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Coughs and sniffles*

by RosieS on March 27, 2015

HELP - medical capsules

If the year was 1348 we’d have a red cross on our door right now warning people not to enter. We’ve been struck down with a particularly nasty strain of ‘the lurgy’. Some might call it man flu.

Not that anyone would be blogging about it in 1348. The fact I’m able to blog about our ailments – although I won’t go into the details, suffice to say we’re both coughing and spluttering most of the day and part of the night – is evidence that I’m on the mend, no longer too weak to lift finger to keyboard.

To be fair I was only stuck on the sofa with a temperature unable to move for a day. IJ has been bedridden for over a week.

But there are signs she is on the mend too. She’s started complaining of being bored. She’s starting to worry about the state of her unwashed hair. She’s passing comment on the general untidiness around the place.

That will be her first job when she’s better.

So really this is just an update for anyone querying the blogging silence.

Not that I do blog so much these days but it’s still nice to say hello once in a while.

My blog would start sulking and showing signs of grumpiness if I didn’t. And when you’ve got a pre-teen in the house you really don’t want to risk any more of that!

*Written a week ago and posted today now that normality has returned.

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Without you I …

by RosieS on March 13, 2015

Empty park bench

Life can be hard. Parenting can be hard. The pre-teen years in particular, I’ve discovered over the past couple of weeks, can seem like the toughest of all.

As a parent you’re on the outside looking in, and when your child is finding life difficult, it can leave you feeling totally helpless and unsure of where to turn. Their suffering becomes yours and it’s an exceptionally difficult time to live through.

But live through it we did and we’ve come out the other side. The onset of the teen years, I’m now all too aware, can cause mood swings, worry and confusion.

I’ve also discovered that the difficult patches don’t last forever and once you come out the other side, you’re a closer and stronger family unit for it.

It’s a case of continuing to put one foot in front of the other until the steps get easier and you regain your momentum. Next time we tread this path we’ll know we’ve travelled it before and we can support each other along it again. It will be easiest to navigate and hopefully not so long.

But it’s been a bigger journey for me. When the teen years are difficult it can be hard to be aware of how your struggles affect others – those on the outside looking in. So to my family and friends and everyone else who helped me through my own long, difficult years, thank you. Without you I wouldn’t be here.

If you haven’t seen it already Tesco have produced a lovely film for their #withoutyouI campaign. Five individuals share what their lives would have been like without the help of others – in this case the Tesco Mum of the Year winners.

It’s been created to celebrate the 81 exceptional women the Mum of the Year Awards has recognised over the last 10 years. The ending, in particular, is wonderful.

It’ll make you think about where we would all be without those certain people in our lives you have helped us in some capacity along the way.

It might leave you wanting to thank a few people …

I’m an official blogger of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards, who are this year celebrating 10 successful years. Find out more over on Tesco Living.

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Silent Sunday

by RosieS on February 22, 2015

Silent Sunday

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Caribbean colour

by RosieS on February 18, 2015

Mexican bar

Everything about these photos says colour. It’s a gorgeous bar called Fat Tuesday overlooking the port of Cozumel in Mexico.

Mexican bar Cozumel Mexico

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll have seen the top photo before. I was one of those people that bombards everyone with a stream of happy, sunny holiday shots during the school holidays. This was taken in October half term last year.

Mexican bar Cozumel Mexico

Just beyond the bar docked in the harbour is our cruise ship. We’d headed off to the Caribbean on a trip of a lifetime with Carnival Cruises, just IJ and I. It was as amazing as you can imagine.

You’ll be thrilled to know there are lots more photos of the Caribbean sunshine coming soon. In the meantime you can buy the Feb/Mar issue of Cruise Magazine and read all about it in there. The feature is called ‘Here Comes the Fun’.

Thanks to Tara for the prompt. This week’s photo gallery there is: colour.

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Sandra Howard: Charitable Mum of the Year

by RosieS on February 14, 2015

Sandra Howard Charitable Mum of the Year

It’s humbling and inspiring to read about individuals who do so much to help others as a direct result of the difficulties they’ve experienced in their own lives.

To use the knowledge and insight they’ve gained from their own struggles – when to an extent that means reliving difficult times - takes courage, strength and commitment. Not everyone could do it. I have huge respect for those who can and those who do.

One such person is Sandra Howard from Sheffield. Sandra has been providing help, support and advice to epilepsy suffers and their families through her charity Fable (For a Better Life with Epilepsy) for almost twenty years. Sandra’s son Gareth, now 35, had a stroke at birth and was diagnosed with epilepsy aged three.

Fable - Epilepsy charity

Gareth endured dangerous seizures throughout his childhood, with his condition deteriorating until Sandra heard about VNS therapy (vagus nerve stimulation) when he was a teenager. Following a period of intense fundraising Gareth underwent the procedure in 1995 and his life dramatically improved.

It was while fundraising for the treatment that Sandra came into contact with other parents like herself, struggling alone with no one to turn to. She launched Fable the year Gareth had his treatment, offering a lifeline to families and helping raise awareness of VNS. The charity has raised a staggering £3.5 million since it launched and offered invaluable help, hope and support to numerous families.

I’m delighted Sandra’s work is receiving recognition and being bought to our attention. Her commitment and dedication makes her extremely deserving of her Tesco Charitable Mum of the Year win. You can read more about Sandra’s story here

This year celebrates the 10th Mum of the Year Awards.  During that time Tesco has awarded over 80 ordinary mums, like Sandra, who have done extraordinary things for others.

Read more about the awards and their success over the last decade over on Tesco Living.

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Discovering Chessington with Merlin

January 13, 2015

Just before Christmas, Merlin (the entertainment group not the wizard) gave us complementary tickets to visit Chessington World of Adventures’ Winter Wonderland. We’re regular visitors to the theme park and even stayed in their Safari hotel last year for IJ’s birthday. (Here’s the view from our room). But we’d never visited in winter before when only a […]

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It’s going to be THAT year

January 5, 2015

Just five days into the New Year, I can tell. I can feel it in the air. It’s going to be THAT year. If you’ve got teenagers or pre-teens already, you’ll know the one. It’s the one where there’s an obvious shift in behaviour and attitude. The one where your child grows up, pushes the […]

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Travelling safely with GetTaxi and a discount code for first-time users

December 26, 2014

If you’ve ever attempted to negotiate the London Underground with a child and a heavy suitcase, on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, you’ll appreciate the relative luxury of travelling by taxi. That’s exactly what we did at the weekend thanks to some credits given to us by GetTaxi. It saved us […]

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Crafting with Craftmerrily

December 16, 2014

It won’t be a surprise to many to read that I have huge respect for small business owners. I’ve also a newfound appreciation of the level of time and commitment that goes into running one, particularly in the Internet age where you’re a click away from a competitor and those dominant ‘Internet giants’. So when […]

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The Photo Gallery: Christmas

December 10, 2014

Winter flowers for a Christmas wedding. Huge congratulations to my little sister who got married at the weekend and looked absolutely stunning. This week’s Photo Gallery theme is Christmas. Check out Tara’s blog for more entries.

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