How Do You Spell Daffodil?

How Do You Spell Daffodil?


Just had to record a lovely 10 minutes spent laughing like a loon with my daughter.

Darlek: ‘Mum, how do you spell Daffodil?’

Feeling bored of being asked questions, I replied ‘F…..L…..O……G’

Darlek dutifully tries to fit the letters  ‘FLOG’ into her crossword.

She looks at me in disbelief and says ‘Flog? I can’t believe I just copied that out.’

Both of us collapse into giggles.

I tell her they’re actually called ‘Daffadilaflogs’ and struggle to keep a straight face.

Darlek grins at me and replies ‘Mum, don’t be an idiot’

I then inform her that a ‘Daffodilaflog is kind of like a dinosaur, similar to a Diplodocus.’

In my mind I have visions of a very camp dinosaur waltzing through a field of daffodils.

At this point Darlek realises she’s not going to get any sense out of her mum and proceeds to lie on the sofa upside down with her head hanging over the edge, and giggles loads.  I join in and it’s all very silly, but much more interesting than just spelling Daffodil properly.

Only a snippet of a moment in time, and a pointless one at that, but it was fun.  Happiness happens at the funniest of times.  Daffodil can also be spelt ‘Daffodilosilly’.  You learn something new every day.


Get Your Belly Out for Crohns and Colitis!

Get Your Belly Out

for Crohns and Colitis!

Life takes guts

Have you heard about the #GetYourBellyOut campaign for Crohns and Colitis awareness?  Because if you haven’t then you’re missing out on one of the biggest, most fantastic, fun awareness/charity campaigns ever.  I really do have to tell you about it, because it’s brilliant.

#GetYourBellyOut for Crohns and Colitis!

#GetYourBellyOut for Crohns and Colitis!

I suffer with Ulcerative Colitis so this campaign is very close to my heart.  Thankfully I’m in remission at the minute – although the disease will never go away and I will have to take a cocktail of drugs for the rest of my life to keep it at bay.  But this in’t a sob story, this is a story about a lot of people uniting, being brave and facing their illness head on.

By way of explanation: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) are something that are not often spoken of, I suspect it’s because a lot of people are ashamed of the symptoms.  Basically your immune system attacks itself and IBD’s specifically target the bowel.  The inflammation and ulceration is so bad that many people spend hours and hours in a day or throughout the night on the loo, dealing with horrific cramping, blood loss and more.  This is if we’re lucky enough to get to a loo on time……which doesn’t always happen. The bowels cease to work properly and as a result get rid of food from the body as fast as is possible in most cases.  The symptoms are humiliating and embarrassing to put it mildly.    The phrase ‘Never Trust a Fart!’ could not be more appropriate.  Sad, but true! Some people end up with malnutrition because their bodies can’t absorb the nutrients from their food.  Chronic dihoerrhoea is common, as is anaemia from the amount of blood that is sometimes lost.  Ironically this often leads to weight loss, which, from experience makes people think we are healthier.  I lost about a stone and a half in a couple of months at one point and everyone kept commenting on how well I looked.  If only they knew!

This applies to UC as well unfortunately.

This applies to UC as well unfortunately, although the symptoms are slightly different as UC affects the lower bowel.

The really sad thing is that there is no cure.  Literally.  If you’re lucky you can get into remission with medication, many of which have their own unpleasant side effects.  If this isn’t possible Crohns sufferers have to deal with multiple surgeries to remove diseased bowel sections and people with UC end up with colostomy bags which bypass the bowel completely.  IBD and related complications, still claim lives even now, although thankfully this is rarer than it was in previous decades.  It’s nasty.


Anyway, enough of the’ Yuck’ stuff, and more of the ‘Yay!’ stuff.  The #GetYourBellyOut campaign celebrates the fight that IBD sufferers go through.  It’s also raising money to go towards finding a cure for IBD.  As I mentioned before, people are often so ashamed of having such a horrid disease and it’s not talked about.  I mean, who wants to admit they crapped themselves in Tesco?  This means that there’s very little awareness of IBD.  This campaign has gone a huge way towards changing that.


If you search for the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut on Facebook or Twitter, you will see a multitude of belly photographs: scarred from surgery, unscarred, with colostomy bags, without colostomy bags, tattooed, tanned, big ones, small ones, ones with faces drawn on them (that’s me!), all kinds of bellies with one thing in common, IBD.  Someone has even uploaded a photo of a daschund that suffers with canine colitis.  Fabulous!  People who actively suffer with IBD have joined in, and many others are simply showing their support for friends and family who have it.

More brave bellies!

More brave bellies!

It’s actually very moving.  Society is very body conscious.  Every magazine I see seems to shout about ‘How to get a beach body!’ or the best way to ‘Lose a stone in a fortnight!’ or ‘Get yourself a flat stomach!’ etc etc.  This can make even the most confident amongst us stare sadly at our reflections and sigh a little.  Well, imagine having a colostomy bag or being heavily scarred because your bowels had a hissy fit and wouldn’t work anymore… and being faced with that.  You’d think it might make already physically wounded people, even more emotionally wounded and ashamed of their appearance.  But not necessarily.  Many UC and Crohns survivors are in fact proud of their battle scars and their colostomy bag.  They fought their disease and are still fighting.  The marks on their body are the outward signs of an inward battle, which they are facing proudly and with dignity.

The Get Your Belly Out campaign shows this so clearly.  IBD is usually a hidden disease, kept behind closed toilet doors for the most part. This campaign has changed that, you can actually SEE the people who are usually forced to hide their symptoms because they are so embarrassing and awful.  Please, please, please browse the myriad of photos online and see how many people it has affected, read their brave, determined messages and if you’re anything like me, get a lump in your throat.  You can also donate if you so wish by texting IBDA99 & your donation to 70070 or via Just Giving, the link is HERE.   You could even #GetYourBellyOut, post a pic online and show your support that way, you don’t have to have IBD to take part. I’d love it so much if you did.  This innovative, amazing campaign has raised £1470.00 so far and it all goes towards beating this horrid disease.

Keep in touch with this amazing campaign by liking the GetYourBellyOut Facebook page.  

Heartfelt thanks for reading all of this. It means more to me than you know.

This is my belly, it is happy because it is in remission.  This was done in permanent marker and I can't wash it off. Doh.

This is my belly, it is happy because it is in remission. This was done in permanent marker and I can’t wash it off. Doh.

Web-Blinds Sleep Easy Guide

Web-Blinds Sleep Easy Guide

'To Sleep, Perchance to Dream...'

‘To Sleep, Perchance to Dream…’

Wouldn’t we all like to sleep better?  I know I would.  Web-Blinds have uploaded a guide to doing just that.  I was asked to help them get the word out, and to see if I could improve my own sleep patterns too.  ‘Yep!’ I said, ‘I’ll happily help out.  Any excuse to sleep more.’

You see, my husband snores like a bad-tempered bear with a megaphone most nights, especially if he has a cold or if he’s been out drinking.  Poor love can’t help it.  He even had an operation to stop him snoring, but two days after the op, my then 3 year old daughter, punched him in the nose and ‘something went crack’ as he put it.  This meant that the operation was totally unsucessful and he simply snores in a different tone now, but just as ear-smashingly loud.  Before I developed certain coping methods, I regularly curled up in a ball on the sofa, at the bottom of the kids’ beds and in sleeping bags in the midst of a drift of toys on their floors.  Anything to avoid sleeping in the same room as him.

This is how I have learnt to cope. Not that I’m recommending it to anyone:

The Hello Kitty thing is full of bubble bath, it's nice to have a bath before bed to relax. A glass or two of wine helps knock me out before bed, as do the the 'Extra Strength' non-prescription sleeping tablets and the Co-Codamol helps a little too sometimes.

The Hello Kitty thing contains bubble bath, it’s nice to have a relaxing bath before bed. A glass or two of wine helps knock me out, as do the the ‘Extra Strength’ non-prescription sleeping tablets and the Co-Codamol. I use earplugs sometimes, but I dislike them because I can’t hear if the kids have a nightmare or throw up and need me.

It’s not good is it.  Maybe the bath and the ear-plugs are ok, but the rest of it can’t be a great long term solution can they?  The problem is I have never found a way around this, and literally the only way I can actually sleep in my own bed is to follow this rather unhealthy bedtime regime.

This guide is actually very helpful, it has made me re-evaluate what I’m doing on a regular basis.  Perhaps I can change a few things, and maybe if I do, I can become so relaxed I won’t mind about the snoring.  Firstly there’s this:

A favourite bedtime supper.  'More cheese Grommit?'

A favourite bedtime supper. ‘More cheese Grommit?’

I am terrible for snacking before I go to bed.  Their tips suggest eating cherries, milk, rice, bananas, turkey, sweet potatoes or valerian tea before trying to get some shut-eye….. not cheese.  Probably/definitely not cheese.  I suppose this means that when I do actually fall asleep I’m more likely to have weird dreams and feel less rested than if I’d eaten properly, which would help to release ‘healthy sleep-promoting chemicals and carbohydrates.’  Not sure if I can face sweet potatoes at 11pm, but maybe I should.

Then there’s this:

I often browse Facebook, Twitter and the BBC news before falling asleep.  I never read celebrity gossip pages though.  Oh no.  I'm far too high-brow for that you know.

I often browse Facebook, Twitter and the BBC news on my Android before trying to fall asleep. I never read celebrity gossip pages though. Oh no. I’m far too high-brow for that. Hmm…

Their Sleep Easy guide says a resounding no to this sort of thing.  Their Sleep Guide also says this is a Bad Thing and it will stop me sleeping.  So maybe I should resist the urge to find out about Kanye West and his latest rant about him being God and how he wants to sell leather jogging pants to the world.  Wait a minute, no.  I didn’t mean to say that.  I only ever read things about third world issues and politics really.

I also smoke, not a lot, but enough to probably muck up my sleep according to the Sleep Guide.

Something else I'm doing wrong.  Oops

Something else I’m doing wrong. Oops

I have invested in a couple of things that I hope will improve my sleeping patterns.  Inspired by the Sleep Guide, I thought why not?   One of the reasons I’m not comfortable in my own bed, is that all of our fitted sheets are for a double bed.  We own a king size bed and the sheets ping off the corners all the time, which is really annoying at 3am when you find you’re sleeping face down on bare mattress.  Finally, I plucked up the courage to buy something I’ve always dreamed of. A luxurious 1000 count egyptian cotton fitted sheet, gorgeous.  It fits the bed, it feels sleek and soft to the touch, it’s thick, it’ll last a lifetime – it better had do anyway!

We have a memory foam mattress which I love, and now I have the perfect bed sheets for it  too.

We have a memory foam mattress which I love, and now I have the perfect bed sheets for it too.

So, our bed is now complete.  A good mattress is essential for a good night’s sleep apparently too, so now we have the full set: a decent mattress and something lovely to cover it. So  now, even if I can’t sleep, I’ll be as comfortable as can be.  Snug as a bug in a rug as you might say.

I’ve also bought one of these for my darling husband:

'One Ring To Fix The Snoring' as not mentioned in the Lord of the Rings.

‘One Ring To Fix The Snoring’ as not mentioned in the Lord of the Rings.

This little circle of peace, calm and all things quiet – is an anti-snoring ring.  It works on a principle based on acupuncture.  I really, Really, REAlly, REALLY hope it works.  It arrived yesterday and I have high hopes for it.  Maybe it will save me from a fate worse than deafness and sleeplessness. It certainly fits in with the ‘Keep Unwanted Noizzze At Bay’ section on Web-Blind’s Sleep Easy page.

I’ve read, taken note of and tried to put into practise as much as I can of the Sleep Guide and if it can guide me into long uninterrupted hours of blissful sleep I will be one happy bunny.  Please click on the Sleep Easy Guide if you’d lke to find out more.  I honestly think it makes a lot of sense – apart from the eating sweet potatoes at bedtime bit.

This was written in conjunction with  Web-Blinds.  Thanks to them I may never have to snooze on carpets, chairs or curled up with the dog ever again.







Spitting Feathers and Sneezing

Today I’ve got a cold, the sort that makes you shiver, your nose run and your head feel full of fluff and your chest rasp like it’s got sandpaper in it.  Which is nice.  When you have a job and feel ill, you take a day off don’t you.  It’s called a sick day.  A day when you snuggle under a duvet and watch crap telly, venturing into the kitchen for Lemsips every now and then.

So, I took a day off.  As you do when you’re a mum.  I didn’t get up, feed the dog, feed the kids, dress them, walk them to school, go to the bank, get shopping, walk home, unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, put washing on, hang washing up, wipe the sides down, plan tea, walk the dog or do anything like that.

Except I did.  With pockets stuffed with snotty tissues, I did it all.

Earlier in the week I had a casual conversation with a fellow dog walker that I’d not met before, I’d forgotten a tissue and it was cold and windy.  So when he asked me how old my dog was….I blew a snot bubble at him.  As you do. I nearly crawled into a hole and died.  So yes, I make sure I am never without tissues now.

Anyway, later I will spend another 45 minutes on the school run, cook tea, wash up tea, unload yet more washing, do the kid’s homework with them if I find time, stop them murdering each other and I will of course, down yet more paracetamol.

So, my darling Horace.  The next time you feel so poorly you can’t go into work, I’ll have a list of things you have to do regardless.  ‘It’s a good job you don’t have a job to go to then isn’t it’ he replied when I casually said that if I had a job I’d be taking a day off.

I guess this isn’t work then?  Is it a hobby?  Can I just get bored with this and say, nope, not doing the parenting thing anymore.  I’m just going to get into making jam now and sell the kids as they’re just too much like hard work and I don’t have the time.

I need to stop now.  Steam is coming out of my ears and I may be spitting feathers too.  Neither of which is an attractive look.  Plus I think I need to go find another Lemsip *sneezes and slides off chair *

“I’m going on a Lemsip hunt, going to catch a big one…..’

Please recite to the tune of ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’.

Boris and the Horn.

Boris and the Horn.

Boris ‘has got the horn’ quite literally. Pets at Home are stocking buffalo horns for dogs to chew on. I didn’t have the heart to ask about what happened to the rest of the buffalo for fear of finding out something truly horrendous. He likes it I think. He also ‘has the horn’ for his toy lion which is getting increasingly embarrassing. I sat in a pool of sunlight drinking a cup of tea and reading a book this afternoon, it was thoroughly relaxing – apart from when Boris started rolling around on the floor and humping the poor thing. I lost my page because I was giggling too much to concentrate. It’s so undignified. We’ve christened it his “Love Lion” now. It must be an awfully confused lion, he swings between savaging the poor thing to making sweeeet love to it. We may have pups of a very unusual kind in the house sometime soon.
For new readers, Boris is our dog, not my husband or anything.  Horace does not have any inclinations of that sort for stuffed lions.  At least he’s never told me of any.

MoneySupermarket and The Retail Royalty Challenge

MoneySupermarket and The Retail Royalty Challenge

Last year I took part in a blogging challenge set by MoneySupermarket, and although I had every good intention, I never got around to blogging the results.  Here they are!  Finally.  Yes I’m crap.

I was given £31.26 and the idea was to spend that as wisely as possible in a way that supported a local charity.  Over the last couple of years I’ve been involved with PostPals, so they seemed to be the obvious choice.  There’s a little girl called Poppy on the PostPals site, she has multiple health issues, almost too many to list – a few of which are pseudo obstruction, Pancreatis, and she’s waiting for a small bowel transplant.  She’s only 7 years old and, having two kids of my own, it makes me sad to think of her going through so much when she’s so young.  Here’s her page if you’d like to find out more about her on the Post Pals site: Poppy

Apparently she’s a huge Postman Pat fan, so I decided to cheer her up with a couple of playsets.  I found two from John Lewis that included a ‘Postman Pat Sorting Office’ and a ‘Postman Pat Office Playset.’



*Sings* “Postman Pat, Postman Pat! Postman Pat ran over his…..” I’ll stop there shall I?

I’d spent a while trying to find a Postman Pat fancy dress outfit for her, but it proved near impossible.  Then Libby from The Dressing Up Chest came to my rescue, or should I say to Poppy’s rescue.  And because she’s an absolute love, she made her a beautiful quality, Postman Pat outfit and wouldn’t accept a penny for her trouble either.  How lovely is that!  All of these items were posted straight to Poppy’s home address with the aim of brightening her day a little.

Here it is:

All Poppy needs now is a black and white puss cat called Jess, but I think I'll leave that to her parents

All Poppy needs now is a black and white puss cat called Jess.

I’ve bought a Spiderman outfit for my son from The Dressing Up Chest and a few other bits and pieces too, so I can vouch for her excellent customer service and how sweet she is too.  Libby makes absolutely gorgeous clothes, with care and attention and a lot of talent.  Please do drop by her page and take a look.

If you want to find out more about the Retail Royalty, MoneySupermarket challenge you can click HERE .


There’s a banana skin in a an empty mug on the desk, an empty yoghurt pot with a spoon in it sat there too.  By the door there’s a drift of hats, clothes, gloves, scarves, discarded coats and odd shoes.  The kitchen, which was immaculate at about 3pm yesterday, is now covered in cups, plates, spoons, empty cheese plastic packets and our sink is scattered with coffee grains.  It’s a bit grim.

How can a relatively tidy house turn into such an effing mess in 24 hours.  I’ll give you one short, swift answer.  Kids.  I only have two, but it feels like I have 50 of them some mornings, because of the bedlam they generate.

This morning we’ve been preparing for ‘Rainbow Day’ which is basically a day that the school has organised for charity.  Each school year has been asked to dress in a certain colour.  Darlek’s year is yellow and Sausage’s year is purple.

With this in mind, I spent half an hour last night putting 8 bright yellow woollen hair wraps in Darlek’s hair last night.  She wanted me to do all of her her hair but I told her my fingers would fall off.   This morning the full force of the ocassion hit home.

Get this….in 45 minutes this morning I completed a marathon.  I hit the ground running and flailed around like a crazy thing.  Darlek wanted her hair putting in a bun; the dog wanted feeding; both kids needed breakfast plus drinks (none-alcholic, tempting though it was to sedate them); two packed lunches were made whilst the kids argued over who got the sole remaining banana and who got a tangerine; I dug around in drawers for any tops that were vaguely purple for Sausage;  I tried to cellotape cut out yellow circles onto Darlek’s skirt because they were falling off; I located pairs of shoes scattered around the house; frantically tipped the hats and gloves bag on the floor in search of gloves, none of which matched; lost my own shoes and ended up in muddy wellies rather than go barefoot; lost and found the dog lead a fair few times and just generally had the morning from hell.  All the while Darlek, who loves fancy dress, ran around trying to get Sausage to wear purple knee protectors that are usually used for rollerbooting purposes – because they were purple of course, and just badgered me for purple and yellow things.  She even asked at one point if she could take one of the yellow tulips from a bunch of flowers on the side.   I said the knee protectors were rather inappropriate and she looked very upset with me. However, although I said she couldn’t take a tulip, she could take a banana if she so wished, because it was yellow.  Not quite as pretty stuffed in her hair though, so she refused.

I have no idea why, but there seems to be an unusually high occurrence of the word ‘banana’ today.  I think it’s because I’m subconsciously going a bit bananas with it all.

I was at the end of my tether this morning.  Whilst literally kicking through the pile of hats and gloves this morning, with my welly boots on, in a most unseemly and aggressive manner, I’d just had enough.  Oh for a quiet life, a steady job, children that didn’t stick yellow stickers on their faces and want to wear knee pads to school.  Just for calm.

After herding them down the road, while Darlek complained that her tights kept falling down and waddled like a penguin, all the while yelling ‘Come on!  We’re late, get yer ass moving!’, I finally dropped them off at school and returned home.

My house looks like it’s been burgled by a stampeding horde of elephants.  About 20 minutes ago I stood at the back door, fag in hand, looking like the windswept, bedraggled middle aged housewife that I am, thinking about how I just cannot face the clear up operation today and was it all worth it.  The radio was playing Desert Island Discs and someone had chosen a song that I’d not heard in years and that was it…tears streaming down my face.  It’s not easy to cry and smoke at the same time either, let me tell you.  The song was ‘The Things We’ve Handed Down’ by Mark Cohen which I’ve included a link to.  It’s a tear jerker.

Darlek has her dad’s strawberry blonde hair and my sense of humour.  Sausage has gorgeous dark leafy green eyes just like his father and strops like his mother.   We’ve given them far more than just an untidy house, we’ve handed down ourselves and our lives to them.  What they jigsaw together from this untidy patchwork of a childhood is up to them. I wish them all the luck in the world.