Each morning since early February I have been taking a photo of the trees at the end of my garden. I wanted to record them change from their bare Wintery branches to the lush green of Spring. I’ve not had much joy from them yet, they are still pretty bare. This photo about was taken a month ago on 30th March. It’s one of my favourites because it’s the first time I caught a bird in the trees.

The trees have not changed much over time, although I’m seeing some blossom now, but what has changed on an almost daily basis is the sky.

This next one was taken on April 2nd.


 Look how moody that sky is.

The photos are all taken around the same time in the morning with no filters or editing. This one is almost black and white. I can still make out the blossom and I know there are many more birds there now, they wake me in the morning.

Here’s yesterday’s snap, just to cheer things up.


You can see the blossom now and there are a couple of birds in flight although very difficult to spot. (Can you see them?) I think spring is on the way, but I’m getting impatient.

We also have a couple of owls in the trees, you can hear them hooting to each other. In the warmer weather we get bats coming into our garden in the evening. They come right up to our patio doors, but won’t approach if we are outside. I’d love to get a photo of them, but they are so quick. Until we had our neighbourhood bats I hadn’t realised how cute they are.

You probably think I’m a bit nuts obsessing over the trees this way, can you tell I don’t get out much!


They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, well I disagree, I don’t think it’s ever too late to learn something new.

“Yuichiro Miura became the oldest person to climb Mount Everest in 2013. He first climbed Mount Everest in 2003, at age 70 making him the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 2008 the record was broken. However in 2013, at age 80 he once again climbed Mount Everest making him the oldest person to climb Mount Everest.”

Image source: Yuichiro Miura

Of course, not everyone can be like Yuichiro Miura but you can still learn something new at any time. Age should never be a barrier.

This is what the campaign #Breakingbarriers is all about. We are seeing an increase in the number of elderly people thanks to advances in healthcare and improved standards of living. These older people should not be cast aside as being unable to learn new skills.

“Times are changing and it’s time for us to change too, breaking the stigma and encouraging each other to take action and get inspired to learn new skills or tricks of the trade.”

There are many opportunities for older people these days, they can learn new languages, take up photography, even start a blog! There should be no barriers to the things they can do. There are even fitness sessions for the over 50s, or classes for yoga and pilates. The older generation should be encouraged to break those barriers and show what they can do.

As I am now into my Golden Years, yes, I know it’s hard to believe! I find that I am wanting to learn new stuff all the time. When I was younger there just never seemed to be time, I was always busy with work or the kids, or both! Now, my life has slowed down considerably and I feel like I need to get my brain into action. Okay, with my health issues I’m never going to be running a marathon or climbing Everest, but there are other things I can do. I know I’m not retirement age yet, but I am proof that learning new things is not just for young people.
If you’ve ever done an Open University course you will see lots of older people studying for degrees. I completed my degree when I was 32, which to some people is old, but in fact I was often one of the youngest in the classes. I’d kind of got things the wrong way around, going straight into marriage and parenthood, then returning to education. The great thing is you can return to education at any time. If it’s not a degree you are looking for there are plenty of other options. At the Open University you can even get a free taster course. I’ve just signed up to a creative writing course which I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into. Keeping your brain active like this helps you to feel young, even when your body may be saying otherwise!

Take a look at the Breaking Barriers campaign today and see if you are inspired with their many skill share videos, blogs and more. See their mascot, Peter, in action as he breaks barriers at a basketball match.

Finally remember, it’s never to late to learn something new.

Disclosure: collaborative post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This week has been all about Star!

First she received a certificate in school assembly. One of the things I like about the school is that they celebrate the children’s strengths each week and you can see the determination each child has to be rewarded with a certificate. They are given out in five categories which make up the word Reach. Resiliance, Engagement, Ambition, Confidence, Honesty.
Star’s certificate was for Resiliance “in maths and always trying to apply her understanding to problems.”
This is pretty big for Star as Maths is not her strongest subject.

Then she had a hospital appointment for her stomach problems. It was after school and as it was best that just one parent went it was Daddy who took her. We didn’t get any new information from the appointment, just some more medication. It does feel like we are going around in circles with this problem which has been present for more than eight years now!
Then Star got sick! She was up all night moaning about a headache so I figured she must be having a migraine if it was keeping her awake and gave her the appropriate treatment. She had to miss school the next day because she’d not slept…but it was good that she didn’t go in because then came the sickness. Poor child never moved all day except to be sick. She slept on and off and complained of pain in between. She didn’t eat all day so we kept her topped up with water.
She’s still off school but looking a bit brighter now. Hopefully she’ll be fine over the long weekend. Next week it will be back to getting ready for her SATS. Being in year six they are making a big deal about the SATS at the school. I know that Star is a little stressed but she seems to be coping with most of the extra work she’s been given. I’m not sure how she will get on in the actual tests but I’ve already been told that they have made special arrangements for her and a few of the pupils who won’t be taking the tests in the same room as the other children. These children will be subject to the same rules but are given a little longer and breaks if necessary. It’s reassuring. It’s also sad that my child has problems that necessitate this. 
So, I guess this week is all about my star, Star and that her name should be my word of the week.

Please consider voting for me, Raisie Bay, in the Mad Blog Awards, thank you xx

The Reading Residence

I didn’t want to write this post but my Other Half insisted that I did, otherwise he won’t let me go to Blog Camp Birmingham on 21st May.

Now, I’ve been to Blog Camp before and loved it. It’s fabulous to catch up with  lovely blogger friends and learn lots of new stuff about blogging…believe me, even an old timer like me still has lots to learn. I’ve never had a problem attending, but this year is a little different. This year will be the first year I go in a wheelchair.

I’ve already created a faff with the event location and the organisers. I didn’t mean to, I just asked about wheelchair access and one of the rooms is upstairs. It’s ok though, everything will be fine and I didn’t mean to cause any faff. I get it now, sometimes you mention disability and some places will jump through hoops to accommodate you.  I guess it’s a shame it’s not all places, but I’ve never been one to cause a fuss.

Now, the nitty gritty and why my OH wanted me to write this post. I’m not very good in my wheelchair, my condition also affects my arms and hands as well as my legs and I find wheeling myself a little difficult at times. I’m worried that I’ll get in the way, run into people, get left behind, get stuck in a doorway etc etc. I’m also worried that I won’t be able to fetch myself a hot drink or food…and cake.. I wouldn’t want to miss any cake (or waffles.)

The waffles at last years blog camp!

Sooo, against my normal nature of I can do it all myself, I don’t need anyone, I just wanted to say that if you see me and I’m looking like I’m struggling or lost, could you give me a hand? I’m really not good at asking for help, and I’m not good at being fussed over. So I don’t want any fuss, I’m just asking for a little consideration. In return, I promise to do the best I can not to run into anyone.

I’m happy to talk about what’s wrong with me, but just in case you see me and you don’t want to ask here is a brief outline. On January 1st this year I was admitted to hospital with inflammation on my spine. I was paralysed in both my arms and legs for a couple of days, but then I began regaining some strength. I can walk but the inflammation has caused nerve damage and now my brain doesn’t communicate properly with the rest of my body. So my walking is slow and wobbly. The nerve damage also causes a lot of pain, which is constant and exhausting. (I may not make it to the end of the day!) This means each step I take really hurts my legs and feet. So, I am now in a wheelchair, with no idea if I will get better or not. The condition I have is called Transverse Myelitis and it is so rare it only affects 1 in 3 million people a year in the UK. I have a tab at the top of the page where I’m recording my TM journey.

Friday Fabulous

If you read my blog then you will already know that I love surprise boxes and I’ve just received one that really made me smile.

My lovely gift and treat box from Boxcitement.
The box neatly fitted through the letterbox, so no worries about being out when the delivery is made. Inside the gifts were neatly packaged and straight away you can’t wait to get stuck in and see what you have got.

My lovely box was Spring Themed and promised ‘It’s time to sew, grow and sow.’ On the top were some lovely pastel leaves which were not only a pretty touch but could be useful in a crafting project.
On opening the box my excitement grew, the first things I spotted under the tissue wrap was a lovely notebook and a gardening kit.
I opened the package carefully revealing each surprise, this is what it contained.
  • A pack of Thank You Cards with envelopes; I have a few people who are overdue a thank you from me so I already know who will be the lucky recipients. 
  • A stylish beaded tassel necklace; I love this, it comes in a hessian gift bag so it would be lovely as a gift. The thing is, it matches a lovely dress that I’ve just bought for my holiday so I may just have to keep it myself.
  • A mini gardening kit including gloves, wooden plant markers and wildflower seeds; just my thing, I already have some little pots and my daughter has promised to help me with a little gardening this weekend.
  • A set of cute buttons; I was actually looking for some buttons for a crafting project I had in mind, these will be perfect.
  • A useful notebook: I always have a notebook on me and this one is so pretty, it will be a pleasure to use.
  • Some bright bakers twine; great for tying around gifts or crafting.
  • A make-your-own paper flower template; I will look forward to making this.

Boxcitement is the perfect subscription box for lovers of pretty things, crafts and stationary. You can keep them for a special treat or pass them on to friends as gifts.Each item is of good quality and they all come together under the monthly chosen theme.
You can pay monthly or in advance for 3, 6 or 12 months. You can cancel anytime. Or if you wish you can choose to buy 1, 3 or 6 boxes without subscribing. They’d make a lovely present for someone who deserves a real treat. Price for each box is £18 including P&P with prices reducing for the more you subscribe too.
Disclosure: I was sent this box for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and honest.

I’m a finalist in the MAD blog awards, please could you spare a moment to vote for me, Raisie Bay, in the Schooldays category..thanks xx