The Blessed Project

Flicking through the blog posts on the blog share threads last weekend (Big Up Your Blog), one from Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride leapt off the page at me.  She has invited bloggers to join her in a very special, positive experience – The Blessed Project.

Susie says “Last year, I posted a list of blessings and included a few photos. The exercise took me to a place in my heart filled with love, gratitude, happiness, and sparkly things. My favorite! For the time it took to create the list, it banished bad news, headlines, and normal everyday frustrations like surfing to buy the perfect gift which is as slippery as Elf on a Shelf.”  What could possible be better at this time of the year than to focus on blessings…and some photos to embarrass your kids??

So where shall I start?

My family naturally…..hubby Duncan puts up with a lot, particularly on those flare days when I am horrible to be around, but he is always there.  He spends half his life running me to different hospitals across London and never (well almost never) complains and is always there to pick up the pieces – or just to pick me up!!

The kids…..it is challenging having the student engineer living back at home after 3 years away and my kitchen is living proof, but he is getting better at catching me before I pass out.  The middle one – do all middle children play on the old adage that middle borns have such a tough time? – is due home from uni next weekend and it will be lovely to see him (I think – dirty washing???).  We haven’t heard much from him, but presume that is a good thing – although he does send regular pics to his sister.  Finally my baby – my lovely girl.  She drives me mad with her untidiness, but she looks after me over and above what a teen should have to do for her mum – and constantly plays down the fact that she also has the same condition.

My parents – they live up the road and without them our lives would be so much harder on so many levels. Thank you, Mum & Dad!

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Their first and only selfie!

My wheelchair – yes really!  It has given me a new lease of life as my mobility has decreased and pain has increased.  I have spent the last few years struggling to maintain some independence and to walk.  But the back pain initially and then the disabling effects of 2 back fusions (they really did add to my problems) and more hip dislocations have led to first funky walking sticks, then Smart crutches and now my wheels.  Not what I wanted during my 40s, but I can go out and join in! My eldest plans on taking me ice skating in it but I didn’t like the wicked glint in his eye when he suggested it!!

Friends who don’t give up on me when I blow them out, who stick by me and let me feel like the woman I used to be.  I also am very blessed to have a whole virtual friends family – bloggers and the chronic illness community who give such support and friendship…and “get it”!  Meeting with online Book Club friends at our annual birthday party was a treat.

I feel blessed to have found some kindred spirits this year at our EDS UK support group.

My furry friends – we have been blessed with some extra time with our elderly mutt, Sam, due to an understanding vet and painkillers (yes, for the dog!); but also our surrogate dogs, Chester who I love like my own, and Prince – both come round every week for walks with hubby and cuddles with me!

Samson

Samson

30 years on – meeting up with old school friends and feeling the years just slip away.  Hopefully staying in touch….have already met up with one and his family.Class of 87 pic

Finally….staying with the old school theme, I feel very blessed as the Chair of our alumni committee to have been invited to some wonderful events (Henley, the school drama) including the beautiful Carol Service last night in the parish church.  Talking to some of the parents and staff after, over mulled wine and mince pies, we all said that whether we were religious or not, it was a lovely way to start Christmas proper – putting aside the commercialism for just a short time and enjoying some true Christmas spirit.  There just might be a bit more of this spirit at the pub next week when I go to the One Term On event, for the youngsters returning after their first term at university…..won’t be staying too long as this old bird might really cramp their style!!!

 

Why don’t you link up your blessings with Susie?

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Monday Magic – Christmas Blogs for You!

We are now well and truly into the countdown for Christmas, PainPals, so it seems only right that Monday Magic for the next couple of weeks will become Christmas blog posts for you!  Here in the UK the old song “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” is very true as a blanket of snow has enveloped great areas of the country.  The snow here south of London hasn’t settled, but other parts of the country have ground to a halt with schools and Christmas markets closing, ice rinks shutting and grid lock on the roads.  Those of you in other parts of the world accustomed to snow must look at us and laugh…..

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Christmas Blogs 1

So it is bitterly cold – pretty awful for the nerve pain – the Christmas tree is bought and just about decorated and the outside lights are up…..but only half are working! Aghhh.  This weather is pretty grim for us spoonies and believe me that the cold and damp really do make a huge difference to our ability to do things.  Friends, please still ask us to parties and carol concerts, but don’t be too upset if we have to bail at the last minute. I for one will always get to a party if I can!!  At the moment though the cold, nerve pain and spinal cord stimulator are doing a manic battle in my back and leg!

On a family note, for those who sent such lovely messages when I wrote about my lovely girl and her friends’ exams – she did really well and is so pleased.  So fingers crossed for next summer.  Meanwhile the art coursework takes priority….

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Sketchbook street scene by Lucy

I have really enjoyed reading some fantastic Christmas posts over the last few weeks and have pinned many.  This is a selection of just a few – they vary from traditional recipes(check out the slow cooker hot chocolate – gorgeous), a Christmas book review, gift ideas for the family and for those with chronic health, ways to keep stress at bay and some classic Christmas movies. But to start off I’d like to direct you, with some mulled wine or cider in hand, to a Christmas limerick….enjoy!

 

 

https://www.judyedwinamartin.com/christmas-limericks-three-not-wise-men/

https://orianasnotes.com/2017/12/07/christmas-decor-inspiration/

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Pictures from Oriana’s Notes website

https://losingtheplotweb.wordpress.com/2017/12/09/gingerbread-house/

https://www.abbeymaelife.com/blog/holidaystressmanagement

https://veroniiiica.com/2017/12/04/visiting-holiday-lights-with-photosensitivity/

https://thekeeledeal.com/exhausted-parents-gift-guide/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes

https://www.solosophie.com/christmas-things-to-do-in-london/

http://edsjour.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/why-christmas-this-year-will-be.html?spref=pi

https://schoolrunshop.com/fight-festive-fatigue/

https://backpainbloguk.com/2017/11/24/christmas-and-acute-and-chronic-pain-sufferers/

https://www.thelatinanextdoor.com/2016/11/04/ultimate-christmas-movie-list/

https://www.playpennies.com/features/slow-cooker-hot-chocolate-167766

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Picture from Play Pennies website

http://leelslovesbooks.com/mistletoe-moonglow/

https://www.the11best.com/christmas-nail-art-ideas/#_a5y_p=4645297

https://emilylofgren.com/christmas-gift-ideas-chronic-illness/

As always friends and bloggers – please share the goodwill by liking, commenting and sharing these posts.

Have a great, warm week!

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You! #Christmas #December

Well here we are, friends, in December and I cannot believe just how the year has flown by.  There are plenty of fantastic Blogmas posts that have begun to appear in the blogosphere, but I am resisting the urge to share just Christmas posts….yet!

We had our first Christmas night out last week with our local book club.  My hubby Duncan and I meet with like minded friends once a month in the local pub and have a very informal, often funny, chat about the book that we have all read the previous month…..or not in the case of Duncan!  Actually that’s probably not fair – sometimes other people haven’t read the book either!!  No, seriously, he has read a couple in the past.  Anyway this month – with a meal out being on the menu – we found ourselves accompanied by the eldest and yougest kids…..the middle one probably would have come too if he had not been at uni.  I was worried that book club might think they were being overtaken by the Bendy family, but they were happy for the engineer and lovely girl to join us – particularly when the student engineer found a voucher for 30% off.  He even chose the book for December – which I have purchased on audible in the hope that hubby might get to the end of it if he can listen whilst walking the dogs.

 

I was incredulous when in the space of 10 days I received two hospital appointment cancellation letters – one rheumatology and one cardiology.  But then I had a CT scan appointment for my shoulder out of the blue scheduled the week before Christmas, NHS at 7.20pm.  I had no idea appointments were ever scheduled this late!!  Today I had a phone call for an orthopaedic appointment – so where I have lost two, I have gained another two…..don’t worry that they are different speciality.

Currently the student engineer is pacing the room ahead of a telephone interview/coding test this afternoon – and another with facebook later this week.  The prospect of interviews and work in the real world are suddenly very real – so how does mum calm down a very nervous adult son, who seems to be talking in a foreign language when describing what is expected of him.  I feel old!

Without further witterings, I introduce blog posts for this week.  The first post from the lovely Angela is not a conventional wish list and it would be lovely if you would join in – please let Angela or me know what you are taking from her list!  Sheryl’s December prompts on A Chronic Voice are listed below – again I look forward to reading your responses.  For those in the UK don’t miss the post for reserving your ticket for the Bloggers Bash in London in the New Year – hope to see you there.

So for now sit down with your cuppa – or maybe you have started on the mulled wine – and enjoy some great blog posts!

http://angelanoelauthor.com/inspiration-motivation/all-i-want-for-christmas-a-wish-list/

http://www.fibrofantastic.com/24-days-fibro-fantastic-christmas/

https://www.jthreenme.com/10-unhealthy-mom-habits-that-must-stop-now/

https://wondermomwannabe.com/show-kindness-women-chronic-illness/

https://adventures-around-the-world.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/why-friends-are-so-important.html

https://www.achronicvoice.com/2017/12/01/december-prompts/

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https://www.thepaincompanion.com/blog/pathways-through-pain-remember-to-dream

https://thesickandthedating.com/2017/12/01/the-best-little-gift-guide/

https://brainlesionandme.com/2014/12/23/christmas-analogy-for-spoonies/

https://sachablack.co.uk/2017/12/03/bloggers-bash-tickets-on-sale-now/

https://www.happinessandfood.com/the-world-is-one/

https://foreverymama.org/christmas-shopping-guide-entire-family/

Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You! (1)

Please comment, like and share these posts.  Have a lovely week,

Claire x

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Black Friday has gone…although I suspect it will roll into the pre Christmas sales, my friends in the US have celebrated Thanksgiving and in our household we have celebrated my nephew’s 7th birhtday…and on St Andrew’s Day will celebrate my brothers’s birthday (no age, he might be reading!).  This must mean we are really starting the count down to Christmas!

I have been party to several inspirational moments this week – no, not making the Ghostbusters birthday cake although I think it was pretty good considering the ongoing struggle to keep my shoulder in socket!  The first was a visit to see the film Unrest, made by Jennifer Brea about living with ME/CFS at a local theatre with my mum.  I’m not going to say much about the film here as I will write a review – but Jen introduced us to some really inspiring people across the globe, and then mum and I met some lovely people in the foyer after.  Naturally they assumed that I have ME, and I explained what I do have (EDS, POTS) and how there are many overlaps.  I was delighted to meet one gentleman who was there alone, but has a daughter with a new tentative diagnosis for hypermobility syndrome and possibly POTS.  He took my details, the blog, and information for EDS UK and I really hope that his daughter will get in touch.

As Chair of the KGS Friends, I am often invited to events at my old school and this week Duncan and I attended the senior school production.  We had no idea what to expect and I was slightly nervous when I realised that my wheelchair spot was virtually on the stage – if I had released the brakes I would have taken out a bale of hay and been centre stage.  But we need not have worried about having to applaud politely…..this production of “Nell Gwyn” was fantastic!  We were so impressed by the acting, the singing, costumes – everything!  It equalled a night out to any professional theatre – honestly.  As in every production there were several stand out performances – one from a young man playing the actor who always played the female role (remember this is Charles II time) and he was hilarious.  Comic timing that many pros would envy just oozed from him.  Then there was the young lady playing the lead role, Nell Gwyn.  Isobel Thom was superb!

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Isobel Thom (as tweeted by Izzy)

She never missed a beat with her speech, her singing or the comedy – I do hope that she continues to act when she leaves for higher education next year.  A truly inspiring group of teenagers – we had a wonderful night.

Finally the student engineer asked me yesterday about my nursing at the Middlesex Hospital, London as he had come across some articles about the first HIV unit and a photographer who took intimate pictures in the early 90s.  The photographer is Gideon Mendel and he has published a book called The Ward…..the wards in question being Broderip and Charles Bell.

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Photograph from collection by Gideon Mendel entitled The Ward

As student nurses working and living at The Middlesex, I believe that we were priviledged to witness some very special times.  They were not easy times and this was probably the first encounter that many of us would have with people our own age dying.  HIV and AIDS was a death sentence then and the majority of the patients were young gay men.  They were misunderstood and villified by certain elements of the press – they were blamed for this disease and feared by the general public.  I remember that there was a huge stigma attached to the unit even amongst other hospital staff in the early days, and haemophiliac HIV positive men did not want to be on the same ward.  Many of the young men had been disowned by family (for being gay) and their support network was from the gay community and the nurses. But I learnt so much about human nature, tolerance and love.  I still remember the first time I saw a Kaposi sarcoma lesion and a young man needing assisted breathing for pneumocystitis pneumonia – both AIDS defining illnesses then.  I believe that for many of us young nurses, we saw no distinction between these young men dying and others dying on the oncology wards.  We “grew up” in our nursing training knowing this terrible disease and the few retroviral drugs available at the time, but this was unusual.  Many of us went on to undertake a specialist course for Care of HIV and Aids once we had qualified (ENB 934 i believe!).  One of my friends also pointed out that it was very unusual for a partner to be allowed on the bed with a patient in those days – no matter sexuality.  The care was enlightened and a patient transfer to the AIDS hospice, The London Lighthouse, really stayed with me into my days as a hospice nurse.  It took years for other areas to catch up – I can still remember the first AIDS patient to be admitted to our hospice in approx 1997 and the ignorance (not intentional) amongst experienced staff.  The young men we cared for and those pictured in The Ward all died, but just several years later advances in pharmaceuticals meant that HIV was no longer a death sentence. As a former nurse and the mother of a young gay man, I am so thankful that times and attitudes have changed and must continue to.

Wow…bit longer than I intended so I will launch straight in and hope that you will indulge my first choice which is a post about Broderip ward.  There is some cookery and stress relief for the holiday season and something called “The Single Woman syndrome” – intriguing. So grab a cuppa and enjoy some new blogs!

https://news.fitzrovia.org.uk/2017/10/15/life-on-middlesex-hospitals-aids-wards-revealed-in-book-and-exhibition/

https://lightscameracrohns.com/2017/11/27/10-tips-for-those-who-dont-have-ibd/

https://www.anchoredinhealth.com/home/2017/11/24/holiday-recipe-series-cranberry-crumble-bars

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Image from Anchored in Health blog

https://www.mecfsselfhelpguru.com/2017/11/spoonies-saving-the-world-our-value-as-the-canaries-in-the-coal-mine.html

http://chronicallyhopeful.com/shaking-trembling-mecfs//shaking-trembling-mecfs/

https://katiejunesmedley.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/update-blogmas/

https://kedawithani.wordpress.com/2017/11/11/the-single-woman-syndrome/

https://mashaellman.com/2017/11/26/did-you-know-you-have-endless-possibilities/

https://iwillnotliveinvain.wordpress.com/2017/11/26/until-then-bye-dane/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2017/11/25/looking-for-some-stress-relief-for-the-holidays/

 

Please give these lovely people some feedback – it makes it all worthwhile!  Have a fab week,

 

Claire x

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Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You!

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You

Happy Monday PPals!  I am currently sitting here cursing as WordPress decided to wipe my writing of this post and I can’t recover it.  It was finished too!! Aghhhh

Anyway I will attempt to replicate it….the Uk’s Strictly Come Dancing is whirling through the weeks in a series of foxtrots, tangos, quicksteps and more.  This weekend saw the couples entering a whole different level as they performed at the spiritual home of ballroom.  Professionals and celebrities alike are all in awe of the iconic Palace Ballroom, Blackpool which takes centre stage and steals the thunder of the dancers, as it is so breathtaking.

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Image from Google images

This weekend saw the end of the road for an inspirational young man who is a gold winning GB Paralympian and 100m sprinter.  I am of course talking about Jonnie Peacock, the 24 year old athlete who aged 5 years underwent surgery for a below knee amputation, having contracted meningitis.  He is the first contestant with a disability to take part in the main series and there have been questions along the way – Is it fair for Jonnie to perform the same dances as his able bodies counterparts? How can the judges possibly give Jonnie the same level of critique?  Why are the judges picking on Jonnie’s posture, bottom position and stature when he has one leg?

But these questions have never come from Jonnie himself and in his farewll speech last night he said that he was honoured to be the first disabled contestant, and he thanked the judges for judging him as an equal saying

“That’s what I want. You’ve been critical with me and I want that criticism. I think that’s fantastic and hope it paves the way for more people to come through and I think they may be able to stick their bum under a bit better than me.”

His tearful professional partner Oti Mabuse said

“This has been one of the most life changing things that could ever happen to me. Jonnie is not only an inspiration but he represents so much more. ‘If anybody wants to do anything, if you put your mind to it then you can achieve it and that’s what he represents.”

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I am not suggesting that we will all, abled or disabled, reach the heights of this remarkable young man, and for those of us living with chronic illness invariably daily pain and fatigue won’t even allow us to reach the putting our minds to it bit, let alone anything else!!  But this is surely a good mantra to aspire to and Jonnie Peacock has left Strictly a dancer.  Watching him jive on his running blade was a highlight for me…..and not forgetting him as Jack Sparrow on Halloween.

So from one inspiring young man to a handful of inspiring blog posts.  With another weekend of dodgy dislocations, I have read lots of blogs, interspersed with cheesy family movies and heat pads!  I have picked a selection of posts for you from a variety of bloggers – and as yesterday was World Prematurity Day, the first comes with a mascara alert as it is a post from Nicole that is written from the heart.  I have also managed to slip in a Christmas post – never too early – and will aim to do so each week in the build up to the festivities.

So grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy some fab posts!

https://www.nicolefrancesca.co.uk/homepage/2017/11/19/november-never-forgotton

https://themswire.com/2017/11/19/four-airport-tips-for-disabled-flyers/

https://chronicallystrong.com/lupus-aibd/

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/11/17/people-forget-kindness-is-free-2/

http://www.themonochromeblog.com/single-post/2016/09/11/How-to-move-to-a-foreign-country-go-travelling-when-your-a-spoonie-TBC

https://thewildreaderwithacat.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/paint/

http://www.thirstydaddy.com/2017/11/10/the-good-guys-dont-always-win/

https://thedreamgurusite.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/how-i-found-out-about-eds/

https://mydailyjournalonline.com/life-rulebook-guest-post-riya/

https://medicalmysterymusings.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/christmas-expectations/

 

Please like, share and follow these blogs if you enjoy them!

Have a great week,

Claire x

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Monday Magic Nov 20

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

This weekend has been one of Remembrance in so many places across the globe.  With Saturday being the 11th November, it was totally fitting that the Lord Mayor’s parade in the City of London started with the playing of the last post and a 2 minute silence.  In true UK style, the weather was miserable – I can’t remember the last time it was fair for the Lord Mayor’s show!!  Sunday however was a beautiful, crisp day as the veterans and current serving forces gathered alongside politicians, members of the public and the royal family for the service at the Cenotaph.  The oldest veteran attending, a 99 year old former Royal Marine Ernie Searling, sent a heartfelt message to the world – “I feel very humble seeing so many hundreds of men and women on the parade today. So very, very humble, particularly those who are not with us on this day today… All I hope is that the future generations could see this parade, see some solidarity in it. See that the betterment of mankind in England, especially Great Britain, should be at its highest level. We don’t want street fights. We don’t want arguments. We don’t want racial injustice. All those things are horrible!” He brought a tear to eyes in our lounge.

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Former Royal Marine Ernie Searling

Over the last week the BBC have been broadcasting a series of programmes celebrating and highlighting the roles women have played in war over the last one hundred years – Women at War 100 Years of Service.  – currently available on the iplayer.  It is difficult not to be inspired by the young women of the World Wars who were trailblazers for so many careers that women had previously not been able to undertake – and I would imagine that this is the case in other parts of the world when the men were on the front line.  Some of these women, now elderly ladies, recounted tales of their training and deployment – as radio operators, munitions workers, pilots and engineers. These women paved the way for both women in the forces and in the workplace generally.

My first inspiring blog for you today follows this theme and gives thanks on Remembrance Day – but the others have a mixture of themes from midlife crisis (me!!) to migraines to books & disability to Christmas baking & gifts!  Not on quite the same par as WW2, but I think that you will enjoy these inspiring posts and urge you to grab a drink, take a seat and enjoy.

https://butterflyinremission.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/with-heartfelt-thanks-on-remembrance-day/

https://www.shailajav.in/shifting-perspective-create-more-than-consume/

http://www.crestingthehill.com.au/2017/11/that-midlife-crisis.html

http://www.youcanalwaysstartnow.com/2015/06/01/success-who-gets-to-define-it/

https://brainlessblogger.net/2017/11/12/symptoms-of-a-migraine-that-can-be-as-severe-as-the-pain/

https://ginlemonade.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/3-books-3-blogs-from-gemma-at-wheelescapades/

http://drallisonbrown.com/power-perspective-shoe-fits-wear/

https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2017/11/11/ess-gf-christmas-candy-cane-butter-biscuits/

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Image fro The Recipe Hunter

https://chronicrants.com/2017/11/01/defining-affordable/

https://theblogbroadblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/11/great-gifts-ideas-from-uncommon-goods/

As ever please share this post and these posts if you enjoy them!

love Claire x

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Monday Magic - Remembrance

 

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

8Welcome to another Monday Magic and some great blog posts to entertain and inspire.  The last week has seen both Halloween and Bonfire night – I think that we gave out goodies to about 50 little witches and monsters (I know, this is small fry compared to some of my pals in the USA), and the fireworks seem to have been almost nightly.

 

I have to give a shout out to all our pets for having to put up with this human fascination with loud explosions, deafening whistles and a sky full of bright lights.  Our old boy Samson spends much of the evening barking or trying to hide – at approx 15 he is getting on in dog years and periods of doggy dementia do kick in, particularly with fireworks.  The beautiful Chester, our surrogate dog who we look after for friends and love as our own, was also very chilled on Saturday night unlike his best buddy Freddy (a neighbours’ pooch) who also spent the night barking.  The things we put them through!

Our house has been transformed into an artist’s studio again this week, as the lovely girl has been putting together her sketch books for an interview at school tomorrow.  Having 2 weeks half term holiday has given her even more time to spread her wares from room to room to room……I know I’m biased but she has come up with some great concepts for the project title “I. Me, Mine”.  Meanwhile hubby, otherwise known as Mr Intimate Audio, has also been creating as he looks at new and exciting finishes for the hifi horn speakers that he designs and builds.  I think that we need a studio…..IMG_3541

I, meanwhile, have found you a mixture of posts this week starting with “November Prompts” from my friend Sheryl at A Chronic Voice – this is a lovely link up, that I will try to put my own prompts to this month.  I have found an interesting post about modern racism, some wonderful poetry on Thoughts from Jasmine, a post about social anxiety in children (very applicable for my lot even if they are tweens!) along with a mix of chronic illness posts.  Need I say more – grab a cuppa, turn off your phone and enjoy some great reads!

https://www.achronicvoice.com/2017/11/02/november-prompts/

https://www.anempoweredspirit.com/seasons/

https://jadealicexxo.wixsite.com/jadealicexxo

https://www.judyedwinamartin.com/sugar-and-spice-being-woman-is-nice/

https://thoughtsfromjasmine.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/growing-up-with-modern-racism/

https://talesofaneglectedwomanchild.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/deep-water/

http://coffeeandcarpool.com/how-help-your-child-when-they-worry-about-social-situations/

https://noonegetsflowersforchronicpain.com/2016/01/30/i-fell-apart-it-was-beautiful/

https://dazzlingzebra.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/dazzling-zebra/

http://www.ayni-books.com/books/acts-kindness-from-your-armchair

Please, please make someone’s day and like, follow, comment on their post if you enjoy it.

Claire x

 

Monday Magic 6 Nov

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Monday Magic – Inspiring posts for Halloween!

Good evening – yes, I know, evening, Pain Pals!  I am just about managing to make this a Monday Magic post, having spent yesterday and today asleep after The Book Club party on Saturday – I could tell you that it was over indulgence, but sadly these days it is just down to fatigue.  Those of you in the know appreciate how hard it can be to do anything – and believe me when this mum doesn’t even care what is going around her in the house (yesterday) things must be dire!! But a good time was had by all and we came away with some fantastic goody bags full of TBC author books – all arranged by the lovely Tracy Fenton (TBConFB and Compulsive Readers blog).22886045_10156006115356495_3468543215709480442_n

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The lovely Tracy Fenton – we got the cake there in one piece, just!

 

Anyway feeling a bit more human now, and noting the date…..I thought I would have a flick through some of the fab groups I belong to and find my favourite Halloween inspired posts.  There are some spooky books, scary films, ghostly doughnuts and a haunted Indian fort.  My personal favourite as a baker is the Brain cake! So it is time to sit down, grab your favourite tipple and enjoy some All Hallow’s Eve fun!  As for me…on the topic of all things eerie, I’m off to start season 2 of Stranger Things!

Free-Halloween-Wallpaper-(01)

http://www.imagineeredvacations.com/the-ultimate-disney-halloween-2017/

http://www.annanuttall.com/6-ghost-books-for-adults/

https://thephilfactor.com/2017/10/24/top-ten-tuesday-the-ten-scariest-movies-of-all-time-3/

https://jaipurthrumylens.com/2017/10/28/bhangarh-fort-ghost-haunted-stories-rajasthan/

https://butterflyinremission.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/funnybones-my-halloween-flashback-nostalgia/

https://www.momtrends.com/2017/10/delicious-healthy-candy-swaps-halloween/

http://www.natalieshealth.com/2017/10/halloween-ghost-vanilla-donuts/

https://justanotherblogfromawoman.blog/2017/10/26/halloween-playlist/

https://www.yourvetonline.com/halloween-top-safety-tips-keep-pet-safe/

https://fancypaperblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/how-to-theme-a-one-year-olds-party-for-halloween/

https://www.judyedwinamartin.com/couple-of-halloween-limericks-witch-and-werewolf/

https://marriedcatladysite.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/decisions-decisions/

http://www.sherbakes.com/2016/10/step-by-step-tutorial-on-how-to-make.html

Halloween Brain cake

Image from Sherbakes.com

Please like, comment and share anything you enjoy!

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Another week has flown by, there have been yet more storms – why did ours in the UK get the name Brian? – more Brexit and the increasing #MeToo campaign.  In our house we saw the end of the German exchange as our lovely girl and her friends’ student partners returned home.  Absolutely exhausted!  The girls are now coming down off a high and the start of half term is a bit of an anticlimax, particularly with mock exams looming.

Our girl is studying art – you probably know already as this proud mum has posted pictures, much to the disgust of my girl – and has a portfolio to work on and also a sketchbook for an interview.  The house is destined to filled with paints, charcoals, paper and panic!  I am doing something this week that I don’t normally, but I’d like to shamelessly introduce you to some other talented youngsters – the triplet daughters of an old school friend.

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Art By Three

They have  been featured on Sky Landscape Artist of the Year, and are currently working with the UK’s National Trust on the Scotney Old Castle campaign. Whilst not strictly a blog post, I have included both their website and the campaign site as I strongly believe we should support and nurture young talent – I am not asking you to donate but to take a peek, maybe follow them on Facebook and Instagram…..

The other posts are all fantastic and range from an article that fits with the #MeToo campaign but stems from a personal story of surviving from Illness to Wellness, to acupuncture at My Migraine Life to social well being from a new blog to me Little Adventures NZ.  There are a couple here that are particularly great reads for you ladies – I love the look at Envy on Wendy Fairy Art – and all you mums and dads must read “My Husband Doesn’t Help” from the Coffee Mom.  It is not what you think it is!!!  Add in some OCD at The Thyroid Damsel and what more diversity could you want?!

So it is that time to grab a cuppa, turn your mobile to silent and spoil yourself with some great reads.  Please comment, share and follow some of these lovely people if you enjoy their work.

https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/scotneyoldcastle1010campaignwithartbythree

http://www.artbythree.co.uk/

https://littleadventuresnz.com/puzzle-piece-series-social-well-being/

https://wendyfairyart.com/fairieartblog/sistership-wound-called-envy-deal/

 

https://www.thecoffeemom.net/2017/10/20/husband-doesnt-help/

http://notebooksandglasses.com/sitting-disability/

http://coffeeandcarpool.com/be-less-stressed-as-a-special-needs-mom/

http://thethyroiddamsel.com/?p=310

https://mymigrainelife.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/does-acupuncture-work-for-migraine/

https://illness-to-wellness.com/2017/04/07/showing-up-for-sexual-assault-survivors/

https://thepainfreelife.com/life-interrupted/the-death-of-a-marriage-the-year-that-changed-everything-part-1/

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You! 23 Oct

 

 

 

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You

Welcome back to Pain Pals for what I hope will be a great week following a fantastic weekend! Those of you who have read my previous couple of posts will know that our lovely girl has her German exchange partner staying – an equally lovely young man of 15 and about 6 feet 3!!  We had a house full on the first night as we hosted all the English girls and German boys & girls to help break the ice; and then when hubby arrived home Saturday evening having collected from ice skating & bowling, I couldn’t help thinking “Bloody hell, my new car really is big” as the front door opened and a stream of teens came in.

There were 16 in total – and no it turns out that the car isn’t really a Tardis – but they were followed by a steady stream of takeaway deliveries from 5 outlets.  I can’t remember when, if ever our doorbell has rung so many times on a Saturday night! I just commented on an EDS Facebook group that a huge positive for us this week has been to see our normally angst ridden teen turn into a group organiser and hostess.  We had only been expecting 6 back on Saturday, but in order to avoid some breakdowns within the group our girl sorted them all (and took over our lounge ha, ha, ha) with tact and diplomacy to ensure everyone had a good evening.  Teenage relationships can be so tricky at the best of times, but throw in different languages, exchange partners paired who ordinarily wouldn’t be in the same friendship groups, one all girls school & one mixed sex, and the probability for issues is huge!  It has been interesting to see that the mixed sex pairings – like our lovely girl and lovely German boy – have been less problematic than the all girls – teenage girls and friendships equals another blog post entirely methinks!  The mixed sex group – 4 couples – went to Thorpe Park Fright Night on Friday and had a fantastic time. Not my cup of tea but they loved it.

IMG_3477As for me I am officially exhausted, typing one handed whilst in a sling again, but am officially one very proud mum having watched my girl blossom before my eyes.  Some might say turning into a chip off the old block – and even her eldest brother commented that the social awkwardness she professes to have is just not evident for the rest of us.  Today they have all gone to Brighton – the Pavilion, fish and chips, the beach and the lanes. Whilst the fatigue and dislocation have taken their toll, I have found some more fabulous blog posts for you to enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

So grab a cuppa, kick you heels up and sit back to read some fab pieces, all very different but all inspiring.  I particularly love the Lush products review from Katie Cupcake and the beautiful piece about friendship from Happiness and Food. Enjoy!

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Photo from Katie Cupcake Life With ME

 

https://fictionisfood.com/2017/10/14/thoughts-on-nannowrimo/#more-4179

https://www.sp-bx.com/rick-and-morty-season-3-review-the-best-season-so-far/

https://clockworkclouds.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/can-you-overthink-an-idea/

http://katiecupcakelifewithme.com/review-with-me/lush-karma-spa-treatment-event-review/

https://www.happinessandfood.com/name-happy/

https://zebratalez.com/2017/10/15/10-social-security-disability-tips/

http://invisiblenotbroken.com/blog/2017/10/4/best-podcasts-to-listen-to-when-stuck-in-bed-with-chronic-pain

http://withoutacrystalball.com/2017/10/12/day-found-family-chronically-ill/

http://www.healthyeatingexperts.com/holistic-therapist-kicked-depression-said-bye-bloat-chronic-digestive-issues-naturally/

https://livingwithme.blog/2017/10/12/all-time-low/

Please comment, share and spread some love for your fellow bloggers.

love Claire x

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