New year, New skill

Now the new year is here I’m wondering about learning a new skill,  and hopefully seeing it through to completion.

learn a skill, ukulele

Last year I got a Ukulele and had planned to go to a class, but when the eldest realised I couldn’t even tell if it was in tune I knew it was downhill from there.

Of course you don’t have to physically go to a class these days, with Youtube and online courses you can study almost anything anytime.

The other half has already started some training at work.  With early semi-retirement in his plans this year his role will change to enable him to work two or three days a week  instead of five, and still allow continuity with the families he works with in the hospital.

This is quite common, lots of workplaces provide organisational learning for personal development and sharing knowledge which benefits the company and individuals.

I do have an idea about something I would really like to train to do this year.

Early last year when I was interviewed on a local community radio station I stayed throughout the whole show and helped out by reading messages and chatting ‘radio style’ while the producer had been stuck in traffic.

I loved it, and afterwards talked about an idea I had for a programme, which they were very interested in, so maybe that’s what I could do this year.

After all, Annie Nightingale still presents a radio show and she’s way older than me.

Do you have plans to learn something new this year?

this post is a collaboration

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Hello new year


The holiday’s over and done for last year

We’ve ate all the chocolates and drank all the beer

The kids are back fighting about who’s watching what

Ignoring their toys and presents they’ve got

The decorations are down and the tree is quite bare

My pyjamas are crumpled and there’s tats in my hair

Visitors have left and the house looks a riot

I’m chucking out cakes as I resolve to diet

But its back to school Tuesday and that will mean

My first bit of peace in 2017

Best wishes to you all for a happy and healthy 2017

Prose for Thought
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Housekeeping – Downton to down your street

Remember in the olden days when the only people with housework help were the Downton Abbey set, well today in the UK over 6 million homes have a cleaner or housekeeper.

What was once thought awkward and embarrassing to say you employ a cleaner is now an everyday part of modern life.

A third of people employing a cleaner say they just don’t have the time to do it themselves, whilst others say they can’t be bothered with the stress of arguing over who’s cleaning what.

Whatever the reason It seems nowadays paying for help with housework is more a part of running the home than a luxury.

With only one woman in ten being a stay at home mum housekeeping help is on the rise, especially as a third of those are the main bread winners. Also it’s an employment role were people working in the industry can choose hours to fit their life too.

Parents who work all week, rushing every evening to pick up children from childcare, then homework, cooking tea, and suddenly  bedtime, don’t want to spend their weekends cleaning and ironing.

Family time is important, so outsourcing the ironing and returning to a sparkling clean home gives freedom to choose how to spend your time.

Claire from The Laundry Queen-Housekeeping covers a large area of the North West with her cleaning company, she says more ‘average’ families are employing help around the home. We offer bespoke packages to suit every need and pocket. Using the flexibility of booking by social media and various payments such as Paypal or card, keeping it as easy as possible as more people enquire about housekeeping help.

From a ‘one off’ clean to regular weekly appointments people want different things. Having the laundry done and a wardrobe of ironed shirts can set you up for the week ahead.

How about a deep clean of the kitchen including oven and fridge, this isn’t something you would have done every week but probably one job we put off until it’s desperate and then hate every minute of doing it.


Stress is a key factor in our lives today, there’s enough to think about without worrying when you’ll get a chance to clean the bathroom. So why not get a professional in.

Figures show that we are finally realising that it’s acceptable to pay someone else to do our housework. Finding a greater balance in family life is the key to hiring help around the house, freeing up time to spend with each other, children, and getting that all important time to unwind.

And having one of these at home I need all the help I can get.


If you’re thinking of getting some help you can find Claire and her team on Facebook or instagram.


Diary of an imperfect mum
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Live “off grid” as long as I can make a cuppa

narrowboat on the pontcysyllte aqueduct

A recent survey by Flogas said of 910 brits 85% of them have, at some point, considered moving away from the city to live “off-grid.”

I’m not surprised by this at all, we all seem to lead such hectic lives now and I think people do want to get away from it all and find some peace. But could you actually do it?

The closest we’ve come to getting away from it all is having a Narrowboat. Slowly cruising the canal at 4mph away from the hustle and bustle but It’s a real home from home with all the mod cons.

This is a slower way of life and lots of people live on their boats and it is an “off grid” way of living.

There is no mains gas, no mains electricity, the electricity is stored in batteries which are powered by the boat engine and the gas is bottled.

There is no mains water, water is stored in a large tank that needs to be filled. Sometimes no phone signal and 99% of the time NO WIFI. Even the TV is dependent on picking up a reception signal.

Shopping has to be done when mooring up at villages or towns. There’s no big supermarket shop as storage is limited on a narrowboat.

Here are the key findings:

Most people prioritise running water, electricity and gas for cooking and heating as top priorities, but around 8% don’t see them as a priority at all in a remote area.

80% of respondents think that living in a remote area would suit them.

Almost half of respondents would miss their smartphone within a week!

Running water was voted as the most important service, followed closely by gas and electricity.

Men were found to have more of an urge to break away from society than women (34% of men vs. 28% of women).

An impressive 77% of people are confident of their abilities to change a gas canister.

Gas is a high priority for 64% of people.

25% of people are confident of their ability to self-sustain, ranking a local shop as a low priority when living in isolation.

25% of millennials often want to get away from society.

I think as long as I could make a cup of tea I’d be happy.

narrowboat interior

What would you miss if you lived ‘off grid’  join the conversation and tweet #Iwouldmiss



Survey supplied by flogas in collaboration

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Disability and chronic illness – Talk about it Tuesday


I very rarely write about my chronic illness so this is my post, I wrote it for a health story series….

Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis

A new study part funded by Arthritis Research UK has revealed that around 28 million people in the UK are living in chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis – almost triple the number experts had presumed.

So i’m not alone then, just another 1 in 28million.

I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 23.

It started with a swollen ankle and a telling off from the doctor about my shoes, and finished 18 months later at my final diagnosis with a calf muscle wasted away.               Read more here

Last week we had Laura from Fivelittledoves link up with her information on STEM science awareness day, encouraging children into science and maths. You can find Laura on Twitter Instagram and Facebook

This week we share health, chronic illness and disability posts.

This is Talk about it Tuesday share your news, views and information

Open 6am Tuesday – midnight Thursday

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The Uncheshire Wife
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Dementia awareness – Talk about it Tuesday


I recently attended a talk on Dementia. I thought I knew what it was. It turns out I had no idea of how it destroys the brain bit by bit causing nerve cell death and tissue loss. Sounds frightening doesn’t it?

I listened to Eula, the speaker, talk of her experience of working with Alzheimers and Dementia. She is passionate about raising awareness of the illness so it will no longer be stigmatised and to highlight the amazing work that carers and caregivers do.

I have never been through so many emotions in an hour of listening to someone speak, she had very funny stories about 70 year olds who now believe they are 20 and want to go out sowing their wild oats all over again, to extremely sad tales of elderly parents not remembering they had children and wanting to go home to their Mothers.

A fabulous speaker, she had us laughing our heads off to then sitting in sad silence, it was a roller coaster of emotions to emphasise what a carer will go through looking after someone with dementia.

Dementia is an umbrella term for a variety of conditions that cause the brain to fail, Alzheimer’s disease represents the majority of cases.

This is how a person with dementia sees a clock face


People with dementia often experience problems with memory and thinking. Because they often cannot store new information efficiently, they use past experiences to make sense of the present. Music, photos and objects can help enhance memory gathering.

Libraries have a collection of Memory bags that can be borrowed. The bags contain local photographs, books, replicas of posters, labels and pictures plus smell bottles, music CDs and objects of the time.

Different themes include war, childhood, women, men, sporting life, housework, schooldays, leisure time and special events, holidays and working life.

Memory bag for help with dementia

Precise causes of Alzheimer’s or other dementia are not known. Most experts agree it is a combination of factors rather than a single cause. Individuals may be able to lower the odds of developing dementia by eating well, staying socially active and using the brain regularly.

If you would like to know more about dementia, it’s causes and how to spot the signs you can find more information here.

This is Talk about it Tuesday share your news, views and information

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