GETTING ARTY IN APRIL

IMG_7065

It’d be fair to say April hasn’t been the best.  Not only has Yorkshire (indeed the whole of the UK) been showered with EVERYTHING precipitation-wise … but I’ve been showered with a whole lot of sh!t in other areas of my life too.

It started off OK – with a ‘date night’ in Leeds on April fools.  We had a sitter so snook out early for a bite to eat at All Bar One in the Electric Press Building .  The service was super quick, attentive and friendly and the food and cocktails were delicious.  The evening was off to a great start.

WP_20160401_021 WP_20160401_017

WP_20160401_020 WP_20160401_025

A trip to the theatre followed …

IMG_8146 IMG_8149 WP_20160401_027

The show was a really lovely surprise.  I’d won tickets  through a competition in Leeds City Dweller Magazine, and as Archie was in hospital for the duration of the show we actually won tickets for – the entertainment company kindly deferred us to this show.  We didn’t have a clue what we were in for but I can only say  BIg Girls Don’t Cry at Leeds Town Hall was fantastic.  We were singing along and dancing in the aisles… it was one of those really wonderful, and totally unexpectedly so, evenings that we couldn’t have organised so well if it had been planned.

IMG_8430 IMG_8428

IMG_8441 I was invited to attend an exclusive launch event this month for the new IMI clinic in Leeds.  They  were unveiling their premises and a fabulous new dental care system Perioblast. IMI is a unique health clinic dedicated to treating periodontal disease with a new and world-first dental protocol.  The first clinic in the UK and they chose Leeds!  What a coup.  I am sure the people of Leeds will soon be onboard with this new dental technique, which has already made a huge impression in Italy.  The premises were wonderfully stylish, albeit clinically minimalist, and guests were served a wonderful array of Italian fayre and Aperol and champagne cocktails.  In the absence of my PR friends, I enjoyed the company of beauty in the form of the very lovely Hazel Latner, currently crowned Miss Leeds and her handsome beau Ben.

I had to leave a little earlier than intended, already feeling out of sorts, and things went downhill from thereon in if I’m honest.  My late Mum’s birthday wasn’t easy for me emotionally, and with my birthday just a few days later, and a deep rooted pain racking my body,  it was a particularly tough week.  

We did, however, take my Dad out for a lovely lunch at Dick Hudson’s in Eldwick (one of my old  haunts that I hadn’t visited in some time) on my birthday and the food was lovely – I even managed to crack a few smiles, thanks to my entertaining brood.

IMG_8619 IMG_8602 IMG_8595 IMG_8582 IMG_8576 IMG_8610

 I was flagging a little after lunch – so we put it to the kids as to what would be the best way to spend the afternoon without driving Mum into the ground.  We took a trip to Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough, for a bit of fresh air, a face off with a couple of swans, and an hour or two on the penny slots (Archie particularly loves the lights, the music and gets carried along with his siblings excitement)  and the  day ended on an exhausted high.

IMG_8625     IMG_8635                     IMG_8641 (2) IMG_8646

We had a good laugh at the expense of poor ‘Spidey’ who must’ve been stood on the junction for a good 3 hours in the cold and the rain  (as he waved as we passed on the way in and again on the way back home)… but his advertising must’ve worked on us at least – because the kids opted for pizza’s for tea!

IMG_7018

One way I found through the pain, that made it a little easier for me to ‘suck it up’ this month, was to kick back a little with the pressure to conform, go easier on the chores and to get creative. I don’t indulge myself in ‘the arts’ anywhere near as much as I’d like to so making some birthday cards for friends, a little knitting and even a little bit of writing (I WILL finish my novel before I die!) gave me some much needed therapy this month.  My lovely friend (ex Archie’s Angel Anna) said she loved hers and thought it looked like her – which was my intention. Phew!

IMG_7040

I think my favourite card design, however,  was one I made totally on the hop, and rather last minute (in fact during Jem’s hour long B-boy session at Leeds Rhinos) for a forgotten party of one of Scarlett’s friends.. . The pain has made me a total dufus this month, but I think I pulled it off.

I was rushed into hospital a couple of weeks into April, in lots, and LOTS of pain (amongst other even less attractive symptoms, including chronic back pain, cramps and peeing blood) and the lovely paramedics blue-lighted me into Jimmy’s as my blood pressure plummeted.  The jury’s still out on my exact diagnosis – but thoughts are that I’ve passed, or am still in the process of passing, a kidney stone or two.  Two weeks further on and I’m still getting sporadic symptoms and am exhausted.  I never thought I’d say this, as I hate to take medication of any kind, but thank goodness for Tramadol. Here’s hoping the last of the little buggers makes it out of my system quickly because I’m not handling this level of pain so well and the pain relief is knocking me out!  I’ve never been quite so dysfunctional and despite my kitchen being painted and tiled and taking shape – there’s still a great deal to do and I’m not in a fit state to expedite things! Phhhhhht…

IMG_8144

The only benefit of spending the best part of a week in hospital was that I read two REALLY good books this month.

WP_20160420_001

The first book I read was  Perfect Daughter.  It’s the book  I’d been allocated to distribute for World Book Night! As I was in hospital, the first handful of copies were distributed to hard-working, helpful and lovely nurses, before I was able to distribute them to teaching staff, dance teachers, friends, non-readers in the main, or those that don’t have the time nor the inclination.  Having read the book myself I was able to rave about it and encourage the recipients to give it a go.  You can read my review here http://bit.ly/1U6IK9y It’s definitely worth a read.

WP_20160422_003

The second bookI read in hospital was  A Parcel for Anna Browne.  It’s been sat on my bookshelf for some time, but as I’ve been reviewing books in lightening frequency it kept being usurped.  I’m SO glad I finally had chance to read it (literally in a couple of days) because it was well worth the wait. http://bit.ly/1rrnkZv Enjoy.

I’ve been make up-free in the main this month – with barely enough energy to get out of bed and get dressed, nevermind put a face on, but this little tube of cleanliness has been a godsend.

IMG_6900

Make up or not I always like to end my day with a facial wash and despite my poorliness, this kept me squeaky clean and spot free despite everything going with my body.

IMG_8708 IMG_8712

IMG_8711 IMG_8177IMG_8194

I’m hugely proud of my daughter’s growing confidence and the fact that she’s started attending Rawgina & Beanz B-boy Dance sessions at All Hallowes Church on a Saturday afternoon with Jem is really helping her.  She’s fit as a whippet and really supple and is getting the basics down quick smart, whilst making new friends … Meanwhile along with making new friends Jem is working on honing an enviable six pack and tightening up on some impressive new tricks.

IMG_8251 IMG_8252

Jem’s head spins, freezes and flips are getting more and more sleek.

Speaking of impressive, Jem and I managed a trip to London early this month to update his voice reel.

WP_20160405_035 WP_20160405_025

He’s currently back on commercial radio with his ‘Heinz 50% less sugar baked beans’ which always makes me smile.

Link-Universal-logo-black-FB-with-final-text-e14619435565112003867-173

What’s making me smile all the more though is that he’s recently been approached by Link Universal and instated as an ambassador of their forthcoming Salt & Light Project.  This is a charity venture which we hope will raise lots of much needed funds for the economically deprived city of Hunedoara,  Romania.

I’m so incredibly proud of Jem and his determination to back this project.  The fact that his Headmistress and school are in full support of his efforts can only be beneficial.  I’m hoping he can educate them on the situation and encourage their support .  You can read more about The Salt & Light Project here http://bit.ly/1rOis12 and I’ll ensure you ‘ll hear even more of his fundraising antics in the coming months.  I’ll be urging those of you who are able, to please support Jem in his mission any way you can. #TeamJem

IMG_6586 IMG_6583

On Saturday night I ended the month at a joint 40th Birthday Party for a couple of my girlfriends… they both looked suitably sparkly(albeit not wearing green or pink) and I’m really glad that despite feeling rough as owt- we managed to pop in for a couple of hours to catch up with friends and raise a glass of fizz (unfortunately for me the fizziest it got was tonic water).

Well, despite ailing, it’s been another frantically busy month!  Here’s hoping May will bring sunshine and decidedly more fizz and sparkle of a positive (although not necessarily alcoholic) nature, and I’m hoping NO hospital time for Team W-F whatsoever … that’s certainly what I’ll be working on come what May!

 

S-Jx