Thursday, 31 December 2015

december 15

Blimey. Where did that month go? Where did that year go? Does it go faster the older you get? 
Thought so.
Have a good night peeps, we're off on our usual NYE pub crawl x

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

bloody buggering mountain bike

There's a battle raging in our house this winter.
It's between me and THE MOUNTAIN BIKE. And the mountain bike is winning. Hands down.
The other half has 3 other bikes which he seems happy enough to keep in the garage. This one though, the sacred, fabulous, amazing, bloody expensive sodding mountain bike is apparently too good to leave in the garage. It's preferred position is propped up against the wood burner in the dining room. And it doesn't like to be alone. It likes to be surrounded by it's friends - mucky old rags, citrus degreaser and muk-off bike spray. It also has a regular visitor to stay over with it in the form of a gigantic bike rack thing. It occasionally hangs on it. In mid air. IN. THE. DINING. ROOM.
And it's really pissing me off. 
The other half knows it pisses me off. I've had several meltdowns over it in the last couple of months. 
He puts it in the garage to shut me up. For one or two nights. Then he rides the bloody thing again, it gets covered in mud and we're back to square one. Back in the dining room for some prolonged polishing and TLC.
I don't know how much more I can take. I'm even considering moving into the garage myself. It is driving me mad :(
Any solutions most welcome people....

Friday, 25 December 2015

merry christmas!

Hope it's a good one people xx

Thursday, 24 December 2015

advent 24

Woohoo! Advent 2015 over and out! We did it!! Happy Christmas Eve people xx

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

advent 23

I've kind of finished work. But kind of planning on doing more bits.... I'm working on a Christmas book at the mo and really not loving the idea of doing it in January so it would be nice to get it finished while everything's still a bit festive...I'll see how it goes...
More urgent is a shopping trip with the big one this morning. Oh joy of joys, that's not gonna be in the least bit stressful is it....

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

advent 22

Nearly done, it's my last day on the Dotty Wren advent today....SamePictureDifferentBlog...still...

Monday, 21 December 2015

advent 21

Ahhhh I caught up on some of my sleep :) Stayed in bed till 10! The kids are still asleep! I do love a late night but I hate getting up early. And you can't do both can you! Not at my age!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

advent 20

The AdventEnd is in sight....woohoo...

Saturday, 19 December 2015

advent 19

Yay! It's the weekend!

Friday, 18 December 2015

advent 18

The little one finished school yesterday, the big one finishes today. Bring on the Christmas lie-ins woohoo!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

advent 17

Secret Santa is a crap idea. That's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

advent 16

Another meal out tonight...with my charity buddies...and one tomorrow...with the girls...I'm feeling ever so slightly out-of-christmas-control...

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

advent 15

The little one has to be at school by 7.30 on a Tuesday and Wednesday. We leave the house at 7.15 'cos the traffic is crap at that unearthly hour. It was a bit of a novelty in September.
This morning it was pitch black. And cold. And raining. And we are all knackered.
The novelty has worn off.
Roll on the school hols!

Monday, 14 December 2015

advent 14

I didn't have enough sleep this weekend.
That is all.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

advent 13

Whose idea was it to have the Scouts Christmas Fair at 10am the morning after our big night out?

Saturday, 12 December 2015

advent 12

Went out last night. Christmas night out with the girls. Going out tonight. Other half's Christmas do. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...where's the paracetamol?

Friday, 11 December 2015

advent 11

So we put the tree up last night. We had a lovely family evening with mulled wine and Christmas music. We looked at all the old hand made decs the kids have made over the years and smiled with a warm soft glow.

Not really. The other half was still at work. The big one hid upstairs. And the little one got bored soon after we hacked the bottom branches off to get the damned thing to fit in the holder. I grappled with the tinsel whilst making tea* and chucking the ball for the dog who was bored and not at all happy with my attention being elsewhere. No-one said it looked fabulous. Indeed no-one even seemed to notice the giant pine in the corner of the room. With a wonky star on top. 
Just a typical tree trimming event then.

*tea if you're from Yorkshire and not posh/dinner everywhere else in the world.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

advent 10

Good job advents aren't a depiction of real life. Today would be dark, wet and grey. And a bit miserable. With a smattering of grumpy faces.
We'll go with the idealised version I think...ho ho ho.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

advent 9

Nothing to say...gotta work....determined to have time off over Chrimbo...must. get. it. all. done....

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

advent 8

I'm still not feeling very Christmasy. The whole thing is rammed down our throats from the beginning of September so I zone out and pretend it isn't happening. It annoys me. Did I mention it?!
Anyway I'm thinking that now it's like only just over 2 weeks to go I better get my arse into gear and find some christmas spirit. Fast.
Ho ho ho.

Monday, 7 December 2015

advent 7

Monday morning...zzzzzz....that is all.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

advent 6

We changed broadband providers this week. The lady said we should be ok with 40GB for our normal monthly family usage. Our new service started on Monday. I got an email on Friday saying we had just about used up our monthly allowance. In four days. FOUR DAYS! Turns out the kids don't understand normal family usage. They'd been downloading I'm a Celebrity in HD. And watching crap on YouTube. And Netflix. And god knows what else. I had to phone up yesterday and increase our usage to "unlimited". 
Bloody kids! What's wrong with a nice game of Monopoly these days? And BBC1?

Saturday, 5 December 2015

advent 5

Ahhhh Saturday :) I stayed in bed till 10am! Get me!

Friday, 4 December 2015

advent 4

I'm on my way to London. On a train. Going to a design meeting. 
I say that like it's easy peasy just nipping off to London for the day on a Friday. And if you saw me you'd think 'there goes a chick who breezes off to meetings in London like all the time". You would not be aware of the military operation it has taken to get me here on A FRIDAY!  Or the list as long as my arm for them to follow while I'm away. This trip to London  means that for a kick off the rest of my family are gonna have to be responsible for dragging themselves out of bed this morning. I've had to equip the big one with a key so she can lock up cos she'll set off while the other half is walking the little one over the moor for his lift. I've had to equip the little one with a key because he'll arrive home when the other half is leaving work EARLY to pick the big one up from school. I've had to rope in my mum and dad to take the little one to scouts cos the other half can't possibly miss football on a Friday night. I've had to make the other half miss the pub after the football so he can collect the little one from scouts. Scouts isn't a simple matter either. It's non uniform night in exchange for a chocolate donation to the Christmas fair. So I've bought the chocolate and left it on a pile along with the permission slip for camp, a tenner for camp and non uniform clothes of a suitable nature so that he doesn't end up in age 6 jeans and a pyjama top. And if the big one remembers to take the ingredients for cooking that I bought in an organised manner on Monday it will be a small miracle! 
The only good thing about going to a meeting in London on a Friday is that tomorrow is Saturday and as such I will be staying in bed till at least lunchtime to recover from my 5am start today. 

Anyway... back to the's one I prepared earlier...'cos I'm dead organised like that...

Thursday, 3 December 2015

advent 3

No time to bore you with any of my moaning's day 3...still on it...must do some proper work now....

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

advent 2

Forgot to say...we're doing another advent between us over on our dotty wren studio's my turn today...SamePictureDifferentBlog...

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

advent 1

At the end on November 2012 mine and Lizzie's agent went bust. To "cheer us up" she made us do an advent calendar on our blogs. And it did the trick, we were super happy by Christmas....

Since then everyone and their dog has done one. I didn't know whether to bother this year. It's one of those things where the fun goes away if you're expected to do it....and do it in a fabulous way so it's like the best thing ever, better than all the others out there.
Then I got a grip and decided no-one really gives a toss do they? It's just a bloody advent, no-one cares! No-one's even looking! we go 1...

Sunday, 29 November 2015

november 15

This was November...not much...been busy...the blog is kinda taking a back seat these days...what can I say...😬

Saturday, 28 November 2015

learning to draw again

So my Mac is like 6 years old and starting to show signs of strain. A lot of strain. Like deciding to crash all the time. And taking forever to think about something when you just need it to get-a-bloody-move-on.
So I thought that rather than waiting for it to drop dead one day, leaving me up shit creek, I would just bite the bullet and buy a new one.
So I did.
Only I've had the new one nearly 2 weeks now and I'm still mainly using the old one.
It just seems easier.
I've managed to get my printer working...and my tablet...And I even moved some files onto it tonight. 
But I've had to leap into 2015 and sign up to the creative cloud. And I'm really busy. And it looks a bit complicated to me. And not. what. I'm. used. to. It's all black for a kick off. And it's just not quite the same. I was only on CS4 in the dark ages. And I've not really been in the mood for embracing change...

Anyway. I do realise that I need to get jiggy with it and JUST GET ON WITH IT.
So here I am.
And here's my first piccy that I drew and coloured in on my new computer.
Clearly there'll be no stopping me now.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

shopping list

The big one does cooking at school on a Friday.
She casually hands me the list of ingredients on a Thursday night.
I go off on a complete rant and shout a lot for half an hour.
I tell her that she needs to be more prepared and that if she doesn't give me the list in plenty of time next week she will have to walk to the co-op and buy the stuff herself.
Then I drive to the co-op, buy the ingredients and have another strop when I get home.
Every week.

Saturday, 7 November 2015


I don't do Christmas till after my birthday. (November 25th, thanks for asking) BUT I do need to get my card sorted. I can't have them printed in December cos by the time I've written the damned things it'll all be over and I'll be moaning about January.
So really I need to get my act together like NOW. 
Did some sketchbook faffery with a glass or two of fruit cider last night but no major decisions were made....

Thursday, 5 November 2015

bonfire night

The other half wants to go to a bonfire tonight. 

An hour ago this idea just wasn't doing it for me. It's chucking it down. And cold. The little one's friend was coming home from school with him for the evening so he would have to come too. In his school uniform. Which doesn't go well with mud and rain. And the other half isn't finishing work till late so we'd have to meet him there. And there'll be nowhere to park 'cos there never is.

But then the little one and his friend arrived home and within 20 minutes the house was trashed and every single item from Alf's bedroom was in the hallway. And they were making a movie which involved the friend throwing himself down the stairs. 

So now I'm thinking a bonfire is a marvellous idea....the sooner the better!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

october 15

November! It's November!
Here was October. I enjoyed it. It was a good one...

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Saturday, 24 October 2015

october half term

So it's school half term already. And as luck would have it this year I remembered to book a little trip away. Me and my sis are taking all the kids to Centreparcs. The other half was a little huffy at first. Till I pointed out that he never usually has any time off in school holidays so it was hard lines sunshine. We are VERY excited. We leave for our hideaway in the woods on Monday.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

baby shower

I'm not normally one for baby showers. I think this is mainly because in my day (15 and 11 years ago) they did not exist. Not in this country anyway. So clearly it's not fair is it! I'm a bit like BabyShowerWhatIsThePointOfThat?! Like an old person.
Anyway I went to a lovely one on Saturday. It was my sister's husband's sister's son's girlfriend's baby shower (keep up). She's so lovely. And she always looks so lovely. And it was at my sister's husband's sister's house which is totally lovely. So all in all it was.....lovely!
She's having a girl. She's called Lana. Already. She's got a name and everything and she's not even born yet. My eldest didn't have a name till she was 5 days old!
Anyway I told her the story of the other half's friends who thought they were having a girl and they bought all girl stuff and called it a girl name. And it turned out to be a boy. I said not to worry though, if that happened she could just change the name to Larry and I'd alter the picture I made her a bit....

Monday, 19 October 2015

this week on instagram...

Ah it had to happen sooner or later.... I used to blog then stick the pics on Instagram. As an extra. A bobby bonus. I like blogging. Instagram was just a side dish to the bloggy main course. 
Until this week. This week Instagram was the main event. The ONLY event.
I'm not moaning about being too busy cos I know there are loads of folks out there who aren't busy. I've been there myself and I AM really grateful. But honestly. There are only so many hours in a day. Not enough, it turns out, to be writing half baked tales on my blog. So this week I just went for the instant gratification of slapping a few quickie pictures on Instagram. Felt like I'd done something other than fulfill someone else's brief. Happy happy. Job done.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

sainsbury's children's book awards

I zipped down to London earlier this week to attend the Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards with my publishers, Make Believe Ideas.
Our First Words book was shortlisted in the Baby and Toddler category.
I drew the pictures and coloured them in and the fabulous Jane Horne put it all together. 
It was the first book we did together so it was super exciting that it even got nominated, never mind shortlisted!
It didn't win.
Baby's Very First Slide and See Animals by Fiona Watt for Usborne won in our category. 
Fiona Watt and Usborne won it last year too with That's Not My Piglet. So really it was our turn this year. But we accepted our defeat gracefully and went off to drink lots of prosecco.

Anyway....there were only 3 books in the entire universe shortlisted for our category. So we didn't do bad.
And the new books we've done since are even better-er so watch this space people! Next year......

Saturday, 3 October 2015

colour run

Kirkwood Hospice have organised a colour run tomorrow at Oakwell Hall Country Park near me. You basically run 5k and get a load of paint chucked at you to raise mucho cash for this very worthy cause. My sis is doing it. And plenty of other people I know. But I don't do running. Ever. Not even for a bus. Not even for charity.
So the little one and I have signed up to be helpers instead. Volunteers. We get to wear a Kirkwood Hospice tshirt and man a paint station. We get to chuck paint at the runners. What could be better than that!

Friday, 2 October 2015

golden couple

Today is my Mum and Dad's Golden Wedding Anniversary! That's 50 years! Totally amazing to people like me who never even made it to wedding anniversary number 4! 
Fifty years!! Wowee! Well done folks xx

september 2015

So...that was time to even stop for a wee...

Friday, 25 September 2015

specky four eyes

I've been wearing my spex all week. Not because I'm rocking geek chic and not because I have a dodgy eye infection. Nope, I've had to wear them. Because it turns out that if you don't go for your eyes checking they stop sending you your monthly supply of contact lenses. Apparently they're quite happy to carry on taking your direct debit payments but they worry you may go blind if you don't get your eyes checked so no siree to the regular delivery. 
Well I haven't been for the damned sight test because I haven't had a bloody minute in the last few months. I'm lucky if I manage to find time to have a wee at the moment!
Guess I'm gonna have to go now though....the appointment is booked. Next week...

Thursday, 17 September 2015

new jumper

I had to take the big one shopping last night. She needed a dress. For a party she's going to. Tomorrow night. We had already spent most of Saturday at the second rate shopping centre nearer home looking for something suitable. The second rate shopping centre was not good enough for the big one. We had to go into Leeds. Leeds has better shops.
As luck would have it she found the perfect LBD in the very first shop we visited. And RidiculouslyHighShoesForA15YearOld in the very second shop we entered.
This left us with enough time for me to mooch around Urban Outfitters and purchase the JumperOfTheSeason. This is the jumper I will wear every single day until the sun comes out again at the end of May. I've managed to pick a good one this year. I love love love it. Chunky and black with a big neck. And room underneath for loads more items of black clothing. What could be better! 

Friday, 11 September 2015

friday feelin

When I was under my palm tree I decided that from now on Fridays would be MyDayFriday. 
Friday would be the day I do my own work, no commissions, just stuff I want to do. And sorty out day. To sort out all the crap I never have time to sort out. And relaxy day. To just sit and do nothing if I fancy it. Cos I NEVER do that. Like ever.
I read all this Mindfulness bumf under my palm tree and that was it. New me. It was the future! 
And relax.

Of course I've decided to do MyDayFriday before. Loads of times. And it appears this time is no different....another massive fail!
Not only will I be working my arse off all day and night to meet deadlines, it's looking like I'll be working most of the weekend too.

So that's it.
From October I will NOT be working for anyone on a Friday. MyDayFriday starts 2 October. I've written it down. I have to do it now.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

rise and shine

The little one's new school has this policy where it is COMPULSORY in capital letters for all year 7's to go to something called "Rise and Read" in the middle of the night twice a week. If you don't turn up, or if you are late, you get "isolation" followed by expulsion followed by death-by-lethal-injection. Or something like that.
So because I can't have him wandering the streets in the middle of the night on his own I have to get up to deliver him safely to the door. Today was the first one. 
I can't believe how many cars there are on the roads at 7.15 am! I've been working from home for so long that I assumed the streets would be deserted at that time! It was flipping heaving!
Ha! Who knew?! 

Saturday, 5 September 2015


So you wake up one morning and it's Autumn.
And it stays Autumn for about 4 weeks. Then it's winter.
That doesn't happen in Spring.
You wake up one morning and it's Spring.
You wake up the next morning and it's back to winter.
Then Spring. Then winter.
And it doesn't happen in Summer.
You wake up one morning and it's summer.
Then that's it for another year.

This week is very Autumn.

I really need to get myself sorted with a second home in a warm country.
Cos one day of summer just isn't enough for me.