Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A personal letter to me

South African sunset

I received this wonderful letter from a Christian friend of mine, A.
During times of trials and uncertainty, having friends, true friends, is so crucial. Not all my good pals are Christians, or have the same beliefs as me, but they care for me and love me, as I do them, and this transcends everything. But to have a close Christian friend means the world to me, as we look to the same Father and Word.

The letter
The day I wrote my email to you I went off to church and thought of you all the

way through our wonderful pastors sermon who seemed to be talking exactly with
you in mind!

I would say the biggest thing is seeing/believing/understanding the awesomeness
of God/that is God - feel a bit teary thinking about it - He is almighty and
awesome - our Creator - and they are more than just names we give Him - those
names are like verbs as well - understanding to the depth that He is - that He
is Sovereign - he cares and is with us to the littlest things - and in my walk
with Him Ive been flabbergasted that He seems to be get involved in the tiniest
little things to show and teach that He is here with us individually and knows
and cares and sees to not just the big things - but those littlest things that
are us - when we are told in His word he knows what we need before we even ask -
he knows what we need in what we want and what we think about and care about
desire - our desires are His desires and its intertwined with His desires are
our desires - we when we are close and get closer and closer to Him what we are
wanting is what He is wanting and He cares to plant it to complex and yet so

And as so cutting and awful as it can be to be told in the world something that
cuts at what is your and Lances deep desires - remember the Lord who knows and
cares and is and is the Creator of all of so much amazement and wonder - things
that man cant create - the littlest thing - look down way at the bottom of deep
oceans the beauty down there - He cares about beauty and creating those things
down there - for His pleasure I really bet! He gets pleasure from His creation -
His design - and He gets pleasure from relationships with us and being our Lord
and being our answer and being the helper in our crises and our needs and our

He sustained me in the amazing situations. I can never ever say now hes not
amazing in what He does and wants to do - He is the fairy godmother that those
out there who dont know Him keep wishing for - so keep seeking Him for your
answers and your guidance and your counsel - He of course keeps blessing us
people who come into our lives at the right time and so on, because a
relationship with the Lord is an active and dynamic one - but He has the answers
for the way He wants you to go - He has plans and purposes for you and me -
plans to do us good and not harm. he puts desires in us for reasons. not to
hurt us and let us down. He is indeed a truly and amazingly good and wonderful
God - like any relationship the more we get to know Him and the more we want to
know Him and more opportunities we take to be involved with Him we will get
closer and closer.

So have a wonderful time back home, and yes a gift from God for sure to be
blessed with a strong marriage - but also a 3 stranded cord is hard to break -
hes that 3rd cord that gives that strength I believe that verse is telling us -
and enjoy being home with your Mum and your family - but do keep asking the
for His guidance and his desires and plans for you guys and trust him that
answers will be the best answers and the right answers as He knows you
the best
that anyone possibly can!

Also the verse 'not to put our trust in man' - I believe this is where we cant
get our final answers from man - its the Lord the final answers come from - He
can do anything He wants to do!

So do have a wonderful time back home - and yes I will feel very privileged if
you have a toast to me too tomorrow night! and I will keep praying for you both

xxx And all the Lords blessings and peace and joy in the wonderful Holy Spirit
who is our helpmate in our wonderful bodies that are temples of the Holy spirit
with you both in the times ahead!!


Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Tin, clay, porcelain, wood, glass, wire

My Christmas tree decorations!
They come in all shapes and sizes and colours, and hail from England and the United States. I have collected them on our travels, always looking for clever crafty ones, not kitsch or too garish. I never did this in South Africa, but will start doing so when I return.

Christmas tree decoration

Tin Santa present to me from my sister - not sure if she got this in the UK or SA... hmmm

Christmas tree decoration

Christmas tree decoration

Christmas tree decoration

Wooden star and clay Santa and Angel from The National Trust Shop (we are members of the National Trust) Painshill Park, London

Christmas tree decoration

Present to us from sis in law and brother in the States (NC), which their church gave out to their members on Christmas Day. A very special baubel!

Christmas tree decoration

Ice skates from the United States (NC)

Christmas tree decoration

Snowman from New York, The United States... a teeny tiny little Christmas shop on 7th Avenue, across the road from our hotel. What do they sell the rest of the year I wonder? Same things, for the tourists, as The Christmas Shop in Stratford-upon-Avon does?

Christmas tree decoration

Tin animals from The Pier, England. Sadly, it looks like this retail chain is going to be the latest in the retail collapses in the UK. How very sad... they have Morroccan and Middle Easter type ornaments, linen, glassware, candles etc. where we have bought many frames, our crockery etc.

Christmas tree decoration

Christmas tree decoration

Porcelain figurines from Stratford-upon-Avon, England. This Christmas Shop is literally across the pedestrian road from Shakespeare's birthplace. What a stunning shop - I could have bought so much more... but I restrained myself!!!

Christmas tree decoration

Star of the tree, from The Pier, England. Crafty and different = appeals to me!

Christmas tree decoration

Nativity from ebay UK, rustic and something different.

Christmas tree decoration

Variety... all from England - Painshill Park, The Pier shop

Christmas tree decoration

From the The Pier shop, England

Christmas tree decoration

Wooden reindeer from the United States (NC), the Cracker Barrel to be exact! We had breakfast thereafter! We enjoyed the breakfast, except for the grit, which I am given to understand is an American thing. Well, as the English can keep their brussel sprouts, so can the Americans keep their grit. hehe

Sunday, 28 December 2008

A message from Toasty :)

Below is a message from Toasty... and I had to post it here, it is so very special!!!
Thank you Toasty x

Thank you for your Christmas message to me. It was wonderful watching your children laugh (and one wondering "What's going on with THEM?") and watch for Santa's arrival. May your life and the lives of your loved ones be richly blessed this Christmas and throughout the New Year, and your visit to South Africa be a warm and blessed one.

Here is my Christmas gift to you. It is something that I wrote several years ago. I call it "Seeing with clarity".

• Trust God.
• Learn to love the world.
• Every life has a story, every story is important.
• Don’t judge others, love them.
• Don’t try to be profound, just be true.
• Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
• There are no ordinary people, there are only extraordinary ones.
• Remember to laugh and to see humor in everyday things.
• Be a servant.

Blessing and peace to you all,
George Polley (Toasty)

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

(This new adaptation is by Casting Crowns)

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing
Like a choir they're singing
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing
Like a choir singing
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they're ringing
Like a choir they're singing
And with our hearts we'll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they're ringing?
The life the angels singing
Open up your heart and hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men

Saturday, 27 December 2008


What was your weirdest/oddest/funniest Christmas pressie?

Mine was elephant poo! Yes, you read that right... I can make paper with it, but don't quite have the setup I used to... so it'll remain safe in it's lil (brown) box. For now.

What was yours?

Friday, 26 December 2008

The unwrapping of Christmas

On Christmas Eve we had a quiet and restful evening together, with a (rather large) plate of crackers, thinly sliced salmon and a variety of cheeses; Brie, Philly, smoked Bavarian, cranberry cheeses. Oh, and the obligatory bottle of wine of course! We toasted absent family and friends and listened to Nat King Cole's Christmas CD.

Usually we are at the Christmas tree (no, we dont have kids, this is us.. two grown ADULTS!haha) by 5am, tearing through our gifts. I think we grew up this year. We lazed in bed, had a coffee and a waffle... then nonchalantly opened some gifts. I got a lovely beaten leather handbag, a couple of BBC period drama DVDs (bless my husband he knows how much I love them!) and a super soft flowery towel. Hubby got a remote control aeroplane, a Choclate Shop chocolate in the shape of a greek god, with 'My Hero' on it... corny I know, but hey! He also got some old war DVDs and a brown leather wallet.

We had a lovely, festive Christmas lunch with my sister in law and husband in Kent. It was a cold drive but a warm welcome. Starters were smoked trout, prawns and cold salad. We kept room for the main course of gammon, lamb with mint sauce, carrots, pumpkin, turkey stuffing (although no turkey, which suited me down to the ground), potato with gravy, yorkshire pudding and of course, the very English tradition of brussel sprouts! Ugh, not something I personally enjoy and I left it (I only took one!) on the plate... I ate a tiny bit, promise!

Pudding was traditional pudding with piping hot brandy custard. This was particularly tasty! After dinner it was pressie time - and then we said our goodbyes. All-in-all a superb day, chilled and relaxed with good food, wine and company. We do not see my sister in law very often so it's a special treat to see her.

We got to chat to family in South Africa and United States which was lovely as usual. I miss my family so much and over birthdays and Christmasses this becomes particularly hard. We happily only have one more Christmas in the UK and then we will be back in South Africa. The last cold Christmas.

Today we awoke late and pottered around in our pjs and furry slippers (okay, that was me in the slippers!). Lance made a tasty gammon with swede mash and tomato basil rice for a late lunch, with some Chilean wine. We did loads of laundry and started packing for our holiday! Only 6 days to go! Got the malaria tablets, sunscreen and fishing gear, camera equipment, pressies for family and board games... the important stuff!!!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

*The reason for the season*

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

What a funny joke!

A joke some did not get...

Our Christmas Nativity!

Watching out for Santa's sleigh...

Oh I do hope you all have a joyful and fun Christmas, where your bellies will be full and your hearts warm with loved ones around you. My heart goes out to those that might be spending it alone, in the cold, hungry. Please do spare a thought (and a prayer) for those millions less fortunate than ourselves. At this time we remember God's greatest gift to us, of His son, Jesus. Jesus has brought so much to my life, and my family's.

Friday, 19 December 2008

A blogger called Toasty

I have started following a lovely blog by Toasty today.

His personal blog is about 'commentary on life, popular culture, the news, politics, politicians, religion, language, violence, nihilism, environmental issues, and whatever else happens to cross my desk, screen, and life at any moment. I will also list my favorite books.'

I particularly enjoyed a post about a program he and his wife watched on the telly, about a war-time story he saw on Japanese TV. You can read it here.

My comment on his post is below. I have pasted it here as this post really made me THINK. Not just chuckle or wryly smile as so many other blog posts do, but really made me think. Digest what I was reading. I'll be back for more Toasty, thank you!

'Toasty, what a moving post.

My husband was in the South African army (one of their last conscripted youths in the late 80s), and the stories he has told me are blood curling and chill me to the bone. Seeing people set on fire with a tyre full of petrol round their neck all those years ago remains with him today - the images and the screams... oh the screams... He is a dear man, my gentle and faithful partner, and has been through things no wo/man should. Humankind is so inherently wicked so often.

It's stories like this in your post that remind us that we are all human, we are all real and that we all matter... no matter what background, creed, religion or race we are. Our hearts all beat the same beat, our eyes cry the same tears, our lips crack the same smiles.

Thanks too for your lovely comment on my Christmas post. My hubby took me out for an all English breakfast in the local Wimbledon Village this am and all the shops are busy (even with the credit crunch surprisingly), for me Christmas is all about family and Jesus.

Take care, God bless, and have a wonderful Christmas Mr and Mrs Toasty!'

Monday, 15 December 2008

Christmas time in London

This has been one busy month thus far!

As family leave London early for sunny shores down south, we have started Christmas early with Christmas celebrations - a family lunch, 2 dinners, a ball, and a couple of kids parties. We will be having Christmas in Kent and then head to South Africa for a belated Christmas the first 2 weeks in January, in the Drakensberg Mountains, with family, then onto Mpumalanga and Johannesburg for a week and a half. Will add photos as and when it all happens!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Catch up of the week!

We went to my Annual Childminding Borough Ball last Thursday and they presented me (and 2 others in the borough) with a HUGE bunch of flowers for getting the top grading this year at our OFSTED inspection. Was a big surprise (altho Lance knew about it, cheeky boy!), and a lovely evening.

They put on this dinner dance annually as a thank you for the hard work the childminders do for the kids in the borough. We are like mini nurseries anyway, doing the same paperwork, curriculum etc. that nurseries do, just within the home setting. The Early Years team recognises this and appreciates us... which makes the job all the better!

Baby stuff
We have been busy busy our side making appts and are seeing a fertility specialist in Johannesburg in January... interested to see how that goes!!! We have heard back from a couple of Spanish fertility clinics, but are trying South African
fertility clinics first. It makes practical sense as we will be holidaying there next month.

The heavy meds I am on are having certain side effects.. and one of the things I have with them is being a scatterbrain and you need to repeat yourself a couple times sometimes! I also get tired easily. There are worse side effects though (like going blind!), so I think I am doing okay. But rather that and being able to breathe... they are also adding on the pounds tho, which is upsetting! I do hope I'll be able to only be on the two inhalers and not the steroid tablets when we return to South Africa.

Work in South Africa when we return
I have had strong interest this week in supplying my handmade paper products to a couple of retailers in Johannesburg. I used to have a product design company in Cape Town and we supplied hotels, retail chains, owner shops, did wedding stationery etc.

This closed when we emigrated to England.

Now I had two inquiries, which is exciting as I am glad they love what I did, but I am unable to start providing them with products now, will have to be in 2010 earliest! When we have returned to South Africa.

I have used up all my stock a long time ago, so cannot show actual products to the two potential buyers - but can show pictures of course in January - it's worth talking about now, even though at an early stage.

I am far too busy with my childminding and design freelancing to even fairly contemplate any more work now anyway. I have also been asked by the borough Early Years head to run workshops in the New Year for prospective childminders (at £25 an hour... not a bad idea!), and I am so passionate about it I would love to give this a go. Would be on Saturdays.

Having said that, I am keen to get going when we return to South Africa - 2010 is not far away... We will ensure we have premisis for a decent-sized studio for me, and I could make the paper, then the cards, crackers, invites etc. I am not keen to have a factory and all the staff like I did before tbh, but working from my own premisis and with a couple of helpers during busy times is fine.

I will not supply chain stores again due to the high quantity (and veeeery low prices!) needed, but it would be super to have some consistent clients like the two aforementioned - offering them a variety of quality products within the same product range. This would also lend them exclusivity in the area. They could then also add my wedding stationery to the wedding services they already offer.

So, I will just explain that we will have to wait a bit. We need to do this properly. At least they know the products are good quality (SA Woolworths quality!), can be customised etc. and will be LOCAL!

I am also keen to start a little (maybe even half day only - will see what the need is) playgroup with a few kiddies. I am passionate about kids and paper and design and would love to have a good mix of both... much like I do now - childminding and freelancing - but a tad differently of course! I miss working with my hands and creating different papers. We are also keen to have some kind of self catering business... so lots on the cards, just not too sure how it'll pan out.

At least we know the area we will return to live in in South Africa - somewhere where nether of us have lived before, or have family, and will explore it a lot more in January - we have been keeping a good eye on house and farm prices and like so many, so are confident we'll find one that suits our needs. We will have to buy one in 2010, prior to our return. Would be great if I have a few orders to already start when we move out there!!!

Exciting stuff!

What does the future hold for you do you think?
What plans have you got?
Do you live life on a 'wing and a prayer'?

Friday, 5 December 2008

Baby P

Here are 2 lovely poems, a song on video and a tribute video - all written for Baby P... this little lad and his frightful plight has touched the hearts of many... what happened to him by his own mother and her two male cohorts was horrendous, and should have been stopped, and could have been stopped had care been adequate... especially as the local authorities knew about it! Now it's too late. Heads have rolled and are rolling... justice is being served... but that won't bring this darling lil boy back.

It Shouldn't Happen Here.

He didn't have a voice,
To say I'm hurting.
His tears of pain ignored,
By those to deaf to hear.

Now a little child's spirit,
Is like a silent shadow moving,
For his tormentors souls,
The fires of hell are burning.

We all feel guilty now,
We could not do something,
But we share the pain you felt,
In every paper we are reading.

Every single cut that bled,
Every single tear you shed,
Every single punch you felt,
It shouldn't happen here.

Poet: Martin McGregor


It is March 1st 2006 and a precious gift arrives on Earth
So perfect, so handsome, unaware of his worth
He stares around in wonder, at this world he now calls home
‘I’m safe with those who love me, I will never be alone…’

But as months pass, he wonders at life, much harder than he thought
‘Why am I being hurt again, is everything my fault?’
‘I thought these people in my life were here to comfort me’
‘But once again I’m all alone, no help arrives for me’

‘Is this what life is always like, why have I not been saved?
‘I’m feeling quite unsure right now but know I can be brave’
‘Why do they not hear me when I scream out for some love?’
‘Maybe I’ll feel happier with someone up above’

‘I will close my tired eyes now and wish goodnight to Earth’
‘I know there’s somewhere happier where people know my worth’.
‘So please do not feel sad for me, as I move to my new life’
‘The angels have come to save me and to take away my strife’.

‘Their hands are warm and comforting, their hugs make me feel bright’
‘Please don’t forget to wave at me, when you watch the stars at night’
‘I feel at peace, and happy, I’m smiling every day’
‘The angels make me giggle as we run around and play’

‘So happy I am here now where all the angels sing’
‘They make me feel protected, sheltered by their wings’
‘I wake up every morning with a smile upon my face,
‘So pleased that I was taken to this kind and magic place’

‘So happy you all care for me, knew not much love before’
‘I feel so warm and special now I’m loved for ever more’

Poet: Lynne Killick

Tribute song for Baby P - "God Called You Home"

The singer writes: ''My tribute to Baby P - If anyone knows who the author of the poem God's Garden is, please let me know. I dedicate the music I wrote to the memory of Baby P, who was let down by everyone during the course of his short and painful life...''

The second video is a tribute to this lil boy x

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Oi vey...

Well the parent in question was hugely apologetic when she saw me - I think she realised she was being unfair and having a hissy fit over nudda - nothing!

She told me she will have to have a 'frugal Christmas' (her exact words) as she is paying me 1 day holiday pay - I told her pay them both later in the year, but she said she'd pay 1 day now, 1 later... I am sorry, but she cannot have a frugal Christmas because of £50? Plus the guilt trip hasn't worked.

I am glad I stayed calm and didn't react, but responded.

Monday, 1 December 2008

... and so it continues...

Well tonight I got a loooong email from her again - hubby saw it first, and is shocked by how pathetic she is being, she is having a fit... and is complaining about me being off (am I not allowed a holiday?), the fact she has to pay me two days paid leave annually, the fact I get paid in advance not arrears... etc... you name it, she's complaining about it.

The LAST thing I will do is go on the defensive and justify why I charge what I do and when etc. It's my business, and she either likes it (she did happily sign her contract 6 months ago) or will have to lump it... if she forgets what's in her contract or doesn't read her newsletters then it's her own fault. This lady has given me much grief over the months and it's always her, never the other parents.

My reply to her essay will be:

'Thanks for the email. Your invoice is below...' No heartstring stuff for me. The kids today behaved better than she is imho.

There's always one eh?

Uh, read your contract?

Do y'all remember my ''Oops, sorry, we are in Spain!'' post from October?

I cannot believe this - I emailed December and January invoices, as I am leaving for South Africa first thing 1st Jan so won't be around for any possible queries. I invoiced 2 holiday days as per contract ...

I get a reply... ''You are going on holiday??? This puts me in a right pickle as I need care for XYZ in January as per usual''

I forward her the long newsletter I emailed parents on 1st September, writing about new toddler group opening close by, OFSTED inspection, new wristbands etc. including MY HOLIDAY DATES from 1 Jan to 26 Jan 2009.

Her reply... ''oh well that's too far back to remember.. now how am I supposed to pay you for days when you arent caring for XYZ, and I cannot work that day as I have to care for XYZ?''

Uh, read your contract? You signed up to pay me 2 days holiday per year.

You know, my communication with my mindee parents is excellent. And she is the only one who ever takes the p... like last Thurs when she arrived half an hour late, but then fetched him half an hour late too... to make up the time...!!!!??? How can she just think it okay to elongate my working day willy nilly???

I have our borough's Childminding Christmas Dinner Dance this Thursday evening... and am worried she will do this again to me...

I had better email her and remind her about her contracted hours.. and that she cannot just play with my working hours because she is late!!! But I had better write this email when I have calmed dooooown

*deep breaths*

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

2008 and 2009 New Year's Eves

2009 New Year's Eve will be hubby and I and a bottle of wine.... Christmas Day is with his sister and hubby in Kent, England. New Year's Eve will be an early one this year as we fly out early on the 1st Jan to South Africa for nearly a month!

We will have belated sunny Christmas and mum's 60th in the mountains and Kruger National park - absolute bliss.

Kruger National Park by you.

South Africa wildlife photos

2008 New Year's Eve we arrived in New York City ON the evening (madness!), really struggled to get to our hotel (btwn Times Square and Central park), and it was a tad noisier than it will be this year ;)

NYC-Empire State-0009 by you.

Central Park, New York by you.

New York-0236 by you.

New York-0349 by you.

Our New York photos

What were you up to 2008 and what will you be up to 2009 Christmas and New Year's Eve?

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Christmas giving

It's 1 month till Christmas - this got me thinking about what we, as kids, did on Christmas Day.

Growing up we would go to an inner city hospital after church on Christmas Day, to take pressies for those who had no family visit them on Christmas Day. They were too sick to go home.

We especially used to go to the terminal ward for children - there's nothing more special than seeing a child give a broad smile and hold your hand, even though they don't know you. How special is that? We sang with the kids and helped make their Christmas special.

I was a child myself at the time... and this meant the world to me!

My friends at school thought it weird and felt sorry for me, saying ''You must have had a horrible Christmas Jenny'' - where the reverse was actually true.

Anyway, the true gift at Christmas is Jesus - not pressies... and so to bring a bit of joy and laughter into a hospital ward on a bright Christmas Day is probably the best present we could have brought them.

I am so glad I have a mum who brought us up this way as this view of people and their needs has gone with me into adulthood in a huge way.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Anyone seen my 30 quid?

Were you walking down the lane by the park today? Did you happen to see the gorgeous lass with a bright red buggy at the cash machine? Did you see her having a blonde (she is a redhead!) moment and walking away from the machine, CASHLESS???

If so, you saw ME!

My next question to you then is... ''Did you take my money??''

Gosh, how ditzy (thick!!!) can one get? I'll tell you what swayed my attention away from what I was doing though.. I saw a friend of mine with her child a little way off.. yelled... ''Sian!'' and then hurriedly yanked my bank card out the machine (thank goodness I remembered to do this!), grabbed the baby (thank goodness I remembered to do THIS too!), and walked over to her, well, galloped really. I haven't seen her for a while and wanted a natter!

An expensive natter it turned out to be!

We chatted about this and that, upcoming Christmas parties etc...

''Jen, I am making fairycakes for the toddler group Christmas party on the 17th, what are you making?''

''Hmmm Sian, I hadn't given it much thought to be honest (small things like asthma attacks and hospitalisations being on my mind more!!!), but maybe I should make a healthy platter of carrot batons - julian style - with tomato and cucumber, with dips''

''Oh yes Jen, that is a good idea! And if the kids don't eat them (and we all know that most won't...), we can!''

So there it was. Christmas party goodies sorted.

I still hadn't realised I had £30 missing from my wallet!

I say my goodbyes and saunter into the fruit and veg shop. I did not have my two little helpers (2 and 3 year old mindees that LOVE helping me shop), so had to carry everything to the counter.

I wave hello to the lil one in the buggy. Big smiles.

I chat amicably with the fruit and veg lady ''Where is your hubby today?''

''Here I am!'' comes the gruff reply from behind the semi-closed door. ''Where are your helpers today?'

''With nana and grandad'' I reply. ''They'll be back tomorrow.''

All the while, fruit and veg lady is totting up my goodies. ''£22.80 please.''

I take out my wallet, calmly open the zip, wave to the lil one again, then look in the side pocket, then look in my handbag... maybe I put it there??? My movements are becoming a tad more frantic.

There is no money. I freeze. Where? How? Oh!!!!

''I think I left themoney in the cash machine, I will be back in 2 minutes!''

I run out the store, veer to the right and head straight for the cashpoint, eyeing out everyone with suspision.

I arrive at the cash machine. It is empty. No surprise there!

My first thought is ''What do I tell hubby? Last night I told him we had a phone bill for £127 for phoning my mum abroad last month... and now this... aaaaaahhh!!!''

I might as well just donate all my salary to charity... at least then something worthwhile is being done with it.. and it is being handled responsibly!

The walk back to the fruit and veg shop was slower. I am not a happy bunny. I take out my card (yes, the card), and pay with it.

''Do I tell my husband?'' I ask the fruit and veg lady.

''No, don't. I never tell mine about my parking fines''. She grins.

What is the first thing I do when I get home? I phone my husband...

Did I tell him?

Sunday, 23 November 2008


Sorry, here with unhappy news again re ttc... hubby and I have been trying for 5 years to have a child, and the last year and a half have been having test after test, his final *test* was last month when he had a little operation. We found out on Thursday that it was not successful. So we will never have a biological child together.

We have always wanted a BIG family, a couple of our own and then adopt a couple of kids too, and now science has told us we have no choice... been crying loads, keen to adopt at some stage (far too stressful to go through all that now though), will check out the donor route in the meanwhile too... just feel all upside down and angry and fed up.

My hubby was reading stories to my 3 x 1 year olds (kids I mind) on Thursday afternoon when he got back from the hospital, and it was so hard to sit there watching him, I was fighting back the tears... he is a born daddy, an amazing man... and this has been denied him. Denied us.

Why do so many people have kids so easily and don't care for them properly and others battle SO much??? We have a solid marriage and a loving home. I have always longed to have a child, and when I met my husband, that longing only increased, knowing what a dad he would be. I don't have words anymore, just tears.

I know it'll get better with time, but right now I cannot see past tomorrow. I also have a husband who is dealing with much guilt, and I am trying to be strong for him and have told him over and over it's not his problem, it's ours, and that we will be parents one day. But it won't have curls and specs... like ours invariably would. Right now, we cannot get past that.

I am a firm Christian and do know God performs miracles, and am praying for one, but at this stage I am just seeing red and cannot stop crying. Adoption is also a miracle in itself, I know how very very special it is... but at the moment we are both grieving for our children that will never be.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

''Spud and beans ma'am?''

I have to say I LOVE travelling, but the novelty and excitement of airports is long gone!!!

We always fly with Virgin for our longhaul flights and on our very first flight with them they ran out of food!!!! We were on a direct overnight flight from London to South Africa (11 hours!) and we could hear the steward telling those in front of us ''sorry ma'am, we only have 2 of the 3 choices left now...'' and didn't think much of it tbh.

But, when they got to us they said ''we have run out of food, we are so sorry! But we can offer you a spud with beans, the steward food. Plus you can have free food from the snack counter all night (twas a night flight)''. (!!!)

We were NOT happy! I was dieting (no carbs!!!) and beans on a flight are a big no no for me haha. And I didn't want crisps and chocolate and *crap* to eat for 11 hours! So we were starving by the time we reached Joburg.

We were not charmed and thankfully every flight since with Virgin has been a good one. But seriously Richard (Branson), you do need to ensure your fridge is stocked properly dear lad!!!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Mistlefingers and Farmer Christmas...

As a woman who has tried to have a child of my own for many years, my mindees fill a special gap in my life that I cannot fully explain.

The kids literally fall through the (open!) door when they arrive and dive into my arms, do they never tire of me??? Their love is overwhelming... I love the tickles, the hugs, the knackered head on my shoulder, the little hand reaching for mine, watching them take their little starting steps and the pride when they have made their first poo in the potty at my place! Mums at my toddler group thought I was the kids' mum at first, till we got to chatting and they realised I wasn't... I do treat them as if they were my own, so easy mistake ;)

''What is mistlefingers used for?'' asks my inquisitive three year old...


''Farmer Christmas is going to bring you a Stanley train if you are good!''

hehe I got the hint! I chuckle so often over the funny little things they say when they start to talk, with mispronuniciation or not understanding the meaning... never a dull moment when you are dealing with adorable little sponges.

From a *high flying* and thankless corporate job, to being home as a childminder has meant the world to me. Wouldn't change it for anything... not for all the t in china.

Some refreshing Goodwill

'A charity shop in the US has returned £5,000 to a man who mistakenly donated the money with a pair of old shoes'

The story goes on to say how a new assistant found the money in the shoebox the shoes came with, turned it into Goodwill Charity management... they then had to track the owner down! Which they did! What a breath of fresh air to see that there ARE honest people in the world.. would you have turned the money in? ;)

Photo from article below

Monday, 17 November 2008

For all the childminders out there...


Pride & Prejudice: My all-time favourite!!!!!!!

Oh gosh, but isnt Colin Firth the MOST delectable Mr Darcy? I am a huge Pride and Prejudice fan, I really enjoy Jane Austen as an author generally, but think P&P was her masterpiece. Lance got me this poignant movie on our 1st year wedding anniversary, from Jane Austen's own home (now a museum) in Bath. The BBC version in 1995 is long but just fabulous, and I try and watch it every 3 months or so. Colin Firth is an amzaing Darcy, and Jennifer Ehle plays a becoming Elizabeth.