It’s been a while….Holidays, Crochet and Flowers

It’s been a while since I last posted.  Here is a little of whats been going on.

The family and I went off to Greece back in July.  As always we had an amazing time.  We stay with my husbands parents, which at times can be hard work, however its for two weeks only so I bite my lip.  After all, its about the kids.








I have also been a busy bee on the crochet front.  My cousin is due a baby boy in November and I could not resist making up a beautiful white baby blanket in a lovely soft cotton mix.  Also I am quite proud of my attempt at a Minions hat!  We took the kids to see Despicable Me 2, and I was inspired to try making them a hat, what do you think??  I also made some Mug Hugs for the kids teachers at school and filled the mugs with chocolates.  They were very well received!  I’ve been experimenting with baby hats and ear warmer/headbands.  I am always on the go with something!







Haven’t we had a wonderful summer so far?  I have loved my glowers in the garden.  I am not overly green fingered but I do like my garden to look neat and tidy with as much colour as possible.  My flowers did really well this year too!





One last picture before I go……… and I got very creative one afternoon, I love these canvas prints we made!  Something to treasure forever!


Thanks for looking. x

A little bit of my week!

Look at these cute cushions!  A fox and a doggy…..I love them.  Reduced to £2.00 each!  They fit in nicely!




















I have been VERY busy on my blankets of late.  I needed something for my sons bed for the summer when the duvets are whipped of.  It is made just basic granny squares is odds and ends of yarn I have left over from other projects,  and this is what I have done so far….











I am also working on this Rainbow Ripple blanket for my cousin and their baby due in November.  They don’t know the sex of the baby so I thought I would just stick to something that would sit a girl or a boy.  I am loving making this!!










The kids and I made brownies this week.  I am not much of a cook if I am totally honest, but I do like to try making things.  The kids ‘helped’ mostly with the eating part, they were delicious!










Well finally this week SUMMER has arrived with a bang.  What a difference a bit of sunshine makes.  My mood is amazing!  I love the sunshine as do my kids.  They are literally walking in the front door from school at 3.30, stripping as they go and heading straight out the back door into the paddling pool!  Yay happy summer all!


Crochet and Gardening

I am in trouble off hubby for buying yet more yarn.  I couldn’t resist.  Its 100% cotton and lovely and soft.  I plan on using it to make a granny square blanket for my mothers 60th at Christmas.  For 700g it was only £15 so a great bargain too!

ImageI have also recently started a quick blanket for my sons bed.  It’s almost time to whip the duvets on and have sheets and blankets for when its warm at night.  I wanted something fun and quick so I’ve started with squares…..this is my new way of blocking them as I get fed up pinning them all down to my ironing board.  What do you think??  Basic nails whacked in a

bit of old wood!


I am also making this lovely blanket for my cousins baby.  I am unsure of the colours as we do not know the sex of the baby yet, but I am loving the combination.  If I do decide its a bit boyish I may just keep it myself!



I did some gardening late last week and planted all my plants into pots.  I love having loads of pots around, especially ones that do not match.  There are many more to do you yet.  However, I am reluctant to do them just yet as after the recent downpours, they are suffering a little.Image


Just before I go, here is a sneak peek at my tea last night……cheese and onion potato gratin………… was DELICIOUS!Image


Yes that’s right, I had the all clear with my Breast Lump on Tuesday.

Waiting 2 weeks for the urgent referral was the worst part.

I took my Mam with me.  Hubby wanted to come but I needed him home for the kids and I thought he would be more of a worry than my appointment.

I had the mammogram first.  Ouchy!  It really squashes your boobies!  Then an ultrasound on the suspect lump and I am pleased to say it was an enlarged lymph node.

The relief was immense, I could have cried, well I did a little on the way home.

The nurses and staff at the Breast Clinic were amazing and full of support.

If there is one thing this whole terrifying experience has taught me it is, if you are in ANY doubt, GET IT CHECKED!  Do not fear that because you do not fit in a ‘catagory’ that you will be dismissed from the GP room.  If you have concerns, VOICE THEM.

I am thankful I went to my GP and she gave me that referral.  Just because I am 37 does not make me immune from this disease.

I was 18 when I went for my first smear test and it turned out abnormal.  I had pre-cancerous cells and ended up having a Loop Diathermy Loop Excision of the Cervix.  I have been for yearly smears since.

I do not understand why the Government raised the age to 25 to qualify for a smear test.  When I was younger, we were told to attend for a smear test a year or so after you became sexually active.  This is what I did, and boy am I glad.

So to end this week I will be divulging in some wine and chocolate!


Today is THE day!

The two week wait is over, and I am off to the Breast Clinic this afternoon to find out what this little lump is all about.

I have been feeling good about things of late.  I have being to trying to keep myself in a positive frame of mind.

I have stopped Googling things about it too as I find this just makes me more paranoid and causes much unnecessary worry.

I have asked my Mam to come with me today.  I will be having a mammogram, ultrasound and if anything untoward is found they will biopsy there and then.   My hubby wanted to come, but I need him to be there for the kids after school.  As much as I love hubby, I really want my Mam to hold my hand today.  Maybe its the mother-daughter-female bond thing, I don’t know.  If hubby came with me, he would be a wreck with worry and I need someone who will be strong.

I am hoping the 7th May 2013 will be a date I can forget, I pray it does not become a date to remember.


Greek Life & debates!

I was only 23 when I went out to Kos on holiday with the girls.  Typical girly holiday.  We fell in love with the place and on our return to the UK quickly realised that we wanted to go back.

I quit my Job as a Business Development Manager and stopped the purchase of a house and jetted back out to Kos 3 weeks later to have some fun!

I remember thinking……..’if I do not do this now I never will’.  So my friend and I jetted off into the sunset.

ImageI worked In a bar as a waitress and I loved it.  Slept and sunbathed most of the day, did a few hours work then partied the night away.  It was a great life.

ImageA year later I was still working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when I met my Nik.  That song will be our wedding song if we ever get round to getting married that is.

He was younger than me, and no longer had we got together he was whisked off into the Greek Army to do his national Service.  By this time my friend had gone back to the UK but I stayed, I had something to stay for.

His parents were not overly impressed that he was seeing an English girl.  You have to remember that many English abroad give some of us a rather bad reputation, and I understood their initial concerns, but soon put those to rest.

His family are traditional Greeks, big into their religion and beliefs and this was huge culture shock for them to have a foreigner lurking about.  His brothers were great as was his father, the mother is a different story.  I was ‘stealing’ her boy.

When we got engaged his Mother went crazy.  We didn’t do it the Greek traditional way you see, we did it OUR way.  She ranted and raved for a bit and eventually came round.  You have to remember Greeks are known for this ranting and raving thing they do…..having a normal quiet conversation is not do-able… has to be loud with lots of hands and arm shaking!

After a while I was being accepted into this family.  They had met my parents and his mother was pleased to see my father wasn’t covered in tattoos (her words).  

When we announced we were pregnant having been together nearly 6 years, his Mother flipped again.  We were about to approach the whole “you must marry immediately” debate. I knew this would be a good one.  

I will not be bullied into anything, and certainly not by my mother in law.  Nik and I had no intention to rush down the aisle just because we were about to have a baby.  She was very insistent, but we continued to say no.

ImageTimes have changed you must remember.  His parents are from a whole different generation whereas Nik and his generation have had a new world opened up to them and they want to grab it.

His parents have never been off their tiny island all their lives and know no different of the world.  What they do know, generations of their family have done before.  However, what they fail to realise is that it was not me who changed their son, it was time.

We moved to the UK when I was 4 months pregnant after some early complications.

ImageWhen I had the baby, I waited for the next debate of the childs name and baptising/christening.  It is traditional in Greece to name your children after the fathers parents.  This is very true of the Fathers name but not the mothers.  So when I had baby girl we chose a name we both liked and that was EVA.  Yet, his mother still insisted on sending cards etc addressed to my daughter as ELENI, which was her name.  Hmmmm, not happening.  She finally gave up on all this when Nik told her no more.

They came to the UK to visit not long after I had the baby (just what I needed).  They were amazed by the UK and were in complete awe of the place.  The houses, the way we lived etc.  They could not understand why people would leave the UK to live elsewhere.  They were under the impression that so many Brits lived abroad because English life was poor.  Now you have to have lived in Greece to understand this, but unless you are extremely wealthy in Greece you mainly live in poverty as did we.  The houses are damp, no heating (yes winter is cold out there), expensive supermarkets, expensive household bills.  His parents could not understand why you would give up the luxury life to live in Greece for example.

ImageSuddenly, little old me was raking in the brownie points as their son had a fabulous life in the UK with a lovely house, good job etc.

Now, when we had a Son two years later, I went along with the whole ‘after the father’ name.  He is called Christos.  This went down really well and I got lots of Brownie points.

Then the rows about Baptising the kids.  This was a tricky one as Nik too would have like them Baptised in the Greek Orthodox Church but I didn’t agree.  I said if they grow up and turn round at 15 and say thats what they want, they will have my blessing 100%, but I was not going to choose their religion for them.  Nik agreed with me, but his parents certainly didn’t.

However, this is all in the past, as these Greek Grandparents adore our kids and that is all that matters, and they too have come to realise that.  It is not all about traditions, what will the neighbours say etc, it’s about what we have now, which is love and happiness.  They realise that we have a good life, our kids are amazing and we’re happy and all those rows and debates were actually their battles with change………. not with us personally.



Day 1 BC or NOT BC

Today is the day I have been to the GP about a lump I have found near my breast in my armpit.

I will be documenting my story as I go along.  I feel I need somewhere to write about this and my blog is the ideal place.

I noticed this lump about a week ago.  Its very deep down in the armpit and I struggle to find it, but when I do it scares be to death!  I plucked up the courage to pop along and see my GP today…….it’s best to get these things checked.

After a good old grope, which was at times rather painful I must admit she found the lump and also said the tissue in the breast felt a little different to the other one…..something I hadn’t noticed so that may be nothing. She advised she make me an appointment at the breast clinic.

Ok so by now the real panic is starting to kick in.  I had sort have hoped she would say “ahhh thats nothing, off you go now”……I hadn’t really prepared myself for further investigation.

My appointment is on the 7th May and I counting the days already.  Apparently I will undergo a mammogram and an ultrasound.  If they suspect anything from those tests they will biopsy there and then too!  These tests won’t confirm any stage of cancer, but will confirm if its there.   Whoooaaa a lot of stuff all at once and really bloody scary.  Saying that, I’d prefer it that way than having to wait for days after.

So…..what am I feeling?  In all honesty my only real worry at this moment in time is my kids.  You do start fearing the worse.  I am a big believer in “what will be, will be” so I am not actually scared for me but I TERRIFIED for my children.  At only 6 and 4 its heartbreaking.

You’ll be thinking “she doesn’t even know if she has breast cancer (BC) yet and shes waffling on like this”.  Trust me faced with something like this is a huge eye opener and has knocked the wind out of me.

When I was 18 I had my first smear test and it turned out I had cervical cancer cells.  I had a diathermy loop excision on my cervix to remove the cells and have been clear ever since with yearly checks.  I remember the Doctor telling me all this and looking back I was so relaxed with the whole ordeal, I didn’t worry at all about any of it.  Thats the difference being 18 and free.  Being 37 with two young children is a whole different ball game, it makes the whole thought of “what if?” soul destroying.

Greek man is concerned too.  He has sat a lot of the day staring out the window.  He is worried, I can tell.  People often think of the patient but people need to think of those around the patient too.

NOTHING will be mentioned to my babies……I want them to stay selfish in their own little world.

I plan on using this blog as a bit of a diary of my feelings etc. along with all the usual drivel I blog about!

So there you go… 1 of BC OR NOT BC.  (yes you say that in a Shakespeare voice)

Things I did but my Kids will not do.

Playing out 

When I was a kid it was normal to play with all the kids in the street all day and all night, well at least until it got dark.  We would rush in from school, dump the bags,   get changed and meet ‘out the front’.  We’d play rounders, Akky 1,2,3, curbies, race around on bikes (helmet free) and sometimes with no hands, rollerskating down huge hills and of course the odd naughty game of knock n run!

I loved my bike, I had a Raleigh Racer, blue with white flashes on it.  My brother had a skateboard which he drove the neighbours’ mad with as he would skate along their front walls bashing all their plants.  Neighbours thought nothing in those days of coming out and shouting at you and you would apologise for fear of them telling your parents.  Respect was still a big thing then, none of this answering back malarkey!

Friends had a farm which was two fields away.  We would wander over these fields and tracks alone and play in the woods.  We would collect frog spawn from the pond, climb trees, build dens and paddle in the stream, all unsupervised.

They had a huge hay barn filled high with hay bales, we’d climb to the top and make slides all the way to bottom.  Had I have known it was full of rats it probably wouldn’t have bothered me then, but today I would FREAK OUT!

I remember lobbing huge sticks up at the conker trees and watching all the conkers fall, along with many branches which you had to dodge…..quickly.  Are you even allowed to do this anymore?  I don’t know?

We also used to walk to local park, in which we would have to cut through a dodgy looking alley, a graveyard and cross a main road to get to.  Beacon Park was a great park back then, it felt safe.  Friends and I would spend many summer holidays in that park.  My mam would wave us off and tell us to be home by tea time and nothing more was said.

I was never really the type of child who was into going to play in other kids houses,  I was always wanting to be outdoors. Amazing times and happy memories….would I let my kids out alone to cross two fields into the unknown?  Would I let them cut down alleyways and cross main roads to a park……?   I doubt it very much, which saddens me.

Today is a different world.  Who is lurking in woods?  What if a car stops on the main road?  What if they fell in that pond or fell out of that tree?

How times have changed.




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A week of soup, crochet, grass growing and Nuclear Medicine!

Firstly I have to rant about the limited edition Heinz Tomato soup with chili!  WOW, its yum bloody yum.  Even more nice with crusty bread spread with lashings of unhealthy Lurpak!  I am not big into soup, I have to be in the mood to have this by choice.  This, however, prompted me to return to Morrisons the following day and stock pile a little bit.


Crochet….busy making apples to hang in my kitchen.  I have very bare white walls (easy to clean with kids about) and want to brighten them up a bit.  My first attempt turned out quite well….I am thinking maybe a garland of different fruit and vegetables.


I also finished this cute summer cardy off for my daughter.  Very basic and white but will match everything!  That’s the whole point.


Meet Bert and Bob.  Grandma got these for the kids in their Easter box.  You just soak them in water every now and again and they grow GRASS hair!  The kids think they are fab.  Personally I think they are an eyesore (and they smell a bit)…..but hey I’m mam, what do I know?!


Nuclear Medicine…..the name of the place I went to in the hospital today.  I was going for a Heart Scan.  I often get chest pains and we are just trying to rule everything out.  This today was pretty scary though.  I was hooked up to ECG, blood pressure monitors then injected with a substance that opens the blood vessels and some radioactive matter.  I had to lie on the bed and move my legs up and down for 4 mins whilst it was administered.  My legs were killing me…..4 mins is a long time doing this!

When they injected it over a period of 4 minutes it was the most odd experience.  My chest and throat tightened and my face flushed bright red and I became breathless.  All perfectly normal as this was the effects of all my blood vessels opening up.  I then had to drink 2 pints of water and walk around for over an hour (in the bloody rain may I add).  On my return I was taken into the big Scanning room where I lay for a further 20 mins whilst this machine moved around my body taking pictures of my heart.  I lay there bursting for the toilet as I’d gobbled down 2 pints of water….not a fun time.

I won’t know the results for a week or so but hoping my littler ticker is ok.

To be honest the thing that annoyed me the most was having to pay over £5 to park in the NHS car park whilst having all this done.  Shocking prices.

Oh finally before I go, I am very excited to be receiving my new suite tomorrow.  Its been 8 long weeks since we sat admiring it in the showroom… to follow.

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I miss him.


This is Oscar. Our beloved dog of 11 years and 3 months. We sadly had to have him put to sleep five weeks ago and my heart still aches.

I miss him everyday. I can still feel him and I can still hear him. Does the pain of losing a pet ever go away?

We noticed that he had a lump growing on the roof of his mouth. The vet barely glanced at it and I knew from her reaction that all was not good. My heart began to melt. She gave us all the options.

Over the following two weeks I watched him closely. He had changed. He looked old all of a sudden. He seemed to have lost his spark. I noticed how he would pant without reason. How he would screw his eyes up and look unhappy. These things were minor but I knew somehow they were linked to what was lurking in his mouth. I went back to see the vet. Yes, we could go down the road of biopsies and further tests but the bottom line was, even if this lump was not a cancerous tumour, it was still a lump that could not be removed as it was on the hard palate in the roof of his mouth. SO what did that leave us with? The vet knew when I walked in what we had decided. I told her we did not want to wait until he became really poorly. It was not fair on him. I also didn’t want to wake up one morning and find his mouth bleeding or crying in pain. There was also the consideration of the children…..what if he turned nasty? If he was in pain this was a possibility. He was the softest dog you could ever meet and was wonderful with our children…..but there is always that “what if?”.

The vet was so supportive and agreed with our decision 100%. She also said that due to the nature of the tumour it was likely it has already spread to his lungs……this may now explain the unnecessary panting. She said from the glance alone she was over 95% sure it was cancerous.

Phone Pics 185

We gave ourselves a week to prepare and spoil him rotten! I can quite honestly say, mentally it was the worst week of my life. Were we doing the right thing? Should we give him a chance? Any anaesthetic would have killed him as he had a bad heart murmer but that element of doubt was still there. Again, even if we’d gone ahead, the chemo etc after would only have prolonged his life by maybe 8-9 months, and what a miserable 8-9 months they would have been for him.

That week before I spoiled him so much. He had all his favorite foods….chicken, ham, buscuits, watermelon (odd one I know) and he loved it! The night before I let him sleep on our bed with me and the hubby.

Then the day came. I made the kids cuddle him before they went off to school that day. They had no idea what was going to happen. What was rather surreal though was that my daughter mentioned when leaving the house that Oscar looked sad and poorly. I came back from the school run and sat and sobbed holding him close. I mean big proper sobbing, it was awful. But then hubby came home and as he walked through the door, he broke down. It had suddenly hit him and it broke my heart.


I won’t give you all the details, but his passing was remarkably peaceful at the vets. We sobbed and sobbed our way through it as he drifted off cuddled up in my arms., but we knew he was at peace and would not suffer. As we walked home with just his collar and an empty lead there was silence. We couldn’t talk.

We had to tell the children when they came home from school. We said that he was very poorly and very old and that he had died when we took him to the vets. Kids of that age do not need to know all the details. They sat and drew pictures and wrote letters that they wanted Mammy to send to Doggy Heaven. My heart was splitting in two.

We had Oscar from the day he was born when we lived in Greece and when we moved to the UK he came with us! He was our baby!

I miss him barking when someone is at the door…..I miss his claws on the wood floors, I miss him cuddling in when the kids had gone to bed.  He was such a huge part of our little family and I will never get over losing him.

We love and miss you so much Oscar!!! xxxxx