#blogtober18 : Day 9, Invitations and Letters


Today’s theme is for #worldpostday and I’m someone who loves to send cards and letters to friends and loved ones.  As you can see from the photo above, my bureau contains a letter rack of cards and postcards just ready to pop into the post for someone who might need a little smile.  I like the personal touch of a card or letter, I enjoy handwriting with a pretty pen, a personal message, maybe even  a doodle.  If I send a card the recipient knows that I’ve taken time to make them feel special.

I’ve always written letters, as a child it was thank you letters and then when I went to Uni I kept in contact with friends by mail, unbelievably we didn’t have mobiles or emails in the mid 90s!  I also used to write a weekly letter to my parents when I was in France studying and would receive one back.  On a recent visit to my parents I found some of the old letters, I appeared to write to my Dad about politics, world events etc.. and my mum about things I had done and family news.   I also used to write to my nan and grandma regularly as an adult.  When my Gran died it was a great comfort to know that I had written to her just a few days before and she had known all my news, that I was thinking of her and sending her my love.

Now the big letter I write every year is called ‘Letterbox’ contact.  It is a letter I write to the children’s birth parents to tell them of the children’s lives over the past year.  I write it with such care, trying to get the tone right, sharing stories and celebrations but also trying to respect on how difficult it must be for them to read the letter.  I photocopy the letter for my children so that when they are adults they can read my annual letters.  The letter is sent via social services as we have no direct contact.

I enjoy the surprise of sending a letter just for fun, I love browsing independent card shops or the postcards in Paperchase.  Sending a little sparkle in the post is one of those little things I do and will continue to do so.  A letter in the post is one of life’s little pleasures.


#blogtober18 : Day 8, Hear them read

Today’s school reading books.

I love to sit down and read with my children, it is one of my favourite parts of the day.  It is a time to sit, relax and invariably cuddle up together and share books.  I am passionate about children’s literature and love sharing favourite books and discovering new stories.  Shortly after getting home from school, we will sit and read for homework and then at bedtime, Mr S will read to Little Man, whilst Little Miss and I usually share reading a book.  Little Man has 1:1 literacy help at school and with a recent diagnosis of dyslexia, reading aloud does not give him the joy it gives Little Miss and myself.  However a recent study showed that reading a book aloud to a child is just as valuable to developing their literacy skills and Little Man loves story time with Daddy, they’ve read the Famous Five, Secret Seven, Flat Stanley and Roald Dahl stories.  Little Miss is at a lovely age where we are discovering Harry Potter.  My parents have been purchasing the illustrated collection for us and we are reading and cherishing every page with the beautiful illustrations and wonderful words.  We have also read both volumes of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, the stories and our discussions have been thoughtful and inspiring.  I would like our children to remember a childhood full of stories and cuddles at bedtime and a time when their parents whisked them off to magical worlds, introduced new friends and encouraged their creativity through the very powerful medium of books.

#blogtober18 : Day 7 : Gross Motor Skills


I work in special needs education and sensory diets are a vital part of our work.  Our OT assesses every student and then in class, we complete a sensory programme to help our students self regulate and be ready to learn.  Some diets are done once a day, some have elements we do throughout the day and then there are those students who have sensory integration as a part of every activity.  Gross motor skills are a significant ingredient of our diets, we encourage walking, running, swings are great for self regulation as are climbing, jumping and balance.  We have lots of trampolines and swings situated around our site and an indoor therapy suite with a variety of swings, squeeze machines, gym balls etc.. In addition, we do morning wake and shake sessions and our students have a gym to develop gross motor skills in a more adult environment, a skill we hope they will transfer to their adult life.

Over the years I have seen the benefit of these diets and believe in the importance of them in helping our students to learn.  I would like to see such sensory work replicated in mainstream schools.  Last year, Little Miss was desperate to have my Fitbit at school and to see how many steps she did on an average day.  The results were surprising, so much of her school day was sat down at a desk, with peaks for the walk to and from school and running around at break and lunch, I’m sure even a five minute sensory spot would help pupils prepare for the next session.  I know during the holidays and weekends we always have a daily gross motor skills activity, scooters, swimming, play park, walks etc.. to help the children’s regulation, mood and energy.  Gross motor skills are an essential part of our development and should be encouraged practised daily by us all.

#Blogtober18 : Day 5, Forest creatures


There is an irony about today being #nationalbadgerday.  The photo above shows the damage to the grass in front of our house this morning.  Although we live at the seaside, we also live in a rural area with a large country park, minutes from our home.  We often have visitors, mainly foxes and badgers and they are little mischiefs.  They will try to knock bins over to scavenge for the food, we put bricks on top to stop this and they also dig the lawns for food.  I have never seen the badgers but have seen the footage from our neighbours who have shown us fascinating night shots of them exploring gardens.  The foxes are far more confident, they start exploring at dusk and we have a little family who regularly wander the streets.  Its not only foxes and badgers who meander to the residential areas, I have seen deer on the streets on early morning runs and there was an infamous occasion when a family of deer joined Little Miss’ class on the field for a PE lesson.  With our location, these animals are going to be our neighbours and we just have to learn to live together.

As I have no photos of our nocturnal visitors, this badger illustration is in Little Grey Rabbit’s Storybook, a childhood favourite book which I still treasure.


#blogtober18 : Day 4, Education


In the past week, we have attended two open evenings for secondary schools as our daughter moves up next September.  Its been a time when we’ve tried to think what we want from a secondary school, the values, ethos and curriculum and to match them best to what’s on offer.  I think we’ve made our decision and are comfortable with it, I have found it an easier choice than primary school, the choices at primary were too similar, with secondary, the schools are more distinct.  Our search has not been about academic vigour and exam results, we want a school which sees their young people as individuals, encourages their interests and passions and approaches education through a holistic approach.  Interestingly, its the free school which appears to provide this, a school which has more freedom to create and develop its own curriculum and timetable and the opportunity to innovate.  I’m sure secondary school will be an interesting journey, fingers crossed we’ve made the right decision.



#Blogtober18 : Day 3, Couples

So for today’s Blogtober prompt of couples, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane for the couples whose romances captivated us all on television.  We followed their stories, some had a happy ever after, others didn’t, but all left a lasting impression.

Scott and Charlene


I was such a Neighbours fan when I was a teenager, we even used to go to a friend’s house at lunch time to watch the early episode and keep up with Scott, Charlene, Mike, Plain Jane Super brain and all our Aussie friends. On my first trip to Australia, I visited Pin Oak Court, the real life Ramsey Street in a Melbourne suburb just for the fun of seeing the houses and to relive the memories.  The biggest storyline in this period was Scott and Charlene’s relationship which culminated in the wedding which we were all so excited for.  It featured Angry Anderson’s Suddenly which became a hit and had us all dreaming about our future weddings.  I haven’t watched Neighbours for about 20 years now, but it was the perfect teen programme.

Kevin and Winnie


Oh another programme I loved, the theme tune, the family and friends, the emotion.  Bizarrely I have only ever seen this programme in French as I watched it when I lived in France so it was dubbed. I found TV was a perfect way to immerse myself in the language and I followed Kevin and Winnie throughout their childhood and adolescence.  I was sad in the final episode when we discovered that they didn’t end up together, but the ending was so true to their characters and Winnie is a fabulous female lead.

Joey and Pacey


I was definitely Team Pacey on Dawsons Creek and the final episode was perfect.  This was one of my favourite coming of age dramas, so many strong characters and brilliant story lines.  Pacey always loved Joey, was always there for her and gave her the time and space to realise that she loved him too.  Just thinking about Dawsons Creek makes me want to re watch it all from the beginning (with a big box of tissues)

Carrie and Mr Big


I’m not even sure that this is my favourite couple from SATC, but Mr Big and Carrie made some iconic scenes in the series and films.  I cannot help but think of these two when I hear Moon River from the I heart NY episode. This is one of my favourite TV episodes ever and it was so played so heart breakingly perfectly by the actors, I get goose bumps thinking about it.

There are many more iconic TV couples but these are just a few whose romances I followed, cheered on and wanted to believe in a happy, ever, after.

#blogtober18 Day 2 : Boobs #breastcancerawareness

I’m so lucky that my nan, the lovely smiling lady in the photo survived breast cancer and died of natural causes at a fine old age. With my family history, I do check my breasts regularly and although I’ve had a couple of scares I’m fortunate that nothing has developed into anything more than an infection treated with antibiotics. However, I’ll feel happier when I’m old enough for mammograms for that further reassurance, as I worry that I wouldn’t be able to feel the smallest lumps. At present, I look after my boobs with regular checks, well fitting bras and a healthy ish diet and exercise. I love my boobs, I was a late developer and I was afraid that I would always be a 32AA but I blossomed and they’ve always got compliments so it’s only right to care for them! I did an internet search for a good self examination poster and this really caught my eye for its design, humour and really useful information.



#blogtober18 : Day 1, A year On …

#Blogtober18To my surprise, I had the discipline and focus to complete @bigfamilychaos #blogtober2017 and enjoyed it.  So its time to join in again and write every day in October. Some posts may be short and sweet, light hearted, others more detailed and on serious topics.  Its a great list this year and I’m looking forward to the challenge.



So its a year since last Blogtober and what’s happened in my life?  Well, I’m living in the same house in the same small seaside town, driving the same car, working in the same job, still married to Mr S, 15 years and counting, and still mum to two children, now 9 and 10.  And do you know what, I really am okay with this.  There’s a lot to say for the ordinary, too often we’re bombarded with the need to improve, upgrade etc.. and sometimes its time to pause and appreciate the life you have.  We’ve had a lovely year doing the simple things as a family, playing, exploring, learning and being. There will always be some years that are brimming with special events, big life changes, this hasn’t been one of those years, we’ve simply embraced the ordinary.