Monday, 18 June 2018

Use your local library...


I have saved a fortune by using my local library and met lovely people since I started my series of books. Always cash strapped and struggling, it is very much a case regarding the library as 'use it or lose it."
I will admit it, I am a digiqueen, but I don't think the traditional hard copy of a beautiful book will ever be replaceable. Nothing beats the pleasure of relaxing with a good paperback. I was in for a treat this year, I read Joanna Cannon's "Three Things About Elsie" on ebook courtesy of the BorrowBox app and on a further visit discovered that  "The Trouble With Goats And Sheep" was tantalisingly tempting me from the bookshelf at Lord Louis Library here on the Island. So many books available for free, if only I had more time!

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep - Joanna Cannon

Even if you are a casual reader of a magazine or two, this can be found in another app, PressReader. It has been an absolute delight to be able to read about Frida Kahlo in this months Harper's Bazaar, something that I rarely buy as I consider it a luxurious treat!
If you fancy renting out a movie and would rather not pay the extortionate rates on Sky, you can simply rent a current (yes, current!) DVD for as little as £1.50 a night, even better, if you can't get to the particular branch of library you obtained it from, you can return the DVD to another.
Also, living out in a rural area, my broadband is pretty rubbish and sometimes non-existent, so I know I can pop into my local library to use the internet.
And double bonus, if you like playing with Lego, there's a regular Lego Club.
I have just listed some of the things that are available at the library, so, next time you are near one, don't forget to pop in and see what they have to offer because if we don't utilise it we could see our dear libraries closing and we wouldn't want that, would we?










Monday, 4 June 2018

Why I've taken a long break from blogging and vlogging...

So, I started my blog and vlog with aplomb a good few year's back.
And I enjoyed it, I really did. But then I started getting busy with work things and that's when life decided to bite me hard on the backside.
Looking at the timescale between 2012 and 2017, a few things happened that knocked the wind out of my sails.
Not wanting to go into too much detail, over that time period I lost my mum to vascular dementia, my dad had a severe stroke, the house was in the middle of a renovation and I had a baby. Trying to deal with all these things emotionally, mentally and physically was a full-time job and I am not going to lie, took its toll.
However, I am one of those people who is a creative, tech person, and not finding anything that fed that passion, I decided to have a cheeky look at my YouTube account in September of last year.
I logged in to my account to find I had 5,500 views, not only was I really shocked, but pleased, as I thought that once I get to the magic 10,000 views I would get monetisation (Not anymore after the Logan scandal). My YouTube account notifications had been turned off so I wasn't receiving information about comments (I am sorry to some people whom I have only just responded to!).
And then I looked at this blog and realised that I also really miss writing. I did manage (I don't know how!) to self-publish my first children's book in 2016, I am currently working on my mums memoirs about her childhood in WW2 (more about that later) and also my novel, plus another children's book.
Sometimes, even with the best intentions, life gets in the way, but I'm pleased to say I'm back!

Sunday, 3 June 2018

And A Nightingale Sang... Memoirs about childhood in Sussex during WW2


My late mother, Marianne Sells (nee Fowler) (Potential Debutante, Barnardos Children's Nurse and Granddaughter of Sir Richard Gregory) had been writing her memoirs about her childhood living in rural Sussex during WW2, for half my life. Admittedly, I never had much interest in her writing, but when she passed away in July 2017, five and a half long years after a long battle with vascular dementia, I collated all her paperwork (scattered everywhere throughout the family home, as her mind worsened) and took it upon myself to self-publish her book. It took many long and painful months to finally get it into a tangible format before I could self-publish it. She was always good at entertaining and telling wild stories, admittedly whilst reading it, I realised what a beautiful, funny and equally heart-breaking tome it is.

You can find out more by clicking here goo.gl/1vADFm 

Monday, 28 May 2018

Unicorn Magic!

It's true, I admit it, I am slightly unicorn mad, to my partner's dismay!
This trend is continuing to be popular and I don't think our little unicorn friends are going to be trotting away any time soon!

Here are my current favourite unicorn inspired products...


Carex Unicorn Soap from Poundland (also comes in a Bath & Shower Gel, yippee!)



Carex Unicorn Hand Soap



Asda - various dinner sets and glassware

George at Asda Unicorn Dinnerware

Imperial Leather Foamburst Unicorn Marshmallow Shower Gel (smells amazing and doubles up as a super shave cream!)

Imperial Leather Unicorn Shower Cream Foamburst

ASOS DESIGN Nights Dream Glow In the Dark Unicorn Slippers

asos Unicorn Slippers


 Disclaimer: No Unicorns were harmed in the making of these products...

Monday, 21 May 2018

When You Become a Parent to Your Parent

"The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son."

How apt that was whilst thinking about this particular blog, I should hear this saying whilst watching a popular television show. No truer words spoken.

As I have got older, I have found myself in the hard situation of becoming essentially the protector of of both my parents. My dearest late mother succumbed to vascular dementia and lost her battle with it after five and half years last year. As her mind slowly shut down, she became childlike and vulnerable. I found that instead of her holding my hand, I was holding hers.

My father, always strong and there for his family, had a severe stroke in 2015 at only 67 years old. Once very mentally and physically active, he is now bedbound and has lost all independence, as well as minimal speech which makes communication difficult for him. Whilst he was worried I'd trip whilst I learned to walk as a toddler, now I'm worried he'll fall. I'm the one anxious about literal and metophorical obstacles for him - not the other way around like it used to be.

So now I find myself the parent to my parent... a role that neither of us wanted or had foreseen. I worry continuously about his health and happiness whilst at the same time trying to protect him.

I am lucky and blessed that my parents provided a secure and happy childhood. But as we are now all living longer, this reversed role play will probably become more common.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Mental Health Awareness Week - 14th to 20th May 2018

As I write this there is a local council meeting where they are discussing yet again, the shortfalls of the mental health services in this area. I read in the local press a few months ago, that the Isle of Wight is one of four counties whose mental health services drastically need improvement. I remain slightly cynical about this, as that's all there seems to be, lots of talk, but no action. 
Crying Girl
Stock Image
It's Mental Health Awareness Week and earlier on this month, I organized a Mental Health Mates Walk. This, as far as I know, was the first to be held on the Island and I am hoping one of many. I am one singular person, but I am calling for drastic improvements in this area and it's time that the Government realises that this can be a life-threatening condition.

I have also signed up to be a Time To Change Champion, speaking out about the stigma of depression and campaigning for more support for others in need.

From a personal experience when I was a new and very lonely mother, with no parental support, I struggled with PND. The doctor even said I was at risk from it, but, I did not get the support I really needed. In that very desperate time, you just want to reach out to someone, someone who understands, even a little bit. It was hard then and it is now, and I refuse to sit quietly and feel ashamed about having PND.

Having a mental health issue or issues, is not limited to just a week sadly, so let's keep talking and supporting each other. If you know someone who is going through it, speak to them, support them, be there for them, as there is nothing more isolating sometimes then having a mental health disability. 

The more voices that there are, the louder we can be heard...

To find out about more Time to Change, please visit www.time-to-change.org.uk

Mental Health Mates www.mentalhealthmates.co.uk

PANDAS Pre and PostNatal Depression Support http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/



Monday, 14 May 2018

Create a Magical Nursery with Hurn & Hurn

I first heard about Hurn & Hurn when I spotted one of their products in Mother & Baby magazine, upon visiting the site, I fell in love with what they had on offer. Products are stylish, of high quality, appeal to the designer side of me and are reasonably priced. There are many online stores offering homeware and accessories for the Nursery, but Hurn & Hurn in particular stands out.

To start with, I loved the Fiona Walker England Mini Bear With Crown Felt Animal Head, which would look beautiful in my daughter's nursery, let's hope its cute appeal doesn't appear too scary for her! Grrr!
Fiona Walker Felt Bear Head
The 3 Sprouts Mouse Storage Caddy (and I am a huge fan of all storage solutions in this chaotic house!) is perfect for putting away toys to avoid the inevitable and painful experience of accidentally stepping on them. Talking of tidying, I will also be hanging her little clothes on the colourful Felt Flamingo Coat Hook also by Fiona Walker England.


3 Sprouts Mouse Storage Caddy

Fiona Walker Felt Flamingo Hook

No nursery is complete without soft lighting of course, to lull her gently to sleep, so I will festoon the room with this cute string of LED Star Fairy String Lights by A Little Lovely Company. The Ferm Living Cloud Rose, dusky pink duvet set with a dreamy cloud print will hopefully help her settle into the land of nod, nope, no nightmares here!

A Little Lovely Company LED Star Lights
Ferm Living Cloud Rose Duvet Set

Liked what you've seen so far? Please visit https://www.hurnandhurn.com/ to see what other beautiful goodies they offer!

Please note: This blog post is not a paid promotion or features an affiliate link, all views are my own. Images very kindly supplied by Hurn & Hurn. 

Use your local library...

I have saved a fortune by using my local library and met lovely people since I started my series of books. Always cash strapped and strug...