Monday magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

It it the beginning of a new week and time to find some more fantastic blog posts for you.  Here at PainPals HQ, I am in full throes of prep for my little visit to hospital tomorrow – and am trying to get ahead with preparations for a 3 tier unicorn cake that a little girl has asked me to make for her party next weekend.  It is amazing just how definite a 6 year old can be about what they want!!  My unexpected day trip tomorrow has thrown a spanner in the works and I am really hoping that I won’t feel too rough on Wednesday for making some Unicorn sparkle.

Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! 12 March

I am sure that you have had quite enough of the babble about family PainPals over the last couple of days, so I will launch straight into our blogs for the week and a post entitled “No Monday Morning Blues” seems a perfect place to start!  Yesterday I wrote about Mother’s Day, but I want to draw your attention to a heartfelt post about World Childless Week.  There are a couple of reviews here for you, something for March: MS Awareness month and not forgetting that this week celebrates St Patrick’s Day – Casey the College Celiac has delivered us some fab treats meaning that no one need miss out!

Grab a drink – mine is clear fluid today! – put your feet up and enjoy some great posts.


Image found on Casey The College Celiac site


Why not share your favourites and let the bloggers know that you enjoy their work? Please like, comment and share these fab posts.

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!

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!

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 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.


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.

Have a great week,

Claire x

Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You! 23 Oct





Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Hello friends!  Welcome to another week on Pain Pals Blog.


It has been a busy week in our house with wedding anniversary celebrations, my last governance meeting at our local primary school, a quiz night and all the usual comings and goings.  To say that I am feeling low on spoons would be an understatement, but I never have been very good at pacing myself or saying no!  However our lounge currently resembles a florist shop having been bought some beautiful flowers – 2 bouquets contain lilies which are just opening and are simply stunning. The downside is the pollen getting up noses and on clothes.


We are currently living in a state of mixed emotions as we await the arrival of the lovely girl’s German exchange partner later this week.  On the one hand she is very excited to see the whole group again and the next minute she is completely stressEau de teened as to how they will all get on, will they have a good time…So – this is another fab example of me not being able to say no! – we are hosting the first evening that the German students arrive, that is 26 teens (half British, half German) in our lounge becoming reacquainted over music and pizza.  Our girl and her best friend happened to be paired with 2 young men who are also best friends – very handy! They spent most of their time in Germany together and I think that we will have a house full over the weekend as they visit Thorpe Park Fright Night & plan trips to London and Brighton!  I have spent this morning fumigating the politics student’s bedroom so that our guest can use it without catching anything.  Why do the rooms of adolescent males all have the same aroma? Eau – de – teen!!


Enough of my ramblings – I shall report back on exchange progress as the week unfolds!  Before I share my pick of inspiring posts for the week, I am going to shamelessly plug my book review that I published yesterday for Shelley Wilson’s book “How I Motivated Myself to Succeed” – please take a look and keep an open mind.  There are some great tips to be found.  But now find yourself a comfy corner and curl up to enjoy a really wide variety of posts this week.

Please like, comment and share these posts – support your fellow bloggers!

love Claire x

Monday Magic 2


Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

October is here! Autumn, the nights drawing in, the beautiful colours outside, digging out the winter warmers, Strictly Come Dancing (huge fan here!) and Halloween…..not quite such a big thing here in the UK as for some of my virtual pals across the pond, but it is growing!  It also brings a special anniversary in our house tomorrow….more of that to come!Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You!

If you saw my post yesterday, you will already know that I haven’t been too well this last week as my autonomic nervous system went into melt down…..causing severe dysautonomia with me unable to stand up, fainting, ear pain (anyone else get this?) and severe brain fog.  Unfortunately this coincided with a call from Ofsted for the school where I am a governor for an inspection that we have been expecting and wanting for some time.  Whilst I managed to get to the school the evening before to meet with the head, the chair and my co-vice chair, I became so aware of the effects of brain fog as I couldn’t recall any recent figures or information that may be necessary for the inspection.  Of course stress often exacerbates illness symptoms – whether chronic or otherwise – and as a bit of a worrier/internaliser (typical of EDS anxiety) I struggled more than usual to sleep and then on the morning of the “big day” I was unable to even sit up without snow vision and nausea. Great – just when I needed to use my brain, which was once OK despite what my kids may say, it was full of enormous balls of cotton wool and opiate sized holes.  My colleagues were of course just fine without me…..but once again I am left with that feeling that I have let other people down.  The loss of clarity and independence drives me bananas!9c1efbf4cd9c5c62d212584a665278e1

So once I was able to read a computer screen again – the light can make the visual disturbance so much worse – I have spent some hours over the weekend looking for some more great blog posts for you.  I am mindful that not everyone who follows my ramblings has a chronic illness, so this week I have found a mixture of posts from cookery to a podcast.

I have my coffee in my hand, so I invite you to sit down and join me for a virtual cuppa whilst enjoying reading some fantastic posts.

Please remember to comment, share, like and make a blogger’s day!

Claire x


Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Hello and Happy Monday!  I hope that you have all enjoyed a relaxing weekend and are ready to face the week ahead.

This past week has offered us a smorgasbord on the world stage from the battle of words between the White House and North Korea to the retirement of possibly the greatest athlete to date, Usain Bolt.  As America’s top military officials arrive in South Korea and the leaders of China and Japan speak out publicly, let us all hope that this becomes no more than a war of words, not only for the the people of Guam, but for the world at large.

Over the last week our household has been glued to the IAAF World Athletics Championships. There have been some amazing highs and some breathtaking lows.  Athletics on the international stage is experiencing its own war at the moment: doping scandals, athletes fighting to prove that they are “clean” and able to compete,  medals being stripped and bans imposed.  The public made their feelings very clear with the booing of US athlete Justin Gatlin – an runner who has served 2 drug related suspensions and has become the representative bogeyman of all those accused of doping.

But we can also view many aspects of the championships as beacons of light in our allegory for world peace.  The final track races of sporting legends Usain Bolt and Mo Farah didn’t end as fairytales do, but instead showed these remarkable men to be human. They both won medals – just not the colour that everyone hoped for.  If Farah’s races had been the other way around and he had won his silver first and the gold medal last would this really have altered his achievements – or just the way his final race was reported in the media.  I don’t believe that anyone wanted to see Bolt fall in pain to the track rather than finishing his final race, but he showed his strength of character by returning to take a final bow for his international fans as the games closed.  Out with the old guard….but in with the new.  So many talented young people have sprung onto the world stage this week showing a spirit and enthusiasm that fires up even a chronic illness old crone like me!  There have been inspiring stories of overcoming injury and surgery, tears of disappointment and tears of joy.  For me a really memorable moment was when the Syrian high jumper realised that he had won a bronze medal, the first ever World Championship medal for his country.  The disbelief and ecstasy on his face told such a story of this man who lives and trains in war torn Damascus.  What an inspiration to us all!


Bronze High jump World Champion Majd Eddin Ghazal Picture from

You must have wondered where that was all leading, but it can only be to one place – one set of inspirational people to another!  So grab a drink, sit down and allow yourself some “me time” finding and exploring some inspiring posts from some more inspirational bloggers!


Please remember to like, comment and even share if you enjoy these posts,

Claire x

Monday Magic



Monday Magic – Inspirational Blogs for You!

Happy Monday, Pain Pals!

A levels finished last week for the sixth form student and that meant another end to an era marked by Prom hosted at the Queen’s Stand, Epsom Downs.  The preparations weren’t quite as intricate in our house as they were in those of friends with daughters – hair, false nails, spray tans, pencilling the eyebrows just right, different dresses for every girl…the list goes on!  A new suit was purchased along with matching tie and shoes……and he did have a haircut the day before which he says was coincidence, but I do wonder!  Anyway he scrubbed up pretty well and the Charlie’s Angel style pics are typical – the girls and the boys posed in very different ways.  I don’t understand the sticking out the bum thing that seems to have the replaced the fish pout.  Must be getting old….

Charlie's Angels

Charlie’s Angels – really?!

So only one child left at school now, and she is gutted that the student engineer is coming to live back at home for his 4th year – “I thought I was going to have the house to myself, Mum!”.  He is currently balancing the cost of living in London with the savings of moving home but living with us….not to mention us having to cope with having him back again full time.  We love him dearly, but the mess, the fussy eating, the mood swings – he is such a drama queen!!  I am well aware that I seem to be describing a toddler, who is actually 21!!

Monday MagicMy writing has been a bit non existent this week, but I have found another 10 blogs that are new to Monday Magic and I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have.  It never fails to surprise me just how many wonderful writers there are out there in the chronic community and how we all support each other.  But these posts are equally inspiring for everyone, ill or not – I love to find inspiring blogs, about different subjects, through link up parties that I might never ordinarily find.  So sit down with a cuppa and enjoy getting to know some new bloggers!


Image from Kate the {almost} Great blog

Hope you enjoy these posts and comment/follow for these great writers.  If you have a suggestion for an Inspiring post to be included in Monday Magic, send me a line!


Claire x


Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Monday Magic

I have found myself reading a lot of new blogs and posts recently – many that I have found through link /meet & greet parties and others through connecting on instagram, twitter etc!  It just strikes me what talented people are out there and also some pretty fantastic writers too.  Some of your poetry has blown me away.

So this week I have some very new bloggers to introduce you to along with some well established, but new to me, sites.  I hope that some of you newbies will consider looking up the Chronic Illness Bloggers network and joining us – we are a friendly bunch who communicate mainly on our members facebook page!  Details here : How to join Chronic Illness Bloggers.

So once again, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy some great posts – please remember to comment and share if you enjoy them,

Claire x


Puerto Vallarta – photo taken by Kirstin Larkin, HIGHWAY TO HEALING BLOG




Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You

Good morning and welcome to another Monday Magic with some more great inspiring blog posts for you.  I have just returned from a GP appointment and my head is spinning with the various specialist appointments I have on the agenda….endocrinology this week, cardiology, rheumatology, hip x ray and then orthopaedics…..

This is without the referrals for the kids!  University College, London where I was diagnosed no longer accept direct referrals so the kids need to be referred by another consultant.  Initially this was to be a paediatrician, but the A level student has turned 18 and the paediatric department decided that they really don’t know enough about EDS to take my lovely girl on, so she has been referred to a paediatric geneticist.  We are going to try to get an appointment for my son with the same rheumatologist that I see…….I think that we just have to go with the saying “don’t hold your breath”!

Monday Magic

So I am going to sit down with a coffee and enjoy some tips, some yoga and some stories from some of my fellow chronic illness bloggers – if you look and listen really hard, you might spot yours truly in the You tube film from Invisible Girl!!