Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Take a Break

As some of you have noted I took Mike’s home coming as a break in my blogging mission (this is fairly normal at the moment – especially as he’s only home a fortnight for every 4-8 weeks he’s away) apart from feeling rubbish and continuing to go downhill with my health, three days after Mike’s return I hit my 2 year blogging goal to reach 16,500 readers!

Thank you so much guys, lots of you retweet, share and Google+ my posts and I'm grateful and honoured that you like my ramblings enough to share them with your nearest and dearest and/or message me hungrily for the next post when I go quiet!

With 9 day’s until the actual 2 year anniversary I’m hoping to reach 17,000 readers, there is now a bold hits counter on the right hand side of the blog so you know I’m not fibbing lol!!

If you click here you can join my FaceBook Page, click here you can join me on Twitter and here for Pinterest.

My 12 day’s with Mike were lovely, we had three BBQ’s, went to see The Dark Knight Rises – awesome by the way, took my nephew and nieces for a picnic on the beach and the wedding I mentioned in my last post was amazing!

At 28 weddings are a normal occurrence in my social calendar but not many of my male friend’s have taken the plunge. So when I attended Steve and Sarah’s (Steve being my original friendship in the couple) glorious day I had an odd awakening that the “boys night out” although made redundant a couple of years ago, was definitely over as one of our mutual friends came the do with his wife and one of his two gorgeous children, another couldn’t attend as his wife had given birth that day and the last finally told me he was having a baby with his missus in 5 months time!! I expect this behaviour from my girlfriends but seeing “the boy’s” all domesticated was quite a shock!

In between all the above mentioned fun; I wasn’t the nicest person to live with; snappy, dozy and generally a pain in the arse! Between full medication doses, sleepless nights and the pain itself I was a moo – so I publically apologise to Mike.... as lovely as he was about it, I expect he’s happier (and possibly safer) in California while I adjust to a life in full relapse.

On a more positive note I think I’ve chosen the charity that I wish to support (with all your help!) in providing people less fortunate than my moody self with wheelchairs. So with some discussion with them I shall enlighten you in my next blog with their identity and the weird, wonderful and damn right scary idea’s people have sent in!

L x  

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Start Your Own Club!

You guy’s will be proud! I have been actively resting... yeah you read it right! I haven’t been gallivanting across the globe, I haven’t attended a hen do or wedding in over a week and I have said “No” to social invites!?! ...Ok I did meet up for one coffee but that was a special circumstance (I’ll blog about that soon!).

I can’t quite believe it myself I spent Friday through to today (Tuesday) napping, catching up on TV, reading, sleeping, a few e-mails did I mentioned I slept ALOT?

I needed the rest so bad and I have accepted the fact that this will be a regular routine in the coming weeks or months, not to say I won’t be a little busy....

Mike’s coming home in two days and the day after we’re heading to Sussex to see his family for my nieces 2nd Birthday, 5 days later we have the last wedding of the season to attend. I cannot wait to see the boy and I’m beyond excited by the up and coming events.

But if soon I can’t go to the entertainment I’ll bring the entertainment to me; so last week (before the mammoth resting session) I hosted my first ever book club.

Talking to my friends Sarah and Kylie and my brother’s girlfriend Kate at the Jubilee weekend BBQ we commented that we needed to find new ways of meeting up that A. Didn’t assault our bank balances and B. Didn’t mess up our diets and involved alcohol for once!

So the Jubilee Book Club was formed.

Since we all had a copy of Room by Emma Donoghue from me being a World Book Night Giver it seemed like a natural starting point.

Being somewhat over enthusiastic about the club I opened our private Facebook group, started work on a logo and read Oprah Winfrey’s guide to starting and running a successful book club! Neither I nor the other three members had ever been in such a group and if anyone can start a success venture it’s Oprah.

I was hosting the first meeting so I made a tea time buffet of sandwiches, mini cakes and crisps with tea and orange juice aplenty. Tea was of course inspired by Afternoon Tea at the Roslin but I currently have no cooker, hob or kitchen sink so sandwiches on paper plates was as fancy as I could go!

Being that we are all friends there was a great amount of gossiping before we actually got down to business.

When we finally got there we discussed;
How often we’ll be meeting? Once a month
How will we chose the next book? Who ever hosts the meeting chooses the next book – I’ve chosen Dear Fatty by Dawn French
Genre preference: We’re happy to read all and any suggestions!

... You get the picture, but Oprah says you must establish ground rules!

Then we got on to the subject we were actually meeting for; Room by Emma Donoghue, I think we surprised ourselves how much depth went into our discussion; character narration, the book’s language and reflection on society, the books affect on us emotionally and simply whether we liked the book or not – we all loved it - a innocent narrative woven into a disturbing theme, with complex characters and an attention into the mindset of a 5 year old was astounding – see we do sound intelligent!

Haven’t you ever got to the last page of a novel and thought... “I must tell _____ about this book” only to have that conversation halted because they haven’t read it and they don’t want you spoiling literacy surprise!?

I highly recommend starting your own book club, it doesn’t cost more than a few refreshments and a copy of the book (if you’re really strapped for cash all bring nibbles to share, you could share copies of the book or use your local library). You get to see your friends on a regular basis and make new ones when you gain new members... in fact I’m about to e-mail a friend to join Jubilee book club right.....now!

L x

Friday, 13 July 2012

Afternoon Tea at The Roslin

One of my best friends is moving to Plymouth and like our Queen for her Diamond Jubilee – Helen has been having a succession of celebrations so that she can say Goodbye to all her friends, giving us a chance to wish her well on her new adventures.

After a Malibu fuelled girls night out and a family friendly BBQ in Helen’s back garden for our final farewell - our friend Jen booked Afternoon Tea and the Roslin Beach Hotel, on Southend’s Sea front.

The Roslin is an award winning, hotel, restaurant and popular wedding reception venue. I’ve gone passed it a million times and always wanted to go in and see if all the personal recommendations and awards were worth the hype.

Upon arriving we found that the parking facilities, although free were limited, but two of our three car convoy managed to get a space.

I was happy to see a wheelchair ramp and double doors into the bright, white and cream reception where we were welcomed by the receptionist and restaurants’ MaĆ®tre d'.

We were lead to a light and spacious dining area with large round tables covered in perfect white cloths. There were three other groups of ladies lunching – many, like ourselves, were dressed for the occasion in summer prints and classic cut dresses.

Ladies that lunch L-R Helen, Me, Lauren, Jen & Sara

We were greeted by our waitress who asked if we preferred coffee or English tea and soon tea pots matching our ornate, bone china floral tea cups and plates were placed amongst the 5 of us. 

Tea anyone?

Within ten minutes of arriving two, three tiered stands adorned our table with fresh sandwiches, mini cupcakes, fresh meringues and scones accompanied by Devonshire clotted cream a selection of Tiptree Jams.

Devonshire Scones as they should be - cream then jam! 

One of our group unfortunately didn’t care for any of the sandwich fillings and another of our friends is a vegetarian – I was worried asking for some extra and different food’s would be seen as us being difficult customers but the waitress seem unfazed by the request and a batch of cheese sandwiches and a plate of strawberries soon made their way to our table – all very delicious!

Our conversations consisted of Helen’s big move and the beauty of keeping in touch via Skype and Facebook, 50 Shades of Grey – our table was split and I’m not sure what it says about our group that none were shocked by its content, The Olympics and the havoc that will cause in London and a good old gossip about life in general.

After another round of perfect cups of tea and only a few crumbs remaining (I was particularly partial to the smoked salmon sandwiches – in fact I ate them all) we said Good Luck and not Goodbye to Helen and I personally wish her and her family all the love and luck in the world!

L x

Afternoon Tea at Roslin Beach Hotel is £14.95 (per person) on weekends and £12.95 during the week. Open 3-5pm Monday-Saturday and 12:30-4:30pm on Sundays. There are upgrades to the package where you can order savoury platters and even indulge in pink champagne!  Call 01702 586375 to book.

Monday, 9 July 2012

What would you do?

Wow, what a reaction to my last blog lots of wonderful messages of support and ton’s of e-mails asking for advice - I'll do the best I can!

As you could all probably tell I’m not my usual self but I’ve had a few moments of clarity and deep thought (and no Dad, it didn’t hurt!).

One of the events I mentioned in my last blog happened this weekend; it was my friend Sarah’s hen do. I have a special place in my heart for Sarah and her Hubby to be Steve as my brother Steven and I introduced them at our sisters’ 18th Birthday party and after declaring on Twitter that I was ready to party and that CRPS would not take my fabulous - it did – I was robbed!

Finding my in fab L- R Kylie, Me and Kate

We met Sarah and the rest of her party at Rendezvous Casino for dinner, which by the way was very delicious with a starter of mussels and salsa - plump, juicy and fresh, a perfectly cooked poached salmon for my main –  I avoided my dauphinoise potato (still on the Weight Watchers!) with fresh vegetables followed by half of a triple chocolate mousse. With goodie bags, sashes, mini crown’s and the wine (or Malibu in my case) flowing we were having a great time but by half ten my fabulousness was depleting fast and I was becoming a sweaty, red faced mess due to the pain levels.

We all know I love a clubbing session but I was beaten and came home before the rest of the party headed to a nightclub – gutted!

I was up most of the night sulking, crying and basically being pathetic! But I remembered a conversation I’d had with my friend Lydia and my Mum last weekend about receiving messages from readers around the globe saying I gave them hope that there is life outside their countries, villages and homes – some of these people can’t afford wheelchairs so they spend their lives in doors only going out when someone carries them and I’m moaning about missing out on a nightclub – utterly ridiculous really!

Now I can’t say I’ll never moan again... I know I will – the most positive people in the world have their moments but I did starting thinking just how many people cannot afford wheelchairs?

I googled my butt off and found out that it is estimated that 100 million people worldwide cannot afford wheelchairs... well, that was my sulking well and truly put in its place! Can you imagine whether you’re able bodied or disabled never leaving the house? For Pete’s sake you can buy them in the UK from Argos for less than £150..... I know people that own shoes 3x that cost!

So now my brain is switched on; what can I do to raise money for wheelchairs? Idea’s people?? – I’m on a mission – I need a project now more than ever - doing something positive! The weird and wonderful are welcome I may even use a few in coming posts!

I was also inspired by one of my favourite fellow Bloggers Betty Bee. Betty Bee is a writer, photographer, vintage enthusiast and crafter. Show wrote a brief blog last week about feeling “meh” herself but had found the joy in the little things like her favourite hand cream, True Blood books and her daughters swimming lessons – (Well Done on your 10 metres Mini Bee!)

Betty Bee
Images used with Permission of Betty Bee 
So I thought since my world will be getting smaller over the next few months I really need to take Betty Bee’s example and take pleasure in the small things.

This week, mine are;

Having one of my nieces over for pizza and ice cream – Charley is sweet, chatty (in fact talks more than I do!) and I was proud of myself for only eating within my Weight Watchers points!

Meeting with some girlfriends for Afternoon Tea (more on that in my next blog)

I’ve been banging on about Mighty Mouth by Soap and Glory to my friends – a lip balm that isn’t sticky and it makes your lips tingly fresh – yum!

And lastly my boy Mike is coming home from California in 10 days!!

What would yours be?
L x

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

To Rest or Not To Rest

I’m struggling. It’s a hard thing for me to admit to but I am. What I thought had been a mild two year long relapse - turns out could quite possibly just be my every day pain.

Gradually since I was 9/10 years old my CRPS/RSD pain has increased in stages – aged 11, 14, 16, 19, 21 and 26 my brain and nerves have ganged up on me to upgrade the pain to a level I must get used to all over again, and these periods have been smattered with what I refer to as relapses (also referred to as flare ups).

It seems I’m heading for a relapse at an alarming rate.

Mike noticed that I was getting clumsy and forgetful (Bless him - he gave me a lecture on safety before leaving to go to California three week ago, he’s worried he’ll come home to a battered and bruised girlfriend). I’m tripping up constantly and have so far managed to lose my keys, TV remote, Shoes and most spectacularly our kettle!!

I’m putting my daft behaviour down to taking every medication available to me - I tend to miss doses when I’m not feeling too rubbish and then increasing to my prescribed amounts when needed, plus I’m sleep deprived.

But all of the above is down to pain - spasms, burning, pins and needles, and freezing limbs – all the usual but in higher frustrating, crippling and upsetting quantities.


I’ve found that I’m very angry with this relapse and myself. As you’ve all read, I’ve been having a wonderful time travelling, going to weddings, hen do’s, parties galore and shows aplenty and part of me is now wondering whether I bought on this relapse. In fact I can probably guarantee I have, but at what point do you say no to the invitations and rest?

I’m 28, I want to be out every weekend.... oh sod it! I want to be out everyday – doing as much as my very active brain can take but my unreliable body just won’t keep up. My parents, Mike, both our families and most of my friends have spend forever telling me to slow down but I’m just no good at balance – physically or socially it seems!

But it’s my own fault, I have no option but to rest now, I have started napping again in the day so I can socialise in the evening, I still have one more hen do, wedding, Birthday party, Engagement celebrations, leaving do and..... you see my problem? These are big events in the lives of my nearest and dearest... How can I say no?

It’s been well documented and discussed in media how young people are now suffering with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) due to people’s lives being plastered all over Facebook and Twitter – I am completely guilty of tagging myself in cool places, uploading hundreds of photo’s and I’m addicted to pressing the Going button on events pages, but my FOMO came long before Facebook I could have coined the term by the time I became a teenager because I was in bed or in hospital (usual both!) whilst the world carried on without me – I hate that feeling and even as I type I have a sinking in my gut that I’m going to miss out again soon.

For now I can still get out of the house, I’m not bed bound just yet and I plan to make the most of things until that happens. (Let all cross our fingers I bypass the old "stay in bed" phase!)

CRPS/RSD sufferers desperately need more research, support and treatments – After 20 years of it I’ve had enough, I’m tired. So please Share on Facebook and RT this piece.

For more information on the condition you can click here!

L x

Sunday, 1 July 2012

An Evening of Burlesque

When I told my friends and family that I was off to see a Burlesque show there were three camps of people – some just as excited as myself and almost jealous, some were completely against it and said it was demoralising to women and the third bunch simply asked if I was a lesbian since Burlesque is all boobs and gyrating – if I wanted to go, just for boobs I could look down my own top and dance in front of a mirror - no one (apart from Mike) wants to see that!!

 I wanted to go to a Burlesque show as I think it’s a beautiful, funny and fun act to watch. I first mentioned to my friend Lauren that there was a show coming to town and playing at our local theatre The Cliffs Pavilion and low and behold she and her Husband Mike bought me tickets for my Birthday – so spoilt!

I’d watched a lot of programmes, youtube clips and films with a Burlesque theme but I found it’s nothing like seeing it in person. The show was sexy not sleazy, with cheeky humour, amazing music and singing, variety acts including a comedian, a knife thrower, a man stripping whilst sat on a unicycle and a hula hoop stunt act! 

I was excited to see the gorgeous Ivy Paige as the show’s compare – sexy, hilarious and with a stunning voice Ivy commanded and well as entertained the audience.

My favourite acts apart from Ms Paige were the Folly Mixtures a Burlesque troop whose dances included a basket ball theme, flash dance and Fever – all with cute outfits and like all the acts a fast array of amazing lingerie and extraordinary section of nipple tassels.

Other acting included a striking routine with huge feathers, a rap about Queen Elizabeth I to the tune of Fresh Prince of Bel-air using an ironing board (you had to be there!) and a mischievous little number involving a dozen balloons.

It was Amber Topaz who stole the show – at the very end, her limbs bending and dancing into shapes I could only ever dream of getting into – she was amazing!

I left the show with a head full of show tunes and a new item on my bucket list..... now where’s the nearest disabled burlesque classes?

Madam GoGo

L x