or I'd have no work!)

3. WeightWatchers - I signed up for their newsletter to keep me on track.

4. Sheesh...I really don't have many friends do I??!!! lol

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now

1. On holiday, anywhere, I'm not fussy but somewhere warm would be good.

2. Shopping.....with someone else's money!

3. In a big detached house with a cosy study filled with books.

4. In a thinner body!

Four TV Shows I Watch:

1. America's Next Top Model

2. X Factor

3. Dirty Dancing...The Time of Your Life

4. American Idol

Four Things I Have for Breakfast:

1. Cereal (usually cornflakes)

2. Milk...on the cereal!

3. Tea or sometimes coffee

4. Toast if I'm pushing the boat out!

Four Animals I Like Best:

1. Cows - love them!

2. Dolphins - have swum with them 4 times and counting.

3. Cats - love their paws.

4. Dogs - small ones, especially westies.

Four Beaches I've Been to:

1. Blackpool

2. Porthmadog

3. Massouri, Kalymnos, Greece,

4. Santa Eulalia, Algarve, Portugal

I could go on with the beaches for a week or so I think!

I don't know if I'm supposed to pass this one on, I know some people don't like if you want to do it then I'll love reading your answers....if not, then I hope you enjoyed reading mine anyway!

Right, I'm off to put the kettle on...see Question 1!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Teeth and Hermit Like Tendencies.

It's the day that my SLA finally gets something sorted with his poorly teeth......I hope! He's been struggling for six agonising weeks now with one abcess after one dies down another starts up. He's coped tremdously well. He's had four (I think!) visits to the dentist, each time hoping that they would actually DO something, only to be sent away with yet more antibiotics.... Today I really hope they will sort something. They have said they would. I'm guessing he'll be in a fair amount of pain again afterwards, poor thing....and more soup for dinner!

Recently I have been turning into a bit of a hermit....well, not literally a bit of one but you know what I mean. When the bean was in playschool, I used to walk around town with some of the other mums while we waited. Now he's in school, I come straight home and I'm reluctant to head out. It's partly due to the money - if you go out, then you spend and I think everyone is finding it tight at the moment. I'm also getting increasingly obsessed with my Aussie soaps in the afternoon; Neighbours and Home and Away.

None of this really matters of course but this week I did wonder if it was getting a little out of hand. A friend had invited me to meet for lunch. Lovely. I'd look forward to it....but as the day drew closer I started to feel differently. The night before, I'd all but decided I would cry off, say I wasn't well. Then I could stay home. And I wouldn't miss my programmes....I'd be able to stick to my diet more was just a safer option all round.

The morning came and a text arrived - was I OK for lunch still. Crunch time. Was I or not? Something made me reply 'Yes' but then I gave a reason that I had to head back at a certain time.......

I went and you know what I really enjoyed it. There's a whole world out there! We had lunch, we had a look around the shops and then, after about an hour and a half I headed home...and was in time to watch my programmes anyway. I was so glad that I had gone, it's given me a new lease of life and I'm going to make sure I head into town a little more often now. .....although I'll always be back for 1:45pm!!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Certificates, cash and conkers.

I admit to hitting 'New Post' and wondering what I was actually going to write...which is why I am rambling like this I suppose!

I received my 'Certificate of Competance' from the Writers' Bureau this morning which was lovely. Sadly, it hasn't inspired me to get much done today as I've wasted most of my morning on Facebook :( I never learn! I've got nothing worthwhile done in terms of writing or cleaning so far...and yet here I am typing this. Is there no hope for me?

I also received details in the post from Action Aid, a child sponsorship charity. I'm in a quandary now and almost wishing I hadn't requested details at all. Bottom line is that I have always planned to sponsor a child. But money is tight, I know I have more than these children do and for that I am forver grateful, but still there's is veyr little leaway between what goes into the bank and what comes out. This information this morning was very specific, complete with a photo of the child who needs a sponsor, his name, his details and an address where I can write to him. But there is still the issue of the finances. I don't know what to do now. Can I not sponsor him and justify that decision or do I fill out the form knowing that it may make things more difficult for us at home...and yet even as I write that I realise we will never know the difficulties that this little boy faces every day.

I don't know which way we will go. I will talk it over with SLA later on and take it from there.

After school I'm taking the Bean into town today - we're going to have a mooch around the shops and go looking for conkers under the trees near the library - I love Autumn!!!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

My first ever award for my blog!

Just look! It's my first ever blog award! I'm so excited and can't thank Sunshine enough for choosing me :)

The winners of this award have to answer these questions, in one word per question.... so here we go:

1. Where is your cell phone? Kitchen
2. Where is your significant other? School
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Heaven
5. Your father? Spain
6. Your favorite thing? laptop
7. Your dream last night? Gone
8. Your dream/goal? Published
9. The room you're in? Lounge
10. Your hobby? Playing :)
11. Your fear? Death
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Detached
13. Where were you last night? Here
14. What you're not? Shrinking
15. One of your wish-list items? Wii
16. Where you grew up? Lancashire
17. The last thing you did? Wash-up
18. What are you wearing? Jeans
19. Your TV? Off
20. Your pets? Eating
21. Your computer? Laptop
22. Your mood? Calm
23. Missing someone? Mum
24. Your car? Orange
25. Something you're not wearing? Hat
26. Favorite store? Sainsburys
27. Your summer? Exciting
28. Love someone? Yep.
29. Your favorite color? Orange
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Sunday

OK, I also have to pass this award onto another 5 blogs that I love - so here we go :)

Christina at Bucolic Frolics
Pat at WriteUpTheHill
Debs in her shed :)
Tiffiney and her Southern, hippy, married, mom of four life
Jan Jones

I enjoy reading all your blogs :)

Monday, 13 October 2008

Writing this, writing that, writing t'other!

I've not stopped this morning....just don't ask me what I've done. I have no idea. The house still looks like a bombsite........

I'm getting that overwhelming feeling again with my writing! Help! I'm drowning in the stuff that's piling up! I have no end to the articles I need to write for VisitBritain, all with photos -which are all too large and need downsizing before I can use them.

I have 1 short story that I think is ready to go, but I'm not sure where to. I have another that needs rewriting and ideas for two more that keep going round and round my head until I have time to do something with them! Also going round my head is my novel for the Nanowrimo - not long til November now!

I have just written my WeightWatchers blog - week 3 - even though Week 1 isn't up on the site yet, apparently it won't be long now. I also remembered to email my tutor on the Writers Bureau course to apologise, again, that he still hasn't received assignment 6! It's been well over a year now! Truth is I'm too busy writing other stuff. Apparently, this is good though as I have now qualified for my certificate of competance (ooh - Get Me!). I have also just had a lovely email from the lady who edits the monthly E-zine for them asking if I'd like to feature as one of their success stories! Me? A Success? Who'd have thought it eh? (I can feel me mum smiling down saying 'Me, of course!' and yes, she always did :))

So, much to do, not enough time to do it...and yet I'm sitting here blogging! Typical! Oh and the photo is me and the Bean, taken on Saturday at Llyn Brenig......his face is hilarious although I don't know how clearly it will show up on here - I recommend clicking on it to get the full size! lol

Sunday, 12 October 2008

From the goldfish bowl.

Sunday again....already! The office move is complete and I am typing this from a new desk in our new office, in front of a new computer screen and new microphone (whilst dialled into Radio Cumbria but don't tell anyone.....sssshhhh). The new place is nice...I think. It's all a bit strange after 9 years in the old place but I'll soon get used to it. Our office is within another office....if that makes sense and we're surrounded by a glass wall! Honestly, if the bigger office had wanted a goldfish bowl I'm sure there were cheaper options! Having said that, there is no one working in there on Sundays so I don't feel watched! Oh and there's a Subway 5 mins walk up the road so all is good!

I had a chuckle at the Bean on Friday when I picked him up from school. As we got into the car a lady walked past.

'Oooh look, there's Sandra,' he said, 'She works in school. She does lunches.'
'Oh right,' I replied, 'SO she helps to cook the school meals then?'
'Oh no, Mummy,' came the reply, 'She doesn't cook lunches she just does rubbish and opening packets.'

I have no idea whether 'Rubbish and Opening Packets' is this lady's official job title, I'm sure it's not quite what her parents would have hoped for!

Yesterday we had a lovely walk up at LLyn Brenig. The weather wasn't great but we followed the nature trail and spotted lots of hoof and paw prints in the mud along with a couple of tiny little frogs, climbing over blades of grass like they were the himalayas. It's always good to get some fresh air and although we walked for an hour it honestly felt more like 10 minutes. We stopped off at an Indian restaurant for a takeaway on the way back too. It was GORGEOUS! I only ate half though to save WeightWatchers points and I'm having the other half tonight when I get home.

I've had some ideas for some more short stories so I'm going to try to get them started this week, or at least one of them! I've shared one of my stories with friends and on a writing forum that I belong to and have only had good reviews which is fantastic, but being a member of the zero confidence club I'm convinced that people are just saying it to be nice. I suppose I should take the plunge and submit it!

Friday, 10 October 2008

And the scales said.......

I'm having a grouchy day I'd stand well back if I were you. I woke up feeling like this and my mood certainly didn't improve after stepping on the scales. This morning, you see, was WeightWatchers weigh in day, a day that I have been dreading all week. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I'm just not 'in the diet groove' at the moment. If you've been on a diet, I'm sure you know what I mean by that. It's a state of mind I suppose, more than anything but once you're there, things fall in to place and the world seems a rosy place. When you're not there it's like swimming through a large bowl of thick custard..(hmm, that choice of analogy speaks volumes too).

So anyway, this morning I got on the scales. They went up. Bugger. That would be the second week in a row that I'd have gained, not good with my WW blog due to go live any day now. So I picked up the scales and moved them to the right a bit. I took a deep breath and expelled every last puff out of me. Then I got back on. They went down. Only 0.2lb but a loss is a loss. I then got off quickly before they changed their mind. So, I can now record a loss...with a clear conscience but I SO wish I was getting the 1lb or even 2lb losses that I need.

I was strong again this morning taking an elderly Auntie shopping as I resisted the offer a cream cake as a 'Thank You'...they're lovely too those vanilla slices.... I opted for a few of the weekly magazines instead to do a bit more research. My writing this week has been non-existent and I'm throughly disappointed in myself!

I came home and got a bit of exercising done....I got the rebounder out and put one of Steps CD's on and bounced and boogied around a bit. It's better than nothing I suppose but I don't feel fabulous and lean after it!

Then I had the wonderful idea of digging my colour additions hair kit out - mistake! These are highlights that you stick/glue into your hair. Except they are old now, haven't used them for years. So I decided to shove a few purple ones in. First one was OK, the second one went horrifically wrong and I now just have the glue stuck to my hair......but not the purple extension. Not quite the look I was aiming for. I tried to get it out but I've not had much luck so I think SLA will have to help with that later! I did manage to put one in the other side so I'm not too lopsided but I wish I hadn't bothered now!

So, that's the day so far today. Thank Crunchie (Mmmm) it's Friday - that means Subway for dinner tonight! Yummmy! Maybe I'll try to save enough points for a McFlurry on the way home too......

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The sun has got his hat on....hip hip hip hooray!

WOW, the sun is out. AGAIN! It's almost like Summer, except the mornings are really cold and I am reminded that I still don't know how to keep the windscreen demisted...if only I'd listened in physics classes. I still have to do the 'drive with one hand and wipe the windscreen with kitchen roll with the other hand' manoevre. I'm sure there must be a safer way. If I sneezed we'd be done for!

I've had an update on my WW blog this morning as the editor is working on my masthead! How exciting! I've OK'd the text and found a suitable headshot so we should be up and running soon. Maybe once it's up there I'll manage to stick to the diet a bit more successfully! Tomorrow is weigh in day, so fingers crossed I've done enough to at least register some kind of loss this week.

SLA is working late again tonight....his school has the finals of a talent show they have been running. It starts at 7pm and I think he said they have 24 acts to get through!! Sounds like a late one to me! The dentist appointment yesterday STILL didn't solve the problem and he has another one next Thursday for an extraction. Ouch. Poor thing.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Guinea Pigs and Rocking Chairs.

What a morning.......the sun is shining so I'm in a fairly good mood! I love being able to sit here and type with the patio doors open and the sun shining in. It makes such a difference!

It was a sad start to the day though as one of our two remaining guinea pigs died in the night. We used to have 14 after we had two litters of babies. They were all adorable but one by one we have lost them. They've all had good long lives though, the youngest died aged 5 and these last two were born 7 years ago! It's always sad though. Bert was a real character.....he looked a bit ill a few months ago and so, as it was Summer, we took the decision to let them out of the cage permanently and free range on the lawn. They've had a wail of a time and have just loved mooching around, sun bathing, eating, sleeping.......just doing the things that guinea pigs love to do! On Saturday, Bert didn't seem himself. He looked a bit dosey and not very steady. His eyesight has been failing for a while but if you shook the food container he still came bounding up the grass.

On Monday he seemed worse again and when I went out to him he cried for me. Now don't laugh, I know the thought of a pig crying is an odd one but he just squealed as soon as he heard me. I picked him up and, without going into too much info, could see that he was having trouble with his number twos so I helped him and we cleared the backlog. After that he seemed more content and didn't cry anymore. He did eat but he just didn't seem himself. As the nights are getting colder we got out the cage for them and bedded them down with lots of woodchip. Yesterday he pottered around and seemed to eat and drink a bit but spent most of the day inside his house. This morning I found him gone. It is sad but I'm relieved it's over without too much suffering for him and I'm glad he had a lovely last few months on the lawn. Bert is the pig at the front of the photo.

I've also been moving furniture around this morning. Do you ever do one thing that leads to you doing loads more that you really didn't want to have to do? It all started with me bringing my trampetter in from the garage (yes, see I am trying to be healthier!) I had a go on it for all of a minute maybe and then climbed off again! I will try to do some on a daily basis though, just with more....supportive clothing on!! Then I had to try to figure out where to keep it! It doesn't look too huge outside but once I got it in......ginormous! It wouldn't fit anywhere inconspicuous so, long story cut short, I ended up having to move a cupboard, an ironing board, the telescope, a whole pile of toys and games and the rocking chair! Phewwww! I'm shattered now :)

Actually I had a bit of a moment moving the rocking chair. It's the one that my mum rocked me on when I was a baby, it's very special to me and it has cushions on that my mum made for me when I was pregnant with the Bean. I was rearranging the cushions when one of the covers came off and just for a second, on the inside of the cushion, I could smell my mum as if she was there with me. It was very emotional for me and I'm tearing up again a little just thinking of it. I miss her so SO much.........

Today I am accompanying SLA to the dentist. He has been having problems for about 6 weeks now and has so far had 3 courses of antibiotics but today I HOPE the dentist will actually DO something! Like take the darn things out! I have a feeling it may be soup for dinner :)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Having a busy day today so far and am ecstatic to have seen the bottom of the washing basket for the second time in a week! Whooop! I do seem to mention the washing a lot in my blog....I'm not obsessed - really!

Just finished writing 3 articles for VisitBritain, still no sign of my blog on WeightWatchers but I'll keep logging in! Speaking of WW, had a shock this morning after baking a second batch of their double chocolate brownies and realising they are actually double the points I thought they were! Could explain why I ended up gaining weight last week as I wolfed the whole lot in just over a day! Ooops! I'd better show a little more self control with this lot!

Getting more and more ideas for my Nano novel although I am still petrified at the thought of 50,000 words in one month! If you have no idea what I'm going on about then you could nip to if you really want to - but hurry back, you hear!

I got my short story typed up yesterday that was stuck in my notebook and I still like it - which is fairly unusual for me. I'm going to do a bit of work on it and then have a think where to send it to after perusing the guidelines for a few mags.

Diet is going well so far this week (although I've only had one day to mess it up so far!) I really hope I come in with a loss this time. I really must try to work out how to get some more exercise into my days really.....I do keep getting a rather worrying urge to go for a 'run' and I put in '' as it wouldn't class as running for most people! I've had another look on the Couch25K website though and it's put me off again. Mainly because it sounds painful and they keep stressing how important it is to buy good running shoes - I can't see myself spending money on running shoes anytime soon so I think I'll just stay home. I've got an exercise bike and one of those little trampette things in the garage somewhere....maybe I should dig them out?

Monday, 6 October 2008

Writing and Washing

Where's the sun gone? I'm sure it was out this morning as I traipsed into Sainsburys but now I want to hang my washing out it's nowhere to be seen!
The photo is one I took on Saturday up at Valle Crucis near LLangollen. It's a special place and I love this photo. I wanted to have our wedding here but it wasn't licensed to we couldn't. It would make a beautiful setting.

I've just been in touch with the WW team and they confirmed that there is a delay in getting my blog up onto the site so I'll just have to keep checking in to see when it appears! I've just submitted week two's piece so that's one box ticked for today's work.

I now have another 6 articles to write for VisitBritain so I'll be working on those tomorrow and I have a short story scribbled in my notebook that I want to get typed onto the laptop too. I don't know about you but I really do prefer writing with a good old pen and paper. Somehow I find it flows a lot's just I can't always make out my spidery writing at the end!

I'm feeling a little better than I was yesterday about my articles and short stories. I'm still a member of the Zero Confidence Club, you see. I can convince myself very easily that everything I've ever sent out to anyone has been binned and there's really no point in sending anything ever again.... In a moment of madness though I'm sure I will be strong and send out a few pieces. I think getting my new copy of the Writers and Artists' Yearbook will spur me on a bit.

Off to hang my washing out under the clouds (hummph) and shove some soup in the microwave for lunch before I get tempted by all things sweet and delicious.......

Sunday, 5 October 2008

The demise of Traffic Towers......and Bye Bye view.......

Two hours and 17 minutes to go until the end of my last shift before the office last shift with this beautiful view over the city centre of Manchester. I've sat at this desk, on and off, for the last 9 years and seen the seasons change through this glass frame. And it's a gorgeous day outside today, I can see the blue sky disappearing on the horizon over the green of the pennines and in front of them the city skyline with its mixture of rooftops, chimneys and cranes.

.....Two hours and ten minutes to go now

Thankfully my throat is holding up well so far! Finally! A day without pain! WHoooooo!!! (Yes, I am touching wood just to be on the safe side).

...Two hours eight minutes........

I'm feeling totally overwhelmed and disheartened by some of my writing at the moment.... I know I'm lucky....I write and I get paid and I do enjoy the stuff I write. It's the other side that's getting me down and I only really have myself to blame for it.

I have completely lost track of the articles and short stories that I have written. I can't remember what I wrote when, I can't remember which piece I have sent to which publication's all just a disorganised mess and I have no idea where to start to sort it all out.....any ideas gratefully appreciated.......

.....Two hours one minute........

I'm also failing miserably with the diet this week. That mental spark that gave me a real push seems to have deserted me. It all felt so easy when I first started again but this last week I've felt out of control ........I'm over my WeightWatchers points and I need to sort myself out. Where do you get that motivation from? If only it was just a button that you could switch on and off as required....... Sadly, it's not and I'm going to have to find a way of getting myself into a 'healthy' mindset.... I'll be sure to let you know how I get on....hell knows I'll be moaning and groaning on here until I do!

One hour and 54 minutes.........

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Autumn, work moves and sheep.

Autumn is definately here and I love it! OK, so the washing got rained on and the guinea pig's house blew down the garden but honestly it has some beautiful bits! The trees are just starting to turn the most amazing colours...those dark reds and oranges that are just stunning. I really must make the effort to keep noticing these changes, it's too easy to switch off, go into auto pilot and miss these gorgeous changes.

Tomorrow I have my last day in work before the BIG office move. We're moving offices next week and so by my shift next Sunday we'll be in the new place. It'll feel very strange - I've worked in this office for 9 years! Still, it's quite exciting. I'm taking the camera in with me tomorrow to document the day! lol

We've had a lovely day today. I needed some more photos and info for my VisitBritain articles so we headed out to a few places including an old abbey, a cafe on top of a mountain surrounded by wild sheep and a country park with lots of pig sculptures!! What a lovely day :)

Off to bed for me then, loooooong day in work tomorrow.....12 hours of broadcasting............with a STILL sore throat.......I'll be hoarse by tomorrow night!

Nos da :)

Friday, 3 October 2008

Friday's musings...

Friday already, wow the days just fly by. Still, I'm glad today is Friday as it means my SLA comes home from his school trip this afternoon. YAY! It will be lovely to have him back home :)

I've got a fair bit done this morning as I didn't let myself switch the laptop on until I'd got an hour of housework done. And it feels good, sitting here now, knowing that I'm not typing on stolen time. The sheets are drying beautifully on the line in the garden, the floors are hoovered and the kitchen sink is empty. Life is good!

So far, my blog has not appeared on the WW site. I'm not sure why although I believe the people who upload the pieces are based abroad and were on a national holiday until Tuesday. I suppose this must have put them back a bit. I'll have to check when the next blog is due since the first one hasn't been published yet. Maybe I won't have one to do for this coming Monday....which is just as well since I've managed to GAIN weight this week. I blame my sore throat, antibiotics, school trips and chocolate brownies!!! I'll blame anything but myself!

Today I need to get writing....I have 3 articles lining up for Visit Britain so I'll be attacking those first. I'm still looking forward to the NaNoWriMo in November. It'll be nothing short of a miracle if I manage the 50000 words but I'll give it a good go! I started Julia LLewellyn's book 'The Model Wife' last night and I'm really enjoying it.

One funny thing that the Bean came home with yesterday..... In school they had to write about things they like doing and things they would like to practice so that they can get better at them. He wrote that he liked riding his bike and playing cars and that he wants to practice OPENING PACKETS so that he can get better at it..... I don't think it's quite the answer they were looking for but, hey, he's practical! lol

Hwyl fawr!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

I licked the bowl!

Mmmmm, the smell of chocolate brownies has taken over the house :) I've just removed them from the oven and will be cutting them as soon as they are cool...and I licked the bowl! How decadent. I should add that they are WeightWatchers brownies and not that unhealthy really at all.....I suppose I still shouldn't eat the whole lot in one sitting though?

Last night we went for a pizza; my MIL, the Bean and me since SLA is away on a school trip until tomorrow. I made the mistake of getting on the scales this morning and have put TWO POUNDS on since weigh in last week. Oh dear. I have today to get them back off again before I have to record my weight again tomorrow morning. Maybe I shouldn't have made those brownies this morning...... It was a lovely meal last night though. Forwards and downwards for the diet now though!

My new blog for WW should be live on the UK site later on today which is exciting! I'll keep checking back throughout the day. I've not been doing much about my writing really this week, it's been one of those weeks where things just seem to have got in the way again, I've done writing work but not worked on the writing I love, if you see what I mean. I need to sort myself out and DO something though.

The throat feels a bit better again this morning. The results for the test came back normal too. YAY! I now feel a bit snuffly and my eyes are itching...I'm wondering if buying those flowers yesterday wasn't such a good idea after all! They look beautiful but seem to be starting my hayfever off again. Oh joy!!! lol Not so grown up after all eh?

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Feeling all grown up

Finally, my thoat seems to be feeling a little better! Whooo! Typically it is the day that I finally have all the medication I was prescribed to help it and the day I can phone for the test results too. Marvellous.

I'm feeling very grown up today. SLA is away now until Friday on a school trip. It's cold and blowing a gale and yet he has to take his students to the middle of Welsh nowhere to learn how to make rafts, climb walls and generally get colder and wetter. Actually, it sounds like a lot of fun although so does curling up with a good book and a milky coffee.

So it's me and the little chap at home til then and I'm feeling all grown up and in charge! I don't spend much time home alone and it makes me proud that I can! I know that probably sounds daft as a lot of people spend time home on their own but I've never lived alone and it's still a bit of a novelty to me. I even bought some flowers this morning which I can see now...gladioli. I've never bought them before but they are beautiful.....good choice, me! I also bought ingredients for baking and so that's tomorrow morning sorted out. Can't wait.

I'm very excited that it is now October. The little girl within me always gets like this as my birthday is later this month. I REALLY want a Wii, and eventually Wii Fit but we'll have to see how the finances go and what the birthday bunny can manage. It looks such good fun. I love computer games of all kinds and I hope that combining that enjoyment with some of the more active games will help me along the road to weight loss.

Having said that, we're off for a pizza later on. Oh dear.......

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Writing, more OUCH and eating!

I am so excited at this National Novel Writing Month! I can't wait to get started, although where I think I'm going to magically find the time for all that writing I really can't imagine! I have a few ideas about characters but not much on the plot so far! October will be a busy planning month!

My throat is still a nightmare. Test results back tomorrow and I can FINALLY get the other half of my prescription later this afternoon! I had two of the super duper strength pain killers about an hour ago and they've taken the edge off it but still OUCH!!!

I offiically HATE wikipedia! I've spent hours this morning writing a piece for entry. I made it as factual and uncommercial as was possible and within 5 minutes of me hitting save the thing had been deleted! AARRGGHHHH!!! How soul destroying. I'm not impressed and may need chocolate!

The diet is not going well this week...what with all these visits to the dr it's just not been top of my list of priorities. Hopefully I can pull it back before weigh in day on Friday!

Oh and in case you were wondering....the courgette was delicious!!!!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Ouch, yummy and I must be mad!

Ooooh the excitement, SLA is in the kitchen preparing my courgette for dinner! I'm sure it will taste divine since I grew it myself :)

I ended up back at the Dr's this morning since my throat is worse than ever. The pain is just never ending, everytime I swallow - OUCH! The antibiotics have made no difference at all so I thought I'd best go back. Not that it got me very far really......they've taken a swab, I get the results on Weds and I was prescribed some stronger pain killers and a mouthwash to gargle with....great, except the chemist didn't have the mouthwash. They said they'd have it by this afternoon so we went back. They didn't have it. It will be tomorrow lunchtime. Did I mention OUCH??!!!! I'm also a muppet for reading the leaflet that came with the tablets since I'll manage to convince myself I have all the side effects within 5 mins of swallowing the bloomin' thing.

I have followed Miranda's lead in her blog and have joined up for the the National Novel Writing Month. Yes, I am attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in just 1 month. November to be more precise. I'm looking forward to it although it's a scary thought too! I'm thinking 1613 words per Wish me luck! I'll try to post some excerpts as I go! You can sign up too at - the more the merrier!

Mmmmm, the smell emminating from the kitchen is GOOD! Can't wait to tuck in :) Will let you know how I go!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Walking, a bit of sunshine and a courgette.

Another Sunday in work, and amazingly the sun is shining outside.....doesn't happen very often in North West England! Also another day with a sore throat. I've been taking these antibiotics since Weds and not much seems to be improving so I may be back to the doc later on this week. I honestly hate taking tablets though.......I'll be glad when I'm back to normal.

So far this coming week is a fairly quiet one, at least I hope so. Last week ended up very busy one way and another. SLA is on a school trip for a few days so it will be strange not having him around for those but I'm sure the time will soon pass with the Bean to keep me busy.

One exciting thing from this weekend is the harvesting of my first veggies! I've pulled up my first carrot and now my first courgette too! Yummy! I took photos of them both (don't laugh!) and I'm looking forward to eating the courgette in the next day or so.

Yesterday we had a really lovely day with a walk on the mountain, a walk around a local heritage park, a game of crazy golf and a walk along the sea front, all topped off with an Indian takeaway by the sea. Just perfect :) I really need to figure out how to be more active. Bottom line is that it's just not safe for me to go walking on my own in the country parks, sad but true, but I really detest most other forms of exercise and can't realistically see me sticking to any of them........hmmmm

OK, I'm off to ponder that over a brew......ciao

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Tablets and Parties.

Whoo! I'm almost up and running with my new writing project, or one of them at least! I've been asked to do a weekly blog on the UK Weightwatchers site! YAY! Of course the down side to this is that I also have to transform into a shrinking and increasingly healthy being....hmmm. I HAVE to stick to it this time. Wish me luck. I submit my first piece on Monday!

I ended up at the docs yesterday morning after deciding two weeks is plenty long enough to be suffering with a sore throat. OUCH! I'm now on the delights of antibiotics and feeling like a fish out of water.....with a sore throat. I hope it goes soon! Did I mention that yesterday? Oh well, see what I mean? Feel rough!

The bean has a birthday party to go to this afternoon so I'll have to remember to get a card....honestly I am so unorganised. I do have a present, just not sure there's enough wrapping paper to wrap it...and we've no cellotape... Hmmm, I think I'd best head down to the shops!

Oh and it's time for my antibiotic now too.....which means I can't eat for another hour after taking it. Oh joy, and these things are supposed to be an advance in healthcare? Honestly? lol

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Place your bets now.....

Another day......and still no house work done. Oh well. hehehehe I've been to the Dr this morning since I decided that two weeks is long enough to put up with a sore throat. OUCH! Anyway, I'm now on the delights of antibiotics for a week. I have to take them four times a day, an hour before food! Eh? Feel free to place bets on how long it takes for me to bugger that up, then!

I got my news the other day, and that is that I am starting a weekly blog on a rather large Weightloss site next week! YAY! It's a bit more money coming in too, which is also a help and I'm just over the moon to be getting paid to write. It's just a dream come true. I'm just delighted to be earning for what I love to do - the future is looking bright :)

Tonight we go to look around the Bean's classroom and hear more about how the next two years or so will pan out for him at his new school. He seems to be settling in better now, although he seems to have some built in radar for getting hurt by the roughest boy in the class. We had this at his last school and, from what he said yesterday, it looks like we may be heading down the same road again. I really laboured this morning for him to STAY AWAY from this boy. We'll have to see whether or not it made any difference at all. I never, ever realised just how hard this whole parenting malarky would be. I thought I was fairly prepared but the whole emotional side is just totally overwhelming. It really makes me realised more how difficult things must have been for my mum when it was just the two of us and after losing her mum aged 13. I never really gave it a thought before she died but I realise more and more what an amazing woman she was. I could not have wished for a better Mummy - she was the best.

Monday, 22 September 2008

The Time Hole

Where does the time go? You'd think that I'd have a beautifully clean house, make all my own cards and gifts, bake cakes and pies and make every meal from scratch from fresh ingredients. After all, I'm at home all day. If only!

Take today for example. Drop the Bean off at school and then head down to the supermarket. Do the weekly shop and be home for about 10:30am. Put all said shopping away and clean the kitchen (I'm sure some kind of bomb goes off in there every weekend). Put washing in and put kettle on. Sit down at computer. Check emails, plan articles and generally do writing related stuff but no actual writing. Washing is ready to hang out so do that. Feed all the animals. Back to laptop to realise that the sky has gone black and so bring all washing back in and shove it in the dryer. Go upstairs to try to get rid of the smell in the Bean's room using Bicarb of Soda (see yesterday's blog for more!). Come back downstairs and now I'm writing this......and it's 13:10 already. I still haven't done half the jobs I had planned for the hoovering, no ironing, I've not even had lunch yet......see what I mean??? I'm sure there's some kind of time hole in this house. I would love to be more efficient and productive........any ideas? lol

Anyway, I'll go and shove some soup in the microwave and then try to get some ironing done whilst watching my two Australian soaps......and I hope the smell has gone by the time they've finished too.

Still awaiting some exciting news later on today too...........more to come on that one although how I'll find the time I just don't know!