Prayer for the innocent lives …

lost in the Manchester attack, the recent London bridge killings, the fire that raged a tower block in London just last night, and the on-going fight in Marawi and the rest of the world.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May the souls of all the faithful departed,

through the mercy of God,

rest in peace. Amen.

 

Childhood Memories and The Swing in the Garden

T woke up crying one night.  When asked why, she said …

“I don’t want to grow up. If I grow up I’ll forget all about the fun things I did, like playing in my swing”.

She only went back to sleep when her dad told her about all the things he remembered as a child.  Like the time his own dad put up a swing for him.  He thinks he was barely five, even younger than T.  She laughed when he told her that he saw Father Christmas coming out of the attic once. How he was so scared that he saw him and wouldn’t give him his present.  Of course what my husband saw as a child was the shadow of his dad coming down from the attic with his presents.  I couldn’t contribute much, because of my really bad memory.  But we assured her that no one will take away her good memories from her and that all she needed to do was conjure them up when she wants them back.  I encouraged her to write more in her journal.  At the moment, she uses it as her doodle book complete with made-up stories of her and her friends.

That swing in the photo is the best £10 purchase I’ve ever made in my life.  I bought that swing for T a few months ago and it’s currently her most favourite thing in the world.

When the weather is good, she heads straight down in the garden for a little swing before coming inside the house.

She can spend hours down there just playing on it.  Swinging on it and sometimes I’ve seen her just sitting there peacefully with her own little thoughts.  It is a lovely sight.

And then there are times when she’d ask us to push her up higher and higher.  The air will be filled with her laughter and giggles and me telling her to hold on tight as she’d go up, up and away.

For me, playing on a swing should be part of every childhood memory.  I have my own.  We lived in the city and didn’t have a swing in the garden.  But I remember swinging in my maternal grandmother’s garden in the country, up, up and higher.  It’s a lovely memory.  And I’m really pleased too that T is making her own memories of playing in a swing down in the garden.

Do you remember your childhood?

 

A Country Kid’s Post: Body Boarding on Widemouth Bay

The weather last Thursday was just a perfect blend of not too-hot and just about right, enough to be able to wear a t-shirt without a jumper on and shorts. Of course, the best way to celebrate this weather was to spend most of the day on the beach.  And that’s exactly what we did.

Widemouth bay in all its glory.  We’re lucky it’s about less than a ten minute drive from where we live.  We drive past this beautiful stretch of beach every time we go to Bude to ran errands.  Admittedly though, when you live nearby, you just take the beauty of it all for granted.  But yesterday, we had a chance to bask in it.

We went to the beach to meet up with friends but came early.  There’s little T waiting for her best-friend F to arrive.  She went into the water but opted to wait for him.  And yes, there was an incessant whinging “Is F here yet?”.  As if by saying he’s name, he’d magically appear before her.

And then our friends finally arrived.  F forgot to bring his body-board but T was kind enough to lend it to him as they took turns using it and at one time, both were on it.  If you’ve been following my blog for the past five years, you will know that T and F have been best-friends since they were two.  They have a good bond and a really sweet friendship.

There’s T’s waiting for her turn with the body board.

Hopefully, these two will be best-friends forever.

I can’t wait till the summer-holidays are here.  Here’s hoping for good weather like this day so we could spend more time on the beach again and again and again.

What about you?

Have you spent some time on the beach lately?

Is Your Dog an Itchy Dog? Plus a Giveaway for you and your Pet – Come and Join!

*This is a sponsored post.

Doc like all dogs like to scratch, sniff and lick.  That’s the way they were made.  When they’re not sleeping, eating, running around like loonies or following you around the house like a love-sick-puppy, they’re doing just that – scratch, sniff and lick.

But unfortunately some dogs are more prone to itch.  Us humans are not just the only ones who have allergies, dogs have them too, especially if your dog is like ours who likes to explore on his own and root around for goodness knows what.

For those who are wondering if they have an itchy dog.  Here are some common signs that might just help you tell whether your dog has allergies too:

  • Itching and scratching.  And this isn’t just the usual scratch here and there, but non-stop scratching, especially behind the ears.

  • Licking their paws.

  • Rubbing their face on furniture as if trying to get rid of something.
  • They may also have hot spots on their bodies.
  • Excessive grooming.
  • Red eyes.
  • Dry, flaky skin.
  • Excessive moulting.

Does all this sound familiar?  Then perhaps, your dog is indeed an itchy dog.  No need to panic, you can of course take your dog to the vet and they’ll tell you what to do.  Or perhaps you can also try YuMEGA Itchy Dog for dogs with sensitive or itchy skin.  “YuMEGA is a premium quality supplement for dogs prone to feeling itchy”

How does it work?

YuMEGA Itchy Dog works in three ways:

  1. It Calms the Itch with extra GL from Borage (Starflower), provides Omega 6 (GLA), which helps to soothe the urge to itch.  YuMEGA Itchy Dog contains higher levels of Omega 3 – 70% more powerful than ever before.
  2. Improves Coat Condition:  High levels of essential Omega 3 oils from Golden Flax seed helps to improve coat condition.  A healthy coat is your dog’s first line of defence against itchy triggers like pollen and grass.
  3. Supports Natural Defences: Added natural vitamin E and Omega 6 (LA), supports the skin’s natural defences, helping your dog maintain a barrier against the allergens that cause itching.

It’s easy to use too.  All you need to do is mix it with your dog’s food daily.  The amount of course, depends on the size of your dog.

It’s the perfect time to use YuMEGA Itchy dog, especially since summer months are known to flare up allergies, and as pet-owners, we must ensure that our dogs are armed against all sorts of allergies.

And as mentioned, the summer months are here, (fingers crossed the forecast will deliver good weather), which means if you’re like us, who love to go on lots of different adventures and picnic with our over-excitable always  sometimes annoying bundle of fur, called Doc, you will need this lovely picnic basket for you and yours.

This very-handy little picnic basket is all yours for free.  All you need to do is comment below and tell us where you plan to take your dog for a picnic.  The best answer will win!  You will also need to like Lintbells on Facebook, Instagram or follow them on twitter and the hamper is yours.  This give-away is open till the 26th of June, midnight.  UK Residents only.

The Pupnic Basket has the following goodies:

– Wicker pupnic hamper
– A pack of snacks for your pooch
– Remember to stay hydrated with a water bowl for them and water bottle for you.
– Have fun with a toy
– Be responsible, wherever your adventure takes you, with biodegradable poop scoop bags
– Prepare for irritations and itches with a microfiber cloth for a furry wipe down and give YuMEGA Itchy Dog all summer long.

What are you waiting for?

Join and comment below!

“I’m not going to win the race mum”

Little T announced this when she woke up on Sports Day.  I replied, “It’s okay sweetie.  As long as you do your best and have fun with your friends.  That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?”  She nodded her little head.  Later on I wondered, should I have told her to aim to win?  I remember one of the mums last year told her kids “It’s alright to want to win you know”.  And she’s right.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to win.  But at the same time, I didn’t want to pressure little T, she’s only six for goodness sake.  And in my opinion, she has too much after school activities.  She does ballet, gymnastics and swimming.  I’m not even including her cello lessons which they do in their school.  The thing is, she loves her ballet, gymnastics, although I suspect she loves her swimming class only because most of her close friends are in the same class, so it’s really like an extended play-time for all of them.  But who am I to complain when she loves and enjoys all of them.

We never tell her to aim for the gold, or aim to win.  We always say “have fun”, because to us, that’s all that matters.  We want our little girl to enjoy and have fun.  The pressure goodness knows will come soon, no matter how hard we try to avoid it, so why start now?  Like I mentioned, she’s only six.

And that little girl who doubted herself, but did her best, and not to mention is the youngest and shortest  in their class won the race and not because we told her to win –  it was all her doing.  She didn’t aim to win.  But as her dad said, she ran as fast as her little legs could carry her and won the race.

At the end, I didn’t even know she won, I thought it was E, who is a year older than T and has really long legs, and was leading the race at the beginning.  Her dad said “No, T won!”  I said “Really?  Not T with her short legs”.  He said, “Yes T won!”.  I walked back to my husband and said “Did you see that?”  He said “Yes, I’m so proud of her”  And when I looked at my husband, he was all teary-eyed. I guess my little T did win after all.

Later that night, we looked at the photos and the video I took and my husband gasped.  He explained that he told her to not clench her fist, but to relax and open her palms up and then lunge forward when nearing the finish line.  If you peer at the photos I took (although those were taken not in the actual race that she won, but the relay race of her entire team), she actually listened to her dad and relaxed her hand instead of clenching it.

My little daughter, she’s astonishing, isn’t she?  She certainly is.  We are so proud of her.

Little Hearts, Big Love

Eddie, The Premier Inn Teddy

* This IS NOT a sponsored post.

As mentioned in my previous post, we had a quick city break when my husband did a lecture in Bristol a few weekends ago.  We stayed over at the Premier Inn on King St which has the perfect location for us since it’s very central and most importantly close to The Old Duke, even though I didn’t really get a chance to drop by (we walked by it though), the husband did manage to join some of his colleagues after reading to T, for a pint or so.

The hotel wasn’t anything fantastic.  The room we had actually very basic.  The bed I thought was too small for the three of us, but luckily it actually was bigger than it really was.  We all had a lovely good sleep.  I jokingly looked for slippers and bathrobes and those little bottles of toiletries we all love to nick, but didn’t find any.

Like I mentioned, the room was just a place to sleep-in and when you’re there for just a night, what else would one need right?

The next morning, the man behind the desk kindly took our luggage for safe-keeping before we headed out and spent the whole day walking and mooching around Bristol.  T was absolutely knackered by the end of the day and tearful.  Truth to be told, the tears were not just because she was exhausted but we promised her a side-trip to Toys R Us, since she brought the contents of her piggy bank with her, hoping to buy a toy with it.  But we realised it was just out-of-the-way and we didn’t want to get stuck in the weekend traffic before driving all the way back to Cornwall.

Being little T (emotional and all), her tears silently fell all the way from Mackenzie cafe, over the bridge, and back to the hotel.  She sat on the armchair crestfallen with a tear-stained face.  The lovely woman behind the counter asked after her.  My husband explained the situation and when she came back from collecting our bags in the storage, she had something behind her back.

The kind Premier Inn staff asked T for her name.  She whispered it back, not even looking at the woman.  The next thing we knew, she was handling this big white teddy bear to T.  My husband and I were really surprised.

It’s lovely when staff go out of their way to make their customers feel really special, isn’t it?  While my husband and I weren’t impressed with the room, we said “Oh we’re definitely coming back to stay at this hotel!”  I’m just really annoyed with myself for not asking her name.

To the lady behind the counter at the Premier Inn in King Street, Bristol, thank you so much!  T named him Eddie.  We tried to convince her to name him Lennny, but she prefers Eddie.  He sleeps with her every night and is a very much-loved Teddy.  Thank you for being a lovely person.

To Premier Inn, I hope you cherish this employee of yours and treat her well, the way she treated us.

A Country Mouse Roams the Streets of Bristol

I think Bristol is my favourite city here in the UK.  I like the way it doesn’t really feel like a city in some parts, and it somehow makes you feel that you also live in the countryside.  I love the restaurants and pubs, especially the Old Duke and of course, this is also the place where the Historian and I got married many moons ago.

Before T was born, we used to come here a lot, especially since once of our oldest friend lives there.  That didn’t change when she arrived.  But of course all that stopped, when she became of school age.  Occasionally, the Historian still has scheduled lectures for the OU in Bristol and when that happens, T and I usually tag along and that’s exactly what we did last weekend.  It was a chance for a brief city break for the country mice.

We left Cornwall right after picking up T from school and drove straight to Bristol.  That night, we had a lovely dinner with our friend and strolled a bit around The Old Duke before heading back to our hotel.  It was absolutely packed.  The next day, we strolled by the quayside and had a lovely breakfast at Mackenzie’s restaurant before my husband headed off to his lecture and T and I met with our friend.  We decided to visit the Bristol Aquarium.

And I’m glad we did.  T enjoyed it so much as well as the adults too.  The place isn’t too big, but we spent more than a couple of hours just watching and looking at the different species.  We were also in time for the feeding, which was really interesting to watch.

After a quick-lunch at the very busy Stables, we decided to mooch around the city just to kill time before it was time to meet T’s dad.

Since it was a Saturday, there were a lot of stalls in the streets and T had fun just looking at all of the knick knacks on the tables.  We went to our favourite St. Nicholas Market and just poked around the stalls not really buying anything, but just looking.  We also stopped at a bookshop and just looked around.

I think T is planning a holiday on her own 😉

Not long after this.  I received a text from the Historian saying that he was done and will meet us back in Mackenzie’s.  Let’s just say we were a tad bit late 😉

We did enjoy our trip and we’re hoping to be back soon.  This time with some family members in tow 🙂  What about you?  What’s your favourite city here or elsewhere?

Dog Stories: Growing up together

While doing a paid Instagram post a few days ago, I’ve unearthed dozens of photos of T and Doc, growing up together.  It was touching and moving to see them both get bigger.  I couldn’t use most of the photos, so I thought I’d share them here instead.  If you’ve been following my blog or on IG for some time now, you might have seen some of the photos already.

Doc was T’s birthday present when she turned three-years-old.

They love going to the beach …

taking long walks …

over the headlands and fields …

But most of all, even when they were both little, they just liked hanging around together …

Playing …

watching TV …

And just mucking about …

or having a cuddle.

Doc’s most favourite place in the world is …

by little T’s feet.

Always, even as they both grow older.

They are the “bestest friends” in the world.  T says “I love him mum, even when he rolls on cow poo”.  It must be true love then.

I’m leaving you lovely folks with this quote:

All his life he tried to be a good person.

Many times however, he failed.

For after all, he was only human.

He wasn’t a dog.

  • Charles M. Shulz

ANIMALTALES

The Ever Changing British Weather

“It’s hailing and the wind is howling!”  T exclaimed emphatically a few days ago while eating her breakfast.  “Why is this happening?”  She added dramatically.  From upstairs, I shouted back “because we live in England that’s why!”  Isn’t it ironic that I titled my last post as “Winter is dead?” and yet it feels its back again with a vengeance.  Serves me right for being too optimistic.

As I was helping her get ready for school that day, she announced she didn’t want to wear her summer dress.  I took a skirt out and her school jumper which she normally only wears in “colder” weather and asked if she wanted to wear knee socks.  She shook her head and requested for tights.

This little girl of mine seldom complains about the cold.  I’ve caught her running around and doing somersaults topless on her trampoline with her friends, she must have been really cold this morning to request for tights. I don’t blame her.  We’ve been having such glorious warm(ish) weather lately, this cold snap must have been a shock to her this morning.

Also woke up to a grey and cold day yesterday, I decided to write that one-off too and spend the day catching up with Grey’s Anatomy.  Yes, I’m probably the only one who still watches that show even if most of the characters annoy me, I still want to know what’s happening to Meredith Grey.

Last Tuesday, a friend picked me up in the morning and we spent some lovely time just mooching around,having a coffee and lunch in the town nearest to us.  The sun did eventually come out in the afternoon, but the wind was still bitter cold.  I looked around and everyone seemed to be wearing their winter clothes too.  And here I was thinking I’d add “Put away thick jumpers” to my list of things to do this week.  Thank goodness I haven’t done that!

This week, I’ve been cursing the mad British weather and it wasn’t just me.  My husband was the same too.  I glared at him at one point and said “Hey!  You were born here!  You ought to be used to this.  Whereas I come from a tropical country, I have the right to complain!”  He glowered back at me and said, “Complaining about the weather IS our national sport!”

Winter is Dead …

thank goodness for that.  Up country, the trees have fully regrown their leaves.  Down here in Cornwall, even though Spring happens early, the trees are still recovering from the “deadness” of Winter.  Some of them are still bald, some are slowly sprouting tiny leaves, pert against the blueness of a Spring sky.  I understand why this is my husband’s favourite season.  He says he likes it because there is hope in the air.  I like it because it is beautiful.  Suddenly the greyness is gone and there is an abundance of colour.  What’s not to like about Spring?  You must be really dull or hate life not to embrace everything about it.

Spring break has also come and gone.  We spent the first week pottering about, mostly gardening, although there is still a lot to be done, we are slowly getting there.

We also visited my in-laws in the second week and did a day trip to the bustling city of London.  It was nice to spend time with the family, but it was great to drive back home to the country again.  I think I also understand why some people don’t like leaving their place.  It can sometimes be a bit cumbersome and I’m not alone in feeling this.  My husband heaved a heavy sigh as he stepped on the gas to make that long trip back up-country.  We haven’t even left and yet we were already longing for home.

Ah home.  At the moment, home is this 400-year-old farm cottage surrounded by cows and fields.  The house gets mouldy in Winter, I have yet to repaint the walls.  There are still remnants of mould even though we’ve tried our best to wipe them away, you can still see them on the walls like scars that haven’t healed.  I’ll get down to doing all that, hopefully this week.

Hope and Spring, such a lovely combination, don’t you think?