Category Archives: General

Treasure Box Tuesday

Happy Treasure Box Tuesday! I’ve been on the ball this week and started writing this post on Monday, when I should have been packing boxes and sorting out our flat, but procrastination won over and so here I am.

This week I’ve dug out a book we bought or Squigglet last year at a poetry reading, don’t go assuming that we’re all highbrow and cultured and everything, as that totally isn’t the case, but a friend was hosting a local poet evening and so we popped along to support her and came away with this lovely collection ‘A Child’s Book of Poems: All Throughout the Year’ which features works from various Welsh poets and beautiful illustrations with a seasonal theme.  I remember loving poetry as a kid, especially those of Australian poet Banjo Patterson and in particular his poem Mulga Bills Bycycle along with silly limericks that kept us entertained on long car journeys.  I still like writing poems in secret but don’t often share them out of embarrassment, but perhaps I will get up the courage to some day soon.  As we’ve just hit July, I thought I’d share one of the July poems in the book here:

Summer Storm by Phil Carradice

The night the storm came, dragons roared outside our window; their breath – bright lightening flashes – forked the far horizon. The old house trembled, flinching under each and every bang.

‘Come on’, said Dad and led us to the garden. We sat on the veranda, gasping as the rain fell in torrents like a waterfall.

‘Remember this’, Dad Said, It’s nature at her best.’ We sat on in the rain. Thunder crashed and Dad was never closer as summer slipped between my fingers.

The night the storm came and dragons roared outside our window.

As I was thinking back to the toys we used to play with as kids I suddenly remember hours of fun with Pick Up Sticks, such a simple premise but totally absorbing to the point it would stop me and my brother constantly bugging each other as we quietly concentrated on winning the game.  I’ll have to remember that for when Squigglet gets to the ‘I’m bored’ stage.  In fact, I reckon I might get a set for me and Io to play for evenings when Bananagrams are proving too challenging, which happens quite frequently after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.

Hours of fun for the whole family….or maybe more so mum and dad

Lastly a bit of homeware eye candy that the Eden Project shop sells in our soon to be home of Cornwall.  I’ve been coveting these lacquered bamboo and coconut shell bowls for a while now, they are stylish, fairtrade and come in a range of fun bright colours that will add flare to any dinner table or party setting. They are a little on the pricey side (salad bowls £34 small bowls £17.50) but I’ve spotted similar products in Sainsburys for about half the amount, although not sure about the fairtrade credentials of those ones.

Lacquered Bamboo Bowls

Funky coconut bowls

I think these may be making an appearance in our new place at some point over the coming months, just have decide which colour!

Over and out for another Tuesday….


I think we’ll be having Banana Splits for dinner tonight……


By Pamela Sitt

Moms and dads all over the world are serving banana splits for dinner in the sweetest of tributes to a dying child and the mother who’s determined to find the joy in his last days.

Two weeks ago, doctors told Erik and Diane Roberts that nothing more could be done to save their 21-month-old son, Ryan, who was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect. Ryan had the first of four surgeries at four days old, and has since suffered a series of setbacks that made him a frequent patient at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

His hospital room “looks like a damn toy store,” Diane says. “We have a Jeep in here!”

The gifts, balloons and well wishes have been pouring in. But after Diane posted an update to her Facebook page sharing that she and her husband made the decision to issue a DNR — Do Not Resuscitate —…

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What do you want to be now you’re a grown up?

Do we ever stop asking ourselves this question? People are changing careers and lifestyle more than ever these days, whether that is due to the knock-on effects of the recession or just personal epiphanies, but when it comes down to it which of us ever truly feels like a proper grown up inside?

Remember careers day at primary school? (elementary). There were always a lot of firemen, teachers, doctors, nurses, the odd journalist, secretary and perhaps a train driver or two on the aspiration list, mainly because this is what we found as examples in children’s books or were part of our everyday lives in the 70’s and early 80’s.  Nowadays it wouldn’t be untoward to have a nuclear physicist, internet tycoon and plastic surgeon in the mix, depending on where you live!

Personally I wanted to own a sweet shop, lollies! But then what kid doesn’t? By my tween years I was tossing up between an Artist, Architect or Archaeologist…..and seemingly had an obssesion with professions beginning with A.  16 came along and I was dead set on hotel management as it seemed like a glamorous world of fancy dinners and high-flying guests.

By the time I was due to leave school and enter tertiary education I had no idea what I wanted to be anymore, so I went to teachers college.  I lasted exactly 1 year.  Don’t get me wrong I loved the actual teaching practise part, interacting with kids and helping them learn and grow.  It was more the thought of life-long homework for me, marking, writing reports, planning extracurricular activities that had me hanging up my white-board marker.

And so it went on for most of my 20’s, dallying along different career paths and taking courses on whichever new passion I stumbled upon, which have included but by no means limited to:

Waitress, bartender, wilderness lodge assistant, ski lodge assistant, homeopathy, Japanese gas station attendant, door to door salesperson, caterer, newspaper columnist, cosmetics counter manager, editorial assistant, massage therapist and spa trainer, English as a foreign language teacher, rafting photographer, bar hostess, Internet marketing and PR consultant – not in that order!

I often read stories in magazines about how *Frank, 41 gave up his life as a city banker to run a surf shop or organic bakery in small town Cornwall or *Mary, 32 left her high-flying career as a fashion buyer for Harrods to start a Yoga studio in Thailand etc etc, and rather churlishly I think ‘twats’ as they gaze smugly back from the page, radiating health and happiness. Actually I am just jealous that A: they had the means to follow their dreams and B: they could decide which one to follow!

These tales leave me twitching impatiently, waiting for my own lightbulb moment and hoping I have the gumption to follow it through, if and when it comes along. Well truth be told, I am incessantly hatching cunning plans to start one business or another and have a stockpile of ideas stored in my mental library which may well be unleashed one day in the future…..if only I can combat the equally long list of cons that accompanies it. It’s the same with would-be hobbies, the list is long and I never seem to make much headway on it. Although I guess starting a blog has ticked one thing off for the time-being and I have been kind of busy with this whole being a mum thing, which is way more challenging and rewarding than any professional role I’ve held.

There’s some new research into the way humans continue to learn in middle and later life, even languages and musical instruments can still be mastered with just a little more effort and immersion than we usually allocate to new interests in our increasingly overloaded lives.  Apparently you still can teach an old dog new tricks.  I’m not sure if the same can be said for learnt personality traits however, so it looks like my annoying habit of constantly being contrary could be doomed to remain with me, although maybe not 😉

As the age of retirement becomes higher and higher, it means that on average someone in their late 30’s – early 40’s isn’t even halfway through their expected productive working life, so surely a change in career and entrance into a new field should be well-recieved in a person of maturity and experience? Something tells me this is just not often the case and as a first-time mum in my mid 30’s with the possibility of another child joining the ranks some time in the next few years, I do wonder how this will affect my chances of re-entering the full-time workforce later down the track.

But all of this considered I guess the main thing I want to be now that I’ve grown up is happy, and whilst work choices play a large part, I have come to realise that a stable loving relationship and motherhood have bestowed this on me, and believe me it’s taken a while to get here.

But hey, at least I can still daydream about being a fabric designer…..Osteopath….. Astronomer….see it always comes back to the A’s, which is why I know Io is a great match for me as he wanted to be an Artist… Acrobat….Actor….Activist. There’s gotta be something in that.

Random note: speaking of careers, don’t you hate those work-related personality tests alot of companies and recruiters use these days?  There are all these scenarios, many of them repeated with a slightly different sentence structure and I know I quite often answer these differently based on the sentence structure alone.  Aside from this I start over-thinking the scenario based on my rather diverse employment background which I’m pretty sure doesn’t fit into most corporate cookie cutter moulds of personnel.  The most annoying part is, you never get the results so are left feeling like you’ve outed yourself as either some kind of paranoid control freak or a timid no hoper. Are they really an accurate indicator of the diverse way in which humans interact and behave in the workplace?

Right, I’m off to pack boxes for our Cornwall chapter of life…..let’s see what opportunities that move brings.

What about you? Do you harbour a secret desire to reinvent yourself or try out a completely different line of work?

Treasure Box Tuesday

Fail! Sheesh I may have bitten off a little more than I can handle committing to a weekly Tuesday post as although I have plenty of things to share, I am struggling a little to get the motivation to sit down and write about it this week as I’ve just started reading 50 Shades of Grey by E L James and I must say it is consuming any spare attention/time that I have, quite a racey story ala modern take on Mills and Boons. Aside from that we’ve been pretty busy with various outings and meeting up with friends this week, as me and Squigglet will be off back down to Wales this weekend to begin packing for our move to Cornwall, fingers crossed our lease comes through tomorrow!

Anyhoo, another random assortment of delights this week so lets start with Sqigglets latest toy obsession: train sets!

These Bigjigs wooden train sets are all the rage in London toy shops and after browsing the catalogue it seems you can start with the basics and build up with additional bits and pieces or themed sets as your child gets older, its also compatible with Brio.  Squigglet got the My First Train Set when we got to London and it has been a good piece of kit to keep her entertained every day and its pretty reasonable at £9.99.

Look mum I can fit inside it!

This next treasure is a bit random but completely in line with our plans to move to Cornwall and set up a new home in the next month.  I do a good line in obsessing about singular things I like/want and for some reason these coat hooks I’ve discovered recently from Oliver Bonas (a new find for me) are my latest passion.  Perhaps it’s something to do with the thick stone walled houses we’ve been looking at renting, but I can just see these hanging on the back of the bedroom door or porch with our initials for jackets, dressing gowns or towels – I have a thing about  people using my towel, just as Io who has been the bewildered victim of my wrath when he mistakenly picks up mine instead of his.  I’m getting over it, slowly.  Never mind essentials like washing  machines and freezers, vintage style coat hangers are obviously the key to a well-appointed home….mmm see my perspective can get a little skewed when it comes to pretty things.

Oliver Bonas Alphabet Hooks…and no this is not a sponsored post

Last but not least is a little something frivolous that I bought on a whim at the Wholefood Market this week.  I’ve been looking for a new summery perfume for a while now but not really wanting to shell out for a big brand variety, so I was happy to come across this lovely range of  scents from Pacifica, which I’ve never seen before but strikes a chord with me being from Kiwiland way down in the Pacific Ocean.  There is quite a range of smells from the flowery to fruity and they come in EDT or solid perfume style.  I got the Tahitian Gardenia which is reminscent of a stroll through a tropical flower garden on a warm humid night…..mmmm.

Mmmm Tahitian Gardenia…tropical flowery divine

Anyways, better late than never I guess Treasure Box Tuesday over and out till next week.

Silent Sunday: Daddy & Squigglet Chilling in the Playground

Daddy & Squigglet Chilling in the Playground

Taking a well deserved break post market shopping…..ah!

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