Why am I feeling tense?

Actually I am OK right now although I am tense in terms of excitement as I research a dream I have for the future. I guess that is a good thing and I am reminded that you can experience both positive and negative stress. You need to take very good care of yourself whichever of those applies.

feeling tense

Yesterday morning, I felt so tense and ready to snap. I could not work out why but life’s little frustrations really got to me. Silly things like my husband leaving a load of apricots right in the sight of our dog who decided they were playthings.

There are the worries about my son’s health and how this will impact on his GCSE year but mainly concern that he is not getting better as quickly as we expected.

You do have to be careful as you don’t seem to be particularly effective when feeling tense.

I spent the afternoon looking for some important documents and found them but swear I had looked for them only a few days earlier in the place that I found then.

I think I need a break but how exactly do you manage that what with work, freelancing, home education and home management. I know it is important though – perhaps a change of scene even for one night would help loads.

So in case you had not already guessed my word of the week is tense!

The Reading Residence

Glimmers of sunshine make me happy both literally and metaphorically.

glimmers of sunshine

There is definitely something in all this idea of vitamin D making you feel better. My mistake during my depressed days included not getting out much at all which only made things worse. I ensure I get out regularly now but the blue skies and sunshine tempt me out lots like a great lover asking me to come and play.

Sunshine is playing a huge part in my life as I dream a little dream of my future which could throw me and the blog in a completely new direction. Life’s an adventure and I intend to live it.

My teenage son is recovering slowly but hopefully surely and it is selfish but I like him being around more. He too enjoys walking although his mobility is not the greatest just now.

My daughter is so beautiful. This delights me but also makes my heart ache a little as I realise I must have had beauty similar to hers and did not realise it. What is that they say about youth being wasted on the young? She continues to write stories and I am going to try and perhaps persuade her to share some of them on the blog.

My tween son is a tonic, so full of fun and wordplay. He is so passionate about things too and has the best cuddles going.

I have found my glimmers of sunshine but also found the safe places where I had put really vital documentation too.

Life feels good right now and that is my overwhelming reason to be cheerful.

What Katy Said
Cuddle Fairy

My teenage son left hospital again last week. He has had an operation and it has really knocked him. He is clearly not fit to return to school yet and I really feel for him.

In fact, when he first left hospital in December after his operation, he appeared traumatised and depressed. He is a child who has not ailed much so I was not really prepared if I am honest.

My independent 16 year old became more clingy and in need of physical affection and emotional reassurance.

I am pleased to say his spirits lifted quite quickly no doubt aided by contact online with friends and gaming.

His mobility is affected and he gets dizzy if he is too active. I am impressed how he is seeking out short walks to build up his strength.

I have friends whose children are in and out of hospital a lot either with sporting injuries or because they have on-going health issues. I take my hat off to them all.

For what it is worth, I would advise any parent whose child is going into hospital to prepare well in advance. Think through how the family will operate when one members needs extra time, care and attention.

I have to admit part of me has enjoyed my son being a little dependent on me again but I do hope he gets well soon for his sake.

SMOKED SALMON and ASPARAGUS WITH DILL & CHIVE DRESSING is lovely at any time of year and perfect for a Valentine treat.

salmon and asparagus

Salmon & Asparagus_1


350g asparagus bunch
120g smoked salmon
100g Rachel’s low fat Greek Style Natural yogurt
20g fresh dill, chopped
25g fresh chives
chopped finely Zest of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper
Dash of olive oil


1.Remove the woody ends from the asparagus by snapping the very bottom of each spear or remove the ends with a knife.

2.In a suitable pan place the asparagus spears and add cold water until they are just covered. Bring the water to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the asparagus for 3 -5 minutes until tender – check the spears with a fork before removing.

3.Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl mix the yogurt and fresh herbs, zest and seasoning and mix well.

4.Once the asparagus is tender, turn off your stove top. Remove the pan and pour the asparagus through a strainer, being careful not to burn yourself on the pan.

5.Immediately, and working quickly, layer over the slices of smoked salmon.

6.Finish with a drizzle of yogurt dressing and olive oil and serve straight away.


Paypal password problems caused me some grief today.

Let’s put this in context. Most of my money was in Paypal and I needed to transfer it to my bank account. I could not get in using my usual password which seemed odd. Of course then I started questioning whether the password was the right one and soon the system is smelling a rat.

Of course there are other ways of getting in including security questions. I should know the name of my first pet and first school. I do but the variations I tried for each did not work.

Shall we go down the confirm bank card details route? I get almost excited that this will work until I remember that I have new bank card having lost my old one over the Christmas period.

Finally, I could confirm my telephone number but it is showing the one for my old house.

I email Paypal UK and I tweet them too for good measure. No response!

Eventually I call them. I explain the situation. I struggle to understand the English spoken by the Paypal UK representative and he struggles to understand mine!

Now my Paypal address is a bit similar to my blog name in that it ends in ice. The chap on the other end of the phone could not decipher it when I spelt it out. He struggled to hear “ice” and “c” seemed to be a particular problem.


So I try to explain that it is a play on words. That does not work.

My CV says I am award-winning blogger but that is not going to help me now.

“You can slip on it!” says I.

No reaction.

“It is frozen water!!”

I am informed my “helper” does not understand.

“You put it in drinks”

No reaction.

Do I have to launch into “Ice Ice Baby?

Ice cream or I scream!!

Through some fluke, we get there in the end.

My lesson – always update your Paypal account with relevant changes as soon as they occur.

My question – why is Paypal UK using helpline operators with poor English skills?

Answers on a postcard or do I need a password for that too?

Have you experienced Paypal password problems?