Wednesday, 20 April 2011
|Image: Matt Banks|
I walk everywhere because I cannot drive so I get to see & appreciate the flowers blooming and our village being filled with colour.
The thick winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves get put away once more and bright clothes start to reappear.
I can stop using the tumble dryer (how I hate using it, but with 5 of us it's impossible to get everything dry indoors quickly) and hang washing out and it's dry within a couple of hours. No hanging it out only to bring it in just as damp as when it was put out.
The children can play out in the garden and burn off all that excess energy. It's lovely getting home from school for them to stay in the garden for a few more hours. We've spent most of the Easter school holidays in the garden with the children playing and me trying to make it resemble something other than waste ground and we've really enjoyed it.
One of my favourite things is being able to walk around the garden barefoot. A very simple pleasure but I think deep down it symbolises freedom to me. I'm just a hippy chick at heart :)
I love being able to sow all our veggie & flower seeds and watching them grow. We currently have potatoes, carrots, onions, lettuces, cucumbers, radishes, strawberries, peppers and tomatoes growing and although I'm no Alan Titchmarsh we do okay with a fairly decent sized batch of our own homegrown treats. The children love growing sunflowers and last year we were lucky enough to have a garden full of sunflowers 6-8ft high. They added so much colour to the garden.
I enjoy eating outdoors whether it's a barbecue, a picnic, or just lunch on the patio. When we 're out it makes it so much easier for us as having 3 young children can mean we're limited to certain establishments. The children like having picnics so it's cheaper when we take our own and the children often play football while we sit with our youngest.
More attractions start opening from Easter onwards and you have more opportunity to visit outdoor attractions because of the weather meaning no more indoor play hell! Luckily our children are just as happy to go to a park or a beach as they are expensive zoos and farms so summer can be relatively inexpensive for us.
Generally, my mood improves a huge amount once the sun is out. Life seems more relaxed. My children love being outdoors and are happy to be in the garden for hours on end and I am too, whether it's gardening or just sitting and watching them play.
This is the one time of the year I can feel really confident about life and all that is thrown at me.
My daughter told my this morning that she only has 2 wishes. Her 1st was that she would like to be a princess (I think she's missed the boat on that one!) Her 2nd was that the sun would shine every single day. I second that wish :)
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
I got to hear of Vest-ival through twitter from the lovely Jenny and I think it's such a fantastic, fun venture for a wonderful cause that I asked her to write about it for my blog. Hopefully some of you local to us will be able to make it to the festival to support the charity.
Here is Jenny's post....
With summer fast approaching and these fabulously hot days we’ve been having, it’s no wonder we’re edge-of-our-seats excited about lazy days in the sunshine with family, friends, and maybe a cider or three. You’re probably making your summer plans already – perhaps booking a holiday, buying tickets to a festival… maybe even planning to spend your days in Christchurch Park, or eating ice cream in Felixstowe?
Well, if that all seems endlessly far away, do I have the event for you! On May 21st two UK based charities (Football Action and Hannah’s Orphanage) are putting on a music, comedy and football festival (Vest-ival) right in your back garden. Well, Jimmy’s Farm, but close enough.
Top Radio One DJ, Annie Mac, will be headlining Vest-ival, along with live music from Kid British, Jersey Budd and The Crimea. There will also be stand up comedy from Tom Rosenthal, five-a-side football, football coaching and face painting for children. If you have any football fans in your family, perhaps they’d like to have their picture taken with the FA Cup, which will be on site for the day!
Vest-ival is entirely non-for-profit, so all proceeds will go to charity. Football Action places volunteer football coaches and English teachers in developing countries across the world, including Ethiopia and India. By providing these football coaches and teachers they’ve found that it’s a great way to encourage children into education. The proceeds will also go to Hannah’s Orphanages which supports orphans in Ethiopia.
There will be lots of local food and drink available on Jimmy’s Farm, so if you’re feeling that music, comedy, food and drink would be a wonderful way to spend a May weekend, head over to http://www.footballaction.org.uk/vestival for more information and tickets! (or email me at email@example.com)
Hope to see you all there!
Twitter: @faery_jen @vestival2011 @footballaction
Two fabulous ladies- Julia at Curtains for the window and Multiple Mummy tagged me in the Guardian Questions and Answers meme. It was devised from the questions and answers part of the Guardian Weekend Magazine by Mrs Lister Writes
Here are my answers...
Monday, 18 April 2011
I've been awarded the Kreativ Blogger award by not one, but TWO fellow bloggers. The lovely JoJo and the equally lovely Jayne have seen fit to give me this award. There are, as always, rules with this award and they are as follows;
1) Link to 10 Blogs
2) Let the 10 bloggers know they’ve been awarded
3) List 10 facts about you
My 10 facts....
- I have hip dysplasia. It's something I was born with but it wasn't diagnosed until I was 8 years old. I'd had trouble walking and had poison and fluid in my hip so until it had worked itself out of my system I had 3 months complete bedrest, including 2 weeks in hopsital. I had to learn to walk again as the muscles had wasted away. I can remember taking those first tentative steps, on a really icy day, as I walked out of the clinic in Southwold. It's something that will always be a problem but I cannot have a hip replacement until I'm much older as they wouldn't last much more that 15 years and each hip replacement operation is more difficult that the previous.
- I have been married twice and it took me 8 years to leave my abusive, manipulative ex but I gained a lot of strength from leaving.
- I have suffered from depression on and off since I was 17 years old but I still find it difficult to talk about and still struggle to admit that I can't cope.
- I cannot drive and have never taken lessons. It's been a pain, especially with 3 children and needing to be in 3 places at once but I've managed. Walking keeps me fit (just about!) but since having Tidgy B I'm considering driving because I'm fed up of our options being limited when the children want to go out in the holidays and having to spend all morning getting to the doctor's etc etc. I'd have to learn to drive an automatic because of my hip dysplasia but everyone tells me that once I can drive I'll have so much freedom!
- Within 4 months of meeting Him we had moved in together, I had proposed and I was expecting our first child! It was planned, but not expected to have happened so quickly. We were lucky enough for me to fall pregnant on the 2nd month of trying for Middle B and Tidgy B...well, he was a very pleasant surprise baby!
- When I was a youngster my Dad had an ice-cream van. It appears to be a rather cool thing now after a twitter discussion the other night but back then whenever he had to drive us to school in it a group of boys would be waiting around the corner for me ready to sing the Cornetto theme at me. SO embarrassing! We had a CB radio and his handle was obviously 'Mr Whippy' and me & my sister were known as 'Little Whippys'. Oh how I cringe at those memories!!
- My husband thinks that this one should be entered as a fact about me but I'm not so sure. I went to an S Club 7 concert at Wembley when I was much too old. Old enough to know better! Just to set the record straight I was invited to use up a spare ticket. My cousin went with his mum and dad and they asked if I'd like to go. Why did I say yes?? He'll never let me live it down! This is from the same guy that has seen The Nolans in concert!
- I have had 4 surnames. My maiden name, my 1st married name, a name chosen by deed poll, and my current name. After I left my 1st husband I couldn't wait to get rid of his name. I was unaware that I could have reverted to my maiden name before the divorce but even if I had I wanted a fresh start so changed my name by deed poll. It took ages to find a new name. I spent nights flicking through the phone book, asked friends and colleagues for suggestions but nothing. Then one night I was scanning through a surnames book from the library and came across a name and it just clicked. I loved it. So on November 1st 2001 I became the new me. It was toasted at work with a glass of champagne and although they all thought I was crazy it was the beginning of shedding a terrible part of my life.
- I am an addict. I have an awfully addictive and obsessive personality, except when it comes to exercise and dieting! I am addicted to chocolate and strawberry cheesecake Haagen Dazs and I get obsessive about how things are placed and done. I get annoyed with Him if he leaves the air freshener can in the wrong place on the shelf (Yes it has a 'place'). It irritates me when he puts cutlery in the wrong order on the draining board. I get angry if he doesn't recycle everything. I drive him insane. My late Grandad was very obsessive and things had to be just so. I believe I got that trait from him and I'm honoured that I'm like him!
- I have a huge crush on Hugh Bonneville. I can't put my finger on what it is about him though. I'm really enjoying Twenty Twelve but wouldn't have watched it if it wasn't for him starring in it. I love period dramas but it took a lot of effort and time to get round to watch Downton Abbey (thanks to Sky+ failing the first time it was shown) but I made time because he was in it! I can't wait for the new series.
So, there are my 10 facts about me. Hope they haven't bored you too much!!
Orchard Toys have long been a hit in our house and we have a number of their games so we were delighted to be asked by Izziwizzi to review the What's Rubbish? board game.
It's a game about recycling and it's suitable for 2-4 players, aged 5-10 although our 4 year old was quite capable of joining in.
The rules, as with all Orchard Toys games that we've had, are simple and easy to understand.
Each player has 2 different recycling bin cards, either clothes, tin, paper or glass. There are tokens with pictures of recyclable goods or rubbish. You place a selection of the tokens face downwards around the board and each person has to make their way around the board collecting recycling for their recycling bins using the spinner for number of moves or if you're unlucky the litter bugs which mean you have to add a token to the board.
Middle B and Girl B loved the 3D wheelie bin that was supplied. In fact, they enjoyed getting rubbish more than the recycled items that they needed!!
We have played the game many times since we received it and it's been a fun, educational game. I'm a tad OCD about recycling and waste so it has helped the children to understand more about what can be recycled and as we've been playing we've been discussing why we recycle. Nothing too deep, just enough for them to understand the reasoning behind it.
The average game took us 30-40 minutes so it was a bit long for Middle B but he does have a short attention span. The games that took us longest were those where the spinner kept landing on the litter bugs so rather than collecting items we were just adding to the board many times over!
Both children loved this game and ask to play it every day. It's great that it's easy enough for them to set up and play without adult supervision although they sometimes need a little guidance on whether something is recyclable or not but they are picking it up rather well.
As a parent it's a winner by being fun and educational. I also love the fact that Orchard Toys is a UK company.
We highly recommend this to any family. Take a look and see what other fantastic games Orchard Toys have on their website. What's Rubbish? retails at £11.50
Thursday, 14 April 2011
I joined twitter early in 2009 after reading an article on Stephen Fry proclaiming the joys of tweeting. I had long been a fan of facebook but now I was hearing more and more about twitter so I decided to join to discover what it was all about.
My list of followers gradually increased and with each notification of a new follower and tweets flying between myself and my followers I became a little bit more addicted. People wanted to follow me and read what I had to say about my mundane life?? I was amazed.
In July 2009 I was contacted by Kelly from Heart FM saying that she thought that me & my family would be perfect for a feature they were doing over the summer. This bolstered my confidence by a huge amount. I'm always looking for little projects, something to do other than bringing the children up, but something that would fit in with our family time. The only downside for me was that video reports would need to be done. I hate having a photo taken let alone a video that would seen by numerous people. I sat down and gave it some serious thought and in a moment of courage I thought 'What the heck, let's go for it!' I was also asked to blog. Something I'd heard of but never even considered. All I had to do was write about our activities during the summer.
On the 16th July 2009 I wrote my first ever blog post. I felt a little nervous of the unknown but also a tad excited about what was in store. I used to love writing a diary as a teen and although I wasn't blogging about my innermost feelings and emotions (Oh, how I wish I'd kept those diaries!) for Heart I found it very carthatic.
I continued the blog until the end of September and then I fell ill and didn't blog for another 6 months, by which time I had discovered that I was expecting our 3rd child. I had hoped to keep up with the blog but things were so hectic and I was so tired that I just didn't have time nor inclination.
I started another blog in August as I missed having an outlet for my thoughts and ramblings. Within a few months my blog & twitter had taken off and it became a big part of my life. I've met a great Mummy blogger community and we as a family have had some great opportunities come our way.
There are times when I feel all I do is moan about my life on my blog but I find it can be of great help to me. I can go back to a particularly depressing post with a different view and feel more positive about the situation or I can look at the posts singing the praises of my children or talking about their little ways or sayings and it can cheer me up and warm my heart. It makes me realise that for all the bad times there are many more happy times.
I love blogging and I benefit from it so much mentally. I'm not going to win any awards for my writing and I don't really care if no-one reads my posts. It's great therapy and it's free!!
There's a fabulous post by Lauren Dugan on mediabistro.com about Twitter, listing 50 signs that mean you're addicted to twitter.
I'm guilty of a big number of them;
You’ve tried every single Twitter client out there for the web and your smartphone, and ultimately decided to use a combination of about half a dozen to get as much juice out of Twitter as possible.
You can’t wait for Twitter to auto-refresh, and do it manually.
When something exciting, funny, or strange happens to you, you immediately come up with a witty tweet about it and log it away until you’re somewhere you can tweet.
Your anxiety flares up every time you see the Fail Whale.
You begin using RT and @mentions in your emails and Facebook messages.
You’ve set Twitter as your homepage
The first thing you check in the morning is always Twitter. Not your email, not Facebook… Twitter.
You find yourself muttering “I should tweet that” under your breath on a daily basis
Every time you try to convince a friend you’re not addicted to Twitter, they laugh.
When a big news story breaks, you log on to Twitter to see what your tweeps are saying about it before you discuss it with your friends or family
and more! One of them struck a real chord with me though:
You share more emotions on Twitter than with your significant other
Until a few months ago twitter was 'my' thing. Him was my facebook friend and that was enough for me. Twitter was my own little corner of cyberspace where I could say what I wanted (usually moaning about Him!) without Him questioning every single status update. Then he signed up to twitter to 'see what all the fuss was about'. So my corner became a little claustrophobic.
Despite warnings that I shouldn't allow him to follow me I have never posted anything on twitter that I wouldn't be happy for him to read or wouldn't share with him anyway. The only time it has been difficult to tweet knowing he would read it is when I was organising his birthday presents and surprises with the help of fellow tweeters.
I have always believed that I am truthful with Him when he asks what sort of day I've had or how I'm feeling. I text or email a lot most days so I feel that he's regularly updated. I occasionally say that I'm fine when I'm not but just don't feel it's worth talking about. Everyone does that, don't they?
Over the last couple of months he has been checking my tweets, almost obsessively, throughout the day because he says that I admit more to the twittersphere than I do to him, which may be right to an extent but what has really got to me is that on more than one occasion he has stood or sat next to me, with his phone in his hand, checking my day's tweets to see how I am. I'm there....why not ask me?! What does it say about our relationship that a) he thinks I'm more open on twitter and b) rather than talk to me directly and simply ask 'How are you feeling' he'll ignore the fact I'm in the room with him and read twitter for an answer?
We do talk and we've been discussing how we're feeling a lot more recently because of issues with our 4 year old but clearly we need to do it more often!!
How is your relationship with twitter? Does your significant other follow you?