Monday, 26 June 2017

Our Weekly Journal 26th June 2017 - Heatwave and Ice Cream


Our Weekly Journal 26th June 2017 - Heatwave and Ice Cream

Our week started hot and just got hotter. It was perfect weather for paddling pools, the beach and ice cream. Bear spent so much time in the paddling pool, but all au natural so no photos for our journal. He is also great asking for the potty when he has no clothes on, he knows he mustn't wee on the floor, or in the pool and had no mishaps at all.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

#MySundayPhoto Number 26


#MySundayPhoto Number 26

I just had to have a picture that summed up how hot it has been this week. So ice-cream has to be on the cards. Bear never liked ice-cream "too cold" but he has suddenly found a taste for it.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Spamalot - Everyman Production at Cardiff Open Air Theatre 2017, Sophia Gardens - A Review


Spamalot - Everyman Production at Cardiff Open Air Theatre 2017, Sophia Gardens - A Review

We were delighted to be invited* to review Everyman Theatre productions at Cardiff Open Air Festival in Sophia Gardens. Our first open air theatre was last year when we saw  'Allo 'Allo, which we loved so we chose two more comedy productions to review this year. Spamalot and The Vicar of Dibley.

The festival opened last night with Spamalot. I have never seen such silliness before. We laughed from the very first moment to the inevitable grande finale. It was rude, crude, silly and hilariously funny.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Techniquest Virtual Reality Changing Room - A Toddler Explores


Techniquest* Virtual Reality Changing Room - A Toddler Explores

Techniquest in Cardiff Bay is one of our favourite destinations. Bear loves it and so do we. It is full of amazing exhibits to keep the oldest child amused. We were delighted to be asked to visit to explore their newest exhibit - The Virtual Reality Changing Room.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

When Terrorism Is Too close To Home


When Terrorism Is Too close To Home

I have woken up to horrendous news too often. A terrorist attack aimed at children at a concert or random attacks in London of terrorists murdering people using vehicles. Then I hear of the manslaughter of families asleep in their homes. A fire ripping through a tower block trapping many and killing an unknown number of people. In Portugal families have lost everything due to what appears to be a natural disaster, lightening setting fire to the landscape.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Our Weekly Journal 19th June 2017 Strawberries and Ice Cream


Our Weekly Journal 19th June 2017 Strawberries and Ice Cream

Bear picked our first strawberry on Monday. He has a cold that we guess he caught at his new Nursery. He is going once a week on a Friday and is having a couple of settling in sessions. He is so ready to spend time with other children and have some fun but it does mean getting immune to another load of bugs.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

#MySundayPhoto Number 25


#MySundayPhoto Number 25

This is a trig point at Llwyn Celyn near Cardiff. It is a Forestry Commission trail that rises up through the woods and leads to magnificent views over Cardiff and towards the Brecon Beacons. We could see Pen y Fan today although the views were hampered by the mist.

This is the view over Cardiff and the Bristol Channel towards Exmoor.

This trig point is an achievement as it is our first walk for years. We used to spend every Sunday walking in the mountains of South Wales, then Mr P's hip became so painful that we stopped walking. He is now recovering from his hip replacement operation and we are starting again. This is an easy route we used to take the children when they were small and the views over Cardiff are amazing, although it was a little misty today.

Trig point is Craig Lysfaen; height 264m (Pen Y Fan is 886m for comparison).



Friday, 16 June 2017

An Open Letter to Major Supermarkets - Why Is Your Fruit So Awful?


An Open Letter to Major Supermarkets - Why Is Your Fruit So Awful?

Dear Major Supermarkets,

I am fed up trying to buy fruit that is edible. The government tells me I need five portions of fruit or vegetables a day. For me this would be easy. For my grandson, this would be easy. We both love fruit and veg. If only I could buy some. Why is your fruit so awful?

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Boomerang Kid - And The Grand Kid. A Grandfathers View.


I was chatting to an old friend the other day and the conversation inevitably got around to grandchildren.
The apples of our eyes.
He mentioned how his daughter and grandchild were living with them, and the problems this causes. I know a lot of our readers are in similar situations and asked him to share with us. This is his story in his own words.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Slimming World Weigh In #23 with 7 day meal plan


Slimming World Weigh In #23 with 7 day meal plan

So I am back on the plan except, there's always an except, that on Friday I had a little celebration with some neighbours. It involved lots of Prosecco.
Food wise I have been good, no sneaky choices or uncounted Syns. It's been tough but I am so determined to get to my target weight. With the weather being warm salads appear more and pea shoots are back in the shops which add another flavour.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Our Weekly Journal 12th June 2017 Giggles and Earwax


Our Weekly Journal 12th June 2017 Giggles and Earwax

It's strange, some weeks I feel we have done very little. We don't seem to have been anywhere or had any trips out and then I look through the photos to put in our journal. I have too many and have to make choices and realise we have actually been very busy.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

#MySundayPhoto Number 24


#MySundayPhoto Number 24

Grandad is now walking well after his hip operation and just needs a stick. Bear needs the stick too because he's an explorer.

"Follow me" he said. So I did.

Have a lovely Sunday.


Thursday, 8 June 2017

It's called Messy Play For A Reason


Until Tuesday I loved messy play. It's called messy play for a reason but I don't usually mind lots of paint or water or dirty hands. When Bear was very little, less than a year old, I spent many weeks persuading him that paint on his hands was fun and that he wasn't to worry about a few splashes. Just get in and have fun. Lets do finger painting or even better hand painting. Or stamping, I even made stamps out of old kitchen sponges.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Slimming World Weigh In #22 - with 7 day meal plan


Slimming World Weigh In #22

To be honest when I started Slimming World I though I would lose a pound a week. That would make me reach my target after 42 weeks, on 24th October. At my last post, week 21 I had lost 22.5 pounds, well on schedule even after my couple of weeks naughtiness. 
To encourage me to stay on plan I am now going to include my target date in each post. I'm hoping it will drive me to work harder to get there sooner. Well that's my theory.  I am back on plan and without further pre-amble, how did I do?

Monday, 5 June 2017

Our Weekly Journal 5th June 2017 Helmets and Books


Our Weekly Journal 5th June 2017 Helmets and Books

It was a very short week for us, just two days due to the bank holiday and the disruption being caused by the Champions League final taking place in Cardiff. Bears Mummy works in the town centre and travel would have been difficult for her and Bears Daddy so they took two days off and went to visit Grandad Roddy in West Wales.

On Tuesday we visited Pughs Garden Centre. I'm searching for a garden bench and not having any luck. I am so surprised at the lack of choice everywhere. I want to sit on one before I buy it so don't really want to get one off the internet.

Anyway, outside were a giant garden fork and spade. I thought they were great and so did Bear.

We didn't find what we wanted and were leaving when Bear asked to see the fish. We have only been here with him once before, and that was months ago. His memory is amazing.

We had a look at the fish, threw a copper coin into the fountain and dashed off to Castell Coch. We have a Cadw subscription so it's free and right around the corner from the garden centre.

This is a great fish tank with a bit that little ones can stand in to be inside the tank.

Bear was full of energy and ran around like a mad thing, I didn't get many decent photos as he was so fast and the lighting was poor. It was also very busy being half term so difficult to take photo without other children in the frame.

Only just managed to catch him.

I did get him to sit opposite me on this huge table for a second though!

There was a little girl having a full blown tantrum. She wanted to be carried but her daddy had a bad back and couldn't so she lay on the floor, kicked off her shoes and screamed. The castle is small so she could be heard everywhere, we eventually walked past and Bear was quite upset by it. I just felt for her mother who had been left to cope with it. Mum didn't look upset. She was coping perfectly, but Oh did it go on and on and on..........

Gardeners were strimming the grass outside the castle and it was very noisy. Bear explained to me that the girl was upset by the noise.

"Does the noise upset you?" I asked

"No, it's very loud!" he said with a little smile.


Bear arrives early in the mornings in his PJ's. He likes to go upstairs and clean his teeth with Grandad. This involves him climbing on the bed and turning on the bedside lights.
On Thursday he climbed onto the bed, took my Kindle and with the light on and "read" my book.


He just says random words but always starts with those closest to him.


We had planned to go to the beach but the weather was wet and grey and so we returned to our local National Trust property, Tredegar Park. There is a house and gardens to explore and a huge park. Bear can ride his bike around the park and there's also a playground with swings and slides.

Even though we visit often (we have NT membership too) we found a new path which leads through the woods. There is a trail of stepping stones and laid down logs that Bear insisted on riding over on his bike. He did really well and didn't fall off at all. His balance is great, balance bikes are the best invention and this one only cost me £15 in Halfords.



Bear kept hiding and surprising us with a loud "Boo!" The cycle helmet does not come off even when he's not on his bike. He loves hats and his helmet.

Posing on a stone ball, helmet firmly on head!

Even reading a book in the second hand bookshop requires a cycle helmet

We had a busy couple of days even though the weather wasn't brilliant it was at least warm.

Then on Saturday I watched the TV coverage of the Champions League match played in Cardiff and afterwards turned over to the news channel. Breaking news came in of a major incident in London. It turned out to be another terrorist attack this time at London Bridge and Borough Market. How can anyone do such an awful thing? Luckily Bear is too little to understand, if only we could protect him from all the evil in the world.



Sunday, 4 June 2017

#MySundayPhoto number 23 London Bridge


#MySundayPhoto number 23 London Bridge

London bridge is falling down
Falling down
Falling down.............

I sang this as a child, as have thousands of children before me, and many will continue after me.

London Bridge was the scene of another terrorist attack where innocent people died. I do not know how anyone can take another's life. It truly baffles me.

London is my ancestral home. My parents, grandparents, great grandparents and onwards were born there. I have traced one line back to the mid 1700's. They lived in Bury Street, next door to the Gherkin and a stones throw from London Bridge. They must have used the old London Bridge that was the subject of the song. Then the "new" London Bridge that replaced it in 1831.

I am standing on the really new London Bridge that replaced that one in 1967. I am happy. I am a tourist, I had been in London to celebrate my great uncle and aunts 70th wedding anniversary. I have crossed this bridge many times.

My thoughts are with all of those that visited and never went home. RIP.




Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Slimming World Weigh In Week 21


Slimming World Weigh In Week 21

Anyone following my progress with Slimming World will have noticed that I haven't posted for a couple of weeks. My last weigh in was on 10th May - week 18. I have been a bit naughty, eating all the wrong food and drinking all the wrong drinks.
This was because life gets complicated and I compensate by eating, I guess this is how I got overweight in the first place. Nothing serious happened, just my husband recovering from surgery so I bought him the odd cake as a treat (yep I had to "taste" it, the beginning of the slippery slope) and looking after my grandson, and invalid, alone just made me crave pastry, chocolate and cake.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

7 Songs That Were Written Just For Me

Have you ever heard a song and just knew it was written for you? The composer may have never met you but they know you, they know your name. They include your name in their lyrics. Their lyrics are sometimes wonderful, like poetry - and sometimes dire but it has your name in it so it was definitely written for you.

This is my list of songs written for me.

Songs fall into two groups - those I love and want to be about me and those that are always played at the works party or at wedding receptions. The song comes on, someone knows it's "my song" and thinks I'd love to dance, I feel obliged to get up, move my arms and legs then have another drink.

There are songs out there that were written for you too. They may not always have your name in the lyrics but when you hear them you just know they were written for you.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Our Weekly Journal 29th May 2017 - A Heatwave and the Manchester Bombing

Start the day with a good breakfast. Toast with Marmite. Love it or hate it. We're lovers, are you?

Our Weekly Journal 29th May 2017 - A Heatwave and the Manchester Bombing

We started the week on Monday catching the bus into town and visiting Cardiff castle. This was a big event as Grandad hasn't been out with us for 5 weeks after having his hip replacement. We decided on the Cardiff castle as it is quite close to the bus stop so not too much walking.

Bear and I revisited the WWII shelters and enjoyed coffee and cake from the little cafe. It was a lovely day.


Sunday, 28 May 2017

#MySundayPhoto Number 22


#MySundayPhoto Number 22

#MySundayPhoto Number 22 is of Cardiff Castle Keep. Just behind is the clock tower of Cardiff Castle, the Principality Stadium and Stadium House.

I have lived in Cardiff since 1975 and I had to look up the name of Stadium House, even though it has been there since 1976. It's not a building that I ever walk past as it is tucked up a side road near the Principality Stadium. It is described by wikipedia as the second tallest building in Cardiff, only the stadium itself is taller.

Cardiff is preparing for the Champions League final next week so many roads are closed and all eyes will be on the stadium.



Thursday, 25 May 2017

Cardiff Castle World War Two Shelters and Battlements - A Toddler Explores


Cardiff Castle World War Two Shelters and Battlements - A Toddler Explores

We visit Cardiff Castle often. We are very lucky as the castle is in the city centre and easy to reach by bus. For just a few pounds Cardiffian's can purchase a castle key, and gain access free for three years.
This means we pop in for coffee or just a little bit of peace and quiet but we had never been into the World War Two shelters, in fact I used to live in the castle grounds and never even knew they were there.
I decided to take Bear whilst Grandad was recovering from his hip operation. He loved it although parts were "a bit scary!"

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

8 Reasons Why You Should Be Meal Planning

8 Reasons Why You Should Be Meal Planning 

I only started meal planning when my husband had a hip operation. He was our chef and did all the shopping so I had no idea what to buy or cook. I was very stressed about it all as I do not drive so couldn't just pop out for something I needed for a recipe. I needed to know exactly what to buy and what to cook. It was the best thing I have done. No more wasted food, no more stress over what to eat.


Monday, 22 May 2017

Our weekly journal 22nd May 2017 Cardiff Castle and Cardiff Story Museum


Our weekly journal 22nd May 2017 Cardiff Castle and Cardiff Story Museum

What busy week! Grandad is still not driving so we have been on the bus again. The week started very wet and we stayed home on Monday, that was hard work trying to occupy a toddler when it is non-stop rain and Grandad needs to rest. I thought if he's already wet then lets fill a bowl full of water and let him jump in it. He loved it, he jumped and jumped for ages. He was soaked, it was warm though so not a problem but by Tuesday I had to get out so we went to the park and played on the swings and slide in the rain. It was great fun as the slide was super fast wet and Bear in slippery waterproofs. I also brought the trampoline in so he uses up some energy. He is so good now we just have to get a big trampoline for the garden.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

#MySundayPhoto Number 21

Outside the Castle with Gareth Bale

Inside the Castle grounds with the dragon guarding the trophy

#MySundayPhoto Number 21

This week it was so hard to choose one photo from the many we took. We visited Cardiff Castle, the sun shone despite the threat of rain.

The UEFA Champions League football final comes to Cardiff this summer. It is a major event not least because local boy Gareth Bale will be playing.

We have a tradition (albeit a very short and new tradition) of displaying something wonderful on Cardiff Castle to promote events in the city. For this event we have a blue dragon guarding the trophy.

Bear is a typical bloggers child/grandchild. Stand there I say, just one photo. He poses, he "cheeses" (he says cheese without any prompting, in fact I usually have to wait until he stops so I get a natural photo of him).
He is full of enthusiasm. If the footballers show just half of his enthusiasm it will be a very exciting final.




Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Most Common Social Worker Jobs


The Most Common Social Worker Jobs

*Collaborative post

Social work is a noble profession. It’s one that can truly make a difference to the world, but it is also incredibly difficult. It can be emotionally and physically draining, and social workers often have to go for counselling themselves for the experiences that they are often exposed to. 
However, if you are a kind, caring individual and have loads of empathy and compassion for others – then social work could be a great career opportunity for you. 
Before you start your social work career, you should see what kind of work you want to do. 
Are you especially interested in children and their welfare? Do you want to work with people with addictions or mental health issues? Do you have the desire to help abused women? Or are you concerned about those that are sick or have ailments? 
These are all questions you should ask yourself before you decide what direction to take in your social work profession. 
Here are some the most common social worker jobs that you can choose from:

Substance abuse

Having a profession as a social worker in substance abuse is one of the more challenging, but also rewarding avenues that you can choose. 
People in this profession can work in hospitals, rehabilitation centres, prisons, hospitals and private care facilities. As a substance abuse worker you have to have compassion and a whole heap of patience. 
Recovery is a long and arduous journey, and you will have to be prepared for relapses, bad tempers and mood swings. But in the end – recovery is highly rewarding to see. 

Medical/public health

Social work in the medical and public health industry is the fastest growing, and there are great forecasts for expansion in this sector. 
A social worker that specialises in public and medical health can work in any facilities that deals with medical patients. Places like emergency rooms, hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes and assisted living. 
They are the go-between with patients and their medical carers, and they are in charge of overseeing that they are being treated properly and assisting with documents and decision-making.

Child welfare

Child welfare is a huge area of social welfare and requires high levels of compassion and a deep love of children. You can work with investigative units and child welfare companies that assess children’s home situations and remove them from dangerous environments. 
You have to be unbiased, level-headed and intuitive enough to know when a child is physically, mentally or sexually abused even though it may not always be obvious. 

Mental health

Mental health is another popular choice for social workers, but it’s one that you have to be highly trained for. People pursuing this profession normally need to have a master’s for clinical practice. 
You can work in a number of different facilities, and you will be in charge of assessing and diagnosing mental health issues, creating treatment plans and assist those that live daily with the effects of having a mental illness. 
These are just some of the social worker jobs that are available, and there are many other avenues that you can go down to find the niche that you would like to get into.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Our Weekly Journal 15th May - Cardiff Bay and Shadows


Our Weekly Journal 15th May - Cardiff Bay and Shadows

We have had a really busy week because the sun has shone and we have been out and about. Grandad came for a little walk around the estate and Bear was fascinated by our shadows. in fact he has spent all week chasing his shadow or trying to run away from it.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

#MySundayPhoto Number 20


#MySundayPhoto Number 20

Last week it was beautiful and sunny and so we visited Cardiff Bay. It took two buses and although the distance isn't too far it took ages as they go all around the houses. 

In 1999 a barrage was built across Cardiff Bay creating a huge lake and turning the docklands, and the famous Tiger Bay, into a mixture of modern buildings and leisure facilities. It claims to be Europe's largest waterfront development with restaurants, bars, the Welsh Assembly, housing and so much more.

We only visited a small part although we were there for a few hours. Bear is fascinated with shadows and was delighted to find these shadows of bicycle wheels on the gates of a cycle hire near the barrage.


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