Bit Of Me Time

Searching for more time …


It’s a Blog-iversary

Yay, I got this ready for the Monday Club.  Although it is in fact a little belated….Birthday

On 21st April 2012,  I began my blog.  I can hardly believe it has already been a year.  In my very first blog, I gave the reasons for starting to blog as having time to myself and my thoughts, and if nothing inspirational came along, then it would be a bit of diary on the events that go on around me.

I’ve re-read my blogs and there are days and events I’d forgotten, funny things that have happened, and I’m really glad I have a record of it.  So, as before, I’m not a writer, I’m a busy Mum who enjoys putting a few thoughts on paper.  Some blogs are reduced in size due to time, others flow freely.  Consistency may not be my thing, but I am hopeful that I’ll be celebrating my second anniversary.

This post is part of Sarah Miles’  The Monday Club.


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Book Club – Chapter 10

This weeks’ book club was in the village, so I dusted off my bike, which now has a kick-stand, and I have just discovered that kick-stands do not stand on gravel, they sink.  It also has some very bright new lights and it was really cool to be able to see where I was going, at last.  The evening was as fun as ever and with very yummy food.  We are also trying to fill our vacant space, so there maybe eight of us again soon.

“Gold” by Chris Cleave was a great book.  It is about two Olympic track cyclists, the story on and off the track and their preparation for winning gold.  There was a good balance between the training and track-side, as well as the personal lives of the riders.  I really got involved with the characters, and felt for them when times were tough, and relieved for them when it went their way.  For me it was really difficult to put down.  I don’t think when it was chosen that everyone around the table was looking forward to it, but I read it pretty quickly.  I would definitely recommend it.

The next book is “You Before Me” by Jojo Moyes. Me Before You

BOOK CLUB HISTORY: “One Day” by David Nicholls; “Before I Go To Sleep” by S J Watson; “Ship of Brides” by Jojo Moyes; “Vanishing Point” by Danielle Ramsay; “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E L James; “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri; “Sworn Secret” by Amanda Jennings; “The Seamstress” by Maria Duenas; “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson; “Is it just me?” by “Miranda Hart and “Gold” by Chris Cleave


The meaning of Easter.

“Mummy, what has Jesus dying on the Cross got to do with bunnies and chocolate eggs?”

“Daughter, what has Jesus’ birth got to do with Father Christmas?”

“Nothing Mummy”.

“Exactly – so to answer your question – nothing”.

Happy Easter everyone – I’m off to find out more about bunnies and eggs…


Now, where did I put …..

the floor?  It’s somewhere near here, but I certainly can’t see much of it.  After a few weeks of children with bugs and the end of term in sight, the floor seems to have disappeared almost everywhere.  clean

So this weekend my main aim is to find it, hoover it and try to keep it clear for one week!  We have relatives dropping in next weekend so I have incentive and a time limit.  However, I’m starting off on the wrong foot by inviting a friend to drop in for coffee on Saturday morning and planning an outing for the children on Sunday morning!  Husband is currently down the “black hole” that is end of term rush, so I may well be resorting to TV childcare in order to crack on with the task in hand.

For now, I’m off to get ready for a night with the girls…. similar to last night – I’m on a roll.


Working Mother’s Guilt

I reckon I live life backwards when I plan which days the children can be ill, based on my working days, and when Husband has a half guiltday.  I ask myself where my priorities are and exactly on what am I basing my decisions.  The guilt of not putting my children first and then the guilt of letting my colleagues down.   The pull on my heartstrings when I know I’ve packed them off to school when they’re not quite right, just so that I can show up at work.  If only I didn’t work, I’d keep them at home – but really what else can I do?  The reasons I can come up with and the excuses are sometimes laughable.  Of course, seeing it written down like this, in black and white, it’s not a problem at all – of course I put my children first…

Then there is the debate with Husband, and at certain times it’s almost competitive about who gets to go to work (not who stays with the unwell children and takes good care of them!)  I regularly ask myself whether I should chuck it all in; the only problem is the knock-on effect on the mortgage!

I even keep a note of the extra hours worked so that if anyone tries to challenge me for being away from work because of children, although I work from home on these days, so that should not be a problem.

This is one of those weeks.  Daughter only just got through the day on Monday, and has been at home since Tuesday.  Son joined us mid-morning on Tuesday.  So I’ve running between two children who feel awful, need lots of cuddles and don’t really know what it is  they want (poor little things).  There’s the usual bed swapping during the night as they both need cuddles, books to be read after nightmares, drinks to get, honey for sore throats, medicines etc etc.

For me, it’s just so disheartening as we were in the very same boat three weeks’ ago.

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As a family we enjoy going for a swim on a Sunday morning, then getting back for lunch.  It’s not always possible and Daughter and Son are always disappointed if we don’t go.

So this weekend we did.  Daughter has just been given some dive sticks, and where she used to be worried about going underwater, all she wants to do now is dive down and pick things up from the bottom of the pool.  Son is more of an excited puppy, endlessly jumping into the pool, saying “again again”!  He’s not so sure yet about swimming underwater.

It is always fun swimming with the children, it’s something they both love, and to see the way they are improving is wonderful.  We’re so lucky they are currently at the school we both work at, as we can pop over to the pool and watch their lessons occasionally.  I was impressed and proud the other week when I watched Daughter attempting front crawl; especially as I have only learnt the this stroke about three years ago.

Unfortunately this week I also learnt that swimming and sinusitis are not great pals – so I headed home early to prepare lunch!


New Look

Well,  I’ve spent many hours trying to find a new look for the blog.  Today I found it, and I hope you like it.  The last look was very clean, black and white and had a photo of a local beach.  This photo, I should add, is not one of mine, if only….  Husband tells me it has a good example of a “tombolo” (the beachy bits between the island bits), he’s a geography teacher, what can I say.

Next month this blog will be one year old, and whilst it’s not receiving loads of hits, because I’m a little short of time and don’t publicise it, or make the most of it, I thought it should have a revamp.

Hope you like it.

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Book Club – Chapter 9

Last week was “International Book Club”.  However, before you start thinking grand thoughts, I should explain.  Six of us are from the village, and one is from the town on the hill, only about 2 miles away.  For “Chapter 9” we all piled into a Range Rover and ventured up the hill.  We did get slightly lost, but made it in the end.

We should have been meeting up before now, but as we in the South West, are not used to an excesses of snow, it was decided to postpone.  Having been there, down the steep drive to the farm, I can say that this was a wise choice!

Although this meant it was a book club on 4-wheels, rather than 2-wheels, there was only one driver.  Last time we discussed the book in depth, and then the conversation turned to Spanish History!  Were we becoming a proper “grown up” book club?  This time the wine flowed, the book was discussed and it was another very enjoyable evening.

As there was a Christmas gap since our last gathering, we treated ourselves to two books “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson and “Is it just me?” by “Miranda Hart.

The first book I really enjoyed, it was about a man who was recently moved into a old people’s home, but did not want to be there, nor celebrate his 100th birthday there, so he jumped out of the window and let events take their course.  The book tells of the present day and also how he had spent the majority of his 100 years!  As an explosive expert he ends up in all sorts of amusing and historical situations; the book is funny, easy to read and I would certainly recommend it.

The second book “Is it just me?” by Miranda Hart, I did not do so well with.  I found it quite tricky to read, as at the start it is written exactly how she speaks in her TV programme.  This one was not for me, and I was not alone, although others did enjoy it.

Our book club is now one year old and we have decided that we will change the way we choose our books.  So far they have been by mutual agreement, and now we’ve decided that the host chooses.  This should lead to a greater variety of books chosen, and so stretch us, rather than stick to our comfort zone.  There are several books in the last year that I would not have picked, and only two that I could not finish.

goldNext on the list “Gold” by Chris Cleave.  This one was a surprise choice by the host, and one that I’m really looking forward to.  It is about two female track cyclists preparing for the Olympics, their competitive history together, mixed with their personal lives and their friendship.  As a keen follower of cycling generally, I’m really looking forward to it.

BOOK CLUB HISTORY: “One Day” by David Nicholls; “Before I Go To Sleep” by S J Watson; “Ship of Brides” by Jojo Moyes; “Vanishing Point” by Danielle Ramsay; “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E L James; “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri; “Sworn Secret” by Amanda Jennings; “The Seamstress” by Maria Duenas; “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson and “Is it just me?” by “Miranda Hart

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Going down

A quick post, to say really, that the downsizing has hit a bit of a snag – I’m hungry, we’ve had visitors and the wine and yummy food has been flowing….

Monday is a new week, back to work and I think I need to make sure I write  down EVERYTHING, rather than “forgetting” a couple of bits here and there…..


5:2, Weight Watchers, Calorie Counting, Atkins or whatever!

OK, so I need to lose a few pounds, and I’m not alone.  I’ve tried Weight Watchers and was successful, but now I’m full time at work, getting to the meetings is very tricky.

As with many people I’ve heard all about the 5:2 diet and have been reading up about it.  There are articles which are very pro the diet, and some that have concerns.  In very simple terms it seems that lots of protein can speed up your body’s cells like a  “fast car”, but fasting, or seriously reducing calories twice a week, give’s your body a chance to slow down and repair.

So, all those years ago when the Atkins diet was “the thing” and carbohydrates became the evil food and was avoided by millions.  My thoughts at the time were that you should not ban an entire food group.  Yes, I am slimmer, more energetic and less lethargic without carbs, but I don’t avoid them.calorie counting

Last week, my “downsizing” attempt took a turn for the worst and I was 2lbs heavier!  Very disappointing after only a couple of weeks, but a 7th birthday party, 2 cakes and 2 parties certainly counted against me.  Now that I feel a little disgruntled with the whole calorie counting idea, I’ve been digging around to find out more about the 5:2 diet.

Currently, I’m sitting on the fence.  I just don’t think I like the advice of when it’s a fasting day you eat half a ready meal for lunch and the other half for supper – it makes me feel hungry just thinking about it.  That’s not much food.  However, my great pal is attempting it and has some cunning ways to make it a bit easier.  There is definitely the 5p’s (proper preparation prevents poor performance) about it and I would need to plan the fasting days carefully.  I also have my Weight Watchers experience of “fuller for longer” to help me out too.  On the plus side, it does seem easy and I would not miss the constant weighing and counting that is an every day occurrence.

If anyone has any experience or views, then I’m interested to hear them.  Until them, I’ll carry on as I am and maybe. just maybe take the leap into 5:2….

This blog is part of The Monday Club with Sarah Miles – have a look and join in.