Wednesday, 30 January 2013

On The Very Edge

I'm edgy .... I have no idea why.

Do you ever have that feeling that 'something' is going to happen but you can't for the life of you shake it off? I've had it since I woke up this morning - I'm also mentally bored, I don't mean fed up, at a loss as to what to do I AM BORED of everything.

I am bored of:

Everyday being exactly the same.

The Rain.

Having no job.

Being good at things but never recognised.

Being a slave.

Being under appreciated

Never being able to go abroad.

Not being able to have a bath in peace before Midnight.

Noise.

Being Single.

Being a single parent.

Having only one child.

Having no car.

Mess.

Too many things in my house.

Smoking.

Being Unfit.

There I have vented now I'm going to study this list and write a positive response with what and how I can change these things!


Soundtrack for this post



Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Swan Awards 2013

The SWANs Blog Post Awards



If you think this post deserves a nomination for this year's SWAN Awards please nominate me by clicking on the above badge :) Thank you! This link will take you back to the post 'DROP'


DROP

There really are some amazing posts out there and you can read through the recommended selection HERE

L
XX

I Love My Muse ....

I'm not talking about the band either although I do love nothing better than playing Supermassive Black Hole VERY loud on a Sunday!

No I mean my creative Muse, that little person that sits on your shoulder and whispers genius into your ear....

Adobe are asking "What gets your creative juices flowing?" over on Facebook. You can read all about it and find out how to enter HERE!

So I sat and thought about it - Where am I when I get inspiration and the first place that springs to mind is here:





Yes...Seriously - I love this place, well maybe not the place but the people. I sit on the benches and talk to people that sit there, more often than not they are elderly and like to just chat but occasionally I meet somebody really intriguing that has a story to tell.
Every person that passes you on the street, sits opposite you in your favourite cafe has something really interesting to tell you.
It always starts me thinking normally about that book I'm writing and then it just starts and I can't stop the ideas from flooding in and THAT is my inspiration - It's the old guy sat on a bench that moved here after he left occupied Jersey and he remembers the date as it was his 9th Birthday when the Germans marched through his town. It's the young girl with her newborn that is struggling with childcare as she wants to go back and finish her A Levels. It's the middle aged lady that comes into town everyday as she can't let the pigeons down, she used to cycle until her hip went!







Everyday people that we pass a million times a day without sparing a second glance. It's those people that build demographics, that buy into cash cows and network in the most basic human way - conversation.

Inspiration has so many forms I like listening to my music whilst walking in the rain - it makes me think and reminds me of being a teenager and following rain tracks down the inside of my window pain.

BUT my Muse sits in Poole Bus Station and waits, just for the right moment to make a certain seat available next to a certain person and sprinkles passion, focus and thought all around me.....





Monday, 28 January 2013

When in Rome Have a Grand Adventure



I am a single parent so any holiday that I consider has to be a) Child friendly B) cost effective and c) as safe as possible.
I as yet have not taken my son abroad, largely due to being nervous of being away with him on my own, but it is something I am planning to do this year.

Evan, my son is now 11 (going on 55) and not your run of the mill child (are any actually?)  He is a HUGE Horrible Histories fan and a gamer (much to my disdain) and of course you put those two items together and you have the ultimate Assassins Creed obsessive and yet he actually cannot play it as he is too young!


So he reads the books, buys the merchandise, makes costumes to look like the characters and probably watches friends play the game (I can’t control that) but as yet I haven’t given in and bought it for him (and never likely to either!)









Now what has this got to do with a holiday? I hear you asking well the major plus side of this gaming obsession is that Evan doesn’t want to go to Disney or a beach holiday he wants to go to Rome, Venice and Florence! He is infatuated with the Knights Templar, Leonard Di Vinci and all things Holy Grail. So we can complain about games and their effect on our young but sometimes they lead to a Grand Adventure…




 So I thought I would have a good look at Rome and see what gems could be found there to make a holiday to remember for us.
So basing this on travelling in May our flights would be around £220 for the both of us, but it would also mean taking Ev out of school for a week as the price rises steeply the closer you get to the summer holidays.
That being said I think with enough research we could make £1000 last us the stay with no problems at all!

So for 15 nights at the Camping Village Roma it would cost £500 for the two of us which is amazing for somewhere so close to the City centre and it has an outdoor swimming pool so Ev would be in his element when he has had enough of site seeing!

 


As it is a camp site everything we can need is on site, I would be thrilled with this location and setting and lots for Evan to do!




 

Just 15 minutes' drive from the Vatican, Camping Village Roma is the closest camp site to Rome's historic centre. It offers independent accommodation, an outdoor swimming pool, and an info point.
The Village Roma offers chalets and air-conditioned bungalows. The premises include a well-stocked supermarket, a laundry room, and a currency exchange point.
You can enjoy drinks and snacks throughout the day at the Ciao Bella poolside bar, which is open until 02:00 and has its own DJ. The restaurant serves Italian cuisine and freshly prepared pizza.
Cornelia Metro Station on line A is just a short bus ride away. You can also book the shuttle service to the Vatican, and both Fiumicino and Ciampino airports.

You can purchase a The OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card  which is valid for 3 consecutive days and costs just 90 Euros for an adult and 65 for children 5-12yrs.
It covers all entrance fees and travel around the city and covers:


TOP ROME ATTRACTIONS

·         St. Peter's Basilica
·         Rome Bus Tour
·         The Coliseum
·         Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
·         Vatican Gardens
·         St. Peter's Prison
·         Borghese Gallery






You also receive a free guide book and map, and can enjoy an open top bus ride! Just visiting 5 attractions saves £100!

As great fans of anything spooky Rome is an amazing destination for us! From catacombs to a Museum of Purgatory it all sounds incredible and if we are brave enough try our luck in the http://www.dpsusa.com/bocca_verita_history.shtml bocca verita ‘Mouth of Truth’ if you put your arm in and tell a lie you will pull out a stump! Nice and gory for Evan to test!








There are actually so many places to visit that cost nothing we wouldn’t have a problem stretching the money out.
For transport we would need to buy a Travel pass for 24 euro which lasts 7 days and Ev can travel for half that cost so for 2 weeks Travel would be around 72 Euro for the both of us.

Eating out

I have the extra task of finding vege food that Ev will eat – not even an easy task in this country, luckily he does love veg and cheese so pizza is brilliant and I found this gem in a guide written by a taxi driver that finds the best places to eat abroad by asking other cabbies!

Pizzeria Remo
A 75-year-old pizzeria considered among the best in Rome, where locals get loud and every pizza is baked to order. Pizza bianca con fiori di zucca (€7.50) is especially good.
• Piazza di Santa Maria Liberatrice, 44, Testaccio (0039 6 574 6270), dinner only. Closed Sun







And luckily as we have self catering in our bungalow with a supermarket on site we can make up lunch and snacks to take out with us and then find a nice restaurant for the evenings!

There are also a wonderful selection of fruit and food markets that operate Monday through Saturday – so fresh fruit and veg will be on tap!







All in all I think £1000 would be plenty for a sightseeing trip and especially as we are staying on a camp site with amenities and the chance to just relax as and when we please is just a bonus!
I can quite imagine myself sat by the pool now relaxing with a nice cocktail - Bellissimo!





Soundtrack to this post.


January (For) Sale!


I don't know about you but I will not be sad to see January go, what a depressing month it has been! I don't remember having such 'January Blues' ever!




I know it has been a hard month with terribly sad news and a funeral, but also the weather - not the snow so much but all that rain.

I think I might have to see if there is a company that uses bloggers for testing one of these....




I'm going in to town now to pick up some dresses that I have put back that I KNOW are too small but I am trying to motivate myself in to being that attractive, slim person that I used to be. I don't know where she went - Ran off and hid from January I think....

L
XX

Soundtrack to this post

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Saturday is Caption Day…

I am joining in the fun from now on and adding my photos to the meme from the beautiful blog Mammasaurus - So have a go - What do you think I was whispering in the Captains ear?!

After you have done mine pop on over to mammasaurus and do a few more!

As this is my first attempt there will be a small prize for my favourite! :)







Keep On Running - Dorset Weldmar Hospicecare Trust

Yesterday I had a lovely morning! I had to go down to Weymouth to pick up my cheque from Wessex FM - Dorset's leading radio station; that I won two weeks ago with The Wessex Word a competition sponsored by Cafe Weymouth.








I met up with the very lovely James O'Neil who is Programme Controller and Breakfast Show host and he gave me a short interview and handed over the cheque which will be so useful as I will be able to pay some bills!





After talking to him for some time it became apparent that he is as passionate about fund raising as I am so I thought I would highlight what he is up to at the moment and if I can help him to raise some money then everyone is a winner!

James is talking part in this years London Marathon and not for the first time, this is an exert from James's page to explain a little about his past endeavours! 

Running marathons and other challenges

" I have never been very sporty but always had an urge to run the London Marathon.  I did it for the first time in 2004 for the British Heart Foundation, then again in 2009 for a hospice in Essex where I lived and worked at the time.  In between I was also lucky enough to run the New York City Marathon in 2007, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.  Each time I think it will be my last one but they are strangely addictive!  I'm running the London Marathon this year for Weldmar Hospice - find out more here.
I also raised money for charity with a trek across Iceland in 2010, which was an incredible experience.  I'm proud to say that I've raised more than ten thousand pounds for charity in that past ten years. "



You can also donate at that same page OR which is far more intriguing set James a challenge in exchange for a donation! He is open to ideas on how to raise more money, so if you'd like to set  a challenge in return for a donation, get in touch with him at james.oneill@wessexfm.com!!
Anyone that loves to fund raise will tell you how much harder it gets with every year that you continue to do so. With the current economic status it is now even more important to keep places like Weldmar open and running.




Cancer has a way of affecting us all - even if you have never had a personal experience with the disease chances are you will know somebody who has.
I have lost my Aunt (1988 aged 42)
My sister (1999 aged 38)
Today my oldest friend lost her (for all intents and purposes) Mother In Law in a very sad and sudden way but luckily with her loved ones around her.
There is always somebody dealing with this somewhere and unfortunately one day it could be somebody you know or heaven forbid closer to home.
It creeps in and devastates all it involves but there is hope, there is ALWAYS hope but unless we support and help those that dedicate their lives to such an important issue - we don't want to take a step back in time to when there were no places and no people that are there for each and everyone of us with unquestioned compassion and empathy.
So please share this post wherever you can, SHARE James's fund raising page and lets help make some serious money!!! You can donate easily via the link - Paypal accepted and no personal info required so you won't be signing up to Spam!


Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving



The Virgin London Marathon is held on April 21st this year and you can find out more HERE
BUT this post was never meant to be down and depressing! No, it celebrates hard work. inspiration and positivity!
Look at Alice Pyne, what a true inspiration to everyone - you never needed to know anything about the C word to appreciate how she was so full of life and embraced every single day.
Her bucket list was a list of things that she wanted to do in her painfully short life and boy did she do it, and so very much more.
If we can all take a pinch of the optimism and inner light that Alice exuded and use it in all aspects of our lives what a wonderful world this would be....






Friday, 25 January 2013

Networked!

I am very happy to inform you all you can now keep up to date with my blog via Facebook and Twitter!

https://twitter.com/LemonCakeUK

http://www.facebook.com/ASliceOfLemonsCake

Hope to talk to you all soon.

Have a GREAT Weekend!

L
xx

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Drop

SWAN powerful blog post award

Written for a friend that took his own life at the end of December - I'm turning a negative into a positive and doing this : 
           http://lemonscake.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/swimming-with-sharks-for-mind-charity.html













Did you intend to drop?
Did nothing inside you scream to STOP?
Did you feel it as you stepped away?
Would nothing have persuaded you to stay?
Was it a mistake?
Was it a test?
Did nothing tell you not to go?
Or make your conscience protest…
Could no happy memory spring to mind?
Did you expect there to be an earlier find….
Was that it? Was it? Did you expect to be found?
To be held and embraced as you slumped to the ground?
It never happened and you went too far
Nobody found you
As you left for afar
Where have you gone?
Where do you lay?
Is there somewhere beautiful?
For you to stay?
Or are you in the dark,
The cold and alone
For leaving this place and your family at home.
Why weren’t you happy
When you had such a presence and life
Beautiful kids
Beautiful wife
Why was it never just quite enough?
For you to be at peace
And not be so tough.
The gaping wound in which life stands still
Has forced us all to taste the bitterest pill
To take a look around
And appreciate our lot
For that is our moment
And that’s what we’ve got.
Step up
Look around
Take a deep breath in
Of your world's surround.
And never let your soul
Fall cold to the ground.



Soundtrack for this post







Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Jam Packed with Eden's Finest!

Last year I was lucky enough to be picked by the Eden Project to be a reviewer for products that are available from the shop both online at http://www.edenproject.com/shop/ and on the premises.

I love this company as their ethos is very close to my heart:

Ethical, sustainable and recycled gifts ideas!!


There are some truly amazing items on the website and make for unusual, educational and beautiful prezzies for your nearest and dearest!

On Friday I had a wonderful box of goodies arrive and this is the first review of those products!


Eden Project Raspberry Jam 

When it arrived it looked like this picture on the website......









I only opened it to initially have a sniff and just like the big kid I am, stuck my finger in and was transported immediately back to this.....











.....and my Mum's jam making days........



I offered her the jar and Mum stuck her finger in too "Can I have a sandwich?"  So off I trotted and made her one, and then a small one for myself which I realised was probably the first without peanut butter that I had eaten since primary school!

You see we do eat jam but not really a lot this jar has been in the house since 3 weeks before Christmas....









So not a huge jam consuming trio in this house, until this weekend! I actually didn't get a look in to be honest, it went in her porridge, on Ryvita and more sarnies although I do admit to taking a teaspoon to it a few times, 5 times .... OK! Quite a lot actually!

So I had to use the stock photo with the jam as after only 3 days mine errrr looks like this:










It  is probably the closest I've ever come to my Mum's homemade jam that was a staple throughout my childhood. I used to watch her make vats of the stuff, Raspberry, Strawberry and the village favourite Blackcurrant. 

The Jam comes in a re-usable Kilner jar which to anyone that makes preserves or pickles knows is just fabulous. I make a lot of pickled onions so perfect for me.







At £6 per 650g jar it is not your cheapest choice but I guarantee you will not be disappointed. The fruit content is maximum and the taste not too sweet, not too sour. The balance is perfect but it is seeded so if you have problems with pips maybe try the Strawberry available at the same price.

I will be back for more and also will be trying out the other pots in the range!

Mail Order is available on all items but larger items may be restricted to mainland UK. You can find out more HERE

Follow the Eden Project online Twitter: https://twitter.com/edenproject

L
xx

Monday, 21 January 2013

Blogging Resolutions

Hello All!

I realise I'm very late in posting my first blog of the year and so a belated but nonetheless heartfelt Happy New Year!

I'm late for various reasons mostly because I've been a bit poorly but also because my Mum was ill all over Christmas and well into the New Year, so it has been a pretty dodgy start!

I am going to spend a massive amount of time on my blog this year so be prepared for reviews, news and comps galore! It's going to be a good year - I can feel it in my bones.... :)