Connecting with the older generation - before it's too late

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How many times have you spoken to someone who was actually alive during the war? I have known the Hubby's Nan for many years now but I've only ever spoken to her about things that are going on now. She is 83 years old and lives in a care home, she can't get out and about on her own so we visit her occasionally. On our most recent visit we got the boys to ask her a few questions about when she was younger and I have to say it was an amazing conversation. The whole experience made me think that we should spend more time connecting with the older generation before it's too late.


At 83 years old the Hubby's Nan has lived for a long time, she's seen things come and go. She has had children and watched them grow and have children of their own. She has 9 great-grandchildren (at least!) and I'm sure it won't be long until she sees her great-great-grandchildren being born! 


Someone who has lived as long as our Nan has some wonderful stories to tell if only you get them talking. Ask them questions about what life was like. I mean, think about it... There was no TV! There was no internet, no technology. The best tech they had was the wireless. What on earth did they do for entertainment?!?






It's easy to find out. 
Ask.


That's just what we did on our recent visit and I could've sat and listened to her for hours. It all started with LP (8 years old) asking her what it was like living during the war. Well, as you can imagine, she got all excited and started talking about when she was a little girl. 


She told us about living in Stoke-on-Trent during the war and how there had been an unexploded bomb near her home. It was cordoned off with tape but that didn't stop her and her older brother going to investigate. Imagine the excitement of seeing an actual unexploded bomb, the anticipation of seeing something that was causing such havoc around them. She told us how they both crept behind the tape, hiding from guards, because they wanted to get a closer look at the bomb. They were amazed at how big it was, she made a ball shape with her hands in the air (think yoga ball!) and her eyes lit up. When they were spotted by the guard they ran home together and got into lots of trouble but she laughed and said it was worth it because they'd seen a real-life bomb.


Her bomb story led her neatly onto the topic of her uncle, a man who ran a business during the war. She had a black and white photo of him sitting on her set of drawers and pointed him out as she spoke about him. In the photo he stood in his army uniform astride a motorbike, he was smiling. He ran a business charging batteries for the wireless, which meant that his services were in demand. Nan told us how she would help him after school and late into the night. She laughed telling us "one night we helped him count money and he had £900! That was a lot of money back then!". Despite telling us her uncle had died in service during the war she was still able to smile and tell us he was a lovely man.







After that she started telling us about how the American soldiers would walk around the streets of Stoke-on-Trent handing out candy to the children. And how, one time, her and her best friend (who she is still best friends with today!) were chatting amongst themselves about one particular American soldier, who happened to have a lady on each arm, and he heard them and responded. They darted away, running home as fast as they could go! That really made me giggle because listening to her and seeing her smile was truly amazing. She was totally reliving it.




I'm sure she could've talked for hours about this stuff but unfortunately we had to leave, and to be honest I was sorry to go. I wanted to hear more of her stories, I wanted to talk to her about what it was like for her growing up.





  • Get a genuine glimpse into what life was like all those years ago.






Now that I've seen how much she enjoys talking about that stuff I'm encouraging my boys to ask her questions. Even if it requires a little research on our part I think it is totally worth it. We were able to connect with Nan, she smiled and laughed with us as she told us her stories, and I was touched by them. 


If you have a grandparent who you can talk to about the war I would encourage you to chat to them about what life was like for them.

They have a wonderful perspective.

Nando's Spicy Prawns & Rice recipe

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There are few meals that can both fill your family and make everyone happy but with my Nando's Spicy Prawns and Rice I think I've done just that. And the best bit? It takes about 10 minutes!




What you'll need:



2 packs of cooked & peeled king prawns (usually about 250g)
2 packs of quick cook rice (think Uncle Bens microwavable rice)
1 pack of Nando's Peri-Peri Medium Rub (you can choose whichever you prefer, if you'd like a spicier meal choose the Hot, if you'd like it more mild go for the mild or lemon & lime)
1 tbsp olive oil




What to do:


In a frying pan heat the oil then add the prawns to the pan. Warm through.
Once warm sprinkle half the pack of Nando's rub onto the prawns and stir, coating all the prawns.







While the prawns are cooking heat up your rice.

Once the Nando's rub has dried slightly add the remainder of the pack and stir again.

Your rice should take a couple of minutes to cook and once it's ready tip it into the pan with the prawns and stir, coating the rice in the rub too.





Serve.






You can enjoy this meal on its own or with a side salad.

It will serve four people. When I cook it it feeds me, the Hubby and our boys. Sometimes we'll couple it with warmed tortillas or a heated baguette.

You can download a recipe card for this recipe plus more here:





Post Comment Love 11th - 13th August

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Friday again and that means it's time for Post Comment Love. Stephanie and I are ready to read your posts so link up your favourite or best from this week and we'll share and comment!

We flew to Venice on Wednesday and are flying back today (Friday) which means I've spent most of my week getting ready for the few days away. Nothing much to report apart from the fact that I was ill for most of last week and into the start of this week. Thank goodness I was better by Wednesday! I still have a cough but I'm getting there.

As we're in the middle of the school holidays things are rather busy, we're going places, visiting people, and doing activities. I'm already looking forward to the start of the school year just so I can have a rest!

Hope the holidays are going well for you.




Blogger Showcase Louise from LoueKai


Louise is a 20 year old single mum of a one year old boy. She loves writing about positivity and describes herself as tall, friendly and kind-hearted. Stop by Stephanie's blog to read her answers.


Connect with Louise here:



Thank you for answering our questions Louise and feel free to grab our 'featured' badge and display it ever-so-proudly on your blog!


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Pocolo



Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.


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Getting our garden summer ready

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At the bottom of our garden we have a pool and every summer we have lots of work to do to get it ready for use during the summer months. Cutting trees, mowing grass, cleaning the patio are just some of the things we have to do and a few weeks ago we decided to get our garden summer ready.

With the four of us we were confident we could get it done quickly. We had assigned the jet washing of the patio to BP. The patio around the pool gets dirty during the autumn and winter months and leaving it would mean the kids would get dirty feet when playing in the pool. So, it had to be cleaned. 



This is just one side of the patio...



The Hubby got started with cutting back the trees and mowing the lawn, anything that required tools to be used. I had the broom to hand and went around sweeping up all the cuttings into a pile so LP could pick them up and put them in our brown bin.



little boy helping with gardening





We spent a couple of hours in the morning cutting, sweeping, and washing and by the time we were ready for a break we were halfway finished. 



I had the job of sweeping and by the time we were done I had a back ache!



In order to get the pool ready for use we needed to make sure the garden was ready first and then move on to the pool. We took the whole weekend to get it all done. 

On Sunday luckily it was still good weather so we headed outside to make a start again. More cutting back trees, more sweeping, and more jet-washing. 

The Hubby had some fun with the jet-wash...




Before I started picking up the cuttings BP and I spotted a tiny snail on the top of the brown bin.



BP thought it would be a good idea to put the glove next to the snail to give you perspective. Clever one BP! 



What a cute little guy huh?


BP picked it up and moved it to the wall before we opened up the bin. 

When BP took over the jet-wash again the Hubby started to clean the pool. To do that we needed the Dolphin - a machine that cleans the bottom and sides of the pool. It gets plugged in and kind of sweeps the bottom of the pool so there's no algae or leaves in there. The cleaning takes about 4 hours and we can leave it to it which is much better than having to brush the sides of the pool ourselves.



The pool doesn't look particularly appealing before it's been cleaned.



Cleaning the pool isn't just about the Dolphin either, we also have to put chemicals in the water to make it safe for use and make sure the boiler is switched on so that it's not freezing cold. The preparation isn't too bad but there's also weekly maintenance that will have to be done. Luckily the Hubby takes care of all that.



The dolphin doing its job



Once the pool is cleaned and the water has been cleaned we have a filter and a boiler to turn on. The filter makes sure the water stays clean and the boiler heats the water (obvs!). We heat the water to about 28 degrees so it's not cold and when the sun is out we can use it.



The pool after the dolphin has done its job one time. More times required. 




Having a pool makes staying at home more fun, especially when the sun is out. We have the occasional barbecue and love to spend time outside. 

The best bit about getting the garden summer ready though is that we do it together, as a family. We all pitch in to make our garden the perfect place to spend summery days and we can all enjoy it together. 





Do you work together to get your garden summer ready?

Date night at home (when the kids are in bed)

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Date night when you're a parent doesn't come around very often, especially if you can't find babysitters, which can be difficult when you live far from family. The Hubby and I rarely get to have a proper date night where we actually go out which is why we have become experts in having our date nights at home when the kids are in bed.

There are SO many things you can do at home for your date night, from simply having a meal together to spending the night in bed (wink, wink). Having an almost teen and a tween-in-training we don't tend to spend an evening in bed (unless it's for sleeping!) so we have found other ways to spend time together and enjoy each other's company.





Play video games


Games play a huge part of our lives, the Hubby has spent the majority of his adult life making games so we know all the good games. Sometimes we'll play games on our iPads separately but this isn't a great thing to do on date night so why not try playing video games together?





  • Just keep taking chances and having fun. 

Garth Brooks





We like to play Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U, it's an older game now but we still love it. It's a difficult game if you're not a gamer but having the two of you to play increases the likelihood of you completing levels. The Hubby is more of a gamer than me and he is awesome at this game. I tend to let him do all the hard bits and stand around in case he dies!

It's fun to play games together, even if you end up arguing about something silly, because it makes you work together to complete something.




A stargazing picnic


Not something we do very often but sitting outside on a picnic blanket with a few nibbles and staring up at the stars is a lovely way to spend an evening. In this country it can get a tad chilly at night so be sure to take a blanket outdoors with you.




Caleb Woods




If you're a novice at spotting the constellations do a bit of research before you head outside so you know what you're looking for.




Do a puzzle together




This is our 5000 piece jigsaw - I still can't believe we did it!



We have quite a collection of jigsaws and sometimes we spend our evenings doing that. Our favourites are the Wasgij ones, you don't have a picture to follow to help you with the puzzle which makes it much harder. We have a 5000 piece jigsaw which is a real pain to do because a lot of the pieces are the same but when it's completed you get a real sense of achievement. We've done our 5000 piece jigsaw twice, usually around Christmas.





  • I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells. 

Dr. Seuss




Again it's a great way to be together as you work with each other to complete the puzzle.




Watch a movie



This is the thing the Hubby and I do most. We sit in our dedicated room (projector room) in our reclining seats and watch a movie. Sometimes we'll have a drink (um, hello bourbon!), sometimes we'll have snacks (chocolate, sweets, etc), and sometimes we'll just sit and watch. Be it romantic comedies like Love Actually or action-packed movies like Die Hard I'm sure you can find a movie you'll both agree on. 


Because the Hubby and I spend a lot of time in our projector room we do sometimes get bored of watching movies. That's when we'll get out a Lego set or choose a video game to play. Your best bet is to find the thing you both enjoy doing, and try doing it together (keep it clean people!).

What does your date night look like?

Post Comment Love 4th - 6th August

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It's time for Post Comment Love again and Stephanie and I are back and ready to read your brilliant posts. Link up your favourite or best from this week and we'll share and comment!

Well this week I've been feeling pretty rubbish, I got a cold on Tuesday. Tuesday morning I was fine but by the evening I was achy, sneezing, and tired. I have filled myself with medication, tried to fight through it despite feeling like I could sleep for a week, and acted as if nothing was wrong. Of course I know that isn't the way to beat it - I need rest - but with the boys off school and wanting to do something all the time it's not easy.

Other than feeling rubbish the holidays have been good so far. We have taken the boys golfing at a mini-golf close by, we've been for a lovely meal, and we've been to Alton Towers. Next week we head to Venice, which I'm really excited about because the weather forecast is brilliant. Lots of sun! Yay! After that we have a week or so at home and then we're going to London again, this time with the boys. We plan to do lots of things during our 3 day stay and I'm confident the boys will have a great time.

With all the plans I know I'll be ready for the start of the school term come September, I'm already wiped out (although that might be because I'm ill).

What have you done so far during the school holidays?



Blogger Showcase Rachel from Rachel Marie's Writing Nook






Who are you? 


My name is Rachel Jeffery and I am 19 years old and am Welsh. I'm currently in my last days of A levels as I hope to go to study Creative Writing at Swansea. Vintage lover. Book lover. Efron Lover. Travolta lover.




How did you discover blogs/blogging?


I discovered blogging when all my friends had tumblr and had personal and disability. Then I started my writing blog (after being discriminated by a drama teacher) about myself as a writer, posting short stories, poetry and book reviews. I am also a stationery addict! (www.rachelmwriter.wordpress.com) and last Friday I started my disability blog professionally where I highlight my struggles AND show people I'm a grown woman and not a little girl. (http://www.wheelzandwearingheelz.blogspot.com/)



Why did you start blogging?


I started blogging because there is a misconception about disability that it's all negative. Writing short stories is like therapy especially after I was diagnosed with depression after a back injury and deteriorating Cerebral Palsy. I don't want to be 'inspirational porn' though, I don't sugarcoat.




What do you find most challenging?


What I find difficult is attracting people to my content as my disability blog is in is in its early days so I'm on social media 24/7.




What is your favourite topic to write about?


My favourite topics to write about on old blogs were my funny anecdotes because I write comedy really well and people can relate to each other. Two words. Hoist. Shaving. I'll leave that to your imagination...!




Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?


My blogging goal is to show that disabled people aren't their conditions but people. So I plan on doing interviews, OOTD, What's in my bag, stationery hauls and makeup tutorials (on disability blog)




What is your favourite thing about blogging?


My favourite thing about blogging is the interaction with people on my SM.




Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if so, what did you think?


I have never attended one.




What are your 3 best posts?


Top 3 posts (writers blog)
Book reviews
Hugging a grave stone
Summer writing goals


Disablity:
Welcome
Chronic illness
Catheter Tips




Describe yourself in three words!


Independent. Granny. Hilarious.




Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?

I'm very traditional so it would have to be tea (in a teacup fully laid out on tray) with lemon drizzle cake.




What's your idea of a perfect night out?


Perfect night out. If it were in the 50's back seat at the cinema and dancing. Today? Italian food, a musical and a vodka and maybe bingo/




Perfect night in? 


Hot bath, fluffy pyjamas, the soaps, an episode of fresh prince, lavender pillow spray, a plethora of me, tea and a World War Two romance before bed at 9pm.




What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality?


My friends say my best qualities are my bluntness/humorous/ the fact that I have the confidence to wear 50's clothes.



Connect with Rachel here:

Twitter
Instagram


Thank you for answering our questions Rachel and feel free to grab our 'featured' badge and display it ever-so-proudly on your blog!


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Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.


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Around The World in 80 Days review

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This year we have been to see so many productions at the theatre, they've mostly been musicals like The Addams Family or shows like The Lord of the Dance. But our most recent trip to the theatre was to see a play. We had no idea what to expect from Around The World in 80 Days and I was quite nervous about taking the boys to see a play.
around the world in 80 days actors on stage


  • Jules Verne’s
  • Around The World In 80 Days
  • Adapted by Laura Eason

  • The mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagers his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. Join him and his loyal valet Passepartout, as they voyage from the misty alleys of Victorian London to the exotic subcontinent and the Wild West in a race against the clock.

  • In Theresa Heskins’ celebrated production, a cast of eight play over 125 characters, embark on this imaginative, high-spirited escapade including six trains, five boats, four fights, three dances, two circus acts and an elephant!



From about a minute into the play I knew it would be good, as soon as I saw Phileas Fogg sleeping in his bed... standing up. I needn't have been worried about the boys enjoying the play because it was so entertaining.




We soon learned that Phileas Fogg was a character of routine, he did the same things day in day out. That is until he is challenged and sets off on a journey around the world with his newly employed valet, Passepartout. Around The World in 80 Days isn't just about a wager though, and that was the beauty of this play. It's about journeys. Journeys of friendships and journeys of the self. 

Phileas Fogg starts out as a 'matter of fact' person and likes everything done 'just so'. But as Phileas and Passepartout journey on boats and trains (and other things) around the world you watch Phileas change from a strict character to someone who has real feelings, you even get to see him fall in love. 



The friendships that blossom during the travelling are heartwarming, you see the characters begin to care for one another. They work together to fight against bad things that happen during their journey which brings them closer and by the end they're true friends.



But that wasn't the only great thing about this show. 

The acting was AMAZING!!! Funny, entertaining, inclusive, it was everything I could've asked for in a show. There is some fighting in the play but it is done in such a way that you are stunned, I won't tell you how it's done because I don't want to spoil the surprise but it is THE BEST way to do fighting on stage in my opinion. 

There were brilliant parts when money was thrown across the stage from character to another, without ever leaving the first character's hands. You have to see it. There's gun fighting too, and Passepartout catches bullets in his teeth!





The sets were simple and movable, in fact most of the set pieces were moved on and off stage by the actors themselves. The sides of the boats were obviously light but sturdy and the actors did a brilliant job of making it seem like they were actually on a boat by swaying from side to side totally synchronised.

The detective was a brilliant character, here he is trying to keep the chairs and table swaying... alone.



Despite Around The World in 80 Days being a play there was acrobatics too. After the intermission we were entertained by a circus group! They did flips and made a human pyramid, as well as a few other things I won't mention so as to not spoil it for you.




I don't usually bother to mention the costumes in a show because, well to be honest, they're a bit 'blah'. Costumes are costumes, unless it's something amazing right? I couldn't write about this show without mentioning the costumes. To begin with I didn't notice it but a lot of the costumes were maps! Dresses made out of maps. Waistcoats with a map of the world all over it. I loved it.

We sat, enthralled, watching Phileas Fogg and Passepartout travel the world on trains and boats, and even an elephant! Right from the start of the show there was audience involvement too, from someone being spoken to or pointed at, to actually being taken onto stage! It was hilarious.

If you're unsure as to whether to take children to see this show I would say DO IT! Children (I'd say aged 7+) would be highly entertained as there's never a dull moment on stage. 

Watching Around The World in 80 Days was an experience, it wasn't just sitting there watching a play. We went on a journey too. Throughout the show I felt happy, sad, tired, tense, worried, and happy again. By the time the play finished I was exhausted and oh-so happy. 

The boys loved this play, and LP even came away with a souvenir which has prompted him to start a keepsake box!

This is the best play we have seen in a long time. Do go and see it.

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