Wednesday 31 August 2011

Photo - Sea Front Pooch (WORDLESS WEDNESDAY)

:) xx

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Musings - SPIN CYCLE

Spin Cycle Topic - What I did on my summer vacation.

This year I haven't really had a summer holiday, that is I have been at home anyway so it has been hard to distinguish the summer break from the rest of my time, especially here in good old West Yorkshire where the weather doesn't give you a hint either. Shiver, rain, ooh is that a bit of sun, no sorry the street light was just forced to come on early...

Anyway, the reason (as some of you will already know and are thinking jeez enough already) I have been off work is that during the April holiday break I squeezed out a child. I love that term, squeezed out a child, it makes for a great visual. Yes, I was with child and then I was with a whole heap of disruption. This is her, the daughter, the Katharine Lorelai. Say hello to the nice people... oohh cooo eeehh blaaah. She is getting there!

So my summer has been spent inclining up a huge learning curve, I'm loving it but when she can say 'Ma, I'm screaming because I need a pint.' I am sure I will be a little more at ease.

But hey, we are having a wee holiday but not until the end of September so I guess I will just have to wait and see what the Keeper of the Sprite has for us spinners and hope I can weave in some soggy looking but smiley photos of four adults, the dog and the kid hitting the blustery beaches of Angelsey.

I have just realised that I am a little sparce with the full stops today, hope you managed to breathe through my 6574 word sentences, ha ha.

:) xx
small cycle

Monday 29 August 2011

Photo - My two girls...

How Cute is this photo? :) xx

Blogging without my sofa - using BlogPress from my iPhone.

Sunday 28 August 2011

Question: 26

Who could be my current Man of the Week? X

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday 27 August 2011

Musings - Down by the wharf

A couple of weeks ago three of us Mums decided to take our little ones to feed the ducks at the local Marina. It was a beautiful day and we even got to see a Barge working its way through the locks.

We wandered around the Marina, fed the ducks which seemed to appear from nowhere, looked at all the pretty decorated barges (George even tried to escape on one) and then stopped at a local restaurant that sits by the water for a cup of coffee.

It was a beautiful day, the sun shone, the water flowed in the breeze and it felt great to get out in the fresh air for a walk and a natter.

We will definitely have to do it again sometime. :) xx

Friday 26 August 2011

Photo - Playground action...

First time on a swing... don't push too fast Daddy. :) xx

Thursday 25 August 2011

Musings - Mama Kat's Workshop (25th August 2011)

Top ten reasons why you are glad you are done with school...

Sure, like everyone else I can list things that made me glad to have finished with School...
  1. Overpriced book fees
  2. Feelings of inadequacy
  3. Juggling work and study
  4. Cramming assignments into the early hours of the morning
  5. Classes at 4pm on a Friday
  6. Waiting for grades
  7. Exams!
  8. The distance from home
  9. Not having two pounds to rub together
  10. The stress and pressure of it all...
But for the most part I loved school and University and I often feel sad that the educational part of my life might be over.

Here are 10 things that I miss...

1.  Reading all those books
2.  Feeling that elation that comes with knowledge building
3.  Having a proper routine and schedule
4.  The ability to use all the hours God gave and still have energy for more
5.  Skipping dull classes for that special someone
6.  The accomplishment of submitting work and receiving the deserved marking
7.  The friends I made that taught me so much more than the teachers
8.  The train journey home and the time it provided for me to be alone
9.  Working on a budget and learning that fun can be had with very little
10. Testing myself and finding out what I am capable of.

So would I go back to school and start up my education again? Hell no?
So would I go back to school and start up my education again............

Hell yes! :) xx

Taking part in Mama Kat's Workshop

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Photo - Murder on the Alhambra Express

On Wednesday the 17th of August I popped along to one of our local theatres with a couple of friends for a murder mystery night. Murder on the Alhambra Express... fun, frolics, a good meal, too much wine and fantastic cast members who interacted amazingly with the diners. The only problem was that out of over 100 guests only 10 people dressed up... and we were three of them. :) Here are the photos...

Casey, Stacy and Jo. (Me the gangsta and the girls my Molls)

Never again will I subject myself to bright red lipstick, ha ha.

And this is Max aka Hercule Biro. :) What a good sport. xx

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Question: 25

What can Katharine get her Daddy for his birthday next month? xx

Monday 22 August 2011

Musings - SPIN CYCLE

Spin Cycle Topic - Language

Growing up I absorbed information. I loved to learn, still do, but my capacity to retain my teachings is now lacking the vigour of my younger years. I can remember vividly some classes from my early teens yet can not recall what I wore last Tuesday. I guess that age and motherhood are the reasons why I am no longer the geek that I was but I am sure that being easily distracted doesn't help ha ha.

Anyway, language... I studied French for five years and German for three but can speak and read very little. But when I was eleven and due to move from Junior School to High School we got to spend two days at the high school to see what we thought. We got to take part in lessons and have lunch in the cafeteria... it was amazing. I felt so grown up and eager to get there.

Now one of the lessons was French with Mr Smith. He taught us a song in French. Head, shoulders, knees and toes... know it? I can remember every word...

Tête et épaules, genoux, et orteils, genoux et orteils.
Tête et épaules, genoux et orteils, genoux et orteils.
Yeux et oreilles et bouche et nez.
Tête et épaules, genoux et orteils, genoux et orteils.

Five years of french and I can ask for a chocolate ice cream and tell you that I have blue eyes.

But one day, when I was at my learning best, and I can remember a whole song. And twenty years down the line still sing it perfectly.

Okay... maybe not perfectly in tune... :) xx

Sunday 21 August 2011

Photo - I'm 30, honest!...

Full belly and she flops asleep.

I can't believe how young I look in this picture.
In one way it's great, I am 30 and look half of that... but in another way
I do wonder if this is why I get funny looks when I am out with the pram?
I am not a teenage mother! Honest! Look at my driving licence! See!
:) xx

Saturday 20 August 2011

Photo - Best friends...

A little massage...

From one best friend to another. :) xx

Friday 19 August 2011

Musings - SPIN CYCLE

Spin Cycle Topic - Nature Vs Nurture

This is a topic that I have been thinking about a lot since April.

Having a daughter, brand spanking new, a clean slate so to speak, has made me question what I might have passed along and what I might be shaping. When I look at my parents I can see instantly what I have inherited both physically and personality wise. Blue eyes, fair skin, the odd varicose vein, bad eyesight and a pointy chin.  A dry sense of humour, the obsession to collect, an easy going outlook and good spacial awareness. My folks were big on laughter when I was growing up and that is definitely the reason I am a little crackers. At only 18 weeks my daughter spends half her waking hours laughing, is this because I laugh at her first or is it because smiling is in my blood and she is made up of it.

Nature or Nurture?

Either way I fear she is going to be a little on the nutty side too.

My husband's family are very different from mine. They are quiet refined folk the lot of them, my husband included. Or at least he was... Since he met me he has become daft as a brush. From knowing the in laws clearly it is in his nature to be calm and collected so the nutter side must have been nurtured by yours truly? Oops.

My brother Tim, he didn't live with us when I was growing up. From my Dad's first marriage he is nine years old than I am so I knew him but didn't know him... if you know what I mean. As adults we have formed a relationship where I can appreciate who he is and how we are alike. It also means that I have a better judgement of what traits, that we share from my father, are nature rather than nurture. Reading and collecting for example, I was witness to the coin collections, the reading and the boxes and boxes of 'useful' stuff while Tim wasn't. But both siblings read like fiends, have more DVDs than blockbusters and know that any old thing might come in useful one day. Clearly Nature.

But... is it nature? Do I love books because my parents do and my grandparents did or do I love them because growing up the only child in the house they gave me bounded pages to keep me quiet and it stuck? Or both? Or neither? Do I love them just because I do? You could go round in circles thinking about it... in fact you you could SPIN ha ha.

When I started writing this post I had, what I thought, a clear opinion. Now after thinking about it I am baffled.

To what extent does the nurture influence the nature and vice versa?

Are we all destined to be scorpions, stinging because simply it is what we do? Or could we be a scorpion raised by a squirrel and the whole waving the tail in the air thing is just because it looks so cute...

I'm dizzy... :) xx

Thursday 18 August 2011

Musings - Mama Kat's Workshop (18th August 2011)

Mama’s Losin’ It

A short story inspired by your favourite song.

(The song is at the bottom, play it as you read...)

She loves books and 80s power ballads and his sense of humour.
He loves books and 80s power ballads... and her...

Opening the frosted front door he found her once again stood on his doorstep. The rain had drenched her hair, her tears her cheeks. She was here again, using him as her buffer for heartbreak. He usually didn't mind, after fifteen years of friendship he was used to applying the glue to her shattered pieces but today... today he had had enough.

He slammed the door shut. She used her key.

He moved into the kitchen and slammed that door behind him too. He was on a roll, finally. Courage was uncharacteristically on his side and he conceded that it was possibly Dutch due to the amount of Jack Daniels he had consumed in the past two hours. Hearing she was one half of another failed relationship always hit him hard. Fifteen years had equalled seven, make that eight failed guys. Eight guys that were not him.

She slammed the door shut. He refilled his glass.

He heard the thud of her suitcase as she dropped it heavily in the hallway, then the stomp of her shoes as she followed him. He could feel her staring at the back of his head incredulously. He didn't care. She moved into the room to look at his face. He still didn't care. She spoke; his fizzing emotions mounted.

"You're drunk!" She sat and tried to smile, for the most part oblivious to his feelings, "I get dumped and you drink... something is off with this picture."
"So what happened this time?" He stretched for the bottle, she moved it out of reach.
"He thought it was okay to share himself around, I did not." She took a drink straight from the bottle, still oblivious.
"Did you ever consider that you pick these losers so the relationship is guaranteed to end sooner or later?"

He had her attention. Courage flew the coop.

"Forget it." He lunged for the bottle. She downed the last two shots in spite.
"No. If you have an opinion give it..."

Courage returned. It dragged self pity and impatience with it.

"You haven't had a relationship with a guy that has lasted longer than two years since we were seventeen." Ha! It felt good to finally call her on it, queasy but good.
"There has been you..."
"Then why is it that you can find it in your heart to fall for any guy but me?" Gulp. Now she was really staring at him.
"Do you want me to fall for you?"

He stood, arms flung wide. She stood, no longer oblivious.

"It never occurred to you in fifteen years that I'm the one who wants to be with you?" There... he said it.
"I wondered."
"You wondered!?" Now he snatched the bottle from her, it didn't matter that it was empty, ownership counted.
"Did it never occur to you that in fifteen years that is all I needed to hear?"

She smiled at him, broadly. He scowled back, darkly.

It hit him that she loved him at the same time that she hit him on the arm, hard.

"How about now that Jack has given you a pair of balls you..."

He yanked her to him. She was silenced with a kiss...

:) xx

(My favourite song is 'To Be With You' By Mr Big.)

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Photo - Funny Face...

I love my daughter, I think she is a bonny wee lass...
but these faces... I am glad everyone says she looks like her Dad.
:) xx

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Snippet - Know me by letter (S to Z)...

The last of the letters... while not a conclusion of me, a brief pause in the insight...


STATIONERY: When I was younger I was obsessed with collecting stationery. Pens, pencils, rubbers, notepads, bookmarks, highlighters, cases... if I am honest I still love visiting Staples just to wander down the isles. And my collection is still stored somewhere at my parents house. :)
TYPEWRITER: In 1993 my Mother and Father bought me a typewriter, I still have it to this day, and I know that it was tapping on those keys that sparked my love of writing. I am going to hunt down some ribbon and hopefully pass it down to Katharine.
UNIVERSITY: I went to Uni to study but came away with so much more than an education... A husband, a best friend, a renewed love of writing, confidence, memories of wild nights, wild men (ssh), an amazing pair of boots, sass and of course my degree but everyone has one of those these days.
VALLEY HIGH: My high school was named after the local Valley even though it sits at the top of the hill. Both my parents went there and because my family is so large, when I was in year 12 I had a relative in years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. :)
WRITING: The thing in life that gives me that burning buzz deep in my stomach when ever I am inspired to put pen to paper, fingertips to keys or voice to recorder. I always carry a notebook and jot down anything that comes to mind.
 X-RAY: Growing up I always seemed to be having Xrays. Age 3 - sweet wrapper in the stomach, Age 7 - broken arm, Age 10 - crushed fingers, Age 14 - badly sprained wrist. In my twenties I seemed to have a lot better control of my body, ha ha.
 YOU: I love meeting and getting to know new people, finding out what makes them, well, them. Through the blogging world I have met some great folk. Some are like minded while others challenge the very way that I think. You... have you in some way broadened me?
ZAI JAIN: For our honeymoon we went to China. 'Zai Jain' is Goodbye in Chinese. We had the most amazing time and even though we had hoped to learn some mandarin before we went we were only able to grasp a few phrases... this was one of them. :)

And that as they say is a wrap... for now...

So, do you know me any better?

:) xx

Monday 15 August 2011

Photo - Talking about my generation(s)...

I love the fact that we have 4 generations of women in my family.
I would like you to meet them all...

Lorna Beatrice (my Mum), Edith Alice (my Gran),
Katharine Lorelai (my Daughter) and of Stacy Leanne me.
I would like to point out that the three of us did not plan to match colour wise
it was just a great coincidence. :) xx

Sunday 14 August 2011

Snippet - WE7 Radio

I might have mentioned lately that I have downloaded an application for my iPhone called WE7 Radio. It is an amazing function where you can type in your favourite musical artist and WE7 will play you a list of their songs. But not only that... They play songs by a whole bunch of similar artists that you might like to listen to.

I am fascinated by it and through my Sunday morning musical half an hour I have found the likes of:
- Vertical Horizon
- Nine Days
- Hootie and the Blowfish
- Dafault
- Peter Bradley Adams
- Patty Griffin

The list could go on and on but I am going to stop there for the time being, unless next Sunday someone else pops up on the radio that grabs my attention.

If you don't have an iPhone you can always check out WE7 Radio at for a fantastic listen.

Enjoy. :) xx

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday 13 August 2011

Friday 12 August 2011

Musings - SPIN CYCLE

Spin Cycle Topic - BAD HABITS.

I had to really think about this one. I have so many habits that on reflection are a hinderence so I found it hard to talk about only one.

You see... I crack my toes, leave half drunk glasses of drink all over the house (for the record I am not anticipating an alien landing), spend a fortune on books, am blind to the mess, miss out third gear when I am driving, sing in the shower, daydream at inappropriate moments, play with my iPhone when I should be asleep, have a new celebrity crush every week, read all the movie credits, drink Cappuccinos even though I don't like coffee, save photos to my desktop... the list goes on and on.

I am sure if you ask my husband he will give you a whole load of my bad habits that I have failed to think of.

But my worst Bad Habit is that I never finish anything. I have half read books, half written stories, half collected collections, half painted paintings, pots without plants, resultions that are never fulfulled, plans that get abandoned mid-plot and again the list goes on and on.

I am sure if you ask my husband...

I guess I should give you a more specific example? Hmm, right, got one.

Back in April a few days after the birth of Katharine, I decided that I wanted something in the nursery with her name on. As both her first and middle names are both 'difficult' to spell (it would seem) I thought it would be a good idea to get the right spellings as big as possible on her wall. I wanted to do it before Katharine went from the moses basket to her own room. So I bought some letters, and some crafty bits like paper, beeds, butterflies and of course glue, and then did nothing.

That was in April.

In May I finally got around to giving the letters a base coat of 'muddy puddle' emulsion. But that was in May. Katharine moved in to her nursery.

In June I finally got around to decorating the letters with the paper and the beads and the butterflies. But that was in June. Katharine learned how to smile and find her toes.

In July I finally got around to painting the canvas which I intended to stick the letters to. But (are you sensing a pattern) that was in July. Katharine started being fussy with her milk so we started giving her some baby rice.

It's now August and the letters still are not on the nursery wall. I sometimes wonder if they will ever get finished. It would be a shame if they didn't as so far they look lovely...

Don't you agree?

Reading back I have changed my mind, in an effort to make sure I finish them I am scrapping this as my bad habit... No longer do I not finish things... I just take a REALLY long time. :) xx

Thursday 11 August 2011

Musings - Mama Kat's Workshop (11th August 2011)

If you had the opportunity to throw a dream party for your closest family and friends, describe what that would look like...

Okay... close your eyes and picture this...


Read to the end and then close your eyes, sorry I should have been more specific. :)

When I decided to write this post I am afraid I latched on to the word 'dream' and as I began to think about what my party would be like I also dreamt that I won the lottery to pay for it, so beware...  this is not a rational party, it is the party I will never have.

The weather is perfect, obviously, as my family and friends arrive in their own horse drawn carriage wearing ball gowns and tuxedos which have been designed and made specifically for each of them. My mother is in her favourite Duck Egg blue, my best friend Jo in a sequined 1920s playful cerise and turquoise; the hundred guests all coiffed, taffeta cloaked, perfumed and enchanted. It's a dusky evening so arrival at the venue is by lanterns strung and fluttering along the pathway, music and the smell of deliciousness floating invitingly with the peaceful breeze.

I have rented Chatsworth House for the party, each room to be filled with excitement. Dancers, magicians, sporting heroes reciting antedotes, players performing pockets of Shakespeare, a cinema room showing Oscar winners... wildest dreams fulfilled as wanderers move from parlor to drawing room.

Anything is possible...

The picture gallery, running from one length of the house to the other, has a dining table laid through it. Silver and gold decorations, wines and champagnes, glittering embossed name tags and silverwear that has been polished to reflect both the candlelight and the vast aray of colours from voluptuous fabrics.

At one end of the room stands a chocolate fountain with strawberries and marshmellows the size of fists ready for dunking. At the other there is a ten tier cake, designed and made by choccywoccydoodah, to awe the diners and fulfill the fantasy of the host.

The food is exquisit, the winners of Master Chef from all around the globe have prepared eleven different courses, each one getting better and better in order to climax with some heartbreakingly amazing chocolate concoction. Each item of food contains no calories, the wine no hangover, the late night no fatigue... the clock slowed Santa style in order for as much fun to be had as possible. For family and friends to have one night away from what ever reality awaits them at dawn.

Outside in the grounds, stages have been set for the world's most important musical geniuses to perform. Whom ever my guests have in their CD collection are here, taking requests. I have enlisted my own favourites, Matchbox 20, 3 Doors Down, McFly, Gavin Degraw, The Pigott Brothers, The Goo Goo Dolls (to name but a small few) to keep me entertained along with everyone else. Lightshows, fireworks and hovering waiters with never empty trays of drinks add the finishing touches to the perfect entertainment section of the evening.

Then at dawn, when the carriages return, guests are given a diamond encrusted leather bag. This bag however is not only filled with a piece of delicious cake but a lottery ticket and framed photograph of them taken during the evening.

But best of all, the most desired gift in the bag is a wish... unlimited possibilites folded into the shape of a tiny glass angel to simply hold and see... 

Now is that not the most amazing party? I feel so sad that I have not won the lottery and Chatsworth will simply remain a local sight to visit.

But, hey, if you are reading this you are automatically on my guest list.
So as my guest... what would be your wish? 


Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Photo - Snuggled...

You are probably thinking that my daughter does nothing but sleep.
True she does sleep a lot but then it is perfect timing to take a
photograph when she isn't dancing and all her limbs will be in focus.
:) xx

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Musings - One liners...

For a long time in our house we have quoted the Gilmore Girls show. They have some classic one liners, our favourite being...

Oi with the poodles already!

It is the perfect line to spout when enough has been enough.

Recently we have been watching Mad Men. They also, amongst the bizarreness, have some classic one liners of their own.  So we now have a new contender for our favourite spout...

Jesus on a cracker, Trudy!

So what do you think is best?

The son of God spread like soft cheese or the decloration that too many pups spoil the broth?

:) xx

Monday 8 August 2011

Question: 24

How do I link my blogger so that twitter automatically tweets when I post a blog? xx

Sunday 7 August 2011

Photo - Try and take it...

The relaxed look is an act...
Make a move for the ball and you will be witness to some
greasy lightening speed. :) xx

Saturday 6 August 2011

Friday 5 August 2011

Musings - Where has all the water gone...

I have mentioned before that we have a lovely local walk around Ogden Water, a reservoir that is both beautiful and bewitching.

Our favourite time to walk around it is the winter when the woods and leaves are covered in snow and the water has an icy crust. Ogden in spring and summer is amazing too but there is something breathtaking about the landscape being peacefully wrapped in a graceful white blanket.

Two weekends ago we walked around it,  in the height of summer; Katharine's first trip. :)

We were shocked at how low the water was, it would seem that even here in Yorkshire, amongst the summer hail and the thunder showers, we have a drought. The photograph highlights how low the water is, water that usually reaches the treeline.

It was a hot day, full of biting insects and wandering families. After walking the one and a quarter miles around it we figured we deserved the ice cream we snaffled from the Mr Softy van. Katharine being asleep, and obviously too young, missed out but we'll owe her one. :) xx

Thursday 4 August 2011

Musings - Mama Kat's Workshop (4th August 2011)

If you were to go back to the moment you decided to start a blog, what ten blogging tips would you share with yourself?

Time Travel... it fascinates me. I think its the dreamer in me, the me who dreams, that would love to go back, forward, lateral just to learn more... perhaps change? perhaps see what I could have done better? different? at all? I would definitely avoid the flannel shirts of '95!

But I digress, again. Actually, let me continue with you on this tangent for another moment...

Recently, I started watching Being Erica. A woman, roughly my age, takes part in unconventional 'therapy sessions' where she gets to travel back through her life to try and do differently those things that, in the present, she regrets. It's amazing, the type of TV show that puts the heat in your stomach because you are slightly envious that you can't live that life, can't confront your past. Erica's therapist, Dr. Tom, gets her to write down a list of her regrets... I challenge you to do the same. I challenge myself to do it too.

But on to the workshop. What would I tip myself about blogging? If I could go back to the beginning...
  1. Stop faffing with the background! You are going to spend hours wasting your time trying to make something interesting. Go straight to ShabbyBlogs and see the wonders that they have ready made.
  2. What are you doing? You are going to start a weekly diary... what ever happens keep it going... you will regret it if you don't.
  3. Who are they? Read more blogs, find out who people are, comment on what they have to say. Broaden your mind.
  4. Snap it up! You love photographs so make the most of it. Take more, snap more, blog them. Readers love to read but let them SEE.
  5. What you know... Be who you are, don't try and be pretentious because you will start to hate what the blog has become. Write from the heart but don't lay everything out on your sleeve...
  6. FEED your readers! Sort out your RSS and ATOM feeds so that people can easily follow you. What is that you are asking yourself (literally)? Google it!
  7. Take the time! Life is going to get emotional and crazy and then amazing but make sure you make time to blog. This is your memoir, gaps are not permitted in life.
  8. Jot it down! I know you always carry a note book, but use it! Inspiration can and will strike at any time. Even the most mundane occurrences may strike you later as fodder for thought.
  9. Don't stress about it. People WILL read what you have to write. You WILL connect! Life IS worth its documentation. Put aside DOUBTS and just go for it.
  10. And find Mama Kat! You will meet some amazing people through her.
Now back to my list of regrets... why did I wear tartan exactly? :) xx

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Photo - You looking at me?...

Get yourself a Border Terrier...
and you too can be belittled with a simple glance. :) xx

Monday 1 August 2011

Musings - Gardens are scary

I love going to garden centres, it's the geek in me, though I never look at the plants. I go for everything else, the gifts, the coffee shop, the books (our garden centre is ace!) and so on.

The other weekend we went to visit the out-laws, I mean in-laws ha ha, and took a drive out to their local garden centre. A family member owns an old fashioned sweet shop there so we got to visit and have a wander around. This garden centre is huge, even has a pet shop. It is so huge in fact that the garden  ornaments it has for sale reflect that. This is one if them...

It scared the living daylights out of me! Then I felt foolish... but still! What sort of person would have this in their garden? Someone who would need to remortgage judging by the price of it.

In my garden there used to be a bird on a stick but its wings fell off... poor thing, it was either that or get strangled by the weeds. :) xx
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