This week on 23rd April marked my silver wedding anniversary, 25 years of marriage and still standing.
I know its totally cliched but I really do not know where the time has gone, I mean 25 years sounds a long time and we have done lots in that time, but it does feel as though it has shot past us in the blink of an eye.
So how did we celebrate and mark this momentous occasion. Well our eldest also turned 21 recently so we decided a little while ago that we would combine the 2 occasions and have a family trip away in Dublin. Somewhere we all have wanted to visit but I really wanted the boys to be of legal drinking age before we went so we could all participate in all the typical touristy things. We chose to do this instead of having parties as we have rarely been able to afford to take the boys on holidays while they were growing up and we thought this would be money well spent as an experience rather than a party.
Therefore, the actual day on our anniversary was a quiet, chilled affair. My youngest was at school all day and then went to work and my eldest was revising for his impending exams for uni. So we knew we had the day to ourselves…………so what did we do? We booked into the Flashback cinema to see The Wizard of Oz on the big screen as its one of our all time favourite classic films!! I bet you wasn’t expecting that little bundle of excitement.
As I sit here writing this I am still feeling the affects of drinking way too many cocktails at a Christmas party last night, and I am watching White Christmas for the very first time!
It’s the ultimate Christmas cliche isn’t it? Christmas parties, festive hangovers and idyllic lazy afternoons watching Christmas films and feeling like its just ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. However, what you don’t see is the inevitable Christmas overwhelm that I have now come to expect every year. My husband loves Christmas and says it’s his favourite time (and day) of the year………………..well I mean you would wouldn’t you if you if it literally landed on your lap with virtually no effort whatsoever! That’s how it is most years, I sort ALL the presents (even for all his side of the family), I sort everything we get for our boys, I organise all of the food and treats………Oh and then I obviously cook dinner most years ( although thankfully I am not this year as we are at the in laws on the day). That generally leads to an annual Christmas meltdown for me at some point, normally fairly close to the big day, when I realise I haven’t got everything I need, haven’t wrapped anything and realise I haven’t got something we need for the actual dinner. Anyway you get the general picture.
Yet on good ‘ol social media everyone is literally Christmassing the shit out of life, putting their decs up as early as possible, having all their pressies wrapped by December 1st and their food order slot booked, and so can sit smugly back and take time for themselves to get their Christmas nails done, order their party dresses enjoy the wonderful festive season in all it’s glory.
Me, on the other hand, am still ordering stuff of Amazon, hoping I’ve got enough wrapping paper and already panicking about the ridiculously early morning I have on Saturday morning to go and get the all important fresh food shop. You see Christmas is very different when you suffer with chronic pain. It impacts every single day of your life let alone at THE busiest time of the year. Trying to pace all the things you need to do with enough rest time in between, slowly running out of time and realising that if it’s all going to get done then there is no rest time…………..and that leads to flare ups and meltdowns, in my case.
So, my Christmas night out with my sewing group was fabulous and much needed and I knew today would be a wasted day in regards to getting anything done whilst also feeling a bit crap! ( however, I wouldn’t change that for anything as I had a fab time and it was totally worth it). But the overwhelm game is strong today which means I start to panic about how much I still have to do. On top of that, because its a busy time, I worry that I will have a massive fibro crash that will inevitably eat into the precious time I have left and therefore Christmas will be ruined! I know, I know it seems a bit extreme but that’s just how it is with chronic illness and chronic pain combined with the added activity and stress that leads up to the day itself.
But even without the illness, I think I would still feel overwhelmed. I can’t be the only one who gets like this though, can I? I literally feel like a total Grinch because I’m not drowning in festive hot chocolates watching Christmas movies all day long, with everything wrapped and ready.
So help me out here folks……………….am I the only one?
Well it’s certainly been a while since I have been on here!
It’s not like there hasn’t been anything going on for me to write about it’s more like I haven’t had the urge to write, but lately that has been changing. So rather than bore you will loads of catch up posts I thought I would do a quick run through everything that has been going on.
So this year I have had more hospital imput for my M.E/ Fibromyalgia than I have over the last 8 years since being diagnosed. Finally I managed to get physio treatment for the Carpel Tunnel in my left hand which has helped ease some of the numbness at least. I have also been referred onto a pain management course due to start late September for 7 weeks and I hope that helps me with at least pacing any activity I do ( I am absolutely rubbish at saying ‘No’ to anyone and generally end up overdoing things and then crashing afterwards!). The course will run me up to almost Christmas when I have been told I may get referred onto an exercise class suitable to help with my illness.
Excitingly, earlier this year a ‘dream job’ sort of fell into my lap via a good friend of mine. Dream job in the fact I can do the job in my pj’s, at anytime of day, keeping my own time! Sounds bloody good eh? It comes in the form of running a social media account for a local clothing boutique called Kimmicass (would love you to come and give us a follow) that sells amazing womens clothing that you just cannot find in the high street shops (and will be looking to expand and sell online as well as open more shops too). This one account actually led to a second account for a London florist who lives locally but works independantly for clients like the V&A! This account is a slow burner and is not fully up and running but is definitely getting there and should be more active before Christmas. So how great is that? Literally a dream job for me as with my illness its difficult to predict health wise how I will be feeling on any particular day, but this job does not require me to be anywhere in particular for any length of time! So I get to work from home in my pj’s which I am loving ………….total result!
Also, we had an amazing surprise with my youngest’s sons GCSE results. His plan was originally to do a Level 3 Early years Childcare course at college which he needed 5 passes including English and Maths. Now hes a clever boy so we knew he would get the 5 passes unfortunately his worst subject is maths so we were extremely concerned ( as was he) that he wouldn’t pass that and therefore not be able to do his course. So the results morning was literally the most stressful time ever and I had lots of contingency plans running through my head should he not get his maths. Well talk about a total surprise, not only did he get a level 5 in his Maths ( the new marking system is numbered!) but he also passed ALL 10 GCSE’s and did so well was offered a place back at the school’s 6Th Form!! He was so gobsmacked he literally didn’t know what to do with himself and although he still went over to the college to enrol he ended up taking the place at 6th form to do A levels instead. As you could imagine it was total surprise all round so we ended up going out to his favourite restaurant to celebrate………….it would have been rude not to!
Then it was birthday celebrations for my husband who was turning 50 at the end of August…………….50!! Now he’s not one for big parties etc although is more than happy to go to others he hates being centre of attention himself. So I came up with a cunning plan to use the money that a big party would cost and instead take him away to somewhere I know he has wanted to go to for a long time- ROME! So I managed to find a little family run boutique hotel in the centre of Rome for 4 nights and booked that and some flights etc for early October for the two of us. However, because this was going to be his only present , except for a few bits from the boys, I wanted to make it a little special. So, I came up with the idea of putting some clues together to put inside a cabin size suitcase and then wrap it all up. So I numbered the clues…
A picture of a fountain and some Euro coins (for the Trevy Fountain)
A spanish style fan with a picture of some stone steps ( for the Spanish Steps)
A rosary (hopefully making him think Catholic!)
A dvd of Sparticus with a small Italian flag!! (The Colosseum obviously)
Each clue was wrapped up and numbered and then his present was a gift of 2 guide books for Rome with the flight tickets inside.
Now my hubby is not one for showing emotion at ALL but as he opened the guide books his eyes did well up and his hands were physically shaking which showed me he literally had no clue up until that point of what his present was. I had even gone behind his back to one of his work colleagues to help me book his time off work and get it approved (he is in the police so it’s not an easy thing to do without him finding out)……………..BUT I BLOODY DID IT!
It was a tough thing to make all the decisions on my own with regard to the flights, the hotel and when to go so I was actually quite relieved when it all seemed to work out. Thankfully now I can relax as I know he will sort everything else out from here- he has already done our medical cards and booked airport parking! The only time throughout that I gave myself a total heart attack was when my Mum asked me on the phone if our passports are in date! For anyone who doesn’t know us we never go away anywhere abroad as we cannot afford it normally and the last time i used my passport was when he took me to Venice for my 40th birthday 7 years ago……………………………………..SO THANKFULLY THEY WERE IN DATE!!
**So if anyone has any recommendations for Rome please let me know**
We also took my eldest back to uni last weekend (sobs) and helped him move into his new shared house ( which is a total state and will be another blog post on its own!) so I am missing him already sitting with us for dinner etc.
Next up is my youngest 17th birthday in a few weeks time before we can get really excited about our trip.
Anyway, it’s lovely to be back and have the urge to put things down in black and white again and would love to hear what you have all been up to. If
Last time I updated you I was very, very close to my target. Well guess what? I only went and bloody done it!
Yes, I reached my new target of 9stone with the fabulous help of Slimming world. I have taken to this plan like a duck to water when I joined back in August last year. As I have mentioned before ( or maybe not!) I do not have the busiest of social life thanks to my ME and Fibromyalgia. It means I am not out surrounded by temptation every weekend, which has obviously been a good thing for me, however, it has also meant my weight loss has been a slow but steady journey due to the fact i cannot conventionally exercise.
But it’s true that slow and steady wins the race in my case.
I have just today got all my summer clothes out ( wishful thinking on my part maybe!) and while sorting out my wardrobe I realise that actually not a lot fits me anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I am in no way complaining, it’s a great problem to have.
I have also, since reaching target, stayed in weight loss mode so I can sit comfortably at the bottom range of my target weight. Although I haven’t weighed in this week due to a physio appointment I seem to be slowly creeping down to that level.
I have actually had a treat or two since last week, a few indulgences I promised myself when I got to target. So, after class last week my hunny and I went to the Kaspa’s Ice cream place down the bottom of my road and I thoroughly enjoyed scoffing a caramel shortcake waffle with ice cream…………………… IT WAS LUSH! Literally I could have just face planted it if I’m honest. Instinct then kicked in and I went into low syn mode for a few days to make up for it.
Then came the weekend and I knew I would not be weighing in on the Monday and when my hubby suggested the second treat, a chinese takeaway…………………. well who was I to argue. Again I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful but I did find that I didn’t overfill my plate but had a bit of everything that I wanted. I also did not go back for seconds either. Again afterwards I went into low syn mode again for a few days to do a bit of damage limitation.
Something I have learned and realised though is that I know if I do not weigh in each week ( even though as a target member I don’t have to every week) I know I will probably find it all to easy to slip into some bad habits again and pile the weight back on. I have no intention of going back to the size I was, and in fact I am thinking about lowering my target just slightly again but at the moment I am happy with where I am at. This week with the weigh in back on the cards I have been sticking to the plan easily, but I know that because I am in target I do have a little leeway to eat or drink what I want on a night or day out, knowing I can go straight back to weight loss and low syn mode to counter act any damage and stay within my range.
For now though, I am happy to attend my group each week so I can stay in target, treat myself occasionally knowing I won’t do too much damage and look forward to treating myself to some nice new size 10 summer clothes.
Let me know how your weigh loss journey is going, I would love to hear from you
You may have thought I had given up on my little blog it has been so long since I have posted on here, but no, I am still here I have just been having a little break.
It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about, there have been loads going on in the past few months in my little corner of the world, it is just the fact that I haven’t had the inclination to put it all on here, call it lack of blogging mojo but I have had a total break from my site although I have been active on my social media sites. Last night, however, I attended a lovely event down in Kent which got me back in touch with the blogging community. It was fun, it was nice to meet new people and get a bit of that missing blogging mojo back.
So, what has been happening while I have been away (and I do not mean the obvious political stuff that is all over social media at the minute). In my little bubble, I haven’t been active on here since attending a review for a local spa, which I have now joined myself and try and go there at least twice a week. I cannot tell you how relaxing it is using the heat rooms ( sauna and steam) there and how lovely that has been for my poor M.E/Fibro muscular pain.
There’s been 18th birthday celebrations for my eldest ( in April) before all the madness of his A level exams recently.
There’s been more sewing for me as I attended another sewing class learning more skills and meeting new people.
There’s been a lot of ‘new to me’ furniture buying and upcycling as we have started to redecorate our lounge from a modern look to a more old style/ country appearance..
There is still a lot to do as the walls need repainting and the feature walls need re-papered and some soft furnishings still need to be sorted, but the majority of the change over is done.
There’s also been a trip to Royal Ascot (which was amazing) for a friends 50th birthday.
This was something I always wanted to go and experience and I am glad they invited us to enjoy their special day- things are always enjoyed best depending on the company you go with. This was a fabulous day that I will not forget for a very long time…………….did I mention how close I got to the Queen????
Recent weeks have been tough health wise for me, I felt I was having no relief from my Fibromyalgia pain at all. It was making me more exhausted than normal and was just never ending. I finally managed to get a GP appointment and she is very understanding and finally changed my medication to a slow release morphine ( the strongest thing I have been on ever). However, the detox from the years of Tramadol onto slow release MST was just horrific for about 5-6 days in total. I have never felt so rough in my life, hardly able to hold myself up yet unable to sleep ( I was literally awake all night on the 1st evening watching films!), there was lots of nausea and dizziness and a bloody awful crushing headache that lasted days. A week or so on from there and things have settled and things are on the up and I am slowly but surely getting back to what would be relative normality for me.
Then last night was a huge milestone when my 18yr old went on his 6th year school leaver’s Prom, having officially left school and now just waiting exam results ( do not mention Edexel A level Maths………….there may well be a meltdown here!) and hopefully for him ( definitely not me) off to uni.
So there you have it! There have obviously been lots of normal life thrown in too, ( nothing is ever straightforward or stress free with older teens in the house) but for now I will leave it there.
I look forward to catching up on all the blogging goings on now that I have a little blog mojo back!
The festive season is always a very exciting one and many people look forward to being able to spend quality time with friends and family over this period. This is a time of year when we tend to go out more than usual with everything from office parties through to family meals out, nights out with friends, and other festive activities to enjoy.
This is also a time of year when we often tend to have guests over far more than usual, whether it is for a fabulous and fun-filled Christmas dinner or simply tor a few drinks and to exchange gifts and cards. With this in mind, it is important to ensure that you are fully prepared by getting your home ready for the Christmas period and for entertaining your guests.
Some of the important preparations
There are a number of key preparations that you should make in order to have your home Christmas-ready for your family as well as any guests that you will be entertaining over the festive period. One of the things you should do is to ensure that your home is always clean and tidy at all times. While we all have periods where we may become a little lax with the cleaning, this is not the time of year to do that! You never know when guests may drop in over Christmas, so keep on top of the cleaning as much as possible.
You also need to ensure that your home is warm and comfortable, as the last thing you want is your family or any guests having to wrap themselves in layers because of the cold. Make sure that the heating you use is not only effective but also reliable, as trying to get a professional out to fix faulty heating over Christmas can be both extremely difficult and very expensive. Opting for something along the lines of the stand alone electric radiators from Verismart is an excellent option, as these provide superior heating, are modern and attractive in design, are extremely reliable, and very cost effective to run. Your family and guests can then enjoy warmth and cosiness in any room in your home over Christmas.
Of course, Christmas wouldn’t seem like Christmas without turning your home into Santa’s grotto, so one of the most important preparations is getting your decor sorted. You can really go to town with tinsel, paper decorations, and fairy lights, all of which will add that final magical festive touch to your home. You can even look at making your own Christmas decorations if you are on a budget – something you can get the kids involved in for some festive fun.
Once you’ve got your home ready for Christmas, you can look forward to a magical and vibrant atmosphere, warmth and cosiness, and a home that both your family and friends will be delighted to spend time in over the festive season.
However you choose to spend your Christmas and new Year I wish you a very happy one- have fun!
This I am very excited about and thankfully only have a week to wait. This years Ideal Home Show at Christmas will be taking place at Olympia London for the first time ever. The UK’s biggest Christmas exhibition will be open from the 25th – 29th of November to provide everything you could possibly need in the run up to the festive season, from over 600 exhibitors showcasing top Christmas shopping inspiration, a plethora of celebrity appearances and a Christmas bandstand hosting live entertainment……………c’mon you Christmas lovers what more could you need?
I’m feeling festive already and cannot wait to see the venue transformed into a winter wonderland. There will be exhibitors across 7 sectors, as well as a host of festive favourite celebrities including Gino D’Acampo, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Olly Smith and Katie Piper who will be making her Christmas show debut and experts will be on hand at the show offering their own festive hints and tips to make your Christmas Ideal.
There will be live entertainment for visitors to enjoy as they shop, a wide range of expert talks and advice, a food & drink theatre featuring top tips from celebrity chefs, and even a champagne bar as well ( so that’s me sorted then!).
The Ideal Home Show at Christmas sponsored by Gocompare.com has everything you could possibly need to create the perfect Christmas all under one roof! So, for a chance to be part of history and experience Christmas for the first time at Olympia London, get yourself a ticket!
Children (Under 15) go free when accompanied by an adult
Timings for Ideal Home Show at Christmas:
Wednesday 25th November 2015 10am – 6pm
Thursday 26th November 2015 10am – 9pm
Friday 27th November 2015 10am – 6pm
Saturday 28th November 2015 10am – 6pm
Sunday 29th November 2015 10am – 5pm
I am looking forward to spotting some lovely new Christmassy bits to add to my ever growing collection that I manage to add to each year. Our decorations go up at the start of December and I love the festive run up to the big day itself. However, I do think my OH may disown me if I buy any more fairy lights for him to put up…………………………………… so watch this space.
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the afternoon tea that is available at the Tudor Park Marriott Country Club near Bearsted.
To be perfectly honest I did have a pre conception of what a Marriott hotel would offer as there is one local to me in Bexleyheath, which seems business orientated and built for that purpose in that particular are. However, at the Tudor Park I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. The entrance alone did not look like a standard hotel front and was very welcoming.
This particular hotel and country club has a comforting feel to it even though the reception is open, spacious, minimalist and bright. It has several different bar areas, a swimming pool, a spa, a golf shop ( with golf professionals on hand for lessons) and an 18 hole golf course. Amazingly, you do feel like you are deep in the countryside even though in reality you are literally just off the M20.
We had our afternoon tea in the Zest bar overlooking the golf course and the beautiful wildlife pond.We were very lucky with the weather as it was a beautiful sunny day and we sat at the window with the door open enjoying the sunshine and the breeze while we scoffed.
The food itself was beautiful with smoked salmon, cooked ham or cucumber and cream cheese finger sandwiches, home made scones with clotted cream and preserves, and a great selection of fabulous bite sized cakes. It is very reasonably priced from £15 per person which I think you will agree is very competitive. They also offer several specially themed ones throughout the year, for example, a strawberry one in the summer and a chocolate one later in the year. They also pride themselves on using and promoting local produce, so in strawberry season they would use local producers, local jams, they have used local apple produce when in season for the restaurant and functions. There is amazing fruit, veg, meats and cheeses all available locally in Kent so I do think it’s a great way for the hotel to put something back to the area.
We never felt rushed throughout the tea, where approached a couple of times to check if everything was OK and also if we needed more tea ( where they replenished the tea and the cups just in case you were changing the flavour of your tea), but we didn’t feel as though we were being ‘watched’ if you like- it was a very relaxing area to enjoy an afternoon tea.
We tried our best but we just couldn’t finish the little cakes that were on offer ( although we gave it a good go!) so our leftovers where wrapped up to take home which was great as our teens got to scoff the rest after their dinner.
The cakes ranged from brownies , mini cheesecakes, banoffee pies to a mini trifle, so if you are watching your calories this is definitely not for you. However, as most people do not eat these every day then it truly is a treat to splash out an treat yourself.
It was well presented in the tradition ‘afternoon tea’ manner on a 3 tiered tray with teas separately. I think it would have been nice for something to ‘set’ the table off from all the others when having this, for example, a nice checked or vintage floral style tablecloth and napkins which I believe the staff are in talks with management about this and I think it certainly would add that certain something to the whole experience. Apart from that I found it difficult to find fault at all.
A few things that I think are bonuses from a client point of view is the excellent free WIFI available all around the premises. There is a ‘Guest’ option with gives free 24 hr use without a log in which as a blogger is something we all appreciate. Also, most of you will know I use a walking stick most days and therefore I was very quick to spot the wheelchair lift inside the reception, something that was blended into the surroundings but clearly visible for those of use who don’t want to have to ask all the time. I also noticed another inside the Mezzanine Bar which could allow easy access to the upper level of the bar.
The hotels restaurant is also in keeping with the comforting decor and is listed in the Kent’s Food and Drink’s magazine for official guides to eating out in Kent.
The Hotel is hosting a Murder Mystery Gala Dinner on Friday 25th September, with a drink on arrival, a 3 course meal with tea and coffee for £38 and obviously then you have the option to stay over and enjoy either golf or the spa!
Today I had an experience that literally shouted WTAF in my head and left me quite disgusted.
I was in good old Primarni having a nosey when they announced that they would be having a 2 minute silence for the VE Day memorial. Then two workers who looked early 20’s had a discussion what it was for, ‘something to do with the war- I dunno’. I’m not going to lump all of this age group and younger into a generalization but there are some who would think this is a typical response from ‘the younger generation’. However, this was not the shocker of the afternoon.
A few minutes later the 2 minute silence was announced and started, we all stopped in our tracks and the whole shop went silent and even those very few who still wandered originally then stopped too when they realised. Then came the shocker……….
Two women came into the shop ( a fairly large branch too) and LOUDLY started to discuss and question why everyone seemed to be standing still ( several times this was said) and kept walking to the back of the shop until a young lady whispered it was the 2 minute silence. So at this point you are probably thinking they are young, either in their teens or early 20’s…………………erm NO!!!
The first lady was probably late 50’s if I’m being kind and was clearly with her mother who looked around mid 70’s. This was the first shocker, as you would think they would have imediately stopped and shut up………………………….again erm NO!!
They then dumped their shopping bags discussing LOUDLY how they thought it was strange that everyone was standing still, then checked their watches and exclaimed LOUDLY that it was actually 3pm and how the time had just flown past today and they had no idea it was that late in the afternoon already!!! FFS
If looks could have killed I swear the look I gave them could have stopped their hearts at a thousand paces. The older woman surely could have been a baby at the time of the war or even an evacuee, her parents would have certainly had been involved in some way and she would have certainly have been around in the immediate post war hardship and probably had lots of stories to tell. Yet here she was in the middle of a very still and quiet Primarni talking about how quick the day has gone ( not even respectfully whispering) during the middle of the ” MINUTE SILENCE!!!
I have no words to say how disgusted I was without falling into a foul mouthed rant. However, I do now wonder if she has ever uttered the words ‘ The youngsters these days have no respect’.
I took a break, not a pre planned determined break but an impromptu, had no time or inclination to write sort of break all over the festive holidays. I was about on Twitter and Instagram and very occasionally on Facebook, but my little spot on the world wide web I completely stayed away from.
There was just so much going on to be honest and I applaud all of you who managed to cope with and enjoy the festivities and find the time to show your blog’s a little love! Anyway I did keep up with all your goings on via the other more instant platforms and loved seeing how you all enjoy the festive season with all your own little traditions and quirks.
For me though I just didn’t ‘feel’ like writing on here and so managed to occupy myself doing other things and at the time was very glad to take the break.
In amongst that lot were pj’s were worn, boardgames were played, Prosecco was drunk and lots and lots of chocolates were eaten. Although it passed very quickly the holidays were fun.
Now the teens are back to school, the OH is back at work and normality has started to resume in this house. That’s when I started to miss my little corner of the web, after reading up on all the new 2015 posts of new starts and changes being made, my fingers started to itch to ‘get back to it’.
So, I’m now back, with ideas of what I want to add here, things I want to sort at home and stuff I hope to achieve this year…………… so Happy New Year to you all and I look forward to catching up with all your posts soon.