Remembrance Day before Christmas please

Remembrance day before Christmas please.

First of all don’t get me wrong I enjoy CHRISTMAS!

I really do, my decorations go up at the start of December. The teens still get their own filled advent calendar and we watch all the Christmas films going. 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 are we inundated with bloody Christmas adverts already. OK, I’m also guilty of getting sorted for the season early. I’ve got my cards, and I am making my lists for pressies and have already started buying all my festive chocs and treats. I know some shops even have had their Christmas stuff in and on sale even before Halloween. I’m not daft 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.

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The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Rant….. For or against?

I will warn you now that this post will deteriorate into a rant and I cannot be held responsible for my language that may follow…………..

I have watched loads of these videos and laughed at the person being iced without ever having any intention of doing it myself. Then I watched a video that changed all that. This video is heartfelt and shows the reality and the fear that someone who cares for someone with this disease or has it themselves.


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Diabetes Awareness

My Dad before he passed away in 2002 he had been a diabetic from the age of 12, living with the condition for around 44 years! I had never known anything other than watching the time, counting carbs, insulin injections and hypos on a very regular basis.

My OH always remembers the fact that he always felt sorry for him as he had to eat whether he was hungry or not and often saw him with a look of resignation on his face as he was handed his evening ‘supper’ before he had to go to bed. Not wanting to eat, not feeling hungry but having to force the food down as his body needed it.

My good friends son was also diagnosed a few years ago whilst still in primary school. I know it has been a HUGE re adjustment for all of them and a complete worry for both of the parents as no one in their family had a history of Diabetes. Everything was completely new to them.

Technology and research has definitely come a long way from when my Dad was diagnosed to my friends son being diagnosed. He has the privilege of great technology to help with blood sugars etc and hopefully making it more manageable for children. These sorts of advancements can only be made via research, research and more research……………all of which comes at a hefty and costly price, a lot of which comes from fundraising like all charities.

Diabetes UK encourages people to do just this. So my friend @michelleb66 has held an annual Diabetes coffee and cake fundraiser at her house since her son has been diagnosed and I am a firm believer in ‘every little counts’.

Don’t be fooled these are only a fraction of the cakes she had!!!

So I gave here a hand ( as chief tea and coffee maker) whilst she could welcome friends and family, run a raffle and encourage force people to eat as much yummy cake as possible and generally play the part of ‘Hostess with the Mostess’!!

Although to be honest I thought she was actually trying to feed the 5000, and ironically for a Diabetes charity we were selling sugar loaded cakes!! But lets face it we all love a sugary treat………….everything in moderation of course*cough*

table 1
Don’t forget the raffle!
Then the extras were added!

That aside she was very lucky to have a great turnout and not that the cakes were that expensive but she just had very generous people there – raising a total of £146.50!!!!

Her son, a 15yr old diabetic is an amazing budding chef and made some of the cupcakes and the melt in your mouth Lemon Drizzle cake that you can see on the right………………I can tell you it was the 1st empty plate!!


Sport Relief Run 2012

Yes it was that time of year that we love in this house of the good ol’ Sports Relief run. I must start by saying I have been chief photo taker for the past few years due to my M.E but that doesn’t stop me enjoying the day.

We set off to London on Sunday morning all ready to meet up with friends and do our bit for charity. The boys have raised some money together from friends and family, plus we registered for the run itself, and we purchased our 2012 Sport relief socks. So as a family we are happy that we have contributed enough to save a few children’s lives with the £5 vaccines.

Anyway, Sunday was a glorious day weather wise, and the atmosphere started on the train as most of the people travelling up there had some sort of Sport Relief attire!

Our motley crew of runners!

So I was plonked in a great viewing spot and adopted my new title of ‘bag lady’ along with the photo taking………..who says I can’t multitask!

They headed of to the start line with JLS in their race, an I started celeb spotting. Jon Culshaw, Dame Kelly Holmes, Richard Hammond and his family, the GB Netball team, David Tennant (*swoons*) oh and of course JLS!!

JLS and their bodyguard!

Now I must admit that these boys do nothing for me at all, although I’m sure they are very nice and all. However, when they came towards me ‘celeb fever’ took over and I found myself shouting to my family opposite to slow down so I could play paparazzi to JLS before snapping my family!!! LIKE I SAY I DO NOT KNOW WHAT CAME OVER ME AT THAT POINT!!

My poor group trying to get my attention whilst I ignored them over celebs........SHAME ON ME!

So to make up for it I ditched celeb world and concentrated on snapping the family as they came past heading towards the finish line- it was the least I could do.

My eldest who came past first
My youngest in a police outfit chasing his burgler buddies!
The very proud clan with all their well earned medals

Now I would be lying through my teeth if I didn’t admit to being a little jealous of them. The atmosphere is fab for the spectators but it must be fantastic to be part of it yourself. So with that in mind I have decided that in the next Sport Relief in 2014 ( OH MY F**KING GOD MY ELDEST WILL BE ALMOST 16!!!!!- strike that thought) I should hire a wheelchair, ‘pimp my ride’ as they say and get a few of my fellow clan to pull or push me along!!!

That way I don’t have to do what I did on Sunday and cheat by ‘borrowing’ someone’s medal for my picture!!



So did you take part in the mile where you were?

Back in the land of the living!

Well almost anyway. After the last few weeks of activity my body definitely isn’t used to and crushing recuperation in between has seen me absent from my blog for a while.

I’m getting back to some level of normality, but only just!

It started with :


On set of the short film he’s been doing recently
Him and his ‘on screen’ sister!

This was a gruelling ( for me anyway!) four 12hr days with travelling on top. I really cannot explain how I managed to stay standing ( my lovely new walking stick came in very handy). I don’t think I have pushed my poor M.E body that hard for a very long time. When it was over I went to bed and lost almost 2 days in bed and the rest of the week sleeping while the boys were at school. However, he had 2 more auditions in London the next week and a day on location on Norfolk to finish the film!!

That meant another day spent in bed afterwards for me and very quickly my days were disappearing. I haven’t blogged or been on Twitter, I haven’t knitted for what seems like ages ( although I managed to do some whilst chaperoning my son. Even watching mindless TV would take it’s toll.

However, other things have been happening all be it around me:



Like this great chocolate swiss roll that my eldest decided to make at the weekend!! It tasted just as good as it looks too, although I might have had to have several slices just to make sure.

Proud mummy moment!

We also found this, a copy of the paper my eldest was put in for his efforts to raise money for the London’s Air Ambulance. That’s him in the middle of the picture with the crew who got a call literally seconds afterwards and we got to watch them head off on an emergency call- fantastic!

Oh and of course the recent sunshine (most of which I have missed by being in bed) brought out the ‘Diva’ side of the cat…………………life is good, feed me more treats!!

However, the down side is I am sooo behind with everything, cleaning, ironing, cooking even to some extent. That’s without mentioning the blog. I have emails I haven’t responded to, posts that I need to write and networking to do.

So be warned, I have some great posts coming- an A-Z of me, a review that might interest those of you who value a restful nights sleep, a few of my knitting projects that I haven’t taken pics of yet!

I’M BACK…………

Charity starts at home!

Charity starts at home, a view held by my eldest son, who last year decided as part of his Community Challenge badge in his scout group decided to collect for a ‘home ‘ charity.

He chose the London’s Air Ambulance service or HEMS as it can be known.

London’s Air Ambulance is a registered charity which runs London’s only helicopter emergency medical service, providing life saving care to victims of serious injury throughout London – serving the 10 million people who live, work and commute within the M25.

Based at the Royal London Hospital and founded in 1989, the service is unique in that it operates 24/7, with the helicopter running in daylight hours and rapid response cars taking over at night.  The Team, which at all times includes a senior trauma doctor and a specially trained paramedic, attends an average of seven missions every 24 hours.

London’s Air Ambulance has an international reputation for clinical excellence and delivers pioneering procedures which have been adopted across the world. 

London’s Air Ambulance was the first air ambulance service in the UK:

  • with a doctor and paramedic team;
  • to deliver high standard pre-hospital anaesthesia;
  • to have a clinical governance programme;
  • to perform a thoracotomy (open heart surgery) at the roadside;
  • to perform thoracostomy (to drain collapsed lungs);
  • to use check lists to improve patient safety;
  • with air & land based response; and to provide 24 hour cover.

He put a letter out to the whole of the scout group asking for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts to bring in all their used postage stamps which he had a remarkable response to. In fact he collected over 19,000!! Yes we counted them all.

Proof of the stamps and the counting!!


Just one of the boxes!

But today we had arranged for him to visit them at the Royal London Hospital at their new offices to deliver the stamps in person. We met a fantastic lady called Christine Margetts who did a brilliant job showing us all around. We met the paramedics and doctor on duty today, the firemen who also work there, we were told how a call is generated and processed and what information they receive and how they determine which hospital the patient will need to go to.

But to top it all we had the rare opportunity to go up to the helipad to get a picture taken with the actual Air Ambulance in the background. My son was able to go on board before very excitingly watching the helicopter and it’s crew take off on a real life call!

Cold and windy 300ft up on the helipad!
Sitting inside before the Air Ambulance was called out!

Off on a real life call!

It was brilliant to see them in action, how quickly they reacted and how professional they all were. This truly is a worthwhile service that relies heavily on donation and every little helps.

I was very proud of my eldest doing what was necessary, helping a worthwhile charity close to home, and counting (with me) all 19,000 stamps!!

What charity is close to your heart?

Week 2 ……………….survived!

So that’s week 2 of summer hols gone and we survived again, although kids arguments and petty nit picking (not literally) almost got the better of us and nearly tipped us over the edge!! However, all four of us are still in one piece and miraculously still talking…………only just!

We decided pretty last minute to make use of MIL’s caravan along the North Kent coast for a few days. We arrived Wednesday in glorious sunshine, unpacked, had lunch and then headed to the beach for a while before attempting a food shop with the boys (honestly you would think they would get better as they got older…… not be fooled). After dinner the evening was still lovely and warm so we headed down for a last walk along the local Leas, and as the boys took their skateboards they were well worn out when we got back to the van.

We woke up Thursday to this…..


However we were undeterred and played games until the afternoon, who would have thought that playing Bingo and Charades for sweets could be so much fun……….honestly, what a giggle we had!

Yes really….Bingo for Maltesers and Lemon sherbets!!
That’s 2 words!!

Then when the weather cleared we thought we would have a mooch around the local shops and check out the docks to watch for the enormous ‘tanker’ ships coming out!

Friday we headed off to Whitstable and Herne bay for the day. We made an early start and had a yummy picnic on the beach at Whitstable watching the little sailing boats going in and out from the club there.

Yes you read it right…………’ginger nuts’ ………and he is……ginger and nuts!!

After a wander around and the biggest ice creams I have ever seen and eaten, a picture of which is on my phone for proof, but for some reason I’m having difficulty downloading!!! Anyway, we headed off to Herne bay for the rest of the day.

I love the pier and the pavilion at Herne bay and this time we decided to try our hand at a bit of crab fishing!

However we were not very lucky or the crabs knew something we didn’t as we didn’t catch a thing!! Next time I’m sure LOL

It can be a very serious business this crab fishing!

But we had a great time and finished our day off with the best local fish and chips…………….YUM!

Saturday we drove down to a ‘blast from the past’ and visited our old RAF camp at Manston. There are two great little museums there, one mainly for the adults and one definitely geared towards children with aircraft they can climb about on and lots of other RAF stuff that brought back great memories for me and the OH!! We had a picnic overlooking the airfield and the old Air Traffic building I used to work in and we can see both our old rooms from the front of the camp ( our boys love this…..sad but true!)

No you can’t take it home!!

I used to be winched in and out of these things for fun… rephrase that…….for work!!!!

However, the weather was not very kind to us that day and so we ended up in a very rainy Margate in the amusements, much to the boys delights.

This lucky player can make a pot of 2p’s last a very, very, very long time!!

By Sunday I was completely shattered and so a lay in was had by all!! It was also the 9th anniversary of my Dad passing away, so the day was never going to be brilliant anyway.We had planned to pop along to Leysdowne ( not the loveliest of places but the beach there is fantastic) to have a BBQ on the beach but the weather was grim and we contemplated coming home! But by the time we were ready it was like a new day………..sunshine………hooray. So we took our chances, and so glad we did, we had a fantastic afternoon on the beach there complete with BBQ burgers for our lunch!

The chef…………..and very nice they were too.
The water was surprisingly warm.
And the tide went out amazingly far!! Can you spot the 2 dots that are my sons?????

Although there was a small fair there, we had been playing Bingo in the van when it was raining so the boys opted to play the ‘proper’ bingo inside the amusements instead!! We had a blast for about an hour and 3 out of 4 of us had a win!! Sorry OH ………but you were rubbish.

Anyway we headed home for tea and a few card games before bed, and although we had a great day my ‘sociableness’ had worn off and I was glad to head to bed as we were going to leave fairly early the next morning.

So, today is now Monday and another week of the hols has past and so far we have had some great days. Yes there have been arguments, tiffs, tears, tantrums ( and that is just me!!) but overall it has been fab!

Here starts a new week, I have returned and unpacked, washed and ironed and re- packed as tomorrow we are heading to Devon to stay at my Mum’s!! OH is staying here as he has to work. This will be the first time I have attempted to drive the journey on my own since being diagnosed with M.E!! I am not looking forward to it as I normally sleep for a few hours when my OH drives so not quite sure if I will make it!!

So wish me luck as it is going to be a very long journey. And I am already kissing goodbye to Wednesday as I know most of that will be spent in bed!! However, my brother has planned to take the boys on a 10 mile hike along Dartmoor on Wednesday……………………………………so I can sleep to my hearts content and enjoy the peace and quiet when I am up!!!