The Twisted Tree


Just like this tree, sometimes I think I have many stories to tell, with lots of twists and turns. If I wrote a book about my life I’d probably have to write three volumes!

A long time ago, when I was a teenager, my brother and his wife would take me out to pubs with their three young children. I would see it as a real treat, but I guess they saw it as someone to look after the three little ones outside while they could have a drink in peace. They would even sneak me a drink sometimes, Snowballs were my favourite, or maybe a Babycham. To me it was the best of both worlds, a scamper around the woods or park playing with the kids and a very grown up drink! Oh to be 14 again!

Hopwood House

One of the places they would take me too was a lovely pub next to a canal. Outside was a wooden area and a park with swings and a roundabout. It was really lovely there outside, one of my favourite places to go.

The canal is actually the one that runs alongside my current home and the pub is just a few miles down the road….but, I haven’t been there for many years, very many years.

We wanted to go to a pub for lunch and as the kids were off school on an inset day, we wanted it to be somewhere for them to play outside. I remembered this childhood venue and I was sure the kids would like it. We have our very own (almost) teenager so we knew they would be able to play outside, but Graham still kept popping out to see how they were getting on.

One thing I’d only vaguely remembered were all the steps to this pub. There was wheelchair access but I wanted to use my sticks. I’m glad I did, because the ramps went such a long way around and once inside you had to go up in one of those tiny open lifts that are just big enough for a wheelchair. There is nothing wrong with all this of course, I appreciate that they are there. But sometimes I just like to be a little more ‘invisible.’

So, once inside I was kind of glued to my seat while the kids and their Dad where coming and going. I’d have loved to have roamed about outside, see if any memories came flooding back to me, but it wasn’t to be. Those days are history now. But, it’s still nice that my kids can enjoy themselves like I once did.

They came in for food and regaled me with stories of broken picnic tables and fallen trees. They had made believe that there had been a hurricane and they were there to see if there were any survivors in the rubble. (I’m sure it wasn’t that bad, but it was enough to awaken their imaginations.)

The food was pretty nice too and I was so proud of my kids for ignoring the chips on offer and going for more healthier options. All washed down with milk and squash. I think it will be a long time before Star gets interested in alcohol.

Now we have rediscovered this place, I’m sure we will be visiting again. Do you have any childhood places you like to take your kids?




Sunday Snap



It’s been a strange couple of weeks. I had a break from social media which also affected my blogging. I don’t know if the effect was direct or more because I just felt the need to spend less time online. Anyway, the break did me good and I had plenty of time to reflect. And to read and crochet 🙂

Half Term

Half term passed in a flash. I had to spend a day in hospital for treatment so Graham took the kids out. Then we had another day out at the Wildlife Conservation Centre. Then before I knew it, it was time to go back… well for the girls it was. We made a huge decision to keep the Little Man away from that school and now I am home educating him while we wait for a place at another school.

Home Education

This is not a new thing for me, both my older children were home educated for a while. And Star was for the eleven months she couldn’t go to school because of her operations and halo brace. (It was the fourth year anniversary of her cervical fusion yesterday.)  But, I did have home tutors provided for all of them.

I’m educating the Little Man myself and as I hope he will return to school I’m sticking with the Curriculum for his year. Last week we had a de-schooling week where he didn’t do much actual work, just a few activities like word searches and crosswords, and some crafts.

This week, however, we have a timetable of lessons to stick too. When it’s one to one you don’t need to spend all day on lessons which is good because it really is hard to keep him working, he gets distracted very easily. Yesterday we were learning about electronics from a science kit I bought and he loved it. So now I’m thinking of how I can make other lessons like English and Maths more interesting for him.

His reading is brilliant, he barely stumbles over a word, but he can’t read for long when he starts fidgeting and rushing the words. It’s a shame because I think he could really get lost in a book if he just showed a little patience. We’ll work on that.


Last week while browsing the local animal adoption centre, like I do frequently, I noticed they had a lot of kittens. Three families of them. I looked through all the photos and this one jumped out at me.

His name is Ash and I had to go and see him. He was with his four sisters and they were all so cute I just wanted to take them all home. But sadly, one cat is the limit at the moment and we thought a boy cat would be best.

We moved into this house, nearly five years ago, with four cats. Now we only have one, and bless her, she’s lonely. So we reserved Ash and went to pick him up yesterday. He is adorable! We now have to slowly integrate him into our family. We’ve not introduced him to Sabrina, our other cat, yet, so fingers crossed they get on (eventually.)


Debs Random Writings




a lizard on a rock, he has a v shape on his head and stripes on his trunk. He is surrounded by green leaves

Do you know my name?


This week I am sharing another photo from the Wildlife Conservation Park. This is one my husband took and I thought it was pretty good seeing as he took it through a glass window in a dimly lit place. When I asked him what type of lizard it was he had no idea.

He does look rather friendly though as he came right up to the glass to greet his visitors. If you have any idea what type of lizard he is I’d love to know.

I did try to remember what I was photographing and the following photo is one of mine. It’s a gorgeous little Tamarin Monkey. I could have  took him home he was so cute, although I’m not condoning monkeys as pets.

A very small and furry black Tamarin Monkey sitting on a rope in a wooden enclosure


You can read about our trip to the Wildlife Conservation Park here.

I think that’s enough wildlife for now, next week I’m hoping to bring you a photo or two of our new family member that we are picking up on Monday.




Sunday Snap



Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Trying to decide on a theme for your home? Whether it’s antique, modern or contemporary, coming up with a theme can make for a beautiful aspect to your home. Besides, a theme is the perfect way to bring together individual elements.


Coming up with a theme may be the hardest part of a home renovation because a theme is where the entire process will be aimed at. Finding the supplies you need is no longer that hard as there are several shops now providing home improvement supplies.


Below is a guide to applying a couple of basic principles of design to help bring your theme together.


  1. Choosing A Theme


Of course, the first step is to pick a theme. You may already have one in mind based on a pattern or interest. Or, you may have no idea where to start. Try this:


  • Write down a list of your favourite interests, in order of importance.
  • Look online at themed rooms and list some of the themes that appeal to you.
  • Look for dĂ©cor items and make a list of the ones that jump out at you.


By creating these lists, you may see patterns emerging. For example, your biggest interest could be country style and you find that you favour country home styles. You may even find that paintings of horses and fields stand out and you love a country feel. If you don’t notice a consistent pattern, pick a theme from the lists that seems to stick out the most.


  1. Design By The Room


Once you have a theme or two, you can decide how much you want that theme to rule. Do you want the theme to run throughout your home, or just in a single room? Or, maybe you want a different theme for each room?


As a rule of thumb, try not to overload your home with too many themes. Rather have a few neutral rooms to give themes a rest.


As for bathrooms, you can check out the showers of Trading Depot to match an elegant theme. You can choose to mix the modern bathroom parts with bathroom accessories that match your chosen theme. You can also just focus the theme on the walls, the floor, the door, and even the windows, among others. Bathroom parts are a lot more efficient and convenient these days and they easily blend well with almost any theme a homeowner chooses.


  1. Using Themed DĂ©cor


Now, let’s get down to specifics. The first thing to do is get a couple of décor elements that display the theme you’ve settled on. You don’t need to buy a bunch of new things, just find a couple of visual focal points, such as a decorative item or wall art.


But, if you’ve decided to base your theme on a strong and well-established interest, you may have plenty of décor items lying around. Gather them together and decide what you want to display. Aim to intersperse items throughout the room in a way that is balanced.


  1. Be Subtle With DĂ©cor


If you’re not a big fan of collections or large pieces of art, there are plenty of other ways you can incorporate a theme in a more subtle and elegant way through these tips:


  • Order customised prints that detail a certain theme. Place them on pillows as accents.
  • Use a few small, more natural elements to place on tables or windowsills.
  • Don’t forget the lighting is a good way to accent a theme.
  • Consider textured accents.
  • Repurpose items to help camouflage the dĂ©cor.
  • Window and upholstery treatments are a great way to add subtleness to a theme.


  1. Don’t Forget Practicality


You may have to think about features that add comfort to your home. When the weather is too cold, you will appreciate that you didn’t forget that underfloor heating installation by Trading Depot in your home renovation plan.


Using these tips, you can effortlessly create the perfect theme for your home designs.

Monday Stumble Linky


Disclosure: This is a collaborative post

It’s not been the best of time for me health wise, after catching the kid’s sickness bug I seem to have been knocked off my feet, almost literally!

It’s made me think a lot about my illness and how it’s progressing. I don’t like it, and I don’t like my family seeing me like it either.

This is not my usual state of mind. I probably get on a lot of people’s nerves but I’m really a ‘cup half full’ type of person. It’s strange really when my life hasn’t really strolled along the easy path, it’s definitely been a slow mountain climb with lots of crumbling rocks on the way.

Maybe that’s why I’m a positive thinking person. If I focus on the negative then I’d probably be a very depressed person right now. That doesn’t mean that I’ve never suffered depression, I have quite a few times, but these days I am well aware of the warning signs and I know the best ways to keep it at bay.

So, what have I been up to this week?

Well, I’ve got a new hobby! I have always been interested in papercraft but I’ve never been the arty type. I’ve decided that I’ll give it a go though and I’m making some cards. I’m using my favourite resource, Pinterest, to get some inspiration and I’ve been buying some bits and pieces to get me started. Okay, I know you don’t absolutely need a die cutter for starters, but I couldn’t resist treating myself to one.

Here’s my first attempt.


I’ve even ordered myself a cabinet to keep my bits and pieces in. With this and my crochet I’m going to be keeping very busy.

Talking about crochet, here is my latest creation.


The request for these keep coming so I can see myself making more. I’m also working on a big blanket with a CAL (crochet along) but that’s a year long project. I am loving it already though and can’t wait for the finished product. I can’t decide whether I prefer big projects or little ones. Last night I spent about an hour crocheting this jammy dodger tape measure cover.


I think now you may be able to see how I cope with my illness…I occupy my brain and my hands 🙂


Debs Random Writings