On Reflection

On Reflection

The end of April has come and with it the end of the A to Z Challenge.

The challenge has been harder than I anticipated, sometimes I didn’t manage to blog on the actual day, and the last few days of April were made more difficult by no internet access and then our new kitten having to be put to sleep.

I am pleased that I managed to complete the challenge, with all posts being positive, I only signed up a day or two before it started so I had not had time to plan or pre-schedule any posts. Next year I would plan ahead, I would try to have a theme of sorts, and have some posts pre-scheduled, especially if it falls over Easter again.

I was disappointed with the number of visitors, as I did not see any increase in my numbers and there where very few comments, I didn’t take up the challenge just to get more views, but I had hoped more people would look and see what I had to say. I have got a few more followers though, and that is great.

I do have an apology too, I usually try to reply to all my comments, but during the challenge I just didn’t seem to have the hours in the day to blog and reply, especially as for 2 weeks the children were on school holiday. I have also not visited the people who have started to follow me, another thing which I like to do. I do intend to go back over all my comments and reply, and also see who has followed me, so if you were one of them please just be patient, time keeps running away from me.

After looking through my posts, they do appear to get shorter as the month progresses, another thing that I will have to work harder at next year, I also can not pin point one post that stands out for me, maybe others could suggest which they liked the most?

I managed to visit half of all the blogs that were on the list and I guess if people did the same as me, starting at the beginning of the list, it goes someway to explain why I didn’t get loads of visitors as I was somewhere near the end.

So on reflection I enjoyed the challenge, it’s given me an insight into how else I can blog and not just about mental health. I will take part next year, but will have a plan in place and be more organised.

Any comments on my take of the challenge would be great,  I’d love to know what people thought so next year I can make any necessary improvements.

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Z

Z

Z is for ?

I am a day late with my last post for the A to Z Challenge, and Z is a difficult one, there are quite a few words that I like that begin with Z, as they sound like they are (if that makes sense?). Words like, Zest, Zoom and Zig-Zag are all zappy words but they are not words that I could write much about.

Then there is Zoo, which, whilst I like going to Zoo’s and seeing the animals and giving my children the chance to see animals that they will not get much chance of seeing otherwise, I do feel uncomfortable sometimes seeing animals in small enclosures and wonder how happy they actually are.

Zebra’s are an animal that fascinates me just because of its colouring, they look like they should be all cute and cuddly, but apparently they are not and will not be domesticated.

Finally Zero, I now have Zero posts to do, I have managed to get through the A to Z Challenge in one piece, it’s not always been easy, but I have mostly enjoyed it and mostly got my posts out on time (except when BT took several days to reconnect us!), and I hope people have found them interesting.

Next week I will be joining in with the reflections post to say what I thought of the challenge and what I would do different, so come back next week and see what I thought and any changes I would make when I do it all over again next year!

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Yesterday

Y is for Yesterday

I am behind with the A to Z Challenge, due partly to the lack of internet from Wednesday pm to Friday evening, and then a busy weekend, but it has given me a chance to write about yesterday. I was going to do about Yummy Yorkshire Ice cream, but events that happened need to be talked about, just take it from me the ice-cream is very very yummy!

Yesterday was a day of two halves

My eldest AJ was taking part in her first regional gymnastics competition and grading, she needed to pass the grading in order for her to move on to the next grade next year. I was (as I always am) very nervous for her, I had seen her do some of the disciplines and was unsure how well she would do, but as soon as she started on her first discipline Bars I realised I had nothing to worry about. She passed her grade 14 with distinction and when we looked at her marks she had completed her Bars routine almost faultlessly. I am a very proud mummy (or mum to AJ), and hope that this has renewed her passion for gymnastics as she has certainly got a flare for it.

The downside of the day was having to put our kitten, Willow, that we had only had a week to sleep. She had become ill towards the end of the week, and was gradually getting weaker, not wanting to eat and only sleeping. I had already taken her to the vets on Sunday morning, but had to take her back Sunday late on, as she was rapidly going downhill. The vet warned me that she was not in a good way, and she wasn’t sure if she would make it, at 8.00 yesterday evening she rang to say she was really struggling and she didn’t think she would make it through the  night and felt that it would be fairer to put her to sleep. Through tears me & NJ agreed, it was the right thing to do, but even though we had only had her a week she was already so much part of the family.

So yesterday was a day of sadness either side of the joy of seeing my daugter perform so well in her competion. What was your yesterday like?

Xmas

Xmas

X is for Xmas

Yes I am aware that it is almost May, and nowhere near Christmas, however  X is a difficult word and I love Christmas or Xmas time so what better word to use? I don’t actually use the word Xmas much, except for when sending a text or writing a quick note for myself, it is usually the word Christmas that I use.

Christmas is a magical time, with all the lights shining and children getting excited, don’t get me wrong, I know that it is also a very stressful time. It saddens me though that Christmas has become such a commercial event and the real meaning behind it seems to gradually be being lost. For me Christmas is about saying thank you  to friends and family, and rejoicing in what we have in our lives, I like my children to understand why we celebrate Christmas, but don’t expect other people to agree with my beliefs.

AJ is 9 in a few weeks and I think she will not be fooled this year with Father Christmas, but I hope she keeps the magic going for her younger siblings. I can’t remember how old I was when ‘I knew’ but as a family we kept the magic going as long as possible.

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Image: suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What are your Christmas celebrations like? Do you look forward to the day, or do you dread it and wish it was January when we are only in November?

Water

Water

W is for Water

I am not sure why, but I love being by water, in particular the sea. I love the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks, and the sound the sea makes as it makes its way in and out of a bay. I live, and always have done, almost in the middle of the country, so there is no quick drive to the coast, it is at least 1 hour 30 mins, if not 2 hours to get to the coast, which means for me our summer break has to be near the sea.

One holiday the weather was so bad on the day we arrived we went paddling in the sea in our wellies, the kids ended up with wet feet as the sea crashed over the tops of their wellies, but we all had a great time, although admittedly it is nicer to paddle in the sea when the sun is shining.

On another holiday we would take a walk early evening along the pier, and one day the sea was quite rough and was crashing on the rocks, NJ manage to get a great photo:

I also love swimming, but we very rarely go as a family, FJ is currently learning to swim and I hope this means we will start to go a little more often. TJ gets cold easily so this a one thing that puts me off, she loves the water but hates getting cold (and the pools round us always seem to be cold).

AJ my eldest also reminded me that water is very precious, in her last school assembly they did all about water and how important water is to us all, but they also reminded us that clean water is not available to everyone.

So are you a lover of water?

Views

Views

V is for Views

Everyone has their favourite view or views, I do have a view, but I love to walk out of my drive, turn right and there I have a brilliant view of fields and trees and in the distance you can see houses. On an evening when it is dark I love looking at all the street lights, I ‘m not sure why but I find this almost magical.

Here are some pictures of views that we have taken, I seem to be drawn to ones with water in them!

What are your favourite views?