"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Last minute Birthday cake :-)

Alan's birthday today... He was at work so last night Milly displayed all his cards and presents on the island unit for him to find when he got up for work :-) 

I had to get up at 8 to wait for a delivery driver to drop off a new enclosure for the trampoline. The net had started to come apart at the seams but a quick call to Argos and they arranged for a replacement. Impressed with the service:-) 

I have had the dining room bookcases on my list of jobs to do for months. They need a sort out.. They actually need a good clear out but I haven't got the space to store the books/games we no longer need so it is better to keep them tidily on the bookcase and weed them out form there to sell or pass on to friends :-) 

I have put it off for so long and today - although I felt less like it than ever - I decided to tackle it by breaking it down instead of it being such a mammoth task. Initially I decided I would just start with one section....That worked and in the end I did one bookcase ;-)) Three more big ones to go but I will tackle them in the same way one step at a time :-)) 

We had an appointment with lovely Rezwana for Milly. This involved me driving us both without Alan guiding me Eeeeek....

My deep breathing and meditation technique came in handy and  I managed to keep a lid on my nerves.
It was jerky and a tad uncontrolled at times but we got there and back in one piece :-) 

Back home and we realised we hadn't got a cake for Alan! 

Cue online search for a simple Victoria sponge and the two of us whipped it up and had hoped to have it ready and cooled by the time he got home. He had left work early though and it was still in the oven when he arrived home!
Once it had cooled we added whipped cream and jam. We hadn't bought candles but Milly improvised with some from my 50th and three blue ones to make the 53 years for Alan ;-)  
It was delicious. 

Alan took the girls to Drama and I made us a meal - oven roast Salmon, noodles stir fried with ginger, garlic, sweetcorn and oven roast tomatoes then drizzled with sweet chili sauce - to eat when he returned.
I had a glass of wine which had an immediate effect and I felt quite squiffy ;-)

I have been on a juice detox - Jason Vale juice yourself slim - and have just started adding in evening meals. I have lost weight and enjoyed the juices and smoothies so I am going to continue taking it day by day and see how it goes. The main reason for me doing it is because the benefits to the symptoms of  M.E have been quite significant for some people who have changed their diet so I hope this turns out to be the case for me. Will keep you posted :-)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Illness, sunshine and driving lessons...

After a very frustrating time coping with a flu like bug ( Milly passed it on to me and Alan has also been suffering but has not had to be off work ) watching the sun shining out side we both managed to get out in it today! I had been out for a while yesterday and Milly had popped out but was still very tired and had little energy.
However today she was keen to go in the pool for a little while.
Alan had done some landscaping at the weekend and the pool was in place but needed filling and the area around it needs planting. 

We have had this pool three years now. The first year after a week the water went green and then the weather was never warm enough to bother filling it again.....

Last year I decided to order a cover and chlorine bobber. We had bought it from Argos but they didn't do a cover. It is 10 ft octagonal in shape and after trying a couple of covers that wouldn't fit I decided to buy one that was too big and cut it down to fit. It took AGES!!! After Alan and I spread it out on the lawn and folded it so we could cut a circle I used nylon thread and began to hem it and add tags on so we could use them to thread nylon string through to hook onto tent pegs. 

Evening after evening last spring I sat in the sun room surrounded by blue plastic sewing and sewing - having to take it easy as it would make my hands swell and the pain was intense if I over did it. 
Here it is in it's second year of use :-))

She sat in the pool whilst it filled. 
After a while though she was flagging and decided to head in and rest.

I made food and left her to watch TV and I went to lay in the Sun. I listened to a guided meditation and some music.On and off through the day she would come out and keep me company .

When she appeared so did two others :-))

We had a card to make for a special Birthday boy who is 53 on Thursday so where better to do it than in the sunshine.

Then back to the sofa for Milly and I spent a very pleasant hour Sunbathing :-)

Views from my spot :-) 

When Alan got home it was off to shop and a driving lesson for me! Oh my goodness how stressful is driving a manual car!!!  Raised voices, hot sun, and Milly who has decided she no longer likes Persephone as she is too small and makes her feel claustrophobic and sick:-(  She really doesn't like change and I think being ill didn't help. Hoping that when things are less stressful for me that she will settle and grow to love the car....

Another drive with Alan tomorrow and then I have an appointment to take Milly to on Thursday so it is solo driving then! 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Happy home :-)

Milly has been very poorly overnight:-(
 She had a temp of 102 ... I spent the night wetting flannels to cool her body and mopping her brow .... Very little sleep had by either of us.

Today has been spent doing more of the same really.
She would lay on the sofa and feel uncomfortable. Then she would want a bath to ease her aches and pains. Back to bed to listen to a story on her ipod. Then another bath and then back to bed and now at 3.30 in the afternoon she has given in and is sleeping. 

I sat down in the sun room with a cuppa and the sun is shining brightly. 
It is warming my left side as I type :-) 
I am very tired and began to feel sad and sorry for myself...

I have a favourite part of the sun room... When ever I look at it it somehow manages to lift my spirits. As I began to feel a bit sorry for myself I happened to glance over to see this....

On the radiator cover sits Buddha - holding a rose quartz angel ( placed by Milly ) in his cupped hands - bathed in sunlight.
A mother and baby Elephant that Milly and I choose together to start our collection and a picture of Milly ( aged about 5/6 ) we were on a walk out of the village and she posed for the picture with a cheeky grin she used to do :-)  

Three pictures hanging above remind me of happy times. One is a picture of Amy and her family in a lake with Milly, one is of Milly balancing at the top of a rocky outcrop above a waterfall and the middle one is of Milly posing in the sun room. 

Simple ornaments and pictures evoking happy memories that always put a smile on my face and manage to bring me back to content :-)  

Milly has just come down... Glad to say she is feeling slightly better :-) 

As we sat chatting I asked her when she had put the angel in Buddha's hand. She told me ( not knowing I was writing this ) and then went on to say how much she loved the pictures and ornaments we have and how our home just wouldn't be the same without them. She went on to talk about all the happy memories she has looking at the pictures. Then I told her about the topic I was writing about :-)
Nice to know they mean so much to her too <3

Happy memories making a happy home 

<3 <3 <3 

In reply to a lovely comment I had this thought...
Things are - at the end of the day - only things... But they have been chosen as the memories and feelings they evoke are powerful and positive :-)

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Ebay production......

Ebay production line today...

Take one eight foot table covered in a white table cover.
At one end start with your pile of products to list...

Work along to the middle of the table and lay out and photograph items.

Then on a small piece of paper record all details.
Size, brand, description etc.
Weigh them and then....

using the laptop ( at the other end of the table production line ) find out how much it costs to post and record this too ( remembering to add on a little to the cost to cover packaging and other incidentals ) 

Store each item in a bag with it's details ready to list.

Download all the pictures when you have worked your way through the pile and then they are ready to list.

  I do it this way as I build up a bagful to list during the week.
 I usually list them sitting on the sofa in the Sun room before Milly gets up.

Tonight I have listed a load whilst watching TV so that I can build up the amount I have for sale. I have found that the more I have on sale the better the returns are ;-)

A full days work today ( apart from a walk along the riverbank ) and the hourly rate is nothing to write home about but every little sale adds up nicely :-)

I will do some more tomorrow ready to list through the week....

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Update to the appeal

As posted on Home Education Forums:
"There has been a huge and heartwarming response to the appeal for help posted last week.
The target was met and surpassed which is absolutely fantastic, but obviously any additional donations will still be extremely useful to help to bridge the gap while the family settles in their new country and arranges a replacement income stream. The PayPal address is HEfamily@innocent.com.
Many people sent messages with their donations saying that they wished they could give more, but this appeal has shown that little amounts really do add up and each and every donation is so gratefully received by the family.
Our friend had this to say: "It is really important that you all know how much this collective effort means to us, both in terms of a financial cushion but also the value of the moral support which really is priceless. So a huge thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to donate. Your contribution has made, and continues to make, a massive difference to my children and our family as a whole. Thank you."
Alison Preuss
Barbara Stark
Elaine Kirk
Gill Kilner
Karen Gallant
Lisa Amphlett
Louisa Herbs
Maire Stafford
Michelle Beeny
Neil Taylor Moore
Raquel Toney
Sheila Struthers
Susanna Matthan
Techla Wood"

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Meet the new member of the family :-)

Meet Persephone or "Percy phone"  as Milly wants to call her :-) 

She is soooo much smaller than our last car and it is taking some getting used to seeing such an ickle car on the drive :-) 
She is rather lovely though :-) 

Just have to learn to drive her now!!!

I learnt to drive in a manual - about 30 years ago... Then I got ill and didn't drive for over 12 years...
I took a refresher driving course in an automatic car and have been driving one for the last 4 years or so...

I am going out with Alan tonight for my first go in her!!!
I am hoping it is a bit like riding a bike ;-)   
We are stuck st home til I master it. That's an incentive to do it ;-)

I have made no plans to go out this week but have to be ready to drive to Carlisle on Monday to see the ortodontist ...

Wish me luck :-)  

I forgot to mention that I had been on the Ice blast!!!

I hate to be a party pooper and I had said that I would go on one ride with them - not into roller coasters and twirly things as they make me feel so sick and the adrenalin rush would have floored me :-)
That meant that I was fairly limited as to what ride it could be :-) 
The Revolution ( I had been on that last year ) was closed. I was grateful as I really hadn't enjoyed the walk up the high tower to the ride. I kept my eyes closed the whole time on the ride !! 
So that left the ice blast..
180 ft in the air!!!

I was ok about it until we got in the que. They were both very encouraging and said "don't worry you sit in the middle and we will talk to you and help you through." 
I said ok but what if I feel sick. 
Well they both went pale at the thought and all of a sudden decided it would be best if I sat at the edge and they had a seat in between us ;-))) 

I was assured by both the people strapping us in that I would be fine and that there was nothing to it ;-) 

The girls said they would tell me when it was ready to go and I asked them not too and actually not to talk to me at all and allow me to just lay back and breathe.

That is exactly what I did. I closed my eyes and took deep breaths and was remarkably calm :-) 

I obviously felt the enormous acceleration as we were catapulted up the tower into the sky, but I kept my eyes closed the whole time :-) 

I was only a little shaken when we got off ! We went to view the picture and it was sooo funny.. There was me with my head back and my eyes closed looking as if I was meditating, Milly was looking over towards me with concern worrying that I was going to be sick, and Amy was whooping with joy at the thrill of the ride :-) 

Wish I had bought it now but I do think £6 is steep for a picture...

It does bring a smile to my face when I think of the image though :-)) 

I would go on it again and might even open my eyes next time :-) 

"Epic" Blackpool :-)


Months in the planning and very much anticipated our trip to Blackpool was "EPIC"  in the parlance of two 13 year olds ;-)) 

Great company, great fun, giggles galore, proper laugh out loud moments, moments of great joy and moments of panic!

A really wonderful overnight stay to celebrate two girls entering their teens and their enduring friendship.
Long may it last <3 

The fun began at the station as Amy recorded us on her ipod for posterity :-) Great hilarity at trying to capture shots of me and me trying to evade capture ;-))

Once on the train we settled down and they munched their way through some oat cookies they had made the night before. More photo's taken by all three of us;-) 

A walk from the station pausing for a time to try some shoes on :-) A lovely pair of slip on wedge heels were adored - not really suitable footwear to wander round the Pleasure beach so they were put on a wish list for another time :-) 

On to the Travelodge by Taxi that we hailed on the prom :-) 

Panic number one was when I was informed by the clerk at reception that I had only booked as one adult!! Luckily I had booked a family room and they were able to add the girls on to the booking free of charge!!! 
That reminds me I have to check the booking I made on line for London in October to make sure I have booked the right room!

After we had been up to drop the bags off we went to the cafe and I treated us all to some cakes :-)

Back to the room and nail painting and music for the girls and a long hot bath to ease the aches and pains for me.

We had planned to go to a fish and chip restaurant in Bispham and started the long walk back to the prom with the plan to get a tram there.  Pausing to climb at the bus station and give some love to some dogs and chat to their owners  :-) 

Coral Amusements and 2p falls kept us amused for some time. I found a perch near them and kept them fed with 2ps :-) 

Bracelets and key rings were won :-)

A joint decision was made not to go all the way to the restaurant when Milly spotted Mcdonalds and it was much closer when hunger hit. 

 Onward for a very blustery walk along the Prom.

Down the steps to see how far you could go before the waves crash up and get you!

Running in the wind.

Close to the Tower.

Peek a boo.

Jacket sail :-)

Posers? Really... these two? 

Contemplating on the pier.

Walked back up the side streets counting B&B's :-) 43 up one side of the street. There were some very dodgy looking establishments :-) 
Milly had us all in stitches at one point and giddy levels were high.
We had such fun! 
Back to the room and then they decided to go down to the cafe for a snack. I had a few moments to myself before they were back up and we all got ready for bed. Musical beds ensued as Amy sat on the pull out mattress she was going to sleep on. Milly was going to sleep on the sofa bed and I was to have the double bed. 
The pull out mattress was like a bag of rocks and there was no way Amy was going to be able to get to sleep on it! 
Soooo.... Milly didn't want to sleep with me in the double but did say she would sleep with Amy. They got settled and I settled on the sofa bed... Eventually Milly decided she would be better sleeping with me as she didn't want to keep Amy awake with tossing and turning and snoring... Eventually we all got settled and were asleep very quickly.

Next day dawned bright and we were up and down to breakfast and out by 9.30..
In the park by 10.05.. 
And off they go....

We decided on a meet up time and I sat on a bench in the sun til they came back. Then I found a cafe to sit in to have coffee and cake and warm up a bit. It was bright but really quite cold...Sadly I found that the kindle battery had died ......so I a lot of time to people watch :-) 

Pepsi Max was closed due to the strength of the wind. I saw it being tested and text them but they were already aware of it and came back to me so I could take some pictures of them on it! They didn't stay still long enough for me to get a close up shot of them.
I followed them and captured the first time they went up though.
 It was something Milly had been anticipating since our visit last year when it had been closed because of the weather. She got last minute nerves but worked through them and was hooked :-) Amy is an old hand at this and many other roller coasters :-) 

I just know I would have a heart attack before I reached the top ;-)))
By the end of the day they had been on six or seven times, most of them in the last half hour or so of the park being open, when they would get off and as there were no ques they were able to get straight back on again and again and again :-)

We decided to have lunch and I found the most wonderful thing to sit under and watch the world go by

Panic number two came when I went to the locker room as the park closed and found it locked !!! 
I had been assured it would be open til about half an hour after the park closed. Eventually found the guard and she apologised but said she had checked and all the lockers were showing empty! Oh my god my heart sank as I had visions of us having to hang around and miss our train ....
Somehow she had missed our bags and when she put codes in the electronic pad and we opened the locker our bags were in there. 
What an immense relief ! 
I was a little frazzled by it and consequently my mood dipped and I lost patience with Milly when we ended up having to find a toilet at short notice outside the park which was closing! It was only momentarily though and it wasn't long before I regained my good mood...
It had started to rain and we began to walk along before hailing a Taxi to get to the station.

The train from Blackpool north was in and we got settled in for the short journey to Preston to get our connection.

Hours and hours of adrenaline and excersise had it's effect once they stopped :-) 

A really delightful trip with two very special girls.

Happy days and fabulous memories.
Love you both <3