My Sunday Photo – 23rd September 2018

First Guitar Lesson

A dad and his daughter sitting on the settee, both with a guitar in their hands.

Graham has been playing the guitar since he was five years old. He was taught by his Dad and it has always been his dream to teach one of his kids. He bought this pink guitar, in the photograph, for Star when she was about 7 years old, but she didn’t really show much interest.

Last week Boo decided that she would like to learn how to play and Graham was thrilled. He pulled out Star’s old guitar which was in need of a polish and some new strings and Boo helped him to get it ready. Then she listened to him tune it up. Finally her first lesson began and she loved it. I do hope she continues to learn. When she is not playing, her Dad is asking what note each string is so that she remembers the order.

Music has always been a big part of our family on both sides. My Mum could play the piano and sing. She taught herself and could never read music, but played by ear. My eldest brother is also a guitar player and likes to play keyboard. I learnt how to play oboe at school but it’s been a while since I picked one up. I can read music though and have a Diploma in Music theory. 

My eldest daughter learnt how to play the violin, but it’s been a while since she played. I bought her a purple violin for her 16th birthday. Star loves to play the keyboard and has a lovely singing voice. (I think that skipped a generation, because unlike my Mum, I have never been much of a singer.)

Graham was taught guitar by his Dad, but his uncle was also a singer/songwriter. If Boo continues with her lessons then I guess she’ll be getting a new guitar of her own. I do hope so.

Can you play an instrument?

Sunday Snap

My Sunday Photo 16th September 2018

This week I bring you the Bell Tower of the wonderful Bournville Carillon. In fact I am bringing you a post that I fist published in 2015 with a little revision.


a large brick tower with a huge bell tower on the top, set against a pale blue sky

The tower is actually the entrance to a primary school. How cool to enter your school through such an amazing building.

The Carrillon was gifted to Bournville, Birmingham by George Cadbury after visiting Belgium. He was really impressed with the Carillon in Bruges which dates back to 1675.

The copper cupola above the tower houses 48 bells, but this is no ordinary bell tower because the bells are not rung by ropes but by a carillon. The bells are fixed and don’t move, the sound is made by the clippers or tongues of the bells and these are worked by a kebyoard called a clavier.

British Empire Medal

The reason I have decided to revisit and revise this post is because the Carilloneur (isn’t that a fab. word!) Trevor Workman has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the British Carillon Society and the community in Bournville. Trevor has played the Carillon for over 50 years now.

Here is a short video of the Carillon being played. It’s an amazing instrument that takes a lot of strength to play, so my hat is off to Trevor! It sounds different from the outside though, the tone is much nicer and you don’t get to hear the clonking of the clavier keys. 


I am very lucky to live near the Bournville Carillon and on a sunny Saturday afternoon there is nothing nicer than sitting on the village green opposite and listen to it being played.

Also, it’s an incredible place in the run up to Christmas, just across the road from the Carillon, next to the village green, there is always the most beautiful Christmas tree. And the Carillon will play Christmas carols on a Saturday afternoon. There is also a fabulous carol service by candle light.

a beautiful large tree covered with pretty lights for Christmas.

I know it’s a little too soon to be mentioning Christmas. But if you do visit Cadbury World in Birmingham, any time of year, do take a look at the Carillon, it is literally opposite the entrance gates. And if you visit on a Saturday do listen out for it’s beautiful music in the afternoon. 

Sunday Snap

My Sunday Photo 2nd September 2018


On the beach

I wanted to share a photo that summed up our holiday, but I have way too many to choose from. I do love this one though. I haven’t changed it, but I’m not sure why the beach is so dark. Nothing sums up a holiday like a beach photo. And despite it being quite a busy beach it only has my three children captured.

We stayed in a caravan and when we first arrived, Star went and took photos of everything, including the loos and inside the fridge. I think caravans mostly look the same, but this one was really nice and cosy and lovely to call home for the week.

In the caravan

Apart from the beach we also went swimming a few times. The kids all had a go on the big slide which I thought was very brave of them. They are not so good in the pool and we really must get them some proper swimming lessons. The school doesn’t do them. In fact I was very surprised that when they built the new school just over a year ago, that they didn’t have a pool put in the sports centre. They have room for one. 

I posted my deer pictures last week, which was a great highlight of our holiday. Also we had a few meals out which were great fun. This restaurant was right next to the beach, and the views were lovely.

Having a meal out at the Beachside restaurant 
On the restaurant balcony

We had fun evenings at the club or the arcades. We even got to watch an Abba Tribute show. Sadly, we had to miss the Michael Jackson tribute because we were all too tired that night. The kids love arcades and winning tickets to collect for prizes. We had thousands of them by the end of the week. Sadly, you needed tens of thousands to win anything of value, but the kids had fun. They also liked the two pence machines where you roll your coin in and hope it pushes the others off so you can win more two pences and keep playing. 

The Little Man, however, preferred to spend his allowance on the VR machine. He loved it! Boo had a couple of turns, but poor Star had to miss out because of having spinal surgery. So, my last photo this week is my my Little Man enjoying a little Raving Rabids in Virtual Reality.

VR Machine, you’d better hold on, it gets bumpy!
Sunday Snap

My Sunday Photo – 12th August 2018

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. 


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.

Sunday Snap

My Sunday Photo 20th July 2018

This week was the final week for Boo in Primary School as she was a year six leaver.

My Sunday Photo(s) this week are to celebrate some of the fun stuff she did in the last year at school.

The Heart of England Forest.

As a treat for doing so well during SATS week the class was treated to a trip to The Heart of England Forest in South Warwickshire.

two girls looking at white flowers

This is Boo with her best friend. She has lots of friends at school but seems to be drawn to the ones who are a little different. Boo could easily fit in with the ‘popular’ girls but instead prefers to choose friendships she can trust and give something back to.

two girls running along a grass path in the forest


a girls just visible in the trees

Kingswood Residential

Just last month Boo spent two nights away from home on a residential trip. She joined in with everything and had a really good time. Here is a photo of her abseiling, which she found really scary, but she did it anyway.

a young girl abseiling down a wall

She is quite a timid girl, but with the right encouragement she will generally give anything a go. She loved being on the residential trip, she enjoyed all the team work and the opportunity to enjoy things she wouldn’t normally get the chance to do. I worry that she does miss out on a lot of stuff. We avoid things because of Star’s disabilities, and it’s even worse since I became disabled. It’s so good that she can get the opportunity to do these kind of things.

In this next photo she is again with her best friend. She told me all about the tumbling tower with such great excitement. Her friend kept falling off before they’d finished building the tower, but Boo was there to catch her every time.

two girls in harnesses balancing on a pile of crates, one girl is tumbling and the other is holding on to her, several children are holding up the crates they are standing on.

I’m so proud of my little girl, she never fails to surprise and delight me. She has a heart of gold and always kind to others. At the leavers assembly she was awarded with the trophy for being artfully creative and her teacher said to watch out for her name on the shelves of Waterstones in the future.

We have already talked about her writing a book and Star will help with the illustrations. Maybe we can make this our task for the Summer!



Sunday Snap


A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.