Can we have Remembrance day before the commercial Christmas advertising madness?

First of all don’t get me wrong I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I really do, my decs go up at the start of Decemeber and my teens still get their own filled advent calendar and we watch all the Christmas films going, and my youngest also has the Christmas music playing continuously.

However, with all the talk over the new John Lewis TV advert and all the other large companies following suit with theirs I have become unbelievably annoyed.

It is Remembrance Day this Sunday with the actual 11th day being early next week, so why Oh why are we inundated with bloody Christmas adverts already. Ok I’m also guilty of getting sorted for the season early, I have my cards etc and am making my lists for pressies and have already started buying all my festive chocs etc. I know some shops even have had their Christmas stuff in and on sale even before Halloween, and I realise there is a huge commercial value for businesses on the lead up to the big day. I have no problem with the shops gearing up for the Christmas frenzy that would never be changed ever.

However, I do object to the showing of Christmas adverts before we have even had Remembrance Day! I may just be in the minority here but I really don’t care. Having been in the Royal Air Force myself along with my OH I feel unbelievably strong about this. The British legion do their best every year to raise as much as possible along with showing respect for all the fallen brave men who died for us to have the freedom we enjoy today. Almost everyone will have had a very distant relative who fought in the wars for our behalf.

Now I know there is no real commercial value to Remembrance Day ( apart from what is charitably raised) and that this year to mark the 100 year anniversary the ceramic poppies at the Tower of London will have gone a long way to raise awareness, allow people to pay their respects while also raising a phenomenal amount thanks to those who were lucky enough to buy one.

So why does it feel as though it is being forgotten amongst the Christmas commercial mayhem? It is the 100th year anniversary as well so is certainly extra special, and just because it’ goes back to remembering the 1st World War doesn’t mean we cannot also remember all of those who have in recent years lost their lives in places like Afghanistan, something that is very close to home for many people, as we do every year.

So please what is 1 weeks difference between releasing the special Christmas adverts by companies this week or waiting until the 12th November out of respect? Surely people will still be buying their Christmas pressies and goodies from the shops but at least it will feel as though major companies are showing their respect by leaving the adverts until after Remembrance Day!! Even by doing so there is still a huge lead up to Christmas Day, plenty in fact.

Each poppy representing a fallen soldier from the war!
Each poppy representing a fallen soldier from the war!

So, am I in the minority here?

 

My baby has turned 16!

This post has taken me a few weeks to write as we have had a few things happen all at once that have made me feel old and decrepit!

Anyway this was still a joyous occasion, my little baby, turning 16…………………still very hard to believe. But as I look at him now I see the older boy he is, something I have denied for a VERY long time ( I’m sure I’m not the only one here that has done this). He talks of exams and A levels and university. He talks of trips up to London with friends and recently wanting to stay at home on his own so he can get a ‘bit of independence’. He has asked to be shown how to use the washing machine ( I know great isn’t it LOL), cook things for himself, organise outings with his friends etc, really something he hasn’t even shown an interest before- he even started shaving. So this is great, really it is *weeps into my coffee*.

So to celebrate this he wanted a paintball day with some of his mates which they all loved and Dad got ‘hero points’ for taking out the exterminator guy in one of the games!

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We then had some friends and family around on his actual birthday just to mark the day.

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Me on the left looking slightly hysterical...........might have been the wine LOL
Me on the left looking slightly hysterical………..might have been the wine LOL

It is weird though as you begin to think if you have made the most of those years and why the time goes so quickly. He is in the middle of his GCSE’s at the moment and it just all seems to be happening at once! I know everyone is in the same boat and I suppose it’s easy to look back with rose tinted glasses thinking everything was perfect instead of remembering his awful eating problems, the tantrums, the stress of siblings etc, but hey wants to dwell on that shit eh?

Therefore I will continue to console myself with wine………….and chocolate……………and coffee……………and whatever else I can do to take my mind off getting older by the day and my baby getting closer to being a fully fledged adult.

The one hour Valentine

So I was on Twitter and Facebook for a while yesterday having a nosey at what everyone was getting up to on Valentines Day. We don’t really ‘do’ valentines after being married for almost 20 years! I prefer to have something planned on my anniversary instead.

Yesterday was no different and we just exchanged cards before OH went off to work. The kids were at school all day and OH wasn’t going to be in until almost 7pm. Instead of a relaxing Friday night my taxi duties started at around 5ish as I had to go and pick up my 13yr old from a friends house and drop him to his drama class. My eldest was cooked some food before he headed of to his club and was due to be picked up around 9.30pm.

As you all know the weather was horrendous so I spent much longer in the car on my journey’s than I had intended but I did manage to pop into a local Sainsbury’s and grab a £10 meal deal complete with wine!

So, after my youngest was home from drama and my OH had returned home I had the dinner ready as we had ONE WHOLE HOUR to eat and chill before the last club pick up. So not exactly a big extravaganza but at least I didn’t have to cook.

I did manage to clear half the table from the rubbish that gets piled on top of it and we did sit there for our food, and I even went to the trouble of lighting candles and everything LOL

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But we were not alone!!

Talk about being watched!
Talk about being watched!

Then our youngest decided he would have some too so he came and joined us as well. We had our yummy desert before my OH left on the last pick up but unfortunately I was so eager to tuck in I didn’t take a picture but I can assure you it was lush. My OH did partake in alcohol once he had finished driving and by then I was in bed …………… and not for the reason you would expect!!

So that was it, all thrown together in an hour but at least the sentiment was there.

How was your Valentines?

 

Out with 2013 and in with 2014!

DSCF4022Normally Christmas for me brings stress, running around, a deterioration in health, more stress and results in a huge loss of enjoyment of the Christmas spirit!!

This year has been different. Each year I vow to be organised and ready early and each year I fail to do it. But this year I did manage it. I thought of and organised presents early, I had my cards written in October ( don’t shoot me I was just trying to beat my MIL to it…..and I did LOL). My decorations went up on the first weekend getting everyone in the Christmas mood.

I had my OH help me with all the major food shopping AND I made lists about what I actually had in the cupboards and what I still needed. I also farmed out presents as I arranged to see everyone so I didn’t end up delivering them last minute. I even managed to get them all into Christmas jumpers/ tops LOL

I had lots of social stuff on the run up to the big day and after the New Year which meant my actual Christmas week was chilled, relaxed and VERY enjoyable.

New Years Eve was spent at a film ( Walter Mitty) and having food at Bluewater in Kent and then home in the evening to see in the gong’s and celebrations, where I managed to torture the teens and my OH by singing along to Mr Barlow as though I was in the audience.

I haven’t made any rash resolutions this year as I’m a bit shit at keeping them,but there are a few new things I would like to learn for myself, crochet being one and after getting enough Christmas money we are investing in a decent digital camera which we should be able to get soon, so I’m hoping to improve my photography skills and maybe join you all on Instagram! I have also agreed that when someone asked me to get in the photo- I actually will instead of shying away ( as I have found there are loads of pics of the boys but hardly any with me and them).

So here’s to good health ( a cure for M.E would be gratefully received), a bit of wealth and a lot of love and happiness in 2014!

What’s your plans for 2014?

 

 

 

Haven Holidays fun Guide to Halloween

It’s that creepy time of year again where ghosts and ghouls come out to play.

I obviously cannot talk for everyone but I have always loved celebrating Halloween since having the boys. I have a gorgeous picture of them as little wizards when they are only about 5 and 3 years old. We always had a party with friends and their children and then we went out en masse for a bit of Trick or Treating! We have always used the kids as an excuse to have a party anyway.

The boys are now at the awkward ages of 13 and 15 years old and so don’t really want to do the trick or treating/ dress up, however, they still love opening the door to all those that do to give out sweets.

I’m hoping that as they get older we will be able to start again with ‘proper’ parties where we all dress up as adults and have a disco going and they can all invite their friends! We think that by celebrating these events then the boys themselves will celebrate them when they are grown and have their own kids. I love the dressing up, the warming food and treats and the chance to decorate the house!!

This year we will be visiting family, however, I fully intend to bring us all pumpkins and still get involved that way and maybe have a competition to see who can do the best carving.

For some though it’s a time to get away or their tradition is to go away with friends or family to enjoys some spooky fun, so why not get ready for lots of spooktacular fun at Haven Holidays?

We’re already getting in the Halloween spirit and to get everyone else excited about the spookiest day of the year, we’ve created this spine-chillingly good infographic with everything you need to know about Halloween.

Check out our ‘Halloween by Numbers’ for some freakishly fascinating facts about trick or treating and let us wow you with some world record breaking facts about pumpkins!

And while you’re getting in the spirit, this is the perfect time to start looking for some creepy Halloween costume ideas. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular Halloween fancy dress outfits so use it for inspiration and get ready to scare your friends with your most frightening costume yet.

Let’s not forget that trick or treat would not be the same without some terrifyingly tasty treats so if all this excitement is making you peckish, check out our list of ingredients for the perfect pumpkin pie – the ultimate Halloween food.
And to truly give your kids a Halloween to remember, check out the fun family activities and Halloween games for kids going on at Haven holiday parks all around the UK. So dig out your spookiest decorations and tastiest Halloween recipes and indulge in some spookiness this October while you get ready for an unforgettable #HavenHalloween

Use the hashtag #HavenHalloween to share our infographic on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Pinterest.

Happy Halloween everyone!

DISCLOSURE- this is a Collaborative PR related article

Will you live until your 90?

Would you actually want to live until you are 90?

I recently had a family visit to Belfast for my nan’s 90th birthday. It was a great trip as I went with my youngest from London, my mum flew in from Exeter and my brother and his youngest flew in from New York. So it was great to all get together for a long weekend.

The hotel was amazing ( and that’s all thanks to my mum for booking…….and paying!), with a swimming pool, a great bar restaurant, plush rooms with king size beds and amazing breakfasts. Need I say more?

Anyway the whole reason for going was to have a get together to celebrate her 90th birthday.

Here she is with me and my youngest on the day we arrived when we popped up to see her. I think she looks amazing for 90 years old, don’t you?

But that got me thinking………………………how many people would actually want to live to that ripe old age?

I’m not sure I actually would. I’m 42 now *cough* and therefore that would mean another 48 years to go. If I was fit and healthy then I would probably accept the deterioration in mobility and possibly memory and feel darn lucky to get to that age.

However, after 4 years with M.E which sees overwhelming fatigue and chronic muscular pain that is part of my everyday living (along with headaches, IBS, nausea, photo and phono sensitiveness…………………………..and that’s a good day LOL ) I’m not sure I would want to get to that grand age.

No, correct that, I KNOW I wouldn’t want to live another 48 years with all those symptoms as a daily occurrence. The last 4 years have been relentless enough without contemplating another 48!!

I must admit though it was a great excuse to all go over there, see family, visit a few sights, eat lots of food and drink and live in a bit of luxury for a while.

So, what about you?

How did that happen?

That is the question I have pondered this week. Why? Well I woke up yesterday morning with the realisation that I am know old enough to have a 15 yr old son!

YES……………………15!

Again I ask ‘How did that happen?’

It seems like only months ago I came home with my firstborn, tiny and crying, cuddly and gorgeous.

Now that cute and cuddly baby has somewhere along the line turned into a grumbly, mumbly, spotty, hairy 15 yr old.

ONE IS NOT AMUSED………………………..of course it’s all about me!

He was happy with his tickets to go see Bon Jovi at Hyde Park in July!! Yay
His cake is quickly becoming a fire hazard!!

I don’t feel any older than I did in my 20’s so I cannot comprehend how those 15 years have just gone past in the blink of and eye.

WHY DOES THE TIME GO SO QUICKLY?

St Patrick’s Day!

Yesterday we celebrated St Patrick’s Day. Not that I am southern Irish or catholic!! I do have the accent though. However, living in England, married to an Englishman with 2 English sons it’s just nice to get them thinking about the fact I’M NOT FROM HERE!! LOL

Anyway it is a true excuse to terrorize them with LOADS of diddly diddly music, Irish food and all things green.

So here’s how it went:

Yummy beef in Guinness with a clover shaped pastry top, champ and cabbage!
A bit of this also…………..the teen is NOT happy!

I would have liked to head up to the parade in London this year, however, one son had extra piano lessons today and the other had his Lamda practice…………..so it wasn’t to be.

I am waiting until they are both over 18 so we can go on a proper long weekend in Dublin, complete with a tour of diddly diddly bars, a few Guinness’s and yummy food! Until then my friends it’s down to me to keep the madness going!

What did you get up to?

My Mother’s Day!

How has your day gone?

Flowers?

Chocolates?

Lunch or dinner out?

Today I have had coffee in bed while I opened a few cards and a little pressie or two. I know these times can become very commercial so we always agree not to go mad and that it is the thought that counts. So I had a bought card from my OH but homemade personal ‘printouts’ from the kids (which I prefer).

I was chuffed to bits to get the soundtrack to the new Les Miserables film which has already been played today!

However, my definite surprise pressie was a fab onesie!! No laughing please I have really wanted one for ages but it’s not something I would go and spend money on for myself when there are lots of other things to pay for.

Sadly I look FAR too happy wearing this LOL

I am now sitting on the laptop while they are all ‘secret squirrel’ in the kitchen making dinner………………..I will admit I am slightly scared at the idea as my OH is the worst cook ever, so it will be like the blind leading the blind. However, like I said earlier it’s the thought that counts ( that’s until the food poisoning kicks in and then I will be swearing).

We also popped into Costa earlier(as my youngest had a party to go to) and I was able to have my favourite vanilla latte and caramel shortbread as a quick treat!

Calorie overload

AND to top it all off I have just seen that The Wizard of Oz is about to start on telly!!!

MY DAY IS COMPLETE.…………..if for some reason (possible impending food poisoning) I don’t make it to tomorrow, I can safely go knowing I had the BEST day today!!

Let me know how your day went.

Valentines Smalentines!

So you either love it or hate it. Now I can imagine this is VERY important to those who may be single, but this may also be true of people who have been together for a long time.

So is it important to you?

I can see the point behind it, really I can, but to be honest it has become BIG BUSINESS!!

Florists and shops increase the prices of everything, and if you are materialistic then this is a concern as things get more expensive for this one day.

However, I personally think that it’s the little things that make the bigger impression. No this is not an excuse to be a skinflint or unromantic.

We as a couple do not take the day off or head out to dinner on that day. Today for example, my OH is on late shift starting at lunchtime. So there was no option of going out for lunch or dinner, and generally we do Valentines dinner as a family where everyone has a hand in it. My boys are 12 and 14 so it would be nice to show them a simple sense of occasion.

So back to today, what did we do?

We got the kids off to school, went to our local high street Witherspoon pub and had a breakfast together! Not exciting, obviously not over romantic, but it was time to ourselves and a meal eaten without disruption/ arguing etc. It was washed down with a good ol’ mug of tea and it totally went down a storm.

We did exchange cards in the morning and the boys had a card each. But that’s it, and if I’m very honest it was really nice, chilled out, relaxing and enjoyable.

Now my OH is at work , my dinner is with the boys before taking my eldest to his Explorer’s club tonight!

I don’t feel unloved, under appreciated or anything else because I didn’t get over priced flowers, or chocolates that I’m trying to cut down on or something fancy JUST because it is Valentines day today………………..DO YOU?

How has your day been?