Browsing Tag


Great Grandfather’s Dancing Dog

Posted on 9th February 2012 in #thegallery/ Enid Blyton/ family/ grandfather

My grandfather was a man of great presence.

He liked good manners, courtesy, politeness and was often intimidating.

He spoke of his own father (a man I never met) with quiet respect. He spoke of being spanked and punished for his frequent cheeky outbursts. He described an austere man who I had always assumed was remote and authoritarian.

After my grandfather died, I found these:




They are little cards with carefully illustrated pictures of animals – much in the style of Enid Blyton – aren’t they gorgeous!

On the back of each, if you can make it out, is an inscription:

Not so remote and austere after all huh!

I think my favourite character is the little dancing dog :) I’ll never know what he named them and if he did little stories to go with them, but I can’t help smiling when I look at them.



Phone Photo #TheGallery

Posted on 11th January 2012 in #thegallery/ Christmas 2012

Christmas night.

The presents are all opened – and mentally sorted into ‘keep’ and ‘return’.

The Christmas dinner is eaten and all the preparation and stress is forgotten until next year.

The family have gone home.

The dishwasher is on.

The children are warm, happy, loved and sound asleep.

Now it’s time for a snuggle on the sofa, a movie, Christmas chocs and large cool glass of wine.




T is for… Tossing A Coin #TheGallery

Posted on 2nd November 2011 in #thegallery/ appeal/ applying for a school place/ coin toss/ decisions/ relocation

This week, more than any other in my life, I have heard the expressions “well at least you are trying”, “can’t say you didn’t try” and “you know you tried” and then being looked at with a somewhat flummoxed expression when I say that sometimes just trying isn’t enough.

It has literally got to the point where the decisions are so big that in order to bring them down to size I am actually tempted to toss a coin.

Trouble is…both the coins above mean something to me – so how can I chose which one to toss?

A Happy Memory #TheGallery

Posted on 14th September 2011 in #thegallery/ grandparents

Not a memory of mine, these are (or were) my grandparents. I’m guessing it is sometime in the 1970’s. This is my favourite photo of them because they are quite obviously having fun in it.

As a child I remember them being quite strict, my grandfather especially, I wasn’t allowed to wear jeans or trousers, I wasn’t allowed to chew gum, I wasn’t allowed to drop my ‘aitches and I was quizzed about capital cities and dates of wars over dinner – which could be anything from browned mince to a buffet of caviar, whole salmon, onions in vinegars and mushrooms à la grecque!

So for me, coming across this photo was a little bit like finding a Pandora’s box, albeit one that I can no longer open as they have both long since passed. 

This is my entry for week 37 of The Gallery, see more entries or enter yourself by clicking on the badge on the right hand side of my blog. x


Flood! #TheGallery

Posted on 11th August 2011 in #thegallery/ colchester/ flood/ lower castle park

My post for week 69 of The Gallery: water.

My immediate thought when I saw the prompt was of the time when lower castle park in Colchester flooded. I lived just off the park at the time and found the rising water both fascinating and terrifying at the same time!

As you can see in the picture below, even though the rain had long since stopped the flood water was very aggressive.

These ducks are swimming on the prized cricket ground!

Miraculously the water vanished as quickly as it had arrived, but it did give me a brief insight into how terrifying and unstopable flood waters are.

You can read more Gallery entries by clicking on the badge on the right hand side of my blog.

The HF400 #paperplanes #thegallery #passiton

Posted on 2nd June 2011 in #passiton/ #thegallery/ paper plane

This is a Guest Post from my son aged 11.

He likes making things. All sorts of things. He has been on my blog before with his Harpoon Pokemon. Today he is here with his paper airplane! (Airplane, aeroplane?)

He calls it the HF400 – seems as good a name for a plane as any if you ask me. Although there is a rumour that all the best planes are named after weather….. Typhoon, Tornado etc, so maybe it should be called the LightDrizzle?

Step 1

Step 2 – repeat on opposite corner

Step 3 – do a weird pinchy thing

Step 4 – flatten top section, retaining triangular shape

Step 5 – fold the top triangles into the mid-line

Step 6 – fold the bottom of this new section up

Step 7 – and then under

Step 8 – fold in the outside edges creating a sleeker shape

Step 9 –  fold in half

Step 10 – fold down each side from about 1cm up from mid-line to create the wings

Step 11 –  then fold again to make sleeker

Step 12 – repeat on both sides

Step 13 – make slits into the back of the plane with scissors and push the flaps up

Step 14 – ta da! You should now have made a HF400!

Step 15 – now all you need to do is comment below and tell my boy that he is a genius and that it’s the best darn paper plane you’ve ever flown :)

This is also my blog post for #passiton

It dawned on me while doing this with him how lucky we are to be carefree enough to be able to spend some free time making paper planes. We can do this because we have home, food, shelter and love. We aren’t worried about illness, our next meal or whether our water is safe to drink.

We are lucky and for that I am grateful.


In January Save the Children launched its most ambitious campaign to date, No Child Born to Die. Every year 8 million children under five die from illnesses we know how to treat or prevent, such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.

The Campaign:

Save The Children is focusing on the provision of vaccinations and healthcare workers. In June there is a meeting in London hosted by David Cameron and attended by other world leaders. Save The Children aims to make as much noise as possible to ensure the funding shortfall for vaccinations (4.7 billion) is met by all the donor countries.

If this funding gap is met the vaccines that could then be provided would save the lives of millions of children.

This week 3 bloggers/ vloggers are going to Mozambique to follow the journey of a vaccine from the coldstore in the city right down to a rural community. They will write, make films and tweet about their experiences, the children and families they meet and the challenges of “cold” vaccinations in hot countries.

The bloggers going are diverse, Lindsay Atkin (@Liliesarelike) is a hugely popular YouTuber, Chris Mosler (@christinemosler) is an influential parenting blogger and Tracey Cheetham (@tchee) is a popular political blogger and recently elected councilor.

What YOU can do:

  • If you have a blog, pass it on. I was tagged for this by the lovely @Metajugglamum I’m actually not tagging anyone in particular to do this – I want it to be open to anyone to take up the mantle.
  • You could get your child to draw a self portrait of themselves now or in the future, write a post about this or another associated thought or experience, then pass this on by tagging other bloggers. The main aim is to stress the point again … and again … that every child has the right to the same priveleges as our own; no mother deserves to lose a child unnecessarily and no child is born to die if there is a means to prevent it. Help spread the word. Thank you.
  • Sign the petition
  • Love your children, appreciate what you’ve got.

My Backyard #TheGallery

Posted on 25th May 2011 in #thegallery/ children/ garden/ LEGO/ love/ superheroes

I was a bit thrown by The Gallery prompt of ‘My Backyard’ as my garden isn’t anything special and I know a lot of you guys have wonderfully planted, loved and tended to gardens that will lend themselves beautifully to artful photography.

Then I thought about what my backyard means to me; a place of sanctuary? No. A place of noisy and boisterous play? Yes! My backyard is all about the 2 boys who play in it, who bounce on that trampoline in a way that stops my heart as I anticipate bad landings and trips to A&E, who trample my plants because they are too busy avoiding imaginary attacks from LEGO warships and who care not that the grass is worn.

Superheroes play in my backyard.

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