Monday, December 29

Home before off again

I'm busy packing yet again.

We got home from Eve's on Saturday after spending a lovely Christmas with her. Not my way of doing Christmas, but hey, it's not my house. We did have a lovely time though and it was really nice to spend it with all three of my kids. Isabelle had a whale of a time and spent the entire Christmas getting dressed up and undressed to get dressed up again from the treasure chest of Disney Princess clothes and glass slippers we bought her. Sod's law really. The whole set cost £15 and she just loves it. We also bought her an Early Learning princess castle and a princess carriage with a unicorn, which she also loves. Everything else went by the wayside LOL.

Tomorrow we're off to Bonny Scotland to visit the outlaws. It's going to be a bit different this year as Mark's Mum and Stepdad split up in October. It's going to be strange not having Fred around, but they are still good friends apparently, so we will still see him. I'm just not looking forward to the long drive up there. Ah well. Slimming club in the morning, and then we're off.

Talking of slimming, I'm joining in the Slimming World 40 day slimathon. The charity is the NSPCC Childs voice appeal, so I'm good with that charity. Hopefully I can lose pounds and raise pounds in the process.

No time to write more... once again it has disappeared into the void!

Monday, December 22


Oh dear, wotta palava!

I decided to make a garden angel yesterday. Hmmm. Not much experience of working with large moulds and it showed. This angel is 14 inches long and phew can it hold some plaster! Lesson 1. Make sure you support the mould VERY WELL. I didn't. The weight of the plaster pulled the mould out of shape and so the middle sank squising the angels wing :( It should stand more upright than it acutally is. Because the middle was pulled down, the plaster didn't reach properly into the angels fingers ... grrrrrr. Oh well, next time I need to use a support for this one. I also have a cherub mould (it's soooo cute) and I'm going to have to have a support for that one too.

Now I just have to work out what price to charge for the angel, when I make one that's right that it.

Anyway, here she is. This is just a trial colour scheme, I could do it any colour I suppose. Mark thinks she should have had white wings and a different colour robe. He may be right. If you click on them, you can see them full size.

Sunday, December 21

Chocolate cake and Fairy Houses

Mark has reached the grand old age of 39 as of yesterday. Oooh it pigs me off that I'm a year older than him, and he never lets me forget it. Grrrrr.

Anyway, Isabelle, bless her, managed to keep his presents a secret this year. She just wouldn't tell him what he'd got. Probably because she couldn't remember what it was called lol. I told her it was a tool for daddy's garage. It was actually an arc welder. sounds great doesn't it.... not. But he's been harping on about wanting one for years. I saw one reduced in a sale, so I bought it. He was chuffed to bits. I issued a death threat warning along with wishing him happy birthday LOL. He's not allowed to take anything out of the house to weld it together. He's not allowed to bring the welder into the house to weld anything, upon the pain of death!

Of course, Isabelle insisted daddy had a birthday cake. Well that's what you have a birthday for isn't it? cake? She was so excited bless her. She sang happy birthday like an angel (a very out of tune angel.. hehe) and helped blow the candles out. Then she and Mark spent the rest of the afternoon eating cake. I think she wore more than she ate LOL. I resisted the cake and had a museli yogurt.. (is my halo dazzling you?) so I was quite chuffed with myself.

I was so made up last night. (a brief history). 4 years ago, Mark didn't know his dad. His mum and dad split when Mark was 3. 4 years ago, they met up for the first time. They still speak very occasionally (both being men afraid of the phone), but last night Mark's dad phoned and played happy birthday to you on the guitar (his dad is a guitarist too) and sang. mark was over the moon. I think it actually made his birthday. I think the last time they spoke was when Mark phoned his dad on father's day. We both ended up feeling all warm and cosy about him phoning. Then he fell asleep on the sofa at 8pm!! Grrrrrrr

So I spent the evening painting my latest garden ornament that I'm selling. A little fairy tree house with a mushroom top.

Front view (the red isn't as bright as this, that's from the flash!)

Rear view, yes even fairies have a back door LOL

Wednesday, December 17

Faith restored in humanity

Today was a pretty good day. Yesterday afternoon wasn't so good, but then my faith was restored in humanity.

I popped down to the supermarket, did what I had to do and on the way out Isabelle needed a wee. This is her favourite game at the moment! Grrrr. I can't make her wait either or she just pee's in her knickers. So I held her out behind the car door near the rear wheel and then we were on our way home. Oh no! When I got home I realised I'd done something completely stupid. I'd left my purse on the roof of the car from when I gave Isabelle her wee. I phoned the supermarket. No one had handed it in, and it wasn't in the car park where I said I'd parked. I phoned Mark and asked him if he could re-trace my drive home on his way back from work. I then phoned the police to let them know what an idiot I'd been!

There was only £10 in my purse, but there were my switch cards. We don't have credit cards so that wasn't a worry, only the two debit cards, but even so, I didn't want to be cancelling those so close to Christmas and going away etc etc.

Half an hour later there was a knock on the door and there stood my knight in shining armour (metaphorically of course) with my purse in his hands. He said he'd seen it come off the top of my car, the car in front of him had driven over it but he pulled over and picked it up. He'd gone to the police station with it, he hadn't even opened it himself.. wow! The police saw my driving licence in there with my address on and the guy said he'd drop it off. My god.. honest people do exist among all the crap and crime that goes on. I thanked him profusely, and off he went on his merry way having done a good deed. I felt so flippin' stupid!

So today, my book FINALLY arrived after waiting almost 2 weeks for it. Grrrrr. I've had book three for ages, but obviously I need to read book 2 first. I can now, at last, get started on it.

Also, my new mould arrived today. I'm really in to making these plaster cast garden ornaments. I love making them. The first of my little mushroom cottages arrived today.. woohoo. So of course, I made one straight away. I used the last of my plaster and had to order some more, but when needs must and all that. So I've spent tonight painting up my first mushroom cottage. Bad photo's but lack of light, the flash blew the whites out and i really couldn't be arsed to mess about. I'll take some better ones tomorrow when I have some daylight.

The kitten has had me in hysterics. The stupid mog has been running around with my paintbrush in his mouth, tripping over it. He's hidden it, I can't find it anywhere! LOL

Oh and Isabelle decorated the gingerbread house kit I bought. I put it together and then she 'threw' the decorations at it. I thought it looked like Dorothy's house from the wizard of oz when it landed.. I don't think we're in Kansas anymore Toto LOL. Bless her though, she loved doing it.

Tuesday, December 16


And for this week's update... I can't tell you how pleased I am....

Imagine the scene... When Harry Met Sally, in the cafe, sally shouting yes, yes, YES!! THAT'S ME!! lol.

I am so happy!!

Just back from class. I lost 3 pounds this week which now means...

I have:

Lost 2 stone and 2 pounds in total since 1st October.
got my 2 stone award at Slimming World
Met my first personal target of 2 stone before January
Lost 10% of my body weight
Gone down into the next stone
Got slimmer of the week!

Woooohoooooooooo, what a morning.

I am now polishing my halo and feeling very righteous

LOL.. I'm chuffed to bits.

I've set my next mini target. I want to lose another 21 pounds before we go to see Metallica on 28th Feb next year.

Friday, December 12

My latest venture

A shameless plug today ;)

I've started a new little venture to try and earn myself a few pennies. It's not going to make me rich or be a millionaire, as much as I'd like it to, but any extra cash is a bonus.

I've been making Fairy Doors. What on earth is a fairy door you may well be asking. Well, these are fairy doors.

They are little garden ornaments to put on a tree, or in a special place in the garden. You could even put them somewhere in the house if you like. I have several other designs too, some big, some small, some tiny. They're cute.

The first batch I did, I sold all but two tiny ones on ebay. I was chuffed to bits. So now I've made some more (the ones above) and I've made myself a little online store called Little Garden Friends - go on, click the link... you know you want to ;) I've got a proper domain name yet. I didn't want to splash the cash out if I sell nothing.

I'm waiting for delivery of a little angel mould and a little cherub mould and then I'll make and paint those. Then.. next week, I'll be getting some little mushroom houses. (yes I know I live in fairyland lol) but there are three designs, all different, so anyone who wants to could have their own little fairy / elf village :D

Cool!! I'm having fun

Wednesday, December 10

Have a giggle

Well it was weigh in yesterday and I was really pigged off that I only lost 1lb. I know, I know, it's a whole pound but I was only two pounds away from losing 2 stone (28lbs) in 10 weeks. It's also 10% loss of my BMI, I go down into the next stones and it meets my first personal target of 2 stone before January. [sigh] ah well, next week for all the targets I guess. The annoying thing about it is I've been 100% on the plan all week. There does seem to be a pattern emerging though, I have two good losses then two smaller ones, then back to two good losses again. If that's the case, I can live with it I suppose, even though I want to lose a stone each week. I know that's not pysically possible LOL, but it doesn't stop my wanting it.

Anyway, I got wandering around a diet joke site this morning for some peculiar reason and there were some funny jokes, so I thought I'd share them.

Toddler Miracle Diet!

Over the years you may have noticed that most two years olds are trim. Now the formula to their success is available to all in this new diet. You may want to consult you doctor before embarking on this diet; otherwise, you may be seeing him afterwards. Good luck!!!


Breakfast: One scrambled egg, one piece of toast with grape jelly. Eat 2 bites of egg, using your fingers; dump the rest on the floor. Take 1 bite of toast, and then smear the jelly over your face and clothes.

Lunch: Four crayons (any colour), a handful of potato chips, and a glass of milk (3 sips only, then spill the rest)

Dinner: A dry stick, two pennies and a nickel, 4 sips of flat Pepsi.

Bedtime snack: Throw a piece of toast on the kitchen floor...


Breakfast: Pick up stale toast from kitchen floor and eat it. Drink half bottle of vanilla extract or one vial of vegetable dye.

Lunch: Half a tube of "Pulsating Pink" lipstick and a handful of Dog Food (any flavour). One ice cube, if desired.

Afternoon Snack: Lick a lollipop until sticky, take outside and drop in dirt. Retrieve and continue slurping until it is clean again. Then bring inside and drop on the rug.

Dinner: A rock or an uncooked bean, which should be thrust up your left nostril. Pour orange squash over mashed potatoes; eat with a spoon.


Breakfast: Two pancakes with plenty of syrup, eat one with fingers, then rub fingers in hair. Glass of milk, drink half, stuff other pancake in glass. After breakfast, pick up yesterdays lollipop from rug, lick off fuzz, and put it on the cushion of your best chair.

Lunch: Three matches, peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Spit several bites onto the floor. Pour glass of milk on table and slurp up.

Dinner: Dish of ice cream, handful of crisps, some red punch. Try to laugh some punch through nose, if possible.


Breakfast: A quarter tube of toothpaste (any flavour), bit of soap, an olive. Pour a glass of milk over bowl of cornflakes; add half a cup of sugar. Once cereal is soggy, drink milk and feed cereal to dog.

Lunch: Eat breadcrumbs off kitchen floor and dining room carpet. Find that lollipop and finish eating it.

Dinner: A glass of spaghetti and chocolate milk. Leave meatball on plate. Stick of mascara for dessert.

This one really made me laugh. It appealed to my slightly warped imagination!

The dieter's guide to weight loss during sex

How much weight do we lose during sex? The diet literature explains calories burned while jogging, playing tennis or golfing, but similar information concerning sexual activity has, until now, been unavailable. Yet, a survey of 206,000,000 people indicated that 96% devote more time and effort to sex than jogging, tennis, or golf, and we felt that the time was right for a new type of sex manual.

1 hr. intensive foreplay Burns Off: 1 slice (large) chocolate cake.

25 min. non-stop lovemaking Burns Off: 2 slices of pizza with cheese & mushrooms.

53 min. of kissing partner Burns Off: 1 cheeseburger with 14 french fries.

53 minutes kissing yourself Burns Off: Christmas turkey with all the trimmings.

Includes setting the snooze alarm and dimming the lights: 42 (calories burned)

Hiding the sex manual: 3
Decanting the wine: 4
Without a corkscrew: 268

If you are shy: 15
If you are anxious: 43
If you beg: 100

If you are rich (cash): 5
If you are rich (credit card): 15
If you are poor: 200

Fumbling: 4
Casually rummaging around: 7
Seriously rummaging around: 42

With partner's consent: 12
Without partner's consent: 187
Removing socks by violently shaking feet: 418

Blowing in partner's ear: 15
Blowing in your own ear: 2,512

DISAPPOINTMENT (after seeing partner undressed)
Partner looks better with clothes on: 10
Partner wears corrective underwear: 15
Partner turns out to be of wrong sex: 100
You don't mind: 0.25
Partner wearing elevated socks: 50

Fumbling around: 4
Desperately trying to put something somewhere: 18
Completely missing: 126

Italian (man on top; woman on bottom): 26
German (facing each other, but in different beds): 48
English (woman on top; man hiding): 15
American (both on top): 1,243

Leg cramp: 36
Making believe you don't have a leg cramp: 612
Sneezing (during intercourse): 7
Sneezing (during orgasm): 588

Toupee slips off (if your partner knew you wore one): 5
Toupee slips off (if partner didn't know): 72
Extinguishing cigarette (in ashtray): 1
Extinguishing cigarette (in mattress): 17
Extinguishing cigarette (in partner's leg): 133
Calling your partner the wrong name: 50

Shoes flew off: 15
Expression didn't change: 0.5
Room turned purple: 4
Face turned purple: 78
Earth moved: 30
If Earth actually moved: 1,234,588
Moaning in Turkish: 506

"I am so grateful": 15
"It must have been something we ate": 15
"Was it good for you?": 15
"Are you finished?": 15

If woman is ready: 5
If man is not: 563

After sex: 18
During sex: 546
While parking car: 212

Real: 5
Faked (a good way to avoid sex-craved partner): 74

In a bath: 5
In a sink: 150
In a Jacuzzi: 15,269

With partner still in it: 44 (indicates either a neatness obsession, a severe optic disorder, or a partner who is very tired).
With you still in it: 97 (suggests extreme withdrawal and profound dissatisfaction)

Maintaining your own record of sexual activity will be helpful for keeping track of weight loss. You needn't go into detail, just list the activity and the number of calories burned. A typical entry in a woman's journal (for example) for a pleasant low-key sexual experience
might read as follows:

December 1st: Sex with Harold
Explaining how: 12
Suggesting something different: 3
Calming terrified Harold: 40
Encouraging him to at least take off his socks: 8
Foreplay (a little of this; a little of that): 56
Intercourse (standing position): 22
Intercourse (holding Harold up): 10
Intercourse (urging him on): 5
Orgasm: not sure
Thanking Harold: 3
Waving bye-bye: 1
Total time: six minutes (taxi waiting)
Total calories burned: 160

And finally, sorry to any men reading this (mwah)

15 reasons why diet coke is better than a man

1. When you swallow a diet coke you only get 1 calorie.

2. It comes in a can, not in your mouth.

3. You can ignore a diet coke for weeks and it will still be there when you want it.

4. The first one won't get mad if you need another one tonight.

5. A diet coke generally lasts longer.

6. You can throw it in the bin when you're done.

7. A diet coke will treat you the same in the morning as the night before.

8. You can pick one up at a supermarket without your friends talking about you.

9. You can do one in the car even while driving.

10. The aftertaste is certainly better.

11. You can get a bigger size without changing brands.

12. You never have to lie to a diet coke.

13. A diet soda will wait home patiently when you go out with friends and still refresh you when you get home at 6AM.

14. You can have a headache and still enjoy it.

Monday, December 8

Sods Law!!

Years ago a I read a series of Fantasy books by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman called the Dragonlance Chronicles. There were six books in the series and it followed the same characters through various trials and tribulations of them trying to 'save' their world. They were really good books and I loved them.

Well, in the charity shop abut a week ago I found another Weiss and Hickman Dragonlance book. This book is set 50 years on after the Chaos War, and some of the characters till exist (albeit very old - apart from the elves who don't age at the same speed as humans), or are descendents of the previous characters. I ploughed through this book and finished it on Friday :( So I got on to amazon to order the next book. I managed to get book II and book III. one was 39p and the other was 1p! Shame about extortionate postage costs, but even so, I orderd the next two books.

I said to Mark yesterday, it will be sod's law that book III arrives before book II. Now, I am 'without book' at the moment and it's driving me potty. I hate to be without a book. It means I have to live in the real world rather than a world of fantasty and dragons and elves and Kender and mages. The real world includes my other half watching 'Dave' all evening and I have to bear with repeats of Top Gear. Don't get me wrong, I love Top Gear, but not when I have to watch an episode for the third time! Grrrrr.

So this morning a parcel plopped through my door... lo and behold.. it's BOOK III!!!! I had to put it on the shelf straight away without even reading the back because I don't want to get any hints or clues as to what has happened in book II. I just hope to god book II arrives tomorrow.

I'm also going through a mega music phase again. Not that I can ever get tired of Metallica, Guns n Roses, Chili Peppers etc, I think I'm ready for some new stuff. So I got onto You Tube (after searching for the Elbow track to post here) and wandered around the music section (as I do.. and got lost lol). First off, I came across a track by Santana (fantastic guitarist) and Chad Kroeger (lead singer of Nickelback - who we saw in concert a couple of years ago - fantastic!) I really loved the spanish feel to this track and love the song called Into the Night.

I had to grab the live version to post here as non of the actual video's have the embed link.. but this is just so funky! and it has a bit of eye candy for me in the form of Mr Kroeger - woohoo

Then, after listening to Santana I had to go and find one of my all time favourite songs, Smooth. This is Santana with Rob Thomas. I've never really listened to Rob Thomas so I had a wander around some of his stuff and found this one! I can't stop playing it now! Sends chills up my spine for some reason. It's called, All that I am. Again, no official video for it.

This then set me off on thinking about the songs that move me the most, and my favourite songs of all time.

I'm going to give this some thought and post them later :D

Sunday, December 7


OMG!! I have finally solved the riddle that has been bugging me for about 6 weeks. You have no idea how releaved I am. It has been the weight of the world on my shoulders and has practically sent me into early dementia.

what was this riddle? well...

I'm not much of a TV watcher but my puter is in the living room and I sit with my back to the TV so I generally hear what's going on. ITV have been using a particular song as a trailer track. Well, I say song, it was a heavy guitar riff. I didn't know what it was and I heard it advertise several different TV programmes coming up, but also Top Gear used the track. It was driving me mental! I hunted the internet but with very little info, found it hard to use the right keywords. I couldn't find anything. Then I remembered that it had been used to advertise The Devil's Whore, so I searched again and voila!! I found out that the track is by Elbow and is called Grounds for Divorce. I heard the full song a while ago and really liked it, but didn't remember where the guitar riff came from.

I am so pleased I now know what it is. I've heard it advertise so much since... and I keep pointing at the telly saying.. I know what you are now... LOL

Here's the song in full... wait for the guitar riff in the middle and another towards the end.. you may even recognise it.

Hacking coughs!

Oh dear, my poor baby. (I know she's three but she's still my baby). She started with a cough on Thursday and by Friday she was coughing more or less continuous. I phoned to get her in to see the Dr but I could only get an appointment with the useless Dr. There was no point in taking her to see him. I managed to find her inhaler and cancelled the appointment. I had to puff the inhaler into a cup and get her to breathe it in. She was actually very good at it. So then came the snotty nose, ewwwwww it ran everywhere! But today is Sunday and the cold is easing off but she's still coughing. It's a lot looser but it's still bad. Poor baby. It's her school play this week (she's a fairy) and it's dress rehearsal tomorrow, but I'm not sure she's well enough to go to school. The annoying thing is that the school play is on Tuesday AND Wednesday at 6pm! I'd rather not be taking her out in the freezing weather we have at that time of night when her cough is so bad. But we'll see how she goes. And now of course, I'm coughing!!!

Mark has been off work for 11 and a half days! arghhhhhhhhh!! it's not been so bad, but it throws me off my routine and he gets in the way LOL. And coffee!! Good grief, I've never known anyone drink so much coffee. The thing is, he expects me to make it.. haha! Nice try pal. Make it yourself.

I've got about half of my Christmas presents bought now. Isabelle is done, but i keep seeing things thinking, oh she'd love that! I have to stop buying for her lol, she has enough junk as it is.

My new baby niece hasn't arrived yet. I phoned my brother yesterday and he says that Sarah is in slow labour. She's having contractions, just not regular ones. She was due on 28th November and now obviously, it's 7th December. The poor girl is now 9 days overdue. Apparently the midwife is going to see her today and give her a membrane sweep and if she doesn't go into full labour they are going to induce her on Wednesday (10th). This is the first December baby in our family. All our baby's have been born in May, June or July, although we do have one in January.

Anyway, I need to go and find my wooly socks. My feet are freezing! Mark thinks my circulation stops at my knees, especially when I get into bed and put my cold feet on him LOL

Wednesday, December 3

Good Grief!!

I had a trawl through my photo albums on my puter to see if I could find one of myself (eek) to compare with how I look almost 2 stone lighter. I came across one taken at the end of May this year at Russ's 18th birthday party. God it is horrific!! I can't believe I walked about looking like that! The second photograph, I took about 15 minutes ago. No wonder I've had people comment about my face looking thinner. Take a look for yourself. I'm gobsmacked LOL. What is my face going to be like a few more stone lost? If ony the rest of me slimmed down as quick as my face [sigh]

Anyway, the pics.

May 08

December 08 after losing 1 stone 12 in 9 weeks

Tuesday, December 2

Knickers and Cheek bones

Great title eh? LOL

Well, another two pounds lost this week making the total 26 pounds in 9 weeks. Two more pounds to lose until several milestones.

2 pounds more will mean: I've lost two stone. I've lost 10% of my body weight. I go down into the next (lower) stones, and I will have reached my personal mini target early. I set my own target to lose 2 stone by January. Hopefully, all these will have been achieved by next Tuesday.

Twice today I have had someone say that they can really see the weight loss from my face. Both at separate times too.. which was nice. If only it would shift from my belly!! That's usually the last place it goes from and I end up looking like a bumble bee!!

I bought new knickers this week. LOL. I was getting a bit desparate for new ones. All my old ones had holes in where they shouldn't be. But I managed to get some from Asda.. THAT FIT ME.. rather than having to go to the fat shop that shall remain nameless. I had to buy 3 sizes smaller than I have been wearing! woohoo! My trousers are all too bit too. I did manage to get a really nice pair of black trousers from the charity shop for a couple of quid. They're two sizes smaller than I had been wearing. I refuse to pay full price for clothes in this size because I'm not going to be this size for long.

The thing that drives me bonkers at slimming class, is all the people who inhale when they hear how much I've lost in such a short time. Yes it IS going for it but they keep asking, oh, what are you eating. What are you doing? How are you doing it? or, I wish I could lose it like you are... basically, I'm sticking to the plan. I don't go home after weigh in and gorge myself all day like some people do. They complain that they only lost 1/2 a pound that week, then follow up with everything they've eaten that they 'shouldn't have'. I bite my tongue, but c'mon... if you want to lose the weight, and get upset at 'only' losing 1/2 a pound.. stick to the flippin' plan!! There are so many excuses... especially this time of year. Yes I know how hard it is to refuse chocolates, mince pies, cakes etc that are around for Christmas. But do you want to eat that chocolate MORE than you want to lose the weight? I don't.. I want the weight off way more than I want the chocolate... that's why I'm losing and they're not. [off my soapbox now]

I was going to write loads more.. Isabelle getting excited about Christmas, things I've bought for her, her school play etc etc.. but it's dinner time. I don't feel like cooking dinner.. but I'm hungry. I'm going to put some veg in the slow cooker overnight for soup tomorrow, but I'm off to hunt in the fridge to see what looks appetising for tonight.

Thursday, November 20


I want to pay a tribute in this post, but before I do, I slap myself on the wrist for leaving it so long since posting last.

In brief: I'm another 2 pounds lighter, but not happy that I lost 1 pound last week and 1 pound the week before. Hey ho... can't change it and at least it's weight off. Only 1 pound more to reach 1 and a half stone.

I've not been too well for the past fortnight. Just overwhelming fatigue and a very achy back and left hip. Just the same old crap as usual.. it will go away when it feels like it.

Anyway... the tribute. This tribute is to my friend of 26 years, Phil Bestford.

I used to walk to school with Phil every day. He was in the year above me but we used to have a good chat and laugh on the way to school every day. He was so cool to me in my 14 year old girly stage. He had long black hair, wore black jeans to school and his black leather jacket. He was into all the heavy rock music and was a fantastic artist. I used to spend break time in the art rooms with him looking at his work. I was in awe.

Phil refused to sit any school exams except for art. He said he was going to become an artist and it was pointless taking any other exams. There was uproar in school, but Phil did become an artist. More on that in a minute.

When we left school he moved to live with his dad in Sheffield for a while. I didn't see him at all after that until I went on friends re-united and saw his name there. I sent him a message and he replied. It had been 18 years since we'd been in touch. He phoned and we had a good chat and caught up with life. He told me that he was doing an art demonstration about 20 miles away from where I live and asked me to come over to see him at the demonstration. Mark and I drove over and found the art-room where he was working. I walked in the door and there he was... exactly the same as he looked when we were at school! He stopped the demonstration, apologised to everyone and said that he'd not seen me for 18 years, would they excuse him for a moment. He came over and gave me the biggest hug and told me it was so good to see me. he carried on with the demonstration after that. Mark was a bit unsure of the whole surreal situation, but he watched Phil working with his airbrush and demonstrating how it worked and how to achieve different effects with different paints and in no time at all he'd airbrushed a beautiful dragon. Dragons were his 'thing'.

After the demonstration was over we had a good chat and he gave me one of his airbrushed dragon pictures. He said he could quite easily sell it for £90 or so especially as it was signed, but he said because it was me, I could have it. It meant a lot to me.

He followed us home in his car and came in for coffee and a chat and to catch up. He and Mark talked guitars and then we ended up talking about life.

I had noticed that his face around his left eye was slightly dropped. He told us that he had a brain tumour the size of an orange removed. The surgeon couldn't get it all because it was attached to his brain stem. They'd had to remove some of his skull and cheekbone and replaced it with a metal plate. He was due to go in for more surgery in a couple of months. I was gobsmacked. He said they couldn't cure it. He would die from it eventually.

Phil was a fantastic airbrush artist. He painted his designs on crash helmets, leather jackets, motorbikes, and also did tattoo's. He was one of the best in the country. He was extremely well known in the lines of work he did.

We still kept in touch after we met, he'd phone me occasionally and I'd phone him too. The spooky thing was, he called his daughter Eve.. the same as I called mine.

I spoke to him early this year and he apologised for his slurred words. He'd had to have more surgery and they'd removed his left eye and replaced most of the left hand side of his face so the muscles didn't work properly. I could still understand what he was saying, and told him not to worry, I understood. He told me he had to go in for yet more surgery and that he was giving his artwork up. I was shocked. I asked what he was going to do without his art.. he said.. live if I can. I came off the phone in tears, although I didn't let him know. I told him I'd talk to him soon.

I didn't get chance to speak to him again.

I found out last night that Phil had died earlier this year. Of course, no one thought to let me know. I knew it would happen sooner or later. He'd been through so much and fought so hard. He was so upbeat about it all. he never let the fact that he had brain tumours get him down although I know he was in agony a lot of the time with headaches and pains. He was so positive.. in fact he was just being Phil. He will be sadly missed.

I read an article from his local paper that said he had a huge turnout for his funeral.. a massive onterage of bikers led him to the crematorium. Not only that, but a lot of them had his artwork on their bikes. He would have loved that.

Rest in peace Phil. You will be missed by a lot of people. and although we weren't in constant contact, I'll miss you. You were such a special person.

Here is some of Phil's artwork! All are painted by airbrush.

This is almost the same as the white dragon Phil gave to me.

Bald Eagle on the back of a leather jacket

Tiger on the back of a leather jacket

Indian on the back of a leather jacket

Detail on the petrol tank of a motorbike

Full set of plastics for a motorbike

This photograph doesn't do the actual artwork any justice! He showed me this painting and the detail was just stunning!

I have some pictures of my favourites of Phil's work, but I can't find them. They're on a CD somewhere. I'll dig them out tomorrow.

Goodnight Phil! xx

Tuesday, November 4


I am in shock! Just back from my Tuesday morning Slimming World session. I was the slimmer of the week, so I got a nice bright certificate to stick on my fridge (that's 2 now), and I got the bowl of fruit, some pasta n sauces and a couple of yogurts. Why did I get slimmer of the week? Because I lost 6 pounds this week. Yes! 6 pounds in one week!! Yes I've eaten, and eaten plenty.. so now I have lost 1 stone 4 pounds in 5 weeks. I also got my 1 stone award, but I'm now only 3 pounds away from my stone and a half award. I'm steaming towards my mini target that I set myself, to lose 2 stone before January. woohooo.. Go me!! I am so pleased :D

Monday, November 3

Ahhh! the silence!!

This morning is quiet. So quiet it's beautiful (well apart from the kitten tearing around like a loonie chasing anything that might move).

The reason for the silence. Isabelle has gone back to nursery this morning! It's been a very tough week with her at home all the time. She is going through a horrible stage of answering back, being defiant, smacking and just generally being an argumentative pain in the arse! She has been on the 'naughty step' more times this week than she has in her whole life. She hates being on the naughty step, but she still ends up there, despite a warning before I resort to putting her on the step. I hate to do it but she seems to think it's really amusing to wind me up to the point where I lose my patience. I am normally a very patient person, but by god she's pushing me to the limits! Even Mark had to admit that she's horrible at the moment. So the silence is beautiful and I'm enjoying it until 11.30 when I have to go and fetch her home again. [sigh]

I forgot to update my weight loss last week. I lost another 2 pounds bringing it to a total of 12 pounds in 4 weeks. I get weighed tomorrow morning so hopefully that will bring me my stone award. I feel pretty good to be honest, and I can see where the weight is coming off, although when I asked Mark, he said he couldn't. It's come off my face, neck, chest, shoulders and boobs. My boobs no longer pop out of my bra every time I move LOL. I can't wait for more to come off. I know it's going to be a slow process but I'll get there.

Friday, October 24


Now here is something you don't often hear me say. I am so full from my dinner, I can barely move. And it was completly syn free. I made Chicken and bacon melt. Basically a chicken fillet wrapped in bacon (all fat removed) and cooked in the oven for half an hour. Then I smothered it in very low fat cottage cheese and popped it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. I put normal grated chedder cheese on Mark and Russ's chicken. I had cauliflower, carrots and cabbage with it and it was so filling. If I'm honest, it was a bit much, but it was so tasty I couldn't leave it LOL.

In an attempt to increase my exercise levels from practically zero to at least some.. I went for a walk in the park this morning. I felt a bit mean because Isabelle would have loved running through the leaves, but I really wanted to have that time alone. Of course I took my camera LOL. I walked as briskly as I could for the first half an hour and then hobbled very slowly back to the car. I took my walking stick with me, which I never do, but I knew there were a couple of steep hills back to the car. I am so glad I took it. I relied on it quite heavily towards the end. I did get a couple of nice autumnal photographs though.

I also decided to try and get a few kitty shots. I set the light tent up and some lights and Isabelle decided she was going to sit in the light tent! grrrr. I managed to get Hobbes in there and got a few shots. I've not finished processing them yet, but here are two that I've done. He's sooo cute LOL.

Tuesday, October 21

Published again!


I've just received an email from the features editor from PhotoPlus Magazine (the canon specific mag) saying that she wants to print one of my photographs in the next issue of PhotoPlus!

I now have to send a mugshot (arrrghhhhh) and a write up about the shot, what I was trying to achieve, how I achieved it, settings used, lenses used, post processing etc.

Mark is chuffed to bits too as it's a photograph of him wheeliing his bike LOL. He now thinks he's going to be famous ROFL.

This is the shot that's going to print. I can't believe it.. this was just me playing with the photograph and pushing the boundaries!

Weigh in - week three

I've been to class and got weighed in this morning. Another three pounds loss!! woohoo. That's 10 pounds in three weeks. Only four pounds away from losing a stone. Highly unlikely that I'll lose 4 pounds in a week, but even so, I'll be so close to a stone next week.

It's going to be a long haul, but I'm still as motivated as I was when I started. I've bought the slimming world magazine today so I'm going to see what recipies are in there for me to try this week.

I can't really tell much difference in myself by looking although I don't have four boobs anymore LOL... you know when your bra is a bit tight and you sort of pop out the middle. Oh, and my shoes are too big!!! The slop off my feet when I walk, which is extremely annoying as I've only had them about six weeks. But it's annoying in a nice way LOL

Sunday, October 19

Smack my husband?

Do you think I can smack my husband about a bit and get away with it? hmmm, I didn't think so. He's driving me potty today!!! Well not just today, the last few days in fact.

He keeps eating stuff I've bought in for me to eat while trying to lose weight, and he keeps eating it without saying anything. I go to get something and it's gone!

Today, he has eaten almost continuously all day. Gone from one thing to another. Crisps, chocolate penguins, sweets, cerial bars.. and then back to the start again! It's not that I WANT them, it's just that seeing them paraded in front of my nose every 5 minutes makes me think about them. And once they get ingrained in your brain you start to think about them. And before you know it, the chocolate penguins start shouting my name from the fridge... and the go on and on and on! Like I said, I don't want them. I'm not hungry, but I can hear the penguins shouting my name. I'm not answering them! LOL

On the kitty side of things, we've decided he is officially ours now. We went and bought him a bed today to show him that he's now home. Mark said, typically, the kitten will never go in the bed, but Hobbes proved him wrong. He walked right over to it, climbed in and lay down and slept. He got up, ate, used his litter tray (good kitty) and went back to his new bed and is still fast asleep in there. The only problem I have, is keeping Isabelle out of it. She seems to think that her and Hobbes can share his new bed. LOL

Here are a few pics of Hobbes in his new bed.

Saturday, October 18


Oh dear. Today I am so tired. I don't know why. I'm a bit snuffly and my nose itches, I hope I don't come down with a cold!!!

Mark has spent the day in the garage swearing repeatedly at his motorbike. This is the one he got and had to strip down to almost nothing and then re-build, spending a fortune in the process! I'm finding it so hard to be supportive about it now, especially when it's eating money we don't have. It's not even as if he needs it on the road, he just WANTS it on the road. He has a running bike, but just won't let this one be until after winter! grrrr!

Well, kitty is still here. I've decided he's here to stay now. I'm not parting with him if anyone turns up to collect him LOL. He's my baby. If I sit at the computer he comes and sits on my shoulder. If I sprawl on the sofa to read my book or watch the TV he comes and lays as close under my chin as he can. He's my baby.. awwwwwwww.

Today I made two different soups. God I can't believe how domesticated I'm getting LOL. But if it's a free food and I can eat it when I'm hungry.. I'll take it.

So I made a broccoli and cauliflower soup....

and a carrot and swede soup.

The white dollop in the middle is very low fat yogurt but I think it would have been better with very low fat fromage frais, but I don't have any at the moment. They're both actually very nice, although very different. The broccoli and cauliflower is lacking in texture a bit, it's a bit watery. I wonder if I put some very low fat fromage frais into it it might thicken a bit. Anyway, it's definately edible as it is. mmmmmmm

I also made my favourite free food. I can eat this till the cows come home.. mooooo LOL

Some people call it a slimming world quiche, I tend to prefer to call it a bacon savoury slice. It's so quick and easy to make and again.... freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

4 0r 5 rashers of bacon, chopped into squares and dry fried.
8oz very low fat cottage cheese
3 eggs

beat the eggs, add the cottage cheese, give it a good mix then add the dry fried bacon. put it into an oven proof dish and cook for half an hour a 190 degrees. That's it. Eat it hot or cold.

Cottage pie for dinner, with leek and swede mash on the top for me. Cauliflower, mange tout peas and cabbage to go with it. Yum.

Friday, October 17

A slimming World Forum

Wow! I found a Slimmers Forum today and joined. It's one of these all diets and plans covered type of forum and they have a slimming world section. Obviously that's the bit I was interested in.

The amazing thing about this forum, which is so different to my class, is that the majority of the members are large... and I mean as large or larger than I am. I don't mean that in a bad way, what I mean is that I feel comfortable there. It's not like I have 8 stone to lose and everyone else has 1 stone to lose. There are some people who are or have been slimming from 25 stone. So I've slotted into the forum nicely. Some of the weight losses are phenomenal! And seeing the before and after pictures is totally inspiring! I've decided that I'm going to have my photograph taken on the 1st of each month just to keep as a record. A full shot photograph... OMG.. I can't remember the last time i had a full shot photo taken.

One area of this new forum made my mouth just hang open in shock. These people are on a diet called Liptrim (I think that's what it's called). It's a complete food replacement diet where you just drink shakes all day, similar to Slimfast but a bit more drastic. The majority of these people lose between 11 and 15 pounds in their first week..yes.. FIRST WEEK!! OMG!! then after that they lose on average anywhere between 3 and 8 pounds A WEEK. They are losing 3 or 4 stone in 8 to 10 weeks!! I am in shock. Apparently it's only available through a pharmacy an it is issued a week at a time and they also weigh you in before you buy your next week's supply. It's about £36 a week. The thing that bothers me most about this.. apart from people saying how hungry they are the first week, and how tired and strange they feel for the first couple of weeks... is what happens to their skin? Surely to god the fat is going far quicker than the skin can shrink back? I have visions of skinny people walking around dragging yards of floppy skin behind them or plonking it in a wheelbarrow in front of them to carry it around LOL. I don't have the courage yet to go and ask them if their skin shrinks back quickly enough LOL.

I must admit the thought of losing 3 stone in 8 weeks is soooo tempting, but I know I wouldn't survive it. I need food too much. I hate feeling hungry and really don't want to feel tired and strange. I have enough of that already LOL. Slow and steady wins the day.. and I won't need a wheelbarrow to haul my skin around at the end of the day LOL

Thursday, October 16

.... and more

I'm not going to apologise for more kitty pics. I can't help myself. He is just soooo cute.

Before that I'll ramble on a bit. I made a Chicken and Leek soup for lunch today. It didn't look very appetising, but it tasted lovely. More than that.. it was FREE on my diet. wooohooo, we like free foods! For anyone that is interested, the recipie is:

Chicken and Leek Soup

1 cooked chicken breast
3 or 4 large leeks
1 onion
2 teaspoons chicken bovril
1 - 1 1/2 pints of water
salt and pepper to taste

Time to make: 20 minutes


Chop the onions and leeks and either dry fry or use a little bit of fry light to soften the onions and leeks. Add the chicken and chicken bovril. Add approximately a pint to a pint and a half of water (I used a pint and a half). Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Put everything into a blender (be careful as it's very hot) and whizz it up. Eat straight away or save and re-heat as and when required, or if you're me, just keep grabbing a bowlful every now and then when you're hungry LOL.

And on to the kitty pics...

Awww he's so cute

Oh dear, I feel there may be a kitten pic overload heading this way. He is so funny and so cute, I have to share a few pics of him.

Making himself at home in Isabelle's 'princess dress' while she was at school this morning.

I think he was eating some breakfast here LOL. look at that tiny tongue!

I think he was trying to kill his toy LOL

Tuesday, October 14

Week two weight in.. and....

Weigh in on week two. 3 and a 1/2 pounds loss. Along with the 3 and a 1/2 pounds loss last week, that makes 7 pounds loss in two weeks. yay!! I'm really pleased. I always think that first half a stone is a milestone. It seems a long haul to half a stone, but once you've reached it, the next milestone is a stone. A whole 14 pounds! When you reach that, it means, yeah, you've lost quite a lot of weight already. So now the countdown is on to the 1 stone mark.

My other news today is that I found a tiny kitten this morning.

I dropped Isabelle off at Nursery this morning and at the end of our street I saw a tiny kitten sat in the middle of the road all soggy wet.

I brought it home and dried it off, gave it something to eat and put it in the kitchen. I knew it couldn't be more than 8 or 10 weeks old. I then went and knocked every door for two streets to see if anyone had lost a kitten or knew someone who had a new kitten. Nothing.

I came home and phoned Mark and said.. I've found a tiny kitten, can we keep it? Mark's not fond of cats and is much more a dog person. He said. ummmm.. I said but it's really tiny and it's soooo cute and it was wet and abandoned. He sighed and said oooookaaaaaaay, resigned to the fact that he knew I wouldn't put it back out in the street LOL

No one has claimed the kitten yet. I took it to the vet to get it checked over. It's a little boy and is betwen 6 and 8 weeks old. I over-estimated a bit. We've de-flea'd him and if no one claims him within the week, the vet will microchip him and register him to me. bluecheer.gif

He's so cute and Isabelle loves him. I REALLY hope no one claims him. I'm in love with him already and he hasn't left my side. Every time I sit down he comes and sits on me for a cuddle, apart from one time when Isabelle was watching TV, he snuggled up to her. Awwwwwww

He's also won is way into Mark's heart already. It's so funny. Mark lay on the sofa watching TV, as he does, and the kitten went and parked himself on Mark and went to sleep. and that's where he's stayed.

Here's a few pictures of our little kitty.

Wednesday, October 8

Poor baby's nose

awww my poor baby's nose looks awful

LOL, how an you resist that cheeky face? But her nose is so scabby after falling over at school on Monday. It keeps cracking and it doesn't help that she also has a cold so it's not drying up properly. She said it keeps stinging.

To add to her discomfort she, being the nosey kid she is, opened a cupboard in the supermarket and trapped her thumb! She squealed such a blood curdling squeal, the whole supermarket stood still. One of the staff brought a bag of frozen peas and a bag of chocolate snowmen for being brave LOL. She's fine. It did hurt her though because of the way she squealed. I took a look at her thumb tonight and the base of her thumbnail is all purple.

Then a couple of hours later she went outside to play on her new two wheel bike (with stabilisers) turned the wheel too hard and fell off, right onto her hands and knees. She went with a right thump! I have a very accident prone child! She takes after her father.

Tuesday, October 7

First weigh in

It's Tuesday! That might be stating the obvious, but Tuesday is Slimming World Class day. I had no idea how much I'd lost this week as my scales aren't working, so off I toddled to the class to weigh in.

I've lost 3 and a 1/2 pounds in my first week. I have to admit, I was disappointed. Usually in your first week of any weight loss plan, you lose quite a substantial amount and I was expecting to lose about 5 or 6 pounds.. but that said, 3 and 1/2 pounds is a good weight loss. I texted my mum to tell her and she told me off LOL. She said this is the new me, not a competition with the old me and to stop comparing my weight loss to previous losses. She's right! Any amount off is a loss, and as a visual aid to see what 3 and a 1/2 pounds looks like, I've made up this image. Each block is 1 pound of fat.

Gross isn't it!!! bleugh. I was carrying that around spread over my body. ewwww. I'm sure it was on my boobs! It's a woman thing, but you know when your bra is a little bit small for you and you sort of pop out in the middle? well, my boobs seem to stay in my bra already LOL. With that in mind, I am now looking forward to when my arse no longer hangs out of my knickers LOL

And so on to a new week. I think I'm going to try and get myself a bit more organised and plan meals for the week. That way I don't have to think about food all the time, I'll already know what to prepare for any given day, and I won't have to walk around the supermarket looking at all the high fat, high calorie foods.

The slimming group is great fun to be honest. It's so full of characters. We had such a good laugh. I feel quite at home there because there are no airs and graces. Everyone is just down to earth but up for a laugh, and we're all struggling with the same problem.

It's nice to be around adults again.