Families, Family, Inspiration, real life, social media, Uncategorized, Whatever, women, Writing

Exile from social media….what have I missed?

Its been 11 days since I decided that I would take myself away from social media. I’d read this blog and it has inspired me.

Unplugging and Reinventing

So I signed off from Facebook, my Instagram and Twitter account went cold.  I realised that these things were taking over my life. As soon as I woke up, before I had even put my feet out of bed, I was on my phone scrolling through ‘social media life’ and what had happened while I had been asleep. Every spare minute I was catching up with the life of others, where they had been, what they had eaten, what they were wearing, and who was celebrating a birthday or a friendship!  All the time neglecting my own life. Neglecting my blog and the other more important things – like talking to my long suffering husband. Cuddling my grand children.

At first it felt weird. I kept thinking ‘what is so and so doing?’ and then gradually as the time has gone on that feeling of missing out has diminished. Of course I still get the notifications when I log onto my computer, but I don’t follow the link back into the twisted world of Facebook. It was todays notification that prompted me to write this blog.  Apparently I have 90 notification and I had been tagged in 5 pictures. I know it doesn’t sound very much to some people, who get hundreds and hundreds a day, but its quite a lot for me.

Do you know what I miss the most? Seeing the pictures of my grandchildren that are posted by my daughter in law! I also missed two events that friends had arranged I had forgotten to put on my calendar. There is an awful lot I don’t miss. The sometimes boring lives of others who endlessly post about their pets, the weather, who has parked over their drive, cakes, and what their favourite celebrity is doing. And I’m sure there is a lot that others miss about me…or not!

I have about 4 weeks left of my exile. I know it will teach me something. Remove things that don’t enrich my life. Don’t bother to follow pages that are a fad, or if I do as soon as I fall out of love with those pages – un-follow them. Simple.

Social media in one form or another has a place in anyone’s life, but not as a replacement for real life and communication.

See you on the other side.




Families, Family, Inspiration, loss, love, mental health, New life, real life, social media, Spirt and soul, Uncategorized, Whatever, women

My life

Looking back on the story of my life, I see a time punctuated with love and laughter, with sadness and joy.

From the poor childhood filled with green and grey memories, the grass and the slate, the rain and the rain!
A life filled with loneliness and rituals.
Sickness and long corridors. Crying and sadness.

Lifelong friendships made on bus journeys, new experiences, and places.
Others lifestyles, and others laughter.
Finding love and loosing love, finding it again – only for it to drift away as young lust does.

A change of life, a change of culture, change of pace and language.
A change of love, a father figure who was anything but an ideal role model,
and thankfully never a father.

Memories left behind, together with the bruises and what little hope there was of happiness.
Anger and rage, rules and rebukes.

A knight in shining armour, a prince who had shared my memories before.
He who gave me back my hope and love, unconditional and everlasting love!
And in return I gave bricks and mortar and sunny times.

A time of sadness, a time of loss again and again.
The ones who loved me in a sea of others, stolen away without saying goodbye.
Without being able to share my hopes and telling that better life story I’d planned with my prince.

Stolen love and kisses at 1am gave milky smiles, not once but twice.
Tiny hands clutching at hair and sleepy eyes, and the smell only new born have.
Blue and blue double trouble!

Lasting memories of A&E and adventurous toddlers.
Nuts and bolts, falling off logs and stitches, diving for alligators, snails, M&M’s and runny noses.
Each word conjuring up a memory of boys and daily life in the household! Words when said, run like a film clip in my mind of those events.

Chaos and bike chains, swimming lesson, dirty football boots.
Discovering difficulties and challenges, jam and pizza.
Mundane and regular.

Summer holidays with kites, camping and caravans.
Rain and sun cream all rolled into one. Lasting friendships made – for 10 days.
Dancing and slush puppies.
Family holidays under the dome, ducks and deer, silently watching the apples and the bread through the glass of a cosy warm chalet.


A time of horror.
Of long train and bus journeys, of sadness and pain.
Innocence gone in the blink of an eye. Scars carried like armour, making him strong, but still so very innocent.

Driving and cars. One, two, eight or is it nine?
Young love, innocent and gentle. Shared beliefs and dreams.
Counting the years, counting the homes and now counting the babies.

A time of joy. Of long train and car journeys, of happiness and new experiences.
Hard work, and new technology.
Missing the long and lean boy sleeping on the sofa, mixing with the rich and elite, a new life experiences, built on hard work.

And now in the autumn of my life, I look back on this colourful patchwork of events. Some with sadness, most with joy.
Each nugget of memory lodged in my heart to bring out in conversation with family and friends.
Not too dissimilar from other’s lives, but my memories never the less.
Each day, each year, each smile, each tear punctuating hours and years.

It’s not over yet, more memories to have I plan and hope.
More holidays, more sun, less of something.
Lets see!

Families, Family, Food, Inspiration, Laughter, love, real life, Uncategorized, Whatever

Dear Paint Manufacturers

Dear Paint Manufacturers

As a grandparent, a parent and an enthusiastic DIY’r I wonder if I may be so bold as to make a few suggestions for the names of paint? Paint that parents could relate to, instantly imagining what the colour was like. A easily washable paint that didn’t take much work to maintain. You have a captive audience here I think, and I feel you’re missing a trick.

I’m asking this as I’ve just had my 1 year old granddaughter for the morning, and we shared lunch together. Of course this isn’t the first time she has been to my humble abode, but it’s the first time I have notice how much more interested in feeding herself she has become! Needless to say there was more food on the surrounding areas than in her little tummy. The simple plastic spoon became a weapon that any archer would have more than proud of. And her plastering skills were second to none!

Of course these new skills came with a sense of humour on her part. Each time she accomplished getting the food to where she wanted it to go, there was a huge smile on her face. This didn’t entail the food going in her mouth – oh no – more of it was on the wall and the floor!

So these are my suggestions to start with, I’m sure there are lots of parents out there with other ideas, something more seasonal, or families who eat different food ranges. Chinese – sweet and sour chicken perhaps. Indian – chicken or Paneer tikka, Dhal. The range could be endless.

Omelette – today’s colour of choice, a mild yellow with a few streaks of orange and yellow and green.

Lunch and desert – a sort of rainbow colour really. Imagine the colours of a wrap filled with fish fingers, tomato sauce, and some cucumber and lettuce, followed by blueberries. The colours would be vibrant and fresh, like a salad.

Tuna and Pasta – a subtle light pink colour, with a cream sheen. Restful and calm. Unlike lunch times.

Soup de jour – well that is anyone’s imagination. Whatever paint you have left at the end of a run, green pea and ham, to a vibrant orange carrot and parsnip or a subtle yellow, with a hint of green and yellow for mixed veg. The choice could be yours.

Bolognaise – a bright red would be just right for this, perhaps with a little soupçon of brown just to give it more of an authenticity. Or it could be in the range like suede, and glitter, with a bit of a bumpy surface?

I hope this has given you food for thought – no pun intended. After a long hour of cleaning the walls, I have very little sense of humour left. If I can order a litre of Bolognaise for next week, she’s back with me soon, I can arrange my meals around my wall colour.

Yours sincerely,

Nanna Pat

Families, Inspiration, loss, love, real life, Uncategorized, Whatever, women

Memories of mam

Those around me are drowning in sorrow at the minute. It’s such a very sad time.

And it has made me remember my mam, and how very much I loved her, and still do. And every day I miss her so very much.

I’m listening to stories of long drawn out illnesses, and brave battles fought again and again. And long lives lived and memories made with young families. And with the greatest of sadness, a life not much older than mine being snatched away, while those around are helpless, and wordless – but not without a river of tears.

I had no time really to say good bye, just good night. The next morning she had gone, before I had time to tell her our plans of grandchildren and weddings. I know she didn’t want to go, it wasn’t how she planned it, I’m sure of that. Her favourite shopping was for hats. But life is both blessed and cruel. On one hand a fine engagement ring, on the other funeral plans. I’d just come back from Paris, where my kind loving boy had given me his undying love and knelt under the tower to ask me to be with him till death do us part.

I’d found one love and lost another – in the blink of an eye.

That’s why we need to say ‘I love you’ every day, with genuine feeling in our eyes. We need to build memories, not hide secrets. And treasure the family we have, for as long as we have them.

Families, Inspiration, real life, Uncategorized, Whatever

Best laid plans, and all that nonsense.

I don’t often plan my life, it rolls along quite randomly. I might suddenly decide to go shopping, or I might suddenly decide to go out for a sneaky drink with my poor long suffering husband.

Not today. On the way to work I said – ‘I’d love to go for a drink tonight, a cool cider would go down a treat. It’s a hot day, and the  local watering hole Woodies Freehouse would be just the kind of place to stop’

OK he said. So a plan was hatched.

The problem is – I’m now the emergency baby sitting a sleeping granddaughter, and not holding a cool pint of cider. Things sometimes don’t turn out as you plan do they?

Perhaps next time I’ll stick to the randomness of my life.





Families, Family, Inspiration, loss, love

Purple balloons

Each year on your birthday

We will send purple balloons skyward
Filled with love and loss.

The breath of loved ones

Floating to meet those perfect hands

And everlasting youth.
You will be forever in our hearts

And your name will be on our lips

And in our minds and dreams.

Skye Lilly darling baby.

Families, Inspiration, real life, Spirt and soul, Uncategorized, Whatever, women

I see a different me.

I wonder how many of us have the same feelings. That we are moving forward, but somewhere part of us stays back in the past when we were young without a care in the world. I often say to people, my body is 50+, but my mind is still 19. Dancing the night away, drinking a little too much, laughing a little too loudly, and staying a little too long.


I know what my chronological age is, but my mind thinks I’m someone else. It doesn’t see me as the lady of mature years, who often has a back problem, who suffers with her hips, and who has to colour her hair to cover the grey. It hasn’t quite got the hang of the crow’s feet and the worry lines around my eyes and my fore head. And for that I’m very grateful. The shadow I catch walking alongside me on that warm summers days, is mine. It’s slim and lithe, purposeful and dare I say elegant. It’s certainly not the description I would use for myself.


And the young person who dances to the rave music, waving her arms in the air. She was around in the 90’s, she joins me often when my favourite music comes on the radio, and we spend a while dancing the time away. I catch a glimpse of her in the kitchen window, or in the shadow of the fridge. She keeps me going, she makes my heart feel young, and all the time she is willing to follow me on my life’s journey it makes me feel happy and contented with my life now and in the past. We have been together she and I, 30 years of loving the same man. We both had babies together and she carried hers in the shadows, while I rocked mine in the light. But I would see her holding the hand of her young son, and hear her comforting words, in those same shadows. And I often thought how like mine they were reassuring, and gentle. We have walked the same path together, me getting older, while she has remained young and fresh. She watches over me like a guardian angel, and when I see her – she often give me a sideways glance of reassurance. And that is why I love that shadow of mine who follows me trustingly and with dedication