Another Beach Walk


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img_20171021_144244_127705580550.jpgGrowing up where I did in England, it was always a huge event going to the beach. We would set out early in the morning, all piled into the car with my Mum at the wheel and Dad riding shot-gun. Places like Weymouth and Bournemouth seemed so exotic to a landlocked child.

Sandwiches would be packed for our lunch and we would spend the whole day playing on the sand, swimming in the sea, walking along the promenade and dipping in and out of the gift shops. Then if we were lucky we got to have fish and chips for tea, before heading home at the end of a long, happy day, smelling of sea, sand and sunscreen.

20171021_1506361584767279.jpgLiving where we do now, we can reach a choice of beaches in only thirty minutes. So most weekends, in all weathers, we head out as a family to walk along the sand.

Today, as the girls half term holiday draws to a close, the four of us plus Artie the whippet, jumped in the car and headed out. It was a little chilly on arrival, but as we trudged along the sand and the sun began to beat down, we warmed up enough to start removing hats and coats.


There was a great amount of interesting things washed up from the high tide, including a lot of starfish and a large crab that was stuck on its back. Jay picked the poor thing up as it was still moving and put him closer to the sea. We didn’t hang around, but hopefully he made his way back.20171021_151651747714490.jpg20171021_152439394580203.jpg






Of course the trip was rounded out by a visit to the local shop and ice cream filled chocolate waffle cones were enjoyed before heading back home.20171021_1451161985615287.jpg


Monsters and Mounds


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When we have two little monsters at home you must be wondering why today we went looking for another one, but with the kids on their half term holiday, and both Jay and I having the week off work, we took the girls to Loch Ness to look for a legend. The weather was overcast but dry and not too cold considering we are heading towards November,so we were able to sit overlooking the stunning views while having a snack.

Bart i20171019_145742957290998.jpgs totally convinced she saw Nessie, she even got a badge to say so. Jay is equally convinced she may need go to the opticians for bad eyesight, because seriously, there was no monster out there. But every ripple was a potential sighting and she had fun.

To be honest the only real monster sighting was the hundreds of stuffed toys in the gift shop. Bart’s eyes lit up like it was Christmas upon seeing all the plush monsters, but as she already battles to fit in her bed each night with the amount of cuddly animals already in it, she left the store empty-handed.
20171019_120301325788470.jpgIn the afternoon I dragged the family to another ruin. After traipsing around numerous castles over the last few years, I changed it up a bit and took them to a Bronze Age burial site, with three stone cairns (mounds) each encircled by standing stones. It really is a beautiful place, with an air of peace and mystery to it surrounded by trees that are just changing to their autumn colours.

Both AJ and I put our hands on the stones, but neither of us fell through time and Jaime Fraser sadly didn’t appear and whisk me away. But I think Bart felt something because she ran around the site, touching and hugging all the standing stones.

It been a good day to get out as a family, to just take a bit of time away from the house and have fun. With Jay and I working longer hours and school suddenly getting real for AJ is in her last year of primary, to take time and laugh together was good therapy for us all.

A Chip Off The New Tooth


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It really is tooth month in our house.

After the excitement of AJ’s visit to the orthodontist things had quietened down. Then today I had a message left on my voicemail from the girls’ primary school.

Bart was on her last swimming session of the term. Always on the final session they get to play and have fun. The message left informed me that Bart had slipped when trying to exit the pool and bashed her face on the side, chipping one of her front teeth.

I then had visions flying around in my head of a screaming Bart, her blood flowing into the pool and mixing with the water and half her tooth floating to the bottom. A bit dramatic I know, but my imagination was running wild. 

I messaged James and he got in touch with the school. By the time he spoke to someone, Bart had eaten her lunch and was playing on her lunch break. 

I calmed down when hearing this as she was obviously not in pain, but still fretted over how bad the tooth was.

Thankfully it really isn’t as terrible as my over active imagination thought. It was one of her front teeth, but it is quite a small chip at the bottom. Both girls are due a dental check up in a few weeks, so we will see what the dentist thinks when he sees her.

In the meantime, Bart is milking it for all she is worth!


Brace Yourself


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As she is getting older it has become clear to James and I that AJ needs some serious dental work. Her two top front teeth protrude quite a bit and some of her bottom teeth are not coming in straight. I made an appointment for her with my dentist a few months ago instead of the one she normally attended and after having her in the chair for a few minutes he didn’t surprise me at all when he said she needed a referral to an orthodontist who specialised in children’s teeth.

True to his word an initial consultation came through swiftly. So, Jay and I took a day off of work a few weeks ago and the three of us headed into the city to see the specialist.

AJ was really great at the orthodontist, (luckily Jay hasn’t passed along his paralysing fear of all things teeth) and sat calmly while they measured, inspected and took photograph after photograph while pulling her lips this way and that.

Then they did the dreaded mould. I remember having this done a couple of times as a child. They fill a plastic plate with a disgusting pink goo and then shove it in your mouth so far that you think you are going to choke.  It is then held there for a couple of minutes while it takes time to set. I shudder just remembering it. But AJ was a champ and took the whole experience in her stride.

The upshot is, as we guessed she had quite a road ahead of her. She will start with block braces that will help her bottom jaw grow forward and in line with her top one as it currently sits too far back. From there she will need “train track” braces to straighten her teeth and get them into the correct position and finally she will need to wear a retainer to help the teeth stay in place. Also at some point during this she will need four teeth removed so those that are left can shift and align themselves correctly.

Poor kid, it’s not going to be fun and the whole process will take up to four years, or possibly more.  At the moment she is enthusiastic and ready to go so we are just waiting now to see what happens next and when we start.


Don’t it always seem to goThat you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone 
Never a truer word was spoken when recently we lost our internet connection.  Our home hub had developed a fault and refused to sync. I think I spoke to a dozen British regional accents as well as Ireland and India. Engineer appoimtents were made, broken and made again, but finally, finally yesterday a new home hub arrived. 

It took nearly three weeks before we were connected again, although it only seemed like I was the one majorly bothered by this in our family.

The girls do like to catch up on shows with the CBBC iPlayer, but meh, they just dived into the DVD collection and reacquainted themselves with old favourites. And yeah, Jay likes to look at crap (and yes I do mean crap) on ebay. But heck, he spent his computer free evenings annoying me with the noise level from his snoring. And the dog, he couldn’t give a damn.

I was the one most effected by the loss of internet and it really brought it home to me how much time I spent chatting to friends all around the world and how much those friendships mean to me. 

From London to Texas, California to New England, Canada to Australia and all those many places inbetween, there ia a group of people who make me howl with laughter and cry tears of love and sorrow. We look out for each other and worry if someone has been missing for a while. We can tease and we can joke and we are always willing to embrace new people into our merry band. 

I fell into this crazy wonderland of people through a book and an author and a Facebook page. I haven’t met any of them in person and for most, I probably never will. They are my friends inside my phone as the girls now call them. And for that bunch of days when my internet time was limited, damn I missed them.

It’s Just A Jump To The Left…


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… and a step to the riiiiiiiiiight.

Ever get that feeling you are stuck in a time warp?

I have been thinking about this blog for a while. Then I had a couple of friends who “know of what they speak”, read something I wrote and commented I  should write more. It was time to dust off the cobwebs, shake out the mothballs and try to get this thing rolling again.

This morning I got around to opening the page up and could not believe the first post I came across,  as this was the conversation the girls and I had yesterday as we headed up the hill to home…

Bart: Mummy, are you off on Friday?

Me: No sorry, I have to work Fridays now. Why?

Bart: Because Friday is out World Peace assembly.

Me: Why only peas?

Bart: No Mum. P E A C E. Not P E A S.

I really need to update my stand up repertoire. It’s sounding a little stale.

But last post out and first post in are talking about the same subject, which tells me another year has passed without me putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard and that needs to change.

So for however long I keep that duster in one hand, batting away the cobwebs while I type with the other, I hope you enjoy what I have to say.

Peas out x



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AJ: Mum, can I have a new shirt?

Me: No.

AJ: It’s not fair. Bart’s got a new shirt!

Me: That’s because she is our favourite.

AJ: Hey!


Bart: Daddy, can I choose the cake we are having for tea on Sunday?

Jay: No, AJ is choosing the cake.

Bart: That’s not fair! She always chooses!

Jay: That is because she is our favourite.

Bart: Hey!

At least we are consistent in our parenting.

In Car Entertainment 


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This morning we headed off on our regular Saturday grocery shopping trip. We had only gone a few miles when Bart announces she has forgotten her writing book and pencils.

“But I’m bored” she whinged when we refused to turn back and get them.
“Tough” absolutely no sympathy from the adults in the car.

The kid moaned for a few miles, sung away to herself for a couple more and then all went quiet. 

Quiet is always suspicious. 

I looked into the back seat to see what she was up to and found her thoroughly entertained with a pair of sparkly shoes and a stuffed rabbit. 

I left her to it.