Friday 31 December 2010


I read through everyone’s most recent blogs last night and it looks like you all had a great Christmas and got goodies galore! I had a great time at Panto, Julian Clary was hilarious, and we had a lovely meal in the Hippodrome restaurant (me a mini meal).

My Cute Knitted Elephant From My Mum. He was bought From a Lovely Lady at the Bicycle Basket Bazaar.
I usually spend Christmas at my aunt’s but Lily is more at home with my mum’s dogs than my aunt’s so we went there and had a lovely time. We watched Christmas TV, did a jigsaw, filled out our new diaries etc. I received lots of lovely presents and so many more than I’d anticipated. My best present was from my mum; over 150 vintage Woman’s Illustrated magazines, which I collect. I’d spotted them on eBay a few months ago as a job lot and mum strongly advised me not to bid on them as ‘it’s a waste of money’. I put a bid in anyway, although quite a low one, and since the bidding was private I didn’t know that I was in fact bidding against mum for them. She did really well to keep them a secret because she’s a bit like me with presents and gets so excited that she wants to give them early, but she held out. When I asked what the large box was in the living room she said it was a paint brush cleaning machine for my step dad. I believed her right up to the last minute when she said ‘that’s not really Tony’s present, it’s yours’, and I wondered why on earth she’d bought me a paint brush cleaner until I opened it!
Woman's Illustrated

The magazines kept me busy all day as I not only flicked through them but catalogued them in my little system. I catalogue all the issues and dates etc so that when browsing eBay for more to add to my collection I know which ones I already have. Funnily enough when I phoned people to thank them for my presents nearly all of them said, ‘I thought it would keep you quiet for the day’. Hmmm. My Where’s Wally set of books, vintage magazines, and Christmas sticker book suitable for a four year old certainly kept me quiet, as did cuddling up with the dogs and eating chocolate. Yes, the diet slipped a bit over Christmas but I still ate nowhere near the amount I usually would so when I nervously weighted myself today I had still lost weight. Yay! I’ve now lost exactly a stone and I’m very much back on the diet.

My New Tape Measure From My Bestest
I decided to be sensible with my Christmas money and rather than waste it on clothes that won’t fit me in a few months I bought the shelving system I’d been wanting from Ikea to keep all my stock tidy. My cousin helped me put it up yesterday and my spare room looks so much tidier. I can’t wait to head off to the carboot sale on Sunday and fill it with more goodies. I haven’t been to a carboot sale for ages and I’m very excited. My leopard print shopping trolley is at the ready and by pounds, fifties and twenties are all bagged up ready to be spent. Apologies for the lack of festive pics in this post, I’ve totally veged out over Christmas and neglected to take any pics of presents and the like before putting them all away. Right, I’m off to carry on my January sortathon. Hope you all have a lovely evening!

Sunday 19 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

I don't know why but I find snow or any really bad weather actually, a really good excuse to do absolutely nothing and just sit and read. I'm not really a person who reads a bit each night before I go to bed, because once I start a book I have to finish it within a day or so. I suppose I could read a book each night instead of wasting time watching TV but I'm not sure that would feel the same, probably because watching TV requires minimum effort and attention and when I'm watching TV I tend to almost switch off mentally, unless it’s a really good program that I've been following. I think this is why I tend to watch things like 'Paramedics' 'Real Rescues' and the like. They're require total minimum effort to watch.

So anyway, this weather has given me a really good excuse to cuddle up with a candlewick and read. I read The Wasp Factory yesterday as I've been wanting to read it for ages, and to be honest I'm not sure what I thought of it. It was intriguing enough to keep me reading but it's not something I'd want to read again. So yesterday night I started my second book and chose something I knew I'd enjoy. I bought a full set of Agatha Christie Miss Marple books from a carboot sale months ago and have been waiting to get reading them all, in chronological order of course. I read Agatha's first Miss Marple, Murder at the Vicarage, while at Uni and loved it so started The Thirteen Problems and love it already. It's so clever how she's set 13 short narratives within another narrative. I'd definitely recommend it. I'm sure there's an actual word for setting a narrative within a narrative that I learnt at uni, but I have the worst memory ever and I'm sure my education has been totally wasted by the fact that I can only half remember that I learnt something about 'something' but can't fully recall it. It drives me mad and I’m going to blame it on my dyslexia related limited memory.

I’d love to be one of these people that can recall all sorts of stuff because I do find what I have learnt genuinely interesting, I just can’t blooming remember any of it. My cousin finds uni really easy because he remembers so much information, so once he’s read something it’s permanently stored and he doesn’t have to keep reading over the same stuff again or relearning things. Super handy for exams. I used to remember 3 key points then ‘brain dump’ them onto the exam paper the minute I turned it over and then elaborate on them.

I’ve seen from the news and everyone’s blogs that the snow has hit everywhere this time. I do love the snow; although I’m not sure that feeling will last when I need to go out tomorrow. I think I may have to dig the car out. Lily absolutely loves it and though it was very exciting that she had to dig her giant tennis ball out of the snow. Here she is wearing her lovely new colour that her Nan bought her from Pene. It’s so pretty and is covered in East of India Union Jack ribbon. Pene has a little dog too, a cute little westie girl called Daisy.

This will be my last post until after Christmas so I hope everybody has a lovely time and eats lots of yummy food and has lots of lovely company xxx

Thursday 16 December 2010

I’m attempting to be productive with my time off work and get some EBay stuff listed. My spare room is rapidly filling up with vintage bits and bobs to sell and I really need to clear some space so I can buy more treasure, and also so I can buy a new storage shelf thing from IKEA, so the mountains of treasure can be stored a bit more neatly.
Lily’s loving me being off work and the morning lie ins and cuddles. She’s also enjoying my daytime TV choice of Real Rescues. Well she must be enjoying it because she sits by the TV when the sirens come on. I’m so so bored at the moment, probably because I still can’t bend properly and also because food was always a major ‘event’ and excitement for me and now that’s been removed. Oh well, I’m back at work on Tuesday and then it’s pretty much Christmas and time for jigsaws! Oh I love doing jigsaws at Christmas time.

On Christmas Eve we’re off to Panto at the Birmingham Hippodrome (it’s a bit of a family tradition). Joan Collins and Nigel Havers are in it this year so it should be good and the jokes are always suitably cheesey. We’re also having a meal in the restaurant, which are always delicious, but I’ll be having soup of something similar this year rather than some tasty meat dish. At least I should have lost enough weight by then to actually fit into some of my clothes. I’ve lost 10lbs already! Not too hard when your main food is soup and you’re not exceeding 700 calories per day. Let’s hope I keep up the good work over the festive season. In theory I won’t be able to eat anything much because the band will stop me but there isn’t much restriction in it until I have my first ‘fill’, so at the moment it’s mainly will power and I’m doing much better than I usually do with that. As some of the other band patients and I who have kept in touch keep saying, ‘It’s working because I’m scared to eat anything much in case I ‘break’ it…it cost £6000, I’m not bloody ‘breaking’ it!’

Hope everyone’s nearly ready for Christmas and is ‘Keeping Calm and Carrying On!’ xxx

Sunday 12 December 2010

Snuggly Snuggie

I’m sat watching Dirty Dancing in my ‘snuggie’. I look almost as attractive in my snuggie as I did in my surgical stockings, paper knickers and hair net on Wednesday. I love Dirty Dancing so much and have fond, yet embarrassing, memories of my old house mate and I dancing to the Dirty Dancing remix in Hanley as if we knew ALL the dance steps. Obviously we didn’t and after a pitcher too many cocktails (we were in Flares or one of the other variations of those bars) we both fell over while attempting a particularly difficult dance move.

My old housmate and I the night of our Dirty Dancing fall

Since the op I’ve been drinking only smoothies, soup and the like and am looking forward to being able to wear something lovely for my birthday. I don’t think I’ve been ‘out, out’ as I say, since about March because there was no point in going out if didn’t feel ok in how I looked, so instead I stayed in and got fatter. Well no more. Once I’ve shifted a stone I’m going to treat myself to something new to wear. I’ll also have lots to wear from my existing wardrobe as everything in there I like, it’s just too damn tight.

Lily and I came home on Friday as we’d been staying at my mums for a few days after the op. She’s super excited to be home and has spent most of her time snuggled up on her favourite candlewick of stealing the bird’s fat balls in the garden. I haven’t been in too much pain or discomfort following the op, mainly trapped wind pain from being inflated like a balloon and most of the pain radiates to the left shoulder because of some nerve or other. Most pain has now gone except for sharp jabs in my rib (where my band port is sewn to my rib muscle) if I do certain movements and I certainly won’t be bending for a fair few days. I’ve come up with and ingenious way of flicking things off the floor with my feet onto something higher so I can reach them. My hands, wrists and arms have turned interesting shades of green and blue from 9 attempts to get a cannula in my arm. It wasn’t the anaesthetists fault, I’m always a nightmare to get veins in and this was made lots worse by the fact I’d had to fast for the op. In the end they knocked me out with some gas or other first and then the very handsome surgeon managed to get a vein.

I hope everyone’s had a lovely weekend and thank you again for all your lovely comments xxx

Thursday 9 December 2010


Just a quick one to let you all know I'm at my mum's resting after the op and I'm fine. A bit uncomfortable and bruised, but that's to be expected, especially since I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to pain. I've just taken off my extremely attractive surgical stockings and am walking around the house as much as possible to try and shift some of the wind from where my belly was pumped up for the keyhole surgery. It was a bit sad in hospital that the other band patients and myself were so pleased with ourselves every time we managed to burp, haha. Hope everyone's having a good week. I'm off to make a cuppa and will be browsing my favourite blogs as soon as I can sit comfortably for long enough xxx

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Packed and Ready to Go

Thank you for all your lovely and supportive comments. Sorry if I haven’t replied to all of them, I’ve been busy making the house look Christmassy and changing all the bedding etc for my return. It’s a bit like going on holiday isn’t it, where you want everything done ready for when you get back. I’m now all packed and ready to go.

I also managed to make it past the ultra slippy decking this morning to take a few pics of the beautiful frost.

Hope you all have a lovely week and I’m sure I’ll be on here by Thursday or Friday. I’ve decided not to take my laptop into hospital since I’m only in overnight. Fingers crossed for Sky TV because I have to have Sky News on in the background. I find it strangely comforting xxx

The Hospital Group. Dolan Park, Bromsgrove.

Monday 6 December 2010

A Weighty Issue

I was in the petrol station a few months ago about to pay when the male cashier spotted the fuel tanker coming down the road about to fill the pumps and muttered ‘tanker time’. He then quickly stated ‘sorry I don’t mean you…no really, I didn’t mean you’.

When I was even slimmer than I am now I was having a go on my cousin’s space hopper in the back garden. Both of my cousins burst out laughing and one said, ‘sorry, I was just thinking you look like a space hopper sat on top of a space hopper’, then the other one laughed, ‘Oh my God, I was just thinking the same thing’.

Luckily I have a good sense of humour but when I’ve got to the stage where someone mentions a tanker and thinks it could be taken to mean me, or where I’ve apparently started to resemble a space hopper, it’s probably time to take drastic action.

After years of struggling with my weight (struggling as in losing a stone then putting two of three on), yoyo dieting on numerous diets and generally seeing my weight go up and up I’ve decided to have a gastric band to help me control my eating habits. I hadn’t realised until researching the band that you still have to follow a diet and that if you choose to eat chocolate or other foods that will ‘slip’ through the band easily, you won’t loose any weight, but after researching it all and having a full consultation I’ve decided it’s the right choice for me. It’s certainly not a quick fix and I will still have to work hard to lose the weight, but the band will help me not to feel so hungry and will help me limit my portions, something which I massively struggle with as I’m a real binge eater and am obsessive about food; food is very much my heroin.

My family have been super supportive in helping me afford the op and at the moment I’m on my pre-op diet of Slim Fast, Muller yoghurt and low calorie drinks ready for my op on Wednesday. This liquid diet will continue for a few weeks after my operation to kick start my weight loss and allow my band to settle in before my first ‘fill’, where they inject saline into my band to make it tighten and restrict the amount I can eat. Everyone keeps asking if I’m nervous but I can honestly say I’m not. I’m really excited and massively looking forward to loosing weight for my birthday (28th Jan). Some people think I’m mad having the op before the ‘biggest eating festival known to man…it’s CHRISTMAS!’ as I keep being told, but by January I could easily be a stone heavier and I don’t want to feel quite so overweight for my birthday.

As my weight’s gone up and up I can no longer really wear the vintage clothes I love as even if I find them in my size they just don’t sit properly. I’m a short (or petite) 5’2 and am approx. a 14 and a half stone pear shape at the moment and am hoping to get down to around 10 or 10 and a half stone eventually. According to medical weights and BMIs I should be about 8 to 9 stone, but I’ve never been thin and I don’t think it would suit me. I’m aiming for the slim but round look as my bum and hips will always be big and I’m happy with that, as long as I’ve got a tiny waist to go with them (which naturally I’m meant to have).

I've bought this dress and once I've lost some weight I'm hoping to look more 'Holly Willoughby' in it than Mrs Bridges

I’m only in hospital overnight and have wifi and a flat screen TV in my room, so as long as I’m not too zonked by the anaesthetic I’m sure I’ll be straight back on Blogger reading all my favourite blogs. In the meantime I’m off to have a nutritious and delicious Slim Fast and try to convince myself that it really is delicious. They started nice, but after two days of them…hmmm.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Lucky Me

Apologies for having disappeared from blogland for a little while, I’ve been busy busy finishing off my Christmas shopping and battling the need to hibernate in this cold weather. How’s everyone’s Christmas shopping going, or has it been totally disrupted by all this snow? After visiting a specialist bottled ale and lager shop today (it’s amazing and I really should have taken my camera) I’m all finished. I even have wrapping paper, although obviously I’ll end up running out on the last present because that’s just what happens.

I had some great news this week. My uncle, who’s also my boss, bought some raffle tickets from Canine Partners and gave each of us in the office a ticket and I won first prize! I've been so lucky with wins this year; fisrt Vintage at Goodwood, now this! We had no idea what the first prize was so I had to run into the office and search for the raffle info and it seems I’ve won a two night stay at Warner’s Bodelwyddan Castle in Wales! I’m so excited and am taking my bestest friend Jessy. We’re thinking of booking for spring as the views look lovely and I’m sure they’ll be even lovelier at that time of year.

Jess and I being silly billys sometime last year
I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned Canine Partners before but without meaning to sound like some naff charity advert, the work they do is amazing! They train dogs, mainly labradors, retrievers and labradoodles to assist disabled people with all sorts of tasks, such as loading and unloading the washing machine, picking things up off the floor, pushing an empty wheelchair closer to their owner (or partner as they’re called), retrieving all sorts of items (most importantly the phone in an emergency), handing a purse/wallet to a cashier, opening and closing doors, the list goes on. They dogs are amazing, as are the trainers who teach them all these invaluable skills.

My uncle’s Partner, Jet, is an enormous black Labrador and his favourite tasks are finding the phone and shutting the conservatory door. His skill of finding the phone and his common sense were invaluable when my uncle, Les, fell from his wheelchair one evening and cut his leg open. He lost an awful lot of blood, was unable to reach a phone and was slipping out of consciousness. Jet searched f my uncles mobile, took the phone to him and licked and nudged his face to keep him conscious. Jet would usually have also taken him a blanket and lied next to him to keep him warm until help arrived, but I think he was put of doing that by all the blood. As well as being a super hero style dog, he’s also just a normal dog with a sense of humour and who is great company.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Sunday 21 November 2010

Sorting and Stitching

This weekend I stayed at my mums, mainly because I haven't stayed at hers for ages, but also because I needed to retrieve the bags and bags of clothing and coats from her loft that I've been storing up there. I'm back home now and have started to sort and price all of the clothing and coats ready for Saturday’s Bicycle Basket Bazaar. I'll also be taking a few pairs of 80s boots and some leather and faux leather gloves; it’s definitely the weather for them.

I found this gorgeous (and very creased) 1970s Jeff Banks for Rembrandt dandelion print blouse in one of the bags. I picked it up in a charity shop while at uni and living in Newcastle Under Lyme. The pattern’s so lovely and the material a nice sheer type that I’m going to keep it, even though I’m nowhere near its size 12 size tag, which in today’s sizing probably equates to a 10.

I also made these while watching Strictly and I’m a Celebrity. I’ve made more than there are in the picture but didn’t make as many as I might have if I hadn’t have had all of the dogs competing for space on the sofa next to me.

I had a lovely surprise in the post last week from Helen at the Undomesticated Scientist. Helen sent me this beautiful Royal Jubilee tablecloth and the images on it are beautiful. I’ll be finding somewhere very special to put it. Thank you Helen!
P.S. My new favourite song is Ellie Goulding's version of 'Your Song' from the John Lewis advert. I keep walking around singing my head off to it. Fortunatley having a dog usually means that the said dog thinks your fantastic at everything, including singing. Every time I sing it Lily wags at me and makes this noise that she makes when she's content. She'd be a terrible X Factor judge if she likes my voice

Thursday 18 November 2010


I was so excited this morning to see that I have reached 100 followers! Thank you so much for all the lovely comments you leave, they really do mean a lot and I love reading them. I also love reading all of your blogs, all of which I try to pop over to at least once a week. I'm finding myself talking about my blog friends more and more and I think the people at work think I'm slightly mad, but people you have things in common with and enjoy having a good laugh and discussion with are just that aren't they, friends!

By some coincidence the day I hit 100 followers is also the day that my friend's very helpful boyfriend finished designing me a logo. Thanks Dan! I've plonked it onto my blog for you all to see and I hope to tidy up the rest of my blog over the coming months. I just don't get HTML coding and can't seem to get the colours quite right on my blog, so I'll be capturing some computery type person soon and asking for a helping hand. Hope you're all having a good week, and if not, at least it's nearly the weekend! XXX

Wednesday 17 November 2010

To Watch or Not to Watch

I was up super early this morning for training in Nottingham. I'd like to say that it was my early start and late finish that has made me super sleepy, but no, there's another culprit; The FX channel's new American TV series, The Walking Dead. Now I think it's a really great show, I like the style of it and I of course adore Andrew Lincoln BUT, since watching the first episode I have been having zombie nightmares and now I've seen the second episode I'm having even more! The kind where your wake up with a jump, struggle to get back to sleep but really need to so you can go back into your dream and resolve it, or is that just me being weird and control freakish? Hmm.

It's not even like I'm terrified while I'm watching the bloody programme! It has to be said that I'm not at all into horror movies or the like and tend to stick to comedic gothic stuff like the fabulous Being Human, but The Walking Dead's not horror is it? I don't feel horror when I watch it, I'm more fascinated by the gore and busy feeling permanently anxious that somebody's going to get attacked by a zombie. Thinking sensibly, if I feel tense and anxious throughout most of the programme that's probably where the nightmares are coming in. Now it's nearly Friday and time for the third episode. Do I abandon the programme all together in the hope of a good nights sleep, even though I like the show? Or do I, in my cousin's words, 'man up' and get on with it. I think Lily dog thinks I should abandon it since taking up half of a king size bed and having her own pillow doesn't seem to be comfort enough. By her huffing and puffing at my nightmare induced restless tossing and turning it seems she wants an undisturbed nights rest too!


Tuesday 16 November 2010

The Royals and a Bit of Charity Shopping

I am very excited about the Royal engagement! I know the Monarchy are very much like Marmite, and of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I personally think they’re an important part of our country and heritage and am a staunch Royalist.

I am quite happy to pay my £1 per year, or whatever it is that the Royals apparently cost the taxpayer, and would be happy to pay 20 times that amount. Yes they are part of a small privileged section of society, but they carry out a difficult and complex role they never chose and I feel they carry out that role admirably. I’m sure William, who seems naturally shy, would rather not attend public engagements and be asked awkward questions by the press, but he accepts it as his duty and I’m sure his lovely bride to be will to. And yes, I’ll probably buy one of the naff commemorative mugs that have apparently been being designed for over two years. Who’d have thought it would take that long to put a few colours and images together to put onto a cup?

On a less controversial note, my mum and I spent Monday charity shopping and she spotted this stack of 1960s Ian Flemming paperbacks for 95p each. The manager was very nice and since we were having the lot he did them for a nice round £10. I also picked up a snugly candlewick blanket and a 80s leather jacket in a lovely colour, which will be going with me to the Bicycle Basket Bazaar at the end of the month. This weekend I’ll be sorting out some vintage clothing and lots of coats and boots to take along with me as the weather’s certainly suitable for them. One of my favourite items is a purple and blue Welsh wool cape which I may end up keeping. Sorry I haven’t put a pic of it up, but it’s tucked away at my mum’s.

I also bought some old maps to put in badges and this full length nylon slip with a bra style top and a side slit to the thigh. At £2 I thought it would be great for fancy dress, ahem when I of course slim down to a size 12…when this will be I’m not sure. The vintage style tea pot was a charity shop buy too and I’m going to find a spot in my kitchen for it this weekend. In one of the charity shops I found a lovely 80s black lace dress but left it behind as I thought it was a bit pricey at £10. I always feel slightly guilty moaning about charity shop prices because obviously the money is going to a good cause, but despite them being charity shops I still mainly see them as shops and really begrudge paying over £7 for something second hand unless it’s spectacular.

Right, I’m off to catch up on ‘Bondi Rescue’ before ‘I’m a Celebrity’ at 9. I’m ashamed to say that after watching a few episodes of ‘Bondi Rescue’ out of sheer boredom the other day I am now totally hooked, mainly because they’re really humorous but also because I’ve taken a shine to one of the lifeguards. As for ‘I’m a Celebrity’, I’m most definitely team Shaun.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Chillaxing with Chocolate

Apologies for my lack of blog commenting this week. I’ve been super sleepy and have been having lots of early nights and day time naps. I’ve spent today chillaxing, eating chocolate and watching totally rubbish TV, including Bondi Rescue. My favourite episode considering I’ve been watching them back to back since 5pm? The one where a life guard tells a guy to correct his trunks‘…eh mate (man looks confused)…eh your trunks (man continues to look confused)…eh your balls are hanging out, fix your trunks! Bloody big bollocks mate eh’. I love the lifeguards, they’re just like the guys off the Fosters ads.

Anyway, yesterday my aunt and I did a carboot. We do them relatively often as we both buy so much stuff we don’t need, as do the rest of our family who pass stuff onto us to carboot. We made a decent amount and obviously I spent my half of the money on buying stuff there. I picked up lots of bits and bobs and it was a bonus that it was an indoor carboot where the buyers aren’t allowed into until 9am, which meant at 8.45am I scooted round and picked up everything I wanted. Well, everything that I wanted that wasn’t ridiculously priced. The amount of times I’ve hear in the last two weeks in charity shops and at carboots, ‘…oooh that’s old that, collectible, it’s £15’. Want I really want to reply is, ‘yes it is old, but that doesn’t mean it’s collectible. I think you’ll find it’s worth less than a pound!’ or ‘Just because you’ve seen something similar on eBay for that much doesn’t mean it’s worth that much here. Are you forgetting that Ebay reaches an international audience and this is Kenilworth?’ Aghhhh, rant over. All that said I did manage to pick up some bargains.

After the carboot I rushed home to give Lily a hug and let her out for the loo and then headed over to my Nan’s in Worcester for her charity afternoon tea party. Most of my family have FSH Muscular Dystrophy and my Nan was holding a tea party come bring and by sale to raise money for a neuromuscular centre in Birmingham. Other members of the FSH peer support group have also been holding events and doing fundraising so fingers crossed they’ll continue to do well. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I can’t show you the little tables all set up with vintage tablecloths, china and cake stands. I ate lots of Bara brith cake, which was kind of like a fruit loaf type thing. I’ve never had it before and it was delish.

P.S. A big thank you to everyone who bought one of my handmade Poppies. I’ve raised £36.50 and the cheque will be going off to my local Poppy Appeal branch tomorrow.