I guess this week has been dominated by the Christening of my husband, friend and her two little boys. I was asked to be the boys Godmother and my husband their Godfather. However, we had to be christened ourselves to take this role and my hubby wasn’t, that’s why he was Christened at the same time.

I am a person of faith, but I’ve not attended church regularly since we moved house. Before I was a member of a church family for years and I always felt comfort in my faith and my other family. When you are part of a community church there is always someone to turn to.

I was overjoyed to be asked to be a Godmother to my friends boys, this is the first time anyone has asked me. The boys are aged 8 and 1 years and I met them when my Little Man was in the same class at school as the 8 year old. Both boys have moved from that school now but we’ve stayed in touch. 

I wanted to give them something for their special day but all the gifts seemed to be aimed at babies. So I made gifts myself.

I’m thinking now that I should have spent a little more time photographing them better! This is my first attempt at anything like this, but I did enjoy making them and they were well received. Their Mum even shared photos on Facebook of the little gift tags I’d made myself and attached to the wrapped frames.

The Christening.

The christening was held in St Nicolas Church which I’ve posted about before as it’s such a beautiful building. 

The service was really nice and my girls seemed to enjoy the hymns very much, singing at the top of their voices.

12th August 2018

The Meatless Carvery

After the service we all went to a local carvery which had been pre-booked. When we all arrived they told us that they were having a problem with the meat and didn’t have much on offer so would offer us a discount on our bill.

They were not wrong, there was a little gammon and some chicken breast on offer. They even bought out a tray of sausages. It was kind of funny, a carvery with no meat! We all managed to fill our plates with a little meat and loads of veggies. Boo was the clever one and ordered spaghetti bolognese! Then we all had desert and waited for the bill. Yes, the food had not been so good but the bill was £57 for 7 adults and 10 children. I guess we couldn’t complain.

My word of the week this week is Christening because it was such a wonderful event. In other news I have been washing and packing because on Friday we will be off on our long awaited holiday to Devon.

Debs Random Writings
The Reading Residence


These days it’s pretty easy to get your story in the news, just go online and submit it and if they like it they will use it. 

It’s a little hard on the self conscious though. Do you really want everyone to know your true story? Will it be published correctly? Will they change it to suit? What will people think?

My Story

Recently, I was approached to tell my story. I was asked, I didn’t put it through my self. I had several telephone conversations with the lady and after she had written my story she read it back to me. I was happy, everything seemed just as I had told.

Then my story was published on the Daily Mail online and will be appearing in a woman’s magazine in print. There was no turning back now. It took me three days to tell anyone, even my husband. Then he posted it on Facebook.

My reaction was to cringe, at the headlines, at the photos. Even though I’d shared the photos before, the thought of more people seeing them made me squirm. The headline made me squirm too.

The Mother of Three that is turning into a ‘Human Statue.’

When the condition, Stiff Person Syndrome, was first discovered, it was found that a common feature was a stiffness that turned it’s sufferers into statues. This seems to have stuck throughout time, although most of us with Stiff Person Syndrome do not see it like this anymore. Many medications have been found that can prevent the condition from progressing to this stage, and some have even found their condition goes into remission. Still, it sounds dramatic doesn’t it?

Many people with Stiff Person Syndrome have spasms which can stiffen parts or all of their body. When I have a spasm I do go stiff, but it’s not board like, I often tend to curl up and I’m unable to straighten again until the spasm passes. This can last anything from a minute to 20 minutes. I also have smaller spasms that affect my feet, hands or legs, sending them stiff. But eventually they relax again.

I do have stiff muscles that never relax in my back, legs and feet. These are what contribute to my inability to walk.

I have to say though, they did manage to stick to the truth, the things I told them. There was a little sensationalism thanks to the highlighted headlines, not anything I’d not said.

The Reason for Sharing.

My main reason for sharing my story is to raise awareness. I’ve recently become part of a small group of Stiff Person Syndrome sufferers that are trying to make our condition more widely known. Very few doctors or medical professionals have heard of the condition. Even fewer general members of the public. With awareness comes better diagnosis and treatment. And maybe even one day a cure.

I’m doing a little research myself and I’ve already noticed that those with paroneoplastic Stiff Person Syndrome have responded to a particular chemotherapy drug. SPS can be a side effect of cancer, and when the cancer is treated, the symptoms of SPS are resolved too. Maybe, in the future, the drug could be tested on other SPS patients to see if it makes their symptoms go away too. It’s just my theory for now, but who knows what could happen. 

So, as cringy as I find it, my story needs to be told, as do many others. One day maybe lots of people will have heard of SPS and treatment will become readily available. 

Reactions to My Story

I was surprised at how little many of my friends knew about my story and my condition. I guess, I must not overshare as I’d originally thought (or was led to believe.) I don’t want sympathy, but what about my family? Maybe they deserve a little sympathy for what they are going through. I hate my children seeing me sick, I’ve become an expert at hiding my pain and my feelings. My husband is more observant and is constantly asking me how I am doing. It’s good to know that people care, but I also find it awkward. 

Now that I have been forced to look at the bigger picture though, my feelings have been put aside. Yes, I may feel embarrassed but if my story helps to raise awareness then I will continue to tell it for as long as I am able.

Maybe I should be more honest from now on. I was slated for it recently and it really made me hide back in my shell. But now I don’t care. So what if a few people decide to mock me or ignore me, there is a bigger picture here that I am part of. 

So, here goes, the link to the first article about me as it appears online.

Birmingham Woman is Turning Into a ‘Human Statue’

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

Group Hug

Not a brilliant photo, but if a picture could paint a thousand words this one would be one of yelling, screaming, fighting and running around like lunatics. But, at the end of the day when it’s time to leave each other, it’s time for a big group hug.

Friends since they were tiddlers, these three boys got together to celebrate my Little Man’s 8th Birthday. 

Parties

This year, the deal was NO birthday parties and I’m not sure it sunk in with anyone. Boo agreed but asked if her friend could come around for tea, so I agreed and when Graham went to pick her up another little friend who lived in the same street asked to come as well. He couldn’t refuse, so we had two friends for tea. I made pizzas and sausage rolls, crisps, biscuits and birthday cake.

Ditto the Little Man, no party just a friend around for tea, but he wanted two friends, and one of his friends brought his two sisters (who were friends of my two girls.) Never has a ‘not having a party’ looked more like a party before. I did forget to make the jelly though, and we didn’t have party games or activities, I just let them run wild. Really wild.

Minecraft Cake

I also said that I was not going to be making cakes this year. So Boo said ‘Ok, I’ll make my own.’ And she did. She also helped me make a cake for the Little Man. He chose a Minecraft cake and wanted me to do a picture of a villager. It was nowhere near as good as his previous Minecraft cakes, but that didn’t matter.

Minecraft Villager Cake

Birthday Month

From 27th July to 24th August it’s Birthday month in our house. All three of my Little ones have birthdays within 4 weeks of each other. 

Next up it’s Star’s birthday. She doesn’t do parties anyway, so no worries there. Instead we’ll be singing Happy Birthday in car on the motorway on the way home from our holiday. A little error on my behalf, but she doesn’t mind. She’s made me promise to stop off at Burger King on the way home. How can I refuse. That sounds like a party I can handle.

Photalife
Sunday Snap

Day Out

After a fairly chilled out week last week we decided we’d had enough of sitting around and went out for the day on Saturday. Well, I say the day, we actually didn’t leave until after lunch. Two reasons for this, I didn’t want to spend any more money than necessary and the kids didn’t really want to go out. I mean, how cruel of me to drag me away from their electronic devices!

So, we ventured out to a National Trust Property, Baddesley Clinton, which turned out to be only half an hours drive away. It was a gloriously sunny day and it was just so nice to actually get out side in it. It was also really nice to get inside the cool house after five minutes of leaving the air conditioning of the car.

We did spend some time in the garden in the shade though, soaking up enough vitamin D to last us another week.

On Sunday we rested. As you do.

(Well, if you don’t count the washing pile that put Everest to shame, or the Sunday roast I decided to cook, or the bathroom that was definitely in need of a scrub before the round of showering kids scummed it up again.)

Shopping

Then it’s been non-stop. Shopping, baking, doctor visits, dentist appointment, more shopping, even more shopping and barely a moment to snap open a laptop.

If you are wondering why all the shopping wasn’t done in one go then I need to explain. First up there is food shopping which is quite necessary. Then there was birthday card shopping, a total of 10 cards were purchased. Oh, and we decided that it would be a nice idea to visit the toy store so the Little Man could spend his birthday money, and the girls could spend theirs. The joys of having three kids’ birthdays in the space of four weeks! One is ‘the birthday yet to come,’ but as we will be on holiday we let her have some money early, and the other is the ‘birthday past,’ but we kept back some money especially for this spending spree. The Little Man has his birthday this week, ‘the birthday present,’ but we went shopping a couple of days earlier so he didn’t feel so bad about his sisters having presents on his special day.

Oh well, it made sense when I thought it all up.

Then more shopping because I had to go to Hobbycraft for supplies. I have a Christening to go to on Sunday, it’s quite a special one as we are going to be the Godparents. I’ve never been chosen as Godparent before and I wanted to get something special. Only I couldn’t find anything that didn’t break the bank, so I’m making something myself. I’m a bit worried about it now, but I’ve been assured that it looks good. I’ll show it to you later, if you want me too.

So, I guess the word of the week this week has to be Shopping! 

a stylish woman holding up a hoard of shopping bags
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Debs Random Writings
The Reading Residence

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan

Back in the 90s Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starred in three iconic films together.

1990 – Joe Versus the Volcano

1993 – Sleepless in Seattle

1998 – You’ve Got Mail

I think that Sleepless in Seattle is the most memorable of the three. Who can forget that wonderful meeting on the top of the Empire State Building.

However, You’ve Got Mail is my favourite, mainly because it reminds me so much of my early computer days.

I’m not always a great lover of romantic comedies but there is something special about the relationship between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, they work perfectly together.

They did another film together in 2015, Ithaca, which I admit I haven’t seen yet. Apparently Meg and Tom are not the main stars in this film, but I may still get around to watching it, even if it’s just to see the gorgeous town of Ithaca, a Greek island off Kefalonia.

You’ve Got Mail

a woman's hand typing on a laptop keyboard

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Kathleen Kelly: [in an email to Joe Fox] The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.

Why do I love You’ve Got Mail? Well, it’s set around books for starters. I’d so like to visit The Shop Around the Corner, Kathleen’s (Meg Ryan) adorable little bookshop that was passed down from her Mother. However, I wouldn’t be able to resist a visit to Fox Books either. This is Joe Fox’s (Tom Hanks) book superstore which eventually puts Kathleen’s little shop out of business.

Kathleen Kelly: When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.

Apart from the book theme, I also love the nostalgia of early computing. Back in 1998 I was the owner of a  shiny new computer which cost me £999.99. Or almost month of my wages back then, and I had a pretty good job. The computer had a minute 3GB hard drive, which is not actually enough to run Windows these days. I had dial-up Internet, first from Free Serve, which was very hit and miss as to whether it would connect or stay connected. Then I moved to AOL, America Online. The Americans were way ahead of us back then and a visit online would connect you with mostly American sites. Most Brits were only online at work, so out of work hours were mostly for connecting with foreigners.

Kathleen and Joe are already e-mailing each other at the start of film although they don’t know each other. They both have partners which they are not entirely happy with so the e-mails they send to each other give them a little thrill. They don’t reveal any personal information, but talk about their lives and are always there for each other.

Eventually they split with their partners and agree to meet. But, they have already met and do not actually like each other. She’s angry with him for ruining her business, and he has been rude to her.

They go to meet and he realises that it’s Kathleen he’s been e-mailing, but he doesn’t let on. They argue and she ends up thinking that her e-mail fella has stood her up.

Now he knows who she he realises that he’s actually in love with her and so he sets out to win her heart. But it’s difficult when she has already given her heart to her unknown e-mail companion.

I won’t tell you the ending. You’ll probably guess anyway, even if you’ve never seen the film.

Kathleen Kelly: What will NY152 say today, I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You’ve got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you.

How Does the Film Translate today.

You’ve Got Mail is now 20 years old. Internet dating has moved on a lot, I mean, does anyone actually meet on e-mail anymore?

There are so many things that seem so wrong in this film when thought about in present day terms. He knows who she is and goes ahead and primes her to fall in love with him. He becomes very much like a stalker, following her around, accidentally bumping in to her, telling her things that she wants to hear because she’s already confessed to her e-mail friend. It just all seems so very wrong.

But they are two people in love with each other’s minds and eventually fall in love with each other.

If there is one thing you can learn from this movie, it’s that you can’t judge someone without getting to know them.

When they first meet in the movie, neither of them knowing they are each other’s e-mail friends, there is an obvious chemistry. The second meeting she realises that he is the owner of the huge book store and believes he has been spying on her and so the hatred begins. And he retaliates.

The film is a gentle romantic comedy with just enough intrigue to keep you guessing how it’s going to end. The relationship between the two main characters is fascinating to watch.

Today, meeting someone on the Internet is a different experience. Things move along so much quicker for one. Also, it’s not guaranteed that that person who seems so perfect online is even nice in real life, you have to be really careful. Back in 1989 things were much simpler, and romance online not so scary.

Films

If you were to ask me what film genre was my favourite, I’d most likely not admit that it was romantic comedy. I’d usually go for something more gritty, like a thriller. Or I’d been keen to admit that I like Science Fiction. A list of my most watched films of all time would probably read; Star Wars, Back to the Future, Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, The Terminator etc.

But in there are a few little surprising gems, like You’ve Got Mail and Mamma Mia. And one of my current favourites is The Greatest Showman.

What sort of films do you like to watch? Have you seen You’ve Got Mail?

Mix It Up Linky

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger
https://www.warnerbros.com/youve-got-mail