London. Sad & scared.

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I’m washing up, there are a lot of sirens tonight…….At 10.57 my sister in law text me to ask where I was. I said I was home, why? They had been watching the news at home and London Bridge had been closed off. I turned on BBC News…..

I feel sick, I feel sad and scared. I’ve never felt this way about previous terror attacks. I mean of course, I’ve felt sad and worried but I cried. I cried for London like I did for Manchester. I didn’t know anyone directly affected by the Manchester attack, but I cried. I don’t know if it hurt more because it was mainly kids and young people that were at the concert, and now I have my own kid and that, although we don’t go to concerts yet, we do sometimes make our way to places that could be considered more of a target than others. Jeez, a coupla weeks before my friend and her daughter were at an Ed Sheeran concert back home…..it could have been them.

My hubby is currently at work at Waterloo, a mainline station. With Eurostar access. A tube station. Sitting on Southbank. In the shadow of the London Eye. Tourist central. Add to that it’s almost on top of St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Houses of Parliament, shur you might as well paint a big fat red X on the area! I’ve rang him, he’s ok. The station is getting busier as people are coming in trying to find alternative routes home. He says there are police all over the place and they have been told to be extra vigilant. I’d like him to be at home now, vigilant means feck all when a loon with a death wish wants to take out every average Joe around him. At this moment I don’t want him at Waterloo, I don’t want us in London, I want to go home.

My little boy is tucked up in bed, I’ve just gone up to check on him and give him kisses ‘cos I can. He woke up and asked me if it was time to get up. No baby, it’s not. Little does he know that I’ve just watched families with little kids like him be evacuated from their homes, for fear of harm or death. Why should he know, he’s only four. Why in this modern, multicultural, first world, ” super-power” (although I think that too may fade in the coming months….aah politics!) of a country should he have to live in fear? (Yes…before anybody goes on a rant about the terror in the rest of the world, I fully agree no person anywhere should have to live in fear). I look at his beautiful little face now and hope it stays beautiful and happy despite the bad things happening. I hope the world doesn’t harden it and make it cruel.

We have a 1st birthday to go to tomorrow, a day to celebrate and enjoy a little boy growing up. Of course there will be lots of other little boys and girls there, and lots of parents and minders anticipating their futures, but the world is becoming a scary place, England….London is a scary place. Terror threats and terrorist acts are becoming more frequent. Children as young as 13 carry weapons and some use them! I fear for my son’s future. This may seem harsh but at moments like this I sometimes question whether it would be fair to bring another child into a world like this. This is my thought and it shocks even myself.

What is happening? Where is the madness coming from? Why is there so much hate? Who in the name of any God, thinks it’s a good idea or thinks their God promotes going out and destroying lives? The lives of people you don’t even know!! Why was our terror threat level dropped ? Would it have made any difference? The worse thing about this is, when it has all been investigated, we’ll be told that at least one if not all of these attackers were “known” to the police or are on “The Watch List”.  I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that we have to wait for these people to do the damage before any action can be taken. Clearly if they are being watched it’s for a reason! There is already evidence against them, surely? I don’t want to live in fear and I don’t want to get used to living with the threat of terror. I feel like maybe we’re trying to be to p.c about everything and that the police aren’t given the power they need to carry out the work that needs to be done due to this. This country, this city is broken. Ugh! I dunno lads…I’m not saying instill some kinda marshall law but jeezus, the paper shuffling and the watching needs to stop!

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With that little rant over, I’ll leave you with the thoughts of many people tonight, a thought I’ll be trying to instill into my boy, that despite the 2 or 4 attackers trying to bring us down tonight, for every one of them there are 10 or 20 people willing or trying to help.

I hope you and yours are safe tonight,

Love Donna x

Interview with a Monkey

I was reading a magazine today and the little Mandingo wanted to know what it was about. I told him I was reading an interview, what’s that says he. It’s when people ask you lots of questions and they answer them. Oh.

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So for the craic, I decided to ask him the questions from the mag, in Small Man speak of course to see what he’d say…

Who is your best friend? Suha and Albi. Normally it’s me (sob) or his cousin Millie. Apparently Suha is also his girlfriend!

What’s your biggest regret (thing you’re sad that you did or didn’t do)? A little poo. This is probably very true as this kid delights in doing old man style poos, there’s even requests for head squeezing.

What’s your biggest extravagance (thing that you love to do)? A bubble bath. Ahh the simple things, sadly we only have a shower so his baths consist of sitting in a container that fits the bottom of our shower but he’s nearly outgrown.

What’s your type (what kind of people do you like)? Sweet contests and happy people.

When did you last lose your temper (when were you last angry)? When Z slaps me and doesn’t say sorry and Daddy bugs me. What did you do to Z? Noffink! Hmm…. Totally get the Daddy bugging him thing though.

Who owes you an apology (who needs to say sorry to you)? A, ‘cos she keeps standing on me. (I need to keep an eye on these little women folk maybe…..)

Who or what would go in your room 101 (in the bin)? The skins of the orange. We had just peeled an orange.

Tell us a secret…. Monkeys poo! Well everybody knows that, tell me another? Bulldozers!

What’s the biggest misconception about you (what do people not know about you)? The fighting. Eh? What do you mean? I’m a superhero. Ohh ok cool, are you good or bad? I’m a good superhero.

Who do you miss most? Mammy. (Aaaaaaah) . Why? Because I love you. (Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!)

What is your biggest life lesson so far (what have you learned so far in life)? The seagulls flying at the beach. What does that mean? The sea! (Maybe it has some in depth meaning?)

Ok sausage, thanks so much for your interview today. You’re welcome Mammy.

Haa the simpleness of a child’s answers eh? It was quite amusing, I might do it every so often just to see how much they change. Try it with your littles and let me know how it goes.

Have fun….

Donna xx

Happiness in a flower

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I meant to write this post a month ago, when I seen those green shoots starting to poke their heads out, sniffing at Spring, so I better write it now before it’s not relevant. I think daffodils have to be one of my most favourite flowers. They remind me of happy things. I mean look at them, on a cold, dreary wintery morning, they are a little flash of sunshine, a little beacon of light on a dull day. I promise you when I see them, even when I’m in a foul mood, they give me that little ping of “YAY!”, even if it is only for a second (on a particular rotten day like) and I always think of Wordsworth’s poem…

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

They remind me of my Grandad, who had them and tulips all over his gardens. Even when the 14520513_10208717576710970_5972241006798313006_ngarden was reduced back to become part of the cow’s field, the daffodils left behind still shot up, hardy and strong every year. I loved my Grandad to bits and pieces, I loved his gardens and so I love daffodils for reminding me of him.

Most of all though, daffodils remind me of my first hard working, big girl job. I’m talking money in an envelope, into your hand at the end of the week….woooo!! I remember seeing a flyer pinned up in Killeen’s shop, daffodil pickers wanted! Daffodil pickers! Bejayzus! Just up the road in Croghan too, over the Easter holiday. I thought, how hard can it be… I’ll mention it to Ash.

God it was two or three of the best weeks I’ve ever had. We thought we were the bees knees…proper working folk at 14/15.  Every night I’d get me packed lunch ready and make sure I had a supply of plastic bags for the day my wellies finally gave in and got a leak. Every morning I’d be up at 7, like a real manin (pronounced man-een…I can’t for the life of me figure out where the i with a fada is on this yoke!) horse the porridge down and cycle up to Ash’s to meet her. We’d cycle up to Croghan and down behind the football pitch where fields of daffodils were waiting to be picked. Frank was our “boss”, a fairly gruff dude from Daingean, he gave us a run through of how to pick a daff. Em yep, you can’t just pick any old daffodil, there were requirements to be met…these babies were shipping to Engerlish supermarkets for selling ya know!

We’d spend probably from 8 til 11, when you’d have a tea break, if you were lucky enough to have a flask, bent over lonnnnng drills, seeking out unbloomed daffodils, at least 25cms long, to pick and bunch into groups of 10 and then stack in your crate. We got 25p a bunch…£25 a crate. This may well have been some kinda slave-like type labour and in fairness conditions were fairly poor compared to the luxuries pickers have today….wellies, wetsuits and sleeeeves provided!!! On site toilets!!! Pfffft!! If you were a girl picker you’d to take your friend with you to find decent bush to hide behind and watch out for the lads perving, and God help any of us if we needed a poo!! Still we had great craic. At about 12.30, we’d all quit for lunch and head to the beaten down old hayshed for a bitta warmth. I say warmth, but generally it would still freeze the balls off a brass monkey. Some laugh then lads, sandwich swapping, how many crates have you filled, who’s shifting who, where’s them two snuck off to, truth or dare and the odd ruck. Frank might even crack a smile during this time.

It was hard work, mostly being bent over all day and with wearing gloves being a hinderance,  you tended not to wear them and ended up with numb, battered fingers due to the cold and thorns or nettles (depending on how near the hedges your drills were). That, was the hardest work, ‘cos you get good at picking the ‘dils. Ash, myself, Darren and Mike got so good, Frank selected us for picking elsewhere…..ooooooh! We’d meet in Rhode at 6.30 and a bus would pick us up and take us off to the far side of Rathangan for the day. One day, a lorry picked us up! Yep, a lorry! I’m talking a 7.5 tonne tarp covered lorry. The four of us were loaded up into the back of it, no windows and only crates to slide around on…no seatbelts here lads…and driven off to God knows where (turned out to be the far side of Tullamore). Frank and his son would already be there, so we’d stick together and every evening, he’d drive us back to Rhode, with a pitstop at his house for tea, cakebread and a fry up. Those were my favourite nights.

It’s funny isn’t it….some mornings not knowing where you were heading, travelling round in the back of a lorry, not getting home til between 5 and 8 in the evening….all this without a seatbelt or a phone! (It’s also crazy thinking on our parents parts too…like trust us to do all this but try and get them to let you to the bouncered up Harriers at the weekend…forgit aboud it!) Our parents never knew sometimes, where we were or who we were with,yet trusted we’d stay alive and safe for a day. Seems nuts now. I wonder will my Monkey ever experience anything like this? Sadly the world is a crazier place now, I think.

What’s your favourite flower and why?

God, Spring would be woeful sad without daffodils.

Donna xx

The thoughts of a “wunner”

It’s 6.45 and my alarm is going off. I didn’t go to bed ’til 1.20. I press snooze. It’s 6.50, the alarm’s going again. I press snooze. Ugh! Why am I doing this? Do I really need to get up? It’s 6.55, my alarm is going off, I press dismiss and reluctantly drag my ass outta the leaba (bed for anybody not from the Motherland).

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I’m halfway through week 3 of a Couch to 5K app, I’ve done the hard part this morning…I got outta bed. I feel a bit like Rocky now. I’m up, I’m at ’em. I’ve done me stretching…let’s do this sh*t!

So this week, it’s a 28 minute workout, alternating between jogging for 90secs, brisk walking for 90secs, jogging for 3mins and brisk walking for 3mins, with a 5min warm up and cool down either end….

20170322_000447First 90secs: Wooo! Yeah! Feeling pretty fly for a white girl! Eh? What’s that? Stop running already? Sure I am Usain Bolt lads.

Walkie, walkie…walking briskly…of course.

First 3mins: Phew…starts ok. Ugh..is 3 minutes really this long? Ok! Fine! Fine! Just get on with it Don. Pant! Pant! Hmm…what will I have for breakfast? God, normally I wouldn’t even be up now. Pffft! Puff! Pant! Wheez! Jeezus! Have I any clothes ironed for work? Oh Lord, has Monkey a clean jumper? Why has this one not said stop running yet?

Ding!! AT LASSST! Walk time. Oh my God! Really, why am I doing this? Pant! Pant! Wheez! Jayzus will I ever catch me breath? Like really the only reason I have to run is if I’m chased by a machete wielding clown, or if anybody is crazy enough to hurt my baby…then you better run like Satan and his hounds are on your tail! This is unreal. How am I so unfit? Oh Lord, I still have another 3min run to do! FML!

Second 90secs: Bah! Here I go again…ah this one’s only 90secs…piece a p**s. Phew, still a bit panty after that last one though. Power through Don, power through.20170322_000513

Is that it? That seemed short….the monster is looming though. I still haven’t fully recovered from the last three min sesh. I’d safely say I look like a plum tomato, masquerading as lithe leek. The panting and puffing though ….agh God…embarrassing!

Second 3mins: FML!!! I can’t do this! I CAN’T DO THIS! I’m puffing like an extremely old, on it’s way out steam engine, on the verge of combusting. Oh my God, people can probably hear me coming before they see me, this is woeful. No Don, cop on, everybody starts somewhere, plus they don’t know you haven’t already been running a straight 6miles. True, true, I got this. Oh my God, I don’t got this, my heart is going to leap outta me chest any time now, just like the Alien embryo burst through John Hurt’s chest. Like seriously, I’ve been running for a lot longer than 3mins now. Nope! Can’t do it, I’m quitting, if I can’t do this I’ll never get through week 4. Do or do not, there is no try…thanks Yoda. Ok I can do it. I can’t back out now anyway, I’ve posted on social media. FFS! Why did I do that? Lord divine Jayzus, is it STILL NOT 3 F**KING MINUTES!!! G’wan Don, stick with it, at least you’re at it, it get’s easier. Perseverance is key.You’re right Glenn, ok. I got this.Oh my God, I think I’m gonna puke. I think I may stop. Never had you down as a quitter Don? If you want it bad enough you’ll do it. True say Steve, I’m not quitting. 20170322_000533

BEEEEEP! OH THANK THE F**KING GODS!!! Brisk walk, brisk walk…wheeeze….wheeezey…pant pant puff! Keep up the walking Don, don’t collapse just yet. I did it, I did it! Ugh, my back is wet…ooooh…musta done something right. Ugh…sweaty bum! Not sexy! Who cares….I made it, it’s over! I’m getting better…wooooo….watch out Bolt!

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This is the app I use. There are loads you can follow though.

Just so ye know, this is not a sponsored post guys. Let me know if ye decide to give a Couch to 5K a go and how ye get on. You can follow my progress over on Instagram @TotallyDonnaMarie1

xx

Gold trousers do not a mid-life crisis make!

For a second my sparkle dimmed, it was like I’d been kicked in the stomach. Somebody had just tried to steal my sunshine, my glittery-ness, my sparkle. Yeah MY SPARKLE!!

Worse thing is, the thief was an unexpected source and so, disappointing. Maybe said thief was having a bad day, but that’s not my beef, don’t take it out on me.

So the sparkle stealing began with a pair of gorgeous gold trousers that I’d seen on the Collectif website. Miss Deadly Red is modelling them and she looks HAWT!!! Now I’m not a total eegit and will tell you, I will by no means look as hot but they’re gold and shiny and I love them, but I don’t buy them. I do however mention them to others as I’d seen another pair in H&M that were completely covered in gold sequins. Sparkle overload lads!170306113743_wm Anywho…a week or so passes and I walk in on a conversation about my love of these gold trousers and Sparkle Stealer or SS for short pipes up, “Gold trousers?And what’s with all these pouty pout photos on Facebook? Are you having a midlife crisis?” Defence was offered on my behalf with “oh it’s for her make up that she does”. Taken aback by the suggestion of a midlife crisis, I said no, I’m just doing what I wanna do, I haven’t murdered anyone. (Well not yet!) Then, THEN!!!! SS asks how old I am!! By jayzus!! I’m tryna be cool like, cos I was getting more annoyed with conversation and what the hell my clothes or pouting had to do with SS. I didn’t realise pursed lips and the possible sight of me in gold trousers was so upsetting. I proudly tell SS I’ll be thirty four in two weeks and ask why this is relevant, you only live once and I’m not hurting anyone.Now you know in your mind you can see yourself f**king s**t up…..SS says “yeah you might do, but it’s acceptable at sixteen not at thirty four.” “Well I like what I like and I don’t particularly care whether anyone else does”.

SS isn’t even on Facebook lads! How is so much known about my pouty pics? Well nosing through somebody else’s profile of course. Hmm and if reconnaissance was done properly, I’m sure they’d notice in most of my pics, I look like a haggard little boy, so by God when I do slick on the lippy and straighten me wig, I’ll post it on every type of social media I have access to! Ironically SS is a fair bit older than me, yet has one or two hobbies which might be deemed as “childish” themselves. I swear to God, the cheek!170307121209_wm

Anyway, as I said, my Sparkly tiara nearly fell off me head and this 10 minute conversation stuck with me. I don’t know why, as most times unless it’s a really brutal, cutting remark, it will have faded from my mind fairly quick. Maybe it was the unexpected source of the dig? So I turned to the person who’s known me all my life…The Mammy. I asked her what sort of  a person I was growing up, was I always a little bit “woooo”? (I’m not super eccentric or anything, but I do love dressing up, whether it’s for a laugh or a glam night out and I try to make it a little different or mine I suppose). Ma said “you’re just the same, funny, friendly and kind. It’s just your nature, you’re like me in a way but more out going. Why?”. I wanted to find out if I’d changed drastically, I wanted to find out if I WAS having a “mid-life crisis”. I mean it can’t be a mid-life crisis if I’ve always been the same eh? So I told her about SS. I told Ma, that for a brief moment SS made me worry if people see me as an idiot but funnily enough, at the same time I didn’t care. (If I like what I’m wearing and it raises a smile from you, whether you’re smiling with me or laughing at me, I’m ok with that…who else made you smile today?) These are my Mother’s wise words;

“Jealousy is a bad thing Donna, and that’s what’s wrong. You’re doing what you want to do and they’re* afraid. They* live boring lives and are stuck in their* ways. You could slap it to them* over their “childish” hobbies but that’s not you. You’re still young, wear what you want and you always look brilliant. I hope you never change.”

With that, I righted my crown and scolded myself for doubting my confidence.

I bought the gold trousers.

Ain’t nobody stealing my sparkle!

Love Donna

PS I always say, that somebody who can’t say anything nice to you especially about how you look, and when you clearly look great, is a jealous creature. Jealous people only try to cut you down.

PPS You too can own a pair of said gold trousers annnnd they’re on sale!! WOOOO!!

 

2016 Book Challenge reviews

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One of my New Year’s achievables for 2016 was to read more.Reading is a brilliant pastime, a form of escapism from the norm, a way to learn and educate. I can’t stress how important I think reading is…your vocabulary expands, your spelling improves, it’s suitable for any age….shur it’s great! Get on it now! Anyway, as you may have guessed, I love reading, but since having Small Monkey, I definitely read less, so to get on the right road I found one of those reading challenge lists and went about completing it.  As you can see the list has a variety of different headers to complete, which meant I actually strayed out of my normal fantasy type comfort zone and picked up books I wouldn’t normally. So if you want to expand your horizons book-wise, take up a reading challenge. Some of the books I read, covered one or two of the topics, and some topics I ended up reading a few books from the suggested header.  There was a few I never actually covered all so I’ll try again this year. If you’ve had a look at my Facebook page you may already have read these reviews but shur just in case you’re not….

Books that were published this year;

14324174_1784887261724450_839442903035615910_oThe UnMumsy Mum is brilliant…and funny…and true to life. If any of you follow her blog, you’ll understand. This book covers the joys of parenting, I mean the sarcastic joys and the real joys.It made me laugh and it made me cry a little too, and even though I’ve eventually come to the realisation that there is no perfect way to be a parent, it was great to have written confirmation. I was going to pass this on to somebody else but decided to keep in just in case The Monkey completely wrecks my head one day, and I need some sort of reassurance that it’s not just me…I’ll reach for this book and I’ll feel better.

13640794_1760308004182376_6867007835768446105_oGotta admit, the title of this book, Letters to my Fanny, suggested to me that it would be a hilarious account of Cherry’s different male conquests (sorry Cherry!) so don’t let the title scare you away from it or mislead you either. It’s a nice book and easy to read with some “LOL” sections.Cherry writes as if she was sitting there talking to you, which I kinda like. She covers ALL sorts of topics in this book in their unedited versions but basically she’s trying to tell us women to be happy in the skin you’re in, love yourself and have fun. I gotta admit I did find my interest waning a little towards the end but I persevered and overall I liked it.

12615503_1706284456251398_3804505197703622923_oAt the time of buying this, In a Dark Dark Wood, was one of the closest books published to 2016 that drew my interest, partly because it was recommended by Reese Witherspoon 😂 and I quite like her.A group of friends, two of whom haven’t seen each other since they were 16, get together for a hen do…one that ends in murder. This book is a good twisty, “who dunnit” read that I really wanted to get to the back of quickly, my only niggle with it was the weak reason the two girls fell out in the first place…like Nora reeeally holds a grudge!

 

Books you can read in a day;

12671643_1706284416251402_2448178747103444143_oNight is the real account of life as a Nazi prisoner, not only was Wiesel a prisoner, but an innocent child. This is his short but heart breaking account of his time in the death camps of Birkenau and Auschwitz. It’s so hard to believe people can afflict so much suffering on each other and even harder to believe the strength of the people who survived it.

 

 

 

A book you’ve been meaning to read;

15156888_1816194485260394_6151292377575875042_oI’ve been meaning to read The Colour Purple for aaaages. It’s one of them books you’ve just heard about. It’s written in a series of letters from Celie to God and then to her sister Nettie, and from Nettie to Celie, which makes it easy to read.

Celie is raped by her “father” as a young girl and has two children by him. Her kids are taken from her and eventually her dear sister is torn from her too. She is married off to a man she doesn’t love, who also abuses and belittles her, strangely enough she learns love and self expression from the flamboyant Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress. The pair forge a bond and become a force to be reckoned with.There’s so much suffering in this book, from rape to female mutilation but there’s also hope, courage and love and one thing that shone through to me, was what strong women Celie, Shug, Sofia and Nettie are. Celie, being the main character has gone through so much and I’m so glad she triumphed in the end.

It’s a great book, so if you haven’t read it you should!

Books that were recommended;

12778747_1706284359584741_4260572613144978734_oStephen King is one of my fav authors so he was bound to show up in my reading challenge. The sales assistant in WHS recommended this one. I’d picked up Mr Mercedes and put it down twice, unsure about this particular King, but I’m glad she convinced me to buy it. It was different to the other Stephen King’s I’ve read in that “shock, horror” there’s no supernatural elements in it. The gripping, opening scene tricked me into thinking otherwise, with the brutal mowing down of 8 people. We then meet the suicidal, retired detective Bill Hodges and psycho killer, Brady Hartsfield and the race against time starts again. Despite spending half the time waiting for something “supernatural” to pop up, nothing did but I still really enjoyed this gripping read from good auld Stephen.

I’ve since found out there are actually two follow ups to this which I can’t wait to get my hands on… Finders Keepers and End of Watch…I really need to know how this all pans out.

15195892_1816194451927064_3276153822877113430_oIf you read reviews on Sleeping Around and Breaking the Rules, you’ll probably notice there’s a lot of comparisons between Catherine Townsend and Carrie Bradshaw which is exactly what I thought when I read them. I still enjoyed the books though and I think if you’re a SATC fan you’ll enjoy them too.

Catherine or Cat, is a real life Carrie though which although I love reading about her “adventures” I still think of the end game. Is she ever going to find the one? She has wrote openly, not hiding her name or who she is…will it be to much for some men? It shouldn’t be, I think she’s actually quite brave being so open about her life. I did, though kinda feel like maybe some of the stuff was done in the name of journalism. Still I won’t complain, I like a bit of frankness and filth and Cat delivers.

Both books are nice and easy to read, what I like to call light or holiday reading and certainly, if you liked the likes of Girl with a One Track mind then pick these up.

14379893_1784881435058366_2295362779125063639_oThe Life Changing Magic of Not giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. I LOVVE this book! It may actually be my most favourite read this year! I borrowed it on a recommendation, as I never read “self-help” type books and thought I’m not wasting my money buying one. I always feel like they’re gonna bore me but this was great. It really helps you prioritise the more important things in life. The things or people you want to put more effort into but don’t as you spend more time with less worthy people or minor things in your life.I think once you turn 18 the government should automatically send you a copy. I must have screen shotted 90% of it and I’m definitley buying my own copy, just to go back over in case I start giving to many f**ks.

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The good news is Sarah has now published another book, which is sitting in my Amazon basket as we speak…“Get Your Sh*t Together; how to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to and start doing what you want to do”…yep it’s a bloody long title!

A book you should have read at school;

13147538_1733583043521539_1250037527377895125_oThe Catcher in the Rye‘s main character, Holden Caulfield is a troubled teenager, troubled in that he’s never gotten over the death of his little brother. He seems sad, depressed and convinced that adults just lie most of the time, throw into the mix that he’s caught in that “not a kid but not an adult yet” stage of life, I felt like he was a little bit suicidal and he sometimes annoyed me. I guess though that’s how teenagers are though!? (Annoying, that is.) I feel guilty saying this isn’t a book I will read again, as it’s raved about as being a brilliant “coming of age” type of book but I found it tedious ’til about the last chapter. It took me aaaages to read it. I didn’t hate the book, but the style of writing and content just didn’t excite me.

Books chosen by a spouse, sibling or child;

15235651_1816194508593725_4746642443181276254_oSo I took Small Man up to our bookcase and said pick a book for Mammy to read. Well of course he picked Incy Wincy and as it’s small I asked him to pick another…that’s where Party Cakes came from. 😀

I actually like this version of Incy Wincy…it’s not just about poor auld Incy being washed down the spout…his story doesn’t end there…Incy found a way to overcome his nemesis. I won’t tell you how it goes but this book is full of drama and fun :D…well done Kate Toms.

I gotta say I don’t think I’ll actually use this cookbook. I’m sure there are much quicker and easier ways to make the cakes inside, but there are some really nice designs inside. Maybe it’s just ‘cos I’m not a natural baker, but everything seemed lonnng and technical.

A book published before I was born and was banned at some point;
13116478_1737436259802884_4222428340206150186_oFanny Hill was written 250 years ago and as you can imagine from the title did not go down to well. It was so scandalous for the time, it was also previously banned! Frances Hill is 15 when she heads to London for a better life and ends up working in a brothel. Its almost an 18th century Pretty Woman story line but with more explicit detail, for that era. It can be a little tedious to read at times as it’s written in “ye olde English” and with verrrrry descriptive, lonnng sentences. Cleland was some man to make up different names for certain body parts which I found quite amusing. It’s an interesting insight into what was considered shocking 250 years ago, I mean the book does cover everything including a gay sex scene, but I think if a Victorian was to read the same type of book written now some of our to the point and explicit details would wear out the smelling salt supplies!!
Other banned books: The Colour Purple, Night and The Catcher in the Rye.
A book that intimidates me;
15167689_1816194465260396_5539415777576712021_oI didn’t get to fully read Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel list and I’m kinda glad. There were so many AMAZING places in there, it made me scared that I won’t get to see them all and annoyed that I haven’t put enough effort into trying either. Saying that there are about 30-40 places here in the UK and Ireland that I can certainly get going on (Cliffs of Moher & Newgrange ticked off already lads!).

 

So that’s it, please do share your thoughts on these books or if you have any suggestions for future reads let me know. In the meantime, I’m still trying to decide which book challenge to follow for 2017…stick with short or go long? Hmmm…..
Donna xx

 

 

 

 

Last year’s resolutions..success or failure?

 

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“Here we are again, we’re on the road again”….aggh…*sigh*.

Yep. Hiya 2017, you shot round fairly quick, so quick in fact I didn’t get to complete my “achievables” from last year. God there’s just not enough time in a year! So how did I fare? Well let’s have a look…..

The old weightloss…well on that I actually did ok. I got down to my lowest weight so far on my Slimming World journey annnnd I can wear a size 12 in quite a few shops now which is what my target was on starting the plan. Most people have a weight in mind that they want to get down to, mine was a clothing size…a size 12 everywhere. I gotta say though the way sizes vary from shop to shop and depending on the cut, I no longer feel crap if I have to buy a bigger size now. So not only am I lighter and smaller, I’m wise to the ways of you bloody shops and your weird sizing! Just after New Year, I attacked my wardrobe again and was actually ruthless, I got rid of pretty much everything that is now two sizes too big. I was still wearing them ‘cos they fitted but actually they didn’t they were shapeless and baggy and weren’t doing me any favours. Plus I never intend on being that size again so ta, ta for ever bigger sizes (ok I might have kept one or two pretty dresses which I love for if and when I’m preggers again…make savings where you can peeps!) Anyway on that note, if you have lost weight by whatever means (safely, hopefully) but you can’t see the difference yourself, go and try on the clothes you’re still wearing and I bet you’ll see the difference then.

Exercise….hmm…I feel like I did pretty well on this up until October, then it started getting darker and colder. During the summer, I’d started dragging my ass outta bed at 6.30 for a pre-work “wun” (walking/running…interval training I suppose). I’m not ready to commit to the word running just yet. plus there’s still an awful lot of huffing and puffing and general feeling like my heart is gonna burst out of my chest. If I didn’t get going in the morning I’d go walking with Suzanne in the evenings….jayzus lads, I even got outta me bed whilst AT HOME!! At 6.30 IN THE MORNING!! I think the only time I’ve ever been up at that time of the morning at home was on a walk home from the pub…or Ash’s house…with Karl Green! People were going to mass!!!! The SCANDAL!!!!! At the moment though, I’m still struggling to get motivated again…but it’s ok…January Blues an’ all that. 🙂

Money!!! Fecking money!! It can’t buy you happiness but it can certainly help you on your way. Well, this my friends, was a complete failure! I really codded meself into thinking I could save with all that was going on last year. The upside to not having saved is, I spent it on having a really good time! So I’m winning right? Hubby and myself have set the much easier target of saving ALL of our £2 coins…far more doable.

Patience!!! HAAA! Forgit aboud iiiit (say that like Hugh Grant in Mickey Blue Eyes!) I can’t even elaborate…I think I’ve actually gotten worse!

I have learned this year, that I am not now, nor will I ever be a knitter. I tried the sky blanket, but I got bored knitting tiny squares in the same grey (poo British weather) so never got past day 21. As much as I want to yarn bomb Calvin’s front door, it ain’t gonna happen. Fear not though, there was a winner in this too…I sent my Ma all the wool I’d bought, she was delira!

Happily, the “piles” (not the bum ones, thank you) have gotten better. My bedroom is normally clutter free, well the top of my dresser still suffers and it still has no handles BUT the only piles currently in my room are either en route to the attic or charity shop Thursday. I finally got my writing bureau finished and I’m very proud of it, along with a couple of other little bits of furniture I revamped. At the minute I’m in the process of “McQueening” Small Man’s room.

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The Reading Challenge was a success too. I’m glad I took part in it, not that there was a prize or anything but it made me take time out to do something I love again. I think I ticked off each heading on the list. I reviewed all of the books I read over on my FB page but I might just pop it on a separate post here…ya know just in case you’re not on FB and feel like you’re missing out. Hee hee! I’m going to do it again this year so if you have any book suggestions please let me know and if you’re doing let me know too.

I can’t encourage reading enough, it’s such a great pass time, it can take you anywhere, you can be anyone. It can broaden your horizons, improve your spelling and language skills and you can do it anywhere. I read to Small Man every night, woe betide me if I don’t. So go, go get your books out and discover something new.

My Blog..my little bloggy woggy! I so wanted it to be better, for more people to know about it and to read it. I wanted more interaction too, I guess though, that just helps me know that it’s being read and enjoyed…or not enjoyed but how do I know? Thing is though I still don’t know how to promote it, or I’m not brave enough.I still write once a month for Family Friendly Hq, which I find easier to say. Weird eh!? I wanted to write more and I wanted to post prettier pictures like LilliWhiteRose and Kate Kelly, but writing a blog is not as easy as one might think. It’s time consuming to say the least but I’m not giving up and there’s still time. So if you read me, and you like what you read, do share it about and don’t be afraid to say hi now and then.

So what’s the plan for this year? Well as I said to Hubby…LIVE! I intend to do more of the things I want to do and stop procrastinating. Be they large or small, I will achieve…within my means….oooh oooh…I’m going to Paris!!! Wooo!!!! And, annnnd Electric Picnic (pleeeease be good…now if Lana Del Rey was to perform again shur I’d be made up!) I’ll continue my quest to be the “size 12 that fits everywhere” and I’ll get bloody handles for that dressing table!!

Happy New Year People, may it be all you want it to be.

Love Donna xx

P.S When I say more of what I want to do, this will include my menfolk should they wish or should it be suitable for them to take part.

P.P.S It’s 9 days into January and I am totally broke! 😀