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Will we ever be satisfied. We are genetically engineered to hoard to save things in good times so we are prepared in bad times, but now, now that there is an abundance of stuff. Surely we don’t need to hoard.

 Fortunately for many we can simply go out and get the stuff we need. 

We are reluctant to give the stuff we don’t need to the needy “just in case.” And those expensive items we got ourselves and don’t use but feel too guilty to sell for a loss or to donate.

If you don’t need it on a daily or even weekly basis chances are you could get along just fine with out it!

Rid your home of the crap that we don’t need, that we don’t use and the stuff that doesn’t bring us joy.

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Going with the flow

These four words up until now have been my life’s mantra. I’m chilled relaxed and I go with the flow. I have said this so many times and about so many things.

But what is going with the flow.

 Going with the flow is nice and it’s easy. It’s lazy. Your not making any of your own life decisions. You are passively letting your life go by, reacting to it only when it needs to be reacted to. 

It’s true that sometimes things happen in your life that you are unable to control and your only option is to go with the flow. But where has going with the flow really ever gotten anyone?

Did Richard Branson simply go with the flow when his flight got cancelled? No he commanded something different from his life, chartered a plane, charged other stranded passengers airfair and got where he was going and a whole new business venture appeared from it.

If you aren’t in love with what you do but you also don’t hate it, you just coast and go with the flow… Only to find out in 5/10/15/20 years time that you could and SHOULD have been doing something more worthwhile. Something of value. Maybe not physical value, but something that brings value into YOUR life. After all your the one that is living it. 

Command more value from your life. Stop simply going with the flow!

More for less

Does stuff make us happy?

Are 10 dresses hung up in the wardrobe better than just the 2 you actually wear? Bottles and bottles of moisturiser, shower gels, shampoos, conditioners and face wash, when a bar of soap Would do?

When you have a couple of hours to kill so you go shopping, feeling a bit blue? Shopping? New job? New outfit! Single? New outfits!! 

What has happened to buying once and buying right? 

We have become such a throw away society and it’s killing the planet!

We buy so much crap. Let alone the single use plastics we use. We buy into fast fashion, buy an outfit for when we lose weight (we never do) or in a colour we really should wear (but never do). We buy air fresheners that pollute our homes, cleaning products which poison us and eat food that are killing us. 

No more!! Not in my house!

Hospital stay

Bolton hospital was amazing every single member of staff from the health care assistants, midwives, consultants and registrars were amazing.

I received the best possible care i could have asked for and more importantly so did my son. After a rocky birth my son was in neonatal where he was being treated for problems with his breathing, antibiotics because he had done a poo inside of me and an x-ray for a suspected broken clavicle which turned out to be fine.

Two after his delivery we finally got word that he was fine and doing well so i was cleaned up and taken down to see him. The first time i saw him, in his incubator, i burst into tears, a warmth came over me that is very hard to describe. The neonatal nurse/doctor put him in my arms and it was the most perfect moment. Despite the tubes and wires he was perfect. I loved him with all of my heart. I don’t care what anyone says but that feeling is terrifying! Amazing and scary!

After too little of a time i felt like i would pass out from tiredness so had to leave my precious little bundle in the neonatal ward with all the machines buzzing and beeping alone. Heartbreaking, but i knew he was going to be fine!

Andrew was made to leave and I was taken to the ward where i was given tea, toast and painkillers and i have to say they were the best things i think I’ve ever tasted… even now.

I got as much sleep as my adrenaline fueled body could manage and counted down till Andrew could come back so we could see our son together. When we went back to neonatal the next morning i was happily surprised to see that Henry only had a few wires on him and no tubes, i wanted to get him straight from his incubator but he looked so tiny and delicate i asked for the midwifes help. She handed him to me and asked me how intended on feeding him and helped me with my first breastfeed. He latched on straight away and was on me for about 45 minutes the little champ. Hours seemed to pass in minutes and we had to go back to the ward to eat and was instructed to go down to neo to feed Henry every two hours which was no hard task for me! At 2am that night when Andrew was at home Henry was given the all clear to come upstairs with me to the ward… my responsibility…. terrifying again! Ha! This was the first of 2 completely sleepless night of me simply staring at this beautiful life me and my husband had created.

Whilst in hospital i got tons of support with how to change him, dress him, feed him, swaddle him… everything i asked was answered. They never made me feel like i was asking silly questions and helped me through everything. I could not recommend Bolton hospital enough to any one!

The Chateau 2013 part one

The chateau is in the centre of Courcelles – sous – thoix and is run as a guest house by Frederic and Isabelle and they and their parents live here. It has been in their family since 1900 and was passed down through the womens line.

It was originally built In 1638 and was internally renovated in 1900.
It has a pigeon tower and a disused building which is bigger than most peoples houses.
The Chateaux which is run by only the brother and sister duo is now a guesthouse that also serves food.

Isabelle’s cooking is fantastic and how she prepares everything herself i’ll never know, back home it would take atleast three people to do what she does alone.
The land surrounding the chateaux belongs to other farmers and Frederic with orchards, cows fields and a donkeys field.
Twice a day you will see the cows being hearded down the road to be milked and back up again and you will more likely see a tractor on the road rather than a car. The locals are friendly enough but with a population of 45 we did get a few stares. The bizarrest thing here is when you stop you really can hear the silence. It’s wonderful. The nearest store is 7km away!

In Thoix, the next hamlet, there is another chateaux that is about 200 years older than Fred and Isabelles,  it still has a moat and the local chapel is its next door neighbour. The two hamlets are very pictureque and very french!

 

Original post here: https://starmerallen.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/the-chateau-part-one/

Labour and birth story

Friday 26th May, I went into hospital as I was having some reduced movements with my little boy. I had the same thing at 31 weeks so was expecting them to tie me to the machine wait around for about half an hour to be told everything was fine and to go home. However what actually happened is that it was a hot day and my blood pressure was up so they wanted me to stay until it came down, it didn’t. They gave me some pills and said because I was 39+4 that they would be inducing me the next day. My blood pressure went straight back up (in shock) so they decided to induce me then and there.

So after midnight i was admitted on to the ward and given the pessary to get things going and had a sweep….fun times.

At about 4am i woke up in quite a bit of pain as the pessary had actually slipped down. The midwife popped it back into place and i managed to sleep through the night. The next day i was having some contractions so i kept moving all day long. If things don’t go into full-blown labour they only check your cervix after 24 hours and i was determined not to be in any longer than i needed to be, so i was walking up and down the halls and bounced on the exercise balls just to keep things moving along. Like i said i was having mild contractions and then when my husband left me at around 9pm they stopped completely….fun. So into bed i got awaiting my examination at 2am. I set an alarm and when i woke up went off to find someone to see how well i was doing.

I was 3cm dilated and the midwife did another sweep to see if she could get me going at more speed and said as soon as someone was free and a room available I would be going down to the labour ward and have my waters broke!! Terrifying haha! She said it would probably be in the morning so i text Andrew to let him know what was happening and went back to bed to try to get some rest.

At 5am I was woken up by a health care assistant to tell me i was going down stairs now. She had to repeat herself about 3 times as i was still pretty much asleep and in shock i think!

So I gathered my stuff and went with her,  i was worried that i wouldn’t have time to ring Andrew as i wanted him there when they broke my waters but the midwife assured me she wouldnt do anything until he got there. By the time everything was set up and ready to go it was 8am there is a shift change at 8:30 so we all decided that we would wait until the new midwife was there so that i wasnt being examined and then examined again 30 minutes later.

The new midwife Rae couldn’t reach my cervix to feel how dilated i was or to break my waters, i guess for me its a little “longer” in there ha ha. She went out to find someone with longer fingers and returned with a Registrar Ken. He broke my waters in about 3 seconds flat and didn’t hurt a tiny bit. They gave me an hour to see if my contractions started naturally or id have to go on the drip as it appeared my little boy had opened his bowels inside… nice one kid! So the hour came and went and the contractions did start but not of any kind of intensity they were hoping for so i went on the drip. Now up until this point i hadn’t touched any pain relief although they did keep offering me gas and air. About an hour after the drip was put in the contractions started and BOY did THEY. My contractions were in the top of my legs, my hips felt like they were being pulled apart so i very quickly picked up the gas and air nozzle. It is a weird feeling the gas and air, a little bit like your tipsy, i’m not sure it did loads for the pain but it got me through another hour or so… then the contractions got too painful and i wanted something better… so i was given diamorphine…. i was being sick and mooing like a cow although Andrew my hubby said i sounded more like an owl hooting but despite all this i was also quite comfortable, once the contraction stops all the pain disappears… its very strange! I was in labour for about 9 hours in total. Due to the hip contractions and the drip i was strapped to a machine to monitor baby’s heart rate and couldn’t really move.

I remember getting the strangest urge to push although i felt like it was too early…. so i tried to stop myself from pushing but not being able to stop myself. For me it felt like when your retching… like your body just taking over and not being able to stop it. At this point i had been pushing for an unknown amount of time when my little ones heart rate started dipping to the point where the midwife was concerned so she buzzed for back up, as she did alarms started going off everywhere… and two of them had nothing to do with me and everything to do with another 2 women in need of assistance pretty much at the exact same time.

Time became a priority in what felt like 20 seconds the room filled with people running around and moving things and setting things up. I needed emergency assistance, the two other women were taking up the theatres so there was no where for me to go, they turned my room into an emergency theatre, i dont know if it was the panic of the situation or not but the diamorphine started to wear off. A consultant came in and was all dressed ready to intervene, i was going to have a forcept delivery. On my next push he was going to help me get my son out. The pain was incredible, the feeling strange and stomach turning but i didnt care my son needed to be born. The consultant said he needed to cut me to help get Henry out, i didnt care. On the next contraction a midwife pushed on my stomach i pushed with all my might and the consultant dragged my son out by his head.

Henry was placed on me for a few seconds but was quickly taken away and put on the resuscitator. He had a problem with his breathing and a suspected broken clavicle so was rushed down to neonatal where he would be well looked after.

Once my placenta was removed i wasn’t in any pain whats so ever, its all very strange…. but hey i guess that is mother natures reward for putting you through such an ordeal. The consultant started sowing me up and he apologised for being so rough with me but it really was a priority that my son was delivered asap, i didn’t care, i still don’t. Yea when i think back it does sort of make my skin crawl remembering the feeling of it all but it was to save my son… Id do it again tomorrow. The labour itself really wasn’t that bad and i will go into my next pregnancy with no fear of that… the drugs definitely worked! Which in itself must say a lot and give any expecting mother some hope.

 

The chateau part two

 

Bonjour, so far our time at the chateaux has been amazing. The work is light, easy and enjoyable so as far as that is concerned its a breeze.

The work we do have to do is just basic house maintence really, we wash up, hoover up and help in the garden, of course we do slightly more than that but i shant bore you with details. The house is a beautiful example of french life and put that along side Fred and Isabelle and you have a winning combination.

The food is amazing and ive never had any of it before, we have  had local delicacies which we have taken pictures of to show you. Crepes with a filling of seafood, pear tarts and more stuff that i wouldnt even be able to describe you as i havent got a clue what it was….it was however fricken tasty!

 

When we arrived at Amiens to cycle the 33km to Courcelles-sous-Thoix i started to get very nervous, with it being our very first helpx experience we really did not know what to expect but thank god we did try out helpx as its all been such an amazing experience, fred and Isabelle are the kindest people that you could ever hope to meet as soon as we arrived we were welcomed with open arms and were immediatley put at ease. Isabelle doesnt really speak much English so certain tasks she would have to demonstrate what she wanted us to do, the way she likes things to be done, like peeling mushrooms. I can honestly say i have never peeled a mushroom before but oh well it was an experience. On one of the more boring tasks i had to do, which was ironing (it has to be done everywhere i guess) i was listening to some music on my phone as i was alone and Isabelle came in to clean the mirrors and out of no where she started singing the song i had on, all the words in English, i couldnt believe it, was the funniest moment at the chateaux we for me anyway, i think Andrews favourate moment was when we had just arrived and he was helping fred put the chickens back in the coop to which andrew asked how many chickens there where and Fred just said i dont care, maybe eight, eight i think, doesnt sound as funny as it was but that is just Fred is…no f**ks given. They have to get on and do their everyday tasks and they just dont sweat the little things. The french way-Its almost good.

I feel that England could benefit from this philosopy… take some down time and as long as its almost there your on the right track and the little things arnt worth bothering about =D

Anyway our stay at the Chateaux went by so quickly and i am very thankful for their hospitality and their patience with our lack of french.

 

Adding the photos to the blog page isnt a strong suit of mine so i apologise for its terrible layout but atleast you get to see and be jealous of where we stayed!

Original post: https://starmerallen.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/the-chateau-part-two/

Guilt

Sitting down feeling terrified

I have nothing but joy ahead

8 weeks until my son arrives, with it comes a year from work

ive never not worked

what is going to happen?

will my brain come with me?

I’m scared of becoming a mindless creature of habit.

I feel guilt as the worry and anxiety emerges

I should be ecstatic right now shouldnt i?

My expanding lumps and bumps

Being pregnant, expansion of your lady lumps is understandable and is predictable. You have probably heard that when your skin is stretching over your growing bump it becomes dry and itchy… I’m 22 weeks pregnant and i wasn’t expecting to be quite as big as i am. Totally gutted i didn’t take measurements of my stomach at the beginning of my pregnancy, I’m all front thankfully so up to now all my ‘weight’ gain is in the front. I did do a fitness update somewhere in a notebook about a month before getting pregnant soooo kinda need to look for that when i have a spare ounce of effort.

Anyway along with my growing stomach and breasts i have experienced said itching and the uncomfortable tightness of my skin stretching and here are the products I’ve been using to try and combat it. Now i HATE the feel of creams/oils/lotions on any part of my body apart from my lower legs, hands and face. Makes me feel icky and i’m yet to experience the so called ‘sinks straight’ in feeling most stuff advertises. These 3 potions are the only ones i can bare to use and for different reasons!

The Palmer’s smells so sweet, its kind of over bearing but i cope with it as its got vitamin E and my skin feels really supple a few hours after application. Its quite thick so does take a while to sink into my skin. But i have heard good reviews about it from other mums and I’ve already bought it, waste not want not etc…

Maternity Stretch mark oil spray goes on quite warm which is a bonus, nothing worse than rubbing freezing cold stuff all over your stomach when you have just got out of bed or about to go to bed. It doesn’t really smell of much and is the least icky on my skin. I normally spray it into my hands first and then rub it onto my stomach.

The Body shop body butter doesn’t claim to help stretch marks in anyway but i love the smell, it reduces the itching and i feel i can use this all over with out the risk of slipping on the wooden flooring and ending up in the kitchen. Its a quite thick on and clogs your skin a little bit if you put more than one application on in a day, as in its like you haven’t exfoliated your skin in a month….

 

My own poetry reviews

wpid-wp-1447377915446.jpgI have been writing poetry for some time now and it’s something I love doing.

Although I have been doing it for years this is the first time I’ve put it out there online.

I have come to the conclusion I cannot hope to get better without fair and just reviews.

If you read my poetry, first of all thank you. I hope you enjoyed it, but also please feel free to tell me why you did or didn’t like it. Only then can I hope to improve.

Thank you very much in advance.

Hjsa