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Cheerful List

My Cheerful List #24 Half Term.

Welcome back to My Cheerful List. February Half Term! A chance to share with you something which has made me cheerful during the week, whether it be large or small, it is important to find something good even when it feels impossible. Thank you for joining me! We have reached week 24!

February Half Term

This week off had become very welcomed, the children were beginning to get tired, catching any bugs going and just generally needed a break. We weren’t sure what the weather would be like, it really has been a little hit and miss; but it hasn’t been terrible.

 

Monday

We decided on a quiet day, my older two children were at their Dad’s; so we had snuggles at home. It was lovely not to be rushing around getting ready for work and school.

 

Tuesday

Pancake Day! We met up with a friend and her two girls; meeting at our local café to have pancakes there. They had a lot of energy between them so made to decision to take a walk at our local Nature Reserve. We’ve not been there for months it is still as lovely as ever. The girls and their friends fed the ducks, run around and burnt some energy. It was so lovely to be out. Then we had Pancakes in the evening, yummy.

 

Wednesday

The original plan was to meet with friends and visit one of our local National Trust properties, however Baby Red woke up and was incredibly clingy, which resulted in her vomiting not long after. Which meant no meeting with friends; after a sleep for a few hours she perked up but wasn’t right until much later in the day.

Wednesday was also Valentine’s Day, where my husband spoilt me as per usual; including my new Dobby mug. I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, so am not very good at enjoying it. Here’s why. It took me many years to like it even a little bit again. It’ll always be different.

 

Thursday

Another quiet day, I had a headache on and off, desperately hoping it wouldn’t turn into anything to put off plans for the end of the week. We attempted to sort things in the house too ready for decorating and new beds.

 

Friday

Half Term

The weather was actually nice again, cold but not raining! So, we took a visit to the Nature Reserve again, this time including my older two as well. We live really close to it – we’re really lucky. It was such a lovely walk, the children enjoyed it. Fresh air makes everything seem better. Two of them had majorette training in the evening, really proud of them all to be continuing with this hobby, my son is on Panto break for a few weeks, so will return to training soon.

Little Red has found a new love in majorettes; she’s been doing it since she was three and competed once or twice that first year; then went on to have a break due to starting school and not sleeping. She really missed it, and figured she won’t sleep no matter what we do (it is getting better!), we let her re-join. Slow start but she absolutely loves it!

 

Saturday

A long-awaited trip to our local theme park – Crealy! They had a special half term offer of £10 a person; we took advantage of it and went with friends – new friends. It was a really lovely day; I hadn’t been in many years, my husband and our two younger girls have never been; my older two go regularly. So many rides, so much to do and see – we didn’t see or use it all due to time. We would definitely recommend a second visit. Crealy offers a free 6-day return if people are interested in going back again, ideal if used at the beginning of a half term.

 

Sunday

Today we are having a quiet day! Little Red is playing on the Xbox; baby Red is ‘taking notes’. I am working up to finishing the first draft of a book which I am writing. I have procrastinated far too long! This book is actually book two of a series of children’s books that I have been playing about with; I had started this one through the annual event Nanowrimo – November’s National Writing a Novel Month. I had done a big chunk of it, and then I didn’t finish it. Then I will attempt to finish the first one.

 

Here is my flash fiction post from Friday, I hope you enjoy it – Don’t Touch Me.

Not long until the next half term, two weeks at Easter.

 

 

 

Don't touch me

Don’t Touch Me. Flash Fiction

I have always loved people watching; for as long as I can remember they fascinate me somewhat. Going about their personal business, some walking in the same direction, but not to the same destination; strangers together. Their lives seemed busy, for whatever reason.

As I walk amongst the crowd, weaving in and out; being careful not to touch or be touched by anyone, I like to keep clean. Keeping my head down as much as I can too; I struggle with eye contact with people; it makes me feel strange – guilty perhaps. They could be having a bad day, and making eye contact would mean that I have ignored them. Simpler just to avoid; I don’t think I am noticed much anyway – I like that too. I am fairly shy and prefer to go be unnoticed; it made my day peaceful; leaving me with only a small number of jobs I am given daily, these days I like.

My job is a difficult one, it really is never easy, but one that is needed to be done. There are quite a few of us in this field, dotted around the world. We rarely interact with each other; we can work alone, when we do come together it is usually the worst kind of days, days we like to avoid. I like my own company, I think the others feel the same none of like the team working days.

My first call of the day is fairly early; it is in a house – I say the first call, I have visited here several times this week, I don’t like to arrive too quickly if I can help it, although I think it was preferred that I completed the jobs a day or so ago. But I like them to have the important things out of the way; it doesn’t make any sense to me to interrupt these.

I can’t put this off any longer.

As I stand to look at the large black wooden front door – it looks quite old – I always like to knock, but I never wait for the door to be answered. You see people don’t like me being in their homes, I try desperately to not be made aware of – most of the time these people know that I am coming.

As I enter the house, I remove a small bottle from my pocket, placing a drop of the gloopy liquid from inside onto my hands and rubbed them together; I like to remain clean all the time, hence why I am not overly keen on being touched, amongst other reasons. I can hear voices from the rooms upstairs, everywhere else seemed cold and empty.

I begin to slowly climb the stairs, a voice shouted over me to whoever was downstairs, within seconds they were running past me, I made sure that nobody touched me or that I got in their way. Reaching the top I took a breath. “This part never gets easier.” I sighed to myself. Slowing my pace as I edged closer to the door at the end of the hallway. It was a long one, passing several dark doors as I walked.

It seemed so small, but there were many people in there, not a lot of space to move. Politely but quietly I said “Excuse me”, as I tried to get by. I can’t be sure they really heard, I never know if I ever get heard.

A path naturally cleared for me; I continue to be careful not to be touched too much, and where my hands placed, for a moment I was able to reach for my tiny bottle again; can’t be too clean. In front of me a bed with an elderly gentleman lying under his covers, he appeared to be sleeping; he obviously wasn’t well. Above the voices which were filling the room, I could hear his laboured breathing and the soft beating of his heart. I continued closer to him; I do hope I can help him.

I crouched down close to his ear.

“I’m here for you.”

Whilst I placed my hand upon his chest, I could instantly feel the final rise and fall as he took his final breath; my hand rested next to those who love him. Carefully sliding my hand away, I stepped back to ensure nobody could sense my being there, I certainly didn’t want contact with them in any way – it wouldn’t be the first time.

The paperwork I need to fill, identities I need to check most of the others who work the same as me use modern technology but I still prefer book and pencil. This one was pretty standard. As hard as they are I like these jobs. I can begin my journey to my next destination.

The cries of sadness trail behind me, I am used to that noise now – well almost.

I didn’t have another in the area, so I made my way to my car. I managed to drive a little way, traffic was building up, the three lanes were filling up. It was then I noticed other members of my team dotted around the queuing traffic, we made eye contact and I knew this wasn’t the end of my day.

The man in the car next to me looked across, he smiled. They usually do.

Seconds later a large tanker ploughed into the car next to me and into others. My quiet day had now ended.

My Cheerful List

My Cheerful List #23

The Red Head Diaries

Welcome back to My Cheerful List. A chance to share with you something which has made me cheerful during the week, whether it be large or small, it is important to find something good even when it feels impossible. Thank you for joining me! We have reached week 22!

 

Support Group

Just under two years ago, I took the plunge and set up a face to face support group for pregnancy and infant loss; it has been a slow start, and at times I wondered what I was doing. But more recently people have been coming and I am really proud of what it is achieving. In a selfish point of view has made me feel less alone. I am so pleased I didn’t give it up. I have so much more I want to do, but it really is a case of one very slow step at a time; with a hint of frustration of not getting the things I want to get done quicker! Overactive mind I guess. Any, I am so proud of this little group.

 

Mumble

This month’s group I invited a local businesswoman, she does embroidery amongst other things. I asked her for a very special bear; one with our daughter’s name on. They’re so amazing; we will get one each for them all. They are incredibly soft too. Yes, we are very happy with our new special bear.

Mumble Memory Bear

 

Grants

The group – Little Daffodils I run was included in our local carnival grants, so I had to go and collect the cheque along with a cheque for the majorettes with some of the committee team. I hate public speaking, I get all shaky and stutter – it seems to NEVER get easier!! We did have a lovely time, and turned it into a bit of a social gathering too.

Fundraising

It was the majorette bingo this week, as always a lot of fun. We had a good team and my daughter even won some Quality Street sweets which she was super excited about.

 

Mum’s Cheerful Day Out

Every couple of months my friend and I go and spend a few hours together without the children. We went to a New to You Sale; we then went for a light lunch. It was just lovely, dare I say it a little too peaceful! I managed to get my almost 5 year old a bag full of dresses and my son an outfit for just under £20. Nothing wrong with them, just preloved, she certainly loves them.

 

What a better week, looking forward to the half term break now, will see what it’ll bring.

My Cheerful List

My Cheerful List #22. Darkness

The Red Head Diaries

 

Welcome back to My Cheerful List. A chance to share with you something which has made me cheerful during the week, whether it be large or small, it is important to find something good even when it feels impossible. Thank you for joining me! We have reached week 22!

I am a little late with this; in all honesty I was in two minds whether to do it at all. But I am here.

Darkness

The weather has been so crap these last few weeks; any plans we make seem to be washed away. It has been incredibly hard again to find something cheerful in the days; it had become almost like living Groundhog Day. I got to the end of the week feeling incredibly drained, and felt like utter shit, exhausted mentally and physically. It has kind of hit me hard. I hate feeling this way. I have decided to lessen social media use; not be so hard on myself when I don’t write – with thoughts of nobody reads them anyway!! Ha! I will schedule ahead if I want to, but generally step away from technology for a while. I have hit breaking point. Of course I will have a read maybe once a day (I like the time hops, especially this time of year when the “Melody” posts appear. It had gotten too dark, I am struggling.

 

Light

Of course to balance it out, I spent the weekend only turning on my data/Wi-Fi once a day – it was lovely, I saw more things, more of my children; but out the car window – and just relaxed without my phone in hand or to my face. I had spent so long using it as my support system, the people in my phone are amazing, but there came a point that it also makes you feel incredibly lonely too. It just felt so lovely to put the thing down, no blog, just notes for my books but that was it. People will just have to ask for my mobile number. I have been incredibly lucky to have two of my favourite (adult) ‘J’s pulling my chin up. They can always make me cheerful.

 

Cheerful Plans

I have made plans with a couple new school Mum friends for the half term, with maybe even an evening out too! The children are really excited; plus plans with another friend for our regular Saturday afternoon adventure.

 

Family time

As I said above we went out for the day on Saturday, only to the shops and a spot of naughty lunch; we’d planned the park but as always it was raining! Sunday my older two went to their dad’s, so we had a day at home watching Harry Potter; they’re all big fans, I managed to get little red her own cape, which she absolutely loves! Then in the evening we spent some time with my husband’s family. That was really lovely, needs to be done more often!

 

So, this is my cheerful list this week.

Just in case you missed other posts which went out this week, here they are!

Fiction Friday.

Can’t Look Away.

Don't touch me

Fiction Friday. A Prologue Snippet.

This is an excerpt from some Fiction that I am currently working on. 

Every morning as dawn broke the Church doors would unlock and Amy would take a walk in and around the church grounds; she’d look at the headstones, there were a few new ones; but mainly old and now lost and forgotten. Many thoughts crossed her mind,  even those of wonder –  whether this would soon become her final resting place; wondering if she would even get a headstone and if her unborn baby would be with her.    Amy had even envisaged a burial plot; under a pretty little tree that she imagined would blossom during the summer months; sprinkling petals over her abandoned grave in years to come.

She continued to gently walk aimlessly.   She began to talk a little to her delicate bulging stomach, this would be the only conversation she would have. A cold chill swirled around her;  it was then she decided to go back inside the church; where once again the doors would close magically behind her.

The frail old woman hurriedly approached her; where she became forceful with Amy; almost seemed frustrated with her. Forcefully holding her by the arms while she placed her hand hard onto Amy’s growing stomach, she muttered something quickly and quietly; which sounded like a chant or a spell; willing the birth of the unborn baby quicker.   She ripped her hand away. Amy stepped away quickly; wrapping her arms around her stomach for protection for her unborn child. Frowning at the woman; confused by her new hostile behaviour.

Outside, a blizzard was looming; heavy snow hit the stained glass windows of the church, Amy silently but quickly made her way to the big Oak doors, they hadn’t yet been bolted from her walk outside; she had only assumed she had now outstayed her welcome with Cora the person she had looked to as an angel that had taken care of her these last weeks.   But as she neared them the bolts pulled themselves across to lock the door.   Amy hadn’t noticed that the elderly woman was right behind her; ready to pull Amy away from the door, with some surprising force, to stop the teen from escaping.

She pushed Amy to the floor.   Shocked and frightened she slowly got to her feet; looked at her attacker then looked around. She was looking for some kind of exit and she noticed a little oak door to the side of her; maybe this could be her door…   She pushed, pulled, even kicked it; while tugged at the dirty brass doorknob; with no movement; it was very old and locked.    Cora followed the 14-year old’s every move, every footstep-like a shadow.  She again grabbed Amy with force by her arm.

Pulling her close, she placed her hand tightly onto Amy’s large pregnant stomach; she let out a horrified and painful gasp while tearing herself away from the cold elderly hands, replacing them with her own warm hands, protecting her unborn child.  Cora disappeared.

Amy took the opportunity to try and escape again through the old side door, “Surely there is a way to get out of here?” She muttered to herself. Amy once again kicked and punched the door.  She could see movement out of the corner of her eye, Amy turned to see the not so frail Cora slowly walking effortlessly towards her – as if she was gliding- carrying something in her arms.

Amy began to panic throwing bibles, prayer mats and iron candlestick holders at the woman; all of which missed her.  When Amy failed to hit the woman in self-defence, she began throwing the objects at the ancient church stained glass windows in the hope it could be her escape route; or the very least a passerby would hear. She finally smashed a window; one of which had the beautiful Virgin Mary mastered in to.  This angered the woman; she quickened her pace toward the terrified pregnant girl.

The elderly woman carried a bowl of warm water and fabric – possibly old curtains.  Amy concentrated harder on her escape she wasn’t quite tall enough to reach the window she had smashed; for a moment she couldn’t see Cora. The hood of her cloak now rested on her shoulders. Thick, unkempt, white hair down to her shoulder blades.

Cora was able to creep right up behind Amy, pulling her with force off the pew she was standing on to attempt her escape; she hit the floor, hard.  Cora grabbed Amy by a handful of hair; dragging her whilst she kicked. Cora came across a frail, elderly lady; but the truth was she had utter strength behind her. Amy yelled in pain toward the open space at the altar.

Amy silenced herself with fear, now lying on the cold stone floor, too scared to move.  Cora stood over her as she forcefully pulled Amy’s legs to buckle beneath her.  Amy attempted to stop her by kicking which only made Cora angry; making the grip tighter, with that unbelievable strength.  With her long thin pointy fingers, she placed them deep beneath Amy’s tatty long skirt…

It all happened so fast; Cora stood up and took a step back watching as pain ripped through Amy’s tiny teenage body.  Water surrounded the girl making it too slippery for her to stand.  There were waves of pain which paralysed her; all the while she still tried to protect her unborn baby with nothing but just her arms.  Amy thoughts were only to her death, she knew she was about to die, no one would know or even care. Not even her family, she was dead to them, the moment she discovered her pregnancy.  She tried to stand, but could only kneel; she was desperate for the pain to disappear.  Cora continued to stand close, arms folded with no emotion or word to say; she pulled Amy to her feet dragging her a short space to the font; where she submerged the girl’s head into the clear water…

Fiction

Source: Tumblr

Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition Award

I am extremely shocked but thrilled to accept the Blogger Recognition Award from Suzie at Cinnamon Sunrise. I wasn’t sure if I was reading it right, or whether there was some kind of mistake. But I am so pleased to find someone has liked my blog enough to nominate me for an award! If any of you follows me on Social Media, you will know I have a little of Imposter Syndrome happening sometimes.

Blogger Recognition Award

What is the Blogger Recognition Award?

The Blogger Recognition Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers, to show us how much our blogs are appreciated; we put so much time and dedication into them that it is nice to know that the work we do is getting read and loved by people other than friends and family. Having just relaunched my blog, this has definitely given me a boost.

 

What is Cinnamon Sunrise and who is Suzie?

Firstly Suzie is brilliant at reading and responding to other people’s blogs (well she always interacts with me). She has tried her hand at several things, including a freelance comic book colourist…cool job!

Cinnamon Sunrise is about how to be a grown-up, how to take responsibility for one’s life, helping to achieve the things we as grown-ups want.

I love reading other people’s blogs particularly ones where they’re not within in my writing themes. It is a big wide world out there with thousands of us bloggers. As someone who finds it hard to make friends, I loved this post. How to make friends as an adult. Such a great post, with tips on building friendships, having friends is such an important thing in life; without them can make life isolating.

Another of Suzie’s posts I have enjoyed is Stressful Days and learning to look after myself. Very much needed to read this after the few weeks I have had. We all forget to look after ourselves, particularly when you spend so long putting everyone else first.

 

My Story

I begun writing in memory of my daughter five years ago over on Melody and Me (although it hasn’t always been called this). I wanted to write more, but felt it inappropriate to write about family life on a blog I had used to grieve. Documenting my last pregnancy, which I loved and i have managed to raise more awareness, for Hyperemesis Gravardium too. I absolutely love writing, and want to do so much more, I hope to complete a couple of novels soon too.

 

My advice to new bloggers would be

  • If you find yourself loving the blogging way, then move to self-hosting. Most companies are really helpful, and it is great to shop around; but rather than wait years (like me), make the switch early on in your blogging journey.
  • Be you. Don’t copy anyone else. Only you can tell YOUR story, don’t use anyone else’s. Just be yourself.
  • Plan and Schedule in advance. It can be a pain, but it makes everything so much easier for you and your reader.
  • Don’t worry about stats; just do what you love, it will pay off eventually, there are no cheat sheets to views; if you write about what you care about, your readers will follow.

The blogging community is lovely, and in most can be really helpful and friendly. People who don’t often don’t understand the level of work that goes in to what we do. So this level of support is really motivating.

 

My Nominations are

  1. The Hairy Dadders
  2. This Real Life Dad
  3. My Random Musings
  4. Our World and Autism
  5. Me and B Make Tea
  6. The Butterfly Mother
  7. The Music Mummy
  8. The Newby Tribe
  9. Thinkingoutloud-Sassy Style
  10. Raising A Rag A Muffin.

 

Rules for accepting the Award

  • Take the time to thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story about how your blog started
  • Give some advice to new bloggers
  • Select 10-15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog to let them know you have nominated them, and provide the link to the post you created.

Julz

The Red Head Diaries

My Cheerful List

My Cheerful List #1

I’m aiming to share a cheerful post each Sunday, with positive things from my week, whether it a big or a small thing.

Firsts

We hit a couple of ‘firsts’ this week. It was the first week back at school for them all, although one only did two days, and another did half days.

First day of Primary School for the 4 year old, although only half days these next few weeks; she has certainly needed the start. So far she has loved every moment. I’ve been a little apprehensive, I now have to share her with teachers. Although I’ve already children at school, this time is so different. Co-parenting the older two and having only half the school runs it is hard to build up relationships with other parents. I’m not expecting to meet lots of new parents; I am shy when it comes to face to face meetings. But it will be lovely to feel part of the school run mum life.

cheerful little girl

Mini has rarely had any time away from us, at least not on a daily basis; she’s never been on days out with other people without us (apart from when a friend took her off our hands when I had Hyperemesis), so for this big (for Mama) leap to happen now, it has made me feel quite emotional this week.

I have been really struggling this week; for which I am so grateful to have such a wonderfully supportive husband. You’ve only had to say boo to me and I would have cried. I’m not really going to talk mental health here. This is my “happy” post.

Carnival

Carnival season has begun, we had our first last night (9th September). They looked absolutely amazing. They have worked really hard too. Couldn’t be more prouder of my biggest and my boy. Mini, I think has seen what she is missing out on. This time last year she was a majorette; she had competed at 3 years old, she did the carnivals last year; but due to her lack of sleeping, she gets really grumpy at certain times of the day, which at the time included competition days; she would refuse to go onto the arena, so enough was enough. I felt embarrassed (although her trainer said there was no need to), she was becoming a little hard work; we decided to pull her out, at least until she begins to sleep at night, and settle into school.

majorettes

Blogging

This week in my blogging world; I’ve been a little overwhelmed by the switch; it stressed me out somewhat, which in term a great piece of writer’s block hit me around the head, I lost momentum. However due to the Duchess announcing her third pregnancy – her third Hyperemesis pregnancy it lead me to reviving old post, working with the charity PSS, and bagging myself an interview with a journalist for a magazine. Raising awareness for Hyperemesis is so important, and really should not be left to only when someone of importance gets it. It isn’t how it works. Normal, everyday people suffer, we suffer terribly.

Then there is the Butterfly Awards voting links have now gone live. It is such an honour to be part of such an amazing event, but very scary. I question myself a lot about whether I am really good enough. I have a lot of self doubt. But really I shouldn’t.

Something I definitely need to work on.

Hope your week has been good.

 

The Red Head Diaries

xx