Life is getting back to normal after the Jubilee and so if it is Thursday, it is time to list my reasons to be Jubilee.

1. I am cheerful about living in a community that puts on so many events and where the business supports them so that they are rather fabulous.  Arts and crafts event for children, art exhibition, quiz, carnival and so much more.

2. I am happy that whether everyone appreciated it or not I did put on a good show for the Jubilee decorating the house and making lovely tea parties for days on end complete with special plates, tablecloths etc (of the luxury paper variety).

3. I am smiling about enjoying the good telly bits of the Jubilee.  For me, this was most of it.  I am not a Royalist but I enjoy the history, the fashion and the soap opera involved in us having a Royal Family.

4. I am relieved that I have finally sat down and worked out the logistics about going to BritMums Live.  That email about it being only 2 weeks away was a bit of a wake-up call.  Childcare is sorted so the next step is to arrange an outfit or two and a haircut.

5. I am indulging in the joys of Half Term making things with the children and sleeping it a little bit.

6. My Dad arrived home yesterday and announced he is taking me and the children out to a pub lunch today. 

7.  More people are signing up to ensure money goes to their charity of choice every time they shop online at no extra cost to themselves.  I am encouraging folks to support Tommy’s the baby charity but you can sign up and choose a charity of your choice to benefit here   The more people sign up, the more money goes to good causes and that makes me very cheerful.

8. My very independent cat lay on my knee for hours last night.  Such a good feeling.


I am attending BritMums Live in a couple of weeks.  It is my first ever blogging conference so it is quite a big deal for me. What are my feelings before going?

I live in Yorkshire and have 3 children so a fair amount of juggling has taken place to make my attendance possible.  I am still undecided on how I will get there but my wonderful step-daughter is taking all three children off my hands for a couple of days.  Yes, she is a total superstar.

I can remember reading all the tweets and so on about last year’s BritMums Conference and being so sad not to have summoned up the time and money to go.

I was determined to attend this year but may well have bottled it had it not being for the wonderful impact Groovy Mums has had on me.  So when Susanna from BritMums got in touch to ask me to moderate one of the workshops,  I said yes.  Of course, that was months ago when it did not seem scary as it was so far away.

So, here we are just two weeks away from the Big Event.

I am looking forward to time away from home and to meeting some people who I have known in the cyberworld for weeks, months and years.   I am a little nervous that I will not live up to people’s expectations but I guess I can only be myself and see what comes of that.  It is easy to blog openly and have your say from the comfort and safety of your sofa.  It is a very different thing to meet people up close and personal particularly when you are overweight and feel like you are on a huge climb-back to the person you used to be.

So how do I feel about BritMums Live?

The first thing to say is that I am really impressed with the diverse content of the various sessions.  I do believe there is something for everyone and how the BritMums team are managing to sleep whilst co-ordinating it all, I have no idea.

I am looking forward to hearing Ruby Wax on the Friday and Sarah Brown on the Saturday.  I admire both women for their individuality and their commitment to helping others.

As I want to pursue my writing of fiction and non-fiction, I am keen to attend the “Getting Published” session.

Then, through some mircale, I am going to the Brilliance in Blogging Awards Party.  I am a finalist in the Change category.  I am not expecting to win and am fine with that as I have seen the other wonderful finalists.  I even have a favourite but better not say who it is.

I am not sure what I will do on the Friday night but quite fancy having a lovely meal somewhere without the usual rigmarole of  “Sit down”, “Use your knife” and so on that accompanies meals with children.  Then again, I have never dined out with bloggers so who knows?

Saturday will be busy for me as I am moderating the “Blogging for the Greater Good” session.  The speakers are really strong though so that has reassured me a bit.  Plus I imagine delegates who attend the session will have plenty to say and I hope to faciliate a good discussion.  I am hoping the session will inspire new bloggers to get involved in supporting charities via their blogs and through participation in the Charity Connections – Blogging It Forward group on Britmums.

Having survived that session with a “Phew!” or two I am hoping to attend the session on e-books.  I keep intending to find out more about this topic so it will be wonderful to hear from the experts.

After lunch, I am involved in the discussion about “Blogging for Happiness”.  I am with two well-known bloggers so may well hide behind them.  Having said that, blogging has always made me happy otherwise I would not do it so much.  That might mean I have something valuable to say.

I imagine by 3pm on the Saturday, all the excitement will mean I am flagging a bit so I think I will not plan that bit of the day too tightly.

So with two weeks to go I veer between blind terror and total excitement.  I suppose I should start thinking about what to wear and quite fancy wearing something more feminine than the usual trousers or pyjama bottoms uniform.  For those cheeky folks who have asked, yes I will be clothed at the conference and promise not to flash my boobs with the sheer joy of it all.

I will probably be OK with the workshops and so on.  My scariest bit will be when I am hanging about during the more socialising bits of the two days.  I will be clutching a cup or a glass, analysing what I should say and why I always end up sounding so dim and wondering whether the loos provide a convenient hiding place at times of crisis.

Ah well, I guess it will all work out in the end and at the very least, provide some excellent ideas for future blog posts.

I suspect I might come across very much like Victoria Wood in that sketch where she said “Has anybody seen my friend?”

How are you feeling about BritMums Live?



What are your children doing today?

If they are at school or nursery, they are probably celebrating the Jubilee with dressing-up, bunting, cupcakes, games and more. Good old-fashioned fun. Life as it should be.

If you have a baby, look at them. Do you see how they develop every single day? Crawling, toddling and walking. Babbling, first words and then telling you exactly what they want. So much potential, so many hopes and dreams. So many memories to make.

49 children were brutally murdered in Houla, Syria. The Times commentary is as follows “How the children of Houla died: they were not killed by random shelling. The UN yesterday revealed that they were murdered one by one. The militia came in the night armed with knives and guns, and the young victims were executed with a bullet to the head or a knife to the throat.”.

End of fun, end of potential, end of hopes and dreams.

Today, I ask you to think about the fear those children and their families experienced as they were set upon. How would you have felt as you saw your loved ones attacked and killed?

Look out for hashtags #StopTheKilling #TippingPoint #Syria on Twitter, read the posts or at least RT (retweet them).

If you blog, please write a post about these events and link up over on Britmums.

SIGN THE PETITION at @savechildrenUK other option is to turn your face away and do nothing. Think of those poor children and do something positive in their memory.

On Monday, I usually shout out loud about my bargain finds.

This week, I am taking a different slant.

Due to various house repairs and unexpected expenditure, we needed to rein in my spend, spend, spend attitude to charity and Netmums shopping.

Of course, sod’s law means this is when the good stuff comes up.

I have always fancied a chaise longue ever since I saw one for the first time in my brother’s flat in Kensington years ago.  For those of you who don’t know, my eldest brother is a success story.  He has a taste for the finer things in life and despite only having 1 O-Level to his name has amassed enough cash to afford them.

So I got all excited when I saw a chaise longue advertised for £25 especially as there was an antique dressing table and chest of drawers going with it.

Unfortunately, due to us living in the wrong area and various other practical issues around vehicles and so on, we missed out as the woman was moving at the weekend and needed it gone pronto.

Boo hoo!  Sob!! That type of thing.

It is payday tomorrow so I am hoping to report some big spending of the £3.50 variety next week.

In the meantime, I am tempted by a Christian Dior compact.  Should I?

Also, I was intrigued to see Guinea Pig Nuggets advertised on Netmums.  Now I know time are tight but even I wouldn’t feed that to my children!

Looking forward to checking out other folks’ finds over on the Me and My Shadow blog

I am over the moon to let you know that I am a finalist in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards in the Change Category.

It has given me joy in my heart and reminds me that my late Mum was a wise woman as she was the one who advised me to start a blog in the first place.

Having seen the very wonderful other blogs in the category, I think I am best advised to give my thank you speech now.

Thank you to my Mum for having faith in me and my ability to write. Thanks for showing me that one person can make a difference in their community. Even with terminal cancer, you carried on helping to raise funds for good causes. Some folks say I am inspirational but they should have met you. In your final year, you got me on the absolute right track for me and I thank you for that.

Thank you to my Dad who asks so many questions every day about blogging and social media so that he can get to grips with it and understand what I keep banging on about. He is 84 now and I love every single day with him.

Thanks to my husband who is never surprised when I hear news like this. He reckons it is just people waking up to how wonderful I am. His words, not mine.

Thank you to my children who make me eligible for the awards in the first place and provide a ready stream of ideas for blog posts.

Thank you to old school-friends C, H and L who encourage me far more than I think they realise.

Thanks to college peer, R, who makes me think which has to be a very good thing.

Thank you to all the people who have supported my blogging by reading, commenting, taking part in blog hops and so on. Even those who are not officially groovy mums are very groovy to me.

Obviously, a huge shout-out goes to those who took time out of their busy days to nominate me and vote for me. It really touches me that people would do that.

Thanks for all the advice received from more expert bloggers than myself. The ones who taught me about the technology bits and the bells and whistles even though I acknowedge I still have huge amounts to learn. Kat and Nickie spring to mind but there are loads more too.

Thanks to BritMums for setting up the network and the awards in the first place.

Remember if you are a blogger who shares your joys, sadnesses and passions with the world, you are a winner already no matter what your statistics or profile are like. It is a journey this whole blogging lark and a fascinating one at that.
For a long time, I blogged with tiny statistics, did not promote actively and just relished every single comment I received. I imagine many of the finalists on the Brilliance in Blogging list can give a similar story.

Finally, it seems appropriate to celebrate in some way so I am offering free slots for charities on my blog throughout June 2012. I will be looking for around 500 words on who the charity it, where they are based, what they do, who they help together with a weblink if possible and a charity registration number if possible. Contact me on if this is of interest.

Well done to all the other finalists. See you in June.