Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!

Normally I would start a Monday Magic whilst sitting with a cup of coffee on a Monday morning.  But since I was last here, I have been found lurking in hospital corridors again….when a nurse pal texted me last week saying she hoped the picolax (medicine used for bowel clearance!) wasn’t too awful, my response was it wasn’t awful enough as I had to go back for a repeat run.  So the weekend has seen me on clear fluids and then foul fluids (a different, stronger bowel prep), and another admission this morning.  Several nurses looked at me and said that I looked familiar….well let us just say that i will be even more familiar as we go for the third time lucky.  Aghhh….I keep telling them that my gut is also affected by dodgy connective tissue, making it resemble baggy tights!


Enough of that…..there have been some really lovely, inspirational moments this week too that have not involved hospitals or drugs.  A Performing Arts Evening hosted by my Alumni committee, where some very talented people from across the generations and the disciplines spoke and performed with such passion and dedication.  Actress Molly Hanson left us in no doubt just how hard it is to break into the world of acting, the hard graft required at drama school and then the months spent doing any job to pay the bills.  But the elation of winning an acting nomination recently made it all worthwhile.  Amongst this week’s blogs is one that Molly writes with student Isobel Thom (see previous post about Izzy here).


Beautiful young actresses Molly and Izzy

Young singer/songwriter Josh Selimi is currently studying accounting whilst looking for an agent and promotion, whilst at a very youthful 90, Bob Barter stole the show when he took to the keyboards and entranced us with his jazz.

The following night we were treated to a performance of The Adams Family by our daughter’s and eldest son’s schools.  Staged in a local theatre, these young people sang, danced and acted their hearts out – whilst many are studying for GCSEs and A levels.


The middle child celebrated his first birthday away from home and was in full student mode outside a pub by midday.  He actually hung up on his mother when I phoned him and sang Happy Birthday….so hubby phoned straight back and sang the next line, with the eldest finishing off our little ditty!  Talking of birthdays, yours truly spent the weekend up to elbows in icing and glitter creating a pinata unicorn cake for a special 6 year old.




Without further ado, please spend a little time having a look at these great blog posts – enjoy some tips for coping with “one of those days” and breaking down tasks into bay steps, and learning that laughter really is the best medicine.  Enjoy!—a-review

Please share the posts you enjoy and drop a comment or a like for these bloggers.

Have a great week,

Claire x




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

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



My Guest Post on “You are Awesome” Love Letter – Do You Remember?

Last week I was thrilled to be featured on Angela Noel’s blog “You are Awesome – Celebrating Inspiring People and Interesting Ideas” as her regular Love Letter guest post.

This is actually a poem that I wrote over 14 years ago for one of my closest friends, who had just died after a 2 year battle with breast cancer.  We found ourselves in a situation that I could never have envisaged as our close friendship became one of nurse and patient.  I was recognising signs and symptoms before they were diagnosed, and I encouraged her to accept a referral to my place of work for palliative care.  The day that I called my consultant to arrange for her to be admitted and then called her hubby to tell him, I went home and sobbed.

The next day I donned my blue dress and I went to work to care for my patients and my friend.  I was the nurse in charge and had to be professional, but after handing over to the night shift I couldn’t stop myself from begging the night girls to take good care of her.  She came home the next day, a Saturday, and died at home the early hours of Tuesday morning.  She was 37 and had the most beautiful smile in the world.

Please visit Angela’s post to read my full poem:

Love Letter : Do You Remember?

and have a look around the blog as Angela is one of the most inspirational and beautiful writers that I follow.  Thank you Angela for having me!



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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!

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!


Monday Magic - Inspiring Blogs for You! (1)

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

Claire x