Thursday, 31 December 2009

On the Cusp

Well, here we are then...on the cusp of a New Year, a new decade....a whole new period of magical changes and exciting happenings. It's a big day and I can feel the air vibrating with anticipation this morning. It's a strange time for me, with the changes that have taken place in my life over the last few months but it means that for the first time in years I am fully in control of my own choices and plans.....well, me and the flow of destiny anyway. Infact, one of my main aims this coming year is to give myself more fully to the energy of the universe and to trust in the magic that is all around me. Yes, I can control my inner conditions, I can control my mind and my feelings but I have to accept more freely that I cannot always control the outer conditions and that which goes on around me. I have to simply be I read in a quotation somewhere....'Be yourself...everyone else is taken'.

I'm so determined that 2010 will be a creative year for me, in many ways. I am already planning my writing goals and I am looking forward to plugging away at them. I am hoping to promote myself more too, in all aspects of my work and I am also trying to find ways to be more positive. I am all too easily led into feeling negative, feeling down and like a's a trait that runs through my family! No more! It doesn't do me any good, it certainly doesn't do those around me any good and it attracts nothing but negative responses from the rest of my life....that's no good to me and I'm going to do my utmost to turn it around. If I start posting negative blogs then PLEASE, someone, slap me! (Metaphorically of course!)

So there, we go.....this will, no doubt be my last blog of 2009.....wishing you all love and light....and a happy, healthy and magical 2010.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

On the seventh day of limbo my true love gave to me....

They're odd, aren't they? These few days between Christmas and the New Year? I don't quite know what to think about or what to do with myself, it's frought with contradictions and opposites! I mean, for example, it's the BIG sales in the shops, Boxing Day sales are the big thing these days of course and after a trip to the Trafford Centre yesterday the people were out in their hundreds (thousands?!) to pick up the savings on offer and hit each other about the calves with bulging bags.....but, is it just me, or is the day after Christmas the last day you feel you can go shopping? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to - but Christmas itself is such a strain on the old purse strings there is no way in the world I could go on a spending spree on Boxing Day! Maybe after the next payday, if I'm lucky....though after being paid early for Christmas that seems a very long way away at the moment!

And then there's the more emotional, spiritual's a fantastic time to look forward to the New Year of course and consider what changes you may like to make to life.... Again, this year, for the (enter x here)th time, my resolutions include losing weight. To be fair, I'm not doing badly but I have further to go..(enter shameless plug for my blog on But, do I start now, or do I wait for the 1st Jan 2010 and play a silent fanfare to myself before filling up the fruit bowl? I mean, I'm still surrounded by non weight loss food....still at least half a Christmas cake to finish, the mince pies are only half eaten and the Christmas pudding we couldn't face on the day is still still in the wrapper.... so do I somehow get rid of all this and start the diet properly again now? Or do I eat all the fatty stuff and give myself more work to do in the New Year? Decisions, decisions eh?

As for my writing....well, I'm determined to crack on in 2010, it's been too long. I have short stories written that I have done nothing with and my novel has been sitting at a little under 9000 words now for over a year. No more. I'm going to re read it in the next day or so and hope some inspiration hits me as I do. This is my first novel and so it's like starting a drive to Africa, without a map. I'm hoping there will be some signposts along the way! Needless to say, if anyone has a spare hour and would like to read it so far then please let me know. I am going through a stage of wondering whether it's any good and worth carrying on with! Insecure? Me? Never! lol

Sunday, 20 December 2009

The Mind of Solstice

What is it about this time of year that feels so magical and promising? The festive season never fails to touch me in this way. I may struggle with the whole buying, wrapping and exchanging gifts bit (although I've never been THIS far behind before!) but the Winter solstice always leads me to parts of my soul and my mind that other times of year don't. Maybe it's the promise of the New Year just around the corner. A time for rethinking, for planning and for promising. A time when it's fine to reassess what you have and want you want from your life and a time for working out how you can take those first steps to get there. It's a time filled with faith and with hope for the future.

For me this it particularly evident this year but looking back 12 months I find just as inspiring. I would never, not in a million years, have expected to be in the situation I find myself today. And that just goes to show me that, yes it's great to look ahead and think of goals I want to achieve, but it's also a time to wonder at the journey that is life. We can never know where we may be taken next. We never can plan for the hills and valleys, for the people and forks we encounter along our path. So, as much as I am enjoying looking forward to 2010 I am also wondering in amazement at the things I cannot know. I have a few places I would like to stop by and visit in the next 12 months, I have people I would love to share the journey with, but I must never be blinded by these alone. For in doing that, I will miss so much.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Busy few days

What a busy few days I have ahead and I'm already feeling very tired! Oh deary dear! lol Today I have had a trip over to see someone who is very special to me and it's been too long since my last visit. It was well worth the 3 hour drive home in the pouring rain and I will be wishing for more special time together before too long.......

Tomorrow I head down to Cambridge to spend time with another very special friend....., Jo. We went to school together and were very close but, as so often happens, we lost touch when we went to different universities. We found each other again through facebook a few months ago and have spoken on the phone since, as well as exhanging emails and texts (that first phone call was over 3 hours long!) Anyway, tomorrow I get the train down to stay with her and her partner as tomorrow is her birthday. It will be just fabulous to see her again and we are heading into London to a Ginger gig, one of her favourite artists. I'm sure it will be a really special night and I can't wait :) On Friday we will drive all the way back home, I hope this forecast snow doesn't cause us too many problems.

Saturday I'm off galavanting again as it is my work Xmas do. I'm really looking forward to this one too :) I mean you can't go wrong with a free Pizza Express meal really can you? Add to that the fact that I'm lucky in that I love the people I work with to bits and it should be a good night! On Sunday I will drive back home again....and probably collapse in a heap. Or I would, but I'm guessing my son will want to play as Mummy won't have been around much the last few days!

Of course, Harry finishes school for Christmas on Friday too, I don't. I'm working right the way up to Christmas Eve, which I don't mind, although I have a LOT of Christmas shopping still left to do. In fact, if I'm honest, I haven't started really. oooops. Oh well. Can't be helped and there's nothing I can do until some money arrives in the bank so that's that!! I'm quite looking forward to a last minute dash this year if the truth be told. Thankfully I don't have that many people to by for :)

Monday, 14 December 2009

Where's my Christmas feeling gone then???

Don't you just hate it when you start to blog but have no idea where you are going? You don't really feel you have anything to say but want to say it anyway. Well, that's me today. Things seem rather surreal in life at the moment and I'm trying my best to embrace that, but it is unsettling me a little.

Today Harry is having his Christmas party at school, no doubt with another visit from Sion Corn..he'll have a wonderful time, I'm sure! It's going to be a busy week one way and another and I'm really hoping the weather isn't going to put a spanner in the works! I have lots of visiting to do and lots of travelling too.......somehow though I can't get excited about any of it. I don't know why, I wish I could. I think I've got into a rut of assuming something will go wrong....depressing eh? I wish I could just snap out of it. Wednesday is a particularly important day for me, if that goes to plan then I think everything else will fall into place...if that goes wrong then it's going to be hard to hold the rest together in all honesty.... please keep your fingers crossed for me if you can.

I still haven't managed to write a single word on my novel and I haven't written any more poetry either. As I say, things are just weird today.......just plan weird and not very Christmassy... I'm no fun am I?!?!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Last Minute? Me?

As you know, it's not like me to leave something to the last minute.....much! Thursday was my local writing group Christmas meeting...I wasn't sure whether or not I would make it and so hadn't written anything to take with me. At 6:15pm I decided I would be able to make it....but I hadn't anything to take with 6:20pm I was lying on the bed, pen and paper in 6:40 I had managed to write something that at least reduced me to tears...would have to do. So, into the shower, dressed and out by 6:55pm. What an evening and I'm so glad I went. It was so lovely to see the other groups members, I haven't made a single meeting since September due to clashing events on my calendar, I must make sure I can make the rest! And I think the poem went down well enough, although obviously it needs some work doing to it. I was just glad I had actually written something. That's a big step for me at the moment as I haven't been writing at all for months, I mean to but just don't seem able to sit down and do it. I'm hoping this poem will be a turning point for me.

Talking of leaving things to the last minute, to say I am getting slightly stressed about Christmas is a total understatment! Normally by this point I have everything done, not wrapped admittedly, that's always a Christmas Eve job, but I have everything ready to go. Not this year. I have three presents bought and that is it. Completely. Nothing else at all. Oh dear. But that's not the half of it. Due to current circumstances I also have no money to do anything about it. Until three days before Christmas Day! It's going to be one HUGE last minute rush this year. Maybe it'll be fun eh? Here's hoping. I may just go grey thinking about it.

This coming week is going to be a busy one too, not ideal when people are starting to talk of possible heavy snow. Can I please make it known now, oh powers that be, I don't want snow this week! It can't happen, it'll scupper mi plans good and proper! Please, nice mild least until next Saturday!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Nativity

It's been a busy old day today. Work was quite a giggle. I suppose I am very lucky with my job really. There aren't so many opportunities to get paid for talking and having a laugh and I certainly do most days! It used to be even more fun when I had even more stations on my shift but this is always how it works, swings and roundabouts.....I'm still very happy with my stations :)

This evening was Harry's Christmas concert in school He didn't have a big part this year but I enjoyed every single minute. There is something spine tingling about a school nativity. From the moment they filed out to 'Away In A Manger' on the piano I was filling up. They all sang their little hearts out. Just adorable.

There's not much else to report I don't think. I'm preparing mentally for the funeral I have to attend on Friday, I'm sure it will go fine but it is preying on my mind a little. I also have a meal out to look forward to on Friday evening and a get together on Thursday too if I make it. It's all busy busy busy up to Christmas.

The situation on the whole is OK though tonight. I had lovely uplifting conversation yesterday that really cheered me up and helped me to look through the darkness that can sometimes devour me and see a glimpse of light shining on me through the gloom. I am lucky to be able to see and feel that light and I am forever grateful to those who help me to find it and also move towards it.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

What Can I Say?

I can't tell you how good it feels to be logging onto my old blog and typing's like coming back to an old friend after too long away. It feels comfortable and relaxing....mmmmm

Today has been an up and down kind of day to be honest. I struggled first thing this morning to find any positive worth getting up for....that wasn't helped by the fact that Harry, little darling that he is, woke me up in the middle of a dream. Don't you hate it when that happens? If you get back to sleep again quickly enough sometimes you can catch up where you left off, but that wasn't possible this morning and I can't even remember what the dream was about now. It's left me feeling slightly off balance all day.

As I wrote yesterday, it's kind of difficult to work out what I can and can't write here. I don't like that feeling but it's one I need to think about. Thing is, a lot has changed and in order to share the things going on in my head here, which is what I feel a blog is about, it is neccessary to at least explain the outer conditions. Without them the inner ones won't make much sense at all. There are more complications than you can throw a stick at and if you'd told me I'd be in this mess 6 months ago I would never have believed you. But here I am. If there's one thing I have learnt over the last few months it is that NOTHING is black and white.....and there is more than one shade of grey too.

I suppose it is enough to give the outlines without the detail, I know the people who read my blog will not judge or criticise me, they know me well enough for is the people I don't know that I need to think of...and when I say that, I don't mean to say that I am worried what other people think, but that in the public realm there is always the possibilty that someone will stumble upon this writing who knows some of the people to whom I refer. But I will only say that I type from the heart and, I suppose, if anyone does happen upon this blog who knows me I would hope they would respect and listen to what I say.

Short version I suppose is that in July I left home. I needed to follow my heart and it was no longer at home. I stayed away for around 10 weeks when I came back as I needed to see my son more frequently. I missed him a lot. So now I am back, but with my own space. Though times are not easy and sometimes can be awkward, the house is big enough to share and we are all getting along OK, for the most part anyway. The rings are off, the statuses (statii?!) on facebook are get the idea. So that is where I find myself. It's a very odd situation and I am not really sure where I go from here or what I do. I'm taking time to be myself and taking each day and opportunity at a time. That feels good. I no longer feel trapped or hindered, other than by finances but I think we all feel that. So, in many many ways I am in a much better place. I have hopes and dreams for my future but many of these plans are out of my hands and so I can only wish that they may come to fruition when the time is right. Patience is not my strong point and I am certainly being tested on that at the moment. I hope it is a lesson I can pass.

And so today has been a day of feeling the frustration of the situation and some days I can breathe in the light and positivity, others I feel the depths of darkness and impatience. Today has been the latter although I have been striving for light and love. I think on the whole I have done fairly well. We'll see what tomorrow brings. I hope this blog makes sense, I am aware of having rambled around whilst probably saying very little.........

Saturday, 5 December 2009

I know, I know.....I'm a's been so long since I updated my blog - but there are reasons I promise you. Much has changed in my life, more than I ever thought could to be honest and, as much as my heart wants to write about it all, as there are other people involved and the web is a public domain I will need to be careful with how I word everything....

Having said that I miss my blog and the friends I have in blogland so I will be updating regularly again from now on. Right, off to catch up with what everyone has been up to :)

J x

Monday, 1 June 2009

From under the Sun.....

Wow, where has this glorious weather come from then? It's been absolutely beautiful the last few days and I'm enjoying every second.

Yesterday I managed a 35 minute walk in the sun too which was great......except for the red arms! I only wish I felt better in my Summer clothes as I promised myself I would.....still, there are a few weeks to go yet until I board a plane for my first holiday of the Summer! I WILL feel better by then, honest (where have I heard that before?)

The early starts are still getting to me but at least my shift is quite good fun. I have some lovely radio stations to broadcast to with some fantastic people too. The mornings go quickly and I am enjoying being back behind the microphone.

The Bean is doing fine, he's back to school today after a week off so we'll see what happens! Over the last few weeks we have had more red cards than I care to mention but I hope we're on the up now. He came up with a funny phrase over the weekend, apparently when you come to a roundabout and go straight on that is now known as a 'straight onner'. Make sure you use it conversation at least once today OK?

Right, time to dial into Radio Humberside again.............

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Hello strangers.

I know, I's been months since I blogged. Life has taken over, somehow! Still, I must try to keep blogging, it does help me to keep (in)sane!!!

I am now working hard, back broadcasting 8 hours a day. I'm working from 6am, an hour away from home, so you can imagine what time the alarm goes off - yup, 4:30am! Needless to say it's been a bit of a shock to the system.

As if that wasn't enough, we have also moved house this weekend. Well, nearly! There are still plenty of things to ferry from the old place to the new but we have a good few weeks to do it in, thankfully.

Poo SLA is still having teeth troubles and has been to the dentist to have one tooth out this morning, poor thing. He has also changed dentists and is hoping for a vast improvement in service from this new one.

As for the writing, well it's fallen a bit by the wayside for the moment, sadly. I've not even been able to make it to my monthly writing group meeting although I am hoping to still read at the annual reading night in July. I'm really planning to write again in the long term but, short term, I find I have just too much going on at the moment! Things will change, in time. That's one thing we can all count on, of course. I still have some writing clients and so that work is ticking over slowly.

That's it for today, really. I'm about to write my weekly weightwatchers blog - I have to do it from work until the broadband is connected at home! That can't come a minute too soon!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Lights in the sky.

Only a quick update but I just had to share how amazed I was at something I witnessed last night. Now me and 'space' have a love hate relationship. Yes, I am fascinated and in awe of the sky, the stars and the planets yet, at the same time, I don't like to think about it all too much. It makes me feel very small, very insignificant and scarily mortal and finite! Still, last night we had the news on and the weather man mentioned that at 20:01 the international space station would be visible in the sky and, possibly, so would the space shuttle that is on its way to dock with it.

For once it was a clear night, usually when these things happen we can't see a thing for clouds, but it was crystal clear last night. The Bean was already in his pyjamas but at 8pm we headed onto the drive. At first we couldn't really spot anything unusual but then my hubby found what we were looking for. It was a bright light, rather like one of the planets, but it was moving quickly across the sky. It was just amazing to think that this was something man made, something carrying people. And then I spotted another similar light following the first - the shuttle. These two lights crossed the sky in front of us in two or three minutes and then were gone but it's really left an impression on me. I can't quite describe why but I feel so happy that I saw them. I think they will be visible tonight as well, although a little later. Maybe I'll have another look. The shuttle may have docked by then. It's just amazing to me. :)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Thoughts and preparations

Another Sunday, already! And it's Mothering Sunday too so Happy Mothers' Day to all the mummies out there. I had a lovely card, two bears and a box of maltesers yesterday which was great, we usually celebrate on the Sat since I'm always in work on the Sunday.

I was saddened to hear of the death of Jade Goody this morning, how awful for her to die on Mothers Day. My thoughts are very much with her family, especially those beautiful two boys. What a hard time lies ahead for them all, I hope they remember her strength, grit and, of course, her infectious smile. Her death has brought back many memories of my mum these last few weeks, I;m hoping that once today is through I will remember the happy times more than the hard ones a little more.

I'm in work broadcasting for the next two days, on earlies too so I'm going to be very tired each evening! I have another 6 articles to write for VisitBritain before the contract finishes at the end of March and tomorrow I'll need to write my latest Weightwatchers blog.

I have received the date now for my interview for admission onto the PGCE course at university, it's next Monday and so I need to really make a start on my presentation. I think I'm decided on the subject but I really need to start thinking about writing stuff down and getting myself sorted! Maybe then the panic will really set in! lol

The Bean is still doing well, parents' evening went without a hitch last week and he came home with a bronze certificate and enamel badge on Friday for gaining 25 merits! Whooo! He's one clever little munchkin :)

Right, time for Radio Lancashire again, maybe I've just got time to put the kettle on first!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

It's non stop 'round here!

I love my sofa. Especially my corner of it. A few weeks ago I used to spend most of my time there, with a large cup of tea on the occasional table ( not sure what it is most of the time) and my laptop carefully balanced on the arm. There were times I wondered if I would take root there. Now, it's a different story. I don't get to sit on my sofa, what a treat that would be. An hour of peace and quiet......what a wonderful thing that would be. Alas, these last couple of weeks have just been non stop and, so far, I see no return to my quiet, sedentary life.

The three days of shadowing in a local secondary school went well, Mon - Wed of last week. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and it has made me more certain that I really want to do my PGCE. I learnt a lot from sitting in on the classes and observing the teachers and students. The school has a lovely atmosphere and I would love to be able to do one of my placements there when the time comes.

On Thursday it was the Bean's birthday. He had a wonderful day, starting nice and early to unwrap his presents before school. He wore a big 'Birthday Boy' badge on his uniform and the class sang Happy Birthday to him. In the evening, his party was a wonderful success, children and adults seemed to have a good time. After a little more playing it was time for bed. One happy and tired 6 year old.

On Friday it was the next round of the Urdd Eisteddfod. The bean and others from his school all did ever so well. The Bean just missed out on progressing to the next round but he did himself and the school proud.

And so, on to this coming week. I've agreed to do up to four broadcasting shifts this week to cover for a friend who has lost a close family member. I'm not sure how many days I will be working but I'm happy to take it as it comes. The shift is an early one and so I'll be in for 5:45am.........tomorrow will be hard after my 12 hour shift today but I'm sure I'll get through - with strong coffee!! It's also parent's evening this week too! I wonder what his teacher will have to say about the little chap!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

What a busy week!

It seems a lot of fellow bloggers are struggling to blog recently! Makes me feel a little less bad about it! I don't know where the hours, days and weeks go.

Things are still hurtling along at a tremendous pace with one thing and another. This coming week will prove to be nom stop. I'm shadowing an RE teacher in a local secondary school Monday to Wednesday, it's the Bean's birthday on Thursday (and his party too) and then on Friday.....well more about that in a little while!

First things first, Monday to Wednesday. I am so looking forward to spending some time in the classroom again. I loved the day I spent at my old school but it's hard to know whether I enjoyed it for what I was learning or simply because it was my old school. It was like going home, so comfortable and cosy. Tomorrow will be a new school filled with new people and, no doubt, new challenges. I hope I come out the other side even more positive about this big move I am making.

Thursday - the Bean's birthday, can he really be six already? He's such a wonderful, special little munchkin and I hope his birthday is a whole lot of fun and happiness for him. We're planning on getting up early so he can open his presents before school and then his party is 5-7pm at a local playbarn. We're not going over the top, only about 11 children but it's enough. Somehow, I must remember to drop the food list off at the venue by Tuesday and take him to choose his cake too. I was holding a hope that I'd have a go at making one for him this year but with the way to week has fallen there's not much chance of that! Maybe next year!

Ah, so onto Friday....Friday the 13th of course. I can't remember if I had posted that this was the date I had been asked to attend the University for interview for entry onto the PGCE course? Well, of course I'd accepted. Then, Weds just gone, the Bean came home with a letter in his reading bag. He's been chosen to represent the school in the next stage of the eisteddfod! Whooo! When is it? Yup, next Friday. I wouldn't want to miss it for the world and so I phoned the university who were only to happy to move me to the group for the next date. So I'm waiting to hear when that is now. So Friday, we have to be at a local theatre in time for the class in the morning. If he gets through that stage then the next round is later on the same day.

So that's what's happening this week! Will I get time to blog? Who knows but if not I'll be sure to update next weekend! Wish me luck :o)

Monday, 2 March 2009

Interviews and nerves

The start of another week and I think, so far at least, it will be a fairly quiet one. There's not much in the diary so I'm planning to make the most of the time and catch up on a few jobs.

One big job I have to do is to prepare for my PGCE interview next Friday. The day not only involves the 'formal interview' but also a written task and a 5-10 minute presentation and so I will be spending a good amount of time this week working out which subject to concentrate on and preparing the presentation itself. I'm very excited but also increasingly nervous about the prospect......I'm sure I'll feel better once I've made a start.

Next week is the Bean's birthday - 6 already - and I'm still trying to sort out his party. I've left it a bit late to be honest as he didn't seem to worried about having one this year. Still, I'm sure we'll have it planned for the day! Honestly!

Writing wise, I've done two articles this weekend for a website based in Suffolk and I'll be doing my WeightWatchers blog this afternoon as well. Things are ticking over. I was broadcasting yesterday all day so I'm only half awake today......yawny yawn....maybe it's time for a brew :o)

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Interviews and Memories

Oh deary dear.....I've got out of the blogging habit, haven't I? Must try to fit blogs in more often.. Things have been slightly chaotic around here, just for a change. I don't know where the days go.

I had some good news today as I logged into the gttr website to check on the progress of my application for the PGCE course. I've been invited to interview! Eeeeek! I did a double take, heart stopped, did a happy dance, panicked and mourned that I couldn't phone you know who with the news. She'd be proud. Hell, she IS proud. Somewhere. And not that far away.

So, anyway, interview, apparently, is on 13th March. Yup, Friday the 13th. Typical but since Mum was born on that day I see it as a lucky omen. I'll no

doubt be getting more details through the post very soon, until then I'll be equally excited and petrified! It's also the day after the Bean's birthday so that should keep me occupied in the build up!

On Tuesday of this week I spent the day up at my old secondary school. I had a fabulous day. It took me a little over an hour to get there but it was SO worth it. I observed the RE teachers all day, they were both lovely. One was Mrs Wood who taught me when I was there so it was a really lovely experience - felt just like going home. I could possibly do some of my training there too but I'll have to consider all the options if it becomes a real possibility - it is such a long journey to do every day.

The Bean is fine - still proclaiming on a daily basis that he 'hates school' but I'm fast learning not to take it to heart. I'm hoping it's just a phase and that, at some point, he'll learn to love the place......fingers crossed! He does seem to still be doing very well though, I think he may be a little bored at times. Next week sees the next round of the Eisteddfod - here's hoping he wows them! :)

Monday, 23 February 2009

Spanish picnics and submitted forms.

I know, it's been a while! Sorry about that. Life got in the way of blogging there for a's been non stop with one thing and another.

So, half term is over and done is our trip to Spain to visit my Dad. Everything went pretty well, all things considered. My poor hubby came down with a tummy bug the day before we flew and so spent most of the day in the bathroom. He was as white a sheet, poor thing, and how he managed to get it together enough to even get to the airport is beyond me! Still, we arrived at my Dad's on time and it was lovely to see him. We spent some lovely time on the beach and I had an indulgent paddle along the waves with the Bean. We had some lovely meals -nothing Spanish though, you understand. That's the thing you see, with the area Dad has moved to. It may be in Spain but you wouldn't know it! There's the Phoenix pub, the Pasty Shack for lunch, the local corner shop where Dad stocks up on his HP sauce....there's Scampi's chippy, the Rose and Crown pub, Murphy's Bar.....and so it goes on.....and on! We had some lovely picnics for lunches too - Dad does a great picnic. And it's a bit of a spectacle for those around see, when they emmigrated, they took the picnic table with them too. It was from Woolworths I think, a long time ago. Folds up into a carry case with handle but unfolds to reveal a table and four attached bench seats - you have to see it to believe it! lol

Anyway, twas a lovely break, even with the 4 hour delay to the flight coming home.....without it I may not have succumbed to the Haagen Dazs ice cream kiosk in the departure lounge....and I'm so glad I did!

Bean was back in school today (seems happy enough) as was SLA. He's still there at a meeting. Tomorrow promises to be a big day as I am heading back to my old school in Lancashire to shadow one of my teachers for the day! The PGCE form is in and I'm waiting to hear back from the university now. It's all scary stuff - I think I'm half terrified and half excited! Typically, the day after I submitted the form I landed a commission for 15 articles and another project that could bring in a regular monthly income too. Just typical! lol

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Here's a frog with the latest travel news........

Blogging at 8:42am, it can only mean one thing. Yup, it's Sunday again and I'm in work.

This is the third week that I have been struggling with this virus and I am still really not able to broadcast. I sound more like a frog. I don't speak, I croak. It hurts to project my voice, not much voice comes out anyway and I find myself gasping for air. I am trying to decide my plan for the rest of the day. Until 2pm I only have two bulletins an hour, which I am just about getting through. After 2pm this rises to about 9 an hour and I really don't think my throat will stand for it. As much as I really don't want to I think I may have to phone my line manager later this morning and see if there's a plan B we can put into action.

Yesterday we had a lovely Valentine's Day - hope you did too :o) We took the Bean riding in the morning (he's still loving it) and then in the afternoon we went for a browse around the shops, a scoot (the Bean) by the sea and then for an Indian meal. I'm still stuffed - don't think I'll need to eat until at least tomorrow!

Only a day or so now til we head off to Spain for a short visit to my Dad. I'm really looking forward to seeing him and also looking forward to a bit of sun. As I look out of the window here in work I can only see smog and fog - not pretty. I'm also looking forward to having both my boys with me for the week. I love school holidays! No packed lunches to make, no worrying about uniform.......lovely!

I've not been doing a whole lot, work wise recently. Now I am set on applying to do my PGCE it's been taken a little out of my hands, really. I'm currently waiting for my reference to come through from my old university tutor. However, this week I do need to do 4 articles for VisitBritain and my WeightWatchers blog. I'll try to get them done early on in the week I think.

So that's life chez moi at the moment..........I think I'll pop down to the kitchen for another brew. Number three of the day :0) Well, I have got a sore throat. Then I'll try to work out what to croak to my manager when I phone him. Hmmmmmmm

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Piles and recitations

Friday? It can't be Friday tomorrow? Not yet! Am I the only one who doesn't know where the days go? It seems mere moments since it was Monday and I had the week stretched out in front of me.

This morning I had a lovely cup of tea and a slice of toast with a friend. It was divine to sit back and enjoy....mmmmm. Then I came home and realised just how much house work I need to do today to get home looking something like accpetable! We have piles of stuff on top of piles of stuff, and all I do is move one pile to somewhere else........must actually sort through them one of these days!

We had some good news earlier in the week, I don't think I've blogged it yet, but the Bean has made it through to the next round of the Urdd Eisteddfod! YAY! His solo recitation, in the under 8's category, is coming on leaps and bounds and we're so proud. His teacher said she'd loved watching him, because he was so dramatic and acted it out so well. Bless. So, school eisteddfod next stop and if he gets through that round then he'll go forward again! How exciting. It's great to hear him doing so well, I must try to video him performing.

Tonight should be my monthly writing group meeting but I very much doubt I will be there, sadly. This darn virus is really annoying. My voice still hasn't come back properly (which is no bad thing for some, I'm sure!) and I still have THE most frustrating cough. So, I couldn't read out my work and I'd cough through everyone else's. Not ideal so I think I'm probably best staying home tonight. I'm also starting to wonder what to pack for our little jaunt to Spain next week. Must email my Dad and see what the weather's like - and what they've got planned! How exciting.

Right, must go and move piles around so it looks like I've done something.....

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Learning to Trust

One day I will learn not to stress about things. There really is no point at all because, something out there in the great big universe has a handle on it all. Que sera sera, what will be will be.

For the last week or so I've been so hassled about everything workwise. I'm trying to get everything sorted ready for my PGCE application and to arrange everything I need to. Then, when I found out one of my writing contracts was coming to an end in March, I applied for a couple of part time jobs locally to help financially. After applying for them, I decided to apply for my PGCE.

The first part time job - I got a letter that the job had been withdrawn.

The second part time job - I got a phone call inviting me for interview. It was for this afternoon.

So there was my dilemma. If I got this job it would help financially, without the contract I was losing. But, it would make it very difficult to arrange the observations and experience needed for the PGCE post. I've been spending so much time worrying about it all, stressing, looking at it from every possible angle.

Then, last night, I decided enough was enough. I left it to whatever powers there may be to sort. I don't know best. Only a couple of hours later I got an email. My contract has been extended, I'm now paid until July. What a huge relief. So that's the finances sorted, now the time issue. This morning, 9:30am, I get a phone call. My interview has been cancelled, due to school budget issues. So there we go. All taken out of my hands. It's such a relief. I really should put more trust in the invisible powers around me.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Manicures and References

I am still absolutely full of this rotten virus. It's awful and going on WAY too long. My throat feels like a swollen razor blade and every time I swallow OUCH! I'm also sick of sniffing and blowing and hacking and get the general picture, I'll stop wallowing in self pity now!

This morning I have been for my first ever manicure! What an experience, I loved it! I am now sporting perfectly pink nails with little diamond flowers on both ring fingers - I'm not sure they look like my hands anymore to be honest. I need to wash up, sort the animals out and clean the bathrooms and toilets but I'm not sure my hands are dressed for sure menial jobs! lol Still, not like anyone else is going to do them for me eh?

I have taken the next step along the road the post graduate education. The UCAS form is filled in, complete with the nerve wrecking personal statement. I have spoken to Manchester University this morning and worked out the details for my academic reference and so I have entered all that on there and clicked the button to request said reference! Eeeeek! Thankfully, my old tutor, Harry, is still in the department so he will be able to write it for me. He was fantastic, Harry. Looked like a real philosopher.....and paused and stroked his beard as he thought. Very authentic! I thoroughly enjoyed his lectures and tutorials and I'm delighted he is still there and will be able to be my referee.

After school today we are off to the playbarn with some friends. The children will all be able to play and we'll probably eat there too. My hard working hubby has a meeting and an options evening after school so he won't be home til around 9:30pm probably. I'll be collapsed on the sofa by then, no doubt still coughing my guts up!

Tomorrow I have an interview for a part time job, which I applied for before I'd decided to train to be a teacher. I'm in mixed mind about it now. Nothing is ever straightforward is it? I would enjoy the job, I'm sure but it makes it more complicated to get the school experience in that I need for my course. But then, say I don't get onto the course, I will really need the job! I'm trying not to stress. What will be, will be eh?

Monday, 9 February 2009

The Cat's out of the Bag

Monday again. How did that happen then?
This is the last week before the half term break here in the UK. Which means I need it nice and quiet, not much on. Wrong. I think there's something in the diary for every day of the week. I'll hit Friday wondering where the hell the days went, no doubt.
This morning I have spent on one task. A very important one. Now it is completed it means my mind is made up, the decision made. I have applied to return to university. I'm hoping to do my PGCE and become a teacher. A religious studies teacher.
I am terrified and excited in equal amount at the moment I think. I've been busy arranging observation days in local schools and doing as much research as I can. I'll let you know how I get on.
The pesky virus has turned into a hacking cough now. I picked up some more medicine from Sainsbury's this morning so I hope that will start to help. It's worse first thing in the morning but is making for a generall run down and crabby Mummy at the moment.
Right, it's 13:45 - I've just finished the form, I've got washing done in the machine, pots soaking in the sink and I've not had anything to eat since porridge at 8am this morning. I'd best go and sort myself out!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Snowy Twittering Birdies :)

This week has been taken over by the snow that has been falling thick and fast in many parts of the UK. To be honest, it hasn't been that heavy in North Wales but the Bean managed Monday and Tuesday off school anyway! Sadly I was struggling with a very sore throat and so didn't really feel like going out and playing. I feel like I've missed out now! We've had some more of the white stuff this morning but not enough to warrant another day off school. It does look beautiful though.

I've rediscovered Twitter the last few days as well - I've added lots of new people to follow, please do feel free to follow me if you are a fellow tweeter! Many UK tweeters are giggling about 'hedges' at the moment, it's a long old story but includes some of our most famous TV personalities - and twitter! I'm sure the whole story can be googled one way or another! lol

Yesterday I went round to my friend's house, she's a hairdresser and does a wonderful job of my locks in her kitchen! I love going to see her - I had colour put in yesterday with a cat on my knee for half the time and her 1 year old the other half! Just fantastic :)

The Wii Fit is going well, I'm loving the yoga especially and am starting to notice a real difference....not that the scales are shifting much so far! Tomorrow is weigh in day so fingers crossed.

Right, I need to make a move. I'm headed off to the salon in 15 mins or so and I don't want to be rushing in this weather. Oh, one more note, I'm SO happy I bought my bird table in October. This week we have had so many feathered visitors it's just been fantastic. I've got my rocking chair set up by the patio doors and I've spent ages just watching them fly in and out of the garden. It feels lovely to be helping them through this cold spell too. I'll try and get some photos if I can!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Keyboard confusion.

Allow me to share with you the delights of a telephone conversation I had yesterday in work. I had just completed a travel bulletin on one of the BBC local radio stations, giving out the number that people can call if they spot any traffic problems. As is frequently the case, as soon as I'd finish the phone rang. I answered it.

Oooh, I hope you can help. Can you put me through to someone who could tell me how to get a copy of a show that was broadcast last thursday?'

'No, I can't put you through, we're in a different building, but do you have access to the internet?' I was expecting a straight 'No' here, but was surprised,
'OK, good. So all you need to do is to go onto the radio station website and there is a listen again function on there.'
'Oh. OK. So.....'
'All you need to do is go to www dot b b c dot co dot uk forward slash.....'
'Erm.....b b c type forward?'
'No. Forward slash.'
'How do I spell it? f....o...'
'No. Forward slash. On the keyboard....the small diagonal line on the keyboard. The one leaning to the right at the top?'
By this point my colleague was doubled over in the corner of the room.
'oh.....ok, forwards slash ....'
'Yes, forward slash Liverpool. Then follow the link from there. OK?'
I'd like to say she sounded confident when she said thank you and good bye, but I'm guessing she's still trying to find a key on her computer with 'forward slash' written on it, in very small letters. I couldn't think of any other way to explain it though! Could you?

It's an upside down, topsy turvy kind of day today.......not least because there is snow on the ground outside, we don't get much here at all but this week we have been forecast a fair bit. In all honesty I probably could have and maybe should have, taken the Bean to school but I didn't and so he is home with me today. His school is up a very steep hill and I didn't fancy driving up that in icy conditions and, since more snow is forecast this afternoon, I was worried he'd get stuck up the hill and be stuck at the bottom. So here he is.

On top of that, I started with a sore throat in work yesterday. ouch. My MIL had it last week and was off work all week with it and not it looks as if I've picked it up too. I was hoping that the broadcasting yesterday was making it worse and that when I stopped talking so much, it may ease. It hasn't. It's still impossible to talk and agony to swallow. Drinking and eating seems to help, sadly, but I'm trying to keep it healthy!

I'm about to write my WW blog for the week and I have to do some research today as well. In all honesty, all I feel like doing is relaxing with a warm drink in front of the TV. Oh well, I'll plod on.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Microphones and Takeaways

Another Sunday sitting in front of the microphone wondering how long it will take for the 12 hours to pass........sometimes it goes quickly, others each minute can seem like an eternity. Today, well it's 11am and I'm hankering for lunch so you can make your own judgement.

I am still feeling very uncertain about my future and which road I will take. I find that most of the time this is on my mind, I'm thinking about it all the time...turning it every way, looking at it from all angles, trying to work out if it the idea fits me, or if I fit it. This is what I do. I am, at heart, a philosopher. Always have been and can't see me changing any time soon.

My hubby is now back from his school trip and it's lovely to have him home. Yesterday we drove out to Bala and had a lovely walk on Llangower beach at Llyn Tegid and also had a lovely Chinese from the takeaway there as well. Yumm. Most of it is still in the fridge.

In fact, there is a lot of very unhealthy food in the fridge as we also went for an Indian meal on Friday night and brought half that home too! I know, I know, it's no wonder I'm not losing weight but, in my defense, only the Indian was planned. We hadn't planned to go to Bala, setting off quite late on as a last minute idea, and so we wouldn't have been home in time to have something healthy chez nous! And surely a nice veggie chow mein is better than a bag of chips isn't it?

I can't believe it's only 2 weeks now til we go to visit my Dad and I am nowhere near the weight goal I set myself. I'm gutted. Up until Friday I had been really good, I've been on my Wii fit every day and stayed away from the fattening brigade - and I still hadn't lost on Friday morning. The whole thing is just very depressing at times like that. Still, I'll stick at it. Maybe a two week miracle isn't impossible!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

On making decisions.....or not

It's another one of those 'drained and overwhelmed' days, I'm afraid. I'm getting closer to the end of this contract and, so far, nothing in sight to replace it. I'm still toying with the idea of going back to university but, in all honesty, if I could find writing to replace what I am losing then I would be happiest to keep doing what I am doing.

I had a lovely chat with a friend over coffee this morning which cheered me up no end, but also reminded me of how lucky I am to not be in work every day. It's a real luxury to be able to have half an hour over a drink after the school run, and I've been lucky to be able to do it for years now. I've also been taking it forgranted and the possibility that I may not be able to do it for much longer is heavy on my shoulders.

Today, I have written three articles for VisitBritain and I'm now looking at my 'To Do' list trying to work out what to tackle next. It's this bit that I find so overwhelming. Which opportunities do I aim at first? Which is most likely to come off? And when one of my stories could be suitable for two different things, how do I decide where to send it? See, this is my problem, I've never been very good one the old decison making......I'm a ponderer......a thinker........and as such am liable to not actually get much done. Hmmmmm........ maybe I'll put the kettle on...........maybe

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

My Little Newton

Yes, it's another bedtime story of the Bean. He really is a one....and a funny one at that!

Last night it was the usual story. He'd been told 'Lights Out' and so should have been quietly in bed, drifting into snoozledom. Well, all was quiet...until


OK, so it probably wasn't that loud, but it sounded it from downstairs. We went up to his room to find him standing up, on the floor with a piece of yellow, rubber meccano in his hand.

'What are you doing? You should be asleep!' - we were not best pleased.


'WHAT were you doing.'

'An experiment'


'I was doing an experiment. See if I throw this meccano over my shoulder I can't see it and it's behind me. And, my eyes don't move as quickly as the meccano, it gets faster and my eyes can't move that fast. See?'

We saw. He was recreating Newton's experiments on gravity. At 10pm. With a piece of meccano. And he's 5. Sheesh, he's got some brain - I just wish he'd let it switch off occasionally!

Anyway, we stopped shouting, applauded him for his thought processes but said there was a time and a place and this wasn't it. He climbed back in to bed.

'Night Night, now get some sleep'

'Night Night. Love you. If I threw it on Mars or on the Moon it would be different, wouldn't it? It would move slower there.'

'Yes dear. Why don't you think about that as you drift off to sleep. But no more experiments tonight.'

'OK. Night night.'

I wonder what tonight will bring.....Einstein maybe?

Monday, 26 January 2009

A Modicum of Success!

I received an email this morning from Chat magazine who have accepted the anecdote I sent to to them with the Bean's photo last week - BIG thanks to Womag's blog for giving me the push to send them out! OK, it's not going to pay a huge amount but it's a start and to get a positive email is just fantastic - especially at 9:30am on a Monday morning!!!!

The Wii fit is going well - I think! I'm certainly enjoying it anyway, SO glad that it's finally here. I'll be writing my WeightWatchers blog this morning too, it's so good to finally feel that I'm getting somewhere. When other parts of life are uncertain it's good to feel that there is one area that I can keep control of.

There's a lot going around my head at the moment, work wise, as I try to decide whether or not to head back to University. It's a huge decision, one that is overwhelming at times. There are pros and cons to both sides but, for now, I'm just going to keep thinking it over. I've registered for more information so I'll be able to make a more informed decision soon.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

On work and decisions.

Another Sunday and so another 12 hours in work.......Today is actually going fairly quickly and I am currently reporting on the travel situations for BBC Lancashire, BBC Manchester and BBC Cumbria. Nothing is happening to report on, mind you and so it's more a list of roadworks. Still, it may be dull for me but at least it's been a safe day out on the roads of the North West.

The Bean had his second riding lesson yesterday and had a fantastic time. I really hope he continues to enjoy it. I must admit to being very envious as he climbs up into the saddle - I would love to be up there alongside him. Still, maybe one day!

I finally got my Wii Fit yesterday - WHOO! I've not had much of a go on it yet, thanks to a certain little person taking over(!) but I'm itching to have the time to play on it tomorrow. It was more than slightly depressing having to sort out the body test at the Mii looked fit to burst as it expanded to fit my rather unhealthy BMI! Still, I suppose it will be nice to watch as it shrinks again!

This coming week will be full of job seeking and mind trawling as I am obsessed at the moment with what my future may hold in terms of work and career also the decisions I can make to affect it in different ways.........heady stuff! Maybe I'll share more later in the week. I'm also planning to get more writing done and sent out too. It promises to be a busy week. I hope it's also a fruitful and productive one.

Friday, 23 January 2009

I am a loser! I am a loser!

Woohoooo!! I lost 2lbs this week! Go me!!! I'll be very excited to write this week's weightwatchers blog! It's so much fun when I'm imparting good news :)

Not a whole lot else to report really. I have dropped my two application forms in at the relevant places this morning, so we'll see if anything comes from them. One had a closing date today, the other is next Friday I think. Nothing else is coming up trumps on the work front at the mo. I'll keep on digging away and hopefully something will show up soon. It's amazing that one contract can have so much sway in so many different ways. You'll hear me dancing on the roof if I manage to replace it!

I had a lovely trip into town this morning. I quite often go in on Friday mornings. I don't meet up with anyone, just have a bit of a mooch around! I had a coffee and muffin in Starbucks (both skinny I might add!) and then headed up to the library. I ended up buying a book/garage set that I've put away for the Bean's birthday and I bought a couple of T shirts for myself that I really like too. Good trip all round!

The Bean has finished his punishment in school now, I'm hoping it doesn't happen again any time soon! We'll be making sure he gets lots of rest over the weekend to try and get him back from being run down. He's got his second riding lesson tomorrow as well! I hope Roxy the pony is ready!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Thursday's Ramblings

There's trouble in camp! The Bean came home from school with a 'red card' yesterday. His first. Oh dear. This means he is in the bean version of 'Time Out' for some time today and tomorrow! It takes three warnings to get a red card - he managed them all in one day. I think he has learned from his actions though, I hope so! He's also full of a cough and cold. Seems really run down, poor thing. Lots of sleep and warm drinks coming up!

I'm still waiting on something, anything on the work front. I've filled in both my 'normal' job applications now so I will drop them off later on today. Still nothing back from the pieces I have subbed to the mags. One thing that has worked out though is that parts of this very blog are now going to be published in our local paper and on their website. It won't replace the work I am losing in March financially but you never know where these things can lead and so I'm not one to turn down an opportunity.

The weight loss is going well this week. It's offical weigh in day tomorrow, so I'll report back then, but I'm hoping to record a nice loss this week! hurray! My wii fit was supposed to be delivered today but instead, I received a letter saying it's delayed by a week. I'm beginning to think it's never going to get here!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Dejected and Fed Up

I'm having one of those 'It's hard to stay positive' days. It's entirely work related as the impending loss of my biggest contract is weighing heavy on my mind. I've spent the last few days subbing lots of articles, fillers, you name it to magazines and, of course, I'm not hearing anything back. It's the silence that's hard to take. A straight rejection is, in some ways, easier. You can pick yourself up, dust your idea down and start redressing it for another market. The waiting is impossible. Every time I log into my computer I'm hoping for an email with some good news. I'm just not getting emails at all and I know, I need to be a lot more patient, but when you NEED the work it's hard going. It's bad enough when you only want it.

I have two application forms in the dining room for 'normal' jobs. I've filled one in so far. It's not that I wouldn't enjoy it. It's not that it probably wouldn't do me some good. It's not that I'm lazy and don't want to work. It's just then I won't be a working writer any more. At least not in the same way. I've been so proud to be able to make enough money doing what I love and I don't want to let that feeling go. It's hard and it's with me every hour of every day at the moment.

I'll keep plugging on, maybe some miracle will come along and I will find regular contracts to make up for the one I am losing. I'll keep you updated. Until then, I'm going to put the kettle on and have a cammomile tea.......whilst I search through the jobs online.....
I'm sure I'll soon feel more like myself again. This is the reality of freelance working. Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to get the work done and some times there's not enough work to fill the hours in the day. It's swings and roundabouts, snakes and ladders....right now I'm looking for a ladder as I slide down a snake!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Bad Mummy

Bad Mummy. Bad Mummy. I'm in the bad books, the Bean was VERY annoyed and upset with me when he went in to school this morning. Oh dear.

My crime?

I locked him in the car. By mistake. An accident. But he's making me pay for it. BIG time!

It was very icy by the school so I took a while getting out of the car, trying not to slip as I went. I picked up the bags, closed the door and hit the 'lock' button on the key fob, assuming the Bean was already out and standing by the door. I heard a SCREAM! He was still in the car so I unlocked it again and went round to open his door. He was in hysterics.

'You locked me in the car. It wouldn't open'
'I know', I apologised, 'I'm sorry, I thought you were already out.'

The tears were streaming down his face as we started the walk to the back door of the school building. He was still crying when we got to the front steps so I tried to make light of it, explaining that I wouldn't have gone without him - I was taking him to school. There wasn't any chance of me walking off without him now, was there. No point in me walking to the school door if he wasn't with me to drop off. Not likely I'd forget him!

As we turned the corner two of the others mums were passing by and asked what had happened, why he was crying. I explained, trying to keep a straight face. They laughed. Loudly. A lot.

The Bean stormed off.
I had a little chat with them and followed him, where he was waiting around the corner, now even more irate than he had been initially. Eventually, we got to the door. He tried walking past.

'Oi.' I said. 'In you go'. I kissed him on the cheek and he stomped off into school, almost knocking over the year 4 teacher as he did so. His class teacher was nearby so I explained to her. She laughed too. Thank goodness he didn't see that, or she would have had a very difficult day on her hands! I'm hoping he'll have forgotten it all by this afternoon!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Soggy Monday.

This is the photo I took of the Bean on Roxy in his first lesson on Saturday morning! I thought I would share :)

It's a soggy old day today, the rain has been pouring from the sky all morning (where else would it pour from?) and it's been so dark I've needed the lights on in the house. The clouds are just starting to break up a little now so I'm hoping the wet stuff is on its way out.

I was very proud of myself this morning as, after dropping the Bean at school, I headed straight for the park and had a walk around the lake. The exercise did me good I think and I felt good afterwards. I did feel a little odd as everyone else was walking their doggies (never seen so many!) and as I passed them I could sense them looking for my four legged pooch. Really, it's legal to walk without one! Honest!

Since coming home I have sent another query off to a magazine and have searched online for more opportunities. I have also requested two application forms from the council as there are some part time teaching assistant posts going in schools not far from the bean's. One is in the morning, the other in the afternoon. One 9-12 the other 12:15-3:15. If I get them both I'll have indigestion after lunch(!) but I will apply for both as the chance of two successes is remote. I'm still hoping some wonderful writing opportunity will come up to replace the one I am losing but I think it wise to have a plan B as well.

I've just submitted this week's WeightWatchers blog, I lost one and half pounds last week so writing that was quite good fun. My Wii fit should be delievered in the next three days now - I wish it would hurry up! I only have a month now until we fly to Spain to visit my Dad and I really want to be under my next stone marker by then!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Sunday's Shenanigans

The Bean had his first riding lesson yesterday morning! He looked the part too in his new boots and once they'd lifted him up onto his pony he looked like he'd been riding for years, bless him. I couldn't help giggling though as apparently he talked about trams the whole lesson and wanted to know all about the car tyres that make up the track in the arena! lol In fact I think they'll have to tell him to shush at some point, he rabbited his way through the whole 35 mins he was riding! Roxy the pony probably had a headache for the rest of the day!

I ordered Della Galton's book yesterday so I'm really excited about it arriving! I'm really enjoying writing at the moment, although I'm not actually coming up with anything that's going to make my any money short term, which is waht I need to do. This week I really need to get a plan together.

I've applied for one writing opportunity since hearing that my biggest contract wil be finishing in March, so fingers crossed for that. I've also had a word to see if there is any more broadcasting work around but there's nothing that's going to make enough difference to be honest. This week will be spent making plans and sending out query letters etc etc.....Wish me luck!

Also, my Wii fit should be arriving early this week! VERY exciting!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Coffee and contracts.

What a strange day it is today, one of those that just feels.....odd. Do you have them? I dropped the Bean off at school and headed into town this morning thinking a good walk would clear my head and make me feel better. And it did, eventually, but I spent most of the morning stamping around feeling sorry for myself and trying on clothes that I didn't like or didn't fit. Anyway, by the time I got back to the car I had stomped it all out and felt better.....

.....which was when I came home and checked the email. My contract with VisitBritain is finishing in March. This is my biggest, regular contract and brings in a substantial amount of my income. My last payment is in April. There is an exciting side to it, it's the joy of being freelance, new doors, new opportunities and all that, but financially it's scary - especially with holidays booked and bills coming through the door. I have until April to figure out a way to replace the income each month.

Last night was my monthly meeting of my local writing group. I enjoy our get togethers although I frequently don't write anything to read out to the group until the afternoon of the meeting. I don't know why, I just seem to work better that way. Yesterday I wrote a short piece on an idea I had a while ago. I've always thought of it as a novel, although I'm not sure it's got the legs to go 100,000 words really. Anyway, I wrote out the first chapter and read it to the group last night. I was really pleased with the reaction it got. People said they would look forward to hearing more and seeing where I go with it! 'So will I' I replied as I actually have no idea where it's going yet but I have some interesting options!

This morning's trip into town offered another part that will fit into the story perfectly too after an encounter I had with one of the members of staff at Starbucks! Is it wrong to include someone in a book? Do I have to change details of this person? I don't want to - it would work perfectly just as it is!

Well, I'm off to look for work :( Oh and log my weight on the WW site too - I've lost this week - not much but it's better than nothing! hurray!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

99 things.........

A few of my blogland buddies have posted this list of 99 things.......I really enjoy stuff like this so feel free to copy it and put the things you have done in italics!!!! I'm not procrastinating! Really! No work to do here............

The things **I** have done are italicized.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world - does Paris count?
8. Climbed a mountain -I live in Wales, no shortage of mountains!
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea--not at sea, but I've flown over one in a plane - amazing!
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch - glass painting and quilling
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - not now I work from home though!
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon-
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice-
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run-I have in rounders does that count?
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community-
36. Taught yourself a new language- I'm still trying to learn Welsh
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - makes me realise how materialistic I am
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater-on a trip to Australia
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia - no but I'd love to if i thought it was safe enough.
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check/cheque
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book - I'm still writing it!
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car - twice
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - I'm veggie
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life - if you count my son's barmy behaviour!
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club - does a writing group count
93. Lost a loved one - my mum
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Happy Birthday to my mummy.

Today would have been Mum's birthday, she would have been 58. It's a strange day although it does get easier each year. I suppose what makes it hard is that there is nowhere else to redirect the energy to. On my birthday I have my family around me so there's lots going on. At Christmas, although I miss her, I focus my attention on my husband and son. I can displace the thoughts and the grief. On Mum's birthday, there is nowhere else to go. Nothing of which to think to redirect the day. It's Mum's birthday but she's not here. It's her birthday but she's dead. It's the day she took her first breath but she no longer breathes. It's hard to comprehend.

I'm meeting friends for a coffee in town in a little while. I hope that will keep me occupied. Sometimes I'm so glad for the distraction and it helps to be out there, in reality. Other times I sit there, outside the conversation and wish I was at home. Just talking, thinking even, can seem like hard work. I hope today will not be one of those days.

This evening we are going for a family meal to celebrate the day. Just SLA, the bean and me. I know Mum will be there with us, somehow.
I know she is here, somehow.
I know she can hear me, somehow when I say 'Happy Birthday Mummy. I love you.'

Monday, 12 January 2009

On procrastination and pride.

Don't mind me. I'm feeling sorry for myself. Probably to do with the date tomorrow and all things hormonal but it feels bleurgh! I've not got a single piece of work out so far yet this year which is SO not what I had planned in my resolutions! I must, this week, somehow get a real handle on my work and make plans for what I am going to do with it. Feel free to make me stick to that, someone, procrastination is one of my favourite hobbies!

The Bean came home on friday with another certificate from school - yup, welsh speaker of the week - again! I'm so proud of the little chap. He also brought home two pieces he has to learn for this year's Urdd Eisteddfod. One is the solo recitation for under 8's the the other is a solo song for under 8's. Bless him. I don't think he's worked out yet that he's going to have to perform them on his own. Oh dear. It's bizarre, this time last year it wouldn't have phased him for a minute whereas now I think we may have some issues with it. I really hope he can find the confidence to give it a really good shot. He could be incredible at them both. Fingers crossed x

We have now managed to book flights for Feb to visit my Dad, only for two nights rather than the four we originally planned but it will be lovely to see him. We're staying with them too so it will certainly be an experience! Dog, cat, bean, bird.........interesting combination!

Right, I'm going to get something done. I'll look through my archives and dig out old articles first and have a scour through my 2009 yearbook and look for homes for them. Ideally ones that I can send an email enquiry to, I think I'm out of stamps and I daren't put it off any longer!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Of Night Time Rejections and Costly Flights

The strangest thing happened last night - I received a rejection. Nothing much strange about that. Except that it was by email and at 10:10pm! Bizarre! It was from the fiction editor at 'Weekly News'. The email was lovely though and so I'll certainly keep them in mind and send some more stuff their way and of course I'll start rejigging the story to submit elsewhere too.

It's looking less and less likely that we will get to Spain to visit my Dad in Feb. Don't you just hate planning short breaks on a budget? I had spotted some great priced flights a few weeks ago but couldn't book anything until I was paid some money I was owed. Now the flights have gone up considerably and once you add in all the bits and pieces it ends up costing an absolute fortune. As I say, it's not looking hopeful at the moment which is a shame but it's just the way the cookie crumbles I suppose.

Today I'm having a quiet day at home, again. I've stayed home all week so far just trying to get back into the routine and sorting the house out a bit. Next week I must make an effort to head into town and experience a bit of reality! lol The walk will do me good too - who knows the scales may go in the right direction! lol I'm about to write this week's blog for weightwatchers without a loss to report - again. They'll be surprised when I actually lose something don't you think?

Thursday, 8 January 2009


There's no getting around it, being a full time writer can be a lonely old existence. Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't want to do anything else or be anywhere else but there are times that I really do feel isolated. I think it is pronounced after a holiday, especially Christmas, when everything is so busy, there's lots of visiting taking place and the house has seen many days full of people, of fun and of laughter. Now there is just me and the tip tap of my laptop keys. Tip. Tap. Tip. Tap.

I think most people who love to write do have a certain amount of 'loner' or 'hermit' built in. You have to have probably to be able to sit alone and pour the words onto the page, however, I also find that I struggle to find people who I really connect with around me. I don't mean my family, but, the more I write, the more I find it difficult to really strike up a connection with acquaintances and that can be a very sobering experience.

Maybe it is because I am a fairly introverted person, I don't think I used to be so much but now I find that I stand back from a crowd where I once would have walked up and joined in. In talking, it is hard to explain what I do. For some reason, 'writing' doesn't endear you to someone. Maybe it's just unusual and they don't know what to say next. Maybe they have some idea I'm going to use them in a book....I don't know...but it doesn't fit the mould and so I forever feel on the sidelines, looking in on the others and their friendly chit chat. And the more that happens, the harder it is to break the cycle.

Spending so much time online as a writer you do make friends on the internet. This blog is one very good example! Over the years I have made some very good friends online, many of them from parts of the world I have never visited and maybe never will. I have some great people to chat too and yet, as happened only last week, it only takes one discovery to break down a friendship like this, to find out that one of these people just isn't who you thought they were. The facade is broken, the mirror smashed as the persona you had created for this person is blown out of the water and the person is seen for who they really are. Nothing has really changed, it's just a fact that it's very hard to really get to know anyone over the internet. And when the reality is shown to be different from what you had created and believed in your mind, that can hurt. And this then leads to questionning your ideas about other people.....I could drive myself mad. I should stop.

Loneliness comes in many guises and it can creep up on without you really noticing it is there. That's what's happened this week. It's not helped by the fact it would have been my mum's birthday next week. I'll figure it out, maybe I'll have to walk on up to a group instead of standing back. Who knows? I don't.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

This is fantastic!

Isn't it strange how you come across little things sometimes that can have the most amazingly positive effect on you!!!

I was working on my weightloss blog, which you can visit by clicking here and I was looking for some way of tracking my progress when I stumbled upon a 'model'. It's a graphic image for which you can enter your starting, current and goal weights. It's a real good visual tool and rather amusing too. If you click on the 'start' and 'goal' the image changes. So that's what I'll look like when I reach my goal!!! Well, kind of anyway!

If you're walking along the road to a healthier, slimmer future then I'd love your company along the way! Feel free to stop by and let me know how you're getting on

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Tuesday's Titterings

It's so quiet.......listen to that........nothing. At all. Yup, the Bean and SLA are both now back in school meaning I have the house to myself......and the job of taking all the Christmas decs down today too. I was dreading taking the Bean this morning. I always find the first day of term hard, I miss the little chap after having home for 2 weeks. As it happened though it was so icy this morning that I was preoccupied anyway and didn't find it as difficult as usual.

I have now put on a humungous 5.4lbs which is verging on both the disgusting and the ridiculous and so this morning I have really climbed back onto the wagon. I've logged back into my WW online site and have tracked breakfast onto my log. From now on I'm aiming to track everything again. I really want to feel a whole lot better in a week's time. I've also started a new blog on here that I'm going to use specifically for all things WW related, in addition to my blog on the WW UK site too. I hope it will help keep me focused. Wish me luck!

I don't think I'll be getting much done in the way of writing today, or this week to be honest. I'm going to take a few days to get the house straight and sorted and to get my head back into some kind of normal mode.

Right, time to hop to it. First job, get the tree down........tinsel here I come!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Giggles and decorations.

The sun has got his hat on..........but it's still bloody cold! The Bean and I ventured out to the bank this morning and it is just lovely out there - but you do need to wrap up!

Last night he gave me quite a chuckle. He'd gone up to bed and I'd already asked for lights out and sleep time and yet I kept hearing little noises from the bedroom....actually, scrub that, they weren't so little. More like bangs really! I left it a while, he may have got up for the loo or something so I didn't say anything. The bangs kept coming and it was almost 10pm by this point. Eventually, I opened the lounge door a little and called up the stairs,

'Hey Mister, what are you doing?'

The reply came back - too quickly and much too energetically,

'Well, can you sleep a little more quietly?'

And that was that. lol

He's back in school tomorrow so I'll have to get him bathed and in bed much earlier. That's one thing I love about school holidays the flexibility, the not having to watch the clock all the time. Oh well, it's been fun. But tonight the decorations come down and the house will feel cavernous for all of a day or so. Tomorrow, I start cleaning up. I never get a thing done when everyone's home.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Of doors and Opportunities

I hadn't realised how long it is since I last blogged! Ooops! I must admit to having fallen off the wagon in many ways over the last few weeks....the blog wagon, the WeightWatchers Wagon, the tidy house wagon....almost every wagon I had climbed aboard. Still, as we are now into the New Year I am slowly beginning the climb back up and hoping I've not lost too much ground!

It is with mixed feelings that I start 2009. I always love the New Year, I embrace the new start that it offers and new opportunities that it will undoubtably bring. I face it with hope, optimism and excitement. However, in the current financial climate I can't help but feel just slightly tinged with anxiety and worry. I found out a day or so ago that one of my major contracts has finished its contracts with some other writers and this is certainly preying on my mind. It has been a big help, both financially and professionally and I would certainly be sad to see it end. I am hoping that this will not be the case, at least not in the short term, but as I say, it is certainly on my mind at the moment.

Having said that, even if one door does close there are still many there to be knocked upon, many of which will open. I may not like what I find in some, I may not feel at home. Maybe I will learn to love these strange, challenging, new places and behind some doors I may find places that are instantly homely and comforting. One thing is for sure, a New Year brings new chances to find new places and new people and, as a freelance writer, that is an essential part of any possible success.

On the family front, all is well. The Bean and SLA are both fine and ready to head back to their respective schools. Christmas and the New Year went well, although very quickly and it's hard to believe that tomorrow we will take the decorations down again, it feels like we only just put them up!

I'm planning to blog more regularly again now and I can't wait to share 2009 with you :)