Wednesday, 31 October 2012

My week.....

Wow, life has been eventful this last week. A day and a half hanging around a hospital wondering if I would be aloud to go on holiday. Some pretty fast packing completed by the other half, who went into protective overdrive...I am shocked I was allowed to lift my own fingers!! Then finally we were off.

After a fairly long drive we arrived at Beadnell, Northumberland. Our little cottage for the week is so magical, we arrived to fairy lights and yummy treats set out for our arrival. Upon investigation there were books in every room of all descriptions...I am officially in heaven.

Just a small selection (some shelves are double stacked!!)

Sunset from our bedroom window

Our pumpkins from Alnwick Castle - Happy Halloween
I love this time of year, when you can go to the beach for a walk even though it is cold and windy but still come back to the cottage and light the fire. Curling up and playing board games with my girls whilst warming up....I just wish I wasn't the murderer every time we played Cluedo!!

Anyway, while I have been relaxing the questions are continuing, if you have missed my recent posts you can catch up here and here. These ones are from Wendy at Sockamabobs, pop over and take a look at her wonderful creations and as always let her know you have been by with a bit of commenty love ;-) So here goes for a little more of me.....are you getting bored of me yet??

1. What book have you read recently that you would recommend to others?

Oh where to start?? You all already know I love and would recommend Paulo Coelho's Brida but more recently I have read the latest from Lauren Kate - Rapture part of the Fallen series and would recommend that too if you like a little bit of tortured angels ;-)

2. What is your favourite pudding and why?
Just one, why only just one??? I love puddings, I have yet to find one I dislike! Ice cream (Ben and Jerry's) is my favourite comfort pud. Syrup sponge pudding and custard is the one I turn to on a cold day. Poached pears and ice cream is one I love at Christmas. I could go on forever!! My most surprising discovery recently was that I like pistachio ice cream and turkish delight ice cream....yum!

3. One reason you like cleaning?
Anyone that knows me knows I hate cleaning (and I don't use that word lightly, see here), however I do love the feeling when it is all done and you sit down in a lovely clean house with the candles on and relax in front of a film :-)

4. Where was the last place you went on holiday?
I'm on holiday in Northumberland and will definitely be coming back again....Love it :-)

5. What was the name of your first pet?
Fish, I am soooo imaginative!!

6. What is the best thing you have ever handmade?
I crotcheted a matching hat and blanket whilst in labour with the littlest munchkin, the hat is soo cute with three pom poms on the top :-)

7. Do you own anything vintage and if so what is it?
I don't think I do :-( I love all things vintage but can rarely afford the things I see, instead I have a lot of vintage looking thinks!

8. What is your favourite Disney film of all time?
This is a really tough one, I love so many of them! My favourite at the moment (and this changes on a daily basis) is Tangled but I have yet to watch Brave I like my ladies to have a bit about them so Disney films are great. However I do love Monsters Inc and can't wait for the new one to come out!

9. What would you have in your ideal garden?
Everything! An orchard, a lake (with waterlilies), a kitchen garden, a sensory area, a play garden for the girls, a Japanese zen area including japanese maples, a pod to sit outside and write in (but stay warm and dry), a driveway lined with cherry blossom trees and a Narnia style lamp near my hobbit style front door. Oh and a hunky gardener to tend it all ;-) Not much really!

10. I am moving house soon what tip would you give me?
Get help! (I'm available if you need me)
Ok, so I am off to enjoy my breakfast and have a relaxing day before we go and listen to spooky stories at the biggest second hand book store I have ever seen, Barter Books. Happy Halloween, hope you all have a spooky time.
PS I am glad to know my family has come out of the storm unscathed, hoping the same is true of all my friends over on the east coast. Stay safe everyone, my thoughts are with you!!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Remember the reader appreciation award I got and passed on. Apparently the questions bounce back like a rubber ball. Deb over at Kicking Corners has set a new raft of questions which I have now got to answer, just because I read her post. She is such a rule breaker, but I love these posts and I love her to bit so I am being a good girl and answering them dutifully ;-)

Here goes:

1. French Fries or French Toast?
Hmm, fries.

2. What are your thoughts about ‘Time’?
There is too little of it, in a day or in a life. There is never enough time to achieve everything you want to!

3. Have you ever been motion sick?
Yes, mostly with my Mum's driving ;-)

4. Would you ever get a tattoo and if so, where would you put it?
I have one that was meant to only last 5 years (I got it 10 years ago!) I would love another one of the Celtic knot I had on my wedding dress right across the bottom of my back, however my first experience taught me that I don't scar well so it probably wouldn't be a good idea :-(

5. Do you read magazines while standing in line at the grocery store and if so, which ones?
No, the occasional newspaper headline catches my eye.

6. What are five things you keep in the drawer closest to where you’re sitting right now?
There isn't a drawer next to where I am sat and the only drawer I sit next to is by my bed so I will tell you what is in there: Photo's of my Dad, spare glasses (little munchkin went through a phase of breaking them!), paracetamol (a must with kids!), nail file, an old journal that I wrote in so infrequently I gave up (it does however have a list of ambitions in the back that I like to look at every now and then!)

7. Have you ever sent/received a message in a bottle?
No, but that sounds really fun I might have to do that on my next trip to the sea, let me know if you find it ;-)

8. It’s funny to skip questions – do you agree or disagree?
Skipping this one ;-)

10. When is it appropriate to bite someone?
When it is a full moon and I change into a wolf. But only if I am really hungry ;-)
Thanks Deb for a welcome distraction tonight, but I am curious how you would answer your own questions (oh this could go on forever *wicked laugh* - practising for Halloween).
Speaking of Halloween, we will be missing our annual trick or treat session so fill my need for the spooky, what are you up to on All Hallows Eve??

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Party Time and Heart Wrenching

I am soooo late it is silly and I can't even excuse myself because I just forgot. Larissa is such a sweet host, another link up party on a (ahem) Thursday.

This is just a quick post to share something that made my heart ache at work today.

It seems that it is a fact of life in the modern age that families fracture. It is no longer a given that Mums and Dads live in the same house with their babies. It makes me sad but sometimes staying together would give rise to a toxic environment that is no good for anyone involved.

Today my heart broke at the sight of a Dad's heart visibly breaking. I do not pretend to know the circumstances or the reasons, but I watched a Dad today arrive in the library 45 minutes before a visitation with his son which had to be supervised. I saw him bring bags of toys and colouring things in so he could play with whatever he wanted. I saw the joy on his son's face at seeing Daddy for the first time that week and I saw the Dad try to maintain his smile as his son walked away, all the time his heart breaking under the facade waving bye bye until next week.

Like I said, I do not know why, I'm not even sure I want to know why, this Dad finds him self in this situation. It just broke my heart to watch. I pray to whoever listens that they come through this time stronger for it.

Reader Appreciation

I love getting flowers, and sunflowers always make me smile :-) Little did I know that discovering a lovely new (to me) blog by a fellow Lancastrian I would end up with flowers within the week. That's it, on line blogging friendship securely cemented. Just so you know I am not needy, I won't expect them every week ;-) Seriously bob over and have a look at Modfather, she is a super talented and strong young woman who I have fallen in blog love with instantly.
Ok so she really awarded me a reader appreciation award, which is even better, right?!
You guys already know I love my readers to bits (see here if your new, sure I have mentioned my readers elsewhere too)....What? Sorry? There are rules?? Why always with the rules!

1. I need to nominate 15 blogs for this award!
2. I have to answer 10 questions that have been posed by the person who nominated me.
3. I have to ask 10 questions of those I nominate.
So 15 blogs to award. That is a lot! I think instead I will award those of you that love me enough to comment on what I write (whilst also trying not to nominate the same people as Loki-Lou!), I am such a rule breaker!! Side note, if I have missed anyone this is not intentional I just have a brain swiming with so many things at the moment it is taking me a whils to fish out the important to now things! Please consider yourself an award recipient too ;-)
Seven lovely blogs, my favourite number :-)
On to step two...answer 10 questions.
1.If you could live anywhere in world where would it be? And why?

There are so many places that I would love to visit, some places I have and could see myself living. But if I am really honest with myself; there is no place like home! I don't think I could wander too far from Pendle Hill.

2. What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid?

Oh man, there are too many to mention; Grotbags, Trapdoor, Button Moon, Chip and Dale, He-Man, Thundercats.... Wow I could go on but instead I will leave a little clip of Trapdoor instead.

3. Kindle or actual books?

Actual books, all the time. Although I do like my Kobo.

4. If you were picked up by the Tardis which Doctor would you like to travel the universe with?

I grew up watching Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy with my Dad and love them all. But seriously if I were to jump in a tardis with anyone I would prefer someone I don't think of as a father figure (well wouldn't you)! I have to confess though, I have only caught the odd episode of the new Doctors. I do however have a little thing for Captain Jack Harkness, I'd be in that Tardis like a shot if it was with him ;-)

5. Gary Oldman or Alan Rickman? (If you like neither….unlikely I know but it might happen! Then – Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hiddleston).

Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman gives me the hebbies!

6. If you could invite 5 people (famous or otherwise) to a dinner party who would you ask?

Deb from Kicking Corners (because I just love her to bits, even though I have never met her), Tangled Lou from Periphery (legend has is she is really a weird old man), Loki-Lou from Modfather (who I need to get to know better), Jewels from Frazzled and Frumpy (who I don't believe is frumpy and would like to confirm my suspicion) and Michelle from Butter Toast Rocks (I just want an excuse to eat buttered toast). There are so many other wonderful bloggers I would love to meet and get to know even better, all for different reasons. Are you wondering why my dinner table isn't packed with the rich and famous? I have a funny quirk; I'd rather not meet the famous people I like, I always worry that I won't like them after that!!

7. In the event of a Zombie apocalypse would you sacrifice yourself to save a stranger or would you fight for your own survival?
Honest answer, probably not. Since becoming a Mum I have an over whelming instinct to protect my babies, which would require me being around. Of course in the process of thinking about this question there are many different permutations and possible out comes and we never really know what we are capable of until we face it. I hope I never have to work out the answer to this one, I am not keen on zombies...too messy!!
8. Do you prefer salted popcorn, sweet popcorn or half and half?
Half and half, just because I can never decide ;-)
9. What is your favourite sport (and team)?
My favourite sport to watch is Ice Hockey. My favourite sport to take part in is Tai Chi and Martial Arts. But in neither is there a team that I follow. However living with a Clarets fan and a coach for Burnley's Girls team I guess I have no choice in the team I follow ;-)
10. If the world was going to end and you only had time to tell one person that you loved them, who would it be? And why them?
Now this really is going back to a deep seated fear I buried long ago! The end of the world is the only thing that scares the hell out of me and always has. I had nightmares for a week after watching Independence Day (did I really just admit to that on the Internet?). I spent many hours as a teenager stressing over how I would get to those I love if the world came to an end, going over and over in my mind who the people I needed to see one last time would be. My other half, my Mum, my gran? Of course this has changed even more with two babies. How do you choose between the three people that hold the top spot in your world? I only hope I never have to find out and I am officially going to stop thinking about this now before I give myself nightmares!!
Next step, 10 questions for you lovely recipients of this award:
1. Who is your favourite band or singer or song?
2. Describe yourself as the main character in your own fairytale.
3. If you have a nickname, what is it and how did you come by it? If not what would you like your nick name to be and why?
4. What is your favourite word?
5. Who are your favourite literary couple?
6. What is your favourite Poem?
7. Do you like having someone play with your hair?
8. What is your greatest ambition?
9. If you have time alone, where do you go to feel at peace?
10. What is your favourite film?
Wow that is a lot of favourites, and I hate those questions too, I can never choose...sorry!
Can't wait to see all your answers, I love these posts because they feed my need to be nosey ;-)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Dancing in the rain

Audience participation, the two words I used to cringe at when someone uttered them or eluded to them. I would start to slouch down in my seat and pray that my eyes would not connect with the torturer.

Something in me has changed, I don't know if it is blogging or the direction my working life is taking (I employ audience participation on a frequent basis) but the words kind of fill me with excitement now. Although I am not sure I could get up in front of hundreds of people and karate chop a lump of wood (I saw that once in a Shaoulin Warriors show!). So when Tangled Lou at Periphery shouted audience participation I got all excited and shouted how high (ok whimpered I'll have a think).

Cliché's love them or hate them they have become ingrained in the way we communicate. They are useful in some circumstances, but to tell someone with short or no hair to 'let their hair down' is absurd. That is about as insightful as I seem to be getting on this subject. However, my mind does work in very mysterious ways and this is what I did come up with, I hope you like it:
It's time I kicked these shoes off
and go dancing in the rain
It's time I let my hair down
and live life with no shame.
It's time I stood on my own two feet
not wait for a hand to hold
It's time I opened the other door myself
and get used to feeling alone.
I'm tired of walking a mile
in someonelse's shoes
It's time I put my own back on
and enjoyed my slice of now.
If you read my post on Tuesday you will know I was dithering over doing something that scared me a little, something just for me. Please don't think any worse of me, remember I did say I am a wus, I was scared of driving. I know, I know stupid right. I was going to avoid something I enjoy just because it meant driving to a city that I have never driven in before and worse still having to do it alone!
Well I 'bit the bullet' (sorry Lou) and I went. I took myself to Liverpool and had a morning all to myself. I had a danish and a coffee walking through the city shops. I wandered down to the dock side buildings and stood for a moment; the breeze on my face, the taste of salt in the air, the sound of seagulls drifting around. Relaxed and energised I enjoyed an hour of beautiful art work at the Tate Liverpool. An exhibition of impressionist art work was what I had gone to see. The later paintings of my favourite artist Monet, mentioned before here, were on display along with some work from Turner and Twombly.
I may post about the exhibition and the thoughts it stirred in me at a later date. I will however say that; I smiled, I laughed (quietly to myself), I sat and floated with the waterlilies, I cried (see definitely a wus) yes a painting brought me to tears! I don't know if it is the memories I have attached to the Monet pieces, or the way the Twombly works seem to depict the turmoil I feel of the here and now but I have become an emotional wreck in the space of one day. It is as if someone has messed with my emotional switch. I have felt more creatively alive in the last 24 hours, I am just not sure why it has to come with an emotional roller coaster ride!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

I am such a Wus!!

I think I tend to come across as quite confident in a lot of areas of my life. My eldest munchkin is the same, but underneath it we are both blithering wreaks!

If we analyse it a little the situations we maintain our confident cover are all familiar; we know the people, we know the places and we know what we are talking about.

That is very true of the munchkin, however I am a little more of a complex character (the other half will testify to that). Since starting my new job I have done things that I have never even attempted before, surrounded by people who I don't know. I have faced my nerves and achieved things I never thought possible. I am always confronting things that terrify me for the benefit of my babies and my family too.

However, I have spent all week dithering over doing just one thing for myself. It just means facing something new alone. Aha, here is the key to me! I hate to do things alone, especially for the first time. Don't get me wrong there are times I need a little alone time, but in these moments I choose something safe, somewhere safe, somewhere comfortable. Historically when I have come across something that scares me, is just for me but I cannot find someone to do it with, I have always given up. Just rolled over and allowed the fear to swallow me whole. Oh I can pull it out of the bag when someone is counting on me, I can even fake an air of confidence, but when I am the only one that matters I would much rather disappoint myself. Sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand and make sure you don't fall!

I guess the question is....will I pull it out of the bag for myself? Or will I retreat and give in?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Mojo and victory dances

I have been invited to a party :-D and the general gist is to talk to you about what I have been up to.

Now when I saw the invitation I immediately jumped up and down and accepted. Then I regretted it, what on earth was I going to waffle about that would be worthy of such a gathering of bloggers?

Today, however the powers that be (who ever they be) shone down on me and handed me something to write about.

At work toady we got a little bundle of joy in the post, something that lifted my spirits and starting me jiggling on my way to today's victory dance. What was it you ask? An envelope stuffed with fan mail.....yes you heard me right, myself and my colleague received an stack of 35 letters of thanks and appreciation from the students of a local school that came to visit the library. I was their princess in one, queen in another, told I should be proud of myself in the next. They asked me what my favourite book was and told me they would like it very much if I could visit them at school.

Yes I nearly cried (ok read here teared up like a baby) and my heart leapt, it is one of the best feelings in the world to be told you did a good job, that your enthusiasm has been infectious and that you are wanted.

My day just kept getting better with a great weight loss at weigh in tonight...victory dance well in swing (not a pretty sight but I didn't care).

Today I feel on top of the world, today I have my mojo back.

Thank you to Larissa for organising and inviting me to this link up party, now I am off to see who else is at the party. I am dying to know what everyone has worn ;-)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Friends and Flowers

Colorful Flower Garden"If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever."

― Lord Alfred Tennyson

I have been thinking a lot today about friends and how well we know the people we love (yes blogging friends you only have yourselves to blame). Tangled Lou and Margi at The M Half met up recently and their experience coupled with a.eye's post at Shouldn't Life Be More Thank This? really got my thinking cogs turning.

Have you ever been really down in the dumps; missing something or someone so much it hurts, or simply fed up with what life is throwing at you? Next thing you find out a friend is on the downside to. Suddenly your troubles don't seem so bad, you are now occupied trying to figure out how to cheer said friend up. Does this happen to anyone else or is this just another quirk d'Sleepy?

It hurts when you look so down
How can I disappear your frown?
It hurts when you look so stressed
I wish I could help you worry less!
It hurts when I don't know what to do
Making me realise I really don't know you
Let me in and tell me why
Before your pain causes me to cry.
In times like these I just hope they know I have a very pretty and colourful garden (at least in my head anyway!) I just hope that that is enough!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Happy National Poetry Day!

That was the cheery e-mail I got this morning that put a smile on my face 'Happy National Poetry Day' (some people are so easily pleased!)

On this celebration of word in verse I thought I would share one of my favourite poems with you:

Jenny Joseph - Warning
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we have no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes to keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
And seeing as it is a special occasion an' all maybe I will be a little brave and share one of my own....
Soul Mate
The feelings I have are crushing my chest
It takes all my effort just to take a breath
Crank up the music with a pumping bass
And wipe the tears streaming down my face.
The magnet of history pulls us together
It hurts to resist our corner of forever
You bring the best of me out to play
I wonder if you feel the same way.
Standing here I'm mesmerised
By the shining light within your eyes
A part of me in time torn
In your arms I am home
I guess I will just have to be satisfied
To stand aside and just watch your eyes
Our soul unable to reconnect
Just friends! It's for the best.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012



Driving past a field just as a rainbow touches the ground.

Attending a story time where the story teller used serendipity almost straight after. Sometimes you just have to go with what is handed to you on a plate ;-)

Enhanced Rainbow
view original here