A Plea and A Promise

This week creative writing has filled my head. I've thought about the novels I've written, stories that live in my head and the blog. They're all a part of me and each has it's own purpose. In recent weeks I've lost sight of why I enjoyed writing and began to wonder if I should just put the novels away and concentrate on the blog more.

I've really enjoyed blogging every day and taking part in various linkys and will continue to do so. It encourages me to think about writing in a different way than normal and this is actually useful. I can also learn a lot about myself and other people which in turn helps my creative writing. What I'm not going to do is give up on my novels. I have a habit of starting the editing process and giving up about half-way through.

My most recent first draft was finished at the start of last year and when I wrote 'The End' I felt a rush of satisfaction. It is very gratifying typing those two words when you've spent months tapping away at the keyboard hoping you'll have something good by the end of it. Unfortunately this satisfaction lasts about two minutes and then you realise there's a ton more work to do before it is going to be read by anyone but you. I still haven't reached this point with either of my novels. Not good.

Who I Am

Over the last couple of months I've been spending most of my time blogging and trying to establish a routine that I can stick to. So far it's worked pretty well and that's thanks to the wonderful ladies that run various linkys throughout the blogging community. Since the start of January I've ignored my book, banishing it to the archives and promising to come back - at some point. A few weeks ago I thought I would give up on it after all I'm only a housewife. Who would want to read something I wrote?

Well, it turns out I can't. Something in me won't let me forget why I started in the first place and that pesky muse has been tapping me on the shoulder for the last couple of weeks. It's time to get back to the book. This means I'll be very busy trying to edit what I already have while attempting to carry on blogging. The one thing you can count on is that I'll be here, every Thursday for #Prose4T because it allows me to be creative without the pressure of a novel. This week's poem is about me realising who I really am, probably about time right?

Who I Am

It is part of me, I know that now
It's who I am and here I vow
No more hiding, pretending you're not here
Glancing back and trying to be clear

I won't fight this inner need
I'll sit here and give the words to feed
Pages with prose full of truth and pain
Hearing my muse, hope she will not wane

New iPad Coming?

There are two times of year that I get a little excited about technology, now and October. Usually this time of year Apple has one of their conferences where they announce new products and apps and this is always quite exciting. I've said before I'm an apple girl and I love watching their announcements on the Apple TV.

In October last year, when they announced the new iPhone 5S, the hubby and I watched. I'd had the iPhone 5 the previous year and didn't need a new phone, I already had an iPad and Macbook Air, what else could there be? For me it was the update to Mavericks that I looked forward to most, turning my old, slow Mac into a speedy thing. Apple always have something to sell, even if you have it already.

Blackbeard's End

LP couldn't wait to read it.
At the weekend I took my boys to the local library. The hubby always talks about how his mum used to take them to the library every week and he'd have six books to read. He loves reading, so do I, and we want to encourage our children to find their love of reading too. I find that no matter how many books you have it is always hard to find a new one and I was hoping this is where the library would help. When we'd joined I let the kids wander around and have a look at what was available. The hubby and I browsed... well, scanned is a better word. 

When I was little I remember going to libraries and them being very quiet and organised places. They had sections for the different genre of books, even in the children's area, and in each section the books were organised alphabetically by author. This was always useful because you could look for an author you like then see if there are any new books you haven't read. Our local library doesn't have this system. It seems that they prefer the 'any book anywhere' option and there doesn't appear to be any logic to where you'll find a particular book. There is no chance of finding a series of books by the same author in the same place. 

Cross-stitch Progress Week 5

I've been at this for five weeks and it looks like I haven't made a lot of progress. If you've ever done a cross-stitch you'll know it takes a lot longer than it looks like it should. Half-term was last week and we had lots planned for the boys. We even ended up running out of time. I feel like the past week has flown by and we're back on Tuesday again, time for another cross-stitch update.

The pictures below show how much progress I have made. Spending most of the time filling in the gaps I didn't think I'd made that much difference. With the pictures beside one another I can see I've made a fair difference, which is great. 

Week 3
Week 5

Getting other colours in always seems to make a difference too. I love the small specks of pink and purple in these shots.

Hopefully I can get some more done this week, check in again next week to see how I'm getting on.

Preconceptions and Judgement

A few days ago I looked at the Telegraph website for the first time. I like to keep up with what's going on in the world and I hadn't managed to catch the news that day. A tab at the top of the page read 'Women' and I didn't know what to make of it. I finished reading and clicked on the tab. The page loaded and the title 'Wonder Women' stared back at me. I figured they thought women needed a whole section to themselves because we are women.

I scanned the page, headlines like "Why is Miley Cyrus simulating oral sex on 'Bill Clinton'?" and "Your mate has married an idiot. Now what?" were listed. I was dismayed, is this what appeals to women readers? I wouldn't read those articles, I'm not interested in a stars attempts at making headlines. Miley Cyrus is an old Disney star trying to break out of the box everyone put her in. It's inevitable sex has a part in that. She's growing up and doesn't want to be seen as a child anymore.

40th Birthday & A Proud Mummy

Right now I'm sitting in front of my Mac, the kids are back at school and a Gingerbread Latte is in my hand. Classical music is playing, the door is closed and I can start writing again, in peace! A fantastic Magic Moment in itself but not the one I want to write about today.

It was the hubby's 40th birthday on Saturday and I've been planning the celebrations for a couple of months now. His 30th hadn't gone to plan and I was fixed on this one. Nothing was going to go wrong.

On Saturday evening our family joined us for a meal at Chino Latino in Nottingham. A restaurant we've been to many times before Chino Latino turned out to be the perfect choice. We sat at the same table, chatting, and got to try each other's food. One of the great things about this restaurant is they encourage sharing. The decor is trendy and simplistic and the place is not rowdy like TGI Friday's sometimes gets. The best part is that the boys sat and enjoyed the same food as everyone else, no ordering from a children's menu.

Sunny Days

Yellow, summery flowers

It being half term this week it's been really hard to try and get any writing done. The kids are constantly complaining about finding something to do and when it's raining most of the time there's only indoors activities, which can drive us all mad. So this morning when the gloomy clouds passed overhead I thought there would be another annoying day but then the sun peered through a gap. The gap widened and right now the sun is gleaming. Yes it's still a little cold but it's not raining! It inspired my poem today, this took a lot longer to write than any of the others I've written so far and that may have to do with me working downstairs at the moment. Constant interruptions do not help the inspiration flow.

I did it though, in the end, and I managed to write something which always makes me feel better. So here we are my poem for Prose for Thought...

Sunny Days

The sun is shining but the chill is still there
Kids outside, the football in the air
Through the glass it's lovely and warm
But it's still hats and gloves and jumpers to be worn

Spring Clean of the Mind

As a stay-at-home mum I have lots of jobs to do on a daily basis and most of you know what they are. The typical jobs that drive us mad and never go away, cleaning, hoovering, ironing, etc. Sometimes those that don't do our job think that we sit on our bottoms all day watching Jeremy Kyle on the TV, cake and tea by our side. Other's think that as a stay-at-home mum we must really hate all these jobs and would love to go out to work every day. The truth is that we all fall somewhere in the middle.

A lot of the time I hate all of my jobs, I hate that, half-an-hour after the hoovering has been done, LP will have a pack of crisps and get half the pack on the carpet. I hate that even after spending a whole day loading the washing machine, and dryer, and ironing the clothes, within two days I will have a very large pile of dirty clothes ready to be washed again. I hate dusting all the counter tops, window sills and tables only to have that dust settle again and again and again. Absolutely all of the jobs that I do are never ending, I have to do the same work over and over and sometimes that really gets me down. The feeling that I'm never making progress will fill my head and that darkness will grow until I can't keep it in any more and I will break down in tears. It doesn't happen often but when it does I really do feel like I'm not worth anything, as if the work I do doesn't count.

You Suck!

On Thursday I wrote the poem A Long Day Ahead about feeling alone whilst the boys were at school and the hubby was out. I found that I didn't know what to do with myself and the house was too quiet. This came as a surprise to me because usually I really enjoy that quiet time and taking advantage of being in the house on my own.

Well let's just say that that feeling soon disappeared. Thursday was their last day at school, Friday was an inset day and now they're on half term. Yep, that dreaded time when I have to find something exciting for them to do every day otherwise I'll be 'a shadow of my former self' by the time they go back. To top it off the hubby has another trip to London on Wednesday which means a whole day alone with the boys. I have a few ideas of things to do this week but some of them depend on weather, which is never a good bet in this country!

My plan for today is to take the boys to Wollaton Park in Nottingham to go on a dinosaur trek. They're holding a Dinosaur Week at Wollaton Hall and you can pay £2 to reconstruct your own dinosaur just like scientists do. This should be a great outing, Big Prince loves dinosaurs and has since he was two years old. A phase we thought would quickly pass but seems to have stuck, whenever he's given the chance dinosaurs is what he chooses to talk about!

The Day Arrives!

The day has arrived and I'm not talking about Valentine's, oh no. I've already said that me and the hubby haven't been bothered about Valentines Day for a while now. No, the hubby and I have been waiting for February 14th for a long time, ever since we found out that was the release date for House of Cards series 2.

If you haven't seen House of Cards - Why not? You should, but let me tell you a little about it first. House of Cards is an American political drama television series, a Netflix original production which was produced by Beau Willimon. It follows the story of Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey - awesome actor), a Democrat from Carolina's 5th Congressional District and House Majority Whip. Now if you're anything like me (being from the UK) you understood everything until I said 'Democrat' but actually that doesn't matter because you soon will when you watch the series. The show also stars Robin Wright who played Jenny in Forrest Gump and Kate Mara who was in Transsiberrian. Together they make the series absolutely fantastic.

A Long Day Ahead

Today I have the house to myself, the boys are at school and the Hubby has to drive to London for a meeting. I've been looking forward to it all week because it meant I'd have the whole house to myself, it was going to be really quiet. What I didn't count on was feeling like I'd rather have all my boys at home with me. I normally enjoy this time alone but today, not so much.

A Long Day Ahead

I close the door behind me
Turn the key to lock
Press the buttons on the pad
And look at the clock

Only six hours to go
Til the house is filled with sound
Why do I want it so
Want you all to be around?

A New Toy

At around midnight last night something amazing happened (get your minds out of the gutter!) and it had nothing to do with the Hubby. Well it had a little to do with him but... let me explain.

Since the hubby bought my Macbook Air I have been an Apple girl all the way. I have an iPhone 5, an iPad 4 and my Macbook. In my office is the iMac too and there is nothing on this earth that could ever make me want to go back to using Windows. It's just not going to happen. The same thing goes for my phone, nothing is going to make me want to change to an Android phone, I had those things for years and was always jealous of the Hubby and his iPhone.

The thing that Apple do well is considering user experience and making it a priority. Anything you think you may want to do with an iPhone they have thought of and come up with an elegant and simple way of allowing you to do it. The apps on the app store are awesome and all run well and they can't interfere with each other and almost everything is simple to use (a bonus for me!).

There's one thing that annoys me about the iPad though and given what I do, it's a biggy. I write a blog and I read blogs. Lots of them. Most of the time I want to comment on said blogs and maybe share them too. This is where the iPad falls down. I have tried and tried (and tried) to get along with the iPad while reading blogs and constantly having re-input my comments because they keep disappearing but with adding more blogs to my reading list and them adding up every day I decided I needed an alternative.

Cross-stitch Progress Week 3

Well here we are again and I'm slowly working my way through this immense project. I've done a bit more than usual this week, I seem to be getting better at managing my time and this means more time for the stuff I enjoy. Yay me!

It's finally starting to look like something

I always feel better when you can find the part you're stitching on the main picture, I feel more motivated by it for some reason. I'm really glad I've been able to do more this week as I'm more relaxed when I can get some stitching in. It's surprising how therapeutic it is sometimes but it's like I'm stitching away my stress as I search for my next thread and pull it through the aida. 

Time for a Change

When I was a teenager I never imagined that I would be a stay-at-home mum, it was one of those things that I vowed never to do. My dreams weren't huge, I learned what I would be good at and decided that I wanted to be a P.A. for a businessman who worked all over the world. I dreamed of travelling for work, having a fancy apartment with sophisticated decoration and not having to worry about money.

I got my first ever job when I was 19, I was an office junior working at a manufacturing company. I hated it. I did all the work that I considered 'rubbish', I had to open the post, do lots of photocopying and the occasional bit of typing. I spent a lot of my time hating that job, particularly when I had to man reception - having to spend all day with a headpiece on answering calls. Yep, I really hated that job. On one occasion one of the head of departments approached me about helping out in the accounts department and I was happy to be taken away from that awful reception. Whilst working for this guy on accounting stuff and doing various in depth reports I learned that that was what I really enjoyed.

Who Needs Valentines Day

We all know that Valentines Day is coming up this Friday and for most of us it's a chance to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. This particular day is meant to be the time you tell someone you love them, send a card to a secret love or simply say those three special words.

After being together for 11 years, spent 11 years buying gifts for all those special days and not really having anything on that 'want' list, the hubby and I have decided not to bother with buying cards this year. Those three special words are heard every day and we already have our day planned (Netflix House of Cards Marathon! WOOHOO!) so it seems pointless spending money on a piece of card that says we love each other.

We actually decided a long time ago that we didn't need Valentines Day in order to tell each other how we feel or spend time together. Most evenings are spent together watching movies, new TV shows or our old favourites and we both assign that as 'our time'.

Olympic Google Doodle

This morning, just as I was about to take the boys to school I got a tweet from @seyonce_knowles asking me my opinion on Google’s new doodle. Huh? What doodle? Were my immediate thoughts but I said I’d check them out and let her know, she also mentioned it may be a great discussion topic over on the blog and I think she’s right. 

Today Google’s doodle is this:

If you haven’t heard Russia is hosting the Winter Olympic Games this year and they open today, the Opening Ceremony is due to take place at 4pm. Russia also has some anti-gay laws that are actually quite shocking, especially when you find out that homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness in 1999. There’s two things about that that make my head spin - 1. It was declassified in 1999 - doesn’t that seem like only yesterday? (or does that just make me sound old) and 2. It was classified as a mental illness in the first place. I mean really?

Thoughts of Yesterday

Thursday has landed again and that means it’s time for #Prose4T. I have to admit that I’ve struggled today, there was so much going around in my head and I couldn’t decide on what to write. I stared at the computer screen for a while and thought about my boys. BP is going to be turning 10 in August and this absolutely terrifies me, he’s already in that tween stage and has got the sulking down to an art. As I remembered him as a baby I was inspired and tapped out this little poem, I’ve said before I’m not very good at poems and this is probably the best I can do but I think it gets across what I’m trying to say.

Thoughts of Yesterday

Your blue eyes sparkle as you sit and play
I wonder where the years have gone
It seems only yesterday
That you turned just one.

Birthday Celebrations

Ten years ago the hubby turned thirty and I thought it would be a great idea to surprise him. I phoned all of his family and invited them out for a meal with us, I booked the restaurant and waited for the day to arrive. He had no idea that I’d done it and when his family arrived on the evening of his birthday he was really surprised. I was so happy and almost cried! We headed out to the restaurant I’d booked weeks before, all smiles and excitement for the night’s festivities. Arriving at the restaurant I lead the party inside and told the host my name, he scanned his sheet but couldn’t find it. I was devastated. I had the whole night planned and it began with this booking but somehow they’d managed to lose the booking and fill up their restaurant so that we couldn’t eat there. We left the restaurant in search of somewhere else to eat, me in tears. I felt like the hubby’s birthday celebrations had been completely ruined, because of me. In the end we found somewhere else to eat and had a great night but after that day I boycotted the restaurant and haven’t been back since. I felt like they’d made me look incompetent and stupid and it wasn’t even my mistake.

Cross-stitch Progress Week 2

Just a quick one today as I’m busy researching and learning how to update my blog and get it looking how I want. Luckily the hubby has promised to help and him being a programmer is a huge bonus! But anyway back to the subject of the post, my cross-stitch.

As you can see from the photo I’ve made a little more progress than I did last week but again I’ve had lots on after school. LP has had weekend parties to go to, BP has been organising trips to friends houses and the hubby has wanted to have a lazy weekend. I can slowly see the picture coming together and this is great for me because that’s what encourages me to continue.

The hubby may be starting to work a bit more which means that I have time to spend on the cross-stitch so in the next few weeks we may see more progress. Here’s hoping…

My Desert Island Discs

On Saturday evening I was thrilled to be tagged by Victoria Welton over at Verily Victoria Vocalises in the Desert Island Discs thingy. Just like Victoria I love music and it’s a big part of my life, I spend most hours in front of the computer with all different music playing and this is a great opportunity to tell you all what my favourites are.

As Victoria explains, you’re allowed to select 8 pieces of music, one book and one luxury item. I have to admit that I’ve been thinking about this all weekend and I’m still struggling a little bit but I’m going to try…

#1 - Turn Me On by Norah Jones

This was the song me and the hubby had our ‘first dance’ to on our wedding day. Whenever I hear it I transport back to that most awesome day, me in my glorious ivory dress and a great big smile on my face.

Game-free Afternoon

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this recently but my boys are gamers, they love nothing more that switching on the Xbox, picking up the controller and immersing themselves in the computerised world. Gaming is what they spend most of their time doing and when they’re not actually playing games they’re thinking about playing games (or nagging me to let them play games). If it’s not the Xbox then it’s the Wii U or the iPad and I often wonder what our life would be like if we didn’t have these things.