I love charity shopping.

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Saturday saw me at the hospice shop. Pricing seemed a little weird with some things going for a song and some priced up at more than they would have been new.

Some lovely orange and lavender scented incense cones from Ashleigh and Burwood 50p

An academic diary and pen set – £1 new in box

A Bratz pencil case – 50 pence

A Frustration Game – £1 and in new condition

A folding file thing so I can organise my paperwork – £1

Photographs will follow tonight but my camera is currently out of batteries so check back later.

Things I was tempted by included some old-fashioned weights and scales for £12. Might pop back for that later in the week.

There was also a size 38G Katie Price brand new bra for £2.50. I keep toying with the idea of selling on ebay and wondered if this might make a good start. I did not buy it but did some research. The trouble was I spied a bra and knickers set in my size and then made the mistake of looking at the seller's other items which were all lovely and all in my size. So my plan to invest £2.50 with a view to making a profit very almost resulted in a £50 loss straightaway!

On the pricing thing, it is important for charity shops to get these things right as later in the day, we visited a Yorkshire Trader store where they had brand new toys for really cheap prices.

This was in Whitby where I spied a Magpie Cafe with a huge queue outside and a Magpie Kitchenware Shop. Made me think of the regular Magpie Monday-ers.

Of course, the best bargains of all are the freebies. A couple of weeks ago, we collected Angel our hamster with a cage via the Netmums website. I understand they do not accept pet adverts anymore but it might be worth pet-seekers looking at Pets4Homes, Preloved or Gumtree.

Tomorrow night, again via Netmums I am picking up a bundle of ladieswear in my size.

Last week, again via Netmums, I picked up 7 pairs of school trousers and a load of school shirts for £20.

So a very mixed bag for you this week and I look forward to sharing the pictures later.

Love from the Striking Mum x

I am making a fresh start on the blog.

It is prettier than the Blogger one and I have had enough of Blogger playing up in little annoying ways like going all dark or not letting people leave comments.

It is also two years tomorrow since my Mum passed away.  The old blog was her legacy in a way as she told me to keep a diary and I went with the modern version instead.  It was set up so I could pursue my wish to write.  I have had lots of encouragement and supportive comments but not moved forwards with my hopes of earning money through writing.

I also need to learn to drive and to look at volunteering and studying.

There is also the massive task of shifting stones of weight and starting to rediscover a little of the old me after 10 years of parenting.

When my youngest started in Reception last year, I was advised to take a year to relax.  It strikes me that year is up and it is time I did something useful and to start contributing to the world in some way.

So wish me luck and let’s see where the new road takes me.  Are you ready for the bumpy ride?

This is me looking vaguely reasonable on my wedding day.  All other photos from the last decade with the exception or my boudoir ones perhaps are pretty atrocious but make up and a posh frock can work wonders.

 

Right, let’s go on with the show.  All suggestions on which turning to take very welcome.

Love from the Striking Mum x

Birth plans seem like such a good idea when you first hear the concept. As a mum-to-be we have a vague idea that birth might involve a lot of pain and screaming so surely it is best to have a plan.

Before I experienced the reality of childbirth, I thought the pain was a rite of passage and that mums were exaggerating the level of pain involved. I dutifully went to antenatal classes and read books galore on what to expect.

I then went into labour. Did my waters break of their own accord? Nope! Did my contractions get progressively nearer together? Nope! Was I sent home from hospital due to lack of progress? Yup!

My husband sat all night long recording every contraction but they did not fit any of the patterns the pregnancy books told me about

My baby was  lying with his back against mine. This is known as an ‘occiput posterior’ (OP) position. So much for birth planning as mine involved listening to tranquil music, seeing contractions come relatively quickly, a bit of screaming and maybe biting down on a spoon like in old films.

It didn’t get any better when I decided I really must go to hospital again. My husband put me in the car and after travelling for about half a mile, the car broke down. So as the contractions finally sped up I had to walk home in the dark and cursing my husband. Sepia image gone right there!

After hours waiting for a taxi, I screamed all the way to hospital with the encouragement of the driver who was superb and told me to scream away whilst he played the Beatles. Talk about “Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away ..”

It all worked out well in the end and that back to back baby is now a strapping 16 year old.

I am not saying making birth plans is silly because it does give you some level of control so long as you accept that life might take a different turn.

NHS Choices even gives you a draft birth plan so you can write it all down. They advise that you might want to discuss your birth plans with your midwife, the baby’s father and other key players in your life.

Think about pain relief options, birth partners and how  you feel about intervention such as forceps or ventouse delivery.

You should also choose “I will survive”as your musical choice because us mums have a knack of coping with what life throws at us.

This post is brought to you by the ex-pert mum by no means an expert but definitely ex-pert.

Cuddle Fairy

 

 

Dear Jo Cox

When you were killed someone contacted me as they thought I might know you. I didn’t and as far as I know was never in the same room as you. You were clearly an incredible woman and you should still be here.

Jo Cox

I wish I had met you. I think we would have got on and perhaps more importantly got each other.

I was raised in the same area as you. That place has so many problems including generations of poverty and what Theresa May can write off so lightly as “just about managing”. Adversity creates strong communities at best and a pride in your roots.

I was surprised to hear you were shy, something I have suffered with all my life. I too get people to make phone calls for me when I bottle it. And like you, somehow against all the odds, I found myself at Cambridge University and was the first graduate in the family.

Cambridge just made me even more left-wing as I saw how easily you can be written off for having gone to the wrong school or not having the right accent. I have always worried about my Yorkshire accent and yet listening to you speak in the House of Commons, you used your voice with its beautiful accent not trying to pretend you were anyone but you.

You were a few years younger than me so our paths did not cross in the beautiful city of Cambridge.

How brave you were to go off to live in another country working in Brussels. Another beautiful city. Your family must have been so proud of you.

Then to Oxford and Oxfam where I worked for a period too. No wonder I was asked if I knew you. You and I have shared pavements.

How you juggled all the amazing feats with having a young family I do not know.

Yesterday I read your husband’s description of you life and how you put your children first. It made me make changes to my day to ensure I was doing the same with mine. Too often I put other responsibilities first when what matters is making memories with the children.

I have often wondered about returning to West Yorkshire. Should I return whatever skills I have to the town that welcomed me into their community and funded my through university. People who never left probably think I have had an exciting life and that is true. But how I miss the familiar structures of home. That place has a great way of instilling the right values and perhaps particularly in its women. Now I am wondering if I should leave the country altogether as it has not served me and my family well. I wonder what you would make of that.

You were killed and that can never be put right. But so many things can be and I hope all of us are moved by your story and your strength of character and take baby steps to be better mums, to think globally and to do out bit.

Rest peacefully.

The Pramshed
Diary of an imperfect mum

Are you in the mood for dancing? Perhaps you are inspired by Strictly Come Dancing?

I had a look at the dictionary definition of dance. Apparently it means to move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps. Of course some of us have more natural rhythm than others.

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My parents danced a lot from waltzes to sequence dancing to the Slosh! I was encouraged to dance as a child and my Grandad wanted to send me for lessons but that never came to anything. I would love to be able to dance in the uninhibited way I did as young child to “Rock around the clock” but all too soon introversion hit and I avoided dancing in front of others including in nightclubs and at weddings. It’s a shame because I love music and have a fantasy of performing one of those top hat and tail “All that Jazz” routines some day. One of the very first decisions that I made about my own wedding day is that there would be no first or indeed any dance.

My teenage son and tween daughter take after me and don’t like to take centre stage.

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However, along came my 10 year old son my youngest who is a natural performer. He is an extrovert who simply cannot understand why people get nervous about anything. He has taken part in filming for adverts and drama with complete confidence. I am in awe of this quality in him. Whilst his sister bottled ballet lessons, he attacked street dance sessions at school with gusto!

saltrock

To celebrate Frubes’ partnership with the must-see family film of the year, The Angry Birds Movie, Frubes has created a squawksome dance-off between the Angry Birds and mischievous Pigs. Staunch enemies in the film, the dance off between the Birds and Pigs means you and your family can settle the feud for good – pick a side and find out who is the ultimate dancer! Will your family shake their tail feathers with the Birds, or dance their bacon off with the Pigs? Visit angrybirds.frubes.co.uk, where you can egg on your favourite character.

Frubes is the largest portable yogurt brand. These yummy yogurt tubes squeeze more fun into the day and are a family favourite. Available in Strawberry, Red Berry, Peach, and Banana flavours, they contain vitamin D and calcium for strong bones – great for those wanting to try out their own dance moves just like the Angry Birds and mischievous Pigs!

Did you know that as part of The Angry Birds Movie partnership, Frubes is running an egg-citing on-pack promotion until 31 October, offering families the chance to flock to the Bahamas for a fun-filled island holiday to spot exotic birds and swim with pigs? The competition includes a weekly draw to win a whole host of Angry Birds Movie merchandise, with a grand prize of a family holiday for four to spend six nights in the Bahamas! Now if I won thatI might get over all my inhibitions and gyrate with the best of them. Having said that my superstar son has informed me that “swaying your hips from side to side and moving your bottom to and fro is NOT dancing”.

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes < https://angrybirds.frubes.co.uk