Nell

I have to share her, she’s too gorgeous not to! Meet my puppy ‘sister’ Nell that my parents picked up from the RSPCA last weekend.

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They were going to get an older rescue dog and at the moment with the sleepless nights, I’m thinking maybe they wish they had! But their vet advised that as they had rescued two older cats last year, the cats who hadn’t lived with dogs before would be less stressed with a smaller puppy and not a full grown dog. Nell and her sisters came up just as they were starting to look as they are both retiring in October.

Sadly Nell and her sisters were  a neglect case, which is why they were removed from their Mum so early. Both her sisters have also gone to good loving homes nearby, so they’ll be able to see each other which is really nice.  Her Mum was a Collie and Dad is rumoured to be either a Labrador or a German Shepherd,  either way she’s going to be a lovely big dog if her size at the moment is anything to go by.

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But she is adorable! Despite her tough start, she’s a little loving bundle of fun and she’s so smart. She’s only 6 weeks old but can ‘sit’, call her and she comes to you and she’s almost toilet trained.  I’ve been puppy sitting this week with her whilst my parents finished up work as they are both running down for the end of October – such a hardship to spend all day with that cute bundle of mischief!

I’m going get to spend a few days with her over the coming weeks which is fantastic. I think it’s a bit like being a grandparent, I get to play with her, have lots of cuddles and then give her back at the end of the day. I must admit it’s lovely to come home to my all lovely trained up, non teething, well behaved Betty.  But just look at that sleeping fur baby….adorable!

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I’m back!

Hello Everyone!

Sorry it’s been so long, I’m finally feeling well enough after my surgery to sit in front of the computer for an extended period of time.

I’d never been into hospital for an operation before and I was pretty scared. Paul and Miss L came with me and we bundled into my little cubical for the day. Poor L was a little diamond, she didn’t complain once and was so helpful despite it being a long and dull day for her.  I finally was called for surgery at 2.30pm (we got there at 7am)  and I was terrified walking into Theatre. By the time I lay down to have the anaesthetic I was sobbing, I was so scared I wouldn’t wake up. The theatre team were great, wiped my tears, made me laugh and held my hand while I fell asleep. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for being so kind and understanding.  Same goes for the recovery team and my nurses, they were brilliant, no question was too stupid and nothing too much trouble, utterly lovely. Even my consultant who I’m pretty sure hates talking to patients was ace, but he did the hard bit so I’ll let him off.IMG_2772.JPG

The surgery went well, it was pretty painful the first couple of days, I swear it was worse than my c-section. But a week from the operation I was driving again and then I got a small infection, which some antibiotics too care of pretty quickly. I’m still getting the odd twinge and swelling now but it’s not too bad at all. I’ve still not had the results of what they pulled out of me yet, but the surgeon was happy on the day it was just a dermoid cyst and nothing more sinister. I think if it was anything worse, I would have been recalled back to hospital by now for further treatment. So fingers crossed.

The only thing it’s really left me with are two small scar’s either side of my stomach (Miss L says it looks like I’ve been attacked with a nail gun. Thanks kid!) and a new belly button which is VERY weird at the grand old age of 42 – don’t like it!

So now I’m fighting fit and finally have some energy again I’ve been planning lots of DIY jobs around the house and we’re planning on finally replacing that tiny kitchen of mine!  I might even makeover the blog again, it’s been a while and I keep promising myself I’ll try a magazine layout.

Thanks for hanging in there with me and all the kind messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, they helped me a lot when I was in hospital and recovering big squishy hugs to you all! xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where I’ve been

I know I’ve been AWOL from here since March, and I feel bad about letting my online home gather dust!  I don’t normally post massively personal stuff on here as my family moan at me, but a blogging gap of nearly two months needed an explanation.

I’d been having stomach pains since September last year, and as they came and went pretty much ignored them. Then they started getting worse and worse and eventually I clumsily fell down the stairs, and the pains in my stomach were worse than the falling down the stair injuries. So I finally gave in and went to the GP.  She gave me a once over and instantly booked me in for a scan as she thought there was something not right with my womb. And she was right, the scan found a large ovarian cyst.

That then led to a hospital appointment with a lovely consultant who’s opening sentence was ‘well you’re here because this could be cancerous’ and then told me all the other things I could be. Bless him I don’t think he realised quite how scary he was being.

Of course that one sentence plus the Ovarian Cancer blood tests and the (bloody horrible!) MRI I had, pretty much meant I’ve not slept for three weeks. In fact I was so worried that I did the unthinkable and opened a joint bank account with OH so I could be prepared if I had the worst news.

Thank god yesterday I got the all clear, I don’t have cancer but I do have to have surgery to get the cyst out.  It’s a Dermoid one (don’t click if you’re squeamish!)  it’s basically a large gross tumour full of hair, fat and charmingly maybe teeth and bone! Stem Cells are clever and can grown anything it seems!  I could, thanks so our lovely NHS have surgery this month, but it’s a 2 week recovery time and I can’t get Miss L to school and look after her while OH is working, so I’ve opted to keep with the pain killers and have it done in the summer holidays.

I’m quite terrified, I’ve never had an operation other than an emergency c-section and I don’t like the idea of being put out. So I need to get my head round that, I’m trying really hard.  Anyway the moral of the story is, if you’re in pain don’t leave it 6 months!

But now the pain is under control and I can sit up for longer periods of time and actually do stuff which doesn’t involve laying on the sofa with a hotwater bottle, more blog posts will be coming. Thank you so much for sticking with me, really appreciated xxx

 

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Day Trip to Wells next The Sea

Yesterday was the last day of our half term and as it was so sunny we headed up to Wells next the Sea in North Norfolk.  Wells is a lovely little fishing port and quite untouched still. The fish and chip shops are so delicious, as you’d expect in a fishing port. There are cute little shops, the brilliant Wells Deli where you can get a cracking hot chocolate and slice of cake on a chilly day.

We got there at lunchtime and headed straight to the fish and chip shop, which for a cold February Friday was packed. So we headed outside and found a bench with a great view to eat. It was as you can imagine a bit chilly to linger but it was nice finally seeing some sunshine and eating out in the open again.

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We decided to go for a walk down to the beach. Wells beach quite a way from the village and  is accessed via a seawall you walk down. You walk maybe a mile? And there it’s in front of you as far as the eye can sea when the tide is out.  We managed to get 3/4 of the way to it before Miss L was moaning about being cold and being blown about – in fairness she had a point and she also learnt a life lesson about putting your coat on when your mother tells you.  You know what kids are like she was sure that she knew best, when she refused to wear it as it wasn’t ‘cool’. We had a good giggle about how annoying it is, when your mother is right (Obviously I never tell my mother when she’s right LOL!)  But it was chilly so we headed back for hot chocolate and a wander around the village – any excuse!

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We also stopped for first mother/daughter seaside photo of the year. I’ve noticed that once again I’m slipping out of family photos, which is something I wasn’t mean to do. So I’m trying harder to get infront of the camera rather than behind it all the time!

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We had a wander around the town and saw on the front some of the terrible storm damage done by the Storm Surge in December. Thankfully most of the businesses seem to be rebuilding but it was heartbreaking to see a couple who had obviously  gone under and could no longer trade.  But luckily a lot of the smaller shops going up the hill seemed to be ok and we had a lovely time browsing them.

Then we came across a gorgeous Georgian Square which we’d somehow never seen before, couple of good looking pubs and I’m coveting ALL the houses there – love me a Georgian House! Friends have now told me how good the pub’s food are in the square, so next time we’ll have to pay them a visit.

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If you’re in North Norfolk, I can really recommend Wells for a visit – especially in the summer when it’s warmer and you can hang out on the beach. I think we might have to hire a holiday home up there this year to explore more.

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Plans for the year and a new look

Happy New Year!

Better late than never eh?  I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year? We pretty much hibernated for the whole of the holidays, but had a nice family time.  What did you all get up to?

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So it’s a new year and finally a new look Violet Posy from me! I wasn’t as brave as Yvestown and wiped my whole archive, I’m too much of a digital hoarder for that! But I had a look at my Stats and I realised that most of you are coming in from iPads, tablets and phones so I’ve made over the site so it’s easier for you to read on mobile devices, whilst still *fingers crossed* looking good on computers too.

I love, love, love the little hydrangea in my logo. It came from the very talented Angie Makes  as did the social buttons. I am a little bit obsessed with her cute images, I need the flower pots from her site too – just gorgeous!  It’s quite nice when you spend your days making websites to be inspired by someone else’s art and not have to make everything yourself. Cheating I know but they were too cute not to resist.

What else has been going on? I’ve been drawing up a list of jobs to do this month, inspired by Apartment Therapy’s ‘Cure’ so here’s what’s on the list. I’m hoping that if I publicly shame myself then I won’t procrastinate and they’ll get done. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Book cull to charity
  • Old Clothes cull – I really don’t need/or fit into a Christmas party dress from 1998
  • Finish painting the hallway.
  • DVD’s….we have too many and their storage is taking over the dining room. Need to find a better solution.
  • Sort out the Office
  • Post Christmas Toy Clear out.

The book one is half done, I’ve had Mr VP sort out some old geeky Java books (poor Oxfam I’m sure they didn’t want them but I suppose they can sell them on?). I’m hoping a couple of half hours here and there over the next couple of weeks will take care of all these little jobs, rather me trying to ignore them.

Do you guys have some small jobs, around the house that you’ve been ignoring too? Would love to know I’m not the only one!

 

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November

I think this is my first post for the whole month. For some reason I’ve just been finding life hard and frustrating this last month.

I don’t actually have a proper reason to feel like this, just lots of illness in the family – even the dog! Has left me feeling exhausted and without any Mojo.

I’m hoping that putting up lots of twinkling fairy lights and the Christmas Decorations this weekend, will put me in a better mood?

In the meantime here’s some photos I’ve taken this last month. Hope you like them!

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{Mini Review} Getting your Instagram photos off the screen

I love my Instagram and Hipstamatic photos, and I have literally thousands of them. At the last count I had 4,000 photos on my phone and I don’t want to think about how many are on my laptop. I’m a digital hoarder extrordinare!

But sometimes, it’s nice to have a physical copy of a photo and see them on more places than just your phone. Stickygram sent me an email asking if I’d like to try their Instagram magnets for free. I quite liked the idea of having Instagram photos on the fridge so I said yes. Dead easy, go to to the site, connect with your Instagram account, choose 9 photos and pay $14.99  and shipping is free.

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Even though they are (I guess) in the US,  I still received them in 5 days which is pretty impressive and they are so cute. I will be ordering more. I have a friend referral code so if any of you want $2 off your first order the code is FRIENDEBU9

So that was all fine and dandy, but I also wanted physical copies of photos which I’d taken with Hipstamatic but I didn’t want to upload them to Instagram. They had friends children on and other photos I didn’t think was right to have as public on a website but I did want a copy of them. Now there are a million sites where you can just connect to Instagram but not many you can just upload from your phone.

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I had a hunt through the App store and found Fotobox and I could upload photos straight to their site and then get them sent to me, they take Paypal and I had the photos in 7 days.  So now I’m on the hunt for square picture frames – I need to head to Ikea I think. Let me know if any of you see any, anywhere else.

Have you used a service you’re impressed with to print or use your photos? I’d love to hear about it.

**Disclosure got some magnets from Stickygram for free***

 

 

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Do you like where you live?

NotSupermum recently wrote a great post about where she lives in Lincolnshire and how much she loves it there and then tagged me to write about where I live, so here we go…

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My love affair with Cambridgeshire… well lets say started off well, a little rocky.  However in the last 12 years it has grown into a full blown love affair.

There are the beautiful villages in South Cambridgeshire, Cambridge itself with the ancient colleges, river and punting and there is our little area in the desolate Fenland North.

Our former small island is like a little jewel in the Fens. You can see the Cathedral for miles in any direction and know you are on your way home. At night it’s lit light a beautiful lighthouse and at Advent the lights change colour each night, which never fails to make me smile.

At Christmas, the Cathedral is like something out of Harry Potter, there is something beautiful about celebrating the holidays in a building that is a 1000 years old, you can almost feel all the people who have come before you.  And when it snows it’s just stunning, children sledge in the view of the Cathedral. We only have the one hill in town, it is the Fens after all±

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The people here are amazing, there is such a sense of community. There are about 15,000 people live here and we now can’t walk down the street without meeting someone we know. People who you don’t know will say a cheery ‘Hello’ when you walk past them and it’s still the kind of place where everyone looks out for each other and has a chat with random strangers. I have made so many wonderful friends here, there is a real warmth here.

We have weekly markets, an Eel Day (lots of fun for the kids and water racing), Apple Fairs, Boat races and a brilliant Christmas Market, but for some reason my favourite is Apple Fair. I can never resist buying lots of juices and ciders from the local producers – just heavenly!

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The local independent bookshop, which offers you a cup of freshly brewed coffee while you browse brings us famous authors to give talks. This month alone we have Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood here in town. We are also very proud to have one of the best tea rooms in the UK, right next to the river.  We also have a coffee shop which not only has yummy homemade cake, it also has a hot chocolate menu – who can argue with the genius of that?

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Because we are in North Cambridgeshire we aren’t far from the North Norfolk Coast which I utterly adore, it’s just over an hour away in the car. So if the weather is bright, we often jump in the car and head up there to play on the beach, or go crabbing and kite flying, or even better head to one of the yummy pubs for some fresh seafood.

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Now I wouldn’t live anywhere else, and if we ever have to leave for work I’ll be heartbroken. All of this is 70 minutes from London’s Kings Cross and even quicker when we get our intercity in 2018. Shhhh don’t tell anyone! 🙂

I won’t tag anyone, but if you’d like to write about where you live, I’d love to hear about it!. Leave me a message in the comments and I’ll update the post with the link.

 

 

 

 

 

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First Week of the Holidays

So all my plans for the first week of our holidays went to pot! On the Monday night I was reading in bed and then stood up to turn the fan off and the room started spinning and didn’t stop and then there was a weird pop feeling in my head. I thought I was just over tired and hot so I went to sleep, but when I woke up in the middle of the night for a sip of water I sat up and the room was still spinning and that’s when I got scared.

I woke Paul up, he called NHS direct after I’d looked at the App and it said to call asap, when I put in my symptoms. I was really lucky, went straight through to a triage nurse and a Doctor called back within 10 minutes. They diagnosed Vertigo and my own GP agreed the next day. I’ve never had it before and although the dizziness has now gone, I still get nauseous every now and then which isn’t brilliant but better than everything spinning.

But it totally ruined our first week, poor Miss L was wonderful and looked after me and even made me lunch one day. She’s amazing for a 10 year old, I don’t think I could have cooked roasted chicken and veggie cous, cous when I was 10! My Mum would have gotten some bread and butter 🙂

This weekend though we made up for it and went up to Norfolk to see my parents and then go out for a meal. The weather was gorgeous and it was a good ‘re-start’ to the holiday. I’m trying to think of something lovely to do for Miss L this week for having been so wonderful last week. I think a surprise trip to the beach is in order!

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Summer Holidays are on the way

Oh my word! I’ve just realised Miss L breaks up from school Friday next. So I need some ideas of how to fill the following 8 weeks. So far I’ve come up with:

Decoupaching a chair like this (as spotted at our local Picture House cinema)

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Swimming
Learning Horse Riding
Trips to the North Norfolk Beaches
Rummaging in the local charity shops for project ideas.
Painting landscapes
Going to see Joss Wheldon’s ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ – yeah that one is for me!!
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Maybe a trip to London to see a Gallery or Museum – depending on train fair deals.
Would love to go back to Kentwell Hall and see the Tudors again.

What have you all go planned for the holidays? Have you got any great ideas for us to do? We would love to hear your plans!

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Day 1 of the Re-Wire

Well all in all day one, which is the hardest day wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Walls were channelled out for the new switches but my lovely electrician managed to keep them neat and to a minimum. In Miss L’s room there is a channel to the ceiling as hers were throughly plastered into the walls. But in other parts of the house only a few inches were needed.

Our ‘new’ kitchen lights from 2 years ago were indeed illegal and never should have been fitted. They are metal and went into an unearthed circuit so they had to be remedied. Instead of pulling out the bathroom or taking down the kitchen ceiling like some electricans had suggested there has been a neat hole cut, new wired are in and it is now all safe. Hurray!

Top tips if you are ever in this unfortunate position.

1. Get a LOT of quotes, and talk to a lot of electricians until you find one you are happy with. They all have different methods of working find one that suits you.

2 Dust sheets, buy what you think you’ll need and then triple it. You will need them over everything sometimes twice! Also don’t get them from Tescos they suck as they rip far too easily. Wilkinsons did the best ones by far and were only a £1. Duct tape them down to keep the dust out.

3 Go outside when they are creating the dust, seriously your lungs don’t need it. I was wishing yesterday that we had a summer house to hide in, the dog run had to do 🙂

But the lights are in downstairs and today they are working on upstairs lights, new board and earthing. Almost there!

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The Re-Wire

So this started innocently enough…I was getting electric shocks from my kitchen sink!

Mr VP though I was going nuts but it only happened when you stood on a certain part of the floor with bare feet. But when I convinced him that I was going mad and to replicate it then of course it was a ‘real’ problem.

So I popped on Facebook to ask friends if they too had ever had shocks off their sink. Responses ranged from laughter to TURN THE ELECTRICITY OFF NOW!!!

Heeding my wise friends, I called out an electrician ASAP. Now we’ve lived here 10 years and in that time I’ve had new kitchen lights and more recently we’ve actually had National Power here fixing the main incoming power to the house and they were here a whole afternoon checking the place out. So I wasn’t expecting anything major…oh how wrong was I!

Electrician had a look and there was a sharp intake of breath – this is never good. I need a new consumer board (fair enough it looks old) and then ‘and did you know your house isn’t earthed?’ WHAT??

That’s why I was getting the shocks off the sink the power was looking for an out and not finding one. A not earthed house is basically a death trap waiting to happen.  After my initial freak out he called an older colleague in and they put a temporary earth in while I got some quotes for the work. At this point it was standing at £1200 plus VAT.

I called in 5 more electricians for quotes only to be greeted with more horror. Because standards change all the time our lighting circuit also has to be replaced or none of them will change the board and do the earthing. One electrician even walked into my new bathroom and told me he’d have to rip it all out! He was told his fortune 😉

This means that I have to pull up all the carpet in all the bedrooms and upstairs hallway, move large furniture etc. And because its a 1930s house it’s likely most of the cables coming down to the light switches are in the plaster and have to be channelled out and then replastered.

Because all of our rooms have backing paper on the walls due to the previous tenants, it will mean stripping and repainting ever room that’s channelled.

Yes I cried – A LOT!

Quotes in ranged from £2000- £4000 and it’s a bit like garages who do you know who to trust? In the end my plumber recommended me one if his friends and he came in at £1700 and he likes to make minimal mess so here’s hoping.

So next week, work starts. I’m trying to be positive and see this as a reason for a re-paint and freshen up of the place, but I’m finding it quite difficult with the worry of just how bad it could get. Miss L’s bedroom ceiling has a massive crack and I’m hoping that wont get worse.

Wish us luck!

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