Monday, 31 March 2014

Back From the Front

I'm back from our tour of the Somme and many WWI memorial sites. It was a lovely trip if I can use that word on the back of thousand's of soldiers being killed 100 years ago. As ever, we crammed in lots. We left on Thursday morning for an unbelievable quiet Eurotunnel - we only ever go in the height of summer so was really weird to see the car park empty. It was also weird not to have a 10 hour journey on the other side which is normally the case when we visit France. As we were staying in Cambrai (about an hour and a half away) it felt like we'd just taken a trip to the coast - very strange. We visited the Canadian memorial site Vimy - I was fascinated at the way the land still lies, huge bumps and moulds (like something out of In the Night Garden) where the shelling has just obliterated the landscape.  The beautiful constructed memorial, the sandbags that had been filled with concrete after the war to preserve the trenches was genius. The sandbags looked real with movement and were a work of art and, of course, the actual memorial.  Naturally the headstones were humbling and overwhelming at times but the soldiers have wonderful resting places. They will never be forgotten as so many people still visit even 100 years later.

Our hotel was brilliant. A little boutique hotel with everything we needed and superb food. The chap who owned it had discovered a tank and took us on a guided tour (in his Range Rover with French plates) of the area (he had excellent knowledge of the battle of Cambrai) and the barn in which he stored his tank. He was quite a character and a pleasure to listen to. The staff were also lovely at the hotel. I had the wonderful onion soup the first night, followed by duck and then Baked Alaska.

The next day we travelled to Lille to pay our respects to my husbands Great Granddad and then onto Ypres in Belgium to pay our respects to my Great Uncle who's name is on the Menin Gate. We visited a quaint museum on the outskirts and the larger one in Ypres which was superb. We also climbed the steps to the bell tower and later went to Tyne Cot memorial. Later we went back to Ypres and had a burger and fries (no lunch) and then headed up for the 8pm ceremony at the Menin Gate. We had a hairy drive back as the roads in Belgium are far inferior than those in France and the Belgiques as I like to call them (as I don't know what you call a person from Belgium!) drive like absolute nutters! I mean I've driven in Italy and they make them look good - no mean feat.  We had vodka and whiskey in the bar that night and much enjoyed it was too!

A tiring but worthwhile day. The next day we did the Tiepval memorial, High Wood, the Canadian memorial with the stag (can't remember what its called!) and also another museum in Arras. This day was also action packed we ate nothing for 9 hours!!  However, we did dine out that night in a funky little place just outside Cambrai so filled our boots as we were back home on the Sunday.

We did try and fit in the museum in Dunkerque on the way back but we didn't quite make it!

So, after a full on day of cleaning today I am back and will be setting my alarm for my weights. I have started my 1,000 (although its 1,200 to give me room for errors) a day calorie diet as in my last post I talked about how my numbers were wrong.  I am hungry and I'm on a mission.

See you very soon!

Here are some of my pictures. If you ever get a chance I would thoroughly recommend it.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Bring on the Badge Wars!

Is a standing joke between myself and my friend. I am talking about Brownie Badges. My sister once said "ohhh mum's are soooo competitive" and I was like nah we're not, no one really cares but who am I kidding?! I've seen plenty of competitive mum's living out their dreams via their children since my entry into parenthood some 10 years ago. Little did I know, that I too, may also fall into this category but not in the my child is on this level or that level (speaking of which my eldest is working at SATS level 6 - OMG where did he get that from?! I did eat a lot of tuna whilst pregnant which they say makes brainy babies maybe that was it. Couldn't help myself see I'm no different god damm it!) or give it the large on facebook. I only show boat to approx 2 friends as there are just times when you really do genuinely burst with pride. Asides from that I keep it under my hat or say it to my husband to which he promptly pisses on my maternal bonfire by remarking "yeah how's the child genius that can't work out how to put a duvet cover on!?"

Anyhow, what of the Brownie badges? My friend and I have a tongue in cheek "how many badges you got now then?" thang going on. The gauntlet has been thrown! My daughter got off to a cracking start - 3 badges no less - and let me tell you they ain't that easy to come by.  In my day, you didn't have this stupid sash thing to sew them on, you sewed them on your uniform so you did. You also carried out your badges during the Brownie meeting, now you have to do them at home and then tell Barn Owl (normally a typed dossier) on how you've done. I went totally off the rails by signing the Brownie book. Oh no missus, you can't do that and I was promptly reprimanded by a stern looking Barn Owl who enquired rather forcefully I might add "who signed this?" She knew full well, full well. Me I said meekly reverting back to my 10 year old self. Then I quickly remembered I was, in fact, 40 years old and said "I didn't know, I thought I could..." actually who am I kidding I was putty in her hands.

So you have to kind of do the bloody things together. I mean one element 'home maker' - which on the face of it looked fairly simple started to descend into unnecessary complicatidness (new word). For example, it said make a game out of re-cycling symbols?!! We ditched the home maker.

Not to be out done my friend taunted me in the last holidays - "we're doing 3" - they also ditched home maker (see above).  So she's quickly catching us up.  I think we are now up by 1 solitary badge although the novelty is wearing thin.  The badges are so tough to sew on but by all accounts you can glue them on with special Brownie badge glue! Oh my! My nan would be turning in her grave so I do sew them on unlike my friend who sends them to her mother-in-law.  Having said this, maybe I should send mine to her as well as this is what they look like once I've been at it!

Nan's the world over are turning in their graves
Right, I am off tomorrow until Sunday to France with the hubster - so I will talk more of my return.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

El Desparado

Yup that's me another flat zero or maybe it was .5lb but so hacked off I can't be bothered to even give that any kind of acknowledgement. To re-cap, last week I worked out Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday not Friday and a walk on Saturday (so not proper puffing and what not but still moving still moving god damm it!).

So you can image my dismay and desperation at the scales just grinding to a halt. I can totally understand why people sign up for shakes and what not as it can be so frustrating. I contacted my dieting gurus today and had a bit of a revelation. Firstly, I asked Nessa to get me that low-carb diet sent to me immediately without delay! She's lost 28lb now since January and will be doing another blog post very shortly. To my dismay, the diet is grim man - just grim! I'm not a fan of eggs to start with but to eat 3 fried in butter for the morning made me want to heave just reading about it.  What you could eat for lunch wasn't too bad but (she'll give you all the low down show down in the blog later on) I know it won't fit in with my lifestyle avec les enfants.  To top it all you have to drink 3.5 litres of water a day to flush out the fat - oh my, I would never be out of the toilet and if I was out and about I'd be squating behind bushes. Least that would be a work out of sorts though.  So no to the low-carb diet.

Next to my other sister, Sharon - the runner, the cyclist, the triathlonist, the run through the fields jumping over hedges being chased by hounds pretending to be a fox. I kid you not. What did she have to say for herself.  She regularly works out 5/6 times a week. She runs 4 x 4 miles, 15 mile bike ride and a 10 mile walk on a Sunday. Not only that she power walks her way around the city of London. She does weigh less than me - size 12 on top, 14 on bottom but she eats 1,200 calories in the week and 2,500 at the weekend. She doesn't lose any weight on those numbers only if she cuts back the weekend amount which, given, the amount of exercise you'd think she'd still lose weight. Given that we are all built in more or less the same way - we are just bigger and smaller versions of ourselves - its fair to say we need to eat 1,200 calories or less to lose weight.

I wrote on the blog the other day that I have been using my fitness pal which is a great app (although its been telling me to eat 1,500 and I have been going over by about 200) but have been struggling to keep within my allowance. Well, that allowance just shrank baby! When I return from France (Sunday) - I shall be embarking on a 1,000 calorie diet - and planning my calories better i.e 200 Breakfast, 400 lunch and 400 for dinner.  If I've miscalculated it should only take me up to 1,200 max.  Ultimately the numbers don't lie do they - its just a mathematical equation that I haven't gotten right yet (I was rubbish at maths it has to be said).

The only light at the end of the tunnel is that I did lose an inch off my waist.

See you soon!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Self Absorbed Selfies?

I mean its very name speaks volumes does it not? The 'selfie' this is where a person takes a picture of themselves and posts it on social media. Let's just stop and think about this for a moment. A person takes a picture of themselves and shows you.  Seriously? What is up with that? Where did it all go so wrong?! Not satisfied with documenting everything our children do, we now want to take pics of ourselves and share these too! You can understand, to a degree, teenagers doing this as, lets face it, they are meant to be a bunch of self absorbed irritants but middle aged men and women? Really? We should know better.

This was doing the rounds after the no make up selfies hit the Facebook newsfeeds. It really made me laugh
There is a whole generation who will be able to document their entire life in pictures and various media entries. I wonder what they will make of it all in years to come. I don't think I'm above any of this - I'm as guilty as the next person. Why do I feel the need to take a picture of my kids feeding squirrels in the park and share it on facebook? I have no idea but I do and probably will continue to do so. I used to take a camera out with me on days out and just print them off and that would be that.  My youngest even wants to look at the picture that I've just taken. Its all so normal to have his every move documented by his mother.

So, some genius came up with the idea of raising money for charity (cancer research) by making the person take a picture of themselves.  It wasn't take a picture of a thing of  beauty or anything humble it was take a picture of yourself. Not only could they take a picture of themselves but they could do it all in the name of charity. They could also tell you they've donated to charity and you could praise them for doing so. Genius. Would they have raised the same amount of money if they had merely posted "please donate £3"? I doubt it somehow. It had to involve something that people could show they had given money. As an added bonus their chums could tell them how beautiful they looked with no make-up on. In fact, for some, this was worth more to them than donating £3. We all need to look younger than we are don't we. I remember Carrie Fisher saying once "christ I'm 50 (or thereabouts) what am I supposed to look like!" Well in this day and age of the selfie you need to look forever young and have a picture of Dorian Gray in your attic.

Although, how many actually donated £3? Pretty confident there were many that just did the selfie and not much else. And that's where we all fall down - the only person that needs to know what you give is you and your maker. Did the great Victorian philanthropists go around shouting how much they donated? I don't know? Have you heard any of these people?

What's the problem I hear you say? It's raised a few million when it might ordinarily not have done - its only a bit of fun. Yes, playground fun as we've all reverted back to being high schoolers haven't we. A bit like the messages you get that are a bit of fun but are under the guise of promoting some charity and you're meant to play along as, after all, its for a good cause. No, its highly bloody irritating! I left school a long time ago - it doesn't make me a bad person to leave the conversation when I'm meant to tell everyone what the size of my bra is in the name of charity.  I used to make paper fortune tellers - remember those? But that was when I was 14 for petes sake - I'm 40 now!! I don't want to play!

Things I used to do when I was 14 - I don't want to do the facebook equivalent because I've grown up! Pic google pictures
I didn't do a no make up selfie and post it on facebook. I did do it in the name of research for this blog and found its actually very hard to take a picture of yourself and then when you do its not quite up to scratch. I think I took a total of 15 and am pretty sure before people uploaded they would have had a fair few attempts to take a picture of themselves. I have no desire to take a picture of myself again in a hurry. Some, just took a picture of their text message (the mobile phone companies were rubbing their hands with glee) but why should anyone have to announce they've donated to charity? Some felt they had to justify why they hadn't taken part when donating to charity is a private matter. I have written about cancer research previously here (and is my most viewed post) and the amount of money that goes on admin etc is a disgrace. They said £2.75 would go directly to cancer research - but how much would actually go to the research? How much would go to paying the marketing, sales, website, salaries etc? Its a business after all.  I didn't donate and won't be at this time. I know its a good cause but so are plenty of others and if and when I do donate time or money to charity it will be my own business.

A no make up selfie which is hard to take but is also a very sad reflection of our times
Anyhow, I find the selfie a tad depressing. Its a reflection on our self absorbed entitlement society. I am just another sheep to a large or lesser degree with my involvement in social media and the like. I mean a blog has to be the biggest self indulgent clap trap does it not?  Will it ever change? Will we ever get off the social media treadmill or will it get worse?

What do you think? Harmless bit of fun or is it going a bit dark out there? Cue Tales of the Unexpected or The Equaliser music.....!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Helmets and Battles

Hello, hello sorry for the delay - I know its Thursday - as ever I have lots of excuses. Firstly, I have been fully engaged on an exercise mission. I didn't bother to weigh myself Monday as I didn't feel lighter in the slightest and I was truly pissed off with myself. I used to manage at least 4 exercise sessions a week and since November this has dwindled somewhat. I am eating about 1700 calories a day which is too much. I can maintain and sometimes lose a 1lb but I need to aim for 1,000 which will allow for things that haven't been calculated correctly.  Its just a fact of life I don't need a lot of calories and I find that the hardest.

So, on Sunday I went for a 10 mile bike ride - I was quite surprised as I thought this is going to be tough but I'm glad to say that my fitness levels, whilst not at their peak, hadn't diminished entirely.

On Monday, I put my workout gear on and armed with my Ipod, power walked for an hour. On Tuesday the worst day of the week for exercise (I some how think I'll manage to fit in a workout in - it never happens), it suddenly occurred to me that I needed to make a better job of finding time but when? I don't like to exercise in the evening - did I have to totally re-think that. No, I set the alarm clock for 6am. Yup, maybe to some that's not early but for me its the middle of the night. I did my weights DVD and then did about 70 skips in the garden making sure the neighbours didn't see me. On Wednesday, I did 42 lengths of the swimming pool cut short by my bladder control - still can't wee in the pool. Just can't do it. Its Thursday today, another day where I struggle to fit in the exercise so, you've guessed it, I set the alarm clock again for 6 am and did a Wii dance workout. It was only for 40 mins and minus the wrist weights but it was something. Tomorrow, I plan on another swim. So that's 5 workouts since Sunday with one due tomorrow.

Meant to be a Tommy Helmet
I also decided to set up a facebook group all about fitness - to share workouts, classes etc which I think is really useful.

So what of the battles - well nothing major but enough for a mini rant - take Amazon, normally no complaints. I tried their Amazon Prime for less than the 30 day trial but found out today they'd taken £79 out of my account. I complained and immediately they said they would refund - only just a minute ago I got an email welcoming me to Prime!! Arggh. Then take - the ultimate in bad service I mean they are so bad they make Santander look good. I haven't used the account for years - but they've decided I now have membership but will take money out of my husband's account who, by the way, only signed up for a free trail. I see a pattern emerging. This is why I don't like free trails as it just equals a whole load of hassle you don't need. In real terms it probably suits these companies as if they take out money from everyone's account and hold it for a few weeks that's a pretty penny in interest isn't it. Call me an old cynic.

Speaking of which my husband is 50 today! Wow - how did that happen. I have known him since he was 35. Anyhow, as he likes all things militrary (not outfits and re-enactments thank goodness) I baked a helmet cake. Matron! He also got a family pop art portrait of us all wearing helmets too and we are off to France next week to look at WW1 bits and bobs.

Oh, also a rug we ordered was just joined together with a bit of hessian but thankfully they are sending out a new one - see what I mean hassle! The re-cycling wasn't picked up the other day so had to complain about that and then we have the on going saga with Buddy and his tongue time - the speech therapist sent out her assessment two weeks after our appointment. Urgent people Urgent!! And breath....

Anyhow, seeing as it is his birthday I best get off here! See you tomorrow as got more to say on these no make up selfies and cancer research and facebook comments.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Trigger's Broom

I love this scene from Only Fools and Horses of Trigger (played by Roger Lloyd Pack who sadly died recently) with his broom. Its only 24 seconds long so please have a gander if you haven't seen it before. He claims its the same broom even though its had several different handles and broom heads during its 10 year rein!

So when Buddy's mini micro scooter needed its 4th brake and a new back tyre, I naturally compared it to Triggers broom. I did this on Twitter and being a canny blogger @ mini micro scooters whilst I was at it. I wasn't expecting too much of a response but thankfully the mini micro tweeter had a sense of humour.

Now this isn't to say I was complaining about it - I love these scooters so I do. They are by far and above the best on the market - any other scooter is inferior in my eyes. All (three at the last count) of my children have these scooters - the eldest two having the maxi ones.  Buddy has been zipping around on his since he was 18 months old - he's 4 in May. It has done some serious mileage and travelled to France (another great thing is you can detach the handle so it lies flat in the boot/rooftop box) and the constant braking and what not has meant it has needed replacement parts - mainly the brake.

I was never a fan of the buggy board - call me old fashioned but I think a child needs to learn how to walk and longer than a few yards before being popped back into the car. If your child has a scooter you can walk at an adult like pace and everyone's a winner. What I love most is how easy children are able to master them - they just tilt the handle to the side to steer and the braking system is also easy to use. My little fella had mastered it in a matter of months. Admittedly he used his feet in the beginning but soon had the dexterity of a contestant on the Krypton Factor to manoeuvre his foot to the back to stop. May I suggest a mini micro scooter to be named "the masters edition" or something yoda like? Okay am getting a bit carried away now!

The box deserves a picture possibly more than the scooter - funky monkey - who wouldn't want to un wrap this? Give the marketing guru a pay rise!

So we're all clear then that I am a big fan. Not only that I have been a blogger for two and a half years now and I have always wanted one of these bad boys to review. I have been nominated for blog awards, been featured on mumsnet, featured in Britmums round ups but for me, the ultimate blogging pinnacle would be receiving (without parting with cash - of which I have three times) a mini micro scooter to review. Well my friends the time has come....I have reached the dizzy heights of blogging.....and give you...the mini micro scooter!! Tah dah..

The limited edition (get me!) Candy Blue Scooter. I am loving the blue metallic number going on and the wheels are very slick and more stream lined than his old one

The worn out V the shiny spangly number. I have to say Buddy has discarded his old one with not so much as a fond farewell. It has been confined to ebay with its new brake, new tyre and my rather helpful description that you can buy a 'replacement deck' in their spare parts section (he'd taken a little chunk out when he bumped into the pavement). That's another thing - you can go mini micro crazy with accessories and what not too.

So thank you mini micro scooters for making Buddy a very happy little boy and helping his mother reach the pinnacle of her blogging career! 

If you hadn't already guessed by now I was given a mini micro scooter for free to review. I was more than happy to do so (in fact I think a merry jig may have featured) and all thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and geniune as you would come to expect. You can buy a mini micro scooter at 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Tuesday Weigh In

I am pleased to report a -1lb weight loss. Better than last week which was zero. I manged 3 x work outs if you can call them that. I had the swimming, the Wii dance and....dah dah dah..I managed to get out on my bike (which I have to say my behind is a little sore - it will soon hardener up no doubt) with the kids on Sunday. This isn't really a work out as such but was still good to be out and about for an hour.  Tomorrow I plan on going swimming again as I really enjoyed it last week.

So what has been going on in this ere house.  Well my son is away on a 5 day residential trip with the school. He was very excited and not a bit nervous which I was really pleased about. Surprisingly I was very relaxed about it also. I find a worry more at night and normally weeks before an event so when it actually came around I wasn't fretting etc.  One mum felt a bit sick and worried as her youngest was going and I was going to say least they're sitting at the front of the coach as I heard the back is the worst place to sit. But you will be pleased to know I kept my mouth shut for once! I think that's my biggest fear the coach might crash or something. Anyhow, buddy was more upset wailing as the coach pulled away and then my daughter was teary this morning saying how much she missed him. Which was news to me as normally they bicker every day after school. Kids are funny creatures aren't they.

We are also have a living room make over - we've gone all a bit National Trust which we didn't plan to but it seems to be working.  The walls are green and I have nice red curtains going on, oak laminate and we have ordered two new chesterfield sofas (on my bucket list - aim low that's what I say to avoid disappointment!). I also ordered a tartan rug and changed the light shade on my lamp to this....

In other sad news the RMT Trade Union Boss, Bob Crow died unexpectedly today of a suspected heart attack at just age 52.  I, for one, was very sad to hear this.  I have made no secret or apologies for my left wing stance on political matters of which I have written a plenty on this blog.  For me, here was a man that stood up for workers rights - pay, health, safety and conditions. Terrible that isn't it. Why should the working man be paid a decent salary, get holidays and be entitled to a pension? What rotters the unions are for wanting to bridge the gap between the very rich and very poor. Why should people get paid holidays and sick pay? What a bloody cheek. See that's what all the Tory I'm alright Jack forget about (asides from their working class roots and how you should be looking at the bigger picture rather than poking your petty little finger at your own) whilst sitting in their offices having rights - yes, you get paid holidays and sick pay because of the unions you muppets. And what do you really do for others that justifies your salary? Do you really think your company would give a toss about making you redundant irrespective of giving a lifetime of service? Of course they don't - they don't care about you. Well, they can do that now can't they as unions have become so weak because their own haven't the balls to make a stand. We live in a culture of fear.  I can't help feeling that if you are of right wing persuasion you are actually a should I put this...ignorant?

What I really liked about the Bob Crow I grew up with on the telly was his passion for fighting for something he believed in.  How many people do that these days? I'm pretty sure he lived and breathed his job. Most people are so apathetic - only today I read the Tories have outsourced £1.5 billion worth of  NHS contracts to the private sector with cancer treatment being one of them. When has privatisation ever meant a good service and value for money or more importantly CARE?! Let us think about that one shall we - BT, water companies, utilities, our national rail network, our post office and now our NHS.

Naturally there have been comments about his estimated £80-£120k salary, taking an expensive holiday and living in a council house. So what! So what he got paid a decent salary to fight for the working people - I'm pretty sure he worked all the hours and was dedicated to his cause and he'll be let in at the pearly gates. The bankers can earn millions and sit in their fancy houses and what good have they done for anyone? What have they given back to society - closed libraries, sure start centres and austerity and they still get obscene bonuses.

So your train was cancelled and you had a bit of inconvenience well you'll have more of that to come when you need the NHS and other services. I shall leave you Billy Bragg's facebook status today. RIP Bob you did good.

Very sorry to hear of the tragically early death at just 52 of Bob Crow, leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union. I saw Bob many times at Tolpuddle and other union gatherings. He was a veteran anti-fascist, playing an important part in helping to defeat the BNP in Barking & Dagenham in 2010. Demonised by the right wing press for standing up for his members, the Labour movement has today lost a real champion of working people.

As Joe Hill said - 'Don't mourn - organise'

Friday, 7 March 2014

Friday Chit Chat

Yesterday was World Book Day and, as I mentioned in the last post, my children's school had lots of fun activities planned. They needed a home made costume or one that you had knocking around. Now you may not be surprised to hear that I'm not very crafty. I have a friend who used to squeal with excitement when they brought the crafts (Claire if you're reading this - it is you!) out at playgroup many moons ago. In fact, if I recall, she even used to arrange the craft activities and everything. So, without further ado, here is our creation. My husband has to get full credit for cutting the head out of cardboard and attaching an old cot sheet - actually, what did I do? Oh, yes I made the nose from a pair of tights - no idea if they were new or not - and filled with cotton wool. I also cut out the fabric for his mouth and dug out the rucksack (does that count?). My son painted etc and I think the overall effect looks awesome! He could see through the mouth part. What do you think? Not bad, not bad at all.

Diary of Wimpy Kid Costume
For any of those who are not familiar with this range of books - in it are little cartoon drawings and that's what his outfit is based on. Now, if you think that's good you should check this out..

I was seriously impressed when I saw this creation having googled "diary of a wimpy kid costume". The person who made it has written a blog post detailing how it was made. You can check it out here

So, in the morning I was able to go into the children's classrooms and read together. This was lovely, although I left fairly shortly in my son's year (year 5) as you could hear a pin drop! It was only for 30 minutes but was a nice thing to do. They then spent time in different classrooms through out the day doing various activities and then finished off with a book assembly with prize giving for the best costumes and.... tah dah both of them won a prize! My daughter went as puss in boots and we managed to gather enough bits and pieces for a rather decent costume.  Naturally they both won a book.

In other news, I completed my Wii Dance 3 today with wrist weights and 100 skips of my skipping rope. I'm going to aim for increases during next week of the 100 skips. I have been offered the chance of reviewing a VLCD - that stands for very low calorie diet (600 cals). Now that sounds like when you're really ill and can't eat anything, you lose weight and then once you're back to normal you put it all back on. What do you think?  My first thoughts were this sounds horrendous however it would make an interesting blog post, its a freebie and I am curious to know what it feels like. It also makes me very fearful that it will totally mess up my metabolism and that it is very bad for you. Its not something I've ever done before or likely to try again. I've never done the Cambridge diet, soup, Atkins, low carb etc etc.  They are offering my readers a competition giveaway of 2 weeks of the VLCD. Let me know your views.

My sister Sharon has done a great blog post on her half marathon preparations which I will post this shortly.

That's all for now folks!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Taking the Plunge...

Old Tony the Tiger!
....and getting of my butt. Yup today I finally managed to just get some good old exercise going on. I went swimming and it felt grrrrrreat! I did 50 lengths in less than an hour 10 x breast stroke 10 x crawl repeat until I needed a wee. For goodness sake I thought - I went before and in any other circumstances I would be able to hold out for more than 60 minutes even with my dodgy bladder control which I have discussed before rather candidly in this post entitled 'wee'.  Have a gander if you would like to know how I came to piss myself (literally) whilst on the M25.  Anyhow, I would have carried on but you kind of lose the momentum if you have to get out after 50 lengths and then pop to the toilet and get back in again.

Naturally someone (Nessa) said on my facebook "you should have gone in the pool" - I can't. Sorry. I don't think its allowed post 10 years old and besides I have been scarred for life from the horror stories you were told as a child - that the water would turn blue if you pissed in the pool. Must remember to tell my children that also.

Funnily enough the man that says "thank you" after every time I let him go (I was in the 'fast lane' you see) and who I wrote about in this swim post was there today. God, just looked at this one and it was written in July last year. Is that really how long its been since I went for a swim?  Check it out if you liked the old 1970's swim poster and me banging on about etiquette and stuff.

There was one lady who was in my lane telling her friend (in the slow lane) "once you get your stamina up you'll be bumping into people in no time". I was about as fast (or slow which ever way you want to look at it) so was quite chuffed that I seem to have retained a bit of stamina even in my absence. Later on two girls took to 'my' lane (thank you man had left - he never does that many) and one chose to swim smack bang in the middle. Now this is not okay. The swimming etiquette does not allow for such a cavalier manner. But given that she was faster than me, even doing the breast stroke to my crawl, I mentally let her off. That was good of you I can hear you say.

My last post talked of the tongue tie saga with my little buddy. Well, yesterday I had a wonderful email from the lead consultant at another NHS hospital who told me I have had a dreadful time, gave me some options, told me to not give up and it needs to be done sooner rather than later. Hooray!! Finally, someone that says yes it is all about cost cutting, yes it is not uncommon for appointments to be cancelled as this is to do with the hospitals targets and you are not going mad. It can grind you down so it can - I'm not alone I know several mum's who have to fight and battle for their kids all the time.

Tomorrow is World Book day and my children's school are having a fun packed day of activities - prizes, books, different stories and parents coming in to read for 30 mins.  I saw on facebook someone had moaned (different school and a friend of a friend) about having to dress up. I wanted to say my kids didn't have any dressing up (apart from mufti fund raising days) for over a year (it would have been two if we had stayed) so quit your moaning. It means the school are making a real effort to make learning fun and engaging. Anyhow, my daughter is going as puss in boots and my son Diary of a Wimpy Kid. We have made a costume (there are prizes for home made) out of Amazon cardboard we had kicking around. He is so excited and I can't wait to share with you all tomorrow.

Finally, if the weather is nice on Friday I'm going to get my bike out!

Until next time....

Monday, 3 March 2014

To Tongue Tie or Not to Tongue Tie

That is the question - speaking of which the Richard Burton Diaries are going down a treat and I also ordered a dvd on him "in from the cold" which I have already watched.  Anyhow, today has been a funny old day. Lots going on - the hubster is re-decorating all of our front room so we have been relegated to the playroom!

First, let us get the diet out of the way.  No change this week. I have had a dire time on the exercise front. I did pilates last week which I really enjoyed then a lame Wii dance - that one I was telling you about is good fun but when you try them out the first time you don't get a great work out as you need to familiarise yourself with the routine. Also, I got very excited about the prospect of setting up an after school cycling club for the kids new school. So I sent a very excited email which ate into a bit of my workout time.  But for the real reason......

My sister cooked a fantastic 3 course meal which I was so grateful that I didn't have to 1) cook 2) was able to eat it in peace 3) did not have to wash up that I gobbled it all up together with lashings of wine which made me hungover on Saturday and to cure it I ate 1/2 a stuffed crust pizza from Co-op!

This is Ness (remember my guest monthly blogger) pretending she has cooked it but her twin did not her!! She has put me to shame on the weight loss front -24lbs down now and my other sister pips up "oh I've lost 12lbs" I muttered my "3lb loss last week" and sunk into the red
Incidentally, someone on Twitter asked if I wanted to sell my weight loss story which I had to decline. I'd be too embarrassed!  I have ordered some tablets for my creaky knee (the same leg as my heel pain) and really need to shift the weight as naturally it should ease the pain. I am going swimming Wednesday also.

Anyhow, about the tongue tie.  I took Buddy to his speech therapy appointment today and FINALLY it would appear that his tongue tie will be cut shortly. I cannot begin to tell you the sorry saga about this and I'll try to very quickly. Essentially he has a tongue tie which means he can't really stick his tongue out and has limited movement of his tongue in his mouth.  It would seem that the majority of NHS hospitals do not want to cut a babies tongue tie anymore except it would seem Southampton hospital that does it as standard. 

Buddy breast fed very well even though he fed all the time. At 18 months I managed to get an appointment as we noticed he couldn't lick an ice-lolly properly and had excessive drooling. I was told to come back when he could speak cue coming back when he was 3 years old. However, my 'open' appointment was now closed and what a farce that was to get it re-opened. Eventually, I managed to get a pre-op assessment (its a simple procedure but he has to be put under) - this was postponed 3 times!!  So back I complained to the GP etc and managed to get an appointment on Christmas Eve no less. I was then bumped back to Speech Therapy where I had to phone for an appointment to get an appointment but not a formal appointment/ Cue the rage! I wrote a stonking letter to the hospital via the GP which, incidentally, is also as frustrated as me and recommended an appointment is made immediately. Well, finally today the speech therapist said she had no problem recommending him to have the procedure although she feels his speech is bad irrespective of the tongue tie but accepts his limited tongue movement. 

Some people say leave tongue ties alone. I say read the above! My son has poor speech, has a lisp, spits when talks, has such excessive saliva that his top looks like someone has drenched it with water and there are many time when I and others cannot understand him.  The only way to determine if a child is having speech problems because of his tongue tie is to CUT the tongue tie.

Until next time....