This week I …

So this week I got wet and windswept! Not the best weather for a half term break but we adjusted our plans and ended up doing some great things we might not have necessarily done in fair weather.

We were joined this week by a lovely old friend who came to stay for a few days. She is the most special person and just exudes positivity and calm. I love having her around, it feels like she’s our family’s Mary Poppins, supporting us all. She definitely helped add a sparkle to our week.

Here are some of our highlights of the week …

I read …

Sophie Kinsella’s book Surprise Me was perfect holiday reading. I’ve enjoyed her work for many years with strong female leads resolving everyday challenges. I really liked how the lead female developed over the story and it was an empowering ending.

I listened …

I’m a huge Desert Island Discs fan and this was one of the best episodes I’ve listened to. Ian Wright’s story is different to what you expect, a personal history of loss, domestic violence, an inspirational teacher, overcoming the odds etc… It’s sad (tissues needed) but inspiring and uplifting.

I also watched the final episode of Cold Feet and they finished on a high with a brilliant song The Female of the Species by Space. In the late 90s I loved this song so much I bought the CD and played it on repeat. For those original Cold Feet fans (I was one) in the 90s, it was the first theme tune and the neat use of the song to end the series was pure class.

https://open.spotify.com/track/5beiMMlsINDI5fxRdF0D42?si=rvTnesypT2CHbtlL93DshQ

I made …

Last weekend I created a Valentines dessert for a special meal. I was trying for macarons but they ended up more like almond meringues with a white chocolate cream filling, delicious.

With a visitor I’ve also made a special effort with meals, some warming soups, a casserole and a risotto. I enjoy cooking for others and it’s a pleasure to sit around the table, to talk and laugh over good food.

As well as my efforts this week, Little Miss made some gorgeous peanut butter and chocolate brownies. When we were at a National Trust site on Wednesday we were given the recipe flyer and she was keen to give them a go, with a wet and windy afternoon it was the perfect opportunity to bake.

I played …

Thanks to a gift from our visitor we have discovered Qwirkle this week. It’s a great game of strategy with colours and shapes and strangely addictive. Again a great indoor activity for a wet half term.

I explored …

In a wet and windy week (mmm I think I’ve mentioned that a few times now) we needed to look for more indoor activities. The children have been to an indoor Wipeout inflatable session and a wet inflatable activity at the local pool. We also visited some local museums. In one we followed a lava lamp trail as the lava lamp was invented in a local town and we discovered how they work and got to chill in a lava lamp sensory area. I’m so tempted to buy one, it’s relaxing just looking at the way the wax (or globule as I learnt the technical term) moves in the lamp.

The children also visited a pottery and painted their own animal models, this was a surprisingly good activity for them both and they really focused and concentrated carefully on their task.

And finally …

It’s back to school for Little Miss and I on Monday whilst the boys have an extra day. I think a trip to the cinema is planned as we didn’t manage to get there this week. Little Man wants to see Sonic the Hedgehog and I’m happy to pass that to Mr S. It’s pancake day next week and a little eco challenge for Weds when I have to send in a packed lunch with no plastic wrapping.

Have a happy week.

This week …

After a busy weekend it was back to normal for the week before a much needed half term. We’re all a little tired and in need of some lazy moments next week.

This week I had a meeting with some important people from the education department with regards to Little Man’s special school place. They were very nice people and it was a very nice meeting but there’s no resolution, yet.

This week, I have …

This week I have finished two books. One fiction, the other non fiction. I liked the ideas in The Art of Making Memories and it is full of beautiful images and some nice anecdotes. However for sensory ideas and a holistic approach to daily life, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach remains my go to book. Dear Evan Hansen is a YA book, as my daughter gets older I am reading more of the genre to try and know the type of books she may be reading. I liked the book, it starts with a suicide but is a story of loneliness and being your true self.

After last week’s school play I’ve been listening to the Fame musical soundtrack. Bring on tomorrow is my favourite track and was sung so strongly and with such feeling, a real anthem for the young performers.

https://open.spotify.com/track/6RmJKMhhvNZPpWYxlHkW4t?si=rfOZmcb6QjKYfIIpkQqvxg

In cubs the parents are asked to volunteer one session a term and for me it was this week and a trip to the local fire station. Little Man wants to be a firefighter when he’s older and was in his element for the visit. It was so cool, we learnt how to use heat sensor cameras, move safely around a dark room and try different hoses. Some firefighters also showed us how they can use the power tools on their engines. It was a really interesting visit and a great one to volunteer for.

I’m trying hard to use more recyclable materials and in wrapping Mr S’ valentines gift, I used brown paper for this reason. However to brighten the package and make it more personal I added a few scribbles, key dates in our life together. I’m not artistic but I like the sentiment behind the doodles.

Little Miss is going through another tough time, but I was pleased to see her wearing a badge I had popped into her Christmas stocking. I think it’s beautiful and just what she needs to know at the moment.

This week I have …

#20for2020 have a rainbow 🌈 of nail colours

Wow what a week. I am grateful that on this stormy Sunday afternoon I can finally relax, breathe and reflect on an eventful week.

At present we are trying to find our son a special school placement and it is the most stressful and unpleasant experience. It’s a simple situation, everyone agrees he needs specialist support and we would like him to attend our local state Special Needs school. However the process is hell. We now have a complaint lodged with the government ombudsman and we have been given appeal to tribunal. This is what I spend most of my free time doing and it is genuinely making me quite poorly. I spent a couple of evenings on it this week when I really needed to relax.

Despite the stress caused by the above I was happy to get my Uni result and I have a good pass for my module 1, yippee. I’m now halfway to my qualification. I did feel my result was a little overshadowed by some bad news we had about the school placement and I still don’t think I’ve had chance to feel pleased with myself.

However here are some of the things from a very busy week which definitely seemed longer than 7 days!

I read …

Lots of people have recommended The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy and I found myself listening to the author talk about his book on radio 4 last week. He was so lovely that I popped into the local bookshop for a copy. It is so beautiful and what I can only describe as an heirloom book with such wise words and delightful illustrations. I read the page above on Tuesday when I had really struggled to get up in the morning. I genuinely felt sick with the stress of the school place but this gave me a little hope.

I watched …

No doubt about the watch this week as Little Miss starred in her first secondary school production Fame. It was brilliant, a little gritty in places but what a show with such amazing talent. We all saw it but on different performances. Little Man saw the dress rehearsal put on for all the town’s Year 5s and 6s, this was the child friendly version. I saw it with my parents and Mr S saw it with his dad, sister and brother in law. With the dress rehearsal it was five performances in total and three late nights but Little Miss has been brilliant throughout and loved being part of such a special event.

I listened …

Two of my favourite podcasts had interviews with Marian Keyes this week. I love listening to Marian Keyes’ beautiful Irish lilt as she talks with such honesty and wit. Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail was poignant and a thoughtful listen, this is a great podcast and the interviews are always very telling. Marian Keyes features prominently this week as her new book was published and I am so excited to have a signed copy as a belated Christmas present. It’s my first ever signed book and one to treasure. Marian has been there all through my adult life, I’ve read all her books but love her in Twitter too, I’m definitely a fan girl!

I wore …

This week I treated myself to a skirt I found on the White Stuff website. During no spend January I kept it on my wish list and with a special offer I finally bought it in February. The skirt is amazing, it’s one of those items you just put on and feels so right, so you. It’s a perfect potter around town outfit and with thick black tights and a bright red jumper and pumps, I felt like skipping rather than walking, it brought me that much joy!

I made …

I’m afraid it’s a tenuous link this week as I’ve been a bit busy to make anything new. However pesto seems to have been my secret ingredient in a couple of dinners this week. One night I needed a super quick tea and tossed together a few vegetables, pesto and whole wheat pasta for a delicious meal. I also added it to the stock for a casserole which worked well too.

Happy new week.

This week I …

I’m still not sure how to structure or name this post but unless I write some content soon, it will be hopelessly out of date. This post is simply a round up of things I’ve been doing recently. I would like it to be weekly but there are times when life will get in the way! This happened for the first fortnight of January when I spent all my time finishing off my uni assignments and finalising all the evidence for mediation with the local authority over our son’s SEN placement. I’m now anxiously waiting for results for both.

However here’s what I have been doing in my free time so far this January.

I read …

One of my #20for2020 is to read 15 minutes a day for pleasure. I am reading so many academic journals and books that I need light relief! So far I’ve read two books Fat Girl Slim by Marina Johnson and How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. Fat Girl Slim was a real guilty pleasure, definitely not what I expected and it does have a wicked twist. I really wanted to rave about How to be a Woman as I love Caitlin Moran’s columns in the Times. However I found it too similar to her last book I read How to be Famous.

I listened …

I’m not a tv girl but have always loved the radio. I find myself listening to podcasts rather than music now on walks and runs or pottering around the house alone. These four are my current favourites, covering parkrun (With me Now) and lifestyle. My #20for2020 is based on an idea from Happier.

I watched …

Despite saying I don’t watch much television, probably only a few programmes a week, two of my favourites have returned this week, Call the Midwife and Cold Feet. I love the social history of Call the Midwife and now it’s set in the 60s the interior decor and fashion are just fabulous. Cold Feet has been a favourite since if began in the 90s and it still makes me laugh and cry.

I wore …

My work wear is practical and my free time clothes casual and comfy so I don’t often get the opportunity to dress up. However when I do my uni course it’s set in such an stunning location I feel the desire to look good and studious! Today I wore my new starry dress from the Fat Face sale with my boots, thick tights and chunky necklace. It’s been such a dreary month that when there was a break in the rain at lunchtime I walked around some of the grounds, beautiful walled gardens to the lake.

I made …

And finally this fortnight has all been about making plans for the year. Whilst January is not my favourite month I like to use it as a month to plan and prepare. I’ve lots of plans in draft and a few definite dates in my diary. Roll on 2020, it’s going to be a fantastic year.