Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You

It has been a freezing week here in the UK, with widespread snow and some areas completely cut off.  Now the big thaw starts….we hope!  I can’t claim to have been cut off, but the cold is not the friend of my back and the titanium inside me feels as cold as the snow outside.  My spinal cord stimulator has been doing battle with the chronic nerve pain in my leg and back, as is seemed to ricochet off the charts….forget pain scored out of 10, how about multiply that by 10.  Even turning the stimulator up – increasing the intensity and speed of the “current” that I feel – couldn’t dampen it.

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You!

But the good news is that whilst I have been keeping warm inside I have been doing a fair bit of blog browsing and even got round to finally registering on UK blogs!  I guess the next thing to do is sort out going self hosted – the student engineer is supposed to be doing this and hosting me, after all IT and software is his thing – and he has been web hosting since he was about 14.  But I am just his mother….and placed way down the list of priorities!!!  There are no plans in the pipeline to attempt to make my fortune blogging, but it would be nice to be able to be available for some more review opportunities… come on, son, get it sorted.  He is currently sitting here programming and flying a drone in my lounge……aghhh mind the dog! (My video won’t work so a pic will give you the idea)IMG_20180305_165617264_HDR


The other son has been in contact this week, but not because he wanted to make conversation with his parents…..we usually just get messages passed on from Snapchats received by the lovely girl.  He wants his suit, his shoes, tie and tie pin sent to him….by this Thursday please for a formal dinner.  Hmmm….I wonder if there will be a little something for Mother’s Day sent by return courier?  I won’t hold my breath.

Our other family member to be happy to see the thaw is our shaggy old dog, Samson.  He will hide rather than have to go outside and I am sure that the cold makes his arthritis worse.  But do you think he will take his pills? We have tried burying in his food, wrapping in melted cheese, fig rolls, even inside pasta….but he is wise to it all now and will eat his food leaving 3 pills in the bottom of the bowl, with not a tooth mark on them!!  Suggestions people – he is on doggy cocodamol and Pardale V – and his cocodamol costs a damn site more than mine!!download (2)

So now some blogs for you – I have found everything from heat hacks (perfect just now), to skills we mustn’t lose (please, please let me know how you score…and if you have tapped a tree!), to making fashion accessible.  Sustainability is very current and we can probably all pick up some tips to change our habits, and if you are planning a UK or European city break don’t miss The Style Thread.  The final post in an invitation to a special virtual coffee morning on International Women’s Day – join with bloggers globally to celebrate.

Grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy some “me” time!

Please comment, like and share these posts if you enjoy them!

Have a great week,

Claire x




Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

We awoke to snow this morning and the Monday garden did look pretty magical!  But then the reality kicks in as we don’t do snow well here in the UK and by mid morning the rail companies were already announcing changes and cancellations to timetables tomorrow.  My girl and her friends are dying for the snow to continue so that they have a snow day tomorrow – it is bitterly cold, but I’m not sure if there will be enough snow for no school.

monday magic

My morning has been spent with another hospital visit: picking up results, being booked in for more investigations and all rounded off with the obligatory vampire visit for blood tests.  Apparently I’m anaemic (again) and my red blood cells are small…that is a new one on me.  It did make me smile when the young registrar asked how much red meat I eat….I could hear the student engineer’s response which sure enough he gave when I said it too him later “Never enough, MOTHER!! We NEED steak every day”.  In your dreams boy, unless you want to start paying more rent….

There has been a huge loss in our house this week leaving a massive void.  It is a death, but not of a person or a pet.  We have had to have our enormous ornamental cherry tree cut down as it was diseased and one half had already died.  But we tried to keep it for as long as possible – I don’t know how old it was, but we have been her 18 years – as it was such a major feature of the garden.  Now there is literally an empty void and a huge scar in the shape of diseased, raw stumps and an overwhelming that sadness that there won’t be the pink blossoms this year, or even the nightmare of the leaves in the autumn.  Funny how this loss can induce grief isn’t it?!  So I guess soon we will be looking for a new family member to inhabit the back garden…maybe another fruit tree, or something faster growing…..

My weekly inspiring blog posts may be coming a little to you than normal….in fact it is nearly wine o’clock here for those who enjoy a tipple, or perhaps that coffee is still on the menu.  So whatever your drink of choice, sit back and enjoy a few minutes with some inspiring blog posts and a vlog this week!  I will definitely be having a go at baking the GF choc chip cookies and eating them whilst reading some of your posts…..

Please like, share and comment…and have a good week!

Claire x



Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

It is the beginning of the week so that must mean time for some inspiring blog posts in a little Monday magic!  The last week has encompassed Valentine’s Day, the second half of half term and a trip to Berlin in our household.

I did manage to get to the RSC Twelfth Night at our local cinema, and whilst I couldn’t stand by the end, it really is a superb production. Adrian Edmondson – yes of Young Ones fame – steals the show for me with an outstanding performance of Malvolio.


Adrian Edmondson as Malvolio (source: Google Images)

When coerced by his colleagues into ridiculous costume, Malvolio gallivanted across the stage serenading the audience, making me think of a cross between a jester and an English Morris man!  So how did the rest of the family mark Valentine’s Day? We arrived home to pizza boxes and various teenage girls wrapped up in blankets in the lounge, and the student engineer did make a trip to London for an evening for two – I don’t believe he has a romantic bone in his body though!  As for the politics student, contact has been remarkably quiet this week….but he is probably even worse than his brother, so I would be very surprised if his girlfriend was given a card, let alone flowers!!

The eldest jetted off to Berlin for a weekend away with friends…..the friends were staying Photo from Clairein a posh(ish) hotel and our engineer was staying in a hostel next door.  Never one to waste money, his thought process went something like this “I’m not spending all that on a hotel, but if I stay next door I can sneak in with my mates and still use the facilities!”  We only knew he had arrived when his sister had a photo pop up on Snapchat…..I asked him to send some pics, thinking he  or his friends might feature in them, but this is what he sent! He is currently sending us angry emoji faces as he has been sitting on the tarmac for 2 hours in a plane that has a “problem”!  I believe they are now airborne, so hubby has been summoned to Heathrow……


I have selected a wide assortment of posts again this week – but I believe that there is something here for everyone.  The Big Money Saver post, whilst not specifically a chronic piece, is great for my spoonie friends out there and the post on PixieDusk “We Need To Talk about Cancer” is truly inspirational and I urge you all to read it.  When I found the wonderfully named Pass The Prosecco Please blog I was determined to find something there to share, purely because I love the name!!  The Mens’ Health Summit is really important – all you blokes out there should have a look, and if the men won’t, ladies please do! The posts are all fab, so sit back with a cuppa – or a Prosecco! – and steal some time to read relax and enjoy.

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Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You! (1)

Do you have a favourite?  Have you enjoyed these? If yes, please like, share and comment for your fellow bloggers.

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You! #Valentine’sDay

Love is in the air…..well it is Valentine’s Day this week anyway, and I hope that love is in the air for you, whether it be romantic or otherwise.  February 14th has never been a huge deal in our house – I don’t think Dad has ever sent Mum a card let alone flowers.  I have had flowers and cards over the years…and the occasional meal out – but I think after a particularly memorable night, crammed between 2 other couples in a Chinese restaurant and listening to their conversations as we couldn’t hear each other, the consensus was better to stay at home. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We might have passed this on to our kids having just mentioned it to one son, who looked at me as if I was mad even mentioning doing something to mark the day.  Funny thing is we are going out this year – hubby is taking me to a live RSC streaming of Twelfth Night….might even get a McDonalds out of it if I play my cards right (are they gluten free I wonder?!).

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Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You!Valentines (1)

So fingers crossed the current flare of POTS symptoms have passed by Wednesday otherwise he will be taking his daughter or mother in law!!  Talking of POTS – that is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, not the cooking variety – I saw the online community working at its best over the weekend.  A member of a POTS group put up a very distressed post that signalled an intentional overdose of drugs was being taken – the members of the group went into overdrive to find out where this person lived in the world, making contact with personal friends to check on them, calling on Facebook to help via the reporting suicidal thoughts, and sending message after message of support and hope.  I am so pleased to report that a message was posted last night saying that a stranger had called an ambulance, and the POTSIE was safely in hospital being assessed and truly appreciating all the good wishes.  No trolls, no nasty comments – social media at its best!nope

Yours truly has been sitting watching the winter Olympics and gasping out loud.  The wind!! How are those snowboarders doing it?  I have found the ice dancing particularly inspiring – it took me back to being about 8 and reading the Noel Streatfield novel White Boots.  That book changed my life and I was going to be an ice skater!!  Dad took me to Streatham ice rink in south London, I put one foot on the ice expecting to glide away – and, you guessed it, my derriere met with a very cold, wet landing.  Bang went that dream.  But some of those Olympians are inspirational – the young Russian girls literally float over the ice with such ethereal beauty, and the Canadian pair are just something else.  A human body really shouldn’t be able to do that!! (My bendy  friends will recognise this sentence!).

From inspirational athletes to inspirational blog posts!  This week I have added in some posts for Valentine’s – they are alternating with the normal mix of fab posts from some old  pals and some new friends – some spoonies, others not!  So sit back and relax with some great Monday Magic blog posts!

Really share the love this week and share these posts, comment and make a blogger’s day!

Have a lovely week,

Claire x



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Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Monday Magic 29 JanGood morning on the last Monday of January!  Our week has passed in a flurry of parents’ evening, book club, Burn’s night celebrations and not forgetting our son’s better half being offered a great new job.  Funnily enough we haven’t had any news on the politics student other than a text about football scores – oh, the life of a first year student!

Parents’ evening was like a speed dating event…five minutes per teacher and when the bell rings get up and run!  Not sure the computer goblin automatically churning out slots on the online booking system had allowed for mass movement between the hall and the library, and he hadn’t allowed for a wheelie like me – although hubby just used the wheelchair to barge through other parents!  For Burn’s night we were greeted by a piper resplendent in kilt , sporan and full regalia.  How is it that one set of bagpipes can sound as loud as the  (what is the collective term for bagpipes – haggis? sporan? noise?) whole Edinburgh Tattoo?  It certainly had the desired effect of moving guests swiftly from the lobby to the dining area, but I think the ladies serving whisky must have been deaf and in need of a few drams by the time the meal was served.  Slightly disappointing this year was the lack of kilts….couldn’t persuade hubby into one!

Our book club read the new Emma Donoghue book The Wonder this month – review to come – and as usual we had lively debate from the actual book, to last month’s book again (The City and The City by China  ……..) which is being made into a TV series starring David Morrisey, to the current BBC TV series McMafia and Hard Sun.  Amongst the blog posts that I have for you this week is an online book club aimed specifically at those who would find it hard to get out of the house to attend one.  This could be spoonie friends, elderly, young/new mums….anyone who enjoys a good book.  Talking of which, I am taking part in a blog tour this week so will just drop a flier in for it – more info later this week.Review Tour

I am sitting here Nil By Mouth and have a hot date with a gastroscope this afternoon, so it does pain me somewhat to invite you to pick up your coffee…..but I will do just that and encourage you to kick off your shoes, sit down and enjoy some great posts from some lovely bloggers.  Maybe I will give the pilates a go whilst you down your caffeine….


courtesy of Surviving Life’s Hurdles blog


Please comment, like, and share the posts you love.

Have a lovely week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Here we are at the start of a new week and time to explore some more blog posts.  This week has passed in a blur of hospital visits – as you know if you’ve read about my rusty old body int the last couple of posts! – and I must admit complete brain fog and cluster headaches.

The brain fog has caused much hilarity at times when my words have come out as something completely different to how they started in my brain.  Officially called expressive dyphasia, and commonly seen with strokes, I don’t think I’ll tell you how it is described in our house….I have experienced it once before when playing football at school aged about 12.  I had a head on collision with a friend, nearly knocked her teeth out, and then proceeded to become very concussed over the next couple of hours.  By the time I reached hospital, I couldn’t walk, speak or see – as the swelling inside my head started to subside, I remember being asked questions, knowing the answer but the words that came out were not connected to my brain!  I am sure that some family members would say that nothing has changed…..

Monday Magic - with brain fog

I’m just reading a science fiction book and came across this passage “There’s a small subset of people whose cognitive functions get scrambled in outer space.  Something about how the pressure change of the vacuum affects the bonds between molecules in the neurons of their brains.” (All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai) I had a light bulb moment – “YES! This is brain fog – even if it is in space”.

But moving on – checking over my spreadsheet of Monday Magic posts, I am amazed to see that there have been links for an amazing 354 blogs and some of those have featured several times. What a fantastic number of inspiring and motivational bloggers there are out there, and I feel that I find more new blogs every week.  So please take some time, sit down with a cuppa and enjoy some great posts with a bit of a self care theme running through them – all spoonie mums, my mate Jen Hardy would be really grateful if you would answer her survey ahead of a podcast.

Heated Butter Knife

Who wouldn’t want a heated butter knife???  Find this on Sunshine and Spoons list!

Please remember to share some love by commenting, liking and sharing!

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Welcome  to a bit of Monday magic – I hope you all had a great weekend.  We saw the middle child, aka the politics student, return to university yesterday and I don’t think it took too much preparation on his part because he hadn’t unpacked most of it since his return!  Yes, he has been living from the cases on the floor of his bedroom for the last few weeks, which have become increasingly full of chocolate wrappings from Christmas, crisp packets, new gifts, clean washing, dirty washing…you get the picture, not an inch of carpet to be seen.  Anyway hubby deposited him back yesterday with or without all that he needs and the next thing will be to reclaim the room and change the odour from Eau de Teen Boy to fresh air!!

The eldest continues to undergo job interviews from the various applications that he has put in.  Since when did the selection process become so complicated?  If you get shortlisted from your application, you firstly complete a phone interview, then online psychometric tests (“Mum should I say what I think they want to hear, or what I think might be right, or is there even a right answer?” “How on earth should I know? I’m just your mother!”) then in his case, a phone/skype interview with a live computer coding test…..and then after all this a face to face interview in an office, meeting a real person, drinking coffee and talking!  Wow!  He does have a final interview this week with a big American firm (so I’m told) – but I have no idea what they do, what he would do…..just hope something comes to fruition …..and if it requires a move out of home and away from my kitchen & bathroom, hurray(and then we will welcome him back for visits with open arms!!).

This week I was sad to see a couple of blogging groups’ admins have to post that group members were not following basic rules and were not supporting the spirit of the groups.  I really hope that this is the minority of bloggers and that the majority still look to support others, follow people because of a genuine interest and to interact.  Maybe I am being naive, but I hope not.  I have some old blog friends and some brand new bloggers to introduce here with a huge variety of post – from healthy eating (although the advice will not work with the student engineer!) to dealing with bullying to the hilarious post from Hot Mess Memoirs about giving back crying babies.


Sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy some terrific posts!

Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You! 15 Jan

Please remember to support some fab blog posts by sharing, commenting and liking.

Claire x

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

A week into the new year, the decorations are down, the Christmas tree is looking forlorn on the back lawn and the kids back to school.  Well in our case nearly…..the lovely girl returns tomorrow, the middle child returns to university next weekend and the student engineer returned today, just as the UK train strikes started up.

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Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You!

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Our house has been a mad frenzy of coursework this last week – 2 projects for the final year of Engineering involving analysing the use of Boris bikes in London and Deep Learning (whatever that may be!); the lovely girl has been finishing her sketch books and final piece for her art, although any visitors would have thought she was decorating the lounge!!  The title of her works – “I, Me, Mine” and “Blood, Flesh, Bones” – so she has focused on our genetic Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.  I have spent some time modelling for her photographs and I wish I could report that they are super glam….but they are not!!!  Instead she wanted close ups of my body parts which looked the most veiny – charming.


My Elbow!

Hubby managed the delayed visit to his parents, and whilst he was away I enjoyed reading and sharing a huge variety of blog posts.  This is just a small assortment varying from favourite books, to beauty products to a yummy recipe for dairy free ice cream.  Two that really stand out, and are poles apart, are Tania’s about her need for a Smartdrive for her wheelchair (I am slightly biased as we share the same condition) and The Bryntin Project’s plea to us all to realise the harm our birthday balloons are doing.


So grab a cuppa and take a break whilst you dive into some fab blog reads.  Please comment, like and share!

Have a great week,

Claire x


Monday Magic – Happy New Year! Inspiring blogs to start 2018

Happy New Year, Pain Pals! Welcome to 2018….

Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You!

I hope that you have all had a wonderful holiday season – I appreciate that for many of you this will have been hampered by health problems, for others it may be the first year since a bereavement, or just simply a difficult time – but we have to believe that there is always something positive, even out of negatives (hope my eldest is reading…..we call him Mr Glass half empty!).

I’m not going to do a look back at my year and bore you silly…..this week is probably enough.  Our week hasn’t gone exactly to plan – when does it ever? – with yours truly managing to fall off the sofa (I know, I know!) and putting out my shoulders, neck, ankle and hip in one foul swoop!! Of course this would be the night before we were due to travel to visit the in laws…..add hubby having a horrendous case of man flu (actually he has the most awful chesty cough and was banished to an empty child’s bed last night!) and the trip is off.  if you are reading, Dave and Wendy – I am so sorry! Kids are too as it meant any plans for New Year’s Eve parties in this house were ruined…..the teen girls due to gather decamped to another location and at the time of writing we have had no communications from the lovely girl! Plus one boy still old cold and snoring in bed here, having made it home.

Boxing Day

But two huge positives for me were managing a lovely family meal out on Boxing Day, and hosting the extended family the day after.  My brother’s family, the student engineer’s partner, and of course my lovely parents… the drone that one very silly auntie bought her nephew for Christmas.  Well I didn’t think he would be flying it around my living room!!!


I have put together a huge list of New Year blog posts for you from some of my blogging family…..many from the Big Up Your Blog community, others from Chronic Illness Bloggers.  There are reflections, good wishes, goals & resolutions, poetry and don’t miss Phil’s hilarious Predictions from a legit Psychic!  Plus the first is a great blogging invitation on Smorgasbord.  Sit back with a glass of something good (dry Jan can start tomorrow!) and enjoy.

Please be kind and share some love for these bloggers with likes, shares and comments!

Happy New Year! 

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!


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

Claire x