So it’s February. Already. I always think of February as the month of love. Probably because that’s when Valentine’s Day is. And I always spend the first half of this short month wondering how to best impress show my adoration for my husband.

I’ve decided that, as there are many new readers to this blog I will introduce them properly to my family. They are, after all, the people that I love and cherish the most. And, for those that have been following me for longer – it’s a reintroduction. Children, after all change and grow. They become teenagers.

Besides I need to get back into writing. I have been working on my book, sporadically, for ever. But the problem with book writing is: there is no instant gratification. I keep re-reading re-edited chapters to the children and they keep telling me, “Mum, I know that story already!!” Then they look at me ungratefully when I try to show them that I changed a word here and moved a comma there and then march off to go about their own business.

Happy February.

Happy reading.

The first one is actually not going to be about love.

It’s about my very strange sense of humour…

It’s almost finished. I’m just re-re-re-editing.

Goals and triumphs

Can you believe it – it’s the last day? Of my enormous assignment for myself, to do 101 challenges in 1001 days.

I feel a little bit giddy, to be honest.

Even though there are no bright lights and I have not (yet) sipped a single swig of champagne.

In fact, for all intents and purposes, it’s a normal day: the frost lies crisp and white upon the ground, the trees stand still in a windless sky, the computer softly buzzes while I write and simultaneously shovel copious amounts of chocolate into my mouth and the puppy and I argue over who is actually typing on the keyboard.

Ah, yes, the puppy… Our new family member… I’ll introduce you to her properly later.

There are no banners drooping in the still, crisp air; no party hats sitting on dandruff free hair (this is not an advertisement; but we do use Head and Shoulders); nor have there been any clinking glasses, well, unless you count the ones precariously balanced in the dishwasher this morning.

But worry not. For tonight I will celebrate on the last of our 33 date nights. I’ve already marked it off. I fear I may just celebrate a little too much to be allowed to be left in control of machinery and other potentially perilous objects.

So what am I celebrating, exactly?

The Highlights:

  • Becoming really good friends with Tilly Bud, The Laughing Housewife my partner in crime during the challenge.
  • The murder mystery dinner (we had such a lot of fun especially as I was picked out as having had an affair with the murderer, which led to me being, shockingly, pulled up to waltz with him, in front of an audience of over 100 people – all German people can waltz (except my husband, which is the main reason we fit together so perfectly – I can’t waltz either. I have an excuse though not being German), but not knowing I wasn’t an authentic German participant – I had to play an Italian – the poor unsuspecting bloke had no idea what he was in for i.e. severely trampled feet and a hysterically laughing dance partner (there were over 100 people watching)).
  • Making sure every single month – without fail – that Reini and I went on a date and made time for each other.
  • The Eurovision Party.
  • Watching 101 films. Watching films as a challenge means you can indulge yourself whenever you want and you don’t start to feel like a couch potato.
  • Writing the first draft of my first book in NaNoWriMo.
  • Trying new restaurants. I liked this challenge so much, I upped it from 10 in the first year to a total of 30 and I’m happy to say that I achieved this goal.
  • Going on a bonding trip with Lori to a spa!
  • Going to a wild west show – I really didn’t expect it to be so much fun and all of the kids really loved it too.
  • Going to Linderhof Castle – beautiful.
  • Taking Akasha to ballet. I only planned, originally, to give her a bash at it but as it turns out – she’s a proper full on little ballerina!
  • Planting bushes in the garden. I have actually managed to grow something. OK I have also managed to kill several things but I succeeded in growing a few bushes!!!! I suspect I have found attached to myself half a green thumb. It might not be exactly in the thumb position but who cares? It’s half a green thumb!!
  • On the theme of planting – finally I have a longed for pampas grass in the middle of the garden. In the spirit of honesty – the first one did die. But I soldiered on replanting. The second one is still alive, but we’re not through her first winter yet.
  • My 40th birthday party. I totally loved it. But I do admit, I did go a little bit mad in organizing it. What with fancy dress and preparing 1000s of canapés and an art area for the kids and stilts and space hoppers and  a trampoline and bubbles and a piñata and and and… And then a massive storm came and excited the Scottish visitors  and drowned and tore down both the marquee and the carefully arranged tables. Aden had a full meltdown because, apparently, I had promised in a true British optimistic, weather-woman spirit that, no, it would not rain, when questioned (without reading any meteorological charts or anything!) and in contrast it poured.
  • Resolving the pet question. We bought a puppy. A half-baked thing to do considering I’d not long had my third burnout. But she’s also been my salvation: going for walks, having cuddles, throwing a ball and then attempting to wrestle it back out of her mouth again. On top of that, she’s been an incredible asset for each of the kids for which I will be eternally grateful.
  • I finally found support for my family. I’ve saved the best until last haven’t I? Last month my son was granted a Sozialpädagoge. He’s highly trained to work with autistic and ADHD kids and comes to the house and takes Aden out, two afternoons a week, and undertakes different challenges with him on a one-on-one basis. At the moment he’s working on helping him concentrate and gain confidence through various activities like climbing, potholing, swimming, and geocaching. And the local council have offered to pay for this support for the next two years. Sensational!

I did not finish all of my challenges. I expected far too much of myself and I realized quite early on that my wish to complete the whole assignment was nowhere near attainable. But that was OK. The idea for me was to have goals to aim for. Considering my burnout and how long it’s taken me to recover I do feel that I’ve done quite well. Moreover, although it was added pressure, I also feel that the enterprise helped with my recovery because I had a huge selection of entertaining tasks that I had personally chosen, to focus on.

Saying that, there have also been a few ‘lowlights’.

The Lowlights:

  • I wanted to turn our office into an inspiring place to work (instead of a dumping ground) – I did so, I even put plants in there. The plants, of course, died and the office now looks worse than it did before. 😦
  • I didn’t write a letter to myself to be opened in 10 years. I wanted to do this around my 40th to open then on my 50th but around my 40th I was so busy hosting a Spanish student and going to choir concerts and ballet performances and doctors appointments and preparing 1000s of canapés and collecting egg boxes (for the art area of the party) and eating my way through shop bought puddings so I could reuse the little bowls they came in for my own canapés, that I just didn’t have time. I would have loved to have known what I would have said in that letter to myself.
  • Reading three German novels. I failed here appallingly.  I started one with my dictionary in hand and my translator husband lying next to me but he ended up snoring and I ended up dropping the dictionary and following him to slumberland. N.B. Not snoring: the official line is I don’t snore!
  • Losing control of the 101 list. I couldn’t seem to keep control of the numbers and the letters on my page. At times my list would merrily head towards 101, while at others it would stop counting at the end of one section and then restart at the start of the next from 1?!? Then at other times my list would utilize the letters of the alphabet abandoning any kind of numerical system whatsoever. At first, I was infuriated and spent hours – OK – minutes trying to fix it and shaking a frustrated fist at the screen and yelling at my page, comments like; “Why are you doing this to me?” and “Who gave this computer free will?” Then my husband pointed out that actually, I’m just completely untalented when it comes to dealing with html.
  • Learning how to make a photobook. I attempted this challenge sometime after we returned from France. I thought it would be lovely to have our favourite French photos compiled into a book that could be kept  to be poured through by grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. After quite a struggle (remember my html experience) I managed to effectively put a photobook together online. I wanted to order it and then I saw the price of the masterpiece I had created, had a small fit and then decided to opt for a different company and a less glossy keepsake. I deleted the file, as you do, and rushed off to pick up a small person from somewhere. Then my husband accidentally destroyed the contents of our computer including addresses, kept emails, MY BOOK (luckily I had gone against his wishes and printed the whole thing off), important work he had done and our photos which hadn’t yet been backed up. Oops!
  • Archery. For some reason I had a romantic notion in my head of taking a bow and pointing an arrow and releasing it off into the atmosphere… It would spin and twirl and then land itself on the exact, precise, on the nose particle that I had, a few mere seconds before, deciphered. What actually happened was: the arrow dropped to my feet, I had trouble ‘springing’ the arrow, the arrow couldn’t even find the haystack and the kids then hit every single target. I have discovered I have a deep dislike for archery. I felt like I did that time at school when I accidentally threw the discus into my screaming team mates or those days I could not throw the javelin any further than a meter. Or those endless lessons when I spent the whole double period trying to just hit the damned shuttlecock with the badminton racket – I’d drop the shuttlecock down towards the racket which was placed directly underneath the-said-cock and then I’d hit up the way and I’d miss every single time. I scratched my head quite a lot in those days (but I’m fairly sure that’s not the reason I buy Head and Shoulders in bulk every time I see it on special offer).

So, the gist of the story is: I’ve really, really, really enjoyed the challenge. I’m a little bit sad that it’s over but on the other hand I’m extremely pleased that despite being ill, I’ve continued to plod on through.

Today is no exception, I’m planning to finish off my Freerice challenge: I’ve donated 84,680 grains of rice so far and I’m hoping to reach 100,000 by the end of the day. I’ll have click-ache!! Plus I’m off out with Reini for the last of our 33 scheduled ‘date nights’.

A lot can happen in 1001 days and some of the goals lose their appeal or their importance as life evolves. But there are a few tasks from my list that I would very much still like to do:

The New List?:

      • Make soap with the kids (I’ve even bought the ingredients but the kids are rarely all here at the same time).
      • Try belly dancing (I need to get fit first).
      • Take a pottery course (hopefully my pot won’t slide to the ground like my arrow did 😉 ).
      • Publish my book (I need to edit it first!).
      • Write a children’s story.
      • Cook a goose (my foodie section was my most successful section but I didn’t manage this one, I am a bit intimidated about cooking a goose properly, especially because I have no idea how it’s supposed to taste).
      • Go to Insel Mainau.
      • Go to Herrenchiemsee.
      • Go to Poland (this year we went to Hungary instead but I would love to do a city break in Poland).
      • Do car boot sales with the kids.
      • Write up my recipes.
      • Floating (I have vouchers now – I just haven’t been able to ‘fit it in’).
      • And put up that picture frame – why have I not done this? I do admit I did have pictures printed off at one point, but in the wrong size, deary me).

Thank you so much for all of your support. Luckily I’d also gone against my husband’s wishes and periodically uploaded photos to Facebook so here are a few visual reminders of the last 1001 days/143 weeks/33 months. Enjoy!


I’m on the mend.

Tortoisely slowly, I’m on the mend.

And, to be honest with you, that’s not been easy.

You see, I’m more of a hare than a tortoise: busily running through life. (What kind of analogy is that for children anyway? Slowly and methodically wins the race? Shouldn’t it be: speed, practice and focus is what’ll make you a champion?)

Apparently, I’ve been the victim of some unwanted role reversal. I’ve switched from being a hare to being a tortoise and it’s been excruciating.

Because, quite frankly, I have very little patience.

I tried to learn patience: it is a virtue, after all. But I failed miserably.

However, I’m finally, irrevocably, for once and for all on the mend.

Thank bloody fuck for that.

Where I’m at right now

So, firstly, I want to thank you all for your wonderful comments. Every one of them touched my heart. Thank you.

It’s been tough, but I am getting there. However, I’ve realized that the only way I’m going to avoid this situation happening again is to make some changes in my life.

And that’s the tough bit.

Because it’s like I have to reassess the whole way I run my life.

The decision I have made is to do so slowly. Which, I think, is a good one. You see that’s already a change in me (I have the tendency to act like someone shoved a rocket up my jacksy).

I’ve racked my brains (and other people’s for that matter) trying to figure out where I can find support. I am ready to admit that I can’t carry on dealing with our families health issues by myself. We need respite. We need support. But although I’ve asked (OK begged) we still aren’t receiving any.

Support is the key to our future because neither my husband nor I have any reserves left.

My slow and deliberated thinking is starting to make me understand, where it is though, that I’ve been going wrong.

Yesterday, after only four hours of being awake my poor exhausted husband lay on the sofa sound asleep.

I told the children to be quiet and worried sadly to myself that he too is not too far from burning out. And then I realized. I realized the difference between the two of us:

There was ‘stuff’ to do but he felt exhausted and so he lay down and had a sleep.

My natural reaction would have been to pour espresso down my throat and march onwards and upwards.

It’s those ‘click’ moments that I’m presently waiting for. Once the penny’s dropped and I know what I’m actually doing wrong, I might be able to stop and take stock and then actually change myself.

My blogging over the last few months has been sporadic to say the least! I think what’s best for me is to make a clear break because I put myself under pressure there too.

I will be back. And I am still plodding through (some of) my 101 challenges. I just need some time out to deal with my past and my present and to try to persuade my future to go in the right direction.

A little bit about what I’m actually doing right now

After reading Dianne’s comment I decided that maybe it’s time I gave you a little introduction to the book I’m writing:

In The Toilet

A few years ago, while being blown around the Isle of Skye, we happened upon a lovely little B&B with delicious breakfasts, though, I do admit, not quite as heavenly as those we’d discovered the week before in Aberdeen. But I digress.

The family run B&B had something I wouldn’t normally go for: a shared bathroom. However, 8pm had been and gone and we were hungry so we decided that beggars couldn’t be choosers and we booked in. And in the spirit of honesty, we’d almost ran out of petrol.

While squatting in the bathroom, as you do, I discovered something truly magnificent: a ‘toilet book shelf’.

Perched there, on the edge of my throne, I had the good fortune of being seated next to a carefully chosen selection of reading material. Most of the books were humorous but whatever the genre, each book had one particular thing in common: they were all the type that you could just dip into. Open a page and be entertained. Indeed, nipping out to the loo became something to look forward to.

I brought the idea back to my new home in Germany. I wanted to develop my own little ‘toilet book shelf’.

But, it’s not as easy as you may think. Firstly, the guest toilet in our flat had no natural light, and no space for a shelf. I swear, in a previous life, it had only existed as a broom cupboard!

So, for a while, I had no possible shelf and had to be content with looking around for the right little books. This was an almost impossible task, as my German reading skills are, to be honest, crap. I had no idea if the gags were really funny or not. And I didn’t improve myself by constantly ordering English books from Amazon.de. As you might have gathered I’m a bit of a reader. (Seriously, I should have asked them to start one of those loyalty programs. I’d have been up for the star prize…)

Then, excitingly, we did the grown up thing, we stopped renting and bought ourselves a house. The added bonus? (Or was it stipulated necessity?) A light, bright guest toilet…. With marble windowsill in tact. Doubling as our ‘toilet book shelf’.

Except, I still only had a couple of books.

So I made a decision. I’d write my own ‘Toilet Book’ for my ‘toilet book shelf’ and perhaps even, for yours? 😉

Eurovision: everything you ever wanted to know (and more)

I can barely remember missing a Eurovision song contest since I was a little girl. I love the theatrics of it all. It makes me laugh. And every once in a while I hear a new tune that appeals to me. It’s become a family event for us. We plonk ourselves down in front of the screen, with paper and pens and award points to each of the acts. Then we cheer as our favourite artists hit the high points and gasp in astonishment as the ones we thought were rubbish, climb up the points table.

Last year we took it all a step further. As one of my 101 challenges we had a Eurovision party. My husband printed off score sheets he found available on the internet and friends contributed various foods from Europe. We had a great laugh and I forgot to take photos after asking all my friends permission to put their faces on my blog. (I blame all that European wine!!)

In the aftermath, I wrote the following informative article, which I thought might make a nice reblog as todays post because Eurovision hits our screens again tomorrow.

Doesn’t time fly?

The wonderful world of Eurovision

It has been brought to my attention that some of my readers do not actually know what Eurovision is. Now that’s not really surprising, if you look at my flag counter, it would seem that the majority of my readership is actually in the US. So, I thought I would write an informative piece on the phenomenon that we call Eurovision, but it’s taken me a while to do as I decided I’d learn a bit more about it myself and that meant I had to do some research!

A little bit of history

The Eurovision Grand Prix, as it was originally known, (actually, a lot of my neighbouring Germans still call it the “Grand Prix”) was first broadcast in 1956 and has consistently been transmitted every year since then.

A committee, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), had been set up in the 1950’s in Switzerland, with the purpose of designing a “light entertainment program” to help to bring the countries of Europe together. Committee chairman, Marcel Bezençon, came up with the concept, based on Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival. His idea: an international song festival, whereby countries would participate in one program which would be transmitted to each of the countries within the union, simultaneously: LIVE.

Not only then, were the committee trying to rebuild war-torn Europe, but they were also attempting an extremely ambitious technological experiment!

Few Europeans had televisions at home in 1956, so most listeners tuned in by radio.

Seven countries participated in the first contest: France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Netherlands. Each country performing two songs. The host nation Switzerland won, a decision made by a closed jury.

This led to much speculation. Especially as the jury from the Netherlands had not been able to make their way to Lugano, Switzerland and so Swiss nationals were appointed to vote on their behalf. That and the fact that nations were permitted to vote for their own entry!

Lys Assia’s winning entry in 1956 remains the only song from a Swiss national to have won the contest.

In 1957 rules change

From 1957 each country performed only one song and each country gave their scores publicly, which were then added to a scoreboard. Nations were no longer permitted to vote for their own song. And duos, not just soloists were now allowed to perform on stage.

Three additional countries joined the ranks: Austria, Denmark and “Hello” the United Kingdom! 😉

And so it goes on

Throughout the years the format has developed, the rules have been updated and the contest has grown.

Although the competition is called the Eurovision Song Contest, not only countries of Europe have taken part. The rule states that all participants must be active members of the EBU (as opposed to Associate Members). Thus, whether a country is geographically located in Europe or is a member of the European Union or not, is of no consequence.

Throughout the years, 51 countries have taken part in the show on at least one occasion, those outside of Europe include: Israel, Armenia, Azerbaijan (last years winner), Georgia and Morocco.

One of the rules that has stayed the same is that all vocals must be sung live.

The current format

With so many countries now regularly taking part, a qualification round in the form of two semi-finals, takes place in Eurovision week.  The ten top placed entries in each of the two qualifying rounds will then take part in the grand final at the end of the week. Along with the ‘Big five’: UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The ‘Big Five’ qualify automatically for the grand final because without their financial contribution, the contest would not be able to take place.

Each qualifying country performs their three-minute song and as the entries are introduced the host country often shows a background video of sights to interest would-be tourists. Once all the songs are performed, an interval act takes centre stage while voting concludes and is subsequently totted up. The presenters return to the stage and each country (including those who did not qualify at the semi-final stage) presents its scores via a spokesperson (who is often sitting in front of a famous backdrop from their country ;-)) through a camera-link. Votes 1-7 come up automatically on the scoreboard, then votes 8, 10 and 12 are read out for dramatic effect. The votes are reiterated by the presenters in both English and French. The camera switches to the gleeful faces of backstage contestants on their receipt of “douze points”. The performer receiving most points overall is declared the winner and must return to the stage and sing their song once again. (I have been known to cry at this bit).

There is no actual prize for winning: the prestige of having won is considered enough, although the songwriter normally receives a trophy and the winning country is invited to become the following years host (since 1958).


Most of the expense involved with hosting the Eurovision Song Contest is covered by commercial sponsors and other participating nations, in particular the Big Five. In general, being the host of the contest is considered an opportunity to promote the host country as a tourist destination worldwide.

On five occasions the winning country has declined the invitation – four times: Netherlands (1960), France (1963), Luxembourg (1974) and Israel (1980) due to expense and once: Monaco (1972) due to no suitable venue.

The largest venue to date was the football stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark which held about 38,000 people in 2001 and the smallest in Millstreet, Ireland in 1993. The small town’s population being only 1,500, must have felt swamped by the up to 8,000 crowd that could fit in the local Green Glens Arena!

Due to the scarce availability of tickets for the final live show, tickets are often also sold by the hosting nation for the semi-finals and the dress rehearsals of the grand final.

Song selection

Each country submits one song of no longer than three minutes which has not been broadcast before an agreed date. They can select their song through any means they deem appropriate. Some are decided internally by broadcasters, others by countrymen and women’s public televote (national finals). The EBU encourages televoting for the simple reason that it creates publicity for the international show.

In some countries the national finals are as big, if not bigger than the Eurovision itself!

In Sweden, for instance, the ‘Melodifestivalen’ incorporates 32 songs over four semi-finals with the final show being the most-watched Swedish television program of the year.

In 2002, Spain started using a reality show, Operación Triunfo, to select Eurovision performers.


The voting system in place today is a positional voting system and has been used since 1975.

Originally, votes were cast by an internal jury, however, nowadays televoting is commonplace. The public can also use SMS to vote for their favourite act.

Studies have actually taken place with regard to Eurovision voting patterns which have identified that certain countries form ‘clusters’ by tending to vote the same way, affecting the final result of the competition at least twice.

So now, national juries have been reintroduced and represent 50% and the televoters the other 50% of the points given.

In order that countries cannot change their vote in a bid to influence the outcome, a scrutineer is given the results of the five last countries due to vote.

In 1969 with no tie break system in place, four countries (France, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK) all qualified for first place and were all announced as joint winners! The fallout was massive, in 1970 Finland, Norway, Sweden and Portugal refused to take part. So the EBU had to introduce a tie-break rule.

Since then there’s only been one more instance of multiple winners, in 1991, France and Sweden tied. The rules then stated that Sweden must be the winner, however, since then the rules have changed again, and if the 1991 contest had been judged by the current standards, France would have actually been the winner!

Politics and Eurovision

In 1978, as Israel’s Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta sang “Abanibi” live in Paris the Jordanian broadcaster, JRTV, suspended the broadcast and replaced it with pictures of flowers. At first, they cited technical difficulties but as the voting proceeded and it became obvious that Israel would win, they pulled the broadcast altogether. Later announcing that Belgium had won (they actually came second).

In 2005 Lebanon had intended to take part in the contest, however, due to their failure to recognise Israel, they intended not to transmit the Israeli entry. As this breached the rules of the contest, they were forced to withdraw. Their late withdrawal resulted in them being fined.

To fame and fortune

The contestants may not win a prize, but their win often leads them to fame and fortune. The most successful winner of the Eurovision Song Contest so far is ABBA who won with “Waterloo” for Sweden in 1974.

Other participants who were given a hand up by the Eurovision stage are:

    • Céline Dion who won for Switzerland (although she is Canadian) in 1988, with “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi”
    • Cliff Richard
    • Johnny Logan
    • Olivia Newton-John
    • Lulu
    • France Gall
    • Dana
    • Vicki Leandros
    • Bucks Fizz
    • Riverdance (an interval act)

Fascinating facts:

    • It’s estimated that around 125 million people watch the Eurovision annually, meaning it’s one of the most watched non-sporting events
    • It has been transmitted every year for the last 56 years making it one of the longest running television programs in the world
    • Johnny Logan won for Ireland three times, twice singing and once as songwriter
    • Ireland has won a record-breaking seven times!! Including three consecutive years from ’92 until ’94
    • Before 1999 the host country had to provide a live orchestra
    • Noel Kelehan conducted the winning songs five times
    • Norway has come last ten times!!
    • Bands were only permitted from the 1970’s
    • Since the year 2000, viewers can also watch Eurovision over the internet
    • Language restrictions have been laid and lifted on several occasions, the current rule (as of 1999) permits performers to sing in any language, since then both Belgian and Dutch entries have contained an artificial language!
    • In French the contest is called: “Concours Eurovision de la Chanson”
    • In 2008, a record number of 43 countries took part
    • Only three women have ever conducted the orchestra
    • 22 winning songs have been performed in English
    • In the summer of 2005, Ukraine abolished its visa requirements for travelers from the EU, due to being that years hosts
    • Actress Samantha Janus sang for the UK in 1991 and placed a respectable tenth
    • The show has been transmitted far and wide to countries such as Japan, Egypt, China, Thailand, Brazil, New Zealand, the Philippines and Chile although these countries themselves do not participate in the contest.

I must have wished upon a star

“Please, can you budge a bit?

I roll the words of a five-year old around in my head for a few seconds. It takes me a while to make sense of them.

Then it clicks.

“Ah. Can you budge a bit?”

I force my approaching middle age (sob) body a few more centimeters across the bed.

The wide awake one corrects me, “I also said please!”

She climbs into my side of the bed and squeezes me with all her might.

I wouldn’t be exaggerating by saying she seems to possess a lot more might than I do these days.

Perhaps that is why the generous one did what he did.

He had read my fantasy full article I keep thinking and said, “Why not?”

It took me until yesterday to take him seriously. Then I surfed the net and found a couple of local, appealing hotels.

Still unsure, I quizzed him again. So he took the phone and booked me in!!!

My mini-break starts next Saturday at 4pm and he’ll pick me up on Monday morning.

Dear lovely, thoughtful, generous husband: did you realize that means you have to be up at 6am on Monday to organize the hyperactive one for school?

Sorry. You can’t take it back now! But at least you can look forward to your little daughter snuggling up to you at some ridiculous time bright and early on Sunday morning as compensation.

Thank you, lover. From the bottom of my heart.

Just to recap:

  • I’m off on Saturday afternoon
  • To a swanky hotel
  • All on my tod
  • That reads: NO CHILDREN
  • Peace
  • Quiet
  • Tranquility
  • Someone else will be cooking breakfast, lunch and DINNER!!!
  • I might go for a massage
  • I could go for a walk
  • I will go in the sauna
  • I will officially be chillin’


Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow WOW!!!

Wanna join in?

As you’ve been reading today, Tilly and I have been doing our challenges now for a whole year.

Would you like to know more about joining us?

I’ve now set up an FAQ page on my blog. Feel free to browse through the questions other bloggers have asked me.

We would love it if you started up your own list. 😀

My blog is 2!!!!

Today is a very special day for me.

As you are reading this, I’m sipping fizzy wine and eating nibbles and gorging on chocolate and telling my husband he has to be the one to collect the kids today, as I’m the designated drinker, and that means he can’t actually join in the celebrations properly until they’re all safely home. Well, as I’m a particularly nice person I may let him sniff a little corner of my chocolate…

Today is my second blogoversary. The blog that I obsess over is two whole years old!! Two years ago today, I took the plunge, I dived into an adventure that I have never for a moment since regretted.

I’m feeling rather merry and I don’t mind telling you, I love my blog. I love writing. And I love reading all of your comments.

I wouldn’t be drinking this lovely glass of white here, if it wasn’t for you.

So, I’d like to take a moment, raise a glass and say cheers.

Cheers for all the lovely comments.

Sláinte for your continued reading.

Zum Wohl for signing up en masse.


Santé, you know I love you, right?

Proost. Where was I?

Ah, yes. Chin chin. 😎

And that’s not all. I’m also celebrating something else.

To be continued…

(… after some coffee).

Can’t comment?

I have had a couple of people tell me that they couldn’t comment on my blog. I contacted WordPress and they’ve asked anyone who can’t leave a comment to write to them at:


The same thing has happened to me when I’ve tried to leave a comment on someone’s blog a few times. It’s frustrating when you’ve taken the time to write a comment and then it just disappears. So, if that’s happened to you while trying to comment here, please accept my apologies.

And just to make you laugh/shake your head: a couple of weeks ago, on responding to a comment on my blog, my comment ended up in spam. ON MY OWN BLOG?!?