Monday, 27 August 2012

Yoda goes home

Following the Dog Show a few weeks ago another big happening occurred in the evening. My bezzie mate finally told her children the big secret she (and others) had been keeping from them. They were getting a PUPPY! Not just any puppy but the super cutey Yoda, the long haired chihuahua that they had got to know and love through Nat and who they had helped show in the Junior Handling at the Dog Show.

It was an exciting night although I think us adults were a bit cruel. Nat had always told the kids they would get to say goodbye to Yoda when he finally went to his new home. So Nat and her Mum Sandy brought Yoda and his Mum Maisie round to my friend's house so that the kids could say goodbye to Yoda. This made them very sad and they spent most of the time cuddling him and stroking him. Nat and Sandy were staying for dinner to "give the kids time with Yoda"! Perhaps we were a little bit cruel keeping up this pretence but it did make the surprise even better!

After dinner we all sat together in the front room taking turns to have a "last" cuddle with Yoda. Then a while later Nat made the announcement he was going to his  new home. The kids became even sadder and missed the crucial moment when Nat picked up Yoda and handed him to my friend saying "here you go Yoda this is your new Mummy". Instead they thought she was having one last hug before he went. Despite all us grinning adults starring at them they still didn't click and I had to point out that I didn't think they had got it or realised what had just happened. After a little bit more explanation and "Yoda IS in his new home already" they finally realised and their sad little faces changed into huge glowing smiles - although still slightly shocked! It was brilliant!

Despite being reassured the kids still didn't believe Yoda was really theirs and kept asking was it a dream or was Nat going to take him home when they went to bed because it was just a joke! Bless! It was a very joyful evening. Seeing the smiles on everyone's faces and pleasure at the reveal working better than any of us could have hoped was just fantastic. After the kids went to bed my friend finally got to have a proper cuddle with her new arrival as after all Yoda is technically her dog now. After a bit more chatter and another cup of tea it was time for us to leave and leave her with her new puppy for his first night in his new house. It was very much like leaving someone on their own for the first time with a new baby! LOL!

It had been a brilliant day and evening and the secret was finally out! I am sure Yoda will settle in quickly to his new home, especially as all the excitement from going to his new family and his first night in his new house was taken all in his stride, bless him!

Welcome to your new home Yoda!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Fun Dog Show at the Polegrove for "Jack's Dream"

August really is turning out to be a massively busy month.
A few days after my party a new friend of mine (Nat) had organised a Fun Dog Show at our local recreation ground - The Polegrove. The event was being held to raise money for a local charity, "Jack's Dream". So me and my bezzie mate and her kids went along to support Nat and the charity. Part of the event included a dog show with such classes as Cutest Puppy, Handsome Dog, Prettiest Bitch, Fancy Dress and Junior Handling. Nat shows her own dogs and regularly goes to local dog shows (and often wins) with her lovely long haired chihuahua Maisie and Chihuahua-Pug cross Pippi, so she is very experienced. Her dog Maisie also had puppies this year and two of those were still with Nat - the fabulous Shelby and the super cute Yoda.

The Fabulous Shelby
As Nat was the judge she couldn't enter her own dogs in the show encase anyone accused her of being biased. So instead my bezzie mate's kids and Nat's younger sister showed Maisie and the Pups in the Junior Handling class. This was allowed even though Nat was judging as the class looks at the kid handling the dog not the dog itself. The kids did very well and Nat praised them highly for their technique and focus. Sadly they didn't get placed in the top 6 but they did receive a rosette for taking part which said "Well Done" on it and each dog was given a packet of healthy treats. The kids enjoyed themselves and have already asked Nat if they could help show the dogs at future dog shows. I think its a great thing for kids to be involved with and the dogs seem to enjoy themselves too!

It was a really enjoyable day, the sun shone, it was lovely and warm and I spent most of the day dog spotting usually followed by "oos" and "awwws!". In fact as I commented on the day you could have easily completed an I Spy book of Dogs just from that show. There were so many different breeds and some gorgeous puppies. As we were sat under the judges gazebo where the sign up stall was for each class it also meant I got to get my fair share of cuddles and fuss from the dogs entering the classes!

The Super Cutey Yoda
Later in the afternoon we were also joined by another friend Cheryl and her kids as well as the lovely Archie - a shitzu and westie cross they were looking after. The kids were taken to the new adventure playground to burn off some energy while us adults sensibly sat in the shade with Archie and had a chat.

Archie is a lovely dog and it was nice to be around a Westie again. It reminded me of my lovely Dougal and how scatty and daft that breed can be!

The Dog Show was great fun although it did make me wish I still had a dog and reminded me how much I miss having a dog. However as I live in a flat its not really the ideal home for a dog plus I can barely afford to cover my own bills let alone the cost of a dog. However one day when I am living in a nice house and I have a good job I will get another Westie!

The Fun Day and Dog Show raised over £1,200 for "Jack's Dream" charity which was fantastic. Well done to everyone who worked so hard to put on the event.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

My 30th Birthday Party Barbecue

The last two weeks have been extremely busy so I haven't really had a chance to update my blog and there has been a lot going on. First off was my birthday. I had a brilliant day with my Dad. We went shopping in all my favourite shops, I got a super cool new smartphone as my present from my Dad and we had lunch and dinner out. It was a very long tiring day but also a lot of fun and great to spend it with my Dad.

Then a few days later on the Sunday (12th) my bezzie mate threw me a 30th birthday party and barbecue at her new house. It was a lovely day and an extreme amount of work went into organising it and on the day itself. I am incredibly grateful. This gesture and the day itself meant so much to me that I honestly couldn't put what it means into words. It was excellent. I wouldn't have had a party otherwise so I am so very grateful for all she and her lovely Mum did. I also should mention the others that helped make the party happen - thank you, I am so touched!
Thankfully the day was nice and sunny - perfect for a barbecue. If anything it was a little too hot and we wouldn't have minded if it had been a bit cooler when we were setting up. Sadly not everyone who was invited was able to make it. A few friends had health and family issues which meant they couldn't come, while another had had his 30th birthday barbecue the day before and was still spending time with family. My Mum also couldn't make it due to health reasons and because of the distance she would have to travel. I was really disappointed as I would have loved my Mum to be there.

However all the people that did come to the party were important people to me and people I wanted to spend time with! My Dad and my Uncle Boy (and Ann) came along and stayed much longer and later than expected. I was also surrounded by great friends and four very cute dogs. They all made the day perfect.

The day was also filled with surprises!! Firstly was my fabulous birthday cake. I had spoken to my bezzie friend about the cake I would love to have if I could afford to get one made. It would be lilac with darker purple spots and a model of a Westie dog on top. However due to a lack of funds I had dropped the idea of a made to order cake and was going to chose an off the shelf one from a supermarket. A few days before the party my friend told me she had been to the local supermarket and picked one up. She then said I shouldn't have to choose my own birthday cake. I believed her 100% and crossed it off the shopping list. At my party it turned out this was a big fib! Instead she had had a cake made for me in the design I had said. I was so touched and the surprise was lovely! I totally did not expect it!

A short while after the cake reveal I was summons to the lower garden gazebo and there was a table set up with a pile of cards and a pile of presents! I was so surprised! Again I had not expected anything. After I opened the lovely cards I started on the presents. They were lovely presents including a DVD, stationery, book tokens and smellies. There was also a very large present which I left till last. It was from my bezzie mate, her mum, her Nana and her kids. When I opened it, I found this beautiful trunk/storage bog with a gold map design on it. It was stunning. I was speechless. Then I was told to open it up. Inside the box was a huge pile of presents! I was whatever comes after speechless! They told me I had 30 presents for my 30th birthday including the box, the cake and party. After telling them they had been very naughty doing this I started opening the presents inside the box. They were numbered and I had to open them in order. As I had trouble seeing the numbers and finding them in order my friend's daughter helped me out. They were fabulous gifts. I even got presents with 30 on such as a mug and a keyring. It was really lovely and a real surprise!!

After the yummy barbecue food had been eaten and it had started to get dark and the fairy lights had been switched on and the candles lit we decided to head inside. After cutting my birthday cake, we then got down to the serious business of karaoke! Yes, my 30th birthday party saw me doing karaoke for the second time in my life! It was brilliant fun and a real laugh. The alcohol certainly helped!! Everybody had a go at singing even Peter who could hardly see the words on the screen without his glasses, joined in and gave a great performance of "Imagine"! As I was the Birthday Girl I was given the "honour" of kicking the singing off! Luckily my fab friend Cat agreed to sing with me and together we had a go at "Don't Stop Believing". I was very grateful as she can actually sing which helped mask my less than in tune attempts! Throughout the evening I also badly did Atomic Kitten's version of "The Tide is High" (again with the lovely Cat) and my bezzie mate and I did "Can't Fight this Feeling Anymore" in honour of "Rock of Ages" the last film we saw together at the cinema.

The evening also saw a second round of food including home made potato skins, samosas and cheese and biscuits. The drink likewise continued to flow well into the evening.

It was a really really fabulous day and evening. I had a brilliant time and I am extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to it. They made it fabulous.

I will remember turning 30 with very fond memories.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Turning 30!

Today is my 30th Birthday.
30 years ago today at 1.15am in the morning I joined this world. It was a Sunday and my Mum had been in labour for two days. In fact in the early stages of labour on the Friday after her waters broke she wanted to go out with my Dad to get some dinner instead or going to the hospital as she knew the labour was going to take a while! Eventually I did arrive, and actually 2 weeks earlier than expected.

This is one of the earliest photos taken of me. My Mum is holding me and by the looks of the sofa she is at home which means I am about 2 weeks old as back in those days new mum's were kept in hospital for a couple of weeks after having a baby. I do have a few photos of me in hospital with my Mum and Dad but none of us look very good and I don't think they would thank me for sharing them!

For the first 7 years of my life I grew up in a normal 1980s household with my Mum and Dad. They owned a few curtain shops around Essex and spent a lot of time making them work. I can't remember many of my birthdays from then, although I know I had a Wimpy birthday party when I was about 4 or 5 and a party in a hall with a magician and a disco when I was about 5 or 6. I don't really remember them but I have seen the photos and heard the stories.

Then about 2 months before my 7th Birthday my parents divorced. I cannot remember my 7th birthday at all. For my 8th birthday I remember I had a McDonalds party which included for some strange reason getting to run into the big freezer they used to store the food in and getting a tour of the kitchens. Nope, I don't know why either! This was the last birthday party I had. Future birthdays were spent going out to places, visiting relatives and a few depressing times going fishing. I spent my birthday's alternating between my Mum and Dad, so parties were never really possible. Plus money was not exactly flooding in and parties cost money!

When I was 13 I was taken out for a meal, like a proper grown up birthday celebration! It was with my Dad, Ann and my lovely Aunt Gina. Our table had loads of balloons on it and after dinner they brought out a cake and sang Happy Birthday. It was a really lovely occasion. I don't remember my other teenage birthdays. I know that I didn't have a party for either my 16th or my 18th. In fact I think I ended up going bowling with a few friends and family for both of these! My birthdays were always celebrated just not with a "do".

One of the biggest problems with celebrating my birthday is that it falls right in the middle of summer. It was always difficult to organise anything with people going on holidays, invites needing to go out in July before the end of school, etc etc. When I went off to uni I had similar problems as everybody went home from June until the start of the next academic year at the end of September. When we lived in houses a few friends did come back for my birthday and we would go out for drinks.

When I was 21 I did have a party, well a barbecue at our house anyway! I shared my 21st with my close friend Andy who was also turning 21. Our birthdays are 8 days apart so we picked the weekend in between the two to celebrate. We had a great day and laughed a lot. Needless to say I can't remember much of that one either but that was for entirely different reasons!! Hahaha!

Since then I have had my "birthday outings" which as I mentioned in a previous post, were a special day out to do something different on my birthday to make it different from all the other day's of the year. Previous outings have included Hampton Court Palace, Dover Castle and Canterbury. I have some fantastic memories from these days and also got to tick things off my ever growing to do list!

So how will I be celebrating my 30th? Well today I am having my usual "outing" although its not a big deal as it usually is due to circumstances. Instead the emphasis is on spending the day with my Dad and enjoying some father-daughter quality time. We are going out shopping (he is getting me a new mobile phone for my birthday as my one is so old it is powered by coal!) and we are going to have lunch out. Then in the evening he is cooking me one of my favourite meals. My Mum has also sent me a very large parcel which I will be opening later! I wonder what it can be!

My birthday celebrations do not end there. On Sunday my bezzie mate is throwing me a birthday party and barbecue at her new house. We have got decorations, balloons, gazebos, music, fairy lights, even games and karaoke! Plus of course food and drink! I am really looking forward to Sunday as I really wanted a party and didn't think I was going to be able to have one, so its a wonderful gesture. I am so grateful to her for doing this.

If these celebrations were not enough a week later I am meeting up with my close friend Andy who is back visiting from Singapore and we are carrying on the tradition of celebrating our birthday's together as he too of course will be turning 30 in a few days time! So really I am going to have something like 3 birthday celebrations for my 30th! Perhaps that is one for each decade! Teehee!

I am sure I will have plenty of photos and lots to tell you about my celebrations which I will try to put on my blog as soon as possible.

So for now, I am off to enjoy turning 30!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

30 Birthday Facts about Me!

I saw something similar to this on another blog and thought I would use it myself! The basic idea is to celebrate a landmark birthday by putting a list of facts about yourself on your blog. (The number of facts should be the same amount as the age you are for the landmark birthday so 18, 21, 25, 30, 40, 50, 70 etc). You then challenge your friends and followers to write the same amount of facts about themselves to celebrate your birthday. This month I will be celebrating my 30th Birthday. I am kicking off my birthday celebrations by taking up the birthday facts challenge while challenging my friends to write 30 facts about themselves (ideally not facts they have already shared on their blogs!).
So lets have a go. Here are my 30 facts:

My 30 facts:
1. I am not a morning person. I much prefer late mornings and late nights. Its when I am more awake and my brain more active.
2. I don't like coffee.
3. I prefer to drink cold drinks. I usually only have one cup of tea a day which is in the morning with breakfast. I only have more than this if I am feeling ill, have a sore throat or its been a particularly cold day.
4. I can't wear high heels. I am far too clumsy and always fall over if I try to wear them. I also have quite wide feet which makes finding high heels that fit properly difficult. However the wide feet are a result of being quite tall so I don't really need to wear high heels luckily!
5. I hate gold jewellery. If I wear any jewellery it has to be silver or if I wanted something really posh and had won the lottery something in platinum!
6. My favourite gem stone is amethyst. I hate Peridot which is my actual birthstone. I just don't like the green colour!
7. My favourite colours are red and purple.
8. I am allergic to most flowers so as a result I am not a fan of flowers whether in the garden or in a bunch! However there is one exception which is dark red roses. For some reason these don't set off my allergies and I think they are absolutely beautiful.
9. As you already know from the name of my blog I LOVE stationery. It can be nice pens, beautiful hardback notebooks with good quality paper, folders, writing sets, anything really!
10. I have an appalling dreadful immune system made worse by my anaemia and eating issues. If there is a bug going around or someone has a bit of a sniffle you can bet that I will catch it and have the flipping thing for at least a week if not longer! This is very annoying and frustrating.
11. I have a phobia of bugs and spiders. I have got slightly better as I have got older but there are some things that I really can't stand. Mainly moths, bees, wasps, daddy long legs, slugs and snails. Spiders are a given!
12. I am allergic to cat fur. I do like cats but I can't even stroke one without being poorly so I tend to avoid them as they always seem to take a shine to me! Its as if they know I can't stroke them! As a result I am more of a dog person. I love doggies!
13. I love craft stuff and being creative. I think this is an extension of the stationery passion. I love all the different colours of felt tip pens, inks, colouring pencils, paints, papers, cards, even fabrics and wools! I really enjoy making cards and getting creative and I use to draw and paint quite a lot although haven't done this for a while.
14. I love books. I love reading and getting lost in a book and I also love researching from books. I am one of those nutters that believe books have souls and they are sacred things! Books rule!
15. I love history. I have covered this on this blog before.
16. I love Christmas. I love the decorations, the lights, buying presents, wrapping the presents, giving presents, the festive cheer, spending time with people who matter etc etc. At uni I was lucky enough to find someone else who got very excited about Christmas and he and I would always put the Christmas decorations up as soon as the 1st December came round! I think our other house mates thought we were a bit strange though.
17. I have a thing about Birthdays. I have always believed that someone's birthday is a very special day and it should be made special both my themselves and by those that care about them. I always try to make my birthday different to the rest of the year by doing something different and making an effort. About 8 years ago I started my "birthday outing" and each year I have gone somewhere for my birthday. A day out. Previous birthday days out have included Hampton Court Palace, Dover Castle and Howletts. All special days with special memories. I have encouraged other friends to do this too. When you become an adult birthdays often get forgotten or lose their importance and this is a shame. By doing something different on the day, keeps birthdays special. I also try to do this for friends and families for their birthday's too. Whatever people say they all like to be made to feel special and to be thought about now and then!
18. I like cheesy music. I am a big fan of certain boybands such as Take That, Boyzone and Westlife (although I don't like any of the new boybands. My music tastes do seem to have grown up a bit at last!). I love pop music from all eras and believe music should make you smile and want to move and dance. Cheesy love songs and pop music does this!
19. I also like more grown up Music! Current favourites include The Script, Pink, Bryan Adams, and Bon Jovi.
20. I am right handed.
21. I was born in Harlow in Essex, so yes technically I am an Essex Girl!
22. My favourite breed of dog is a Westie. I once was lucky enough to have a Westie as a pet called Dougal. He was absolutely gorgeous and I miss him lots.
23. I would really love to be a published writer one day. At one point I wanted this to be in writing fiction but more recently I would be very happy to be a publishing historian. We all need dreams!
24. I have an issue with charity shops. There is something about the smell of them. It just puts me off and everything and anything that is bought from a charity shops has that distinct smell. Yuck.
25. I love fresh crusty white bread. Its a very big weakness of mine. I could just sit and eat it and eat it with or without butter. Gorgeous!
26. I was a Brownie. However I never went on to the Girl Guides. I sort of lost interest in the whole thing by the time I left the Brownies. Plus Guides would have clashed with the other clubs I did after school such as dance, swimming and horse riding.
27. I didn't learn to drive until I was in my mid 20s. I passed my test first time when I was 27.
28. I have never been in an aeroplane.
29. I am not a fan of horror movies. I just don't see the point of these films and find them boring. I do like supernatural and sci-fi films and television shows just not horror.
30. I am a brunette and have never had any desires to be a blonde. However I have dyed my hair red and purple in the past!

Wow! That was extremely difficult! Trying to write 30 facts about yourself is not easy and took me quite a while to come up with them all! Anyway, there they are. Now I open up the challenge to my friends. Don't forget to let me know when you've done it so I can have a look at your facts and learn a bit more about you!