Furry Family

We had an addition to our family recently, a 15 week old Black Labrador retriever.

I grew up with a black lab so he brings back memories but what I’m so surprised by is how quick he is to train.

Within weeks he has the basics covered and we’re moving into more exciting games for him to learn find and fetch.

He’s also super loving, gentle and soft, loving his cuddles and has settled so well with the rest of the family.

He’s gonna be a big dog, but a loving one, I don’t think we could see our lives without him now.

Unconditional doggy love

When you get a dog, you get unconditional love, no judgement on a bad hair day or pyjama day, just pure love.

You also get concern and love when sick, warmed when it’s cold and lovingly snored upon.

There’s no love like the love of a four legged family member.

❤️ you Jessie, your beard is whitening and your slowing down I can’t deny it, but you will get that unconditional love back in buckets everyday x

Caravaning holidays UK the new experience.

We bought a Bailey Pagaent Series 5 for a bargain price, thinking ‘might be cheaper to get a caravan and go on lots of holidays than our usual one big holiday abroad‘, especially after lockdown and being unsure about travel restrictions.

We set about with zero knowledge, found a storage facility to keep to caravan while we were home as our drive way is too narrow to be manageable with anything to be honest. Cost of storage £320 p/a

We then set about getting a tow bar fitted. Oh my days, who knew having a tow bar fitted and an electric wire plugged into the car was so expensive! Good bye a hard earned £250.00 and that was the cheap price, they can cost anything up to £750.00, so if your doing this, shop around.

Joined a club to get better deals. £40.00. Could have just looked on some well known booking sites we found out later.

Booked our first break away! Hooray! And second.. and third…

Then we realised we needed to check the caravan we’d had dropped off at the storage yard was leak proof, see if anything was missing and make a list of what we needed.

Bad news, we had a leak. A crack in the roof we couldn’t see when we first looked at it and some really dodgy repairs had been carried out throughout the van. It needed some new gas hose, new cupboard push buttons, handles, some window catches had been glued on badly just for show, the made up bed was made up because there was no seating, cooker hood and sink hood were broken but had been covered at the time. Oh Sugar.

I started googling. Spares and repairs. Now I know why caravan owners are so meticulously careful with their vans. The price of replacement parts is amazing. It cost £150 just to replace all the push buttons and the surrounds. I’m still short two as I miss calculated. I also bought new handles, £50.00. I decided the £48 and £28 plus postage for the cooker and sink hoods could wait.

We also needed plates, cups, cutlery, kettle, tv, aerial (the caravan aerial had been removed), wing mirror extensions, gas struts, bedding, outdoor table, chairs, blankets, food, water purifier, chemicals, outdoor table, spare tyre, wheel lock, replacement locks for the broken front storage box, these were just the essentials.

I put this all on my credit card to keep track of it. £800 later. I had really bad headache. Was this going to be worth it.

We had one week to get this shed into working van order before our first towing and caravanning experience. I’d not been brave enough to book to far away. I booked Castle Howard near York and hoped our caravan didn’t let the site down. £113 for a long weekend plus dog and awning.

My husband got to fixing the body work, changing locks, replacing gas struts, etc

I started replacing handles, buttons, cleaning, I vinyl wrapped the splash back area and unpacked our new belongings.

All we needed now were the kids, clothes and fresh food items.

The day arrived and my daughter and niece were ready. We decided to leave the dog with our son for now. We all hopped in the car, headed down the the caravan, everything went smoothly, hooked up, mirrors on, feet up, brake off, electric attached. Off we went. Only to realise on the motorway our left hand indicator wasn’t working. No where to stop we had to keep going.

We arrived, incident free. I think my husband was secretly proud of himself, when I say incident free, we went past the entrance to the site and he had to turn on a narrow lane for the first time with a caravan. I did my dutiful wife duties, got out the car and shouted ‘turn left, no no not that left!’ Etc. Till he got round.

On arrival, a lovely lady greeted us, gave us our pitch number and directions. We were opposite a tourer and in the corner next to another caravan… so now he had to manoeuvre in a strange way between the two and somehow end up straight. This caused a fair bit of swearing. But he managed it.

Note to all new caravaners. At this point. Unhitch the caravan from your car.

The husband started levelling up the caravan, neither of us noticed the car getting higher too. Once it was level, I then realised we were still attached to the car and released the car. Which went with a thud. Bounced a bit. Made a horrible noise but seems okay.

What are we missing… the waste water, the other caravans have a two pipe attachment which goes into one on the grey waste water tank. That’s what we are missing. We have one and only one. So shower water is released under the van, as the shower block is closed till the following week, queue us all stinking.

Plus, our electric hook up lead was not long enough at all, luckily the lady at reception let us borrow one.

The awning came with no instructions, leading to another row and it took us three hours to erect it. I’m hoping now it will take minutes. I’ll take a photo before we dismantle it.

£7230 so far by the way.

My husband then decides a long weekend isn’t long enough and pays £160 to stay the full week after.

I’m crying at the bank account. The bank account is crying at me. Caravanning is not a cheap holiday option.

We also realised we were missing a ground sheet £17 from B&Q.

The kids are getting restless, we take them out, pub lunch, shops, walk, flamingo land. The niece then goes home. The daughter gets restless, we go for walks, Goathland, Whitby, Scarborough, York Shopping Outlet. Thank goodness she spent her own money haha.

We go to Wales in four weeks.

What have I learnt.

We don’t need to buy anything else for the caravan especially now shower blocks are open.

Buy a guide! See where to walk, things to see, don’t wing it, ask other people! I’d be happy sat in my chair drinking soup with a book. Kids not so much. So if you’ve got kids, book places where there are things they can do without you having to go out. After all this is supposed to be your unwind time.

All in all site fees are reasonable, especially if you can go anytime of the year. If we get three holidays and see three new places in the UK then it will have been worth it.

Our caravan had a huge leak which was well covered. Beware wall paper! Mine will always be papered now even though the damage is fixed because it hides the water marks.

Don’t be afraid to ask others on site for help or advice! We met some great people.

Explore! Don’t just sit in your van. It’s a place to rest your head, have bbqs, a home away from home. The outside world is beckoning you! We found some great pubs, villages, fabulous scenery, beautiful walks, historic places.

Castle Howard is worth a visit! The house is unique. The gardens even more so.

Happy caravanning!

I haven’t posted for ages!

I’ve been very busy.

Some days I’ve not been too well, dodgy back and hip pain combined with migraines of epic proportions are not a great mix.

But most days I’ve been writing my new book ‘Spirit World’.

It’s not quite ready, I’ve not yet found a publisher; but I haven’t really been trying either. I’m still adding and editing as you do. Is anyone ever truly happy with their work or could you keep on editing forever then it becomes over edited?

I’m also working on my fiction book, ‘Death Amongst a City of Steel’, which I’m hoping to be ready before the year has ended.

My lock down projects were mostly writing but I did find time to take up another project too, which has taken over my living room!

Aquariums, let’s talk Tropical fish!

I started off with a 30 litre little tank, which grew within a fortnight to 125 litres and 6 weeks later has grown again (for the last time honest), to 252 litres. I love my fishies!

Have you ever watched Red Dwarf when Cat is going fishing for his supper and sings the little fishy song? Well this is now me, singing to my fish. And frogs. And shrimp. And snails….

Keeping an aquarium has to be one of the most satisfying and relaxing hobbies I now have. Hands up, I have had casualties, I bought a tank without a lid, one of my friends jumped out, I could not find him anywhere. I was convinced one of the cats must have had him. That was until I sold that tank and found a dried up fish. Sorry little friend. We have a lid now. No more escapees!

I’m keeping what is called a ‘Community’ aquarium , where by all the little water creatures are supposed to live in harmony. So far so good.

I also had a second tank set up for a Betta fighter fish. I decided he was lonely and I’d chance him in the community tank. As I added him last he seems to understand the sucking order and has been very well behaved. We’re all watching you mister.

There’s actually around 35 fish in here 👀

Writing

I’m currently writing a book

Only it doesn’t feel as though I’m actually writing it.

I’ll explain. When I go to sleep I have these weird dreams, when I wake up I write them down like a story, only once I’ve written it all out, edited it and I’m happy with it, the dream continues to the next part. And so the process starts again.

I’m writing anything between 1700 and 4000 words a day. Obviously depending on how vivid the dream is.

I read the book through and think wow this is good did I write this!

When this story comes to an end, then I’m hoping the author reveals their name so I can use the name they give me.

Hopefully they also point me to a good publisher too!

Questions with a Spiritualist Part Two

Can you control who comes through?

Personally, I can’t, I just get visited, I am not a clairvoyant and cant see someone and say, so and so is with you, I don’t see people all the time. I only sense spirits and and given visual messages (usually). Different people have different experiences though.

Do you ever get haunted?

Yes. Sometimes I switch off my gift so I can just rest. If a spirit really wants to connect I have had instances of them pestering me and my family until everyone’s asked me to please see what they want. They mess with electrics, move things, create noise, even disturb your sleep.

Can spirits get stuck here?

Yes, sometimes they miss their exit or don’t want to leave yet, maybe they have something unresolved or just really enjoy a place. They can be guided through to the other side if they wish though.

Book Review – The Squad Chronicles, Origins

I’ll start by stating I previously worked with PR Reeves the author when we both worked at HSBC as young adults in Sheffield, England during the late 90’s. We have kept in touch on social media as you do. I had no idea he had written a book!

So when I found out, I had to read it because I know what a great person he is, he’s had his own struggles in life to get through just like me.

This book is a series of stories around four people whose life’s are intertwined, some are set in Sheffield and even in our familiar old work place, much to my delight.

The stories are beautifully written and really spark your imagination, you can see exactly what is being portrayed by the writer, the emotion and depth of characters really come through. I found my self laughing and even wiping away the odd tear.

I don’t want to give away much because if you love a good sci-fi, fiction, horror, fantasy with some steamy action packed in as well, this could just be what you’ve been waiting to read.

Absolutely desperate to get my hands on the next one now Mr Reeves. Thank you for lightening the imagination with vivid images and colour of other worlds and alien beings.

Copies available on Amazon

Questions with a spiritualist part 1

Do you ever get visited by animals?

Yes, all the time! Sometimes I believe they are drawn back by our love for them, animals are pure love. They are here to help us heal and guide us.

I dream of my recently deceased parent, are they really there?

Spirits can easily use the dream state to visit us and convey messages because we are so much more receptive in this state, so yes, they are with you, pay attention to any messages and try to understand there meaning.

Can you lose your gift?

It is entirely possible to lose your gift and not be able to receive any messages and this can be caused by upset, stress or disharmony in your life. Try to meditate and ask yourself what is blocking you, what has changed and how you can change for the better.

Spring is here!

Spring

I love spring.. I love summer! I love all the seasons in all honesty but what I love most about spring is the emergence of new life.

It’s a really special time when you can literally watch leaves unfold, flowers unfurl their buds and new shoots spring up reaching for daylight.

Days getting longer and warmer (my arthritis is getting back in it’s box), the ugly ducklings finally realise they are beautiful swans after all and personally I feel happier.

Grey skies, be gone! Flower sketching time has arrived, walks without snow boots and thermals, happy dog walks. Happy Spring everyone! I hope it brings a spring to your step.

Dreams

I had a beautiful dream last night.

Our family had moved, it seemed to be a different planet and it was so incredible.

There were land animals and the animals lived along side the people, we actually moved out of the way for the animals. I was sat under a tree branch, next to a table with a glass of lemonade wearing beautiful coloured clothes, next to an unusual yet equally beautiful woman.

I asked the woman where the music was coming from and she pointed to the branch above. Along the branch were hundreds of little bugs.

The paths around us seemed to twist in and out, up and down through forest but it was light and bright.

Space was distorted, you could move to somewhere by pulling it to you or yourself to it.

My husband had found a new job and was working with the equivalent fire service making buildings secure and structurally sound. They used sound waves to move debris to river ways so there was never any dust or dirt.

The water was crystal clear but no one used the water. It was kept for the water animals.

In my dream people were happy and peaceful and everything was so clear and bright. It was like a moving painting of absolute perfection.

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