Wednesday 20 December 2017

Celebrating Wednesday's #31

It is officially the last Wednesday before Christmas, so I will wish you a happy one now, please try not to over indulge. I'm sure you've all got lots of last minute bits that need to be done, so I think today, perhaps we should just jump right on in and find out what we are celebrating.

However, before I do, I will say that although it is Go Carolling Day, I am not writing about it. I confess to not be a huge lover of the Christmas Carol.

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Celebrating Wednesday's #30

Well here we are once again slap bang in the middle of the week. How's it been? Good, bad, a bit of both? However it's been, let's take a few moments out, have a breather, a hot drink and relax while we set about finding out what this Wednesday has in store for us to celebrate.

Now, I'm going to be honest with you, I think this may be one you either love or hate. No, before you jump the gun, it is not Marmite, but yes it's true, you either love it or hate it, there is no in between. This could be considered the same, so if you are not a lover, I apologise, but it was the only celebration on my calendar today, so we're celebrating it.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Celebrating Wednesday's #29

Hello and a very warm welcome to the middle of the week. Friday is too far away and Monday isn't far enough away. I find Wednesday a very odd day indeed. It's just a bit meh, isn't it? That's OK though because here we are to have a wee sit down with a cuppa and find out what super exciting thing we will be celebrating today.

I have a feeling, I may have been a little over enthusiastic there, building it up just a wee bit too much. That said, I am getting a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling about this week's special day. I fear you are going to think I'm crazier than I am when I tell you what it is, but perhaps, just perhaps, some of you might get it.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

8 Simple Tips for Keeping Your Teen Safe Online

When I was a teen there was no Internet, and no mobile phones. A mobile phone was a little green piece of plastic, the size of a credit card that afforded you a set amount of credit to make calls from a public card phone. It was the thing of it's time! No messing around trying to find change to put in the pay phone and then dropping the next coin just as the pips went off to warn you your credit was running out. Nope, we just went to the special card phone and popped in our bit of plastic. All very high tech.

Because we had no mobile phones, or computers we spoke to one another. You would arrange to meet somewhere at a given time and then you just took for granted it would happen. No texting to say you're on your way, or you got held up. Sharing a photo, meant getting the film from your camera developed at the chemist and then showing the prints to your friends and family by passing them around.

Keeping safe for us, meant, not going near the big kids, not walking down lonely dark alleys, not talking to strangers or taking anything from them, blah, blah, blah.

I'm not saying it was better back then, but perhaps it was simpler. Or at least keeping ourselves safe was simpler. Whereas, we only really had to worry about keeping safe outside of our homes, our children now have access to so much social media that their safety in the home cannot be guaranteed.

This is why as parents, it's vital we keep up to date with the latest e-safety news because it's a fast paced, and ever changing world. There are some things that will remain the same though, and which you should speak to your child about on a regular basis if they are going online, regardless of their age.

1) Keep your accounts private and have your location set to off. Big issues with location on Snapchat, anyone can see where you are. Turn it off.

2) Never add anyone you do not personally know, even if it is a friend of a friend. If you haven't met them in real life they have no place in your online life.

3) Never ever give out your password, not even to your best friend in the whole world. What's the worst that can happen? Someone could go into your account and cause a whole lot of trouble for you.

4) Photos. Be careful what you share. Once you've put it on the World Wide Web it is there forever. Which leads us nicely to...

5) Never ever ever share photos that are inappropriate and never ever be pressured into doing so. If someone asks you to do anything online you are not comfortable with, report them, block them and tell an adult.

6) Do not give out any personal details, phone numbers, address etc. Anything someone could use to locate you off line. Don't share it.

7) Never arrange to meet anyone you met online (refer back to number 2). People can be very deceptive online, very easily. You can never 100% know to whom you're speaking.

8) If you are being bullied online, screen shot the messages, block them and speak to a trusted adult.

This list could well go on an on, but these are the things I go over regularly with my girls. It works. We had an incident a couple of years ago when someone approached my eldest and some of her friends online. Because we talk about it at home, and it's discussed regularly at school they knew what to do. She didn't come to me, but she did go to her pastoral support team at school and they in turn contacted the parents. I dread to think what might have happened if they weren't so clued up on the dangers of the online world. Thankfully, they did.

Further reading for parents:


NSPCC Online Safety

Monday 4 December 2017

Someone to Talk To

For some reason, Friday's are always a very difficult day of the week for me. The worst day of the week in fact. I know, it's crazy, for everyone else it's generally the best day. Not so for me. Friday's are mostly spent in a constant state of tearfulness (again, I do believe I have created a new word).

By the time dinner came round this Friday, I didn't have the energy to cook, so Mr. Domino's did it for us and I began to feel just a little bit calmer, and really quite optimistic. Who can possible be sad over pizza, especially when there's no cooking to do! Well apparently, that would be myself. Oh my goodness, what an absolute bloody loser, honestly, I am, I know it, please do not try to humour me by saying otherwise.

Sunday 3 December 2017

Stop Before You Knock

Please, please people, would you stop and think before you act. Would you stop and think, is this really a major issue, that I need to address, or could I just deal with it in a quieter way. And, if you do decide to make a big deal of something, would you please at least stop and listen.

This afternoon, Miss. L took the dog out for me. She's been doing so for the past couple of months. She's being doing so, because my anxiety won't let me get to the top of the road before it kicks in and sends me racing back to the safety of my home. I cannot walk the dog.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Celebrating Wednesday's #28

Well here we are again. I must say, after such a long time of not doing our little Wednesday slot, it feels a little odd to be back, but in a good way. It's nice to have a day of the week where you know what you have to do and there is a definite focus. It does take the pressure off just a wee bit. Fellow bloggers will know that coming up with content can sometimes be a real challenge. Writers block is, indeed, a real thing.

Thankfully, that is not a problem today because here we are, ready to celebrate the middle of the week. Not only is it downhill to the weekend from here, but it is also a special day.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

5 Tips for Raising Your Teenage Girl

If you're a regular reader of Little Orange Dog, you'll know that I am mum to two girls, one teen and one tween. They're pretty amazing young ladies and if you've read my post A Letter to my Girls you'll know just how proud I am of them. Only today, I was immensely proud of Miss. D. Despite having had a migraine since yesterday afternoon, and still feeling very unwell, she got herself up, showered and ready for school. One look at her, and it was obvious she was being very optimistic. If I'd let her go in I guarantee I would have been collecting her by 9am and bringing her home again. It's those little things they do that surprise me and make me burst with pride.

It all sounds very idyllic doesn't it. The three of us sound like the perfect little family don't we? Well for the most part, everyone does get on. Of course the girls fall out from time to time. Yes they get stroppy on the odd occasion, dare I say it, Miss. L can get very moody and morose, but for the most part, it's all good.

So here's what I've learnt about raising Teen Girls.

1) Hormones start to kick in a wee bit before they hit their teens. They start getting all attitudey (I believe I may have created a word there) and it just gets worse. You never know if your sweet little girl is going to be just that, or if she's going to be an angry, fire breathing dragon. And even when you've worked out which version of your daughter is in front of you, the speed at which she can morph into the other version is unbelievable. My advice. Do not rise to the bait. If you take that angry monster on, you are not going to win, you will only end up feeding it and making it angrier. Pick your battles wisely; let them shout, stamp upstairs and slam their bedroom door and when they've calmed down - I repeat when they've calmed down, talk it out.

2) Periods this is number two on the list as it ties in with number one. Your teen will be a raging bag of hormones once a month, guaranteed. Follow the advice above, keep a good supply of chocolate in the house, and if you need to approach her, do so armed with said chocolate and a huge amount of caution. Be ready to beat a hasty retreat!

3) Sleeping is her favourite past time. She will become like a little hibernating creature. The little girl who used to run around the house like a loon, now needs to sleep, sleep and sleep some more. Even when she's not asleep, don't count on seeing her. She will still be in her room, which has now become her sanctuary from which she will only venture out in order to feed.

4) Eating is almost like a pastime. She will eat you out of house and home, then complain there's no food in the house. Know that you are responsible for replenishing food supplies that have been depleted, even though you thought there was still an abundance of said item (this will anger the teen, refer to number one for a quick refresher on how to deal with your angry hormonal teen). Note also, that when the teen tells you there is no food in the house, they mean, there is only healthy food left in the house and that simply won't do.

5) Friends are the cause of all happiness and all dramas. I strongly suggest not trying to keep up with who has fallen out with whom, it changes on an almost daily basis. Going out with friends is almost as important as sleeping. Be prepared to run a taxi service for your teen and her friends. Also be prepared for your teen to 'tell' you what her plans are, rather than asking (I'm going to point you back to number one here, there's potential for this to go very pear shaped). In addition to this, get used to the odd sleepless night (yes I know, you thought those days were behind you), when you have a teenage sleepover there's not a whole lot of sleeping goes on and they have no idea how loudly they are giggling.

So, those are my five key tips for keeping the peace and getting along with your teen. It's a bit tongue in cheek, but joking aside, these are the key areas I try to pay attention to when they're getting a bit stroppy. They're not doing it on purpose, they're just testing the boundaries a bit and trying to deal with their fast changing world. Take a step back, breath and think back to when you were a teenager. The calmer you're able to be, the quicker they will calm down and the more likely they will be to talk to you about their fears and concerns. Growing up is scary.

Other posts related to raising teen girls:

Tea, Teens and Consent


Monday 27 November 2017

What Happening?

Hmmm, I is spending a huge amount of time curled up on the sofa at the moment and I not sure why. Usually, my mummy take me out lots. Sometimes, her take me out too much and I really not want to go. Me has done moaning before when her take me out one too many times. Little Orange me walked very slowly and made quite clear me not a happy little boy.

I not know what happened. Me think that the mummy is not the real mummy. I not know who this mummy is, but something just not right at all. Her look like my mummy and her smell like my mummy. I done lots of sniffing of her because me not convinced this is my mummy, but her must be because she smell like mummy. Her not mummy though.

Her still feed me and give me water. Sometimes, her still brush me. Miss. L brushes me most of the time, she seems to enjoy it...I don't, I like to look like a scruffy boy. Mummy not take me for a walk for long time though. Her did take me, but when we got back she made funny noise and her eyes leaked.

Sometimes her play fetch with me, but not very often. She smell like my mummy, but I so sad because mummy isn't the same mummy and me miss her lots.

This mummy, not go out. Her stay indoors and do the funny noise, leaky eye thing lots and lots. Me sit on her feet and try to be the bestest boy in the whole widest world. Mummy loves it when me keep her feet warm so her eyes shouldn't leak, but me doing something wrong because they do still do leaking. Me fidget about in case me not keeping all her feets warm, but it not stop. Her smell like mummy, but it can't be.

Miss. L takes me for my walks. We have fun together. Me love both my girls so much, but me wish mummy would take me out too. My girls are the bestest. Them tell me mummy love me, but her not feel well at the moment. Maybe that why other mummy here. Me think real mummy is on a holiday somewhere getting mended. Me hope so.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Dying Your Hair - Read This First

It is a well known fact that we ladies like to look our best. We spend an absolute age on making sure we look just right. Come on girls, how long do we spend showering, exfoliating, defuzzing and moisturising? Probably far too long and that's before we even get started with our hair and make up. We might even indulge in the odd facial, massage and mani or pedi, oh, and don't forget the trips to the hairdressers. You see where I'm going with this now? You see for many of us a trip to the hairdresser may well involve having our hair coloured. For others, it will be a trip to the shops and colouring at home.

I colour my hair. I had a crazy idea back in August or September that it would be fun to just let it go grey to see what it was like, but frankly, I got bored and dyed it again. The issue I have, is that I have to dye it around once a week, once every week and a half if I'm really lucky. The reason being I can only use temporary dyes which last 6 - 8 washes (they never last that long, I hasten to add) because I am allergic to any other chemical dyes. Today, I went to the hairdressers, and not having tested a salon dye, we thought let's give it a try. Knowing full well what the likely outcome would be, I rolled up my sleeve and we did a patch test. This is the result.

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Celebrating Wednesday's #27

It's been a long, long time since last we celebrated a Wednesday. I'll be honest, some weeks it was getting just a tad difficult to muster up the enthusiasm to celebrate what was on offer. I have to say though, that I have also, kind of missed it a little bit and so here we are starting over(ish) again with our 27th celebration.

It wasn't too much of a chore this week either because there is only one day to choose from, or rather, there was no choice, which makes it easier. It also makes it easier if it's something you can actually do. And so, please get ready to celebrate...

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Depression - My View

We're all different and we all view things differently. This is no less true of our individual experiences of depression and other mental health issues. There will be similar themes that run through our journeys, but none will be exactly the same. This is how I view depression, and how I try and explain it to people, or one of the ways.

As we all know by now, I live with depression. I was first diagnosed eight years ago and received some amazing CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) back then. Together with my medication, it has helped me to deal with the condition and to manage any episodes that I've had since my first diagnosis. That is until now. Now I have had my meds increased and am waiting for a fresh round of CBT. In my post Hippo Tours, I reflected on my depression and shared ways in which I was trying to manage it, or rather be distracted from it.

Monday 20 November 2017

An Eye Opener

Well, there I was yesterday afternoon, desperately racking my brains for something to write about, building ideas and what do you know? I end up getting exactly what I wished for, content. Let me go back to the morning though; trust me, none of this will make sense otherwise.

Much as I didn't want to, I had to get up before 8am yesterday. I had a delivery coming and the time slot was 8.30am - 5pm. So, I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed and jumped (more like climbed slowly) into the shower in a vague attempt at waking myself up. It seemed to work, well sort of. I then had a dither about what I would be doing that day and did I need to put my contact lens in. I decided the contact lens would be needed as I was going to be on the laptop working whilst waiting for the delivery man to arrive. And bonus! That little lens went in like a dream.

A Letter To My Girls

To My Wonderful Daughters,

You are both amazing, beautiful, intelligent and funny. I am so very, very proud of you. Every time I think I've worked you out, you do something else that surprises me; usually in a good way.

You are both growing up now, you no longer need me as much as you used to. You go out with your own friends and do things you want to do. You are discovering who you are and where you belong in this World. You're working hard at school and achieving so much more than I ever did, you clever things. Who would have thought I could produce two girls who are such good mathematicians! I struggled so much in that subject, but you both seem to find it easy. Did I mention, how very proud I am of you both.

You are kind girls. You think of others and you're not afraid to stand up for people you see being bullied. You're not afraid to stand up for what you believe in. Don't lose that. It will stand you in good stead. You will do good things that will help change lives with your kindness, compassion and dislike for injustice, but be prepared, it will also land you in hot water from time to time. Don't worry. If it is something you truly believe in and believe it is worth fighting for keep going. People will always get upset if you show them something isn't right. I will be proud of you.

Follow your heart and dream big. You can do whatever you want to do. Only you stand in your way. Never walk on anyone to get where you want to go though, and never be walked on (I know you won't, you're too strong and stubborn for that). Be kind always, and work hard. The people who take short cuts to get what they want, are the ones who won't appreciate what they have, and won't work to keep it. Never give up. I will be proud of you.

I cannot tell you how in awe of you I am. I know that life at home is not easy for either of you at the moment. When I was your ages, I could not have coped with all you are dealing with now. I have always been very open with you about my illness. You know that I live with depression, and you have seen me suffer with it over the years. This time, I know that I am much worse than I have ever been. I try not to cry in front of you, but I have failed so much, and you have seen me sobbing my heart out uncontrollably. I apologise, and you both tell me it's OK, you know it's not my fault, you know I am not well. It fills me with pride and it hurts me too that you have to be so strong and understanding. I am so proud of you.

Miss. L, thank you for the endless cups of tea you provide. Thank you for walking our Little Orange Doggy because I cannot (I secretly think he prefers walks with you). Thank you for helping me to collect the shopping, cook dinners and with jobs around the house. You are awesome!

Miss. D thank you for being a fabulous big sister, I know you are always looking out for your little sister, especially at the moment. Thank you for understanding how difficult anxiety makes it for me to go out and do 'normal' things. Thank you for speaking to your teacher about your concerns over parents evening. You are such a thoughtful awesome girl!

I know that I am not myself. I know that your normal happy, laid back, crazy, fun mum isn't around. I know I am just an empty shell of myself at the moment, and I cannot begin to understand how difficult it must be for you both. Please know, I am trying so hard. Every day I try, because I love you both so much. I know that you worry about me and I know that it is affecting you so much more than you will ever let on to me. Talk to your Dad, talk to your teachers and your friends. Please, do not keep how you feel locked inside.

Talk to each other. Remember that whatever life brings, you will always have your sister. You may not always like each other, but I know that you love one another very much, even when you won't admit it to me or your sister.

You are amazing girls. I love you so much and I am so very proud of you.

With all my love,

Mum xxx

This Mum's Life



Tuesday 14 November 2017

Why I Love Twitter!

Before I entered the weird and wonderful world of blogging, I was a lover of Facebook. I liked it, it was easy to use, easy to connect with people and well, no character limitations on status updates. However, I have changed my mind.

For me, Twitter is the primary social media channel for blogging. With my personal Twitter account I found the character limitation a real bore, but with the blog account, no issue whatsoever, or perhaps I have just got used to it. Who knows? I haven't done a huge amount to grow my following on social media yet, but even so, I find Twitter much easier to grow than Facebook.

My main reason for loving Twitter so much though, is the fabulous sense of community. Unlike Facebook, people actually interact with one another regularly. OK, it's possible it's mainly us bloggers, holed up in our homes neglecting our blogs and having a good old natter instead. I put my hand up to that one. And yes, we are the ones who leave the room for a couple of minutes and come back to find the best part of 100 notifications. We clearly chat too much!

I'm not complaining though. Not at all, it's what I love, and if I'm honest, over the past few weeks it's what has kept me going. Having that sense of community. Knowing that there are people online at almost every hour of the day, has been a lifeline.

It's a place where I finally feel like I belong and people genuinely understand. OK it's possible they don't understand my crazy, sometimes random sense of humour, but they certainly understand the struggles I face with my mental health and the support I have received has been very much appreciated. They seem to understand the best way to deal with me is by using humour. No matter how low I may be feeling, after a couple of gif's I've forgotten about being sad. I've forgotten about feeling lonely and I'm chatting away to a bunch of crazy ladies (and the odd gent) as though we're all sat in the same room drinking tea and eating cake.

Sometimes, I think it's a real shame that we are scattered far and wide, but it may be a blessing; I know there are one or two bloggers whom, if we lived in close proximity, I for one would never get any work done and far too much cake would be consumed.

So, what then is the point of this slightly random and disjointed post? Well, it is essentially a great big thank you and a virtual hug to my fellow bloggers on Twitter. Thank you for being there, thank you for being crazy daisies, thank you for making me laugh and for laughing at me. You're all fabulous!

Run Jump Scrap

Mum Muddling Through

DIY Daddy

Sunday 12 November 2017

Hippo Tours - The Story

Somewhere, in a deep dark forest, in the county of Kent, is a very special place indeed. It’s a place like no other. A place where you can do something you cannot do anywhere else in the whole wide world. I have no idea how such a place came to be located in Kent, which is more famously known for its orchards and hop gardens, but that’s where this strange and wonderful secret attraction is.

It is a very secret place indeed. Only very special people get an invitation, and if you tell anyone you have such a thing, it instantly becomes void. It’s all terribly top secret and with good reason. If anyone were to find out where the forest is and what is located there, well there would be all sorts of repercussions, I can tell you. Before I tell you any more of this closely guarded secret, let me explain a little about how it came to be.

Friday 10 November 2017

Hippo Tours

So perhaps the title is just a little misleading? Many, very sincere apologies if you are expecting to read a piece about hippo spotting in Africa, but please, bear with, because it will hopefully all become clear as we go along (don't hold me to that though).

If you read my last post Moving Forward, you'll know that although it's taken me a while, I have finally given in and accepted that I really need help to fix myself this time. Depression is an absolute beast to live with, you never know when it might creep up on you and it really did creep up this time, and it's made a bloody huge mess.

Looking back over the past few months, I can actually see it creeping in. Little things were constantly playing on my mind. Things which should not have been an issue, but were. The absence of friends bothered me for a long time. It shouldn't have. I should just have let go then. Inconsistency in my working life. It's part of my job, normally it wouldn't worry me because I plan for it, but that was creeping in and becoming an issue too. It really is a sneaky little sod the way it creeps up so quietly before going in for the final kill.

Today I went to see my GP. I've seen her recently and we had a chat about how I was feeling. Today, we had a more serious chat and I admitted to her that I am really struggling. It's difficult trying to put yourself back together with just a handful of people to support you. Sometimes, you need a bit more help from the right people.

Working from home as I do is isolating anyway, but right now, it feels like a prison. I struggle to go out on my own. It just causes anxiety. That drives me absolutely nuts because I know what it is and I know I should be able to control it, but I can't, which probably makes it worse, to be fair. There is no probably about it, it does make it worse. Then when I am at home, I think too much about anything and everything. I can't switch my mind off and I have few distractions.

So, I have made a huge effort to keep myself distracted and to use my time for self development. I figure that by doing as many online courses as I possibly can, I'm keeping my mind occupied and learning new skills which I can use in my blogging, and hopefully in future work. It has helped, it keeps me more or less distracted and I am learning a lot. I should really give myself a pat on the back for that. I won't of course, but I should.

Thankfully, for those times when my mind is going ten to the dozen,  Martyn is always on the other end of the phone and it was during one of my 'help me' conversations that Hippo Tours came about.

Martyn, or SAF (Super Annoying Friend) as I like to call him, is one of the few people who actually 'gets' me. He knows when to let me sob my heart out, rant, or just be plain stupid. He will never, ever offer an ounce of sympathy, you don't get a 'there, there, it will all be alright.' What you get is the brutal, honest truth and being called a d*#k, and quite frankly, that works for me. He also knows exactly when to use humour with me.

Hence, this week when I suggested I took up something safe such as shark diving, lion taming or hippo wrangling (I can't recall why I suggested it), I forgot all about being sad for a few minutes and instead was laughing and formulating a crazy plan with Mr. K to launch Hippo Tours, the only tour in the world where you get to ride your very own hippo.

It's a crazy stupid fantasy, borne out of two frankly, rather disturbed minds, but whilst I am waiting for my counselling to be scheduled and to just start feeling vaguely normal again, I'm going to cling to Hippo Tours because it genuinely makes me smile to think of hippos waddling around with saddles on their backs. Who knows, it might turn in to a thing all of it's own. Now I wonder if there's an online course on hippo psychology that I can complete.

Thursday 9 November 2017

Moving Forward

I'm sat in front of this blank screen knowing I need to write something, but not knowing how to. Little Orange Dog has always been intended to be a creative outlet and a therapeutic tool for me, but I never wanted the therapy side of it to take over. That's not how it is at the moment though and honestly, I'm not sure how I'm going to get it back on track anytime soon. Each time I genuinely feel I've turned a corner and am on a clear path, a huge wall looms up ahead. If you read my post My Week on Beta Blockers, you'll know that I have already sought help, and so I was hoping things would get better, but it is just relentless.

I beat myself up over it regularly because I know I have all the tools and skills to deal with this situation, and yet I keep getting knocked back. I think, perhaps, I mean it's ever so slightly possible, that I am being too hard on myself and expecting too much of myself. I am my own worst enemy. I don't have time not to be OK and I don't like not being OK. Quite frankly, it sucks and I just want to get out of it. Being kind to myself is not a natural thing at all. I am my harshest critic and I expect way more of myself than I do anyone else.

Monday 6 November 2017

Lighting it Up

Before I start, don't get too excited, this is not a 'seasonal' post. It's far too early for that in my opinion. Yes, I realise that it is now November, but can I please get through Bonfire night first. Perhaps then I might start to feel a little sparkly and glittery. For now, I am talking about a whole lot of different lights.

Now I don't know if it's my age, stress, or if I am just very, very special, but I am beginning to think that now might just be a good time to put me out of my misery, because the list of things starting to go wrong with me are growing by the day, at least that's how it feels. Honestly, if I were a horse (OK I know I'm too short to be a horse, more a pony) you would likely have taken me out to a field and shot me by now.

Wednesday 1 November 2017

Online Dating Disasters

Yesterday was a good day. The morning saw me prepping a beef stew in my pj's and popping the slow cooker on, then relaxing with a cuppa...all before 7.15am. How good am I? The afternoon was spent with my super annoying friend, Martyn. Now we always have a laugh together, but yesterday was just the cherry on the cake.

Let me explain. As a knee jerk reaction to being dumped, I in my infinite wisdom joined a dating site. Now I am clearly not ready to be dating anyone, anytime soon and frankly, that is just as well given the quality of match's I am receiving. I've been moaning to Martyn about it for a bit and decided it was time to show him exactly what the problem is. It's fair to say that it didn't take him long to see what I was up against.

Monday 30 October 2017

What Next?

It's fair to say, my life at the moment, is not going at all to plan. Quite frankly, it is pretty darned crappy and that's putting it politely. If I were speaking with you one to one, I can assure you 'crappy' is not the word I would use, it would likely involve a fair few expletives and a lot of hurt angry tears, of which there have been many. However, it is getting a little easier and yesterday, I was far more up than down.

With this in mind and with the new term looming, I decided to take the girls out to dinner. I can do this, I thought. It will be good for me. No having to cook, and perhaps if someone else has cooked it, I may feel more inclined to appetite is still somewhat suppressed.

Thursday 26 October 2017

My Week on Beta Blockers

Last week, the stress was just too much and my poor resting heart rate was going absolutely nuts; not quite so nuts as it did after having Miss. L, but nuts enough to frighten the living daylights out of me. No one wants a racing heart when the most exertion they've had is drinking a cup of tea.

I'm not a big fan of visiting the Doctor's surgery and, truth be told, I would rather take a chance than willingly go and get checked out, but given it was my heart rate that was causing concern, I relented and got an emergency appointment. Sadly, it was with the duty doctor who doesn't have the benefit of knowing me, but she was very nice and listened.

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Black or White

So here I am, using the blog for it's therapeutic qualities. It's one of, but not solely, the reason I started blogging in the first place. You see, I have a terrible habit of over thinking situations and if I don't verbalise them, or write them down, they go round and round my head and, in short, send me absolutely crazy; not good for anyone, least of all me.

It's been a tough few weeks, which have seen my stress levels hit a high they've not done for some time. I've lost 12 pounds in weight and my poor heart rate went through the roof at one point, ending up with me being prescribed beta blockers; I will not be on them for long, they are horrible and making me feel worse than ever, but I could probably write a whole post on that alone.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Seize the Moments

A couple of evenings ago, D and I chatted about change and particularly how I have changed over the past (almost) six months.

It stemmed from a bit of an outburst from Miss. D (with a little support from Miss. L) when we suggested climbing Snowdon next Summer. Anyone would have thought we'd suggested we pack a few sandwiches, some sunscreen and a warm coat and take a hike up Everest! It was all very hormonal and ended with her taking herself up to bed (to be fair, she isn't very well at the moment).

Monday 18 September 2017


Can you believe it? D only went and abandoned me for almost a whole week. I know disgraceful behaviour, how dare he? He did though, he upped and left with his best mate! And did they just pop to the pub? No. No they did not, they drove all the way to Scotland, and when I say Scotland I am talking way, way north to the mountains. I'm still not convinced that their Gretna Green stop was really just a refreshment break, but neither of them seems to have come back wearing a wedding ring, so we'll just let that one lie.

Thursday 31 August 2017

Goodbye Holidays - Hello School

So it's been a long old time since I last wrote a post, the kids were off school and much as I would love to tell you how crazy busy we've been, I can't. Well I can, but it's not been all fun and excitement I'm afraid. You see, I no longer have little people and so they tend to go off and do there own thing, leaving yours truly at home twiddling my thumbs and having conversations with our handsome little orange doggy, Max. As of today, though, the holidays are over and both girls are back at school. Miss. L went yesterday and had a ball (Year 7's started back a day earlier), let's see how long that lasts.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Not The End!

Finally, the long summer holidays have arrived. Sadly, no one told the sun and it appears to have packed up its belongings and gone on a holiday of it's own leaving us with some rather lovely grey clouds that look (in the words of Miss. D) grumpy and which seek only to share their misery by weeping upon us at every available opportunity. I cannot tell a lie though, I was somewhat grateful to the grumpy clouds for getting sports day cancelled last Thursday; there's nothing quite so bad as having to endure an afternoon of non competitive sports. Well there is something worse and that is enduring your child's final day of primary school on just two hours sleep.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

No More Walks

I a bit worried. Mummy keeps taking me out for walks. Me know that sound a bit crazy for a little orange doggy to say, but I really not sure what is wrong with her! Me keep lying on the sofa and hoping that it will be a really hot day. Her not take me out when it too hot. Her says that my little paws will get burnt and sore and I will get too hot and be a poorly doggy, so me know her still love me lots. That not explain why her keep making me go out though.

Monday 17 July 2017

Don't Panic - OK Panic

Hopefully, you can see the 'don't panic' written on that mug. That is how my morning was supposed to be. I was supposed to get up, do the housework, get Miss. L to school then come home, walk the dog and relax a bit before hitting the supermarket (apparently you have to have food in the house in order to cook). So that was the plan, unfortunately, I had omitted to send the memo to Monday and this is how it actually went.

The Final Countdown

Don't panic! I am not writing a post about that classic rock anthem by 80's rock band Europe, but hands up if you're old enough to remember them. No, you're safe, this is a post about the final countdown to the end of term. Yes folks, the long summer holidays are almost upon us and being a good and organised parent, I have every single minute of those holiday weeks, planned and organised to within an inch of their life... have I heck? I'm too busy concentrating on getting through this final week.

Thursday 13 July 2017

Transition Week

Yes, it is indeed time for change. Not only are we counting down to the end of the school year, but we are closing one door and opening another. The end of an era is upon us, as Miss. L joins her big sister at secondary school. No more school runs for me, as of September Miss. L will be walking with Miss. D; it's going to save me an absolute fortune in petrol and it needs to, given the cost of secondary school uniform, but we'll come back to that later on.

Tuesday 11 July 2017

Why He's Not My Best Friend

I am a huge lover of trashy TV. Programmes that don't really require me to concentrate on them. For the most part I am blogging whilst watching TV, so as a general rule, I have no idea what is going on. One of my favourite shows to 'not watch' whilst blogging is 'Say Yes to the Dress'. What I wouldn't give to work in a wedding dress shop, surrounded by tulle, lace and silk which has been lovingly crafted into ballgowns, mermaids and fit and flares. Yes, minus the bridezillas, that would be my ideal job. Anyway, back to the point. It was whilst 'not watching' that my ears pricked up on hearing a bride use that age old phrase when talking about her hubby to be, 'he's my best friend,' sigh. Well ladies, let me tell you now, D is not and will never be my best friend.

Saturday 8 July 2017

Catch Up Time!

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I have been so rubbish with the blog this week, but honestly, I have the best excuse (or excuses) ever. Well actually that is debatable, because one could argue that each excuse could itself have been a stand alone blog post, but clearly none of them were and hence I am forced to apologise profusely to you, dear readers.

'So what, pray, are you fabulous excuses?' Well, you are more that entitled to ask and even more entitled to an adequate answer so here goes.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Happy Days Part 2

Well here we are, part 2 of our very busy weekend and by far the absolute best part. You'll see why in a moment. Just in case you haven't seen it you can catch up with part 1 here, as you can see, it really was fabulous, but Sunday really was the icing on the cake.

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Happy Days Part 1

Oh my goodness, lovely readers, I am so happy after having the most amazing weekend. Tired, but happy. It has been a super busy, but fun weekend. Get me, two busy, fun filled weekends in a row; is that even allowed for parents? I have a tendency to rebel against rules on occasion, so if it's not allowed I've just broken another rule. Oops!

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Swings & Roundabouts

This weekend was supposed to be a quiet one, but somehow that didn't work out at all. Starting on Friday when I ended up with an impromptu sleepover.

Miss. D was supposed to be going to her dad's for the weekend, but one of her friends needed to stay over, so that then led to, 'Mum can another friend stay over too?'. Being a nice mummy and liking Miss. D's friends, obviously I said yes. The sleepover was a success, we ordered pizza and then the girls did what teenage girls do, disappeared off out for a bit (giving me some much needed peace and quiet) and the best part, they didn't keep me awake all night, or any of the night.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Living Together

Another week and yet another tragedy has struck our shores. I've avoided writing about the terrorist attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster. I like to try and keep the blog as light hearted as possible, but the news I woke up to yesterday and the social media response to it has played on my mind now for twenty four hours and I need to verbalise it. With this in mind, please bear with me as this may not flow particularly well and may become a bit of a word dump. I apologise now.

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Dog Walking Etiquette

The sun is shining and only a few fluffy white clouds are slowly drifting across a beautiful, blue sky. What more could a dog owner ask for? Of course, our four legged canine friends need to be walked every day, come rain or shine, but it's so much more pleasant for the human if the weather is nice. There really is nothing worse than the smell of wet dog after a rainy day walk, and my word does that odour linger!

Thankfully, it is not raining today and so our little orange doggy is not smelling damp and unpleasant (although he does need a shower). He is currently lounging on the sofa, absolutely shattered having had a nice long walk in the sunshine. Don't worry, we were hugely responsible and went out early this morning before it gets too warm. Dogs and heat don't mix, and their wee paws can be burnt on very hot pavements. Ouch!

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Celebrating Wednesday's #26

Well we're back this week with a new month to celebrate, as well as Wednesday. Apologies for not posting last week, but we're here now and so without further ado, let's see what we are celebrating this week...