Saturday, December 29, 2007

So Christmas is done and dusted

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Here's the proof that we made it through in one piece! Sophie said she missed Daddy on Christmas day :(
Father Christmas was very generous all round. I got a set of Stickles glitter glue, Jo Soja's acrylic paints, a tote and tool kit for my bind it all and other bits and pieces. The girls both got Mummy make me better dolls and a new buggy each. Now where to put it all?
Saturday will be spent getting the house in order. Wish me luck...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Angels from the Realms of Glory...

...otherwise known as Anna's Girls!

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Sophie and Alex were angels in the nativity at church today. They were both brilliant, Alex was a little reluctant initially, but soon got the hang of being on stage!
Tomorrow we are going up to Durham for Christmas, staying until Friday. It will be nice to spend a few days in Durham with mum and dad. We're back at the end of the week, and the girls don't go back to school until January 7th, so plenty of time to chill out at home too. Best of both worlds!

I have sent next to no cards this year, partially through being unable to write, partially through laziness!

So I will be making a donation to Nigel's Gift of Hope fund over at the British Heart Foundation, please follow my lead if you are feeling at all charitable this Christmas. I'd also like to dedicate the donation to the memory of Eric Dews, husband of my dear friend Avril. Eric died in May this year, as unexpectedly as Nigel. This will be Avril's first Christmas without Eric, which will be very hard. I wish you strength, Avril, and I'm here for you whenever you need me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

MRI scan next...

Got to have an MRI scan as there may be smaller bones in my hand fractured. Ah marvellous!

Back for more xrays...

Final check up at the hospital today. No idea if the fracture will show up. My wrist clicks now when I can bear to move it. So time to sit in casualty for several hours again this morning...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

All calm

Hopefully all has calmed down over on my team thread at UKS. A tricky situation which should never have arisen. Lots of over the top reactions. All sorted now I hope.
So we are some team members short, but we like it that way. We do have one new addition, my friend Julie, but she is known to me so will fit in perfectly. Welcome on board Jules!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Heating and hot water at last!

My heating and hot water have been intermittent for the last couple of months, due to a badly installed unvented water tank. Thankfully, today everything was put right. Shame the only way to get that done was to send a solicitor's letter to the company which installed it... threatening to sue for breach of contract. The windows in the gable ends up in the loft still need to be sealed, so for now the legal action continues...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Agreements with myself

Part of isa was encouraging me to make agreements with myself. My first one was to make my bed every day. Sounds simple, but I had got very lazy, and often ended up just throwing the duvet at the bed haphazardly. So my bed has been made every day since isa, which is great.
I agreed a new one last weekend, which was to walk to school on the days when I am not at work. We managed it without any groaning, enforced really seeing as I couldn't drive! It is a habit I want to keep up as we as a family don't get enough exercise together. We'll be walking to school tomorrow, and again on Thursday and Friday. Fancy joining us?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Still splinted...

Still in a splint. Scaphoid in my wrist still giving me problems. Oh well.

Had the WAY party today and it went well. The cake I got from Costco was divine, still got half of it left it was so blinkin huge!

I have started a LO about me, based on what I thought about whilst at isa. It will take me a while as I am not dextrous atm. Using one of my luscious scrapagogo kits which is great as at last I am using up stash lol.
No more boring news now so night night.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back to the hospital

Tomorrow morning. I am in agony. I can't go on with this much pain in my wrist.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hassles of online swaps...

Nightmare... swaps not being sent over on UKScrappers. Unfortunately it hasn't been sorted off board, but instead has been made very public. I am not defending the person who didn't send, just wishing that it could have been sorted a bit less pulicly. It has turned into a lynching, with a new smack blog being set up directly aimed at the non-sender.
There will always be people in life who are not kind, or the sort of person you want to be friends with. I have experienced this myself, with one of them even emailing me on the day Nigel died to say how sorry she was. Yeah right, the day before you hated my guts, and took great delight in spreading nasty rumours about me, but then just because Nigel died you want to be friends again. Hmm, I think not.
There are plenty of very kind people I have met online, including people who have sent me boxfuls of craft stuff for the WAY party on Saturday. Thank you so much if that is you!

OK, rant over. Will chill out now. Tonight I am off out with fellow year one mums from Sophie's school for a meal. Should be fun. My wrist is still extremely painful... ah well!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The phone rang tonight...

Me: Hello
Woman: Can I speak to Mr Head please?
Me: who's calling?

Believe it or not, it was a rep from a wine sales company who rang about a month ago asking for Nigel. I told them he had passed away, and to take his name off their database. That caller was not apologetic.

So the same company rang back tonight and again asked for NIgel. Today it is 16 months exactly since Nigel died. I felt so angry with them for calling when I had asked them not to. The rep was not even vaguely apologetic. Grrr. Left me with a sour taste in my mouth that's for sure.

My hand is hurting rather a lot in the cold. Nothing else to report.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

So I am trapped...

Can't drive. Can't do any scrapping. Can't iron (shucks). Can just about dress myself, although brushing my hair is a challenge!
We're walking to school for now, until I find out when I can drive. Getting to work will be a challenge.
Had a quiet weekend. Slept a lot Saturday as I was in a great deal of pain. Missed my Christmas Crop with the Leeds Paper Dolls.
Did have tea today at my friend Sue's. Mmm it was lovely, thanks Sue!

Friday, December 07, 2007

The good luck continues...

I have possibly broken one of the small bones in my hand. They don't show up on xrays so can't be certain. Ouch.

Oh well. Such is life!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Money money money

It seems that everyone wants money from me just now. I got a letter this morning from the council to say that I owed them £935 as they had over paid me. The letter also said I have to pay it back within 3 months. Er, like £300 a month, from where?
I am annoyed that their error is going to leave me short of cash, so I have spoken to my union about it. I can agree to pay back a lesser amount each month which will not leave me in financial difficulties.
My dishwasher packed in last week too, so it is at the repair man's waiting to see if it can be repaired. Knowing my luck it will be worthy of being skipped. So there's another expense, money for a new dishwasher. Yes it is a luxury so I will have to manage without one for now.
And then one other demand for money which I won't go into. Very unfair of the person involved given our past dealings. I can't face an arguement so will end up going along with it.

To say I am upset and annoyed is


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Can you help?

On Saturday 15th December my local branch of WAY is having a Christmas party for the children of it's members.

What I need is bits and pieces of crafting stuff to make Christmas cards. There will be a crafting table for the kids to make them, so needs to be suitable for all ages of children.

Can you spare anything? If you can help, please email me

Remember, to be a member of WAY you have to have lost your husband/wife when you were under 50. So there will be lots of children at the party who are sadly growing up without one of their parents.

If you can help, it would be massively appreciated.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Lapland UK

Sophie had a great time at Lapland UK. My friend took my camera so I would have some pics. I was so disappointed Alex was too poorly to go, for her and for me, but Alex was delighted with Santa at the White Rose Centre.
So here are the photos... looks fun. It has had mixed reviews from people, but Sophie and her buddy Callum enjoyed it.
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Enjoying the 'snow'
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Funky hat!
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Mmmmmm gingerbread man
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My little Super Cook!
She was exhausted today, and has started with Alex's cough, so I kept her home from school today. Alex is a step better again, still coughing like a woodbine smoker, but no more scary temperature spikes.
Busy few weeks coming up, with performances aplenty at school. Parties, nights out, etc etc. Just need to keep going...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Politically Correct Christmas (thanks Lottie!)

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my Significant Other in a consenting adult, monogamous relationship gave to me:

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming,

ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note),

TEN melanin deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,

NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,

EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,

SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands,

SIX enslaved Fowl-Americans producing stolen non-human animal products,

FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic incarceration,

(NOTE: after members of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further Animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift package has been revised.)

FOUR hours of recorded whale songs

THREE deconstructionist poets

TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses and...

ONE Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.

Merry Christmas Happy Chanukah. Good Kwanzaa. Blessed Yule. Glaedelig Jul!,Vrolijk kerstfeest, Boas Festas!,Hauskaa Joulua!, Joyeux Noel!, Froehliche Weinachten!, Bono Natale!, Boas Festas!, Feliz Navidad, God Jul!, Joyeux Noel!, Maligayang Pasko!.

Been a few weeks since we were last in casualty...

so last night we spent 3 hours there!
Alex has a nasty chest infection, tonsilitis, and was refusing all medication, food and drink. She ended up mildly dehydrated with a temperature which kept spiking. The staff at the LGI were fantastic, one doctor even getting Alex to open her mouth to look at her tonsils TWICE. That is unheard of!
I am at home with Alex today as she did not want me to leave her side. She is still very poorly, so will stay at home tomorrow with my parents. Sadly it means that Alex and I won't be going to Lapland UK. Fortunately, Sophie can still go as my fab friend Sue, who we were going with, has said she will gladly take Sophie with her. Alex will be disappointed, as am I, such is life unfortunately. We will go to see Santa at the White Rose together instead, and I'll take her for lunch on Thursday if she is feeling well enough.
Other than Alex feeling poorly, my mood is still very bouyant, and I am planning on it staying that way!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What a weekend

and I am glad I wasn't at home! My kitchen sink decided to block up, and then the dishwasher spewed water all over the kitchen.

I was at the ISA Experience this weekend. In a nutshell, Isa is about helping you to feel better about yourself. I certainly do feel better about myself, and although I am exhausted after a full on weekend, I feel fantastic. I have faced up to what I need to do to take control of my life in a wholly positive way, so wish me strength!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Cake

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What a cake, made by my own fair hand... yeah right, as if I have time to make something like that, or am even talented enough to make one!

Sophie and her friends had a fabulous party at Build A Bear. Alex had a great time too. Sophie made a Reindeer called Clarice, and Alex made a pink teddy called Pinky. After the party we munched our way through some junk food up in the food court. We didn't cut the cake as we wanted to do candles, and didn't think a naked flame would go down well in the White Rose Shopping Centre!

So Happy Birthday Sophie for tomorrow. I can't believe my baby is 6 already. Where has the time gone?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Shared laughter...

Last night I was out on the monthly WAY night out in Leeds. We went to Nando's in The Light, and had a lovely meal. We laughed about so many things, which those who are not widowed would think our humour was very odd.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Grief is something we have all experienced at some point in our lives, but there is no way to understand the loss of your husband, wife or partner unless you have been there yourself. So the things people say can be meant well, but are not well said. We laughed raucously at things people had said last night, I bet there were some people in Nando's wondering who on earth we were.

They say laughter is the best medicine, and it certainly left me feeling good last night. Between us we had experienced so much sadness, but together we could laugh and share experiences.

So if you are under 50 and have been widowed, please think about joining WAY. It will help you see that although you never get over the loss of your husband/wife/partner, there is a way forward, just in a slightly different direction to before.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pass it forward... want to play?

I saw the film Pass it Forward a few years ago, and the idea of PIF runs very effectively on UKScrappers. Some of my crafty buddies have started a crafty blog PIF, so I am going to join in.

I am going to send 3 people a handmade gift. It may be a set of cards, a card organiser, who knows. Leave me a comment and then check back to see if you were in the first 3. And you never know, I might even be kind enough to send more than three things out... The idea is that whoever is chosen then sends on 3 further gifts, so the gifts increase threefold each time.

Preparations are in full swing for Sophie's birthday. She is having 4 friends over to go to Build A Bear at the White Rose, too expensive to do much more! She has requested a Sylvanian Families hotel thing as her present, which is currently hiding in Mike and Mary's loft. It is HUGE! I have ordered her a High School Musical cake. I could, of course, put a piccie up on here and lie and say I made it... but cake making is way down my list of priorities just now!

I'm still going through paperwork of Nigel's, and shredding plenty. How much junk did he have? My green bin is full again, not sure when it is due to be collected.

So all in all, pretty boring for me. The cold is getting better, and I am glad to have finished the working week. Loads to do in the house, so tomorrow will be time to crack on and get sorted after being away at the weekend.

Remember, if you want to join in my Pass It Forward, leave me a comment...

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Saga of the Sweetcorn...

Had a little trip to the minor injuries unit this evening, as Alex decided to wedge a sweetcorn kernel firmly up her right nostril. They showed me how to remove it safely, so now I know how to do it if ever she is silly enough to do it again! Could have done without going there this evening as my cold is still horrid.

Ah poor me.

Full of cold

It seems I have brought a nasty cold back from the south east of England. We were due to drive back on Saturday, but I felt so ill we had to stay an extra night. So yesterday we headed home, and by bedtime I felt dreadful.

Feeling pretty lousy today, so I will blog more tomorrow. Julie, we need to get together for a stamping session soon please!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

All partied out

November is always a busy time of year for us in terms of parties. So many of Sophie's friends have November birthdays, then there are lots of people we know with birthdays too, plus various family members. Today we went to two parties, one after the other, and had to turn down an invite to one which was at the same time. The girls had a great time, and loved the fireworks at Jessica's party.

Alex's cough is still not great. I think we will be off to the docs next week if she is no better. She is coughing so hard at night that she is wetting her bed, bless her.

Heather had her baby, a gorgeous little girl called Swyn (pronounced Soo-in). Congratulations matey!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Blue lipstick anyone?

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Here we have Alex modelling the latest in blue lipstick. Otherwise known as blue felt tip! She decided to scribble all round her mouth when we got in from school this afternoon. Fortunately it was a kid's felt tip, so it came off easily. She really is a character and a half. Alex isn't so well, in fact we've just been to the emergency doctor as she has a horrid barking cough. Her breathing was erratic, but of course it had settled by the time we got to the doctor. A viral cough, says the doctor. So here's to another sleepless night for me as Alex coughs all night.

Other than that, not a lot to report really.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The news has come

Grandad died this evening.

I am relieved that his pain is over, but so sad too.

Monday, October 29, 2007

No news is good news, right?

Grandad is still with us, not sure how long for. He is very poorly. The phone rang at 7.40 this morning and I expected it to be my mum, but it was a friend who I had rung the day before returning my call. Phew for now.

Today I went to book a holiday with another widowed friend. We are going all out and have booked a Caribbean holiday for Easter next year. Bit expensive really, but then we all know that life is short...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Playing the waiting game

My grandad is very ill. His treatment has been reduced to pain killers only, so now we wait.

Pray for my lovely Grandad Ted tonight. Nigel is waiting for him in a place which is free of pain.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Home again

What a weekend at Center Parcs! We all had such a fantastic time, making the most of the swimming pool, the spa and all the outdoor facilities. Emotionally it was a tricky weekend, as it was deeply sad to see so many children and adults together because of their bereavement. The children played so well together, it was as if the loss of a parent meant they knew each other already. Plenty of tears were shed, but then equally we were able to talk together about the traumas that life has thrown at us and grow stronger as a result. I will post more later, as we are off to Harewood House today for some Halloween fun.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Birthday time

Today would have been Nigel's 42nd birthday. I have thought of him a lot today, no tears as yet but the night is still young.
I haven't blogged in a while as I have been so, so busy. I went back to work on Tuesday after 4 months off. I had two easy days to help me readjust, which was good. There have been a lot of changes in staff, so several new faces to meet.
I have done some crafting but as usual I haven't photographed it. I will when we get back from Center Parcs, which is where we are headed tomorrow. 350 widows and widowers and their children are heading for Sherwood CP tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing some good friends, and hopefully making some new ones. It is desperately sad that any of us are in the situations we are in, but hey, let's make the best of it.
See you after the weekend.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Do YOU Bind-It-All?

I've had this gadget about a month now, and I must say I just love it! It is an amazing little punch/binder which means you can produce really great mini books and other bound projects.
I've used it for lots of different things so far, and today I finished my favourite yet.
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This is a card organiser I made for my friend Sarah. It is made using Fancy Pants papers, which came in my July Scrapagogo kit. There is space to record the birthdays etc for each month, and also pockets to keep cards in. I bound it, of course, with the BIA.
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This is a project I have started but have yet to finish. It is a 6x6 book made using the Heidi Grace papers and cardstock from my September Scrapagogo kit. The papers are textured and very tactile, so lovely to work with. I'm planning on taking photographs of things in my life just now to put in the book. When I get round to it lol!
So this is my last week of 'freedom' before I go back to work. My depression is sorted now, and I feel better than I have done in a long time. I am starting to get out more on a social level. WAY is still a great support for me, and later this month we are going to Center Parcs Nottigham for the annual WAY meetup. The girls found it hard initially to realise that there are unfortunately lots of other boys and girls who have lost their mummy or daddy. I am hoping friendships will be formed when we are there. No-one quite understands unless they have been there themselves.
Other than that, life is ticking along nicely. My throat has healed amazingly well, and I have more energy now that the constant low level infection has gone. Going back to work will be just fine. After all, I am lucky to only have to work two days a week. Got to watch the pennies, but other than that I will have plenty of time for my lovely girls.
Bye for now

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sisters on canvas

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Finally finished this off today. The canvas is painted with the same colour as is now on my hall walls, so it is to go on the stairs up to my mum and dad's bedroom. Papers are BG Scarlet's Letter, BG mini monos, Little Silver Hat ribbons, blooms from my LSH kit and from Sarah's Cards.

Pleased with how it turned out. Now to start on a birthday book for my buddy Sarah.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mission accomplished!

Hooray! Managed to pick up a pink power ranger costume at good ole' Marks and SPraks today. Alex will love it. Now to track down what I need for Sophie...

I went to the doctor's today to sort my final sick note. I am going back to work on 16th October, doing my two days a week as planned. It will be good to be back, just got to make sure I don't lose my voice. That is why I am off for the next two weeks, as I get hoarse as soon as I try and make myself heard. I'm teaching in reception and in year 3/4, so it will be nice to expand my repertoire, so to speak!

So I am off now to scrap, I am in the middle of doing a canvas for the hall wall. Looking good so far.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Power Rangers Plea...

Can you help? Alex, my three year old, has developed a love of the Power Rangers. So I thought it might be a good idea to get her a Power Rangers dressing up outfit for Christmas. Ages away yet, I know, but I like to get organised early!
Trouble is, I can find the boy Power Ranger costumes in blue, red or green, but no girl Power Ranger costumes, in pink or yellow. I know Alex will want the pink version, so if you know where I might be able to order one from, please leave me a comment!

Otherwise I am still feeling pretty rough. I am hoping to turn the corner with this soon, but at least I know I won't be getting recurrent tonsilitis once this is done with.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Time to smile!

Today I booked a trip to this for a surprise for my lovely girls this Christmas. I have toyed with the idea of going to Lapland proper, but the cost and my lone status has ruled it out. Then yesterday I saw a link to the Lapland UK page, discussed it with a friend today and booked it! It looks great, can't wait for the invitation to arrive a fortnight before we go! It is a secret from the girls, so if you see them, please don't spoil it!

I went back to the doctor's today, as I am not coping so well with the post op pain. I have some stronger pain relief now, so I should be able to get some sleep tonight. I've had a quiet and relaxing day today, so I am hoping I will sleep better tonight.

Nothing else to report really, I haven't felt up to much crafting. Must get that sorted!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Feeling alone

On Wednesday I felt horribly alone. Even though I was surrounded by family and friends who mean everything to me, I still felt alone. I wanted Nigel to be there at the hospital with me when I went down to theatre, for him to be waiting on the ward for me when I came back from surgery.
I am lucky to have some amazing friends, and my mum and dad have been fantastic with the girls this week. Nigel hated hospitals, but I know he would have been there for me when I had my op.

I miss you Nigel.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm home minus my tonsils

Had my op at 9.30 yesterday morning. Spent the rest of the day snoozing on the ward. Then I was discharged at 4pm, having eaten some ice cream, half a slice of bread, and half a cup a soup. There were several of us having our tonsils out, but the others seemed to be taking it much worse than I did. Yes, it is painful, but not eating and drinking makes the pain worse. I was so glad to be back home and in my own bed. Sophie was worried about me, bless her, so I ended up with a bed companion last night. She didn't go to sleep until after 9, so she was understandably reluctant to get up this morning.
The school photographer was there today, and Sophie came home with a proof of the picture of them both together. It is gorgeous, very pleased with it! Now to decide which prints to order.
I'm still in bed, having snoozed on and off for most of the day, so I think I will have a little something to eat now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Missing Morgan

I was watching 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' today, where the family featured was the Nick family. They were chosen because Colleen, mum of the family, had established a foundation to search for lost children. Morgan, their daughter, was abducted when she was 6. She is now 18, and Colleen is still waiting to find her again. The website is here.

The pain I have felt since Nigel died is horrific, but in itself is nothing compared to the pain felt by Morgan's family. To not know where she is or if she is even still alive must be a living hell. I treasure my girls, even when they drive me to distraction! To be without them is something I do not want to imagine.

Colleen continues in her belief that Morgan will be found. She sums it up by saying,
"Love always hopes."

May Morgan return home soon.

To move away from Morgan's story, I am going in to hospital on Wednesday to have my tonsils removed. I've waited a long time to get to the top of the list, so wish me luck please!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Yep it's my birthday today. I have hit the ripe old age of 32. So I have had a nice laid back day. Started with coffee at Starbucks, then a spot of gardening as the weather was lovely. My friend Sue is helping me reorganise my garden, and today we put in the plants we bought yesterday. The garden is looking much better than it was, but there is still plenty to go at. I need to give the decking a really good clean as it is really dusty and dirty. Ah well, a job for another day!
Tonight Collette and Lynne are coming round for us to scrapbook together.
Nothing too strenuous, but all in all the day that I have enjoyed!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Finally finished it...

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This is a project I have been thinking about doing for a year now. I battled the photographers to get this photograph, and bought the frame in Ikea with the intention of doing something with it. Today I finally finished it. Now where do I put it? On the wall in the house for sure, but just not sure which wall! Suggestions please...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Proof that I do scrap...

Finally got round to photographing some of my scrapbooking layouts today, proof that I do actually craft from time to time!

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I also broke into my GoGo Greetings kit today and made a card:
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And finally the plate I painted in Woolacombe last week. Mum and dad collected it for me as we had to leave before it had been fired.

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So I do craft, not as often as I would like, but I fully intend to do it more often from now on.

Been to a wedding reception this evening. It was Nigel's cousin's daughter, so all of that side of the family was there. Not seen most of them since the funeral so to say they didn't recognise me was an understatement! I found it hard work being there, as although I know some of Nigel's cousins, I don't know them that well. Watching the bride and groom have their first dance together was a sad moment, as I remembered Nigel and I doing the same thing seven years ago.

On a more positive note, I have booked our flights for our holiday next summer. Something to look forward to over the coming months!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Life is ticking along

Thought I would write a quick update. I haven't downloaded any photos from my camera yet, as I have been consumed by the laundry mountain currently residing in my house. All the washing is done now, so just need to do the ironing and put it all away.

The drive tired me out more than I realised, and so I was very glad to get to bed last night.

I heard today that my friend's cousin had died. He too had a heart attack, and was 36 years old. There is no way of understanding why things like this happen.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Home again

Managed to avoid all the major delays on the roads thank goodness.

Got me a lovely new header thanks to Stacey, will email you tomorrow medear, I am off to drink some vino now!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

There is a reason why...

... I don't live in Bath. Shopping. Far too many shops in Bath that I love. We nipped in for a coffee this afternoon, having been and fed the ducks on the canal this morning. As we drove in, we spied the newly opened Joules. Once we had parked the car, we headed back to this delightful shop, and I found lots of things I wanted... The children's clothes were gorgeous too, but I resisted. Maybe Jo will get the girls a Joules sweater for Christmas...

Then we hit Weird Fish, another label I love. Good job there was a sale there too!

Our last port of call was the White Company. Fortunately I was able to resist this one, as anything I wanted to buy was too bulky to fit in the car along with the holiday luggage! There was a sale on there too, oh well never mind!

Tomorrow we head for Devon, and having spoken to my brother, I am not filled with joy about our destination. Watch this space, we may be home earlier than planned!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bath time

So here we are in the beautiful city of Bath, staying with Joanne and Robin a few minutes' drive from the city centre. This afternoon we went into the centre, as the rain was siling down. We had planned to visit this farm but the rain really was too heavy. So on the way into Bath we passed Crockadoodledo, a pottery painting place. We had so much fun! The girls painted a plate each, Jo did a bowl, and I did a mug. Jo was under the impression that we would watch while the girls painted, but I soon told her otherwise. "But I'm not artistic," she cried.
"Rubbish," I said, and she proceeded to thoroughly enjoy herself. Jo is going to pick up the fired items in a week, can't wait to see them.

After the pottery painting, we headed to my favourite haunt, good old Starbucks, for coffee and munchies for the girls. Then it was time to hit the shops. I was looking for a dress, as I have an evening wedding reception to go to at the end of the month. Nigel's cousin's daughter is the bride to be, so I have an invite for the evening. With not a thing to wear, I spied this in Crew Colthing, and was delighted to find it fitted, and that it was 50% off in the sale! That's me sorted then.

The wine is open again, and we are having curry once the girls are in bed. Both of them are absolutely whacked, so it won't be long til it is bed time. Tomorrow we are going to try and get to the farm, weather permitting. If not, who knows where we will end up!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Adios Amigos... again!

Tomorrow we are off to see Joanne, hooray! Then on to a week's break with my family. See you all in a week or so!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Peter's New Heart

He made it through the surgery, and is recovering in ICU at Harefield. It will be a long road to recovery, but Peter has his new heart!

I am so very happy for the whole family. But equally sad for the donor's family in their time of loss. I wonder how old the donor was, and the circumstances that lead to Peter getting his second chance.

Life deals bitter blows to many people, but fortunately one person's tragedy is another person's chance of happiness.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Time for a transplant...

As I type this, Peter is undergoing his heart transplant.

I can't fully understand Sarah's hopes and fears, as I have not been there exactly, but I know one thing.

Let this transplant be the lifeline Sarah and Peter deserve.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

So the first year is over...

That's that, the first of everything is done. First birthdays without Nigel, first Christmas, Father's Day and our seventh Wedding Anniversary. Lots of other firsts too, which we had to adjust to as a family of three instead of four. We have overcome hurdles, dealt with sadness, and also experienced happy times.

The happiness was bittersweet, as always there was the thought that Nigel should have been sharing in everything. He was so looking forward to taking Sophie to school on her first day in reception. I was so proud of her that day, and I know that Nigel would have felt the same.

Another day which we had been waiting for was Alex's grommet operation. Alex was diagnosed with glue ear in April last year, and her behaviour was severely affected. She experienced 90% hearing loss, and was in considerable pain because of the pressure in both ears. The grommets made an instant difference, and I so wish Nigel could have seen that difference.

Christmas passed without too much drama, the girls enjoying their presents and spending time with family. Time seemed to rush past, life was so busy. I returned to work in late October, which was the right decision at the time. My class last year was very demanding, but I thoroughly enjoyed teaching them. The paperwork aspect of teaching is enough to grind even the most committed teacher down, but the actual act of teaching is something I love doing.

The first anniversary was not was painful as I had expected, the build up being far worse than the day itself. Remembering how that night had started with a happy meal at our favourite restaurant, and ending with my husband being carried away in a body bag. Something not even for your worst nightmare, but it happened.

The direction of my life has changed since then. Nigel's death is something I will never get over. People ask if I have got over it yet, but they are asking a ridiculous question. Nigel will always have a special place in my heart, even if I meet someone else. No-one can tell what the future holds for any of us, but Nigel will always be in my heart. Of course he also lives on in Sophie and Alex, smiling back at me through their eyes.

We talk about Nigel every single day, dropping him into the conversation as if he were still here. Sophie has an amazing memory for detail, and will often recall funny little things she did with Nigel. The girls do not remember him with sadness; their memories instead are of happy times, of a daddy who truly loved them both.

So I will end my post here. Thank you to all my dear friends, both in real life and online. Without your support and friendship I would have crumbled. I will continue with this blog, and I hope you will continue to visit.

Anna's girls are here to stay, and even though our lives have changed direction slightly since Nigel died, he will always be in our hearts. A gift I was given not long ago sums it up.

We love him because he loved us.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The day so far...

Been to sort my car tax out at last. Then I popped in to see Nigel's sister. After that I went to the cemetery to tidy Nigel's grave, give him a hair cut, so to speak!

When I got home, I decided to put the BBQ on for lunch, and so we had chicken and sausages out in the garden. Went down well with the girls and mum and dad. Now we are going to take some sunflowers to the cemetery from the girls.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

One year on...

This time last year, I was fast asleep in bed with Nigel. We had been to our favourite restaurant, Casa do Rio, and eaten Cataplana. The views out across the estuary were breathtaking as usual. After walking back up the hill, we got the girls to bed and settled down ourselves.
The last time I spoke to Nigel was at 1.10am. For some reason we both woke up. I need the toilet, and Nigel had a sore throat, so got up and took some paracetamol. We went back to sleep.

Then it was 2.00am and Nigel fell out of bed. I can remember every moment clearly now, as if it was yesterday. I don't think I will ever forget the events of that night.

After the paramedics had gone, I remember sitting on the bed, with Nigel lying on the floor next to me, covered in a sheet. I thought of my friend Sarah, whose husband Peter is waiting for a heart transplant. Nigel wanted to be an organ donor, but the way in which he died meant that it wasn't possible.

But tonight, there is possibly a donor heart for Peter. Tonight of all nights. I knew it would be tonight. If it goes ahead, which I hope more than anything in the world, something good will be there for us on August 10th. Somewhere, a family is grieving the loss of their loved one, but they have given the gift of life, hopefully to Peter. Nigel is watching out for him too.

So please, join me in saying a prayer for Peter, Sarah, Nicole, Lauren and Serena tonight. Let Peter see his girls grow up, something Nigel will never do. He isn't here but I am doing everything I can to bring them up well.

Please, let Peter get that heart, and let it be tonight.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Been tagged

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here are the details

It's all about passing on something nice so I need to find people to tag...

Not much happening to report. We've been up in Durham at my parents', and the girls have stayed there while I return to Leeds overnight. Going back up there tomorrow to spend another couple of nights there.

This time last year, we were in Portugal, and had spent the day by the pool in bright sunshine. We ate out that evening, can't remember where tho. Happy days... little did any of us realise how much life would change in a matter of days.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Remembering the funny things...

An old friend of Nigel's (and of mine too of course) sent me a text this evening wishing me happy memories of our wedding day. She reminded me of how Nigel managed to lock his keys in his car, and so he ended up having to go and buy new socks. He went commando under his hired trousers.....
The next day there was a mad rush back to Leeds to get his spare set of car keys before leaving on our honeymoon.
So tonight I am toasting Nigel with a glass (or 3 ) of his favourite wine, a french white called Pouilly Fume. Very delicious...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Seven years ago...

I'm going to post my favourite picture of Nigel and I again. This may not be a photo from our wedding day, but I could not bring myself to look at those today.

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Today has been very odd in terms of how I have felt. Numb is perhaps the best way to describe it. Incomplete for sure. Last year Nigel spent the day at the Gildersome Gala, a fundraising event at our local pub. I was on the way back from Scotland after a holiday with Heather and Erin. Once the girls were in bed, we shared Nigel's choice of nibbles from Marks and Sparks, the lemon pepper chicken goujons being most memorable. We've never been big on anniversaries, but we would always spend time together over a meal of some description.

Seven years... that day was the happiest of my life, we had a wonderful day. It might have poured with rain, meaning that the photographs had to be taken inside, but nothing could spoil that day. Not even Nigel leaving a size 12 shoe print on my wedding dress as we left the church!

This time last year NIgel and I celebrated six years together. If anyone had ever suggested how I would spend my seventh anniversary, I would have laughed in their faces.

But here I am, 31 years old, mother of two gorgeous girls, and a widow. Life changes so very quickly, no one can tell what lies ahead. The sadness since August last year has been immense, all consuming at times. But there is brightness glimmering at the end of the tunnel, difficult to see on days like today. But it is there, and the girls and I can see that.

One thing I definitely know for sure. Nigel lives on in Sophie and Alex, and he would be so very proud of them both.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

All Disneyed Out...

Home at last, after a fantastic holiday. Our journey home was fraught and involved an overnight stop in London, but let's not dwell on that. (or the suitcase which is still in London as I type this!)

We had such fun at Disneyland, the girls could not quite believe they were there. The place as a whole makes a massive impact on your senses as an adult, never mind as a child who adores all things disney! We had breakfast with the characters, and I also treated us to dinner at the Auberge du Cendrillon, with the princesses. Cost me an arm and a leg but it was worth every penny to see how the girls enjoyed it. We feasted that night, right down to cocktails and wines for each course. Yum yum.

So now it is time to wash the dirty clothes, put away all the belongings, and generally tidy things up. Yawn, boring stuff.

Just a few snaps, memories which will be scrapped very soon.

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Tomorrow is my 7th Wedding Anniversary. How can life change so dramatically in such a short time?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Disneyland Paris here we come...

The cases are packed and in the car, the girls went to bed in an excited state, Joanne and I are ready to roll out of bed at 3.15 to leave here at 4 am.
Disneyland awaits... see you soon!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

And my sports day superstar...

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Bless her!

Photographs to compare...

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Top one was taken yesterday morning, and Sophie was one grumpy bunny! The bottom one was taken on her very first day at school back in September.

Friday, July 20, 2007

School year is over

That's reception finished for Sophie. Can't believe she has completed her first year at school already. She exceeded all her early learning goals, and is working at level one. That will give her a great start to year one with Mrs Lowry. I have taken a photograph of her to compare to the one I took on her first day, but t'internet is playing up and won't let me upload anything tonight.
I also have some pics of Alex at her sports day. She looks the part, running down the field with her baseball cap on. When I can get them uploaded I will share them.
Still feeling a bit rough with a chest infection so apologies for the lack of posts.
Back soon, bye for now!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Poor Alex

This tea time I spent 3 hours in casualty at the LGI. Alex managed to slam her fingers in the conservatory door, and I have never heard her scream like that before. She was beside herself with pain and shock. I rang a friend who is a nurse and she said to get her checked out, so off we trotted. I left Sophie at her friend's house, dragging her along would have made it truly hideous. Being a lone parent at times like this show me just how hard it can be. Finding someone to leave the other child with can be tricky.
Alex was a superstar at the hospital, sitting perfectly whilst being xrayed. She was so tired she fell asleep on the way home, and didn't stir when I put her to bed. Sophie was bathed and ready for bed in her friend's PJs when I picked her up, which she thought was great fun! I am exhausted now, oh well, at least Alex is ok.
Heather and Erin have gone home a little earlier than planned as Heather fell yesterday and twisted her knee. Ian came over while we were at the hospital to pick them up. Sad that the weekend didn't go to plan :(
It is the last week of term for Sophie in reception. Busy busy busy. Lots to do. I can't quite believe that my baby has almost finished her first year at school. Her report was glowing, and she has matured so much this year. I am very proud to be her mummy, and I know Nigel would be proud of her too.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Getting things in motion...

I have set things in motion to hopefully change my hours at work from September. Nothing concrete as yet, but I will be working fewer hours in a less stressful role. Still doing the teaching that I enjoy, but without the responsibility of a class. I really do enjoy being a teacher, but unfortunately teaching is one of the least time consuming aspect of the job these days. Paperwork takes over, with target setting, appraisals, assessments, planning, marking and the suchlike intruding into the lives of teachers long after they have left the classroom and gone home.

I have guests for the weekend. Heather has come over from Anglesey. The kids created at bedtime, so we are both exhausted. Not seen her since, so no doubt she is asleep now. The girls have a training day tomorrow, so we will find something to keep them amused.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Sad Day

This morning I received a text message which I had known would arrive sometime today. It told me that at midnight last night, my friend's 3 month old son lost his fight to continue life. He has had many medical problems since birth, and sadly he fell asleep for the last time last night. I feel absolutely desolate for my friend and her family; she has two daughters similar in age to my two, and they must be feeling immense sadness at the loss of their brother.

Something I have stopped trying to do is to understand why people die. Logic does not come into it. When your number is up, there is nothing you can do about it. Some people leave before you expect them to, others outlive your wildest expectations. Nigel certainly left well before anyone expected him to, and I would still give everything I have to just have one more minute with him. But of course that can't be. I know he has gone, and I hope that my friend's son is somewhere where he does not suffer. I will not say a better place, as how can there be anywhere better than with your family? People said that to me when Nigel died. How could Nigel be somewhere which was better than being with the girls and me?

I do believe in God, and I do not hide my faith. Yes there are times when I wonder why God has chosen to do certain things, but I can not explain them and never will. Accepting tragedies alongside happy times is part of life, part of becoming a better person. It is just indescribably painful trying to do this when life throws it's worst at you. If only life were easy.... but it's not. So let's get on with it, make the most of it and take the rough with the smooth.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bloggers in print

I was reading the Sunday Times today about bloggers who have ended up with publishing deals because of what they have written on their blogs. What a great way to earn a living, write a blog and get paid £70000 for the pleasure! I wonder if there is scope for a book about a young widow who loves to scrapbook, spend time with her children and attempt to become a domestic goddess?

The weekend has passed in a blur. Sophie had a friend sleeping over last night which went smoothly. Both girls were asleep by 8.15. Alex was a bit more problematic, and she ended up in my bed to start off with. Soon shipped her back to her own bed though.

This afternoon I managed to sneak in a quick catnap as I was exhausted. I need to slow down a bit this week. The trouble with being at home is that I feel that I want to get on with sorting the house out, and then end up overdoing it! Hence the need for a nap this afternoon. This week I am going to take it easier and not worry about the mess. I need to buy a BBQ too as I have friends coming over on Sunday for lunch. Fingers crossed the weather improves, otherwise it will be a lim sarnie in the conservatory!

Still no photographs of what I have been scrapping....

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Busy as a bee

Well I have been busy, busy, busy here. Still very up and down with my mood, but I am cracking on with sorting things out in the house. It still looks like a bomb has hit it, but a more controlled bomb!
My scrap room is coming together, slowly but surely. All the cupboards are in now, so I am on with putting everything in it's new home. I am also going through all the paperwork in the house, and throwing all sorts of stuff away. I have shredded another mountain, and put it out for recycling. Been to the tip twice in two days, filled up my neighbours' bins as they have been away so their bins are empty, and reduced the amount of junk in my house by a large margin.
I still need to photograph my latest layouts, I will do that at the weekend for sure.
Onwards with the decluttering...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The decluttering continues....

I sorted out the mountain of junk in the kitchen today. You can actually see the worksurface again, plus I have paid all my bills.
Tomorrow the high sleeper is going, and then I can really crack on with moving all the junk around. And throwing most of it out lol.
WIsh me luck...

Friday, June 29, 2007

My desk is done!

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Hooray, the joiners have been and built my lovely new desk in my new scrap room! I am over the moon with it, and can't wait to get scrapping in there.

There is a high sleeper still in the room at the moment, but that is going on Sunday. Once that is gone I will be able to move all my cupboards in there and get my stash sorted. There is room for my PC on the right hand side and a huge scrapping area to the left.

I feel very good about all this, which makes a nice change!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No longer a statistic

Went to see my GP today and it seems I am no longer part of the obesity statistics. My BMI is 24.6, so within the healthy range. My god, the first time since I was 12!

Been busy today, painting Alex's new bedroom. The pink is described as 'Babe' and it is pretty much pink pig colour! She will love it when she sees the first coat on in the morning. Then it will be time to move all the furniture which is never an easy job. The joiners are coming on Friday to build my new desk, and then I can get on with sorting through the mountains of crap which currently reside in my house. I am going to have to be very brutal, as otherwise I will be back to square one. I also need to get some varnish for the new desk to seal it, and do it on Friday night so it dries overnight. The excitement....

Monday, June 25, 2007

Rain rain go away

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Here's 'sit', and as it was bucketing down all day there was no chance to sort it outside. Floods everywhere, Gildersome was gridlocked as the M62 was closed, as was the M1. Nightmare. Had to cancel my docs appointment as I couldn't get there!

I have been a woman on a mission today, and emptied the small bedroom ready to paint it pink as soon as I can be bothered. I can't believe how much junk there was in that room, and so most of it will be recycled or binned. I have no need for most of it so it has to go. I'll keep the crucial stuff of course!

So tomorrow it is off to the gym to try and give myself a mood lift. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 23, 2007


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Prompt for my photograph today is write. So here is Sophie writing her name this afternoon.

Other than that, not a lot to report. My brother and sister in law are here visiting with my nephew and niece. They are moving down to Berkshire this week so goodness knows when we will see them again.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Felt like a change... here's my new layout.

Not sure why really, just did. Another busy day, gym this morning and then gymnastics for Alex at lunchtime. Then this afternoon I nipped to Ikea once mum and dad had arrived to look at some storage cupboards. Didn't buy yet though.

At tea time I finished off three paint cans I am giving to Sophie's teacher and TAs. I will photograph them in better light tomorrow. Just need some suggestions for what to put in them!

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Just a snap of my lovely Sophie. She is getting very tired now, ready for the summer holidays in a few weeks. She has had a fantastic year in Reception with 3 great members of staff. I worried so much about her starting school, but she has been so well adjusted and settled. The odd 'moment', but nothing major really. I just hope year one is as successful!

Edited to add:
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Just had to stick this in....we are off to see a preview of Shrek the Third on Sunday afternoon. Alex is the BIGGEST Shrek fan, and this will be her first ever visit to the cinema. She is going to love it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


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I think the teddy in this shot has to win the prize for most annoying soft toy. It is an angel bear which plays a violin. Silent night. On and on. And on. Yuck. But the press button responds to the prompt over on her space my space!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Catch up photos

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I've been playing catch up with her space my space today, but now I can't seem to upload them!
This is the first, shell. Got some others too but I will do them later.

More relaxing day today, I went to the gym, then to the garden centre. The girls then cycled on the road outside the house while I put in the low fence I had bought for the front garden, and then I laid the slate pieces to go alongside it. I am pleased with how it looks, better than I thought it would turn out that's for sure.

Back later with more pics I hope.

ETA more pics!

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