The Sunny Bits in JULY

I was surprised there were so many good bits this last month – but there’s no denying it.  The desperate hours were punctuated with some good stuff.


I was football/taxi Mum through the rain and the shine – all in the name of keeping on keeping on.

Endless hours in hospital meant I read a book in just a couple of days.   Conspiracy by SJ Parris was a revelation to me.  A historical novel, set in the reign of King Henry III, followed the journey of an ex-monk/heretic/spy.  


Not something I’d normally pick up (one of the benefits of reviewing means extending my diversity)I nonetheless found it compelling and having devoured it so quickly meant I could just about keep up with the  chronological timeline and historical references.  If you like history, suspense and intrigue it’s definitely worth a read.


Walking to school I saw a butterfly struck by a car on the main road and rescued it from further harm.  After a few minutes composing itself and a hefty slurp from a blob of ice pop – it flew off seemingly none the worse for wear.  If only some of us could recover from our knocks so speedily.



A neighbour’s gorgeous clever cat had kittens and I was lucky enough to see them just a day after they were born.  It reminded me of when my cat had had kittens when I was just small and there’s nothing quite like it.  Those gorgeous, tiny bundles of fur guided by the scent of their mother’s milk was just so special to see.

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July is always a mad month of celebration with the birthday of my two boys.  I now have a teenager and one who verging on teenager in my midst.  Despite a very poorly sickly birthday for No 1 both boys managed more than a few smiles and received lots of love and wishes and some very thoughtful pressies.

No 3 is growing in stature, personal opinions (!) and confidence before my eyes and seems to have found her niche.  She started gymnastics just a couple of months back and is already showing promise.  Moreover, she’s enjoying it, is enthusing about attending the sessions and practising regularly too.


Her first gymnastics performance ,to celebrate the Olympics, was really heartwarming, despite her nerves, she pulled it off and was almost as proud of herself as I was of her.

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Box creativity has also featured highly in July.  I can’t even remember what product came in the box now – because the box itself was most definitely the highlight.  Hours of fun, hiding in it, making a den and even being a box!  It’s not long since made it’s way to the recycle bin (after a few days of lying dormant and edging nearer) …. Shhhhh don’t split on me!


Little Mr Independence did another Scout camp, on one of the wettest weekends EVER!  I’ve never seen quite so much mud and the washing machine most definitely worked overtime on his return! So much was the ingrained dirt and general despair that some items didn’t even make the wash – they just made their way to the bin.


Some precious time with my girlfriends was just what I needed this month, and a trip to the flicks to see Absolutely Fabulous the movie raised some much-needed smiles.


I have to be honest, I think, following all the hype, we expected more of the movie.  Whilst I’d definitely watch it again when it comes out on dvd, I haven’t found myself raving about it.  An impressive line up of celebrities, and Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders are just as fabulous as they were in the TV show, but I felt that the story was lacking something .  Don’t get me wrong the laughs were frequent but my sides weren’t split, which is what I was hoping for.  Maybe it’s taking a little more to hit my funny bones this month, all things considered?

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 I can’t quite believe the controversy surrounding Mrs B and little Miss B- it comes to a lot when a mother can’t express her love.  I regularly smother all 3 of my children in kisses (although No 2 is a little more reluctant in public nowadays).  I think affection is so incredibly important and my daughter regularly kisses me on the lips.  It’s innocent, it’s lovely and it’s precious.  All this picture tells me is the adoration and love between a mother and her mini-me!

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By far the most joyous part of July for my mini-me was a weekend spent celebrating the 10th Birthday of the LS29 Group at Nell Bank in Ilkley with family, friends and a new froggy pal.


This teeny weeny frog was saved from a stampede of excitable wellington-clad little people and gently paraded around and shown to all and sundry, until being returned to the safety of the pond.

My children adore nature and share a love of  the great outdoors, So having the freedom of roaming about outside in the fresh air with few constraints was their idea of a perfect weekend. Especially when discovering animals, mini beasts and bugs.

WP_20160716_142WP_20160716_157 WP_20160716_152Over the Nell Bank weekend we were blessed with two days of wonderful sunshine, so we were able to play out to our hearts content enjoying;  football, rounders, cricket, climbing, tunnels, tree-hugging, den making, water play, dancing and so many other crazy antics we all had an absolute ball. 

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I confess to innumerable early nights during July, creeping into bed,  watching Love Island, eating chocolate and generally feeling sorry for myself – for which I have no excuses!  Sometimes life just calls for reality TV and over indulgence.  Hands up – I’ve just been that way out of late.


My special little man made me super proud when he played a New York taxi driver in his end of school production.  IMG_1753 (2)

Some seriously impressive lighting techniques were employed (sadly not evident in the photo) which made the performance all the more special.  Animated further by a timely press of the horn.

More creativity was celebrated when my daughter used a solitary sock to make a rather fabulous new outfit for Barbie.

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My little fashionista was therefore absolutely thrilled when her second cousin very kindly sent her a set of mannequins and dress-making bits to further improve her designer skills.  It was such a lovely thought and they’ve already been used on numerous occasions (a real boon for the wet days during the school holidays). Thank you so very much.

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I only had the time for one other book this month, but Marian Keyes didn’t fail to disappoint.  I liked the fact that this book was full of short stories and punchy anecdotes – just the ticket for a busy mum with a silly busy life and a lack of concentration.

WP_20160717_025 Whilst in truth I prefer her more meatier offerings this couldn’t have been on my bedside table at a better time.  It even made me feel almost human.

A few days of heat, in between the July showers means I’ve actually got a bit of a tan.


Though I’m less than impressed with the strap marks(a real bug bear of mine)!!  Who knew a walk to school and back could be so exposing – despite wearing factor 30!  Always make sure you protect yourselves kids.  Late afternoon the sun can be menacing – even in Yorkshire!  Time to apply the factor 50 methinks.DSCN0077

Another day of Yorkshire sunshine saw us at Leeds Unity Day.  We bumped into friends, more dogs than even No 3 had time to befriend,  and No 2 did did me proud in a dance battle on behalf of Breakin’ Through Leeds.

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The kids that could learnt some pretty impressive circus skills and even showed some sibling ‘unity’ which is always a blessing.


The title of ‘Good Deeder’ of the month most definitely goes to No 2 who found an abandoned Morrison’s trolley whilst we were on a local walk.  He didn’t think twice about pushing it uphill for well over a mile (despite it’s wonky wheel and rotten sense of direction) to return it to the local store.  That’s my boy!


So, it’s not all bad, but the wheels most definitely came off for me this month! I’m trying to find my way again and I know I will given time, but for now I too am feeling decidedly wonky!


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