Little Sparkles



There is little variety in my blog writing at present, I am in one of those periods when life takes over and at least little sparkles is a way to catch up on our past week.  I am writing down ideas for new blog posts its just finding time to write.  I was reading a professional blog from someone who dictates their posts on their commute home, great time saving but as I work less than 5 minutes from home and am normally doing a mad dash to get from work to school on time I don’t think that strategy will work for me.

This week we enjoyed our weekend away in Devon with Mr S’ family to celebrate his Dad’s birthday and then just to prove how rock and roll our life is we got new windows and repairs this week which has been my highlight and something I’m very excited about, how life changes over the years…

Sparkle 1 : A weekend in Devon


This could constitute a whole post of its own as we had a fantastic weekend in Devon.  We all met at Pecorama in Beer which has model railway displays, a light railway and beautiful gardens to explore with stunning views of the bay.  It was a lovely place to spend a bright and chilly day and the children loved it.  We moved on to Exeter in the evening for a family meal and then drove to Exmouth on Sunday for a gorgeous, sunny walk along the beach and birthday lunch for Grandad.  It was relaxed and fun, the children fell in love with my sister in law’s menagerie of dog, cat and chickens and even me who is not a cat person may have fell a little bit in love with the cat too, for the first time ever I could imagine having a cat in the house, although it would need the temperament and character of their lovely little cat.

Sparkle 2 : My Light box message


As well as being my Father In Law’s birthday, its also been the Queen’s 90th birthday this week and as well as my light box message, Little Miss got this badge from Brownies on Monday to celebrate.  (A Brownies session I accompanied her to as her adult partner for games and challenges, I’m great at moving marshmallows with chopsticks, a talent I’ve not had much call for before!)  Whilst the message is a little tongue in cheek, I’m not a fervent royalist and have mixed feelings about the Royal family, I do have a lot of respect for the Queen who has served the country dutifully and diligently.  The more I read of her I think she is a pretty sparky, intelligent and witty woman.  As my light box message is a way of celebrating the week it seems an appropriate phrase.

Sparkle 3 : Star Wars

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Yeah the Star Wars DVD came out this week and we have our copy.  Little Man is made up and has been creating so many Star Wars inspired Lego models this week and reading all his Star Wars books.  He even got to go to a Star Wars birthday party today (with a stunning Millennium Falcon cake) I love the film on so many levels and its definitely in my top 5 films.

Sparkle 4 : New windows


A little bit tragic but I have been so excited by our new windows, the children have windows in their bedrooms which they can open now ( of course with special child restrictors) and the clouded windows have been replaced, which makes the rooms look so much lighter.  As we had to move furniture to prepare for the work, I also had a little change around in some of the rooms and am particularly happy with how the space is being used in our bedroom now.  Its been a real homely week.

Sparkle 5 : A present for Mr S


In the first Spring I knew him Mr S asked me to get the new edition of Playfair.  I had no idea what this was and to be honest it sounded like a dodgy, girlie publication with a name like that.  Fortunately, its not, rather its the annual publication for cricket stats and information and I picked it up today for him.  Mr S is so difficult to buy presents for and to find it for him and get it without being asked made it even more special, bonus wife points for me.  As you can see from the picture, he has a lot of Playfairs and Wisdens they are double stacked on the wide shelves in the Dining Room and we have many other cricket books on our bookshelves elsewhere!

And finally

Its a time of change at work for me at present.  I will be taking on significant additional responsibilities from Monday and have rearranged my hours to make my working time more efficient and effective.  Work have been very accommodating but its time to deliver, inspire and lead, I’m excited but aware of the role I  need to play.  My challenge is to have a decent balance in all areas of my life, I think I can do it but am mindful of how organised and efficient I’m going to need to be, its quite a daunting thought.




Little Sparkles

A short and sweet little sparkles as we are away this weekend and I’m writing this early.  It’s been a very quiet week, back to school and no clubs until next week.  There’s a definite theme to this week’s entry, sunshine!

Sparkle 1 : Playing in the garden


There was a recent article in the news that prisoners spend more time outside than children, a result of parental fear, the influence of tv and computer games etc..  Fortunately our children enjoy being outside regardless of the weather and this week they’ve spent us much time as they possibly can in the garden playing.  Yesterday, they squeezed every minute from getting home from school to bath time in the garden, it was another al fresco tea. I cleaned out the old sand and water play stand at the weekend and it’s now being used as Zombling land, the latest craze in mini toys.  There was also lots of bug hotels being built yesterday as well as playing on the swings and making dens.  Such childhood innocence needs to be encouraged.

Sparkle 2 : Mexican Night

There was a youth social event at the cricket club on Saturday night. As its Little Man’s first season, it was a little nerve wracking going to the first social but as it always is in a small town it was surprising how many people we already knew and we relaxed.  The meal was delicious, the best veggie chilli I’ve eaten in ages and a bargain price for drinks and a meal for the four of us.

Sparkle 3 : Summer dresses

Photo by Moodles.

This week the weather has been so good that Little Miss has been wearing her Summer gingham dresses to school.  I love these school dresses, the simplicity of the style and design unchanged for generations.  I much preferred wearing the dresses to the heavy, grey uniform of Winter when I was at school.  Little Miss is the same and has been happy twirling in her new dresses.

And finally

I have my MRI scan tomorrow and then all the investigations into my falls will be over, I’m hopeful the falls were simply a symptom of my migraines.  Then it will be time for a weekend away in Devon with my in laws.  Fingers crossed this gorgeous weather continues.

Little Sparkles

Its been the second week of the Easter holidays this week and we’ve been at home for the week with lots of little trips out to keep us amused.

Sparkle 1 : My Lightbox


The unpredictable weather returned this week and we’ve had showers among the sunshine.  Our phrase this week reflects the weather but also a little game we’ve been playing on car trips.  I’ve been playing the Disney album and have been amazed how good Little Man is at identifying the songs and the films they are from.  This is the title of a song from Bambi to which we have all sang along to.

Sparkle 2 : A nature trail


The weather never puts us off on a little adventure and on Monday afternoon we went for a walk at a local nature reserve. It was just what was needed and we got very close to deer.  A little bonus was that a new cafe has just opened with what is being developed into a lovely nature garden for children.  The refreshments were much appreciated and it will be lovely to return later to see how the garden grows it looks like it has the potential to be an amazing area.

Sparkle 3: A military museum


Little Man adores soldiers and has a favourite local military museum.  It offers a ticket where you pay a fee once and can return as many times as you want in the year.  Being local this is brilliant for us, we get excellent value for our money.  Our visit this week was excellent, there was a new exhibition about the lives of 6 soldiers from World War 1, it was humbling and very well done, I was quite emotional explaining the stories to the children.  There was also an outdoor vehicle display at lunchtime which we enjoyed whilst having a picnic lunch on the grassy banks.  The display encouraged us to have a go in a tank, it was very rough and no photos were taken as we clung on!  However for the children the highlight was a new indoor soft play area with lots of military style activities and obstacles, it’s a fantastic idea and one we will return for.  It is a great museum and one of my favourite places to take the children.

Sparkle 4: Zootropolis

There have been lots of trips this week as Mr S worked from home on several days and given the nature of his work he needs quiet to concentrate.  He is very generous in providing a few pennies for our treats.  We saw the new Disney film, Zootropolis this week. I loved the themes in it, achieving your dreams by working hard, living together and respecting differences  etc…  A nice little film to watch with lots of humour and nice touches.

Sparke 5 : The new lifeboat


Today our town welcomed our new lifeboat.  The RNLI is a hugely important part of our town and the arrival of the new boat was a much anticipated event.  We went down to the pier to watch its arrival  and it was great to see it sail in, escorted by the current lifeboat, police boat, coastguard helicopter and a variety of other boats.  It was a real community event, the pier was bursting with people and there was real pride and excitement in the new boat.  It also made me think of the debt of gratitude, respect and commitment to the volunteers who rescue those who in need.  It was a moment of civic pride.

And finally

It’s back to school for me and the children next week, its been a good holiday and we’re now looking forward to our next where we will be going away, the countdown is on!

Month in a Word, overwhelmed.

I’m trying to avoid alliteration in this category which is a challenge as I love a little double letter word play in my writing. There could have been a few options too this month, March madness, manic March etc.. It’s been a very busy month and the word I’ve decided to use to describe this month is overwhelming.   I am a positive, proactive person and nothing gives me pleasure than ticking off my to do lists but even the ultra organised and efficient me has found this month difficult, so much happened.  It was just a perfect storm of events, work was busy, Mr S was working away, there were special events for the children in addition to the normal clubs, parents evenings, annual reviews, hospital appointments, an early Easter, a poorly Little Man, a visit to my parents, my list was endless . Fortunately I recognise it was an exceptional month and am happy that it is over and everything achieved.  I’m looking forward to quieter and calmer months to follow this year.


Little Sparkles

So the first week of our Easter holiday is over but we certainly crammed lots into it.  Easter weekend was different to what we had hoped for with Grandad being our guest. Storm Katie was pretty ferocious all over the weekend and caused lots of humour by sharing its name with my mum, who is known for a fiery temper, although much subdued with age. Much of the weekend was spent indoors because of the weather and illness, as Little Man was suffering with a really bad cough and cold which can trigger some quite serious chest infections with his asthma. He was so poorly on Saturday night that we ended up in our local hospital having him checked out and then spent a night sleeping lightly and listening for his coughing and breathing, I find these nights frightening.  Unsurprisingly given the circumstances and the lost hour thanks to BST I forgot to be the Easter bunny and had to run down and quickly put the eggs on the breakfast table, whilst Mr S distracted the children, fortunately no one was the wiser.  After our weekend at home, Mr S went away to work and the children and I went to Somerset to visit my parents, all being reunited tonight, Friday.

Sparkle 1 : The Easter Egg Hunt


Little Man was still poorly on Easter Sunday and promptly fell asleep as soon as we all sat down for Sunday lunch which I had carefully prepared and themed.  We took him upto bed and after a sleep he was keen to do our Easter egg hunt. I prepare a hunt every year with a list of things to find, this makes it not just about the chocolate and also develops the hunt into quite an event.  This year I added a matching challenge, words and pictures on eggs.  The children love the race and challenge and even though he didn’t want to eat the chocolate Little Man loved trying to beat his sister to finding all the clues.  I do love drawing the clue sheet and hiding the props it’s a special little family treat.

Sparkle 2 : Desert Island Discs

I enjoy listening weekly to my DID podcast and this week was an exceptional castaway,  businessman John Timpson of Timpson shoes.  I knew about his work with fostered and adopted children but did not realise the full extent of his personal commitment, fostering seventy children and adopting two.  His business style was inspiring and the company’s work to give prisoners a job on release another noble cause.  However it was his passion for life which just shone through and the love for his wife, a very special man.

Sparkle 3 : Fashion in 1oo Objects


Whilst away at my mum and dad’s I took up their kind offer of a day to myself and visited Bath. I had read about the new exhibition at the Fashion Museum, the history of fashion in 100 objects and was keen to see it. I really enjoyed the exhibition, whilst I admired the intricate embroidery and materials of the early fashions from the 17th century it was the 20th century exhibits which impressed me the most.  My personal highlight was a Dior New Look suit, classic and so stylish and it seemed the 50s reflected my style the most.

After a morning of being inspired and wowed by fashion I then popped to the shops and the clothes were so insipid and dull in comparison.  I need to develop my sewing skills so I can create the clothes I want to wear.

Sparkle 4 : New nail varnishes


Whilst I didn’t buy any new clothes I did choose two new nail varnishes.  I like pastel colours as my nails are kept fairly short and pastels suit this style.  I have the green on my fingers and toe nails  and they look lovely.

Sparkle 5 : Books

One of my treats this week was to go and browse in a bookshop, I could spend hours in a bookshop although I have noticed that with the advent of Amazon and Kindles that there are fewer books and variety in bookshops.  However I still managed to while away my time happily and came out with books for everyone!  I then started one, Black Eyed Susans which I had the guilty pleasure of reading in one sitting which went on to the early hours of the morning.

Sparkle 6 : The calm after the storm


This is not a metaphor for some deep and serious issue in my life it’s simply the relief at the end of what has seemed like weeks of storms and the dawning of British Summer time, light evenings and sunnier weather.  Spring has sprung and I’m a happier little bunny, Summer is my favourite time of year and it seems that this week we are getting closer to those hazy, lazy days of summer.

Sparkle 7 : The First of a Million Kisses by Fairground Attraction


I’m not sure what triggered this sparkle this week, possibly being at my parents home and surrounded by memories of my childhood but I started to think of this CD and downloaded it onto my iTunes account.  I loved this CD and played it to death as a teenager and was so pleased that it had the same positive feel many years later, a beautiful CD with amazing tracks.

And finally

I like that the Easter holiday is such a long and relaxed break, Mr S has a few days off next week and on his work days will be working at home so lots of family time together.  It’s easier if we give Mr S peace at home when he’s working so that’s 3 days out to plan a few surprises.