Archives for category: A Crazy Life

young_reader***

Have you ever thought what you would want to learn or what you would have paid more attention to at school if you were a child again?  Children absorb information a lot easier than adults as anyone learning a language later in life will tell you, but so many of us no longer seek out information or we feel daunted by learning.

A couple of weeks ago I took an exam.  It brought back many memories of taking GCSE’s and A-levels but it just wasn’t as stressful – it was just another task I needed to do as part of my day.  This was most likely as I took the choice to take the exam as part of the Open University degree I’m studying for in my ‘spare’ time.  I start another module in October – I’m hooked!

When I finished formal education, I thought “That’s it I will never write another essay or sit another exam ever ever again – WHOOP!”  but I realised just before I had my son nearly 5 years ago (and 7 years after finishing university) that there was so much more out there that I wanted to learn about and know about.

Realising this just before having a baby was probably not great timing in the same way as moving house when pregnant, it’s not great but it always seems to happen that way, but I digress. As I sat in our flat, beached on the sofa like a whale, I was studying for a certificate in event planning. After that I started to take modules with the Open University, just picking any that I was interested in and after a time it turned out that I could build my own BA with the modules I had done (plus a couple more).

There are also those free online courses, they call them MOOC’s – Massive Open Online Courses.  They are really good and they can be done from anywhere in the world. Look up Futurelearn and you can do a course for free in anything from branding to cyber safety and from psychology to coding.  They can last 2 weeks to 10 weeks and the courses are run by UK universities. Ooo and workshops and talks – they are great! Talks and learning events like the Work and Family show or Stylist Live – I’m really looking forward to that one coming in October!! (For those in the UK check it out Stylist Live or if you’re not in the UK – come on over for a trip! Stay a while and pop in to say hi)

I guess in our own way we are all constantly learning. My husband likes to visit castles and explore the surrounding areas working out the history and imagining how it used to be (now I’ve written that down it looks so much more geeky than it sounded in my head).  But we are all children at heart and we all like to learn in our own ways.  We can learn a lot from each other and we live for the most part in a world where people are very happy to impart their knowledge and we should use this vast and amazing resource.

Just remember, you are never too old to learn and it is never too late to start.  There is nothing to stop you, make the time. Money is no object as some courses are free or for those that aren’t you can pay bit by bit in most cases (OUSBA does this for the OU).

Go for it, you never know what you might learn.

***Author: Young Reader by Francisco Farias Jr

12th May is a big day for me – I’m doing a very very high abseil down Spinnaker tower in Portsmouth. I’m not afraid of heights but considering the only abseil I’ve ever done was down a 10ft wall when I was 12 and going over the top of that was scary, the prospect of abseiling spinnaker tower is a little, erm….. nerve racking and frightening. What made me do it?

Spinnaker Tower

Well, it’s for a the Queen Alexander Hospital Home and our disabled ex-service men and women – that is a pretty good reason to put my nerves to the test as well as my fears as let’s face it, what our service men and women do and have done day in and day out is pretty much at the top of conquering everything their bodies are probably telling them they shouldn’t and that’s even before they set foot in a war zone and go on tour.

This is something that is close to my heart.  My husband is ex-army and hearing how hard he found it not being able to go about his army duties as he had been training so hard to do and the difficulties of getting back to ‘civi street’, I can only imagine how tough it is to get back to a life that has been far removed from what you have been used to, and then add into that the challenges that a disability brings.

All our ex-service men and women need and deserve our support especially those that have to deal with a life changing disability that has taken everything they have known away from them both inside the services and outside.

So all that I ask you to do today when you read this is to pledge just a couple of pounds and sponsor me.  Don’t have a coffee from your favourite coffee shop just for today and pledge that money instead.  Don’t spend that money on that takeaway or magazine just once this month and pledge the money instead.  That pair of shoes or that gadget that you don’t really need – sponsor me instead and the money will go to people who really need and deserve it, not just one day this week or month or for a few times that you will wear those shoes or use that gadget but to help them for the rest of their lives.  If you can’t sponsor me then spend a little time and ask everyone you know to sponsor me instead.

SPONSORSHIP PAGE

I know that I may not know you but if there is one great thing you do today that can make a difference, make it this.

Thank you x

SPONSORSHIP PAGE

Yesterday was my perfect Christmas Day. I was so overwhelmed by the simplicity of it and how much I enjoyed it that I needed to write it down.  Read on and please don’t get me wrong.

I do enjoy spending Christmas day with family but sometimes the travelling, the doing what is expected of you and having Christmas the way it is done in the house you are staying can just take the edge off. We decided this year to stay at home, just the 3 of us without even one visitor.

We stayed in bed and snuggled till 7 – all 3 of us. We opened some presents in bed which we never do when we stay somewhere else as everyone wants to see our 4 year old open all his presents. We mooched in our PJ’s, played with new toys (we bought the noisiest toys ever!! Why why?) and got a delicious but simple Christmas lunch on the go before having showers and getting ready, and then changing our 4 year old as he managed to spill his whole drink down his front and was soaked. Being on our own schedule with no one else to worry about meant this was just before lunch at 12:30 which is right for us but maybe too early for some? We had just the right amount of food for us, not way too much with 4 different meats and 4 different desserts and not too little leaving you feeling a little cheated (it is Christmas after all!).

After Christmas lunch, which involved no dessert at all for us and a Claudi and Fin Lolly for our 4 year old (*nom nom nom*), it was easy to tidy up and clear away as we had very few leftovers and only 3 plates. We then got all togged up with wellies and gloves (although not too much as the weather was lovely) and a bucket and went for a walk down to the beach to collect pebbles and shells.

imageWe had great fun and the sunset was amazing. When we got home at 5pm with a rather tired 4 year old that we had given piggy backs most of the way home and a good few pebbles but no shells, we popped into the corner shop (which incidentally was the only shop open anywhere – having moved from London last year that takes a little getting used to!) got milk, cream and marshmallows for a very needed frothy hot chocolate by our open fire, expertly stoked and looked after by hubby.

With a small dinner of left over chicken and potatoes (exactly what our 4 year old asked for – he wants Christmas lunch for every meal now) and a bath, off he went to bed happy and snuggly having read one of his new Mr Men books. Hubby and I then settled down with a nice glass of red and a little cheese and crackers for dinner and streamed a film on Amazon instant video. Hubby fell asleep on the sofa and decided to go to bed before the film ended as he had missed most of it, which was fine as he warmed the bed up for me!!

I finished the film which may not have been best choice for ending a perfect Christmas day. Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal , maybe should have chosen a Christmasy film not one about children being abducted (!!) A good film though and the twists were very good with a very unexpected ending, recommend it for a less Christmasy evening. Nevertheless I went to bed feeling very happy, rested and content …….my perfect Christmas day.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too and if Christmas day wasn’t as restful as you had hoped then I hope today is instead.

xxx

I ate a Classic Byron Burger with Courgette Fries and an Oreo Cookie milkshake at lunch and I’m still full.  Actually I’m feeling like a right ole bloater – a name my best mates brother gave me at uni for my ability to put away a lot of their mothers recipe yummy curry.

It was a little bit too much food for my 5 foot 2 frame but made me a very happy ole bloater.  What made me rather smug and content in my fat bloater status is that I ate the above meal at my desk.  Now there is a whole other blog post about if we should or shouldn’t eat lunch at our desks (I’m still too full to write it now) but today I did eat at my desk as I’ve been a very busy bee, but I wanted a good and proper burger.

This has happened before but I’ve dismissed the idea as I’ve poured over burger menus as I couldn’t justify a longer than normal lunch break sat in a restaurant – I get fidgety thinking about all the things I could/should be doing.  But today I discovered Byron Burger takeaway!  The perfect solution and efficient in every way –a good meal in a jiffy with the ability to take the length of lunch break I want. http://www.byronhamburgers.com/menu/takeaway/

It was so easy, picked up the phone, placed the order, nipped downstairs to the Byron Burger on Langham Place (we don’t have a Byron Burger in the building – although we should) was greeted at the door by name (I’m guessing that many people like me, pre-today’s burger have not yet cottoned on to the ability to have  takeaway) and a bit of banter, some good service and a lift ride later and hey presto I was sat at my desk with a proper burger in my hand all in the space of 15 mins! My burger enthusiasm was so catching one of my work mates wrote a poem which I shall leave you to ponder. (He obviously had nothing better to do with his lunch break!!)

 

Burger Burger at my desk,

How I make such a mess,

You taste so good, you taste so great,

If only I had a suitable plate!

 

Every lunch time I hear your call,

How I wish I could eat you all,

But there is one thing that would really help my craving

And that is if we had a Byron inside our building.

 

(NB Byron Burger are not sponsoring this blog post, but maybe they should?)

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