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The C word

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Yes, Christmas is coming. It’s now November and the trees are dropping their leaves, the nights are getting colder and the sunshine is sought out for its warmth. I’ve never had an autumn like we are having here. It’s still reaching temperatures of 20°C at the moment! It’s unseasonably warm (we have been reliably informed by those who know this climate better) but next week it drops more. And there’s definitely a chill in the air. We are looking forward to finding some time to get out and explore the autumnal scenery we have around us. We’ve not been able to yet due to commitments and the whole family suffering with a virus and one case of streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat). But plans are afoot. We’ve given in and are getting a car. With my energy issues and other commitments for everyone is just makes sense. I had to take my ill daughter to a doctor the other side of the city on the subway the other day which was not ideal as she was the one suffering with strep throat. I’m so g…

The complications of eating

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Hi lovelies, how was your week? Mine was lovely, but busy. After having the big kids off school last week it was the little one’s turn this week. We did lots of chilling after doing the early morning school bus run. We went to friends for a play date/ crochet and chatting (age dependant). We made some Halloween cookies and oat bar bakes. Of course they were full of food colouring to give them the Halloween twist! I honestly have no idea what’s in the food colouring in his country but I wonder how good it can be if the colour is quite so vibrant! It makes me suspicious. Japan doesn’t have to list every ingredient like in the E.U. This food colouring is brilliant though. It comes in a powder form which you mix with water to the strength required. For the crazy colours that seem to represent Halloween baking it’s perfect.


So these aren’t as bad as they look. The green monster cookies are just vanilla cookies with rainbow sprinkles. The oaty Jack O’ Lantern bake is actually quite healthy. …

Thank crochet it’s Friday

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Yesterday I felt miserable. In fact all week has been hard. My older kids have had half term holidays and of course that’s when a bad bout of pain decided to strike. They have wanted some entertaining but also chill time. A friend took them one day, they played with the youngest another but for some of the time I had to get myself moving and that wasn’t easy. Sometimes it’s just willpower. Sometimes it’s willpower combined with painkillers. I saw a quote yesterday from someone on a chronic illness page that summed it up: “You don’t know how strong you are until you need to be.” That feels so true. My husband has recently been promoted which is absolutely awesome and 100% deserved. This means he has more responsibility and some days has long hours. He tries to come home at a reasonable time but it’s not always possible. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, eh? Due to this I’ve tried to be even stronger than usual. I want him to have the head-space he needs for his new job. I want hi…

There’s a dragon in the pumpkin patch

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Her she’s is - meet Bluey (as my daughter named her and quite right too as it’s her toy).

It’s always lovely when something you make for a present it appreciated, even more so when when it’s enthusiastically received. Our youngest, on her birthday a few days ago, walked into the dining room (we always display presents in a box with the cake outside and whatever I made sitting next to the cake) to be greeted by her gifts and the first thing she said was “Yay, my dragon!”. Now that’s the type of reaction you want. The dragon (later named Rainbowey, then changed to Bluey but most definitely declared a girl) then sat next to our little munchkin whilst she opened her cards and presents. After which the little dragon had to come to Legoland with us on our adventures. So she did. I managed to convince the birthday girl to leave the dragon in her bag for the dragon rollercoaster. “But she’s a dragon and can fly and will love it.” All valid points. Instead Bluey watched from the sidelines and f…

Dragons, mandalas and demons

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I have felt really quite miserable of late having had an endometriosis flare up. This has left me exhausted and in pain and generally grumpy with my body. Although it does keep going so I shouldn’t blame my body. It has to shout at me to get me to stop and then tells me to sleep and gets ignored. Then it gives me no choice and sits me down hard and tells me to stay there until it is absolutely and completely necessary to get up again. Some days I sleep. Some days I’m not comfortable enough to sleep (this is in the precious time the kids are at school mind you). Some days I watch endless episodes of Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix. I could watch something more fashionable or gritty but it’s actually good comfort television for me akin to the likes of Gilmore Girls or Chuck. Something I enjoy and can get sucked into or something I can half watch and nap to or something I can crochet to. Basically something that takes my mind of the horrendous amount of pain I’ve been in!
So in an effort to…

Is plastic free a dream or a nightmare?

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As my eldest child prepares us for a march on climate change she wants us all to attend this Friday I find myself in the midst of a plastic crisis. I love the idea that the world will rid itself of disposable plastic overnight but the honest truth of the matter is that until the big corporations change (I’m looking at you Amazon and every big supermarket chain in the world!) the humble consumer can only do so much. I am, in truth, a bit disheartened with my little patch of battlefield in this particular war and I’m considering a retreat. Now that’s not to say that I will start buying everything wrapped in dozens of bits of plastic. Quite the contrary. I still don’t want my vegetables wrapped in plastic and still use soap and shampoo bars and tablet toothpaste and have found various companies who package their goods in sugarcane plastic. I like these changes. What I’m saying is that I’m questioning my orders from the top. That the generals may have lost sight of the final goal but have…

The kitten who stole a week

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“Mummy! Mummy! There’s a kitten outside and I’m going to feed him this.” My 3 year old daughter then shows me her handful of leaves. I assume she’s talking about a game she’s playing with her brother. They have both gotten bored at the supermarket and there’s a nice safe area they can play outside for a few minutes whilst I pay. (That’s one great thing about Japan- it’s so safe for children). Then, two minutes later, my son comes in and says “Mum there’s a kitten outside and I think he’s lost.” At this point I realise they’re not playing. I go and look and sure enough, under the recycling bins, is a tiny kitten who is meowing very loudly and constantly. I pop back in to tell the staff but they’re not interested. When I return the kitten has moved but those animal-loving kids of mine have kept and eye on it. 
We managed to catch the little tyke and I only get one bite. I quickly wrap the little thing in my cardigan and little kitten is immediately calmer. We look for a vet but can’t fin…