Friday 28 October 2016

Letter To An Autistic Boy , A Letter To Owen #Autism

You see these letters in social media about the kindness that has happened to those who have Autism or the families of those who have Autistic family members , and you think that will never happen to me. it is almost as if the situation can't or won't happen to you but me assured that it can and it will and it did. Here is the wonderful thing that happened to be on Tuesday the 25th October.

Dear Owen

I was just waiting for my train home.

I was quietly waiting in the heated waiting room on York station just content in my own little world, my phone had just run out and someone else was hogging the only socket in the room. And you know what Owen I am rather glad that the socket was occupied otherwise how would I have known the wonder of you.

I was sat far away from anyone , yet you came to sit next to me you were wearing your ear defenders , you were with your parents and little brother Jonathan. You spoke to me it wasn't quite politically correct

"Hey red neck lady "

I didn't mind , you mum quietly and told you patiently that that wasn't politely , you called me it a few more times and again your mum spoke to you softly that it wasn't polite.

Then you started speaking to me about what you were doing there , what you were there to see , about every train that ever existed in the known universe. I sat and listened and talked back to you , your mum apologised to me I said

"That's Ok I work with an autistic child , I didn't want to presume that your son was autistic "

The mum said that was fine.

She explained to Owen that I worked with a boy like him and he was even more engaging.

The boy told me his name which was Owen and I told him mine which is Claire and we must have spoke for a good hour on and off , which included conversations with his parents and little brother Johnathan.

Owen didn't like the noise of the outside due to his Autism but his delight at the train and the steam trains was a moment in time that will be etched on my memories forever.

I learnt more about myself in that hour that I think I ever have , Thank you Owen .

Thank you for the wonder of #Autism and how it can not be a negative situation to engage with .

I hope you Owen and your family have a wonderful life.

PS I now know more about trains than I ever did before xx

Thursday 27 October 2016

Lottoland Review

You'll probably noticed Christ Tarrant  popping up in the TV adverts lately most notably in the new Lottoland advert.

Now I'm not of a gambler in fact I'm rather partial to the lucky dips you find at fairs and the such like , usually winning something that will end up back as a prize 6 months later . I'm sure there must be some lucky dip prizes / raffle prizes that just play the circle of doom all the time !

I'm sure you would have dreamed of what would happen if you won the lottery , I know I have , it's nice to dream on occasions . It's the same as myself going on big holidays drinking cocktails.

You are not actually purchasing a physical lottery ticket gone are the days of having to traipse down to the newsagents!, instead you are betting on the outcome of the lottery. This new concept is a form of betting that gives you the opportunity to play along and bet on lotteries that are not normally accessible to us from all corners of the globe.
You are not playing the game direct, instead, you can bet on the results of official lottery draws from around the world, from the Oz Lottery to the Irish Lottery and many more including the Powerball which is an American lottery which had a 1 billion jackpot earlier this year!

Look here to see how  Lottloland works.
So do pop along if you fancy a go and you never know you could be lucky !!

Just remember me when you win !!

This is a PR collaboration.

York On The Cheap

York is utterly wonderful , I love it , I adore it * twirls ,firstly York can be as cheap as chips ( depending on of course where you get your chips from! . It is very luxurious to play the tourist without being overly touristy in a tourist type of way if you catch my drift. I think York has a slower pace than London and in fact you can allow yourself to get lost and to meander here there and everywhere . I only had to ask directions once and that was when I was buying some very cute cat silver earrings from a lovely bespoke gallery shop that was not pretentious in anyway shape or form.

I did have a planned  lunch time visit to Bettys tea rooms ( which is defiantly not cheap ) but prior to that and after my time was my own to wander as I saw fit . I didn't get bored at all on my own , you ,might have though being on your own I would get overwhelmed not in the slightest.

Getting Lost Is The Best Adventure

Getting lost is the best adventure you can possibly have within a city and understandably getting lost can be tired and thirsty work. While happily getting lost I happened upon a church where tea and cake was being sold in aid of some bowling club, and never one to turn down a charity plea I had to indulge. I didn't have a cup of tea as I was going onto Bettys to have rather pricey tea so i opted a small sausage roll and a little cake in the church surroundings. I did get questioned on why I wasn't having a cup of tea ( a question of sanity I suppose )

York Minster 

York Minster isn't free to get into but it is free to look at !

York Minster is a Gothic masterpiece of which the moment you clap eyes on it you will be in awe, the Minster dates from the 1400s.

The Shambles

Personally I would ignore the fuss you might have seen on Trip Advisor recently saying the Shambles were overrated , they Shambles are indeed busy and if you want to see the Shambles virtually free than you really need to head there first thing in the morning or later in the evening ( before dark )

Looking in the shops costs nothing ( Mr T has yet to notice the cardigan I brought and the cat earrings ) Where as I notice everything ;-)

I love popping into the Bettys tea room shop which reminded of Ollivanders Wand shop in Diagon alley , Betts tea room shop is perfect for taking your little piece of Yorkshire way with you with perhaps a Fat Rascal Treat & some Bettys tea blend .

City Walls

The stone walls surrounding York were built in medieval times upon Roman foundations and it makes for a lovely afternoon walk.

Retro Charity Rumble 

I  do love a good charity shop rumble in fact I can lose myself for hours in chairs shops and the ones in York are particularly fascinating .

National Railway Museum

No trip to York is complete without popping into this museum to see and appreciate the steam age and beyond, there is even a Bullet train from Japan there ( where I took a quiet rest weary from walking around all day )

Friday 21 October 2016

Sorry Autumn

Sorry Autumn

Sorry I have been missing you

Sorry I have been eyes down as I scurry by your beauty

Sorry I stepped over you when your magical crunch blew to my door

Sorry I didn't look up to all your a canopy of rainbow delight

I am sorry Autumn I will try with all my might to capture you here and there abouts

You are never to be ignored when your surreptitious wonder is knocking at my door 

I will look up Autumn I promise you once more and gaze through the window of your gorgeous dappled leaves once more.

Autumn leaves Collage

Carpet Of Leaves

Thursday 20 October 2016

Surprise Trip To Hadrian's Wall #GiftToFamily

It is nice to think that little bit extra about your friends and family at times especially about the little extra things they do for each other. And that is why Saga inspired by the movement of random act of kindness they are encouraging bloggers like myself into gifting family member something special they deserve . It was very heart warming to #GiftToFamily and to see their reaction , even I have learnt something the need to talk to camera  ( of which I am very shy ) 

Mr T has been working very hard at work putting in extra hours when needed , helping out colleagues being the manager for the day ( which means having to buy the better biscuits you know the ones with the chocolate coating  , the real chocolate coating at that ! ) Also MR T has been running us run the country due to my son going to University open days which does mean going from one end of a country to another. Oh how we laughed that day when we discovered we had been sat in the wrong university for 40 minutes !

We do what we do for the love of our families and to see them strive, as parents we want our son to strive and be the very best he can be and to indulge him within reasons ( and many times beyond that ) so he can achieve his hearts desires and dreams. And thank to Saga and their #GiftToFamily campaign I have been able to do this , ideal as my son wants to be an archaeologist .

What is Equity Release ?

Equity release is a way of unlocking a portion of  the value/equity of your home in return for a tax free sum without having to move home. I have known some friends who have done this ( but they did seek advice from the right channelsas anyone should do if they are thinking of this ) So it is best to speak to an expert and see which option will work for you . The Saga equity release service  can ensure that you will have access to the providers and plans that you might need . Your adviser will recommend the product best suited to your circumstances and needs .

What are the benefits of Equity Release ?

When you have a home you love it can be very difficult to thinking about moving on. Equity release  allows you to release funds as and when you need it , slowing you to make adjustments to your home as you need it . , using the funds as you need them unlike a loan which can tempting to use all at once as it comes in a lump sum.

I am only in my 40's and so is my husband ( whispers even though he is 2 and half years old and believe me that is big enough gap when it comes to music ) . Our son is about to go to university next year for a 3 year course in university and maybe a masters and PHD ( who nows ) and at which time I will be creeping towards 50 * insert silent scream * . My son will no doubt be looking at settling down somewhere and may be might need some help in the future.

Again I must stress that everyones circumstances are different , it is very important to seek advice from the right channels before making such a big decision . I have a mortgage that is linked to my bank account the more I put in, the lower my mortgage is and I can borrow off it as well. My options may very well change in 20 years or so when I need to make some home improvements for what ever reason.

Wednesday 19 October 2016

I am Helping my Son in Having A #brightfuture

As a family recently we have had to pull together as a family to ensure a #brightfuture not only for ourselves but also to do our part for future generations.

  • Unilever's bright future intuitive is focusing on small changes that can make a big difference & how also we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably. Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan , Unilever has helped 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene , including through hand washing ,improving self esteem and oral hygiene.

  • Domestos is committed to helping people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020, including access to clean sanitation to protect people from preventable diseases, reduce mortality rates, help reduce drop out rates and improve quality of life.

  • Persil has backed a global initiative "Learning for Tomorrow " partnering with UNICEF to help give children in some of the world's toughest areas the opportunity of a quality education.

  • Dove is building in the aim to improve lives through small steps , Doves Self Esteem Project has worked closely with leading psychologists ,academics and experts to create materials and resources that help young people develop a positive relationship with their appearance. The project has now reached over 19 million young lives.

I am small steps to empower myself I do this through writing in my blog and not being afraid to talk about my own mental health issues as I truly believe we are stronger together. I am open in my feelings in my mental health and while this has lost me friends I have gained so many more through it and such strength that it is superhuman.

We use refillable water bottles at work and school to cut down on having to buy bottled water, we make our own pack lunches often reusing left overs the take day for our lunch.

We make sure we have showers rather than having baths.

We use a water butt in the garden so we don't use water from the outside tap.

We turn the tap off when brushing our teeth.

We don't have the battle of the thermostat now instead the person making a complaint gets 


I am very conscious that my own son is about to make the leap to University life , he has chosen archaeology he believes that we can learn from the past and shape out very future.

I reuse old boxes by taking them into school for the children to use in their junk modelling and various projects.

I now don't make half as many impulse buys as my son tells me we don't need that right now , which is true that you should only buy what is essential . I am optimistic about his future especially as I have been on various open days this has encouraged to let me go as a parent and know that my son will make a difference to the world in the course that he chooses.

We use Persil on our clothes , more importantly Persil Non Bio as my son and I have eczema ( and sensitive skin ) I have always encouraged my son to get outside and he has done so admirably he plays rugby with such passion . In the word of Ghostbusters:

"He ain't afraid of NO Mud "

* disclaimer they didn't actually say that but you get my point !

This post is an entry for britmums #BrightFuture challenge sponsored by Unilever

Tuesday 18 October 2016

A Catch Up And Socks Out Of Season

Thought I'd swing by and say hi .

I've been busy walking more hours as a SEN teaching assistant and that is where quite rightly I've been concentrating my time and energies into my job.

My humour got lost for  a while as I was so busy but slowly and surely it has returned ~ whispers today I wore Christmas socks I'm maverick and I like it . Not Maverick out of Top Gun you understand but teaching is a highway to the dangerzone especially  when there is no cake in the staff room.

There will be new blog posts soon even recipes ~ gasp .

Thank you for sticking with me ! I couldn't do it without you .

Monday 17 October 2016

Useful Gift Ideas For the Wistful Me

I am ever so terrible at going shopping , I mean shopping out in the real world , it's full of people and crowds and monsters , ok maybe not monster s but you get my meaning . So I tend to do most of my shopping on line and only going out when I really need to , I support my local shops but I think there is a trap in them as sometimes I end up with more than I planned in my basket ! One of the most stressful shopping experiences for me is clothes shopping as I feel uber self conscious going into the changing rooms . And when I was in Top Shop the other day with my son who wanted to visit Top Man it was like I had stepped back in the mists of time as the fashions had come round again ! I no longer fit into The Top Shop  clothes ( said in a wistful way )

So I was really happy with Pink Clove clothing to in touch as they do clothes for the fuller size  ( yay ) I am not much of a dress person though I have been known to wear one of occasion. I looked through the range of clothes that Clove has and was pleasantly surprise at their ranges , styles and sizes . I plumped for a trouser suit all in black , it has been years since I wore. I found the site easy to navigate and I enjoyed the browsing so much more , I have just been shopping with the teen and quite frankly it's easier to bag fog !

I went for this sleeveless jumpsuit which I think will be perfect for the Christmas party season and is priced at £24 ( a price that won't break the piggy bank )

Also I love flowers I am very bad at buying them for myself but I do enjoy being given them as they brighten me and my surroundings. The flowers you see below in the picture are from Beards and Daisies an awesome online flower company with the friendliest customer service. They have all sort of beautiful and fragrant flowers that you can order including flowers that that be pushed through your letter box.

Disclosure both the closing item and the flowers were sent to me but my thoughts and words are my own .

Thursday 13 October 2016

Keeping Your Cats Amused While You Are At Work

" My human  has been leaving the radio on for us cats , now I quite like listening to the sport on 5 live ! I'm pretty sure I could be the next England manager . Well you human beans have not being having SO much luck , gave you now ?!" ~ Jack

"I on the other hand have a refined palate and love listening to Classic Fm while sitting in my elect shoe box , my human bean buys shoe to feed my box habit which I happily ignored for 7 years . Just because I am a cat doesn't mean I sit in a shoe box form the word go " ~ Rollie 

Cats are pretty good at amusing themselves really , as they do what they want when they want., to be honest they are probably having a rave up while we are out to work and school at the minute.  As you know lately I have had to work full times as a Special Needs teaching assistant lately ( which I do really enjoy ( rewarding hard work). Cats do spend a significant amount of time sleeping and unlike dogs they do not require lots of stimulation and entertainment whilst you are out.

Nevertheless it is important to make sure your cat is entertained and stimulated in some way as no one likes to be bored least of all a cat .

So firstly I have ordered a treat ball ( which by its name is self explanatory ) they'll have to share this which will be character building and will help towards any conflict issues .

I did choose a blue ball for them ( there was a pink option as well , they are very gender neutral in the toys and bedding they have * they have pink blankets ( well they were cheaper )

And I choose a springy cat toy thingy that no doubt will delight them , it sort of looks like a Haggis with a spring shoved up its bottom ?

Who knows


And they'll be able to play also with the cat toys they received recently as part of a cat lovers gift box.

I'll get no meow of thanks and they will probably just sit in the box the cat toys come in anyway .


Sunday 9 October 2016

Choosing A University Is A Bit Like The Sorting Hat in Harry Potter

"Made with love " as the cafe assistant hands a hot chocolate to my husband... swore blind she blew him a kiss 😘 too

Then we discovered we had been sitting in the wrong university for 40 minutes! So in Benny Hill style we ran forwards and back until we found the correct university of Manchester . We arrived just in time for the welcome speech quietly shuffling across the back row 

" sorry "

"Mind your toes "

"Oooops "


Quickly turning the free tote bag from the ' other ' university inside out , then we were ready for university statistics bingo.

1. Top what ever % in the world .

2. Top what ever % in the U.K. 

3. Value added smiles , employability , rounding you as a person.

4. Russell group university > big tick .

5. Amazing YouTube poetry clip, upbeat sports montage , volunteering , giving back to the community feel good factor .

I say University of Manchester but indeed it reminded of Hogwarts and standing in the Whitworth Hall , I thought my son was about to be sorted into his Hogwarts House 

"Not Slitheryn "

My son tutted up at my free pen filling up and Haribo sweet collecting but I was like Dobby seeking his sock from his master ....

"Master has given Dobby his sock "


Thursday 6 October 2016

Lord Of The Tea Time

What a to do  ?

What a right royal to do !

I am adjusting as I previously said to working full time ( albeit temporary and then I will go back to my regular part time hours ) . It is years since I have worked full time and I had quite happily slid in my me time that golden time when everyone is out the house and I can hear myself think, be it in the morning or just before everyone piles in from school or work . I have gone from a tortoise pace to literally hitting the grown running like a Cheetah ( I am enjoying it I have to say but it is tough on the body I think I will need an MOT at a spa before all too long )

And here I am typing this and watching a nice calm film relaxing with my tea ( OH how I love my tea )

thinking time , my tea time .

OH the calm film I am watching that would be "Lord Of The Rings "

I wish to take a little piece of me with me when I go to work ( I have my bobble hat but I really want and crave is a sort of travel teapot with cup ) well I have my bobble hat and I love that .

My blog is a stream of my consciousness and of course my cats , I never realised how much I would miss my blog till now and when I had the time I wished I was more busy . Gosh isn't life complicated and I am really hoping all this is making sense to you as my fingers gallop to get the thoughts and feeling out my head and feel a sense of real . I want to see the leaves to change colour and to taste the apple crumble of Autumn so I am going to have to put in some meal planning ideas to take the strain of coming home and having to cook tea.

I would not change working more hours for all the tea in China , I just have to get a sense of me . I am feeling that and certainly typing this has helped .

To know "I am brilliant " helps

To know "You're doing a great job helps "

To know I am making a positive impact on children lives helps.

To know I am finding me again helps . To know my friends and colleagues there helps . To know my special friend (S) is there to help pull off my worry boots helps.

Thank you and now would anyone like another cup of tea ?

The Perfect Cat Lovers Gift

Love ....  

Maybe the iconic Beatles song was really written about cats ....    

I love my cat (s ) . I have always been a cat lady . I love to read about others journies into this realm of cat ownership or rather the cat owning you , even if you don't admit . Cats are life saviours they come at times you need , and they come at times that you don't think you need them., I lost count of times I had had more intelligent conversations with my cat versus people.

 When I tell my cat "I love you " I imagine that scene in Star Wars when Princess Leia says

 "I love you " and Han says "I know".

 I  also find myself changing film lines such as "You had me at Meow " Obviously Mr T will have to stand in as a budget Tom Cruise from Jerry Maguire.

   We also have "SHOW me the CATNIP "

  "No one puts kitty in the corner "

"You Meowing at me ?" "I see DEAD Mice "

"I'm gonna make him a cat toy he can't refuse "

  Rollie and Jack were like Charlie in the Chocolate factory the other day when I got a gift box subscription of my . They loved the cuteness of the catnip sweet toys only problem was that Rollie decided to play with the toys after Jack and this didn't go down well.


"He was begging for it playing with MY toys stupid fluff ball " * the words of Jack "I as a form of protest sat in the shoebox that the stupid one likes " * the words of Rollie . I also have some catnip tea bags ( who knew there was such a thing ) they are safely out the way as last time Jack got to close to too much catnip he had a major trip out      


I think a gift box subscription (like this one I was and the cats were sent from Mypurrfectgiftbox )that is aimed at both cats and owners is brilliant , I love the bespoke cat tea bag holder from  ( for use with teabags suitable for humans  )  . And screams "HOW AWEsome is this cat mug " from The biscuits my son had straight away with a thumbs up from him !   


    This is a ideal gift for a cat lover and their cat obviously ! PS My birthday is in December "Treat me please "

Disclosure The cats and I were sent this to review all thoughts words and meows are our own .

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Brilliant Just

Just a quick hello just to let you know my blog is still alive and kicking ! It's be a whirlwind of glitter and glue sticks! The other day I managed to get 3 new glue sticks !

I was told "You're brilliant " this week .

I was genuinely stunned , but I took the compliment and skipped into the playground.

On a serious note I really don't think we tell each other we are brilliant enough.