Thursday 30 June 2016

Toast , Tea And Hope

This is a morning for toast tea and hope !

Especially after this week .... I'm not going to delve into politics think we've all that enough of that maybe ?!

So toast , tea and hope after all it's what we do best .

In stressed times there are many things we can take comfort from be it tea toast and hope to the smell and feel of a real book.

So time to celebrate the little things as they can be the big things in life .

I've made it through a tough time of year for me and I'm even going to a works do.

I rarely do social .... So this is a big step for me .

So tea toast and hope and my best foot forward .

Tuesday 28 June 2016

When You Just Want To Escape The World

Monday 27 June 2016

Raising Children Means Letting Them Go

Raising children means letting them go , our jobs as parents is to prepare them for the world so they can function without us. I think the biggest challenge is preparing yourself for that separation. Now I'll admit to feeling overwhelmed at first by the size of University but oh my what a fabulous setting . University I think is one of life's starting blocks and they come out racing from the moment they start. 

It was a full on day looking at York University; we were there for the Archaeological department at Kings Manor. 

We were treated to a fabulous lunch , I also has an Orange kit Kat which I'm assured is part of your 5 a day . There we as also fruit available at lunch , though I'm thinking offering us real oranges was some thought of initiation test !!. There were tons of talks from welcome to York University to as I mentioned looking round the areas you wanted to study to student life and what that entails !. Apparently at York University there are hundreds of societies from the "Taylor Swift Society " to "Humans versus Zombies " which comprises of students wearing bandannas if they are human and bandages on their wrist if they are a zombie and they shoot at each other with Nerf guns!

We looked at the student accommodation and it wasn't at grim as I though it would be , its actually like stopping in a a very nice hotel ( not quite 5 star ) but a reasonable 4 star and as they encourage you to get out of your room so you don't sit their and wallow its not a problem. University life is full of opportunities and I noticed there was even an opportunity for him to get a part time job if he so wished . I am thinking Betty's tea room that would make me very very happy and I think I would be up to York every weekend !

All this visiting is thirsty work and I was glad that I took my Robinsons Squash'd in my handbag to liven up our water during the day , a little squirt goes a long long way!. There is real fruit in every drop and with my son drinking so much water I am pleased that that Squashed is free from artificial colours and preservatives also no added sugar. The Robinsons range includes two new flavours, Orange & Peach and Lemon & Pink Grapefruit . 

And with my doing a lot of sport it's important that he drinks regularly to stay hydrated , my husband helps out do he's running round too. I work in a school so I'm outside a lot so I keep a drink with me as obviously I have to do a lot of talking ! 

Robinsons Squashed

“This post is an entry for BritMums #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons” and linking to

Friday 24 June 2016

How To Tackle Cat Smells

A cat communicates in various ways from the cute meowing to the adorable head nestling and head butting but then there is the scent marking . The scent marking which for the cat is communication  but for us owners it is a rather smelly issue and unwelcome habit, especially when it is rather to close for home for example on our front doors.

I'll have to deal with those smelly trainers as well !

These pet smells are really one we can live without , however a stiff talking to your cat will not warrant the result you might one and everyone knows that cats are aloof and will ignore your every word anyway.

My cats Jack and Rollie have a habit of going of the front door and then coming in through their cat flap , it's a habit they have tricked us into as why waste time going through the cat flip when your human being will open the door for you.

Dealing With Cat Urine Smells

1. Water down the area where the cat urine/waste is , keep rinsing till the smell goes , the more porous the surface is the longer the rinsing will take.

2. Put on some disposable gloves and get a scrubbing brush along with some soap and water ( i.e. washing up liquid and water ) If male cats can still smell the area they will return and the misery will start all over again.

3. Use an enzyme based cleaner ( from your local pet shop ) to breakdown and completely remove the odour that is associated with cat urine. Or you could make up your own solution that will pretty much work in the same way do this by mixing 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts water to remove all traces of the cat urine.

We have other problems having cats and that is they can't be rather smelly when they are damp and if they get caught in the rain we make sure we pat them dry with kitchen towel especially those cuddly little paws. We also have a long door mat near the cat flap that can trap most of the dirt when they come in , despite my efforts they are not ones for wiping their paws.

Of course you might initially left with the smell clinging on inside the house as I know we did , we used such products as Febreze to tackle the smells around the door area as quite understandably this is a high traffic area. We also make sure we now have an air freshener such as Ambi Pur in the hallway on the telephone table which is quite near to the door , this always helps when it is rugby season and we have damp clothes and rugby boots all over the place.

Vacuum Vacuum and Vacuum !

Regular vacuuming rally does make a huge difference in the smell of your house , make sure your vacuum those carpets,sofas , rugs chairs and even the curtain to get of the cat hair. And bicarbonate of soda sprinkled onto your carpets will freshen them up ( leave the bicarbonate of soda on the carpet for an hour the vacuum up , make sure the cat is out the way.)

Keep your cat groomed

As Rollie is a particularly fluffy cat we keep him groomed by brushing him regularly I am amazed how much fluff can come off him , it is almost like we have a another cat after a grooming season.

Wash your cats bedding

Make sure washing your cats bedding becomes a regular habit . You might not think can it smell but combine that with cat hair, int and damp paws that have been who knows where will start to contribute to smelly bedding. I do suggest you buy a laundry bag to put your cat bedding is as just throwing in your washing machine will leave some cat hair behind and apparently this isn't a trendy look for the office so my husband says.

Clean those food Bowls

I don't leave the cats food out for too long a time and I keep their food area clean , annoyingly my cats are messy eaters . I keep my cats water fountain clean and regular change the filter in it,  as it gets clogged up with hair and dirt ( one of my cats likes to paw at the water )

I know I have cats but I do have friends with dogs and they find it useful to look on line with how to cope with those dog smells.

'This post is brought to you by me and my cats

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Traveller Dreams

Traveller Dreams

I'm quite enthralled by Nordic dramas at the moment and it's really making me want to go to somewhere in Scandinavia, It's a longing I've always been a traveller well I do have a nomadic soul .And everyone except me has actually been to Iceland the country and not the frozen food store , prices seemed to have dropped to go there however I'm told that it is quite an expensive country when you get there .

Also I'd love to go to Rome as well as it seems obviously chockablock full of history , I'd just love to meander down and around the streets soaking up the history.

Hopefully soon I'll be off to Amsterdam for the weekend as last time we went it was just a flying visit on one of those overnight ferries from Newcastle. Update I have just had my flights confirmed with Easy Jet I'll be flying from Manchester and then stopping 2 nights in Amsterdam , luckily I had won 2 flights to Amsterdam so I've had had to pay for one flight . I've booked 2 nights hotel in a very nice Mecure hotel in Amsterdam with good transport links ( though Mr T does like to walk everywhere )

I have tried to book for Anne Frank house but it silly super busy and booked up for 2 months solid so we have a choice to make to go and queue from 2.30 onwards or to go and queue after 6pm . Of course there is lots more to see than Anne Franks house but I feel it is essential to see it especially with my son studying A level history . I just don't remember it being so complicated to try and visit the place when I went 25 years ago but perhaps I am retro blurry eyed about my youth.

Sunday 19 June 2016

A Sunday Amble

This is Elvaston Castle and its gardens , the castle itself is Gothic revival and is a fabulous backdrop to a relaxed afternoon . Yet this magnificent building is on the buildings at risk register , it would be a fabulous wedding venue , there's a cafe there and a gift shop here . There's so much that needs doing it is in the hands of the local authority who don't really have the money for its up keep , the car park is pay and display and you can't go round the house . But oh the solid state beauty of the place that is crying out to be saved ...

Thursday 16 June 2016

Ever Feel As If You're In An Ealing Comedy

It started when I was at sainburys in the cafe just getting something simple to eat , I mean life can't be complicated with 2 soups and 1 jacket potato can it now ? it's less confusing say than the E U referendum . Well obviously the answer is yes a simple visit to a supermarket cafe that saw us ordering 

2 soups
1 jacket potato with Tuna Mayonaise 
3 chocolate orange iced frappes.

Now I don't have that much fish as I have an intolerance to the stuff > sobs quietly in a corner but I manage it with antihistamines.

Any how when the order arrived there were 2 soups but no jacket they'd forgotten it and to be fair we hadn't noticed when we were paying .

" it's the universes way of telling you it knows you're on a diet "

Then my son found a piece of cardboard in his soup do that had to be changed and we were refunded no quibbles .

Oh how we laughed as I shuffled off to get a meal deal to eat at home.

I thought the day couldn't get any worse (you cling onto that small morsel of hope that whispers in the wind past your ear or in my case a slightly hysterical laugh.) My husband certainly received an email he'd received a parking ticket whilst picking our son up ( he'd pulled into the Carpark and waited longer than he thought ( it used to be one of those car parks without cameras and you could drop people or pick them up. So rightly so as they'd installed cameras he was fined £60 for this oversight on his part ... my only error that day was to leave the lid off the tea canister .

Then I thought tea solves everything then crash bang wallooooop

And the very same mistake moment the cat brought a dead mouse in arrrghhhhhhh.

No it wasn't a Dick Van Dyke interlude my old kettle decided to blow up on me ( it was only  2 months old ) so straight to Currys to swap it for another one and Currys were fabulous they even priced matched it as we found the kettle pictured below £10 cheaper at Argos.

So new kettle In hand I was ready to take on the world > then I got a virus which I have just about got over .....

Ever feel as if you're in an Ealing comedy ?

Wednesday 15 June 2016

Win Tickets To Barton Under Needwood Steam Rally And Festival

The committee of the Barton Under Needwood Steam Rally and Family Festival were proud to present The Midlands Air Ambulance with a cheque for £5,000, the proceeds of the 2015 event held at Needwood Rise Farm near Barton Under Needwood. We'd like to thank everyone who attended last year's event for their support and hope they will join us in 2016 when we will, once again, be raising money for The Midlands Air Ambulance.
This year's event will take place on 16th and 17th July at Needwood Rise Farm DE13 8AP, near Barton Under Needwood just a few minutes off the A38. All profits will, again, be donated to The Midlands Air Ambulance. All the organisers are volunteers who spend their valuable time putting the event on. Please see our website for details.
Two years ago, to help families, we decided to introduce free tickets to the event for accompanied children. This has proved such an overwhelming success we are very happy to announce that children will, again, be able to come along with adults and be admitted completely free of charge. In line with this we have increased the number of attractions for families as well as retaining all the aspects of our steam and transport heritage which the enthusiasts love. More good news is that we have managed to hold last year's adult admission price to a very reasonable £6 with free parking. Fees are payable for certain other attractions. Those who enjoy camping or caravanning can stay with us the whole weekend at a cost of £25 for up to two adults and their children under 16. Should you wish to camp for just one night the fee is £15. Camping charges include pitch fees and admission to the rally and can be booked online.

This year we have some brand new attractions and some of your favourites from past events. The Air Ambulance will be bringing its "pod" on both days so that you can view it and hear about their vital fundraising. On Saturday only you can meet a meerkat , Oreo, and his friends. Due to their popularity the fabulous live falconry display will take place in the main arena on both days. The rope agility course, suitable for all, will be attending for the third year. For the children we have the ever popular miniature steam engine rides and model railway rides. We are pleased to welcome back the Nuneaton Dog Training Club with their displays of dog agility over a specially designed course, bring your dog along for them to have a go. Also returning is the amazing demonstration of chain-saw sculpture. Marvel at our magician, watch the brilliant balloon modelling and laugh at the clown. New this year is a gun dog display which will be taking place in the arena on both days. You can relax with a drink in our fully licensed marquee while enjoying our live bands. Pop into the craft marquee where you will find stalls, exhibitions and working craftspeople. Visit the trade stands for an opportunity to seek out some bargains, collectables and antique tools. Children will love the kiddies fairground area with rides and the opportunity to visit the ice cream van or old fashioned sweet stall. Hot and cold foods are available all day with extra catering stands attending this year.

Once again we welcome a variety of large steam engines and miniature steam, some old favourites and some of which will be visiting the rally for the first time. You may even have the opportunity to try your hand at steering one of these magnificent machines. We have an excellent variety of vintage tractors, classic cars, motorcycles and bicycles of yesteryear. You will also be able to see a fine collection of historic commercial vehicles and stationary engines many of which well be working to illustrate how they were used in days gone by.

A full programme of arena events will take place both days including parades of all of the classes of vintage vehicles mentioned with tractor balancing and adult steering. Gates open at 10 am each day. The event finishes at  5pm. Our arena events start at 11am each day. Programme of arena events will be weather dependant. Exhibits in attendance are correct at time of printing.

There is the opportunity to win of of two pairs of tickets for the steam rally which I will send out when the 2 winners are picked.

Barton Under Need Wood Steam Rally Competition

Saturday 11 June 2016

Happy #NationalBikeWeek

Riding a bike is great for your mind body and soul , the environment and your community !!

I really really love my bicycle with the basket I amble to and from school on it ding dinging my bell when ever possible , it really doesn't matter the over familiarity with my route it matters I'm using my bicycle . Yes it is a rather expensive bicycle and yes you could have a small weekend away in Paris with what I paid for it but I care not. On occasion I do take my bicycle called Myfawney further afield and I've even been out in the rain in it < oh get me.

Upon my cycling journies I'll see 

Mr T has a shiny new mountain bike and all the gear you can shake a stick at , inevitably I've been gifted the old mountain bike which I will take for a Spin.

Spare mountain bike update it needs adjusting as one I walked into the pedals and two the seat is too high.

So I took my beautiful Pashley out instead !

Thursday 9 June 2016

I Was A Stranger And you Took Me In

Appreciating things even the little things in life is what matters and that is very much grounding me at the moment , at times I still feel like part of my jigsaw fit is missing . It is nearly 2 years since I had my breakdown and I think I will and won't be ok ( possibly ambilvance) I will and always be an introvert and I like being an introvert as it gives me breathing space in making sense of my feelings.

I am a wonderful person and I have empathy for others , what I dislike is people not having empathy for others I wish more people had had it for me at the time of my breakdown 2 years ago. And I don't have any contact with y Father for various reasons and that can bother me at times but I know I am better off without that hassle in my life.

So the little things it can be from spotting the tractor as I cycle home on my beloved bicycle with a basket, to my son tidying his room ( as he was bored ) to me actually doing something that needs doing round the house as I do tend to struggle with certain tasks in hand.

And I'm reminded in this life I arrived as a stranger and was welcomed in various ways.

" I was a stranger and you took me in "

That's a beautiful phrase in a stained glass window I came across last week in Sudbury Hall church . The window pays homage to the evacuees of the Second World War .

So you can be a stranger to life but someone , somehow will take you in some capacity.

Barefoot Malbec New addition To The Family

The other day I was sent a rather nice bottle of Californian wine which brought the Californian weather with it as it has been glorious ever since ! The Malbec from Barefoot wines is new to the family and it is certainly making a impact

"Big juicy flavours of blackberry and currant set sail on a gorgeous of vanilla , caramel and toasted oak"

Wine descriptions do have the tenancy to make me giggle somewhat as sometimes they can sound ever so presumptuous but not in this case , when I was discussing the wine description I had a friend say

"I would love to set sail with that wine "

Barefoot Malbec goes great with barbecued steak,pulled pork or a caramelised-onion pizza, making a fantastic wine to enjoy during the warm summer months such as we are currently enjoying now. If it rains tomorrow please however do not blame me ! I am not a weather reporter though my cat can predict the weather !

Barefoot Malbec is available from all good stockist nationwide with a rap of £6.99

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Coping With The Fear Of The Dentist

I have a real genuine fear of the dentist so much so I haven't been in 5 years but today is T (teeth) day I have so much trouble in the past right from childhood with a mad old dentist that just seemed to be around forever . I come from a long line of false teeth owners starting with my Nan and I remember her false teeth looking a the from a class in her bathroom ) not quite sure if false teeth can look at you )

One in 4 of us has a fear of the dentist and being afraid of the dentist means different thing to different people to be honest I am not sure where mine came from but I suspect it might of been the mad old dentist from my childhood who resembled a character from the Yellow submarine. Right now I can hear the old dentist drills whizzing in my ears and I feel like doing a Forest Gump and just running for the hills and not coming back.

The good news is that there are more and more dentists that understand the pain of this ( please excuse the pun but humour helps me cope in stressful situations )

I did tried to search for a dentist before but have bottled it for such reasons as I didn't like the sound of the receptionists or if my husband like his dentist then I was not bound to like what he likes ( pie in the sky excuses maybe?!)

But thanks to various work colleagues who have suggested a certain dentist then I took the plunge and rand the dentist moths ago and made an appointment ( a huge step forward for me ) and I like the sound of the receptionist too !

And with dentists understanding the needs of patients fears there is a lot that they can do stress free with gentleness and gentleness.

Dealing with the fear 

  • Dentists are more bearable nowadays ( I know it sounds rather like a oxymoron )
  • Make an appointment that you'll stick to preferably early morning * this isn't an option for me as I don't drive so mine is at 5.05 on the other side of town and will encounter heavy traffic ( so I Do need to stick to it otherwise I won't be popular!
  • The environment of dentists now seem to be very luxurious and relaxing resembling a coffee shop etc
  • Equipment is out of sight and have music playing nowadays.
  • The first appointment will be just a check up so don't worry they'll launch into treatment straight away.
  • Take a friend with you  ( I know my friend did offer and it gives me courage just knowing that ) 
  • agree a signal with you dentist so they can stop if you don't feel comfortable .
  • Take some music and headphones with you .

There are all sorts of dental treatment available on the NHS for those who have fear just ask a dentist or your local NHS.

Sunday 5 June 2016

Clues That Cats Do Sulk

People say a dog shows loyalty and cats are just aloof , aloof yes and very much unrivalled in their disdain in fact nothing can ignore you like a cat . If you've not been ignored by a cat then well you're in for a treat when you are ignored and you'll finding yourself pleading to be loved by them in a Shakespearean way. Cats sulk for a number reasons and we would really be here all day if we went into each and every reason why they sulk and show utter disdain that you are even breathing the same air as them !

Despite what science behaviour animal experts think I honestly believe that the arrogance is genuine and the cat is Infact trying to overpower me . So in the style of a magazine story from the 1980s I give you ....

The Snub

"Hi Rollie I'm back from the Spa !! I missed you "

Rollie " Did you miss me , did you really ?!"

" Let's talk about it , we can solve any problem !"

Rollie " Who are you again ?!"

Meanwhile downstairs with Jack 

Jack " I love you , I missed you "

"You promise this isn't superficial love ?!"

Disclosure All the actors in this photo story are played by the cats themselves Rollie and Jack . 

Time To Relax

I've just come back from a Spa with my good friend , when I travelled up on the train my imagination was working overtime thinking that certain people who were in the train woukd be great characters in a book.

From the dark and brooding hyper intelligent Bond Villain.

To the glorious relaxing of a Spa where the world is left behind and people tell all in a confessional to people they're are priests and have a taste for porridge in more ways than one.

Life's a very place for me now than it was 2 years ago and I've not as much panic time ( excerpt st Waterloo station the other day when I had to get the tube to Euston ) I'm so very grateful for those that show empathy to me. I think now I've the right friends that suit me but I'm still learning and I do find conversation awfully hard you wouldn't think it if do actually talk to you . Even as an introvert you want things to be just right so nothing ruffles your world , I'm scared of my own opinion at times but that's changing , different opinions are brilliant . How discuss your opinion matters and I dislike being beaten down but instead enjoy healthy debate so I'm evolving constantly in my braveness . 

This is me 2 years on from a breakdown I might short circuit at times but the repair time is quicker .


Thursday 2 June 2016

Williamson Tea

Tea that helps the habitat of elephants has to be a good thing.

There is a train of thought saying you shouldn't add milk to Earl Grey as the oil of Bermongment is citrus after all and will curdle., but the only way it will curdle is if you add in the milk before so add a spot of milk in after and everything will be

"Ticka Tea Boo "

Williamson Tea

Williamson Tea has a tremendous heritage they are 5th generation tea farming business  decimated to growing high quality teas which are sustainable

Earl Grey is cenormanous with Downtown Abbey well basically think of your favroutite old fashioned Auntie that that is where Eral Grey sits, certain Earl Greys can be quite frankly like an overpowering Po Pourri. I'm not really if I'm honest a fan of Earl Grey I much prefer a refreshing Breakfast tea or a tongue tingling fruit tea , but if I was presented with a Williamson Earl Grey I wouldn't turn my nose up at it just so long as it had a splish of milk in it.

Model : Rollie the cat , tea sent by Williamson Tea