Find Jessie A Home

Posted on 15th November 2015 in cat rescue/ cats

Beautiful Jessie

Could you offer Jessie the ‘naughty torti’ a loving home?

She is about 18 months old, petite, spayed and very affectionate.

In true torti style though she does like to be an only cat and she does nip so will need to be with an experienced owner.

I have met Jessie myself and found her to be an absolute sweetie, very keen to be stroked, tried to get on my lap and had an intelligent engaging face. She did nip me a few times but it was more playful than aggressive and I think it’s just her way of saying no. She did immediately turn around to be made a fuss of again.

If I didn’t already have 2 cats I would happily have taken her home!

Personally I would say this is all part of her charm and an experienced owner wouldn’t find it a problem at all, however she wouldn’t enjoy being around young children.

She is currently at Peterborough Cat Rescue, do get in touch with them if you think this cheeky girl could be for you. DSC_1113


Old Smokey 100WCGU Week #174

Posted on 10th November 2015 in #writingworkshop/ 100WCGU
Old Smokey

Old Smokey

Sheila had wept when she saw the damage. However innocently done, the heating engineers had killed her beloved smokebush.

David had planted Old Smokey when they first bought the house back in 1987 but now both he and the plant were gone.

This had been August last year yet still she mourned the loss of the plant, and her husband, each day as she walked past.

Unbeknown to Sheila, today, as the front door closed, an unseasonably warm breeze caused a flutter that gently rifled the leaves of a tiny smokebush sprouting from the ground.

~ ~ ~

Thank you for reading my entry in this week’s 100WCGU – the theme was the photograph that I have named Old Smokey.

To read other entries or to enter yourself, please visit Julia’s blog here.

Toby – 100WCGU – Week173

Posted on 2nd November 2015 in #writingworkshop/ 100WCGU/ Crime Fiction/ writing workshop

Toby paused, the agony of loss felt physical, he’d known it was coming but it still hit him like a punch to the heart.

The knowing, the expecting, the anticipating didn’t make it easier; the pain was just as raw and overwhelming as if it had been out of the blue.

He’d loved her. There was no denying it, she was the woman of his dreams and as the flames leapt skyward he knew his heart was breaking.

‘It’s done.’ He spoke the words curtly and ended the call. Turning his back on the burning car he walked away feeling his heart harden with every step.


This week’s prompt for the #100WCGU was:

Weather wise, it feels very strange here in the UK. It is now November but extremely mild. However, we have lots of fog around which makes for great atmosphere for the recent Halloween celebrations and this week, for Bonfire night. Let’s hope the temperature does not drop for November 5th. The prompt has to be around this theme, doesn’t it?!

It is: …as the flames leapt skyward..

If this is your first time here do check out ‘What is 100WCGU?’ for details of how to enter.


Toby – 100WCGU – Week173

Build A Luxury Garden Bench #DIY

Posted on 30th October 2015 in family/ garden/ garden centre

DSC_0823Here is how we built a luxury garden bench for a fraction of the cost of buying one. The end result is bespoke and sturdy, everyone comments on it and asks where they can get one!

The beauty of designing and building the bench yourself is that you can get it exactly how you want it to be. My ideal was for a large bench that someone could relax on with a good book and a cup of tea – with a roof in case of rain showers and plenty of places for wildlife.

The end result far surpassed the simple seat I had in mind and we now have a weather proof seat that is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. It is just as good for whiling away a few hours on your own or for four or five people to snuggle up on during a BBQ.

Seat quadrant

Start with a rough plan and then build it up into the structural posts needed to support the bench and roof if you are having one. This will enable you to plan out and see how many wooden posts you will need.


Once you’ve got your rough plan it is time to start construction from the base upwards.










As you build upwards, once you’ve got the seat in pace, you can start focusing on the roof supports.

This simple ‘p shape’ (below) works well to start off a sloped roof but the option of having no roof or a flat roof would be easier!


We then chose to dig out a section around the bench to fill with gravel and create an alternate patio style part of our garden. With a future plan to insert a fire pit at a later date along with some simple, sleeper, seats.


The eagle eyed among you will notice that we’ve also added electricity and some solar lights.


Russian Roulette #100WCGU #week172

Posted on 29th October 2015 in #writingworkshop/ 100WCGU/ Crime Fiction

Simon felt the familiar thrill of anticipation as the man the by door caught his eye. Skilfully keeping up the pretence of flirtatious banter he finished off the cocktails with a flourish and handed them over. ‘There you go, girls.’ He said with a well practised wink that generated a ripple of giggles.

Little did they know that their chosen drinks, the Howling Dog, the Moon and the Creaking Boards made for quite the game of Russian Roulette as one of them contained Rohypnol.

Shortly after, the girls waved their goodbyes and headed out into the night; the man by the door followed close behind. The chase had begun.

~ ~ ~

The above is my entry into this week’s one hundred word challenge for grown ups hosted by the lovely Julia Skinner @JfB57 – the prompt for this week was …the howling dog, the moon and the creaking boards… To see other entries or to find out more and have a go for yourself, click here.

#100WCGU #week171

Posted on 19th October 2015 in #writingworkshop/ 100WCGU

‘What about if I rock my chair back, like this” Barry demonstrated with an over zealous action nearly causing him to flip backwards “and then slam my coffee down and fix him with a steely glare?”

Trying desperately not to sigh out loud, Karen walked behind him and nudged the chair back to an upright position. “Or,” she said failing to keep the exasperation from her tone “or we could just be reasonable and ask him the questions we agreed earlier?”

“Love it, love it, I get ya” Barry winked “I’ll be bad cop and then switch to good cop but I can’t decide when to change.”

~ ~ ~

Have you tried the #100WCGU (one hundred word challenge for grown ups!) over at Julia’s place? This is my entry for it, adding 100 words to the phrase …I can’t decide when to change… If you would like to read other entries or have a go yourself, please click here.

Where Is The Help? #WMHD2015 #MentalHealth

Posted on 10th October 2015 in child/ child abuse/ childline/ children/ depression/ family/ swearing

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 14.08.55It’s impressive to see so much focus on mental health today as part of #WMHD2015, how we can help others and how we can help ourselves.

I have seen several posts online from famous people in support of this day and the message behind it, which is an important step towards ending the stigma and shame that so often goes hand in hand with the words ‘depression’ and ‘mental health issue’.

But where do you go for help if you currently feel like even getting up out of bed or out of a chair is like wading through porridge. How do you ‘go out and make new friends’ if you don’t find anything likeable about yourself and therefore can’t imagine for one second why anyone else would enjoy your company. How do you put yourself out there if the previous end result was that you stood in a room wrapped in a cocoon of fog while everyone around you was vibrant and engaged and fully embracing that elusive casual happiness that seems as unattainable as a lottery jackpot?

This post is focussing on children and teens as if we don’t start reaching out to change their attitudes and improve their self-confidence and self-worth then this situation is only going to keep on growing and self-perpetuating.

So for children and teens in the UK, where can they go for help? If the generation above them is full of people with no tolerance and no understanding then they will be met with a wall of ‘don’t be so pathetic’ and ‘oh for god’s sake, just get on with it’ not forgetting ‘man up’.

I personally think there needs to be a new programme throughout schools put in place to deliver grass roots help and support to children and teens, building their confidence and self-esteem in such a way that the earliest niggles of self-doubt may well never develop into anything further.

I’ve seen that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are championing #WMHD2015 and I hope that with their backing and support there might finally become a time for our children and our children’s children when mental health can reach a parity with physical health. A time when children will grow up with a sensitivity to others so that they are an inbuilt peer support system for each other.

You don't have to hit to hurt

However angry you are with a child, shouting and using abusive language is never the answer.

I have found it fascinating on #EducatingCardiff to see how the teens change their behaviour once the adults change theirs; the commitment and patience shown by several of the staff at Willows High is a joy to observe and surely should serve as an example to others in the profession. This ties in with the quote ‘You don’t have to hit to hurt.’

It can’t be coincidence that shouting, punishing and belittling students makes their attitude and behaviour deteriorate (along with their self belief and sense of safety and wellbeing), whereas praise, encouragement, trust, friendship and support makes them flourish and re-engage with their work, friends and the world around them.

If children were built up and nurtured at home and at school then they would stand more chance of growing up to be strong, confident, caring adults who would in turn build up and nurture their own friends, family and children; there is a great quote by Frederick Douglass ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’

So what is there in terms of support for this age group? The local mental health services are all suffering cut backs and only the more severe cases are getting through to access care. (Needless to reiterate if children were loved and nurtured appropriately in the first place this would vastly cut the numbers who would need to be referred.)

For adults there are many services available, like

For children and teens there is of course Childline, our local YMCA runs a free counselling service for this age group and there are several Facebook support groups out there but it is important to check that it is a supportive one as there are also several very scary pro suicide groups too.

There is also Big White Wall which offers an interesting take on support and is well worth looking into, I believe they have an app too. Speaking of apps, here is a list of apps that may help with wellbeing.

With support it is a case of finding what works for you. Joining a club or an evening class may be the solution for some people, but having secret online peer support is what works for others. Don’t give up if the first thing you try doesn’t work.

If anyone can suggest other support options in the comments that would be really helpful.

With love – and remember – you are worth it, you are a good person and you are doing fine x

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