The NHS celebrates its 70th birthday this year. The UK is so well-known for having an institution that provides healthcare free of charge at the point of delivery. It was launched by Aneurin Bevan the then health secretary at Park Hospital in Manchester in 1948 not that long after the end of World War Two.

Fairness in healthcare

Hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella organisation looking after the health needs of the nation. It meant that great healthcare was not just for the rich and provided reassurance for less well-off individuals and families.

Helping family members

We all have probably had times where the NHS has helped our physical and mental wellbeing. From the baby check, where my parents were told I “babbled a lot” in around 1970 (clearly a blogger in the making) to my later battle with depression, the NHS has served me well over the years.

My husband has seen them really try to get to the bottom of his 3 forms of psoriasis trying so many treatments to tackle his debilitating condition.

My children have not visited the doctor much  but last year my son needed an operation and we did not have to pay. That makes the UK so different from so many countries and also explains the deep affection most people have for our NHS.

Of course, there will be arguments about levels of funding, human errors and the introduction of private sector involvement but in this post I just want to say that the initial idea of the NHS seems very fair and quite revolutionary to me.

I have a friend who is a paramedic and is the most amazing woman. I remember an ambulance turning up when my brother became ill at home and how reassuring it was to feel that someone knew what they were doing and could actually make things better.

The Driving Force

So I was interested to see this infographic from Fulton Leasing introducing some facts about the driving force behind the NHS.



What does the NHS mean to you?

3 Little Buttons

There are times in your life where you’d like to go on that once in a lifetime trip. It could be something you’ve been saving up for or just a spontaneous vacation that you have to experience. Either way, this big vacation requires some extra planning to make sure it’s exactly how you’d imagined it to be. This careful consideration will ensure you get everything just right, and each element will make the trip the most memorable one to date. This type of holiday isn’t only reserved for people in retirement or youngsters embarking on a new adventure; this can be for anyone who’s ever dreamed of something they’ve always wanted to do.

So if you’re looking for the holiday of a lifetime, check out these tips on how to make your dreams a reality.

Choose the destination

For many people, there is that location in your head that you’ve had your mind set on going to for some time. It might be a safari in Africa or enjoying the glistening sun on a glorious beach in the Maldives but whatever your preference, deciding on the ideal location will help you set your budget. There is a range of useful travel guides to help you plan your stay, plus you’ll get an idea of costs and extras you might want to experience on your trip.

Figure out your budget

Budget is one of the most significant factors in determining where you go and what you can do on your trip. The more you can save towards this experience means you can do everything you’d like to without worrying too much about what to budget in. There will be certain aspects such as food, drinks, and preparation before you depart that will need to be considered but if you have your heart set on your exact itinerary, be sure to plan the date you want to travel so you have enough time to save your hard-earned cash in preparation.

Book the little things in advance

To experience everything you’d like to on your vacation, researching and booking ahead of your arrival will help you save costs on a range of things. You can book everything from transfers from the airport, entry to attractions and landmarks, day trips and shopping visits from your accommodation. With some advanced booking options, you can skip queues and gain money off coupons on your vacation too.

Book and begin your countdown

There’s nothing more exciting than counting down the days to a vacation, and it’s even more of a thrill when it involves a trip that you’ve been planning for years. Once you’ve booked everything, getting luggage, vaccinations, currency, and insurance is essential to ensure you have everything you need on your stay.

Once you have a plan in place and you’re looking forward to this dream holiday, don’t forget to have fun, make tons of memories and enjoy every single moment of your trip of a lifetime.

How To Have The Holiday Of A Lifetime


Confessions of a New Mummy

I Spy is a classic game that has got many a parent through  a long car journey or even proved fun at home. I love how my daughter when really tiny wanted to join in with her brother but used to say “Tractor!” whatever letter we gave her. She is 14 years old now and we still giggle every time we see a tractor.

I Spy

i-SPY are celebrating their 70th Anniversary this year. The iconic spotting guides were first published in 1948 when creator, Charles Warrell, began selling small paperbacks versions in his local Woolworths. I have to confess I don’t remember these from my childhood and we have never used them until now.

i-SPY then and now….

Early editions of i-SPY give a unique snapshot of Britain in the 1940s. A lot may have changed around them but kids still love to spot! The simple, enduring formula remains unchanged – observing the world around you which is fun and educational too.

As the series’ popularity soared, so did the number of i-SPY titles available to spot. There are currently over fifty i-SPY books available to buy in the series, with over half a million sold in the UK. Supported firstly by News Chronicle in the 1950s and then published by the Daily Mail until the late 1980s when publication was taken over by Michelin. Since then i-SPY has found a new home at Collins.

Let’s celebrate with prizes

To celebrate 70 years of i-SPY Collins are giving away limited editions of i-SPY badges to customers who complete their i-SPY guides. This will be an exclusive limited run of 500 collector’s edition badges. Collins have also partnered with Away with the Kids and Timber Festival to offer an amazing competition prize for the whole family. The prize contains a i-SPY nature bundle and a family weekend ticket to Timber Festival, to enter and find out more visit:

What will we spy?

New guides for 2018 – i-SPY at the shops, i-SPY garden birds, i-SPY butterflies and moths and i-SPY In the city. i-SPY books are co-published by Collins and Michelin and are available at £2.99 from and all good booksellers. With a whole new range of i-SPY guides, Collins are looking forward to inspiring the next generation of spotters.

Our review

We were grateful to receive some books to see if we liked them. They have really captured our imaginations. They are pocket-sized so very handy to carry around with you. The ones that appealed to us most were the camping one and the one on astronomy. They were quite detailed so that you do learn from them but in  a non-pressured way. They are glossy and we find ourselves picking them up all the time at random moments sharing  information and looking out for things listed.

My son said “I like the quite unique offering in that that you can work towards badges if you spot a lot of things. I Spy was fun anyway but these books make it even better. I am going to go star-gazing and I also want to explore France too as there is one all about French sights.”

The books are in my view under-priced at just £2.99 but a fun holiday treat or thinking ahead an ideal stocking filler.

Celebrating 70 Years Of I Spy







Read With Me
Family Fever

Postnatal pelvic floor damage is an issue that affects many women and yet, is rarely discussed. The recent issues raised regarding vaginal mesh implants have led to changes in how women are given information about looking after their pelvic floor health. But there is a lot more to be done.


As soon as a woman confirms her pregnancy, there are many messages and medical professionals who become involved.

Pregnant women are given information on what to eat and what to avoid. Likewise, they are given information about the signs of pre-eclampsia and other medical issues.

They will receive information on breastfeeding and formula feeding and duly encouraged to opt for the feeding system that works for them and their baby.

What is rarely discussed in the pelvic floor muscle.

The pelvic floor, pregnancy and birth

The pelvic floor is a sling-like muscle that runs across the body from the base of the spine at the back to the pubic bone at the front.

It keeps your bladder, uterus and bowel in place, and is also the muscle that helps to control the release of urine.

It is affected by pregnancy hormones, which weaken it slightly. Labour also affects it, as does pushing to deliver your baby.

Some birthing techniques affect it too, such as forceps delivery. And it can also be damaged during a c-section birth or where the baby is big or delivered ‘awkwardly’.

What happens when it is damaged?

Some women suffer from urinary incontinence, the accidental leaking or urine. This could be when they feel the urge to urinate when they exercise, cough, laugh or sneeze.

It may not be life-changing but if this is happening to you, you may feel the need to keep incontinence pads with you to manage the problem.

For some women, the damage to the pelvic floor can extensive, leading to prolapse. This is where the muscle is damaged or not strong enough to keep the organs, such as bladder, where they should be.

A prolapsed bladder will fall into the vagina. Painful and difficult to manage, many women undergo surgery. In recent years, the preferred surgical solution was vaginal mesh inserts, although as we have seen, this didn’t work for everybody.

Prevention is better

The reality is, that for many women, issues with their pelvic floor muscle during and post-pregnancy could have been avoided.

It is no recognised that along with breastfeeding, pelvic floor health should be discussed in more detail during the birth planning process.

Here are six ways to look after your pelvic muscle, and possibly prevent damage during pregnancy, labour and after the birth too;

#1 Ask your midwife and health visitor for more information on how to strengthen your pelvic floor ready for labour and delivery

Midwives and health visitors are being trained to deliver better information and support for women struggling pelvic floor health. This includes exercises as well as managing incontinence after pregnancy with pads and diet.

#2 Hormones and the weight of the growing baby will have an effect on the pelvic muscle

This could lead to short-term urinary incontinence during pregnancy. As well as keeping incontinence pads with you, making sure you visit the bathroom in good time and stay hydrated too, minimising caffeinated drinks.

#3 Start pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and continue after the birth as soon as you feel able to

They are simple clench and release exercises, repeated several times a day. They are free and don’t require specialist equipment, although there are some products you can buy to help you perform these exercises better.

#4 Stay active

Regular exercise – at least half an hour a day on most days – can be beneficial for both body and mind. Specific exercise such as pregnancy yoga is also beneficial to the pelvic floor.

#5 Eat a balanced diet

This helps you to avoid constipation which places an extra strain on the pelvic floor muscle and your bladder. Staying hydrated is important too, but sip water through the day rather than gulp it larger drinks.

#6 Ask for help

If the problem continues or it gets worse, or you experience pain, then seek help. Incontinence can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI), especially if it is painful when you urinate.


There are treatments available for urinary incontinence. It is not something that you have to ‘put up with’, and neither is it something that comes with being a mum.


HARTMANN Direct is a leading online retailer of high-quality incontinence products suitable for use during and after pregnancy.

Post Comment Love

I am sharing my highlights of the week because it is always important to focus on the positives. Despite coming down with a very yucky bug that laid me low for a few days, my week is on the whole a good one.

1. We took delivery of two goats Dotty and Mabel who are keeping our back field down a bit. They are so sweet and friendly. They tempt the children outdoors and away from screens too so that’s a big plus.

2. My daughter is suddenly comfortable with taking a shower. This was a big success that many parents may take for granted. Willow has issues around water since being a baby and has always showed sheer terror at the idea of a shower. We had a problem with the heating in the bath room so I persuaded her to give a shower a try. I came up with the idea that she could wear a swimsuit if she wanted and for some reason that seemed to reassure her. After initial brief trembles, she ended up giggling and drenching me in the process. She now says she almost prefers showers to baths as they don’t take as long. I am so over the moon about this little progress in our lives.

3. My husband has had some overtime and financial boosts are always welcome here. It means we are working to a new timetable as a family but we are building in quality time including lunch dates in the village for coffee so I am not complaining one little bit.

4. My eldest son is really thinking seriously about his next steps in life. He has not made any decisions and there is no rush to do so. It is good to see him wanting to explore options though. In other news, I have realised he is 18 in November so have started discussing what he might like to do for that important milestone.

5. I have found my late mum’s recipe file again and am going to enjoy trying out some retro recipes with Ramsey who is 12 and loves cookery.

Life just seems a lot more balanced currently and I am enjoying that.

Twin Mummy and Daddy
My Random Musings
Five Little Doves

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger