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There's beauty in everything!

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's a while since l've blogged a walk, it's been a bit hectic around here what with one thing and another but now the peace has returned and l thought l'd get back to blogging.
l've never stopped walking, just didn't get much time for sitting at the computer so that's about to change now.

Sunday dawned not exactly warm and sunny but nice enough after the torrential rain and high, cold winds we had on saturday.

The garden was a bit soggy but DH decided he'd plant out the winter bedding chrysanthemums l'd grown over the summer. The ground was easy to dig and the plants didn't need watering in. l'd left them a bit too long as we'd been busy and they were already covered with lovely orangey-gold or bronzey-red blossoms which had got wet through on the saturday so their heads were hanging low and filled with water but after a good shake to get rid of the excess they were finally given their own little place in the garden where l hope they'll continue to bloom for many years to come.
This morning they are upright and look very pretty against the darkness of the fence.

Whilst DH was planting, l raked hindsight l maybe should have done the planting as there were literally hundreds of wet soggy leaves which had blown off in the rain and boy! was it hard work especially as l'm still favouring one arm over the other as my muscle still hurts but l persevered and soon had a big pile ready for the leaf mould bags.
We loosely pack the leaves in black bin bags which have been pierced all over with a garden fork and leave them loosely tied behind the shed to rot down into a nice mulch for the garden.

After a quick sandwich for lunch we changed into out walking boots, packed a flask and some fruit and set out for a walk.
We weren't sure where and as DH had an errand first we just kept going in that direction and ended up...surprise, Watton Carrs Tophill Low Nature Reserve.
lt's one of our regular walks and always worth a visit.

On the way down the road to Tophill Low we stopped off at Scurf Dyke, it's a manmade waterway which carries fresh water to the town of Kingston-upon-Hull, it was full to the top after the rains but there wasn't any wildlife to be seen.
The old wooden way marker to the side of it was almost hidden from view by a smother of brambles and sticky willy, l thought it made a pretty picture.

The clocks went back three weeks ago and it's now dark by four thirty but it gave us around three hours.
The world and his wife seemed to have had a similar car park was full to the gunnels and a run off park also had a few cars in it.
We actually found out it wasn't all walkers or birdwatchers though, a crew of volunteers were slashing and burning brambles to clear an area for a new habitat.

After a quick visit to reception to look at the 'seen' boards to see if there were any new visitor sightings we headed off up the long approach road to the 'D' reservoir.
l hate the approach road, it's a long, straight concrete road used by the workers for their trucks and seems to go on forever.
There are a few distractions as a river runs to one side of it, you can't see down to the water but the trees along side it often have birds in them and we weren't disappointed...literally hundreds of fieldfares just in from their long migration from Russia, they were busy stripping the hawthorns of their berries.

A bit further on we saw deer slots in the soggy ground and fresh mole hills but no animals.

The slash & burn group were working near the hide we like so we didn't go in as there wouldn't have been much to see with all the commotion going on but pink footed geese were flying in skeins overhead before wiffling down to land on the water, their raucous honking was deafening.

Entering the wooded area the path was slick with wet leaves but the wet weather had also created a perfect habitat for fungi and there were lots of different kinds bordering the path.
Flies and a little slug were taking advantage of the seasonal food on offer.

Here and there giant hogweed was in flower, it should really be all seed heads now but the unseasonably warm autumn had produced a second flush of flowers, there was even a pretty purple knapweed blooming too, just one in a sea of dead stalks.
The insects don't seem to know what season it is and a myriad of tiny flies danced in the air as a pair of yellow flies decided it was mating time!
A false bee warmed itself on a flowerhead and an emerald green dragonfly fluttered past with it's jewel like wings glistening as it dipped and danced through the air.

The brambles were in every stage of life, from flowers, fruits, green leaf right through to the orangey-red tones of autumn.
Blue and green bottles devoured them with gusto.

Most of the trees are still green with just touches of autumn colour and the pretty larches are smothered in cones though their needles are still green and fresh.
A large flock of long tailed tits foraged in the branches high above our heads, their incessant calling giving away their hiding place as they flew from tree to tree and a grey squirrel, his bushy tailed delicately arched over his back, sat on a log devouring a cone but agilely clambered high into the canopy as we approached.

The slash & burn team appeared, all dirty and dishevelled after their hard work, each proffered an 'hello' as they passed by one of them telling us 'that's it for today, time for a cuppa'...they certainly looked like they were ready for one...and a bath!

In the last hide we sat and had a conversation with a man who was waiting for the thousands of gulls which come in to roost as the sun sets, he'd been there all day and said he was 'disappointed that there was nothing much to see'...
lt's amazing the different views people have, we saw loads but then we aren't just interested in the birds as he was, we also like the nature, the walking, the fresh air...they all go together to make the whole.

The sun was beginning to sink in the west, it cast it's golden glow across a small pond causing the trees to appear upside down in reflection before it disappeared behind the trees, a red ball of light in an ever darkening sky.

We wandered on, back to the carpark, past the workers in their hut enjoying a cup of tea.
Past the row of rubber gloves washed and drying on the steps outside.
Past the darkened trees and hides to travel home again.
A robin serenaded us from a stand of trees as we passed and we paused a while to listen to his trilling song.

As we drove the fog came down, getting thicker and thicker until we were driving very slowly as the headlights didn't filter the gloom very well.
Eventually we got home and l looked out of the bedroom window as l got changed, the street light outside made such a pretty picture l had to take a shot of see, there's beauty in everything if you look for it!

A few pictures from my walk:

An overgrown way marker

Scurf dyke

Giant hogweed seed heads

Yellow flies decided it was mating time!

False bee on a giant hogweed flower

One pretty knapweed in a sea of dead stalks

Bracket fungus

A little slug taking advantage of the seasonal fare

DH looking for birds near the slash & burn site

The sun made reflections across the pond

The red ball of lights sinks behind the trees

A robin serenaded us as we headed back to the car

The fog looked so pretty through the bedroom window

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNABELL598 11/10/2014 8:44PM

    It all sounds so lovely and then to see the pics.....WOW!! So beautiful!

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CELLOPLAYER1 11/10/2014 6:22PM

    Beautiful pictures.

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ONESPOTLEFT 11/10/2014 3:20PM

    love how you capture the fall in the lens

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ECONLADY 11/10/2014 11:34AM

    Wow! Your walks sound amazing. The pictures are beautiful!

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WOLFRUNNERONE 11/10/2014 9:58AM

    Wonder walk photo blog - great photo of the slug !

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Not quite 'Miss Slinky' 2014

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Do you remember the competition back in August when l was made 'Woman of the Year'?(see my blog 'l can't believe it')

That was a catalyst for me.

That was the day l finally realised my true image and not the 'fat' one l had inside my head.

lt was the beginning of looking in the mirror and finally seeing what was really there!

lt was also the beginning of my self confidence and self esteem rise which are now at an all time high!

Well, a few days ago l was informed l'd been nominated for another competition called 'Miss Slinky' conjures up pictures of a slim young thing in a slinky dress...can't ever imagine my self as that!
But 'No,' l was told 'it just encompasses someone who has done so well with weightloss, attitude and health to give the voters an image of how they could look in a little black dress on a special night out".

When l was nominated for 'Woman of the Year' l was elated on one hand but scared stiff on the other.
l worried and fretted about it...l had no confidence and very little self esteem!
l also was so afraid l would let people down if l didn't win!
For the week before the competition it never left my head that l had to stand up in front of over one hundred people and talk to them, it even woke me up in the night...but l did it and it boosted my confidence no end.

This competition was to be in front of about two hundred people and this time l didn't care...
This time l slept well, l wasn't even bothered whether l won or not...l just wanted to take part.
l looked forward to the experience and really wanted to do it...
My new found confidence and self esteem was there in much so that l was actually looking forward to the experience!

So, yesterday, armed with my 'fat' clothes, my 'fat' photo and brimming with confidence l joined four other wonderful people to enter the competition of 'Miss Slinky' 2014'.

We each had to give a resume of why we wanted to lose weight, what it meant to us now we had and how we'd changed because of it.

l gave a similar little speech to the one l did last time but this time there were no tears and there was no squeaky emotional voice.
l really enjoyed the experience, l was positive and spoke well.
ln hind sight maybe l should have stuck with the might have helped in the voting process as l was runner up by one vote!

Sue was a worthy winner, she'd been at her target weight for a year and looked glowing.
We didn't have to be at target to enter and she was the only one that was, she stood out head and shoulders above us all.

l'm pleased l agreed to enter, it's shown me that my confidence is building and my self esteem is high, hopefully, as l carry on losing weight it will grow even more.

l'm one very happy, healthy, fit and active lady again and l'm aiming to stay that way for the rest of my life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONESPOTLEFT 11/8/2014 9:51PM


great inspiration, thank you

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MUSCLE-UP 11/6/2014 2:15AM

    I could see you in a little black dress. Congrats on being runner up. You know if Miss Slinky can not fulfill her duties that you will have to step in her shoes. I love it!

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MARILYN1260 11/5/2014 3:57PM

    Congratulations !!! In my eyes and in my heart, you are the WINNER in every way. I'm so proud to be your friend.
emoticon Marilyn

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MOM2ACAT 11/5/2014 3:36PM

    emoticon You are a still a winner in my opinion! I am proud of you! emoticon

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ECONLADY 11/5/2014 2:48PM


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ARTSYGIRL5 11/5/2014 8:22AM

    I stumbled on your site by accident. Wow, you are amazing. Congratulations on both of your awards, Woman of the year and Miss Slinky.
I love to read the success stories. I read your story and realized we are both from Yorkshire. I was born in Ripon but came to Canada when I was 4 years old.
Last year my D.H. and I spent 3 weeks in England. We stayed with my cousin in Bradford. We had the best holiday ever. My Cousin knows so much history. It was like having our own tour guide. We took the train to London for 3 days. We were on the river when the new Prince was born. Exciting. Blue lights everywhere.
Something that may be of interest to you is the Primal Blueprint. Google it. I am on the Maximized Living Plan which is similar. I find it so much easier than counting calories or points. It is a lot to take in, but I did not want to take any meds so searched until I found something that would solve this problem.
Keep on Sparking my Friend.

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SWEETNEEY 11/5/2014 7:52AM


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GHOSTFLAMES 11/5/2014 5:35AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Time marches on!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

lt was officially the first day of autumn yesterday and the weather seems to have changed and dull today!
The weathermen reckon on an indian summer, beginning friday it's supposed to hit 73 degrees and last until october, l hope they're right.

We've already begun putting the borders to bed for winter, clearing all the dying flowers and foliage, been doing it for a couple of weeks now.
There are a few patches of colour left in the lavateria, wind anemones and fuchsias but the autumn seems to have hit early (they reckon by three weeks) and we've already picked our gages, plums and apples, brambles and gooseberries.

We do leave the teasels, pelargoniums etc to seed up for the birds to eat and the bright orange chinese lanterns are making one corner glow.
The bright red of the ice plants is yet to come, they're just beginning to get their multi flowered heads to colour.
While the white phlox and christmas roses are throwing out their leaves ready for flowering in december so it won't be too bare.

I shall plant up some of the finished summer tubs with winter pansies too, make the patio look bright and cheerful, and some with wallflowers to bloom through the winter months.

There are loads of tomatoes weighing down the trusses but they are slow to ripen, normally l'd have been picking them for a couple of weeks now but they're still mostly green.
On the other hand, the courgettes did exceptionally well, we were snowed under with them, and the marrows are huge!
Sadly no butternuts or patty pans, we think there weren't enough bees to pollinate's been a bad years for insects and butterflies again.
But the corn-on-the-cob is beautiful, so crisp, sweet and tender.
The cabbages are already hearted up and the turnips are huge!
Mother Nature gives with one hand and takes with the other...she's one fickle lady!

The cherry tree is already lovely shades of orange, yellow and red and the flocks of goldfinch, chaffinch and hedge sparrows are beginning to return to the garden feeders.

The hedgerows have berries in abundance this year unlike last when the migratory birds flew in to nothing!
The hawthorns are laden down with red berries, they aren't usually red yet!
And the elderberries are smothered in their dark purple fruit, already the birds are gorging themselves on them.
The dog rosehips shine brilliant red and orange against the dark green foliage of the hedges but the poor blackthorns have hardly any of their juicy little purple sloes!

The schools go back today too, l'm going to my sons for the day but the grandchildren will be in school so it will be a bit different to the last few weeks, just the littlest one at home.

The summer has been glorious, lots of sunshine and warm balmy days, let's hope the little indian summer arrives before the 'season of mist and mellow fruitfulness' does.
Autumn has her place but she's arrived too soon!

l can't remember who sang it but one line of a song sticks in my mind: 'the summer's over, you gotta move on'.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILDASTER 9/2/2014 12:25PM

    Our schools started today too, most of the large tomatoes are still green but we have a few weeks left for them to ripen.

Nice to get the yard ready and know things are done and ready for the winter too.

We have had many bees, butterflies, moths, and an abundance of FLIES. We planted many flowering things that attract the bees and butterflies in the last 5 years, it seems to help.

Nice blog!

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ONESPOTLEFT 9/2/2014 10:46AM

    o say it ain't so summer can't be gone already. I like to watch the birds eat the dead flower seeds so my garden is messy but still blooming. I am blessed to have flowers almost every day. some times I have to look for them but they are there somewhere.

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ECONLADY 9/2/2014 10:42AM

    Love your writing! The imagery is wonderful. I'm enjoying the cool mornings, but we hit a 100 degrees yesterday, or at least my car did.

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HICKOK-HALEY 9/2/2014 4:17AM

    I heard where it had cooled down your way. We are seeing signs of Fall, and that is early for us too. I am curious as to what our winter is going to be like.
One article said we might have a El Nino, someone else said we are going to be warm. I am rooting for El Nino. I hope your winter isn't real cold. emoticon

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l can't believe it!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

l've said l can't believe it and yesterday l couldn' wouldn't quite sink in!

But this morning it's still true!

Yesterday l was crowned Slimming World's 'Woman of the Year'!
Little ole me!
'Woman of the Year' ...who'd have believed, l certainly didn't!!

l'll start at the beginning...sorry it might be a bit of a long blog!!

When l decided l needed to lose weight l, in my wisdom, thought l could do it on my own and l did for a while.

Sparkpeople helped enormously, everyone on my friends list became just that...friends, good friends and over the months l became complacent...

Eventually most of the weight l'd lost seemed to slowly make it's way back on to my body and logging in daily to Spark became just a way to chat to friends...very nice, but not what it was intended for!

A lot of you will know l've had health issues.
l've beaten cancer, a liver and kidney complaint, allergies, bile duct problems and l'm almost there with my immune system.

Back in October of last year l was told l was also allergic to artificial sweetener.
That was a biggie, it's in lots of things you never even dreamt of!
When l removed it from my diet l seemed to lose just under a stone in weight without even trying. This spurred me on to motivate myself and get back into weightloss mode.
l went on to lose another two stones but over Christmas and New Year l once again became complacent and put on five and a half pounds.
l couldn't seem to get back to it and faffed around for three more weeks before deciding to join a slimming club near my home.

lt's called 'Slimming World' and l'd heard good reports on how it wasn't really a diet more a healthy way of life.
l looked into it, it was called 'Free and easy' and sounded quite simple to follow.
l joined the class mid January of this year and Jackie, my consultant, proved to be first class at keeping me on track.
From day one l was hooked, l found the whole thing simple.
There are no calories to count and nothing you can't moderation!

Consequently over the last nine months l've now lost a total of seven stones seven and a half pounds!

A couple of weeks ago in class we were asked to nominate, by secret ballot, anyone who inspired us to be made 'Woman of the Year'...they do have a mens one too...but this was just for women.
We had to say why we'd nominated this person and give reasons as to how they'd inspired us as we lost weight.

Well, Friday l got a 'phone call from Jackie to say l'd been nominated and would l like to stand. l didn't have to but if l did could l please bring with me to the next class some of the clothes l used to wear before l lost weight and would l stand up in front of the class and say a few words about myself and what losing weight has meant to me...she advised me to make a few notes and ended up with 'please don't tell anybody you're through'.

lt's a big class, around one hundred people attend.
Over the past few years l've had very little confidence or self esteem and at first when l joined class l would just sit quietly at the back, like a little mouse, whilst others talked but as the weight came off my confidence began to reappear.
l moved on to the front row!
l joined in!
l began giving my opinions on this and that, sharing recipes and dishing out tips and encouragement.
l became part of the class, not just a spectator.

lf Jackie had asked me to stand up and talk about myself four or five months ago l'd have immediately said 'no way' but l didn't even think about it when she 'phoned, l just said 'yes!'

So yesterday morning armed with my notes...which somehow had turned into a little speech...and my 'big' clothes l parked my behind on a seat and waited with the rest of the class whilst Jackie read out the list of nominees.

There were seven of us, all very worthy nominees we were told.
We were each presented with a certificate and a beautiful pink rose just for being nominated.
Everyone clapped us as our names were read out and l could feel myself losing confidence by the was getting jittery, l had butterflies in my stomach, clammy hands, l felt like l needed the toilet and really wished we could just get on with things!

Of course, Jackie started at the opposite end of the room, working her way around through the nominees in turn.
l sat spellbound listening to people saying how losing weight had changed their life, how they'd got their confidence back...all the while mine was ebbing their health had improved and their general wellbeing and what they did now that they didn't or couldn't do before.
Lots of tears, clapping, cheering, whistling, foot stamping as their stories emerged...
So inspirational.
l thought l'd definitely no chance at winning the title!

Then suddenly it was my turn!

Jackie called my name and l shakily made my way to the front.
Jackie could see l was jittery and put her arms around me whispering 'Just be your lovely self".

Well, l tried!

l started off with how much more confident l'd become.
Explaining if Jackie had asked me a few months earlier l couldn't have stood in front of the class like this.

l explained that the final straw that broke the camel's
back was a combination of things that happened within two days of each other and convinced me I was doing the right thing.

The first was when l needed a scan, the machine l was on needed to tilt me at an angle...and the safety belt wouldn't fasten around me!
lt took two big burly security men to hold me in place... l was mortified!

The second was seeing the 'before' photos printed out on A4 size paper and the awful and stomach clenching realisation of what l looked like to other people!

The third was the birth of my latest grandson when I suddenly realised l might now live to see him grow up!

The fourth, which now seems so odd to me, was that in the Sunday newspaper was a free booklet of two weeks Slimming World recipes and an invitation to go online for two more free weeks of different recipes!
l followed those four weeks recipes religiously!

Then l showed off my 'big' clothes, fitting myself into one leg of the trousers which l also explained used to be tight on me, and donning the, not sure how many times, outsize top which used to be my favourite.

l went on to all the things l could now walk up a flight of stairs without stopping for rests halfway up and again at the top'.

How l could walk around town without having to find a seat every ten minutes to counteract the knee and back pain.

How l could get down on the floor with my grandchildren...and get up again!

How my doctor had said that before l began my weightloss journey my body mass index was so high l was classed as being severely obese and now l was down to not even being obese at all, just overweight....l still have about three more stones to lose...

How l was off all medication, even my blood pressure was fine!
How l was now convinced l would live long enough to see my grand children grow up.
How fit and well l felt.

How l can now go into a shop and buy clothes straight off the peg instead of ordering them through a catalogue...l was so big even the big size shops sometimes didn't have anything to fit me and I had to resort to catalogues!
l look at some of the clothes l own and think 'why did you buy's horrible...they're old lady clothes' and the answer is there just wasn't anything else at the time so l just bought whatever fitted me!

l praised all my wonderful companions in the class and Jackie too, explaining how they all kept me going, how l loved coming to class so much so that l regarded them as my family.
How they were so friendly and welcoming, so brilliant at giving inspiration and encouragement, how swapping tips and recipes helped enormously.

And l finally ended up saying that someone had asked me last week which diet l was on.
l'd replied 'l wasn't on a diet, l was going to Slimming World.
lt was a healthy way of life and it was going to be MY way of life for the rest of my life'...

l'm afraid l cried through most of my talk, it felt very emotional so much so that some of the audience was crying too!
l ended up speaking in that squeaky little voice which emotion brings.
And when the cheering and clapping began as l ended l cried even more.
l don't do's just not me!
So you can see how much of a big thing it was for me.

Then knees shaking l returned to my seat to be told by my friend, Yvonne, that they could see my kneecaps going up and down l was shaking so much!

But everything calmed down.
lt was also a taster session too when members make their favourite recipe and bring it to class to share and swap recipes and tips.
There were lots of lovely goodies to sample and the class was also asked to vote for the winner of the competition in a secret vote.

Soon Jackie was announcing the winner.

My friend, Liz, is a constant chatterer, she was a nominee herself, and she was busy chattering away as Jackie started her announcement.
Jackie's used to Liz's constant banter but eventually turned to her and said in a mock stern voice 'Liz, will you please be quiet, l can't hear myself think'.
l turned to Liz and said 'Ooooo! get her' and we couldn't stop laughing so much so that l missed Jackie announce my name!
She had to say it again and then say' Come on, out here, you've won!

Me! won...what's she on about?

Liz nudged me and Yvonne embraced me and suddenly l was crying again as the whole place erupted and l was listening to clapping, cheering, foot stamping, woo-hooing and whistles as Jackie placed a sash around me and l was presented with flowers, certificates and a silver star shaped award trophy before been manhandled into place for photographs.

lt was absolutely fantastic especially as l really had no inkling whatsoever l was even in with the smallest chance of winning.

lt was a total shock but so elating.

l'm still on cloud nine.

When l came out of the class l even wore my sash down the street when l went to meet my a few funny looks but l just smiled happily at probably thought l was loopy!!

My family and friends are over the moon for me.
l am too!

l'm so proud, so grateful, so pleased, so overwhelmed, so oooh! l don't everything!

l'm still walking around the house in my sash and feel so eyes keep tearing up too...must be going soft in my old age!

lt's going to make the final three stones I've to lose more accessible than ever now, got to live up to my new title!!

'Woman of the Year'.

l don't have many 'photos of me at my biggest, if l saw a camera l would immediately remove myself from the situation and just didn't have my photo taken.
This one here is when my son caught me unawares but you can see the difference between me then, nine months ago, and now.
l still have a bit more to lose but l will do it.

Me taken nine months ago before losing one hundred and five and a half pounds.

Me yesterday 12th August 2014 after being voted Slimming World's 'Woman of the Year'.

My sash, certificates and trophy award.

My mantra.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARILYN1260 8/15/2014 11:17PM

    Now I'm in tears :) You worked so hard to become slim and healthy and you deserve this award. As I always tell you, you're such an inspiration to all of us. Best wishes as you continue on your path of good health and happiness!!!

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CELLOPLAYER1 8/13/2014 7:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

What a wonderful story!

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MAINLADY 8/13/2014 7:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You make us all proud Martha-Ann. You achieved what most of us haven't been able to do and you should be so proud of yourself. A well-deserved honor has been bestowed upon you. All I can say is "WOW!"

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ONESPOTLEFT 8/13/2014 6:59PM



you certainly earned it


don't quit now

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MOM2ACAT 8/13/2014 5:50PM

    Congrats! Thank you for sharing your journey with us, you are amazing!

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GARDENQE2 8/13/2014 12:29PM

What a wonderful reward for your supreme effort!
As you say, it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change!
Speaking in front of a group, too. WOW!!

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4ANEWME2DAY 8/13/2014 10:27AM

    You gave me goosebumps!! Wonderful!! Way to go!! Congratulations!!
All that good stuff!!

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ECONLADY 8/13/2014 10:17AM

    That is wonderful! I'm so happy for you! Congratulations!

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Tuesday fun

Thursday, July 31, 2014

l had such a great time in the local park and garden with my daughter-in-law, her friends, my grand children and their friends last week that we've decided every Tuesday will be a fun day through the long and, hopefully hot, summer holidays.

My daughter in law has talked with her closests friends and they've agreed that every Tuesday (her friend is not working on Tuesdays) they'll all meet up for a family fun day and l'm included!
Why three bright, thirty something, young women would want an old lady like me tagging along l really don't know, l mean l don't even get to do a lot to help out, they look after me!!
But l'm assured they do and l've been really enjoying myself...l do help out where l can!

Since losing a lot of weight and finally feeling well l've realised just how much fitter and healthier l've become...l actually feel 'thirty something' when l'm with them...and about 'sixish' when l'm with the

All the children are a delight to be with and last week it set me off reminiscing about my childhood and my own children's childhood but none of that any more, l'm living in the 'here & now' and looking to the future...

This Tuesday was fabulous...
A day on the beach...sun, sand, sea, crunchy sandwiches, ice cream and fun!

My gorgeous DlL wouldn't even hear of me taking anything, though l did bring sweets, crisps, a homemade cake and chocolate for the kids!.

When l arrived at her house she'd even packed me a beach towel along with my lunch...a different lunch to theirs too!
All my healthy programme food...she'd made me savoury rice with lean boiled ham, red peppers, tomatoes and grapes...all packed up in a lovely food container complete with fork. There was a yoghurt, a persimmon and an apple for dessert too and a bottle of iced water to drink...isn't she the most gorgeous girl?
So busy with her family, there are four children, and still time to look after little 'ole me!
Love her to bits!

Her friends arrived laden down with bags, we packed as much of it as we could under the baby's pram, allocated who carried what and we all set off to stroll down to the beach which is only about fifteen minutes walk away at a two year old's pace.

The sun was not too hot and patchy, light cloud made it a very pleasant day.

The route took us through the local park so there was a short impromptu stop for a go on the swings and seesaw before we wandered on through the holiday boarding houses and hotels which line the seafront and then suddenly, the sea appeared all shining and sparkly in the sunshine.

The tide was right out so gave a wide expanse of beach for us to use.
There were other families spreading out their towels and putting up their deck chairs but we found a lovely spot quite near to a cafe and toilets so not too far to walk if they were needed.

We spread out our covers and put up the wind breaks, spreading our belongs behind us before getting the kids stripped down to their swimming cossies they were already wearing under their clothes then divesting ourselves of any unnecessary clothing everyone was liberally slathered in sun cream and sun hats put on before we all settled down in the sunshine.

The bigger boys set up a cricket pitch and were soon engrossed in a game...not quite English rules and a much smaller pitch but no falling out!

The bigger girls decided to bury each other in the sand, taking it in turns to become a mermaid, sitting down their legs were covered with sand which was then sculpted into a fish tail before being decorated with stones and shells they'd gathered. They played very nicely and took turns at being the mermaid.

The two littlies and the baby were quite happy building castles and playing in the sand.

After lunch the baby went in his pram for a nap, the big boys decided to go for a swim, the girls paddled and the littlies jumped the tiny waves as they broke on the of them, only just two, was fearless and would have been in up to her neck if l hadn't kept a tight hold on right little water baby.

l enjoyed my paddle with them as their mams relaxed and soaked up the rays to top up their tans.
Good old grandma eventually got something to do!

After paddling l took the girls for a walk along the high water mark to see what had been washed up by the tide, they found pretty shells, worn smooth glass fragments in many colours and unusual stones and were so excited when l found a mermaid's purse.
They could hardly believe it!
A mermaid's purse!

Cue the only falling out to the whole day and 'nasty' old grandma had to confiscate it and say 'she'd found it so it was hers'

A mermaid's purse is actually the egg case for a small shark called a lesser spotted dogfish, the fish attaches the case to seaweed by long strands at each corner and it eventually breaks loose after the young have developed and left the case.

The day seemed to go so fast, a blur of suntan cream and fun!
Soon time to pack up and head for home.

Lots of foot rubbing with talc to remove any left over sand, dressing little sun warmed bodies, finding shoes and socks as the big boys took turns to hide behind the windbreak and dress themselves, terrified anyone would see them there was lots of 'hold it up grandma' and 'stop watching me' and 'where's my underpants' as they tried to get dressed in the tiny little triangular cubicle they'd fashioned from one funny!

Then a stroll along the harbour top to the locally made ice-cream stall and it was cornets all round!
Everyone wanted vanilla except one of the littlies, she wanted bubblegum turned out to be bright blue...and so did she by the time it was
Mine was handed to me, l was pushing the baby in his pram and immediately he was all smiles, waving arms and noisy shouting.
l gave him a taste on my finger expecting a face from the coldness but no!...he loved it and he suddenly became like a little baby bird, all open mouth and telling me to 'hurry up grandma, l want more' in his baby language.
ln the end l didn't get any except for a lick around the cornet as it began to drip!
l gave in and handed him the cornet which he took enormous pleasure in slurping on, sucking the goodness out of the cornet until it had disintegrated...he even cried when he'd finished it wanting more...
Nine months old he is!

Back home, the friends departed, the girls went in the bath, the big boy in the shower, the baby was sleeping and my son, bless him, was home from work and cooking pasta for us all.
My DH turned up and we all had a wonderful tea together.

l can hardly wait for next Tuesday, we're going on a train ride!!

The baby playing

Pretty mermaid

Taking a breather

Fun in the sea

Anyone for cricket?'s the princess pose from the Disney films!

The littlies enjoying lunch

The girls took such delight in helping to bury big brother!

Blue tongued after bubblegum flavoured ice-cream...not to mention her lips, chin and t-shirt though that did match the ice-cream colour!

The baby slurping on the cornet

Mermaid's purse...the egg case of the lesser spotted dogfish, a type of small shark

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Wow! emoticon

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MARILYN1260 8/1/2014 9:29AM

    What a wonderful day you all had. I'm so happy to read about the love and fun you share with your son, daughter in law and wonderful grand children. I noticed your weight loss in one of your previous pictures. Keep up the good work. Hugs,

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ECONLADY 7/31/2014 2:30PM

    Sounds like a great day! Enjoy!

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WILDASTER 7/31/2014 1:02PM

    What a wonderful day! Next time you go out for your Tuesday date have one of the older boys take a picture of you with your daughter in law, share the memories of the fun for years to come. These days are such a blessing.

I have never seen a mermaid's purse, quite interesting.

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ONESPOTLEFT 7/31/2014 6:37AM

    love all the details of the how the children entertained themselves and the beach treasures you found...never knew about the shark sacks

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