Setting Intentions for 2024

I’ve talked a little about my work before, I work for a charity who supports adults with learning disabilities, but the culture within the charity encourages a lot of self reflection and personal growth. At times that can be challenging, but within that challenge, good things can grow.

I was having one of my regular supervisions with my new boss a couple of weeks ago, and he asked me what my work intentions were for 2024 and I was stumped. It’s been a while since I had a job which asked that of me, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t set any professional goals for myself possibly ever, and in my personal life, apart from some vague New Year Resolutions, I had no goals either. So, with 2023 coming to a close, I’ve decided to set some intentions for 2024.

Setting intentions

What does it mean to set intentions?

Intentions are lived each day, and are about your relationship with yourself and others. They are not hard targets to aim for, KPIs or external achievements, they’re about bringing you more of the good things in life, the things which spark joy, or help make you a better person.

These things may sound daft if you’re used to a corporate world or hard targets, goals and KPIs, but they are, to my mind at least, vitally important for creating personal happiness, job satisfaction, a good balance between work and life, and striving to be a better parent and a better human.

My Five Work Intentions –

  1. Say yes to opportunities to develop myself
  2. Look at working towards a coaching or mentoring qualification
  3. Streamline my work processes and bring our systems up to scratch
  4. Learn to say no and to delegate where I can
  5. Make reflection a daily practice

My Five Personal Intentions –

  1. Move house and create a warm and loving home for my family
  2. Focus on quality time with my son
  3. Go on holidays with the people I love
  4. Continue my gentle health kick and get fitter and healthier
  5. Spend more time with friends and less of my own time working

There are other things I want to achieve and do. But if I can surround myself with the people who love and care for me, and make time to see them instead of working so much, then my heart will be fuller and my work/life balance will feel more comfortable.

So today I set these intentions and I commit to working towards achieving them. These are not resolutions, but achievable things which could change how my life feels. I know with the support of colleagues, friends and loved ones, I can take the steps towards making my work and my life balanced and fulfilling. They will also hopefully help to make me a more rounded person, a better mum, partner and friend.

What are your intentions for 2024?

Have I lost myself in middle age?

It’s been a while since I did any kind of personal update on the blog. There’s been a lot of change for me over the last few years, a lot of those changes are things I’m not really ready to talk about, and that’s fine.

A few years ago, Marie Kondo, the decluttering queen gave us cause to think about what sparks joy in our lives, and what does not. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about that lately. Partly because I’ve been having a bit of a declutter, and partly because a couple of months ago I started a new job at a very beautiful place.

I work for a charity which supports people with disabilities, and one of the things we are encouraged to do is a lot of personal reflection. When I started, I found it difficult, looking deep within me and examining my feelings and how I approach things is something I have previously saved for therapy. I’m not always comfortable having a deep dive into my feelings, because you never know what stone you might turn over.

I have weekly meetings with my boss, a wise, wise woman who I love. She’s inspiring, practical, understanding, and has a knack of asking especially searching questions. She often asks me what brings me joy, or what do I find especially life giving. Those are really hard questions for me, because for the main part, I’m not sure I know the answer. I’m just a busy mum, running a busy home, going through some big life things and trying to hold our lives together through a pandemic and the aftermath of that.

A letter to my son, on his 12th birthday

My answer to what sparks joy or gives me life is almost always spending time with my son. Spending time with him does bring me joy, but also makes me worry that having that as my go to answer means I am either saying what society expects me to say, or it means that I’ve given up on myself and I can only find happiness being the supporting actor in a main characters life.

Like many middle aged parents, I’ve lost a bit of who I am and what I like doing. I’ve no idea what actually sparks joy for me anymore. When I think back to my younger days, it was dancing in nightclubs for hours and hours, and it was hanging out with friends listening to music. Later, it was spa days and walks on windswept beaches. It was feeling alive.

It’s my birthday next week and friends are being incredibly kind and wanting to take me out or meet me for drinks or whatever. And I’ve been thinking about how I’d like to spend my birthday. It’s not a special one, and I don’t really love being the centre of attention, so I’ve asked myself the question over and over, what sparks birthday joy for me? For some reason, that is the hardest question.

Realistically, what will happen is I’ll have a nice day with my son, I’ll see some family, bake a cake for myself and that’s it, and that’s a nice enough day. But it shines a light on something I need to consider. Am I content to live a life of nice enough days? Should I be pushing for those times which spark joy, and the things that give me life?

What do I want and how do I find the things which do spark joy for me? Is there anything I find particularly life giving? What gives me energy and drive to be the best version of me? I don’t know the answers to these questions. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to answer them again, and it does make me sad that I’m so out of touch with what makes me tick, that I can’t even answer the question of what makes me happy.

There’s no happy conclusion to this. There’s no realisation that water skiing is really the secret to my eternal happiness, more the realisation that I’ve become lost to myself over the years. Whilst I’m sure I will bump into myself again at some point in the future, it’s unlikely to be in the next few weeks, or even months.

I’m not alone in feeling this way, am I?

Things to do for Lent: Saving money each day!

Each year I try to give up something, or take up something for Lent. 40 days is a doable period of time to cope without chocolate or crisps, or even gin. This year, with money being a little tighter than usual, I’ve decided to combine the giving up of something with something positive, like saving money each day to give myself and my son a nice treat.

Since I started working in an office again, it’s become very much my custom to pop into a coffee shop for a brew on my way in. It’s a way of making the early starts a little bit more bearable. However, my morning treat does add up over the course of a week, so I’ve decided to spend two minutes each morning having some quality time with my kettle, and saving the money I would normally spend on my morning coffee in a big jar.

Things to do for Lent: Saving money each day!

I figured out if I put the £2.50 a day I would normally spend on a coffee into a jar, by the end of Lent I’d have £100 to spend on something nice for myself. There’s a part of me that wants to do some good with some of that money, so I’m also thinking of making a charitable donation with a portion of it too.

I know that being able to spend £2.50 a day on a coffee is a privilege. Realistically, it’s not one I can afford long term. I suppose giving it up for Lent and incentivising myself by saving the money is my way of weaning myself out of my coffee shop habit.

For good measure, I’m also going to try and knock chocolate on the head, because I’ve been using it as foodie comfort during the tough times I’ve waded through recently.

So, that’s no bought coffee, no chocolate and hopefully saving myself a minimum of £100, less a charity donation. Wish me luck!

If you also want to try saving money for Lent, I’ve made a little chart to show you how quickly those pennies can add up.

Things to do for Lent: Saving money each day!

It soon adds up!

  • Saving up 50p a day, adds up to £20.
  • £1 a day rises to £40 for Lent.
  • £1.50 comes to a £60 total.
  • £2 a day means you’ll save £80.
  • £2.50 each day means you can save up £100 over the Lenten period!

If you too decide to save some money this Lent, please let me know how you get on, and what you’re going to spend you savings on. I’ll give an update on my progress too!

If you like the idea of doing something else for Lent, I have 40 acts of kindness or I have 40 ideas for things to give up, or take up for Lent too!

Things to do for Lent: Saving money each day!

40 Acts of Kindness for Lent

Each year, during Lent many Christians choose to give things up for 40 days. Lent is traditionally a time of abstinence and many people give up chocolate, or wine, or bread even. Some people choose to take up something, such as doing an act of kindness, or giving a small amount to charity each day. I usually opt for giving up something, but also taking up some small acts of kindness. I’ve put together a list of 40 acts of kindness for Lent; something to get you started.

It can be difficult to think about just one thing to give up, or take up. I think small acts of kindness are the way to go, especially if you’re doing them with children. I think we all need a bit of kindness at the moment, and being kind to others is often a kindness to ourselves.

24 Acts of Kindness for Advent

40 Acts of Kindness for Lent

  1. Leave a nice online review for a small local business
  2. Write some notes telling people what you appreciate about them
  3. Make a donation to a small charity
  4. Be brave today. Do something that you found hard last time you tried
  5. Put some loose change in a tip jar
  6. Bake treats for your neighbours or co-workers
  7. Have a clear out and donate your unwanted clothes to charity
  8. Make someone you live with breakfast in bed
  9. Phone a friend or family member each day
  10. Do a beach clean, or street clean, or a litter pick in a park
  11. Organise a charity bake sale
  12. Ask somebody to tell you about themselves and really listen
  13. Donate to your local food bank
  14. Compliment other people
  15. Make a point of doing self-care every day, whatever that looks like
  16. Learn to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in some different languages
  17. Make a log pile in your garden so the wildlife has somewhere to cosy up over winter
  18. Make and send Easter cards to the residents of your local nursing home
  19. Paint some happy rocks and leave them in your local park for people to find
  20. Turn off lights, TV and chargers when you leave a room
  21. Sellotape a bus fare to a bus stop
  22. Write a letter to your teacher saying what you appreciate about them
  23. Recycle any paper, plastic, tins or glass that you use today
  24. Make and deliver a meal to someone who might appreciate that
  25. Pass on some books you’ve enjoyed to others
  26. Be the first to say sorry to somebody
  27. Put bird feeders in your garden and make sure they’re topped up
  28. Tidy up your bedroom without being asked to
  29. Start telling jokes, watch something fun together, or whatever makes you and your family laugh!
  30. Be positive all day and try only to say encouraging things to other people.
  31. Think before you speak and make sure your words build people up today
  32. Make an extra effort to smile more at others, it really can bring joy to their day!
  33. Ask someone how their day was
  34. Surprise someone, in a nice way
  35. Say a prayer some someone or something that needs it
  36. Light a candle and remember someone special
  37. Think of three good things about yourself and write them down
  38. Make someone a Spotify playlist to cheer them up
  39. Send someone a care package
  40. Help someone take a photo

If you enjoyed this, you might also like these 40 ideas for things to do for Lent.

40 Acts of Kindness for Lent

40 ideas for things to do for Lent

Each year, during Lent many Christians choose to give things up for 40 days. Lent is traditionally a time of abstinence and many people give up chocolate, or wine, or bread even. Some people choose to take up something, such as doing an act of kindness, or giving a small amount to charity each day.

Over the years, following a feast of pancakes, I have variously given up chocolate, crisps and alcohol. I have done acts of kindness each day. This year I’ve been a bit stumped about what to do. I’m peri-menopausal now so the thought of giving up wine or chocolate for 6 weeks is a step too far for me.

40 things to do for Lent

My life feels too stressful right now to give up anything, or commit to doing something for six whole weeks, but last night I had an idea. Why don’t I just give up something or take up something each week during lent, committing to not eating chocolate for one week is doable, giving to charity daily for one week is affordable. The idea of doing six weeks’ worth of one week mini-Lenten promises is very manageable indeed.

I’ve not fully hammered out my plan for Lent. I’m finicky at the best of times, so I thought if I put a list together of suggestions for myself, then I can pick and choose what I fancy doing from one week to the next. Here are 40 ideas for things to do for Lent.

40 things to do for Lent

1. Give up chocolate

2. Give up crisps

3. Give up alcohol

4. Give to charity each day

5. Give up TV/Netflix

6. Have a digital detox

7. Pray each day

8. Meditate each day

9. Do an act of kindness every day

10. Phone a friend or family member each day

11. No shopping/buying new things

12. Decluttering

13. Read more

14. Volunteer

15. Do a beach clean, or street clean, or a litter pick in a park

16. Find ways to reduce your plastic consumption

17. Use public transport instead of driving

18. Stop buying coffee on the go

19. Donate to your local food bank

20. Give up meat

21. Compliment other people

22. Walk every day

23. Give up swearing

24. Give up takeaways

25. Eat a family dinner at the table each night

26. Give up cake

27. Give up fizzy drinks

28. Give up sugar

29. Give up binge watching

30. Give up negativity

31. Turn lights and appliances off when not in use

32. Give up shopping online

33. Give yourself time for yourself

34. Make a point of doing self-care every day, whatever that looks like

35. Read the Bible, or a spiritual text of your choosing

36. Give up guilt – you’re doing the best you can do

37. Take up contentment – be happy, or happier with what you’ve got already in your life

38. Give up gossip

39. Give up smoking or vaping

40. Give up taking selfies/pictures of your dinner

What are you giving up or taking up for Lent? Please comment below and let me know!

40 things to do for Lent

The Top 7 2018 Tag with HodgePodgeDays

Thank you to Jaymee from The Mum Diaries for tagging me in the Top 7 Tag. Essentially it’s like ticky-it but for bloggers. I have a list of questions to answer and then I tag some more bloggers in so they have to answer them too.

This is what The Top 7 covers –

  • Your Favourite 7 Posts from 2018. They can be any posts at all that you are proud of.
  • 7 Things You Loved The Most About 2018 Whether you visited somewhere, or just had one of those moments you will never forget, if you loved it, list it!
  • 7 Things You Are Looking Forward to in 2019.Whether those plans are set in stone or you something you would like to do this year, share with us.
  • Tag 7 Bloggers to Take Part.Share the love and tag 7 others who would like to take part.
  • Say Thanks.Link back to the person who tagged you and/or myself so people know where to find the tag to join in too.

The Top 7 2018 Tag with HodgePodgeDays

7 FAVOURITE BLOG POSTS FROM 2018

This is a tricky one, some of my favourite ones are the ones which didn’t necessarily get the most views. I’ll start with three blog posts which have been huge in terms of the number of people reading them, the last four picks are the ones I’ve enjoyed the most. That seems fair, yes?

This recipe for easy, cheaty sausage rolls has been a banger (I’m not even sorry) since day one. We make these quite a lot, because they’re just so much nicer than anything shop bought!

I love Parma Violet Gin and it turns out that you do too. This really simple recipe is a winner.

Who can resist a cheery spring daffodil? Not you, that’s for sure. This simple daffodil craft tutorial has been perennially popular since I published it last spring.

The Top 7 2018 Tag with HodgePodgeDays

In July, during the heatwave we went to the first ever Timber Festival in the National Forest. It was brilliant fun and we made lots of wonderful, creative memories I will treasure for a long time.

September saw our first ever glamping holiday in a yurt. We loved sleeping next to the wood burner and being able to look up at the stars.

I’ve been a judge at the International Cheese Awards for several years now. It’s a day I take very seriously and I always, always learn lots of new things. It’s a fabulous day and always the highlight of the summer.

Oh mamma, it was an early contender, but one of my favourite bakes of the year; my Baked Guinness Cheesecake turned more than a few heads, and rightly so!

Recipe: Baked Guinness Cheesecake

7 THINGS I LOVED MOST ABOUT 2018

I’ve had quite a few rough years lately. I tentatively took my first steps into 2018 with not a great deal of hope in my heart. Sure, there were a couple of rough moments. Friends came and went, but nothing absolutely awful happened. I survived the year reasonably unscathed and achieving most of the modest goals I’d set myself. If 2019 is no more or less dramatic that the last, I’ll be a very happy bunny indeed.

I’ll stop waffling now and rattle off 7 of my highlights from 2018…

I baked and baked and baked my socks off and now I’m fairly confident, I’ve learned a few things and baking is now something I really enjoy, rather than something to be terrified of.

I bit the bullet and joined the gym after procrastinating for, hmm 20 odd years.

We’ve had a great year as Merlin Annual Pass Ambassadors, visited a lot of very different attractions up and down the country and had a lot of fun together doing so.

Days Out: The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, Cornwall

I’ve watched my son really grow and thrive this year. He’s starting to shake off his glue ear and he’s got into martial arts. He kicks ass, in more ways than one.

Blog-wise, I got myself organised. I’ve got a plan for each week and I blog Monday to Friday year round. It’s hard work, but I’m loving my blog right now. What do you think?

Friendships have been really extra important this year. There are a number of people who have really pulled me through, been there for me in good times and bad. I’m very lucky to have such especially special friends. I don’t go out much, but when I do, spending time in good company is a massive highlight.

Biting the bullet and just being a bit braver in all kinds of situations has helped 2018 be a good year. From tackling my anxiety to digging deep so I can pipe up and not let the world walk all over me, it’s all be good positive steps in the right direction.

7 THINGS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2019

Oooh do I have big dreams for 2019? The short answer is no. I try not to think too far ahead as it all gets a bit daunting. But I am looking forward to some things, namely…

Holidays with my boys, I’m hoping we will fit in a couple of family festivals, maybe go glamping again and it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t go down to Devon for a couple of weeks at some point.

Glamping at Inside Out Camping, Keswick

Being a bit more organised. My head has been a chaotic place for too long now. Over the year I’ve been slowly getting myself and my work organised and I really need that to continue.

I’d like to get a bit fitter this year. I’d like to go to the gym a bit more often and work a little less if I can. My work/life balance is shocking really.

I’m looking forward to small things, like my son’s reading is really improving and we are just tackling the first Harry Potter book. This year I imagine our reading will take us off on all kinds of literary adventures.

We are tentatively planning on growing some of our own veg again this year. Last year we grew some carrots, but I would love to be bit like Nigel Slater, just going into the garden and picking a few interesting things for dinner.

Ok so it wasn’t always popular, but I loved the heatwave last summer. It was so nice to be warm and feel the sun on my skin. I loved it and I loved going out in it. So more of that please!

I’m looking forward to seeing where my blog takes me this year. I’ve got a vague plan for seasonal blog posts, but we often go on blogging adventures. I’m excited to see just what happens this year. 2019, bring it on!

Days Out: Autumn at Warwick Castle

October Update – What’s going on with us?

It’s been a while since I’ve wrote any kind of personal update post. I guess you get an idea of the things we have been doing, reading, making and eating from my blog posts, but that’s not the same as an actual proper update post is it?

I’m good, I think. I’ve done the virtually unthinkable and joined a gym. With my terrible back I’m not allowed to run, jump, skip, hop, shimmy or bounce, so I do a couple of aqua classes a week and when I go to them I’ve started swimming too. I started on 20 lengths each time and I’m trying to add another two lengths each week.

October Update - What's going on with us?

I’m monstrously unfit and I’m pretty determined to get a bit fitter. I do feel stronger and I get such a buzz a couple of hours after I finish. I’m shattered though. Two mornings a week at the gym, a full time job around that and a busy family life are exhausting. I’m hoping that I’ll get used to it and I won’t feel quite so tired anymore.

Apart from that, Ben is good. He’s busy with school. He’s turning 8 next month and after half term he will be moving from Beavers to Cubs. I don’t think I’m ready for him to make that move, it seems so grown up. He is so grown up, he grew a whole inch and a shoe size over the summer. He makes me proud of him every day, in big ways and in small ways too. He’s the best thing ever.

October Update - What's going on with us? Ben

Matt my other half has just signed himself up for a couple more 10k races. It keeps him busy and he enjoys it. I’m glad he’s doing something for himself. He works very hard and does a lot for our family.

This weekend is our 18th wedding anniversary which I believe is porcelain. We don’t do presents really, though I might take him out for lunch somewhere.

October Update - What's going on with us? Jane and Matt
Me and him in 1995. It was a very, very long time ago.

And the dog, well she turns 2 this month, so I guess I’d better bake her a cake and buy her a new squeaky toy. She’s brilliant, lively, intelligent and a great companion for me. I don’t take her out as much as I’d like (she still gets at least two walks a day) but she worships me and one of my favourite things is taking her for a walk down the river and watching her bounce. I’m still convinced she is part kangaroo.

The main thing I’m struggling with at the moment is balance. I’ve got a lot going on and the things I want to do are not always the things I have to do. I need to think about what my real priorities are and move towards dealing with those.

About this time last year I made a decision that I would blog Monday to Friday every week during 2018. It’s been great fun and I’ve felt a lot more organised. I’ve not really struggled for content and I kind of feel like the people who regularly read my blog have appreciated the more structured routine of it.

Blogging at least five times a week is quite tiring and hard work, I don’t know if I should carry it on through next year too or if I should go down to four times a week or what. I’d love your thoughts on that. I don’t want to do an official survey with a clipboard, but it would be really helpful if you had any thoughts about what you liked or didn’t like so much and what you’d like to see more of.

So that’s me, or us. Nothing ginormous to report, we’re just cracking on with life, as usual.

How we encouraged and protected our child’s dreams

My son Ben has the most wonderful, vivid, lively imagination. He creates fantastical worlds for us to live in. One day we’re slaying dragons, the next we’re farmers with 1,100 horses, most of which are named after his friends at school. I love his imagination, I think it’s something to be nurtured and encouraged; who knows, I might have the next Roald Dahl on my hands!

With his big imagination comes big dreams. Dreams of being a train driver, a cowboy, a farmer or a ninja. Sometimes a combination of things, like being a ninja scientist – there’s probably a need for at least one of those in the world right? I have no idea what he will be when he grows up, I just want him to be happy and to love what he does. He’s wanted to be a ninja scientist for a while now, so a few months ago we started sending him to “ninja school”, learning mixed martial arts. He really likes training and learning the moves, and he sees it as a step towards becoming a real ninja.

Post Office Life Insurance How we've helped our son reach for the stars, and beyond!

I see my role as a parent as being one of the people to guide him towards good things in life; teaching him to be independent and capable so when he’s grown up or I’m gone, he can carry on doing the good things and being the best Ben he can be. To me, parenting is about providing motivation, leadership and inspiration to my son. I’m confident that should I be beamed up by aliens tomorrow, there are enough good people around him to love and support him in this way, right through to adulthood and beyond.

The Post Office asked us to find out what Ben’s hopes and dreams were. Surprise surprise he wanted to become a ninja… (wait for it) …dog walker. Yes, you heard. Find out what some of his other dreams and ambitions are in this short but incredibly adorable video.

I do know that if he truly wants to move to Japan and devote his life to becoming a ninja, he will probably need more than a few weeks’ pocket money to see him through. Training ninjas cannot be done on the cheap. Should anything happen to me or his Dad, our Post Office Life Insurance should step in to meet all his ninja training needs and give us some peace of mind too.

As for being a dog walker, that’s a dream which can very easily be fulfilled, starting with our own pup, Penny.

Post Office Life Insurance - How we've helped our son reach for the stars, and beyond!

Being a mum, there’s so much for me to worry and fret about, although I try and be as laid back as I can so he doesn’t inherit my worries. Having life insurance is one less thing for me to worry over. Having life insurance which will help my son to follow his dreams is even better. Super ninja, or super dog walker, whichever dream he chooses to follow, I know he will be the best Ben he can be.

This post is in collaboration with the Post Office.

My Life Changing Heatwave Life Hack!

Dear Reader, It’s impossibly hot out there and whilst we are trying our very best not to complain about the lovely weather, sometimes, just sometimes it’s just too much to deal with. Short of spending my day lurking in the freezer section of my local supermarket; I have turned to an unconventional way to keep myself cool; a Chilli Paws pet mat.

As someone who has worked from home for many years, I know that even with every window in the house open, the temperature can at times be a bit much. I spotted a Chilli Paws mat in B&M and bought it for my dog, thinking she would appreciate it. Typically the dog was not interested in the Chilli Paws mat. Thinking laterally, I realised the cooling properties of the mat, stuck it under my desk and now I rest my feet on it while I work.

I have turned to an unconventional way to keep myself cool - a Chilli Paws pet mat given to me by my friend Bob.

I was so impressed with my new chilled out feet, I bought a spare. I’ve had the most comfortable feet in South Manchester ever since. It is a godsend. Seriously.

I bet they’re also great for hot dogs and cats too, the trick is getting them to sit on it. My dog will just not listen to reason.

I bought my small Chilli Paws mat from B&M and it cost £4.99. I’ve had a look on their website and it’s not on there, but they have a lot of stock which never makes it to the website, so it might be worth popping in to B&M to see if they have any in your local store. If they do buy one for everyone you know.

I have turned to an unconventional way to keep myself cool - a Chilli Paws pet mat given to me by my friend Bob.

If B&M are out of stock they are available on Amazon for quite a few pounds more than the B&M price. The small one (which I’ve got and which is perfectly adequate for my under desk needs) is about £12.

This isn’t a review. I’m just passing on a genius solution to the hell of hot feet. One small thing, they’re probably not designed to have humans standing on them or walking on them; so do be careful not to do this because you might pop it and then you’ll be miserable with hot feet again.

My Life Changing Heatwave Life Hack

A little catch up – March 2018

Last month I wrote a little catch up post and I really enjoyed writing it and I think people liked reading it too, so here I am again with all our news from March.

On paper March was supposed to be quite a peaceful month with not much going on. By the end of the month I was wishing it would all be over soon and hoping someone would let me find a dark room to lie down in for a few days.

It’s not all been bad, in fact most of it has been lovely. Mother’s Day was a peaceful affair. We just chilled out at home, I got a card and some flowers and that’s all I wanted and needed. The boys know I’m a woman of simple tastes, thankfully.

After a year of mostly hibernating and hiding from the world, I booked two social events which I knew would be good for my old soul. The first was an afternoon at the Gin Festival at Manchester’s Victoria Baths with my good friends Karen and Jen. It was a really lovely afternoon of good food, good gin and great company. It was just what I needed.

A little catch up - March 2018

The second trip out was an evening at an embroidery workshop at a new craft shop in Didsbury. It’s called Crafts and Makes and is on School Lane. I made a really cute Scandinavian Fox and learned lots of things about embroidery – something I’ve not really done since school. It’s a great little shop and one I hope to visit again very soon. I do love a good craft workshop!

So that was the good, now for the not so good. Last weekend my son who has glue ear woke up in lots of pain, soon after one of his eardrums perforated and he was really quite poorly. We tried to get him antibiotics but the GP wouldn’t prescribe them.

Two nights later his other eardrum perforated, the infection had spread and he started vomiting; he had an aversion to light and his skin went all grey and mottled. We instantly went from quite worried about our poorly son to OH MY GOD LETS GET HIM TO HOSPITAL. The Doctor was brilliant, we were seen pretty quickly too. He was given a really good check over and we were sent home with a list of red flags to watch out for and some antibiotics.

It’s been four days since our hospital adventure and his infection seems to be clearing up. I am glad we’re off school for the next two weeks, he’s absolutely shattered. He’s sleeping 14 hours a night and too tired and weak to do very much at all during the day. It’s hard seeing my normally bouncy boy like this.

One thing which has cheered him up was a visit from the Easter Bunny. Like most things with us, Easter was a pretty low-key affair. My boy was too ill to be dragged about doing stuff and a quick Easter egg hunt in the garden was about as much as he could manage.

A little catch up - March 2018

I’d spent most of the previous week inside looking after the boy, so I took the chance to escape to church for a really special Easter service in the church yard. It was well worth the 5am alarm and creeping out of the house in the dark. I got home again about 7.30am and grabbed the dog and took her for a really long walk. I was loving the fresh air, the bright, clear spring day and the fact that there was no one else around. We walked for miles and I managed to tire her out, a virtually impossible task. I felt so much better for getting out and having a bit of space to myself.

So that was March, a gin filled, crafty little month. I think in time I’ll look back on this month mostly remembering my heart being in my mouth when my son was being checked over by the Doctor. Lets hope April shows significant signs of improvement!

What have you been up to this March?