Friday, October 31, 2008

Ok, so here it is...

My little sister, Hannah (aka HP), and her boyfriend, Steve, got engaged on Wednesday. I am very excited :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I am sooooo excited

But I'm not gonna tell you why, just yet. All in good time, my dears, all in good time!

The blank page mocks me

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with blogging. I'm sure if I actually had a blackberry or something similar that enabled me to remote post to my blog that it would be very different to how it is now. I'm forever writing beautiful posts in my head when I'm on the bus, or in the car, or pretty much anywhere that isn't in front of the computer, but when it comes to sitting down to type them the ideas vanish into thin air. It's like the blank screen is mocking me, daring me to attempt to make sense of my jumbled thoughts, and then I end up writing random ramblings instead.

In some ways, blogging is like therapy for me, it helps me to sort through my thoughts and try to understand them. The problem with that is that I'm discovering more and more people I know in real life are reading me (of course, it doesn't help that my posts are automatically linked to my facebook account, which means over 200 people that I'm friends with on there could potentially be reading). Besides that, there are people from church, university, old school friends and relations who are all reading (even if they don't leave many comments, hint hint). Sometimes it's easier to imagine I'm writing to an audience who don't actually know me in real life, but even then, I'm pretty close to some of my online friends too.

Of course, I'm not saying stop reading me. Not at all! In fact, if you are reading, that's fantastic, it means that my random ramblings possibly aren't so random after all, or else you just love me cos I am random. Either way, that's fantastic. I guess what I'm saying is that a part of me can understand why people do things like send postcards to PostSecret - the release of anonymously sharing without any concern about come back or consequences. Don't get me wrong, I don't have any huge secrets - I'm not an axe murderer or anything like that! I don't really know what I'm trying to say, so I guess I'll just start a new paragraph.

I guess there's a fine line between the public personal stuff and the private personal stuff. I wrote a post the other day about how my session with the counsellor had gone, but it just felt too personal to put it out there in black and white. I guess that's why people choose to blog about 'other stuff', because they don't want their lives to be out there for people to see. I like that this blog is all about me, and reflects me in lots of different moods, but sometimes I look back and think 'why on earth did I write that?!'

Don't get me wrong, if I didn't want to do it, I wouldn't. I guess I'm just saying, don't think that this is ALL there is to my life, there's lots of other stuff going on, but also, thanks for sharing with me in what I do share. Thanks for looking out for me, for asking me how I'm doing, how things went, how I'm feeling today. Sometimes I'll answer in the public setting, sometimes in a more private setting, but I will answer, as best I can.

See, I had no idea I was going to write all THAT when I started writing. I swear sometimes my fingers have a life of their own.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It's snowing right now in London. It's not really sticking becauase it rained a lot earlier, but it's still very exciting to me. We don't get snow much in London!

Hurrah for Tess

One of the best things about hanging out on the etsy forums has been making friends with others who hang there too. Although I've never met them (well, apart from blest), I'd still say I have some awesome buddies on there that I care about, and who care for me.

Case in point is Tess, also known as ActivityGrrrl, or AG for short. A couple of weeks back we were discussing candy corn, and I was asking them what it's actually like, since I've never had it. The lovely Tess offered to mail some to me, and the package arrived this morning. Not only did she mail me candy corn, but she also cleverly wrapped it in bags covered in pictures of candy corn. Sheer genius!

I promised to live blog the event, so here goes...

11.02am AG AG AG AG AG! It just arrived! Just a minute ago! I'm so excited :)

11.04am (poses for photo attempting to open parcel)

11.10am (I'm still figuring out how to get into in, but I'll get there eventually...!)

11.12am I'm in! (well, the first layer, anyway!)

11.13am I got the inside layer open and the smell of the sugar hit me straight away!

11.15am (Starts to write blog post)

11.20am (takes photo of packet of candy corn)

11.23am (Opens the packet of candy corn by cutting open the corner with scissors)

11.24am I can smell the sugar really strongly as I pull out my first piece of candy corn. Smelling it I can sense a sort of sugary almost vanilla type smell

11.26am I take a bite from the candy corn and get an immediate sugar hit. The texture feels quite like shop-bought fudge. It offers some resistance at first, and then dissolves slightly on my tongue.

11.27am (eats a second and third candy corn - they were slightly smushed together from transit) They are certainly very sugary, I don't think I could manage to eat more than 2 or 3 at a time.

11.30am (eats a forth and final, for the time being, piece of candy corn and starts to upload photos from camera)

11.47am (gets frustrated with camera not uploading photos and considers eating some more candy corn. Beginnings of a sugar headache suggests this would not be a wise move. Resists)

Considering that 4 pieces were enough for me and my sugar tolerance, and that there are approximately 176 pieces in the packet (based on the stats on the back, suggesting a portion size is 22 pieces, and that there are about 8 servings per container), it's either going to take me a very long time to eat them, or, more likely, I'll be taking my candy corn to share around with my friends whenever I see them this week. Given that a serving of 22 pieces has a calorie count of 140, that's probably not a bad thing!

Thank you so much for mailing them to me, Tess. You're a star :)
(I managed 500 words exactly, Tess!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Poppy Day

Today I was out and about with the kiddos when we came across a women collecting money for the Royal British Legion. I gave Little One some money to put in the can, and in exchange she gave me a poppy, a sticker for Little Flower, and pinned a poppy to Little One's coat. He was very excited to have the poppy, and also dutifully picked up his sister's sticker every time she dropped it (it pretty much stopped being sticky once an 18 month old got her hands on it).

It wasn't until we were on the bus home that he asked me what the flower was, and why we were wearing them. (If I haven't mentioned already, it's worth noting that he has most certainly reached the 'why' stage of life. Whatever you say to answer the first why, his answer will most probably be 'why?' right back at ya!)

Having not had the chance to talk to his parents about how much detail they want to go into about why we have Remembrance Day, I didn't exactly want to jump in to talking about wars and people dying and stuff like that. After all, he is only three, and I didn't want to confuse or scare him. Instead, I thought about the fact that he is currently a big fan of SUPERMAN! He continually tells me how brave Superman is, or how he's going to be brave 'just like Superman', so I decided that was what to tell him -
"The poppies help us to remember people who were very very brave."
"Just like Superman?"
"Yes, Little One, just like Superman".

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

*hair flick* because I'm worth it

I'm off to see the counsellor. I'm scared stiff, but I know God loves me, and cares for me, and has a good and perfect plan for my life. So I'm gonna keep trusting him, because I'm worth it.
(thanks for the suggestion, Stalker ;) )

In other news, I like my new conditioner. Maybe next time I go shopping I'll manage to remember to buy the shampoo that goes with it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blast from the past

This was a draft post from February, 2006 that I just dug out.
Yes, that's me in the front row.
We were on a scavenger hunt, and had just given a busker about 10 quid to let us borrow his spot and take our picture!

More questions

I'm going through my blog posts, deleting drafts that are mostly either duplicates or have nothing written in them. This one, however seemed worth publishing, purely for its randomnes. It was originally written on the 4th September 2007

Why does it smell like wee just outside our backdoor? Why doesn't my phone like charging if you turn it off? Why do months have different numbers of days? How do you get rid of squirrels from your back garden so that you can leave the backdoor open without worrying that they will come inside? Come to that, how do you stop the neighbours cat coming inside and scaring you when you come across if unexpectedly? Where is the green parrot?

Why waste time when you can just 'Wash & Go'?

Yep, seems like my head is filled with lines from random shampoo adverts. However, you'll all be please to know, I'm sure, that today, thanks to my blog post yesterday, my Mum reminded me that I needed to buy some more shampoo, and I have duly done so.*

It would also appear that I'm either calmer in general about Thursday, or I'm just ignoring it. Either way, I can tell I'm happy because I'm back to spontaneously bursting into song at the slightest provocation. This might be considered slightly embarrassing when I start singing 'You know you make me wanna SHOUT' whilst picking up stain remover spray in Salisbury's. (Well, it is called Shout, so what d'you expect me to do?). Luckily, I don't embarrass myself too easily, and my mum is pretty used to me (Well she ought to be after knowing me for 26 years, right?)

I love days like today. Those autumn days where the sun is shining and the leaves on the trees are changing colour. Days where you go out and see some people dressed up in jumpers and winter coats, and others wearing just a T-shirt (well not just a t-shirt, but you know what I mean!). It's days like today that remind me I'm British. That sometimes you just can't help but talk about the weather. I mean, just look at the window all you Londoners, isn't it beautiful out there today? And tomorrow will most probably be entirely different. Because that's the way the weather goes around here.

I have an idea brewing for a way to enjoy this time of year in a slightly crazy, but enjoyable way, but I'll let you know what it is once it's more fully developed.

* Actually, it appears I haven't bought shampoo, because I picked up conditioner instead. Oh well. Guess that means I'll have to rack my brains for another line from an old shampoo advert for when I actually do buy some.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm in love... with a shampoo!

[Seriously, does anyone actually remember that advert? I tried googling, and nothing. How can google let me down like this? I'm sure I have a totally different memory for adverts to the rest of the world. Like the colgate advert with the line about strawberry cheesecake flavour toothpaste and the guy goes 'I like that colgate flavour!']

Anyway, I'm not in love with a shampoo (actually, I hate my shampoo and keep trying to remember to buy some more. The problem is I generally remember when I am in the shower, about to use it, which isn't very helpful), or with my toothpaste, although I am currently happy with my macleans toothpaste.
(Have you ever noticed that some of my blog posts have more asides than actual content?)

I am kinda in love with a blog I just started reading. In love in the sense that the guy who writes it had me captivated after I'd read about 3 posts, and in fits of hysterics before I'd reached the bottom of the first page.

I mean, who wouldn't want the opportunity to discover such random facts as what my height is, measured in width of human hairs or matchsticks...

I discovered that I am as tall as
the width of 36600 human hairs
the width of 950 matchsticks.
the length of 6.16 sheets of A4....

So go ahead, check it out.

Come up and see me, make me smile

Sometimes Little One will suddenly turn to me and say "Debbie".
"Yes, little one?" I'll reply, and he'll smile a me with the biggest grin in the world and say "I love you".
Things like that can make a crappy day much better.

(Day turned slightly downhill when I remembered I have an appointment to see the counsellor at my doctors and started freaking out about it - not knowing what it'll be like, or what to say or anything.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

View from the roof!

View from the roof!
Originally uploaded by debsenglishrose
This is the fox who was sat outside my backdoor for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon.
This photo was taken from the roof. Yes, I climbed out of my bedroom window and lay on the roof to capture this shot. So don't say I don't do anything for my blog readers!

(This is also my first attempt at blogging from my flickr account, so let's see if it will work!)

WARNING - This post may contain real content

It's come to my attention that although I've promised proper content, and updates on me and all that jazz, I never actually got around to writing them. So here I am. Feel free to switch off and do something less boring instead if you so desire.

Mini recap for anyone who's new around here, or forgotten, or wants a minute to go and put the kettle on before they come back and resume reading a couple of paragraphs down. Hmmm, where shall I start?

Last November I went to Texas to stay with blest and her family for 3 months. A week or so before I came home I had a cold, or so I thought. I arrived back home at the beginning of February, and was pretty much ill for the next 6 months. It was a throat infection, then a chest infection, an ear infection, and then another chest infection. The doctors threw 6 or 7 courses of antibiotics at me, and although I got a bit better some of the time, I always got worse. In, I think, July someone (the consultant I saw at the hospital) finally got the crazy idea that maybe the general antibiotics weren't working, and we should possibly do a test and give me type-specific antibiotics. The test results came back showing that yes, the infection I had was resistant to most of the antibiotics they'd already given me, and suggested something else to try. My doctor put me on those for 2 weeks straight, and they finally did the kick.

That was about a month before we went on holiday to Wales for a fortnight. By the time we went away I was back to being slightly under the weather again, and occasionally still coughing up nasty gunk, but I've kinda got to the point that unless it drags me right down again, I've had enough of going to the doctors! When we got back from holiday we went straight to do a weekend running kids work for a church camp. I managed to sprain my ankle on the very first morning. That was the last weekend in August, and it's still recovering now. I've been having some physio on it (thanks to a private arrangement with a friend of mine!)

I've also been battling depression, and have seen my doctor and talked with people at church. I'm going to be meeting with a counsellor (arranged through my doctor) next week for the first time. I am feeling a lot better - I think actually just talking about it helped me to feel better, somehow, but I'm going to see this counsellor anyway next week, and will see how it goes.

So, yeah, that's a little bit of a recap... so where am I now?
Right now I'm still battling a seemingly constant cold, but it's pretty mild, so I just ignore it. I got back on my treadmill for a couple of sessions this week, and that felt soooo good. I think the fact that you just have to walk meant that I wasn't stopping to think about how I put my foot down, and actually when I got off, my ankle felt better. I'm not up to the speed I was at before, but given I've pretty much had a two month break, I'm sure I'll build up the strength and stamina again. (I'm still not really able to run at all becasue of my ankle, but eventually I'm sure I will!)

Jobwise, I'm still childminding, looking after Little One and Little Flower two days a week, and I jsut started doing some one to one tutoring with a little girl from church. Starting up tutoring again reminded me that I do like children, after all (I was beginning to doubt that!) and my background of working in the education system. Soooo, I'm thinking about focusing on doing that, and hopefully building up a bit of a clientele. I'm also looking into what courses I could do to further my knowledge and give me some more useful qualifications.

Other than that... I've been enjoying the stepped up pace of things in the 20s+ group at church, and especially the chance to get to know some exciting new people :) Oh, and I'm still feeling pretty hyper today ;)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Possibily slightly hyper today

Me, I am.
Gotta dash. Catch you later.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Snuggles and Tears

A certain young lady was pulling his hair just before the photo was taken (The camera was on timer!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday Monday, so good to me. Perhaps

Um, hello. My name's Debs, and this is my blog. I think. It's been a little while since I devoted it proper attention. It was a busy weekend, and before that, well, I don't really have a good excuse, except perhaps writers block.

Today is my sister Bekki's birthday. You can go and wish her a happy birthday if you want to, but please come back. I'll try to be interesting.

You back? Good. Well as I said before, the weekend was very busy. On Saturday my parents and I went up to Cambridge to visit Bekki and take her out to lunch. It was a beautiful day, and we had a lovely time. In the evening I went out for a meal to a Greek restaurant for a friend's birthday, and totally shot the diet plans to bits by eating moussaka. It was yummy though :)

On Sunday I went to church, and Adrian was preaching from the third chapter of Nehemiah. My church is doing a series from that book of the bible at the moment. After church I went with a whole bunch of people (the 20s+ group from church) for lunch and an afternoon of fun and laughter around someone's house. I took lots of funny photos, but since I couldn't get my camera and computer to talk to each other last night, I can't share any of them yet!

Today I'm looking after the kiddos, and hoping that the day might get sunnier. I think we'll go on leaf walk later and find some of the beautifully coloured leaves which have fallen off the trees in the last few days. All of a sudden it's clear that Autumn is certainly here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

Today we're off to Cambridge to have lunch with Bekki to celebrate her birthday (which is actually on Monday). Then this evening I'm going out for another meal to celebrate the birthday of a friend of mine. Tomorrow is church, and then out to lunch with the other 20s+ group.
At some point I'll try to bring you up to date and show you some photos too...

This was me on Thursday.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I might post

soon... I might not. We shall see.
Just thought I'd let you knowI'm still alive.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

wake up sleepy head

I don't know why, but this afternoon I was suddenly hit by the tiredness truck, and I can hardly stay awake. I thought about having a nap this afternoon, but decided not to turn down the opportunity to go grocery shopping with my mum. I love my mum, and I love grocery shopping, so it seemed too good an oportunity to miss ;)

This evening I was originally going to be babysitting for some friends, but they've had to cancel their plans, so instead I'll be heading over to Leyton in a little while to meet some friends, and hopefully have some physio on my ankle, which has been really achey for the last couple of days.
Besides, they won't mind too much if I just fall asleep on their sofa!

I'm hoping to write a proper post soon, updating you all on my life and other such exciting things, maybe tomorrow if I have enough brain power!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

2 Year Anniversary

Thursday, 2nd October marked the two year anniversary of my weight loss journey. I weighed in at 211.2, which is 82.8lb lower than my starting weight.
Although that wasn't the lowest I've got over the two years, I am unbelievably happy about the changes in ME that have happened over the last 2 years. (I got down to 203/204 a few weeks back, but a sprained ankle which has put a hold to exercise, and some comfort eating meant I put some weight back on).

I am a different person. For a start, people that didn't know me two years ago would possibly not be able to recognise me from photos taken back then. Physically I am a lot stronger and fitter. Ok, so that might sound funny coming from the person who's spent much of the last 8 or 10 months on antibiotics and other assorted drugs, and visiting the doctors. But I hate to think how this infection would have affected me if I'd had it two years ago.

I am actually happy being me. I like what I see when I look in the mirror. I'm not at my goal yet, but I can see that it is possible, it can be achieved. Here's to the next year, and maybe even reaching goal (approx another 40lb, depending on how I feel when I get there!)

April 2006 (sorry, couldn't find a good face on pic)July 2006 (at a wedding, with my sister, HP)
July 2008 (at a wedding, with my sister, HP)August 2008I love being me :)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I live in London

but not a bit that tourist would want to see. Or so the total lack of postcards being sold down Walthamstow shops and market seems to suggest. Which begs the question why you can buy London postcards in places like Cambridge, or even Palmers Green ;), but not here in Walthamstow.
I guess I'll just keep looking
(I'm doing a postcard exchange with people on etsy. If any of my readers wants to do a postcard swap, leave me a comment to let me know, and we'll sort it out)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The circle of life

When I was little we used to have a rotary phone (the type where you turn the dial around to dial each number). I believe it was green. Anyway, along with the numbers it also had letters assigned to each number.

This was a throwback to when instead of having area codes that were numbers, they'd have an area code made up of letters. You'd dial the letters of the town the phone number was located, and then the rest of the phone number. Later, the letters were replaced with the numbers, and phone numbers began to look more like they do today. (So my phone number for London began 08, which is odd, because the L isn't on the 8 key, but London has to do things differently!)

Anyway, when I was little, we were past the stage that the letters were being used, and I used to look at my phone and wonder why on earth they would bother even putting the letters on there anymore.

Today, as I was texting HP, I realised how fast things things have changed. In the past 20 odd years, telephones have been redefined. People definitely use the letters on phone keypads once again. The circle is complete.

As an extra aside, I often wonder what small children today make of toy rotary phones. We have one, and I know that that Fisher Price telephone is a common toy at playgroups and mum&tots groups, and yet in reality hardly anyone has a rotary telephone anymore.