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!