Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Just come across an amazingly beautifully packaged bundle of loveliness in the form of the Spiezia running pack http://www.spieziaorganics.com/Runners-Pack--17-289.html Contains all you need to soothe away any aches and pains after a hard run or just use regularly to keep those fabulous feet in tip top condition. I came across Spiezia when Avril invited a group us around to her house to experience the products by way of a fabulous facial by Vicky Barnes . All are organic and the best thing is they are made in Cornwall!!
Needless to say I was converted, the Clarins and Neals Yards products have resided in the back of the cabinet since, not only are they great for my sensitive skin but they last FOREVER. You really don’t need very much at each use as they go such a long way. Converted, me, yes!
Talking about perfect packages, I am very proud to know this lovely lady http://www.love-post.co.uk/ and http://wealllovepost.blogspot.com/ we worked together for a number of years whilst at Gap in Exeter, a great friend and an extremely talented woman. Strawberry cards have also made it into the Not On The High Street website, a great achievement and I know that Sian will be suitably proud as she has built the business up from scratch. Much success will rain on this lady, for sure.
We have been packaging products lately, in the guise of building a website for a holiday home in Bude which we rent out. Here I am lost, technology and I are still at the very rudimentary stage and I very much needed help with this project. Thank goodness for Avril and her business, eight strategic marketing and design http://www.facebook.com/pages/No-26-Bramble-House/119715488051461 who I worked with to produce the design for our website. It is now in the process of being built and we hope to launch soon!! Exciting times.

Monday, 28 March 2011


I have to make sure I have some races booked up in order to get myself out there training each week. Without a race to work towards I wouldn’t give speedwork a second look and hill sessions would be shoved to the back of the cupboard, for sure. Hence my registration for The Ruby Run on 12th June 2011 http://www.rubyrun.co.uk/  I ran this race for the first time last year with a fantastic friend of ours, a Mr Stuart Colwill, we ran it together and kept our conversation flowing throughout. Felt great at the finish line with a time of 2:07 but vowed I wouldn’t do it next year as they reverse the course and 2011 is the harder version. So here I am wondering why I entered but feeling that with Stuart beside me or at least within the running crowd ( he has also registered) I will get through it and look forward to the challenges the reverse course will bring ( hills mainly!)
I have a sub 1:50 half marathon schedule imported into my Garmin Forerunner 205 ( where would I be without this baby) and am on week 2 of it so far. This week goes a little something like this:
8 x 400m @ 7.35-7.15 pace with 200m recovery with a mile warm up and a mile cool down
3 mile @ 8.33-8.13 pace with a mile warm up and mile cool down
4 mile @ 8.54-8.34 pace
4 mile @ 8.54-8.34 pace
8 mile @ 8.54-8.34 pace
Here’s to a good week of running. Although the weather looks set to change, I am definitely in a sunnier disposition now I have another half to work towards, not forgetting a trail 10K in the Forest of Dean at the end of May. Happy days J


The lack of blog posting is very much due to it having been the most gorgeous weather here lately and we have been soaking it up whenever the time allows. It is not only my blog that has been abandoned lately it is also the ironing, the cleaning and to some extent the cooking. Quick suppers have been very much the supper of choice here at present, thank goodness for batch cooking earlier in the month when the grey days were still amongst us!!!
When the weather is such as it is here at the moment, clear skies, no coats needed, we are very lucky to live where we do. We are 10 minutes from the beach and we have the most fantastic, safe, play park in the village, as well as having friend’s within the village who are down the road or a short walking / scooter distance away from us.
These last few weeks have seen the children playing with a hose and a plastic sheet, making a water slide which then turned into a mass of mud, by which point we had 4 naked children having the time of their lives, seeing JT and Jamie playing on the street earning money from passer’s by outside Jamie’s house telling jokes from a joke set that Auntie Tania bought JT for Xmas. They earnt themselves £1 each and were as proud as punch. It is the weather for spontaneousness, friend’s with their children coming over for a play which then turns into lunch and having to stop purely because the after school pick up moves ever closer, I love it when that happens. Afternoons spent playing on the beach after a morning of getting presents for birthday’s, not fussing about getting back too early, just soaking up that sunshine and enjoying where we live.
This also benefits my running schedule as the morning’s are getting much lighter and I feel alive as I get my training  plan achieved before the school run, admittedly getting up earlier than I would like to but once out, the benefits outweigh the lie in. Running towards a rising sun on the home straight in a speedwork session is a vision of joy as it means a sunny day awaits us all and a big bowl of porridge awaits me ( courtesy of Mr T, chief porridge maker).
Friday night saw a Quiz night at The Tree Inn, http://www.treeinn.co.uk/ for the Bude Sharks Swimming Club  http://www.budesharks.co.uk/ which was a great night. We had a great team of lovely ladies gathered, all in fine form ( at the beginning of the evening, at least) who had prepared eagerly that day by digesting an encyclopedia or two!! Team name: Maids in Cornwall!!! Position on board at end of the evening: SECOND!!! Couldn’t quite believe it as the questions were pretty tough but I am thankful to Hayley, Helen, Katie, Avril, Hilary and Jane for answering most of the questions, I believe I did manage one or two right answers and managed to agree with other’s right answers as well!!! All in all a great evening, in great company raising £350 for a local swim club. Proper job as them maids in Cornwall would say!


Yippeeeee!!! I am so happy that we have finally been able to arrange another book club meeting this last week. I believe it has been at least 8 months since our last one and I have to say that I have missed it.
We don’t  follow the traditional book club agenda, by which I mean we do not all read the same book and then discuss. We bring or talk about the books we have been reading or those we have read that have made an impression on us, either good or bad, to share with the group. There were 6 of us this time and I came away with 2 books to read, one I had read about 18 years ago and had loaned to a friend and had never had returned to me. This book was Wild Swans by Jung Chang and it really did make a big impression on me, I am very much looking forward to re visiting it again. It is an autobiographical family history by the writer, which envelops the reader in a world that makes for tough reading at times due to the 3 women within the book all struggling to survive the Communism within China.  The evil and terror these women endure throughout the period between 1900’s and 1978 packs an emotional punch, great suffering is described as well as a great courage and bravery. Comes highly recommended by myself and Mrs Stubbs and it doesn’t get better than a recommendation by Mrs S!!!
The second is a graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware recommended to me by Katie. Katie’s love of literature is very evident in her reading and writing and in turn this had led me with much vigour to get my head stuck in books again. I have remarked on her being the Lauren Laverne of books in my eyes as her choices are somewhat alternative from the mainstream, which in turn opens up some very interesting novels that I would have otherwise failed to pick up. I thank you Mrs D for being a literary genius.
I dibbled and dabbled with reading between my university days and having children but could never call myself an avid reader. Nowadays it is very rare for me to not have a book on the go and I am loving it. I am all fingers and thumbs trying to choose which one to read after my current read of Room by Emma Donoghue which in itself is proving to be a fascinating, if not slightly disturbing read.
Looking forward to the next meet already with some great conversations which arguably steer away from books per se, but are amazingly thought provoking and utterly engaging. Thank you Ann, Pete, Franca, Emily and Katie.

Friday, 18 March 2011

MNEMONIC SOUNDS | Keeping it Quiet

Great music video by Made by Joel. Great sound too, will be checking these guys out!

Monday, 14 March 2011


That is how it feels right now to be in a conversation with my 6 year old son!! It feels like he is making a lot of demands and doing very little to help with the feeling of me wanting to do things for him or even with him. I have always enjoyed JT’s company and he really is a wonderfully engaging boy, although that one seems to be in hiding right now and a new JT has surfaced making his presence felt forcefully. Away with you, bring back the other JT!!!
At times like these, I go back to my books. I admit that I haven’t resorted to “the books” for some time now, but this feels like the time when I need them!! These books are Raising Boys by Stephen Biddulph and How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. I have ascertained from Raising Boys that JT may be starting his “learning to be male” stage. Well, if learning to be male consists of calling his mother a moron and insisting that I know nothing and he has all the answers then yeh he is! I am so very aware of our responsibility to help these boys become happy and well-balanced men but right now it feels like an uphill struggle with JT.
Taking a quote from Biddulph’s book, between the ages of 6 – 14 years, “A boy knows that he is turning into a man. He has to download the software from an available male to complete his development.” Biddulph touches on the subject that I seem to be dealing with at present, “Don’t be deterred if your son acts “cool” as he has learned to do at school. Persist and you will find a laughing, playful boy just under the surface.”
One request that I have been able to grant JT is that his best friend can come over for a sleepover. This happened on Saturday night and was the highlight of the week I think for JT. He was literally watching the clock for the time when Hayley brought Jamie round and we had got the supplies in. Popcorn, Haribo Starmix and some home baked chocolate chip buns. The evening took a very mellow route by way of the boys having a play when Jamie first arrived to putting a DVD on, The Goonies, a very well received film at that, thanks Hayley. Popcorn, hot chocolate, haribo and buns eaten, bed time was imminent. Teeth cleaned, PJ’s on and after 15 minutes of chatting in bed together they were firmly in the land of nod by 10.15pm. A perfect way to spend a Saturday evening when you are a 6 year old boy having quality time with your all time bestest friend. Mr T and I really enjoyed seeing the 2 of them enjoying each other’s company and my laughing, playful boy was illuminated very clearly that evening.
I think he will need some help downloading the correct software at some points, we may have a few viruses to deal with over the coming years, but I know that the male role models he is surrounded by will help steer him in the right direction, eventually!!!!


Mr T and I awoke to a particularly sunny, blue sky day on Sunday morning and the first thing that came into my mind was to go for a bike ride with my man. We very rarely get chance to go out together and after purchasing my road bike back in the Autumn of 2010, I had only done a handful of miles on it before snow and ice set in.
This was a perfect day to get out and I needed Mr T with me as I had purchased SPD’s for the bike and as yet had not ridden with them on – I envisaged me failing to get the clips out making a very forceful union with the tarmac and needed the reassurance that there was someone at hand to laugh at help me.
That decided upon we then had to call Gran T to see if she was able to have the boys for an hour at such short notice. Hallelujah for grandparents who give us this time, only an hour, but what a great hour it was. Mr T and I started along the canal where it gave me time to get used to the shoes and familiarise myself again with my bike, turned off to Marhamchurch up a nice climb, over to Box’s Shop then back to Bude through Widemouth Bay, again a steep climb but we were rewarded with some of the best coastal views.
On our short ride we saw many people out running, walking and generally embracing the gorgeous weather. Really does lift the spirits when all is bright and crisp and shining, a great start to a Sunday.
My cross training consists of a Wednesday morning session at Fusion Fitness with Katie and our wonderful trainer David. David has endured / enjoyed many months of our regular sessions and with that has come tantrums (me), injuries (Katie and myself), laughter ( all 3 of us), and above all a real improvement in our running and fitness levels. www.fusion-fitness-bude.co.uk
Only recently has it become apparent how these weekly sessions with David have ultimately enabled me to reach a sub 2 half marathon. He focuses the training around our goals, sessions such as “All about legs” and “Psycho”come to mind as I am typing this – I wonder why!!!?
I will ultimately want to get out on my bike more as the lighter mornings and evenings are making their mark, alongside some rides with Mr T at the weekends and will work this into my training for the spring / summer. With a few duathlons and triathlons being held near by, it may come in handy if I decide to attempt my first event. Alongside my gym sessions and cycling complementing my running, I plan to stay injury free this year.


As posted previously, Amber had her second weekend at the swimming County Championships. Again she came away with a gold and silver medal, upon hearing that she had won the gold she asked “how?” and then proceeded to say to her mum, “Don’t tell anyone!” Modesty at it’s extreme, me thinks. I am so very pleased for her and am absolutely in awe of her ability at such a young age. The main celebration here is that she is enjoying it and that is ultimately what you want anyone at this age to do within sport.
A sports teacher at our local comprehensive school was running with us at WRN on Tuesday evening last week and shocked me with what she had to say regarding young women and sport within schools these days. A lot of young girls are shying away from participating in sport at school level, due to many issues including how their hair goes frizzy during sport. It is becoming a very real problem within schools, where some have resorted to supplying hair straighteners in the girls changing rooms in order for them to “redo” their look after. Sign of the times I guess. Just glad I didn’t have that to worry about on top of being a normal teenager.  When I came in from cross country there was more to worry about than frizzy hair, my main concerns were how I was going to walk home with legs that felt like lead or how I was going to wash the tonne of mud off myself with the dribble that came out of the girls showers!!! Those were the days. No Frizz Ease or hair straighteners for me, as photos of my teen years will demonstrate – shame I can’t find any to post right now, isn’t it!!!?

Friday, 11 March 2011


Well it had been discussed and after a wonderful meal at Tiandi, the name was agreed upon and so the blog of Mrs Ayres has been launched. Ayres Rock. The title is a combination of her name (that bit is slightly obvious) the Rock part being about her passion for music. Mrs A is the lady behind the local Music Train sessions that TJ and I have been attending for 18 months now. Hayley moved into our lives 3 years ago, when her eldest and JT were at pre school together, since which time they have forged a strong friendship as have the mum’s. Within a year, after settling in, Hayley trained to become a music train teacher within the area and has established a fantastic business and given many pre schoolers and parents/grandparents a lot of joy through her sessions.
Follow her blog at www.ayres-rocks.blogspot.com


Yesterday saw the 2 boys jumping around with excitement before school as Craig was coming for tea! Craig is Mike’s son who has acquired celebrity status in our household for a) building an Indiana Jones Lego set with JT 2 years ago at Christmas and b) living in London.
Craig is visiting for a week and as with most week’s this one is as busy as the other’s, but we managed to get an afternoon where he could visit and stay for something to eat. As soon as he entered the house it could only have been minutes before he was sitting with the children at the dining table with the Play Doh making Halloween figures. That lasted all of half an hour before he was relegated to the “football pitch”, a flat bit of the garden where he was instructed to play against Amber and JT. Craig was 10 – 4 down when I left to go to WRN by the time I returned I had been informed that Amber and JT won by a whisker, score 19 – 18. Well done Craig for a great comeback.
Craig has a fascinating job where he is a freelance recording engineer working with celebrities within the arts and entertainment business. Wonderful to hear the people he has worked with, he is presently working with Derren Brown on his latest book, now you see him, now you don’t!
Off out tonight with the Bradworthy ladies so here’s to a few G &T’s being sunk.  Been a funny kind of a week. Hectic and manic, lots of hormones flying around, mainly 6 year old boy’s but also 38 year old female ones as well, a strange mix to say the least. Thank goodness it’s Friday

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Each year around the world, IWD is celebrated on March 8. Hundreds of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark economic, political and social achievements of women. Without even being aware of it, I have already participated in one such event, the Women’s Running Network Exeter Half Marathon was one such event that has taken place to mark the 100th anniversary. It is documented that 10 years ago in the UK there were a handful of events in the UK. The list this year looks vast and wide ranging, encouraging signs.
I became aware of it through reading an article in the Guardian a few weekends ago, being of interest to me I then went onto the IWD website to have a look at possible events in my area www.internationalwomensday.com. That’s when I came across the WRN event which I took part in on 19th February and was excited to see so many hundred’s of events listed throughout March.
So make a difference, think globally, act locally, is a slogan used within the IWD website and I really do believe that the more our communities encourage and celebrate women’s achievements on a local level, the more rich and diverse we become from this.
Locally I know many women who are nurturing this way of thinking, many of them being mothers, like myself. A group of mother’s who helps to man the toy library to enable the members of the community to borrow toys to help educate and develop their children, a mother who develops her music business to encourage pre schoolers to have a love of music and use their natural development with sound, a group of mothers who set up an art club within a local church, a group of women who enjoy keeping fit through running within a social, encouraging environment. The list goes on and these are just what my friends achieve.
Bude Area Toy Library, Music Train, S.M.A.R.T club @ Bradworthy, Bude Women’s Running Network.
So today I am celebrating the way women have enriched my life in so many ways. From my first manager, Gerry Cunliffe, who gave me the encouragement and knowledge as a trainee manager to go out there and love a job I did for 11 years. To a district manager, Louise Pettener, who knew how to support a very nervous new manager and encouraged her to achieve things she never thought she could do, by taking her out of her comfort zone. To the friend’s I have who are studying to realise their goals after having their children, who are setting up their own businesses, who are making hard decisions about the relationships in their life, who are supporting other friends to achieve things they never thought possible.
All these women and more help to educate and encourage future generations to know the difference between real role models and those that grace some of the magazines that hit the newsagent shelves. I don’t have daughter’s but I know that if I did I would want to be encouraging a future that is safe, rewarding and equal.

Monday, 7 March 2011


Bideford was the location, 10.30 hours was the start of the race and 1200 runners were warmed up and ready to hear the starting gun. We were off!!
I travelled to Bideford with Mr and Mrs Davis to take part in my second Bideford Half Marathon, the duration of the journey was only 40 minutes but I am sure Mr D was very glad when we arrived at our destination. Nerves always creep in and that in turn seems to enable my words per minute to double, poor Mr D!!!
5 of the Bude WRN ladies were also in attendance for their first half marathon, all of them trained together for this event, keeping each other going and motivating each other when the training was getting harder. Even on the day itself, Andrea injured herself around mile 7 and was walking and hobbling along until she caught sight of the rest of the crew. In her words, they helped her carry on and even with a horridly injured and painful knee, she crossed the finish line within 2 and a half hours. I watched them come in and I must admit I did feel emotional. I know how hard you have to train to be able to run these races and the ladies have been nothing other than committed to their challenge. They train 2 nights a week with WRN then are out on a Saturday morning getting their long runs in. Dedication has paid off, it was great to see family and friends supporting them and cheering them in.
I had a great day with another PB 1:56:58 felt very strong and went with the intention of trying to beat my Exeter time. I managed to run alongside a friend from around mile 5, we found we were running at a very similar pace and intended on keeping that pace up throughout with a possible top up at the end if we had it in us. Once we hit the mile marker for 11 miles, we kicked our 9 minute mile pace into touch slightly and were averaging around the 8.30 minute mile for the last 2 miles. When I saw the 800 metre mark I knew I just wanted to get back as Mr T and the boys were waiting at the finish line. There is no better motivator at the end of a race than knowing your children are going to be there. A sprint finish was the order of the day and it felt great to know I had run it within my goal time.
As I was pounding the Tarka Trail and roads around Bideford, my niece was swimming like a fish in Bodmin. She came away from her first weekend at the County Championships with a GOLD, a BRONZE and 2 PB’s. She is 9 years old and extremely modest about her achievements, it was fantastic to hear her news after having completed the race.
She is back for more next weekend, luckily for me I will race again in May, so a slight tapering in training for me for the next week.


A day doesn’t seem complete for me without a check into The Day to Davis blog www.thedaytodavis.co.uk . Writing is top quality and I never stop admiring the way she can put words together on a page.
What has been updated recently on The Day to Davis is Katie’s fundraising page. Mrs D is running the London Marathon on 17th April and is running for the NSPCC. If you feel so inclined, visit her blog and help donate something to a very worthwhile charity. Follow her training through these last gruelling weeks, those 26.2 miles are going to be run with great force and determination by a woman who gives everything to her goals. I know how hard she is working right now to get the training in whilst being a fantastic mother to her 2 lovely children, being a fantastical friend, an inspirational group leader at Bude Women’s Running Network and generally a blinking good person. So if that hasn’t encouraged you to donate then I can’t  do much more.

Saturday, 5 March 2011


This weekend sees pretty much the whole family being involved in sport in one way or another. Firstly, my niece, Amber, is taking part in the County Championships for swimming in Penzance and Bodmin, secondly I am running the Bideford Half marathon, thirdly Mr T is out on a 3.5 hour bike ride this morning and an 1.5 hour bike ride tomorrow in training for the Cornwall Tor on 10th April, he is doing the 103 mile route!! Thank goodness the sun is due to stay with us this weekend.
Amber has steadily progressed through her swimming lessons, then the local Sharks swimming club to be invited to attend these County Championships. I gave her a call last night to wish her luck and she said she was both excited and nervous – I know how she feels!! She has participated in many swim galas locally, but this is something else!  Although I have to say that I think my sister has the worst job of all, sitting pool side for the whole weekend, with nerves as heightened as Amber’s, willing her daughter on from a distance. It very much means a whole family event for my sis as she also has the demands of 3 year old twins, Sam and Indie, to think about. This is where my mother and Mike step in. They will take charge of Sam and Indie which gives Tania the chance to be there for Amber, high energy foods at the ready!
So good luck to all the family this weekend and I hope to be able to report some great results from all later in the week.


Once upon a time, Mr T and myself had a plan to get a camper van. This was a long term plan as my car was still going strong and was very adequate for the family’s needs, it was discussed that when that said car was no longer cost effective or gave up the ghost, we would ultimately look at getting either a Bongo or a VW.
The car decided to make it a short term plan of ours and the head gasket went in July 2010, the cost to repair was going to be almost what the car would have been worth. This in turn, thrust the prospect of getting our van into an urgent, top of priority list matter. After much trawling through autotrader ads, Ebay, and various other avenues we found a VW panel van in Plymouth with low mileage and a blank canvas to get the van we wanted. We ended up purchasing it and I became the very proud owner of a VW T28 panel van!!!! I have to say there is definitely something I love about driving vans or big vehicles, JT, TJ and I would all be in the front as we only had the 3 seats in the cab at that point. We spent the rest of that summer playing Paulo Nutini CD’s and singing our hearts out in the cab of the van, dreaming about what we planned to do with her.
Those plans got put into action after finding the man that can, Jack from Cool Conversions in Wadebridge. www.coolconversions.co.uk
I was in charge of sourcing quotes for the work we wanted doing and for finally deciding on who we would trust our new pride and joy with. I have to say, I took this job very seriously as this was a big investment for us and we had very specific requirements of the vehicle. Primarily it is my “car” for ferrying the children to and from after school activities and for being a family vehicle. It’s secondary role was to be a camper van which we could take for an impromptu weekend into Cornwall or that Mr T and I could take to bike festivals and use if a run took me further afield ( trail race in Forest of Dean booked!) Needless to say it took about a month for me to get around 5 quotes from various converters in the Devon and Cornwall region.
Jack was going to be our man for our van. We wanted a full width RIB bed put in the back in order to get 3 more seats for passengers and for Mr T and I to rest our weary heads in. A pop up REIMO roof bed for the children to sleep in, fully insulated and carpeted panels, vinyl flooring, a fold up table, a selection of lighting within the van and roof space, an electric hook up point and a ZIG unit for plugging a kettle, fan heater, etc into. Pretty much making this a van of our dreams. Jack set to work in late October 2010 and within 4 weeks we had a fully cosmetically improved VW van. The attention to detail Jack put into it matched all our expectations ( and they were high), we managed to get a van that we hope will give us years of pleasure with the boys.
We have a trip to France planned for the Summer and we aim to take any weekend that we can to get further down into Cornwall for some weekends of sun and fun. It is already becoming apparent that it is going to be a very much loved van and we have her stocked with sachets of hot chocolate, tea bags and the kettle at all times so that if the mood takes us we will stop and enjoy her. This has happened recently as we took a trip to Crediton via Torrington to pick up a trailer (to be used for our France trip). We stopped off at the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington for a look at their latest exhibition ( www.theploughartscentre.org.uk ) and found a car park with the most amazing views. We stopped off, opened the sliding door, got the hot chocolates and teas made and enjoyed half an hour of children colouring in and us admiring the view.

I think I am in love all over again! Happy Camper vanning!


I am very happy to report that my sewing machine was dusted down and put to use ( finally) last night. I had purchased the materials, cut out the templates and had the bias binding at hand for near on a month now, but had found other distractions recently and my sewing space ( a small corner in the boys playroom) had been duly neglected. This has been rectified – hooray!!!
I wanted to make the boys some bunting for their room as we are yet to decorate and it needs some freshness injected in there temporarily, hence the idea of bunting.  I do think that this week of gorgeous sunshine has prompted my return to the machine, as all around buds, bulbs and colour are popping out of the ground and the blue and yellow in the sky just make you want to inject some colour into your life.
The boys and I have managed to spend 3 out of the 5 days of after school time in the park. A safe haven of playground equipment and a playing field which enable a good dose of Vitamin D to be absorbed by children and adults, feeling the first benefits of an ever closer spring in Cornwall. On Tuesday after taking TJ to story time at our lovely library, we made the short walk down the canal, to the beach. The tide was out, the beach had a handful of walkers on it, the children got to spend a lovely half an hour playing with the sand, before we made our way to pick up the “big ones”!! Days like these seem so easy and it is when I am able to reflect on how lucky we are to have this on our doorstep.
Winter is hard on most, when spring seems too far away. I seem to suffer slightly with a touch of SAD, running has definitely helped with this, nevertheless it is good to see the great ball of yellowy loveliness in the sky and new life bursting from the ground.
This photo of the bunting was taken last night, will endeavour to photograph it in better light once the sun comes out again!
That's abit better!

Friday, 4 March 2011


I know that I am not the only one to be missing this fantastic series, so here is a little something to keep us all going.

DOT TO DOT......

I am, how shall I put it, insanely ecstatic regarding the purchase of my ticket to attend Dot to Dot Bristol on 28 May this year. I am loving The Naked and The Famous right now and these guys are playing at Dot to Dot, it seemed almost too good to be true. Not only do I enjoy Bristol but I get to see this New Zealand band who give me goosebumps when I hear their single Young Blood.
Not only that but there is a Brucie bonus – Katie is coming along too, hoping to get a posse of us ladies going there to enjoy some fantastic times. Hilary, Ave, Claire, Hayley, Helen get your tickets booked NOW!!!!


Yesterday was World Book Day and I spent a very sunny morning enjoying a trawl through the charity shops in Holsworthy before getting my grocery shopping. Rarely do I come home empty handed after a trip to this lovely market town and yesterday was no different. I managed to grab a set of 10 books by authors including Michael Morpurgo for JT and a folder of Disney audio books for the boys whilst we amble along in the van. Costing me a total of £4, I felt joyous.  JT devoured the books the minute I presented them to him, firstly looking at each one in turn and choosing his first one within 5 minutes. He proceeded to inform me each time he had read a chapter and as I type he is on Chapter 5 of a 7 chapter book.
He is becoming very passionate about reading.  We were talking about the fact that some councils are closing their libraries the other day and his response really took me by surprise – he was outraged. He stated how unfair it was and wanted to know who was closing them and how he “hated them” for doing so. He has now decided (in his infinite wisdom that a 6 year old possesses) that he wants the other prime minister back and this one has to go!!!!
I must admit I share his outrage regarding the closures of libraries alongside  the general consensus that the arts, literature and education are surplus to requirements in certain areas and are the domain of only those with the means to hunt them out or pay for them. I am happy to report that we still have our local library although it will be closing one day a week as of mid April.
Alongside World Book Day the Guardian have launched a children’s book website which I know JT will want to be registered to – on the home page it has a Harry Potter Quiz – they know how to get the kid’s interested!!  It encourages children to review books as well as encourages siblings to read to each other. I know that the boys would love this concept and am surprised to report that I don’t believe that has happened in our household so far. I am guessing that will change shortly!!  
Audio books are also a great hit in our house and we very often have some playing in the van on various journeys we take. A recent favourite has been a David Henry Wilson book called Please Keep Off The Dinosaur. Jeremy James is the main character and takes an hilarious trip to London with his father, where they see all the sights, Houses of Parliament, etc. Great pronunciations by Jeremy, Poly Tishuns ( politicians) and Pry Monster ( prime minister) make JT, TJ and myself laugh out loud.  I’m thinking that we will need to take another of his audio books out of the library when this one goes back.