TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs

Friday, 30 March 2012

What a day

Where do i start with today, firstly i was running a little late thanks to the human waste system!
Picked my friend up 10 mins late ready for our "big day out". We were off to Lewis for research and some pottering. The research was on our local War Memorial for her dissertation, she is looking at how War Memorials are viewed and how this has changed since WWI and then before and after WWII, up to the early 1980's. If you would like to follow her blog it can be found at

Before we got there we sat stuck in the traffic watching a lamb and mother in a field, the lamb was chewing at the grass then it looked like it was spitting it out and rubbing its face as if to say 'i don't think much of this stuff' It was funny to watch. When we got to the start of the queue we could see that there had been an accident. Someone had gone into the back of a police incident van. The front of the car was crumpled in and the windscreen smashed, we both hop that the driver and any passengers weren't seriously hurt. I did however comment that there was a large lot of irony to the whole thing, by going into the back of a police incident van they did indeed cause rather an incident, 3 ambulances, 2 police cars and an unmarked police car were in attendance. The queue was at least 2 miles long on the opposite side.

After looking through original papers and letters from various locals to the sculptor and the Mayor of Bexhill in 1919-21 we had our lunch on a bench in the sunshine, the archives are housed behind Anne of Cleves house and very near the castle so this was our view at the time

Lewis Castle

After lunch we decided since we'd got everything done we wanted to we would go for a walk and see if we could find where another friend has some antiques. Unfortunately we didn't manage that on this occasion but we did manage to find a lovely craft shop selling quilting fabrics and sewing things. We bought some panels for cot quilts so we can get them sorted for our next craft fair. These will be added to the selection of Crafty Claire's table offerings. If you fancy following our blog there then please go to we would love to see you there.

To top the day off we were almost home and my car started making a strange noise, i drove straight to my lovely mechanic to have it listened to. We had to laugh when he put his ear up to a long screwdriver and told me to rev the engine, after doing this a few times he said hmm and looked underneath, tapped it a few times and told me what i had already feared.... He thought it was the turbo charger going. And it could blow up any time, making big big bang and loads of smoke! Follow that with a very large bill. How he could tell from listen at the end of a screwdriver i'll never know, but he's never been wrong about anything to do with my cars in the far too many years i've known him so i trust his advice. My car is therefore not being driven anymore and i will be car less very soon.
That my friends will be another long and very sad story as i rely on my car, not only for where i live, but as some of you because i can't walk that far, neither can i carry heavy bags so my life will be turned upside down. as they say in gone with the wind " Tomorrow is another day" And that is when i shall think about sorting it, or better still maybe Monday.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Craft days

The last two days have been wonderful and sunny and I've wanted and really should have been in the garden doing the weeding and sowing seen. At this rate I'll never have any veg to accompany my onions later this year.

Instead I've been very good and I've spent both mornings sewing my 1890's corset and the afternoons knitting a shawl for my next craft fair. I call it a shawl, but in fact it was meant to be one of those ratty neck scarves that come as triangles. The fact is that its grown rather a lot more than i thought for the stitches i cast on, so instead its going to be a what i will call a ratty shawl. Basically because its made from various different textured and thicknesses of wool on large needles. So far its looking different. I will post pictures once its finished.

The corset is in early stages ,still, I've sewn the basic shape and the main boning pockets. Now i am getting sorted to sew the front and rear fastenings on and then sew on the rest of the boning pockets. The final stage will be to insert all the bones and sew on the binding and any lace to make it pretty. Then the really hard work begins as i have to finish the rest of the costume and that's the part that everyone will see!

Until then i am beavering away at getting more things done for my craft table in 2 weeks and the costumes for 6 weeks (only 2 children's and finish 2 adults costumes to go- Help!!!)

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Review of The Monster of Silver creek by Belinda Buchanan

The Monster of Silver Creek
Terror has come to this small town. A sinister killer is on the loose. A serial killer who feeds off of young women's fear...and leaves a most unusual calling card. Police Chief Nathan Sommers is on the hunt, but every road leads to a dead end.

Nathan is battling his own personal demons as he tries to cope with the death of his wife. He feels her dying was a direct result of his actions and is consumed by guilt.

His personal life becomes more complicated when he meets Katie, the pretty new owner of the bakery. Nathan slowly builds a relationship
with her, but still struggles with Jenny's death.

As he draws nearer to the killer, everything in his life suddenly comes undone. He is forced to deal with his feelings for Katie and his love for
his dead wife.

Heartwarming, frustrating, gripping, enticing, lots of suspense. I found this a very good book, i read it in 2 sittings, the twist was unexpected and came from no-where. It had both happy and sad elements. Very pleased i won it in the competition or i would have had no idea of it.
I give this a 5 out of 5.

Review of Iris and the dragon flies

I reviewed this book for another blogger and this is the link to their blog and my review of it.
Iris and the dragonflies

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Sacralidge to books

I bought a second hand book from Amazon the other day and it arrived yesterday. Having a flick through it i discovered what i consider the worst thing you can do to a book. The previous owner had turned the corners of the page down to use as a book mark.
How could they?! Imagine treating something so wonderful like that?!
I consider book as precious things, they need treating with respect, now i know i am not the only one who thinks that.
Who else feels like this about corner turning? It makes me want to shout at people.
I always use a slim bookmark of flat piece of paper, i even try to read the book without creasing the spine, i worry about breaking it and the pages falling out. In this day with books not having the leather binding this happens a lot easier.
Sorry about that rant over now.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sea Mist

Today was one of those odd days we sometimes get with the weather and living by the sea.
I went upstairs to my room for something and looking out the window noticed that there was a mist hanging over Hastings being an odd person i took a picture by leaning out of the window. As it was blowing in all the birds suddenly took to the sky and were calling madly, OK i could only really hear all the gulls, then as quickly as they had started they all disappeared, it seemed that they had flown over the front of the house as if heading inland.

It hasn't come out that well on the pictures, but you can definitely see a change in the mist when comparing the top and bottom picture. They were taken only around 5 Min's apart. It blew up that quickly, and then within half an hour it has gone again. The mist never reached my house that's how quick it went.

I love how magical it appears to be when we get days like that. Not so great for all the Emergency services. Just after i took the last picture and went to lie down i could hear a number of various sirens coming from various 999 calls racing down the main sea road.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Proud Mum

Today was a good day for two things in our house. It was Daughters parents evening. I should say afternoon since it was at 4, but anyway.
We discussed her now returning problem at night and her toilet problem that causes her to be lethargic, pale and not eat properly, but other than this the teacher said shes a pleasure to teach.
In her recent SATs she scored a low 4 on 2 subjects and a high 3 on 2. What this means overall is that by the time she leaves for secondary school she should be on a level 4. So for that reason i have no need to be worried as she's half way there and the teacher said the way she is learning now she'll get there. that was my first bit to be proud of.
My second was when picking her up for gym, After getting over the shock of next week costing me almost £100 for this years gym academy membership and her fees going up and being due she tells me she got the badge she was being tested for this week. She then shocks me further by telling me she got the next one too. So tonight she came out with level six and level 5. both of which i need to pay for next week too. Next term will be level 4.

1066 gym This is where she goes for those who want to see, its a great place. Son goes there for Free style too.

What an exciting and proud day for me!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Review: Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan

playing the genetic lottery


Set over a woman's early life this book examine her way of dealing with an illness that can be genetic. It covers her fears, loves, daily life and future thoughts in a 1st person narrative.


I had guessed from the title that the story would have something to do with genetics in some way. What i hadn't realised was the amount of emotions this book would bring out in me. Without giving too much away, i can relate in a small way to certain parts in the story from my own life. But the way the Author has handled the sensitive personal lives of the characters is admirable.
I completely warmed to the main character and found myself getting annoyed for her, i cried with her and laughed with her. I found myself nodding in agreement at the descriptions of certain characters behaviours, thinking that is so true.

I have to wonder whether the author has previous experience with the subject matter or did lots of indepth research since some of the issues discussed would be thing that families like to keep to themselves for personal reasons.

This is a book i would highly recommend to anyone male or female. It has certainly given me more of an eye opener to the subject matter and i already understood it fairly well.

5 out of 5 from me for this.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mothers Day 2012

What a mothers day it was too.
Daughter tried to make me Pancakes in bed- but it didn't work so that caused tears.
The main part of our day was spent at the wonderful Bedgebury Pinetum.

 This is the 1st pond you see as you enter from the car park and head towards the cafe and Wc's. In the summer it is filled with Duck so tame they'll eat straight from your hand.
I took Mum and Nana as a treat and the the nice thing was that this year both children were with me for it so the whole family was there so to speak. Nana came on her scooter, and spent the first 15 mins stopping every time someone or a dog got within 5 feet of her. Mum and I were laughing so much. She did however get used to it after a while. We worked out that Nana hadn't been there since my mum was a child so that getting on for 50 or 50+ years now. It must have changed a lot in that time, but unfortunately she can't remember as it was only the once and so long ago.

Going round i took a lot of random pictures, but this one really struck me, i think its come out quite artistically. In actual fact its only a drain, but with all the rain its got a very small stream running into it and water dripping off the bank

It was nice to see the Daffs out in bunches. There is also a section where they are in miniature and really dotted around. The children also took a few lovely pictures. The Daffs here is by daughter. And son took a lovely picture of the 4 of us females together, the last one we had done was when daughter was around 4 years old.

This wouldn't have been a proper family day out without some drama of a sort, and we had some. All was going well until half way up a hill Nana's battery on her scooter died!! So picture this- Me with Nana hanging on my arm puffing her way up the hill, Mum and Son pushing the scooter up in front of us also puffing away, and Daughter following behind saying she really needed a poo. We made quite a spectacle. Nana's size probably didn't help the poor battery, she'll be the first to admit she's not the smallest of people and has as my grandad used to tease "a vast behind" She could see the funny side of it all though.
Luckily we made it to the top, i deposited Nana back in her scooter and took off with daughter to the loo's and to find help. Mum sent a text saying Nana wanted a dishy man to help! Just as well she has a sense of humour. We arrived back in one of their buggies and a lovely South African man to help- Nana was very pleased! We all had a lovely trip round the park in the buggy to get back to the entrance. And hired one of their Scooters, and according to son this was the American brother of ours. The Humvee version, with huge wheels, lights and much faster.

After some lunch we made our way up to the play area where son and daughter let off some steam and we sat there getting cold. We had ice creams, and then it started raining.
Having taken the scooter back and driven home i made roast pork with lovely crackling for us all and we sat and watched some TV. All in all we had a lovely day. Even Nana agreed it was something different and we don't do it much.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Review of: The Bridge of Deaths by M.C.V.Egan

 The Bridge of Deaths


On August 15th 1939, at the brink of World War II, an English plane crashed and sunk in Danish waters. Five deaths were reported: two Standard Oil of New Jersey employees, a German Corporate Lawyer, an English member of Parliament, and a crew member for the airline. Here is a conceivable version of the events.


 I will have to admit from the start that i didn't read this book all the way through.
I was asked to review this book as i have an interest in the supernatural. When this was mentioned to me i thought, brilliant, this will be right up my street. And to start with it was. There was a strong presence of the supernatural and i felt an instant connection with the way some of the feelings and emotions were described. However as the book went on i felt that it veered away from the link between the past and present being linked by the supernatural and got very stuck in all the political agenda's and happenings of that time.
About half way through there are a lot of descriptions of transcripts, letters, and peoples versions of the crash.
I understand that this was necessary for the history of the book, and the fact that it is written in the manner of a Historical account, but for me personally i found it very hard going, and i lost interest in all the schematics and politics of the situation. However having said that, i can't say that the story isn't interesting, and one day i will pick it up and get all the way to the end. But for the time being it is a book that i can only manage in small chunks.
If you are someone who understands the machinery of aeroplanes, has a fascination for the lead up to WWII and the politics behind that build up then this book could be of great interest to you.

I would give this book a 3 out of 5.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Busy Sunday

Today was a very busy day. Up at 9am to sort space for Daughters new bed- She managed to break her other one when a friend came for tea.
We collected that, took the old one apart and loaded it in the car along with an old t.v. and few other bits. Then drove to Mums to collect her rubbish and off to the tip. We had a lovely sing song in the sunshine while waiting in the queue.
Following this we did some shopping at our Supermarket and mum dropped me off home. By this time it was 2.30. I sorted some washing (my 3rd load of the day) Got the 2 dry loads in from the line and sat down for a well deserved cuppa.
Son arrived home at 3.15 ready for swimming. I put 3rd load of washing in tumbler this time and off we went to the pool.
Son swimming.

Swimming was fun, i swam 5 lengths, helped son with his technique and played ball with him, I naturally had to go in the deep end and spent most of that time swimming after the ball.
Coming home we made bangers and mash with beans! Yummy, although daughter as usual didn't like my mash.

All in all this week I've done Zumba and 2 swimming sessions, but I'm sure with the chasing after the ball in both sessions I've swam the equivalent of 20 lengths or more. Lets hope it helps tone me up and lose some weight. The scales certainly didn't say a nice figure this weekend.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Craft Fair

Today i was at st Barnabas 2nd saturday fair that they hold every month. Mum, Nanna, Claire 1 and I ahd 3 tables between us. Mum and Nanna had a table with their knitwear on, Mum, Nanna and I had a table with our jams and chutneys and marmalades on and Claire 1 and I had a table under our "Crafty Claires" name.
Unfortunately people weren't buying knitted items today, at least not from us. The jams did ok as it always does.
Crafty Claires in its 1st outing did 2 sales, but we made lots of contacts for the furture and we all booked another 3 tables for the April Fair.

All in all a good day.

For more information on Crafty Claires please follow us on our blog

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Mobile blogging 2

Finally after going all round the houses and searching forever- As i said i would have to i have discovered that unless you are with O2 or Orange you can't blog from mobile as it is not supported.
I am with Tesco. Why don't they put that somewhere easy to reach instead of having to go through the help forum, then answer all the questions only to have to look up your country and discover that the answer is no.

That will teach me for choosing a network with a cheap package for all my needs!!!

This now means that i won't be able to take a snap post it and instantly record my thoughts. I will have to try and remember what i was thinking of putting at the end of the day, when if you're like me you are tired and any minimal brain function you had at the start of the day has been sapped by work/kids/bills/house stuff etc...


Monday, 5 March 2012

Mobile Blogging.

Time for a moan,
I've read in lots of places that blogspot is easy to use and anyone can do it! If that right then why did it take me 2 months to work out how to create pages, and now despite following all the intructions on the site and on the help page and trying in 3 different ways to be able to connect my phone so i can blog from that can i still not do it. All i'm getting is unable to send as a response from my phone. So the details that blogspot have on their help page are actually no help at all!!!
Surely i'm not the only person who isn't particularily computer literate, and who wants to blog about their day in an easy manner.

My plan for this evening was to set up mobile blogging so i could upload 2 pictures form today and write about them.

But now instead i have 2 options- 2 go to all the hassle of getting the cable and loading the pictures to my laptop, then retrieving and laoding them to here, or go on a hunt for hours looking into how i can actually set it up on my phone and then do it form there.

This then leads to the next maon- The idea that phones that do everyhting are supposed to make our lives easier, well so far i've had my all singing all dancing one for exactly 1 day and i can safely say, that it eats power and has made things more difficult.

I'm now wondering is all this worth it considering that people actually don't really care what i write!

Hmpf. Moan over.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sunday- Family day

Today was a day with the children.
We went swimming together, i managed 4 lengths. Some friends were there too and we played Piggy in the middle with her youngest.

After swimming we went to Mum's for dinner and while there both my two, my mum and myself were sitting there with our respective knitting. It made a lovely picture.

I'm really pleased that they both like crafts, its something that we all have in common. Although my son wouldn't like to admit it. At the age of 12 almost 13 the idea of his "mates" knowing he can weave, knit and sew is embarrassing. Having said that i'm not sure how he'll hide it after tomorrow, they start their half term of textiles! He will have to pretend to be really bad at it if he doesn't want them knowing.

Tomorrow is Monday and back to normal routine.