Be careful what you wish for

I think we are all guilty at times of making wishes. Big wishes and small wishes. Unrealistic hopes for a lottery win and more realistic desires for good weather have all featured in my day dreams. Earlier this year I shared my hopes and plans for this year. My Mom’s wedding was planned for early March and I said I hoped for either a snow filled day or one with lots of sunshine. Nothing in between. I guess you could say that one of those came true. Snow. So much snow. It really is a case of be careful what you wish for!


Be careful what you wish for

Snow covered landscape. Be careful what you wish for. It may unexpectedly come true in ways you hadn't imagined

Snowmageddon. The beast from the east. Whatever you want to call it, it certainly put a dampener on my spirits last week. The children were all off school and I was frantically trying to find the time for last minute wedding prep and falling short. We had over a foot of snow and I was worried we would not be able to make the 90 mile trip to the venue. I worked myself into quite a panic, knowing I would not be able to forgive myself if we couldn’t attend.

Thankfully Mr M is good at driving in adverse weather conditions and we made it in one piece. Sadly it meant that we could not have any photos taken outside and no group photos taken at all. Never the less it was a beautiful day and despite lack of photographic evidence it will be a day we don’t forget (for more reasons than one)

The wished for snow had another unexpected side effect. Our boiler broke down due to a frozen pipe causing a leak. Our newly painted dining room ceiling now has a large water mark and we were without heating as it dried out. Thank goodness for the log burner, which saved our bacon!

Hoping for a bit of help

Mr M post surgery. Be careful what you wish for!I have been struggling physically with the school runs of late. My hip joint throbs and feels so heavy that it is a huge effort to put one foot on front of the other. How I wished for some help with the school run. On Wednesday I got that help. In a most unexpected way. Mr M had to have a minor surgery on his hand and is now off work for the next 6 weeks. So, I don’t have to do the school run until he is back to work.

I quite like my own space during the day so am not sure how this will pan out. It’s great that he will be able to do the school run but on the other hand I foresee 6 weeks of watching Storage Hunters sending me slowly insane!


So, that’s our week. My wishes came true. “Lucky you” you might think but it didn’t pan out as I had hoped. You really should be careful what you wish for!

Have you ever had a wish come true in an unexpected way?

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Word of the Week


Welcome to the weekend

Random thoughts on the passing of time

It’s been a funny old week and my thoughts have often drifted to the subject of the passing of time. After the longest January in the history of the universe, February is passing in the blink of an eye. Time is such a funny concept. We spend years wishing it away, wanting to grow up and become an adult. Then when our wish comes true we want it to slow down, so we can savour every moment. It seems almost cruel that the best moments happen too quickly and the worst pass in slow motion. I wish we could have a life clock so we could rewind, pause or fast forward life as appropriate. Wouldn’t that be the best invention ever!

Hourglass in the sand. Thoughts on the passing of timePhoto by Uroš Jovičić on Unsplash

Random thoughts on the passing of time

Peanut went on her first sleepover this week. At the grand old age of 7. None of her siblings have done this at such a young age but she is much more sensible than they were at this age. Time is passing to quickly for my littlest lady. In many respects she is old beyond her years and I wish time would slow down and let her be a little girl for just a bit longer.

I realised that I have lost a week somewhere along the lines. There are now only 9 days until my moms wedding. I planned to make a jacket to wear to the service, which is probably overly ambitious since I’ve never made one before. Cue me frantically spending the last 2 days making toiles out of old duvet covers and nearly losing my mind in the process. I am desperately hoping that my last minute fabric order arrives quickly and that I can complete it in time.

OJ announced he is going to Kosovo with his friends later in the year. How is he old enough to go abroad by himself? Would they notice if I stowed away in his suitcase to ensure he was safe? The passing of time is hardest to bear when it involves our children I think. OJ isn’t even a child anymore but to me he always will be. It’s bittersweet to watch them spread their wings when your every instinct wants to clip them and keep them close by.

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back”                                                                 -Harvey McKay

Quick, quick, slow…

Whether time is passing too quickly or too slowly, there is one thing that is certain. It will pass. Things, events, people. We all change and move forward. Nothing and nobody stays the same forever. Nothing we do will halt the passage of time so maybe instead we should find a way to accept it?

How do you cope with the passage of time? Do you fight it or embrace it?


Linking in with:

Word of the Week


Weekend blog hop


Where are the realistic middle aged role models for women?

I am 44 tomorrow. To mark it I decided to  write a post about middle aged role models. I started to write but drew a blank. I could not think of a single middle age women who inspired me or who I admired. Where are they? Who are they? Where are the realistic middle aged role models for women?

Middle aged woman. Where are all the realistic middle aged role models for women?Photo by Greg Raines

I thought of Helen Mirren. She is a strong, independent women. Not afraid to speak her mind and still enjoying a successful career. She is stylish and attractive. However she is also 72. She is perhaps the next step for us middle aged ladies. Someone to aspire to be as we age but not someone we can relate to at this precise moment in our lives.

At the other end of the spectrum you are spoilt for choice. The Kardashians of this world command a huge following. The cast of reality tv shows endorse products and lead trends. Beautiful, wealthy young women share their life on Instagram. However none of these women ‘speak’ to me. I want to mother them and tell them to put on a coat before they catch a chill.

Searching for an image to accompany this post was very telling. There were plenty of pictures of ladies who were obviously still in their 20s. There were lots of pictures of women with heavily lined faces, obviously well past the first flush of youth. There was nothing in between. It appears to be socially acceptable to be a bright young thing or a fantastic older lady but during your middle age you vanish from society. Where are these women?

Why realistic middle aged role models for women?

I ask for realistic role models because it would be false to say that there are no middle age women in Hollywood and in the media. There are plenty but they are either in denial about their age or are not taken seriously.

The first category have had extensive surgery to retain their youthful looks. They look amazing but they don’t look like any genuine 40 something I have ever seen. I can totally understand why they do this in a bid to level the playing field with younger actresses and to continue to get interesting roles. However this alienates them from their peers. I cannot relate to someone whose face is frozen in time in a bid to look 20 years younger.

The second group of ladies are usually more realistic looking and good for them. However they end up being cast as the slightly overweight, funny best friend or being the butt of all the jokes. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see an middle aged woman with all her lines, lumps and bumps cast as a romantic lead?


What do I want to see?

I want to see women like me.

I want to see women who juggle family life and commitments.

Women with older children who suddenly find themselves with time to invest in their own well being.

Women with fantastic non-media based careers to inspire my girls.

Academic women pushing the boundaries.

I want to see people who are honest about the difficulties of having it all.

Women in clothes I would actually want to wear.

Honesty about the health issues that sadly affect us as we age.

Active women endorsing a  lifestyle we can actually achieve

Mostly I want to see ladies who accept their age and embrace it.


I consider myself to still be in my prime but the media seems to have other ideas. Is it too much to ask that we should be allowed to be honest about our age. Have you noticed elderly people on tv who get a round of applause for saying their age? What is this limbo land between 40 and your 60s where we are expected to meekly blend into the background until you can finally admit your age and be celebrated for it?

Being over 40 is not a dirty little secret we have to hide away from. Let’s celebrate it.

Let’s share our stories and become each others role models.


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Reflections on 2017 and planning ahead

Happy new year sign surrounded by fir branchesPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Hello and a belated happy new year! I had been all set to start the new year with a bang. However, in my post Christmas haze I totally lost track of the days and really struggled to get back into a routine. My start to the year has definitely been more of a slow fizzle than an explosion of activity! Now that I’ve finally got a grip on what day it is I think it would be a good idea to share my reflections on 2017 and what we plan for 2018.

Reflections on 2017

2017 written in firework sparklersPhoto by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

The children achieved so much this year but are growing up way too fast! Hormones abound. I need a self-filling fridge to keep up with their appetites and a larger dining table is now a priority to accommodate the random friends who appear at all hours.

My hip problems continue and I have been passed from pillar to post looking for answers. It has taken over 2 years to be referred to a specialist, who I saw this week. The proposed surgery I need is risky and could potentially make me worse so I have big decisions ahead. This year I was also hospitalised twice with post hysterectomy complications and underwent genetic testing for the BRCA1 gene. It has not been a great year health wise.

A large portion of the year was spent unexpectedly removing a dangerous chimney breast and renovating our bathroom. The end result is stunning but it really wasn’t the project we wanted to be doing; plans to convert the loft had to be delayed due to this work. We also finished a few smaller projects. Renovations seems never ending!

Despite everything we did get out and about a lot this year, making good use of out NT membership. It has been lovely to visit new places and explore different surroundings. The highlights for us were Apple Day and visiting Powis Castle

Plans for 2018

2018 written in firework sparklersPhoto by NordWood Themes

To a certain extent it will be more of the same. More days out, more home renovations, more time spent exploring our hobbies. If it isn’t broke why fix it?

Middle age spread had sadly become a concern for me. I am unable to do much exercise so I need to change my diet instead. It’s so unfair that you have to eat less to simply stay the same weight as you age. I am also still struggling to find a personal style, or even indeed any style. With that in mind I hope to make more of my own clothes this year, at least then I can guarantee a good fit!

I want to spend more time as a whole on my hobbies. My book case is brimming with novels waiting to be opened. My sewing to-do list is ever expanding and my vegetable patch is standing barren, waiting for me to get into gear. I think sharing a monthly update on my craft projects and my gardening endeavors will help to make me accountable for my time and give me something positive to focus on.

I am aware I need to spend time on my mental health this year. Last year I struggled so much with my lack of mobility and ever increasing pain levels. Whilst not depressed, I was very low for a good portion of the time. I felt flat and had very little to say. I feel that the fog is lifting now but it is something I have to work on rather than waiting for things to change on their own.

The big event for the year will be my Mom’s wedding in early March. She is still battling ovarian cancer so this is a much needed chink of sunshine for us to look forward to. Hopefully the great British weather will either give us a wonderful snow filled day or one brimming with sunshine. Nothing in between will be acceptable!

Bring it on 2018!

So there it is. A few reflections on 2017 and a snippet of what we plan for 2018. I am sure that with a little positive thought and a lot of hard work we can make 2018 a wonderful year!

What are your plans for 2018?


Linking in with

Word of the Week – The Reading Residence

PoCoLo – Life at139a/Morgan’s Milieu


Hello Autumn!

Today marks the autumn equinox and is the official start of autumn! The season has been turning for a few weeks but I am still rather excited that it is official now. Autumn is my absolute favourite season. I love the colours, the smells, the textures and the whole atmosphere of this time of year.

Autumn leaves via UnspalshPhoto by kazuend on Unsplash

Summer and me have never really got along. I burn so easily I spend most of the time avoiding the sunshine and don’t ever really feel wholly relaxed. Autumn though is a different matter. I can go outside for longer than 10 minutes without an inch thick layer of sun screen. I can jump up and down in puddles and crunch in luscious fallen leaves.  Sitting by the log burner, munching on crumpets, becomes part of the everyday routine. Fragrant candles fill the air with beautiful scents. It is a delight from start to finish.

Hello Autumn! I love you

A handful of conkers. Collecting them is an autumn ritual

Autumn activities

We have been busy this week planning autumn activities for the weeks ahead. Our list is not complete by any means, but so far we have included;

  • apple pressing
  • collecting conkers, acorns and fir cones
  • picking and carving pumpkins
  • a spooky forest walk
  • making stews and hearty soups in the slow cooker
  • splashing in muddy puddles
  • watch a firework display
  • make our own candles
  • toast crumpets and marshmallows on an open fire

Autumn crafts

I don’t know about you but the crafting I do seems to change with the seasons. Sewing, card making and yarn crafts seem much more appealing as the nights draw in. I started to teach myself to crochet earlier in the year but put it to one side with the warmer weather. Now though, I am back at it and find it relaxing to crochet in the evenings. It was probably an error to think that a huge blanket would be a good first project, but I am going to crack on with it and then try a few smaller projects.

a crocheted multicolour blanket, an ideal autumn projectA labour of love

I think some crocheted leaf garlands will look amazing draped across our fireplace. Junior has also requested a beanie hat, so my hook will be very busy! I mistakenly bought some fabric (yeah right) that I plan to make a cosy cardy with and I may even make a few Christmas gifts. It’s going to be all go for the next few weeks. The change in weather has really rejuvenated me. How about you? Are you excited for the change of seasons?

What are your plans for autumn?

Getting back into a routine after the summer holidays

Well hello there! It’s been a while since I updated. To be frank, the summer holidays were bedlam and social media as a whole was abandoned as I tended to issues on the home front. Yesterday the kids were all finally back at school and this morning Mr M returned to work. Sighs of relief all round from me! Now my thoughts are turning towards getting back into a routine.

What’s been happening?

I’m not going to go into great detail but we experienced 2 personal losses at the start of the holidays that knocked us for 6. We’ve spent the time licking our wounds and healing our heavy hearts.

On a personal level I received some not great health news. The advice I’ve received has been contradictory and the hospital I’ve been referred to doesn’t even do the surgery I need. It’s all a bit of a mess and very confusing. I shall go into this in more detail when the issues are clearer.

Our plans for the summer haven’t all been accomplished but we’ve had a good bash at it and a week in Wales lifted all our spirits. We attended a wonderful family wedding and also discovered we are expecting a new member of the family. Life is changing a lot at the moment.

Orange and red flowers with a bokeh background.  I couldn’t find a photo to illustrate the post, so here’s a beautiful flower instead!

Getting back into a routine

I don’t know about you but everything goes to pot over the summer holidays. Personal issues aside, all routine has gone out of the window. None of my kids are early risers and breakfast has turned into brunch. Bedtimes have been all over the place and my usual routine has gone completely out of the window. I’ve not known what day it is most of the time. My confusion was compounded when Mr M took almost 3 weeks off work. He really does try to help around the house but usually ends up making more work for me. Or he does half a job, gets distracted and moves onto something else. It’s like having a giant, enthusiastic toddler helping you.

Future plans

Now that I am getting back into gear I have lots of plans for the rest of the year. On the home front we have to put a few finishing touches to Bobbin’s bedroom renovation. Most of our efforts will be concentrated on splitting our large lounge into 2 reception rooms. I hope to have this finished by Christmas and if time allows I want to sneak in a mini hallway makeover. I am nothing if not optimistic.

Health-wise we are all on a healthy eating kick (the kids are less on board with this than the adults). Lack of mobility has seen me piling on the pounds which I hope to rectify. I hope to cover this and trying to find a personal style in future posts. What do slightly chubby over 40 year olds, without a huge budget wear I ask you?

In strange but true news OJ’s Dad has been doing their family tree and discovered that his great-great Grandad was one of the original Peaky Blinders! He is thrilled with his minor claim to fame and it has prompted me to get back onto to see if I can find my own infamous relative.


So that’s enough waffling for now! It’s nice to be back and to get back into gear. After a busy summer are you looking forward to getting back into a routine too?

Plans for the summer

In just a few days the children break up for the summer holidays. The last few years have seen quite poor weather that has prevented us from making the most of our break. This year though, wow, the sun is well and truly out. It has really lifted my spirits and I am excited to spend time doing fun things together as a family rather than being stuck inside, with everyone glued to their phones, lamenting the never ending rain. With that in mind I have made a list of our plans for the summer in the hope that we can make the most of the glorious weather.

Our plans for the summer

We plan to visit Bosworth water trust as part of our plans for the summer

Out and about…

  • Go on holiday! I’m really looking forward to this because it may be the last family holiday we take with OJ, who is 19 and getting too cool to do things like this with his folks now!
  • Use our National Trust card. Membership of the National Trust is a really cost effective way of visiting their properties and it always makes for a fun family day out.
  • Visit Bosworth water park  in Warwickshire. They have great man made beaches. It’s a wonderful way to spend the day ‘at the beach’ without having to travel to the actual seaside.
  • Go to the zoo or a Sea Life centre. Peanut recently went on a school trip to the zoo and had a blast. I want in on the action, why should the kids have all the fun?

Closer to home…

  • Play tennis and basket ball. We have courts that are free to use at the bottom of the road and it would be a shame not to utilise them.
  • Fun in the garden. I’d like to get some new garden toys and really make the most of the space we have.
  • Ride our bikes. If I can get hold of a bike basket we can go on a picnic too.
  • Have a water fight. Because that’s what summer’s all about, am I right?

Just in case…

because let’s face it we cannot rely on the great British weather!


  • Make a stop motion video. Junior makes great stop motion videos and I think it would be cool if he could teach me and we can work on them together.
  • Go to the cinema. There’s some great films out at the moment that we’d all like to see.
  • Take a family photo. I’ve lots of pictures of the kids individually or in groups of two but very few of all four together. Bribery may have to be used to achieve this.
  • Go to Ikea. A strange one this but the kids love a trip to Ikea. They love the room set ups and go giddy at the kitchen storage solutions. And meatballs. Worth a trip in itself for those I think.


I hope that we get to accomplish most, if not all, of the things on this list. If we do it will surely be a wonderful summer and we will make some fantastic memories to look back on when the weather undoubtedly changes!

What are your plans for the summer?

My word of the week is plans