A - Z Challenge 2017

A – Z Challenge 2017 – Theme Reveal

So in the past I have done places, animals, artists and I was hoping to come up with a really cool theme for this year but it just has not happened. You may have noticed there was no vlog or Lazy Sunday this last week, well the truth is our week was thrown into turmoil with the passing of one of our little furries, Buddy age 6 (a good age for a guinea pig) was dead when we got up on Thursday morning and although I hid the fact from Monster until after school there were lots of tears and as you can imagine we have been busy trying to ease his upset, which to be honest is not helped by ,the remaining piggie, making lots of noise in his distress at now being a lone piggie.

Anyhow back on subject A – Z theme, I have been racking my brain this morning but it was not really complying and I kept wondering off on strange trains of thought. The it came to me, that will be my ‘theme’ stream of conciousness! I am going to open the dictionary at random for each letter and and stick my finger on the word and that will be the starting point for that day. I will give the word and the definition first, then from there I shall allow my mind to wander wherever it so desires for 500 – 1000 words.

Now you all know me, so you can’t hold me responsible for any rabbit holes we may journey into, they may be fun and frivolous, or, dark and dangerous. I have no idea how well this will work but I think it will be fun finding out lol

8. Vlog Time · Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sunday #9 & Vlog Time #64 – Introducing Miss Molly

Hello, or even good morning as it is still morning as I sit down to begin this, I have just stuffed my face with a bacon butty and m now sipping my mocha although it is so warm here today I could happily swap it for a nice iced vanilla latte. I have had a week off work and while you would think that would have given me lots of extra time I seem to have been really busy with family and have achieved very little this week, though I do have sore ribs now from laughing so much playing a board game called Vampireology with my daughter and her boyfriend last night, the game took four hours though we hope it will become quicker to play once we stop having to refer to the rule book every other move lol.  But you are not here to listen to me rave about a game you want to know what I have been reading so lets make a start…

  1. First up is a lady who has become a friend, she like so many of us us struggling with getting the breaks and initial sales and reviews to get going with her writing career in terms of making a living from it, so she has decided to treat everyone with excerpts on a Sunday in the hope you will like what you read, I have a couple of her books waiting to be read something I really need to remedy, if the excerpts intrigue you please consider either buying the books or even approach her about a trade for a review, without those Amazon reviews getting your work noticed is almost impossible, https://bridgetstraub.com/2016/05/01/excerpt-sunday/
  2. I confess I am sharing this mainly for one photo in it although it is of course a fascinating post, however the mural painted on the end of that building took my breath away and makes me think in an age of so many high rise buildings why do more companies not commission this sort of work https://anabelsblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/toronto-distillery-district/
  3. I am sharing this just because it is Monday tomorrow you might just need an extra smile https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2016/05/02/reserved-for-monday-funnies/
  4. Next up a post from my dearest friend Rhonda, she is developing an incredible talent with her camera, the only downside being we seem to be seeing less of her talent with words, however this post is something dear to my heart, that precious gift of being able to wander with your camera and capture a unique moment in time, https://50-shades-of-gray-hair.com/2016/05/06/in-the-blink-of-an-eye/
  5. THe next up is something that plagues every creative person at some point, the spectre of self-doubt this is a great post about trying to get past your inner demons https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/05/02/dont-let-writers-self-doubt-beat-you-4-steps-to-conquer-it/
  6. If you have been around Facebook or read certain other blogs you are bound to have come across this story in the last week or so but just in case you missed it… https://makropp.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/monday-musings-your-books-are-so-good-i-shouldnt-have-to-pay-for-them/

So that concludes the reading portion for this week now onto the vlog which I am afraid is very short this week and you do not get to see me at all, I had intended filming more and adding this footage to the end of a vlog but it was a little longer than expected and she is cuter than me…

One last thing I am going to leave you with is if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen me playing with a new app on my phone to create photo collages, the perfect excuse for me to take more photos but here are a few I have made so far the app is called Phototastic, enjoy and I shall see you next week xxxx

2016-05-04 23.10.06 2016-05-05 14.10.50 2016-05-05 14.22.22 2016-05-05 17.55.18 2016-05-05 21.43.52


Questioning the World


I started this post a dozen times, then decided not to write it , it simply hurt too much but not writing it does not ease the pain either so instead I will talk about the raw emotion that hurts so badly it is a physical pain. I am writing this Friday night but not posting until Saturday morning, that is assuming I do not change my mind again.

If you are not an animal lover you won’t understand how losing a four legged family member hurts as much as losing a two legged one but it does, I won’t even enter into that discussion and the ocean of tears I have cried today would confirm it to the hardest of hearts.

Today was the fourth time I have sat and said goodbye to a a beloved dog.  The first time was my sisters dog, that was devastating, it was also the worst way to experience it as the vet got the dosage wrong and it took several injections before she was at peace,I was not happy and as it was at an animal charity vets it made me realise you do get what you pay for.  Ever since, even when I would have qualified for free treatments I have always found the money to pay.

The second time was Smokey, he was a rescue dog on death row, age unknown but the vet thought about eighteen months old and I was only blessed with 7 years with him before he collapsed one morning and had a fit.  He got back up after and seemed okay but a little while later had another.  I rushed him to the vets, they gave him medicine to stop the seizures and I had to leave him there for a few hours for observation. I rung at the instructed time was told he was doing well and was on my way to collect him when they rang to say he was fitting again.  They concluded that it was a brain haemorrhage nothing could be done, they had run numerous blood tests looking for any other cause for a perfectly healthy dog to keel over but nothing showed at all, I sat on the floor in the back room at the vets and held him with his head in my lap as he went to sleep, it was so peaceful and tranquil and I knew I had done everything I could.

Roll forward several years and Rat the Yorkshire Terrier, he came into our lives middle aged and from a good home that could not keep him at that time, he was around eleven and was beginning to suffer with the doggy version of dementia when he began to have kidney failure. again nothing could really be done, he stayed home until it became clear he was beginning to suffer, at that point I took him to the vets and he was put to sleep, again it was a blessing and he went peacefully to sleep.  The only guilt I felt after at his end was that he loved going to the vets because he always got a new squeak toy whenever we went but on that final trip I went home without one.

Then there was this morning.

I knew it was coming, we had known for the last week.  Unlike the other dogs there was no illness, no pain, just the inevitable finality of age.  For 16 and a half years Boris had been my shadow, I lost track of the number of times I turned round too quickly and tripped over him.  The last few days he had literally not let me out of his sight willingly, when I had to do the school run or go to work he had sat by the door and waited, you might ask how I knew but I just did, I could read that dog just like my kids, I knew him inside out.

I know he wanted to stay with me and in one way I am glad he was at home when he went but his passing was harder than all the others put together.  Partly there is the length of time I had him of course, then just the type of dog he was, he was convinced he was a lapdog and never accepted he was really too big to sit on peoples knees.  But there is another aspect that I never experienced until today and that is the fear that you are doing the wrong thing.

The clinical induced sleep you go through at the vets is different to the way it happens at home.  I was lucky my ex’s mum was with us to help hold me together and reassure me because I was scared.  Your hear about the death rattle but at the vets you don’t experience it, my ex’s mum has worked in care homes for decades and has attended deathbeds more times than she likes to think about, she helped me understand what was normal and stopped me doubting that I was doing the right thing.  And believe me the final few hours I was doubting myself, I knew he was not in pain but I did wonder if I should take him to the vets and put an end to it rather than waiting for nature to take its course. The irony is I had discussed it with my daughter earlier that morning and we decided to wait a little longer but then I texted her and said it was killing me watching him as he seemed to be fighting to stay with me, she rang the vets and was ringing me to discuss the options at the exact time he took his final breath. I believe he went as he wanted, at home with me by his side, but that is another thing that you struggle to cope with when you are home alone.

You see at the vets they are trained, they know the signs to look for, have the stethoscope to listen to the chest, but when you are sat there trying to see through the tears pouring down your cheeks your mind plays tricks on you.  You think you see breathing but the hand on the chest tells you there is none, you think you feel a pulse but then realise that it is your own pounding through your fingertips, you know they have gone but you are terrified you have got it wrong and they are still there and you should be doing something. It is the same panic that you feel when you flush a fish down the toilet, it does not make a difference it was floating belly up the second you hit flush you become convinced that you saw it swim and that you have sent it to the sewers, now times that by a hundred or so.

Then there is the pain, this is no different whether you are at home or at the vets, but you cannot explain it to someone who has not felt it, the tears that pour, stinging your eyes, you try to hold it in but then it feels like your head will explode, it is like someone has hands clamped on your temples and is squeezing slowly, increasing the pressure constantly until you allow the dams to break again.  Then the pains in your chest, when they talk of dying from a broken heart it is assumed to be metaphorical but anyone who has felt this knows the actual pain is physical, not a knife through the heart, the pain is not that sharp more like someone hitting you with a sledgehammer over and over again.

Why have I written this? In part because I am a writer, that is what I do, this is how I make sense of what I am feeling. You see the hardest part right now is that the tears are flowing down my cheeks and the one who would normally lick them away, as he has done so many times down the years is no longer here to do so.  Do I believe he is in a better place? Do I believe we will meet again? The fact is the answer to those questions is totally irrelevant at the minute because right now the pain is too raw for beliefs to even begin to numb the heartbreak…

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8. Vlog Time

Vlog Time #41 – The Ups and Downs of Life

Basically back to me sitting and waffling in front of the camera, a few focus issues as I was not using the tripod on a firm surface rather I had it on the bed with me ( I will not do it again I promise) and a bonus feature of the monster and a horse.

Goodreads Giveaway

Amazon UK Link

Amazon.com Link

4. Thursday · Vlogs

January Vlog

I have decided on a new format for the Vlogs where I will do one a month to be published on the last Thursday of each month, hopefully you will enjoy them and want to see more but also I am going to use them to run a monthly competition on my Facebook page and once I get more practised at editing you will get to experience more of the places I visit during the year.

If you want to take part in the competition please visit my Facebook page here

Blog Challenges · Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 15: If you could have any pet you wanted, what would it be? (can be imaginary or real)

Day 15: If you could have any pet you wanted, what would it be? (can be imaginary or real)

I am always really torn on questions like this as I have two one real one ‘imaginary’ though I still love in hope that they are real too so here we go a really quick one.  Both as considered dangerous and would require a firm hand and some serious taming, and take up quite a bit of space.

The real one…


And the imaginary one and yes I want it in purple…


Me And Mine

Lessons in Death

For those of you who follow my Facebook page or twitter feed you will be aware of last weeks loss here in the Acton household, Eric the Hamster passed away just short of his second birthday.


Pets are the way many of us learn about life and death, it is the first tangible link we make between this world and the next depending n your beliefs.  It is tempting to avoid having pets to protect our youngsters from dealing with the pain of loss but if doing so you do them an injustice and leave them unprepared when death arrives in the shape of a grandparent or other family member,  the monster has taken the loss of this little soul quite badly but he will recover and be all the stronger the next time he has to say goodbye.