Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter Everyone

Happy Easter everyone.  We certainly have loads of chocolate eggs in this house again this year and I can't wait for the children to come home from their dads so that we can get our little Easter egg hunt underway.  Looks like the diet is out of the window for the time being and the bit of weight that I have managed to lose these last few months won't take long to go back on by the time I have finished with this little lot.

So, it's been a while since my last post but finally I have a little time to catch up with things.  Unfortunately I caught the decorating bug.  Yep, it's been building for quite some time and bang it exploded.  I have been through the house like a whirlwind.  In a period of  4 weeks I managed to complete the living / dinning room, the hallway and the kitchen.

It's been hard hard work especially when I have work and my normal everyday tasks to fit in, not to mention the various school events that took up valuable free time.  I found myself staying up till all hours of the morning, yep not night, morning.  The latest record time I get to bed was 3am and I was back up at 7am with paintbrush in hand.  It has so been worth it. I almost feel like I have moved into a new house.

My walls and ceilings are lovely and fresh looking.  I have had new carpets laid and even a deliciously comfy sofa delivered.  So comfy in fact that now I have finished and have a bit of free time I find myself falling asleep really swiftly with my feet up and my new comfy soft cushions.

Have a good day all and enjoy all the lovely chocolate.  I'm sure I will.


Friday, 28 February 2014

Face Painting - Hits the News

My story was featured in yesterdays Hull Daily Mail and it's all rather embarrassing to be in the spotlight. However, I did this to make a point that you just don't know what is in these products that are used on children's faces, and I just want all parents to be made aware of just what can happen.

At this stage I am involved with Trading Standards who are carrying out tests on the product that was used on the day of the event   Until these are concluded I don't know what was used and whether this was just a reaction or something more sinister.

From the research I have done over the past few days it would seems that a water product should always be used and is the safest for children although there will always be cases where a child may react.

If anyone would like to read the piece that was written please follow the link below:

http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/Hull-mum-Jayne-Baker-threatens-legal-action-face/story-20714415-detail/story.html

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Face Painting: The saga continues

After my recent post where my children have had very nasty reactions after having their faces painted at a family fun day the story soon made the regional newspaper and various parents have told their story.  Well, now it's my turn.

I did write a letter to the Hull Daily Mail last week simply to express my anger and disgust at what had occurred. My only expectation was that my letter letter would be printed on their letters page.  I did not expect the them to contact me requesting a interview, which I did give tonight and then to hurridly send a photographer around to take our pictures.

It's now 10 days after their faces were painted and both are still wearing the marks.  I'm hoping and praying that these fade further shortly as if they don't I may well be taking legal action over this.

So, watch this space.  Anyone that buys that Hull Daily Mail, my story just maybe printed in there shortly.




Monday, 24 February 2014

Review of the Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I was really looking forward to reading this book as I have loved some of her earlier work but sadly I was bitterly disappointed.

It has taken me two weeks to trawl through the 800 or so pages and regretfully I wasted my time.  I kept hoping that something would kick in and the book was suddenly start racing along but from start to finish I found it all a bit flat.  The opening chapters were probably the best bit.

The characters a little boring and one-dimensional they seemed to have no personality and I read pages, chapters even or their endless drug taking and morning after torments.  I went from page to page where nothing of significance really happened apart from drug taking, drug taking and drug taking.

There was certainly two much prose in this book and inherent ramblings.  It added nothing at all to the story. The plot was weak and this story could have been told in a mere couple of hundred pages rather the 800 in filled.

I'm afraid to say it's not worth wasting your time on this one.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Review of Survivor by Lesley Pearse

Following on from Lesley's previous two novels, The Promise and Belle, this third novel catches up with the family is New Zealand where they left to start a new life.  I'm a massive fan of Lesley's novels and this one did not disappoint.

We catch up with Belle and Etienne where they have settled, become parents and are living the dream.  The life they have always wanted.  However their errant daughter Mariette or Mari as she known is a difficult, wilful teenager who is earning a bit of a name for herself.

In a bid to help their daughter, Belle and Etienne decide that maybe it would do her good to spread her wings and leave the sleepy town of Russell and send her to visit relatives in England.  Little did they know of the danger they were sending her into.

With the outbreak of World War II, Mariette finds herself facing unthinkable tragedy and challenges.  This part of the book had my gripped and awake long into the early hours as we experience with Mariette the true horror of the Blitz and the loss of many lives she encounters.

We journey with Marriette and see her transform from a deceitful, arrogant young girl into a kind, compassionate and heroic young lady, experiencing with her her many dramatic relationships with men.  Will she ever find her Mr Right?

Putting her life in danger to save others she ends up facing the biggest challenge of her life when she is seriously injured.  Will she ever recover from this?

This was a beautiful book with lots of twists and turns, many of which left tears in my eyes both of sadness and of joy. I have read many book set in the WWII but none have ever painted the true horror as brilliantly. Would definitely recommend this book to anyone.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Face Paint Trauma

The children and I attended a family fun day yesterday and we had a great time and the kids got involved in all the free activities including free face painting.  When I awoke this morning I really regretted my decision to allow them to do this.  As you can see from the picture below this has caused a really nasty reaction.  These include angry red lines, raised bumpy skin and a terrible itch.  I ensured last night that the face paint was thoroughly removed before they went to bed and thank god I did. I dread to think what damage it would have caused if I hadn't.


I'm writing this to make all parents aware that it really can happen.  My children have had their face painted on numerous occasion's and it's never been a problem.  I've always viewed it as being a bit of harmless fun. The consequences when things go wrong are quite severe as I've now found out.

My daughter has also had a reaction and currently has the vivid red angry lines of a once beautiful butterfly plastered across her face.  She is mortified and as a result we have barely left the house all day.  Her words to me this morning were, "Mummy, we can't go out today I look horrific."  Needless to say she won't allow her picture to be posted on here.

The event I attended was well organised by our local council and I'm shocked that this has happened.  Maybe at a less well structured event I wouldn't have allowed them to have it done but I assumed that everything here would be covered by strict guidelines, after all, the event was all about parents and children.  I have taken this matter up with the organisers and they j have promised to
investigate this further so hopefully this won't happen again in the future.  It may possibly be the case that the correct type of face paints were used and it is just an unfortunate reaction but I struggle to believe this.

I have spent some time researching children face paints today and I am actually shocked by my findings. Face paints have been recently recalled due to containing too much lead and other metals which can be damaging to children which is terrible and there are a whole host of other horror stories. I will certainly think twice before allowing my children to have their face painted again.  Although I have a feeling that after this they won't want it doing again.

To make matters that little bit worse, I was unsure what lotion / cream to apply to the inflamed area for fear of irritating their skin further so I took them along to the local pharmacy for some advice.  The young lady that we were seen by actually seemed to find the encounter very amusing and practically laughed me out of the shop saying there was nothing that could be done.  I certainly wasn't laughing and I don't see any humour in it at all.  I found it to be totally unprofessional and I certainly won't be going back to that store again for any further advice.  I am finding that loritidine and a water based lotion is bringing the redness down a little and reducing the itching but I fear that these marks are going to be with us for a fair few days yet.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sadly Lacking

Some people have noticed that my posts have been sadly lacking these past few weeks.  The truth is I have chosen this year to really knuckle down and focus on producing more short stories and that leaves me with less and less time for other things.

I've got off to a bit of a flying start this year, completing assignments, writing more and more stories and just generally I'm focusing on trying to get something into print this year.

Already 2014 is shaping up to be a brighter year then 2013.  It's been good news all round with thankfully very little drama.  I had enough of those to last a lifetime at the end of 2013.  

I'm also having a bit of re-think as to the format of this blog and I'm considering taking it down a more professional level focusing on the writing and the book review side rather then on a personal side.  So, all I can say is watch this space and there may be some big changes in the not to distance future.