Theres no other point to this post except to list all the things I am grateful for today and to put in words what a great day I’ve had.

Today as soon as the older two were at school and nursery I headed out to one of my favourite places to go to spend some time…. Intu The Trafford Centre! If you don’t know Intu Trafford Centre its a huge shopping centre. Now this might sound like I’m a massive spender, I’m not. I like to browse, get ideas, have some lunch. More browsing. Grab a bargain or two. Have a coffee. Meet a friend.

I’ve been coming to the Intu Trafford Centre for years, probably around 18 now. I love the place.

So Roo and I drove there, he slept and I drove!

When we arrived I sat in the car for a little while whilst he finished his nap. In those moments just sitting there watching him sleep I realised again how lucky I am. I always have a grateful attitude. I know that by being grateful for ever little thing it makes me a happier person. The realisation once again that I have three beautiful children in my life who I adore. My husband is a wonderful man, he works hard to provide things for us and he comes home from work and helps around the house and helps with the boys too. He’s always there for me when I need him, he is my rock.

Once Roo was awake I put him in the Bugaboo and set off for a browse.

We are going on holiday later in the year so I’m on the lookout for a really comfy sandle/shoe for the boys to wear whilst we are there. Ideally they would be waterproof and made of quick drying material.

I found these in Schuh and thought they’d be great. The boys weren’t with me so I couldn’t try them to buy but has anyone already bought them? If so please do let me know what you think.


We wandered around for a little while and stopped for a coffee. Roo was getting hungry so I breastfed him in the coffee shop whilst I tried to eat a yoghurt. After eating and burping he seemed tierd again so I took him for a walk outside. The weather has been so sunny and beautiful. I’m so grateful to be able to walk in the sunshine under the amazing blue sky. I listened to the birds and took in the smell of the flowers.

When he finally fell asleep I walked over to the canal nearby for a wander along the tow path. There were people out for a cycle and boats passing by. Others were walking their dogs. I loved it. The trees provided enough shade to not be too warm and the breeze was really refreshing.

At a recent blogging conference I heard the keynote speech about happiness. In the presentation it was mentioned that a certain hotel chain has a 5/10 rule for staff. If someone is within 5 feet of staff you should say hello. If they are within 10 feet you should smile and acknowledge them. I don’t know why I remember this above all else but I really try to practice it daily now when I’m on a walk. Obviously not in a crowded place, that would be daft. However along the tow path I said hello to everyone I passed, or the people on the boats. There was only one person who didn’t reply. That’s ok though, maybe they were having a bad day?


It made me think though about how much I’d love to do a canal boat holiday. I’ve never done one and it seems so peaceful. It’s on my bucket list now for sure. I have a feeling though we’ll have to wait until the boys are a little older.

It was in that moment walking along in the sunshine that I felt total happiness and took a moment to just be silently thankful for the day and all it had given me.

I guess the point of the post is to prompt you to be thankful too. List all the things right now in life you are thankful for and it will give you a lift and make you feel happier. Gratitude truly is the key to happiness.





A letter to the stranger at Walt Disney World

Dear stranger,

Thank you.

thank you stranger

Thank you for such a kind gesture. I wish I knew who you were so I could return your money. I know you wouldn’t give me your number or email so I could send it back to you but I just want to say thank you again.

We were at Walt Disney World. It was 22nd August this year and we’d just found some seats (well the end of a bench) to watch Fantasmic on (its a night time show with fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) it was super busy, the theatre seats up to 6900 guests and they’d just announced that it was now standing room only. It was a hot sticky night and the boys were getting cranky yet there was still half an hour until the show started. I decided to take the boy to get some snacks to keep us occupied and hopefully less cranky whilst daddy stayed with youngest on our bench. We walked all the way up to one of only a couple of snack carts, I didn’t take my money as I was just going to charge it to the room on the magic band as I had done so many times before. The queue was quite long so whilst we waited I gave the boy his choices. He really wanted an ice cream, I’d already said no several times but he looked into my eyes and really pleaded. We were on holiday after all, of course I couldn’t say no.

By the time we got to the front we knew the show was nearly starting. The boy was getting worried ( he does worry quite a lot about lots of different things) but he was worried we’d miss it. So I quickly ordered and scanned the magic band. It didn’t work. I tried again, again it didn’t work. I could see the boy getting upset. I had no other way to pay. I told him he had to give his ice cream back, he was already holding it, it wasn’t unwrapped but it was in his hand. His face turned down.

It was just then you stepped in and offered to pay. Our total was around $12 which isn’t cheap. It was only 3 items but this was disney and I know how much things are there. I said it was ok, I could come back later but you insisted. I didn’t know what to do. I said thank you and asked if you’d give me your number so I could send you the money, but you wouldn’t allow it.

I think you were from Scotland but couldn’t be sure. I’m pretty sure you were form the UK somewhere though. I didn’t even get your name. I was just shocked and grateful that you’d paid out of the kindness of your heart for someone else items. So please your reading this and it was you I want to say thank you again. I explained to the boy how kind you’d been, I hope this has given him an example. We also talked about passing the good deed on. As soon as I have the opportunity to I will pay for someone else items.

Since we’ve got back I have posted on a few of the disney forums in the hope of finding you to properly thank you but nothing so far.

I know that going to Walt Disney World is a luxury and we are grateful that we could go, your kind gesture was one of our highlights that we won’t forget.

I just want to say that not only am I grateful but you set a wonderful example to my children. There are so many good people in the world and you are one of them.

I hope that one day you get to read this.

From a very grateful family.


Thank you NHS

This post is a thank you to the NHS, a thank you to all the people who work there. A thank you to everyone, from the consultants to the cleaners. You are all part of a massively valuable team.

In the middle of last week my beautiful boy started complaining of stomach pains, he was sick just the once and so we assumed that it wasn’t just a tummy bug. The pains continued and he described them as switching on and off (similar to the migraines he suffers from) I of course headed to Dr Google as we all do and started to learn all about abdominal migraines.
Could it have been that? Could he have been suffering his first abdominal migraine, apparently they are common in children and as he already suffers from migraines the odds were in his favour. The other thing that had made me suspicious of a migraine was that Thursday was his school trip and he had been pretty excited about going to Monkey Forest with his class. Maybe the excitement had triggered the migraine attack (if it was that). He stayed off school on Wednesday and Thursday spending much of the day sleeping it off and of course missing the trip he had been excited about. By Friday he seemed much improve and Friday was the much anticipated Queens 90th Birthday party at school so he returned to school in the hope he’d make it to the party in the afternoon and get to join in with the fun.
It wasn’t to be, just before lunchtime the school rang me to say he was spiking a temp and crying. I sent hubby to pick him up as we only live a minutes walk away and I was in work. He still wanted to go to the birthday party and so I suggested he have a nap and see how he felt afterwards. I came home in the hope he would be improved and I would return with him to the party. It wasn’t to be, he work up with an even higher temp and was very upset. I gave him some paracetamol and we settled down for snuggle on the sofa where he was very drowsy.
After another hour he still wasn’t cooling down and so we rang the GP to see if there were any appointments that afternoon and if not what the options were. As expected there were none (apparently their systems were down as well)
We happen to live in an area of the country that still provides a walk in centre service to its residents and so along we went. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve taken him to the GP , in fact two fingers. Twice. I guess we’ve been lucky and I’m very thankful that we don’t often have to seek medical help. If my children do get ill I usually self treat or seek the advice of a pharmacist if needed. I try and reserve a visit to the GP for serious illnesses and thankfully that has only ever been twice.
So off we went to the walk in centre, when we arrived we were checked in by the receptionist quickly and asked to take a seat. I noticed that as people we arriving after us there attention was drawn to a laminated sign on reception. I hadn’t been told to read it but from what I understand from conversations going on in the waiting area it basically said that the service was at capacity and the wait would likely be 3-4 hours. I tried to explain this to my baby, but I’m not sure the concept of how long 4 hours sat in a chair would actually be had sunk in to a 4 year olds head. He was doing so well waiting quietly on a chair beside me which is more than can be said for quite a few of the other people in the waiting room. Some were winding up others beside them, others were just generally moaning. Some people were taking out their frustrations on the poor receptionist who was just passing on the message. I was so embarrassed that people felt it was ok to act that way, they selfishly felt that their own need to see someone was a priority over all the other people in the waiting room. One lady who’d only been waiting about half an hour, was taking great delight in bad mouthing the NHS and how awful it was that she and other around her had to wait so long. I didn’t speak up, looking back I wish I had, I guess partly this is the reason for the post. I suppose I didn’t speak up as I was sat their with my mum hat on and not my NHS hat. Plus I had my 4 year old who wasn’t very well sat right next to me, snuggling up, wanting his mummy to be there for him, not wanting me to start arguments. I was desperate to say something to that lady. In so many parts of the country the Walk in Centre services have been closed down or scaled back enormously. Firstly she was lucky to live in an area where the funding is still in place. Secondly she was lucky that everyone in the NHS was there for her. NHS staff work so hard for a wage that comparatively hasn’t risen in many years. Pay freezes and increasingly pressured work environments don’t always make for a great staff morale but the staff of the NHS are always there. It was Friday evening, she had been triaged by a nurse and was obviously well enough to be deemed perfectly OK to wait for the 4 hours. It turns out she was waiting to see someone about a pain in her leg. I know this because she spent some time moaning loudly about her leg that she needed someone to see it today, despite her having had this pain since the previous weekend. All of a sudden she felt it was her right to see someone there and then and not have to wait. By this time we’d been waiting for 3 hours. I was so proud of my baby, he’d waited for 3 hours without moaning, he’d mentioned how hungry he was but hadn’t moaned. Another person waiting next to us had commented on how good he was, my heart swelled with pride (and worry for him). If a 4 year old can wait to be seen then so can that lady. Did I she honestly believe that the staff at the walk in centre were just put there to waste her time, sis she think they were just drinking tea. Far from it, I imagine that the people there had spent all day tirelessly seeing patient after patient without so much as a proper break, and would probably be doing so late into the night.
We patiently waited and once it got to our turn we were thankfully to be seen. I made sure to explain to the boy why we had to wait so long. He understood in simple terms that there were lots of poorly people and that the ones who were more poorly than him had to be seen first which is why we had to wait so long.
The nurse was very apologetic and did explain that given his rising temp and his other symptoms we probably should have been a higher priority and seen quicker. She suspected he may have been suffering with appendicitis and so gave the paediatric doctors a ring at our local hospital who asked us to go straight to the paediatric assessment ward to be seen.
I popped home before we headed to the hospital to get some things in case we had to stay in overnight as it was already past his bedtime.
The hospital were great, the staff on the ward were so kind and caring. He once again made me proud to be his mummy by answering all the questions asked of him (and some more besides!) A few more hours went by and after seeing a variety of different people we were discharged thankfully to go home and watch and wait. It may have been appendicitis but equally it could have been a urine infection or something else. With children it’s so hard to tell. All the way through the evening he kept asking me if it was midnight yet, he was obsessed with staying up past midnight (something he has never done) but by 11:30 he was really flagging, he’s usually in bed for 7 so it really was a late night. At 11:45 he fell asleep, missing his own target by 15 minutes. At 1am we were free to go and so I picked him up in my arms like I did when he was a baby and began carrying him back to the car. So small, so vulnerable, so beautiful. My heart full of love for my baby boy, no matter how old he is he’ll always be my baby. My heart full of gratitude for the wonderful staff of the NHS who work so hard everyday to keep us all healthy and who’s work often goes without thanks. Thank you NHS I for one am grateful!


Beamish Father Christmas

2015 Gratitude List – Grateful for so many things

2015 Gratitude List……So today is the last day of 2015 and I have so much to be grateful for. As a family we’ve had an amazing year, so many highs and thankfully not too many lows.

I want to make a list not to boast but to remind us as a family how far we’ve come and all we have to be grateful for. By focussing on what we are grateful for I can see things in a positive light and continue to move forward and grow as a family together in happiness.

House Move – This was the biggest thing to happen to us this year, we put our much loved house up for sale, had an offer the next day, went to see our now home the day after and made an offer ourselves and for four months after that, things dragged on with many highs and low. But we made it, we finally made it, in late November we moved house and we are in love with our new home. It already feels like our forever home and I am so grateful to live here.

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Working with Good Morning Britain – Early on in the year I was involved with a project that Good Morning Britain were doing about the way people voted for the general election. I was an undecided voter and so they followed me throughout the election campaign to see how I made my mind up. For me the experience was amazing and the boy still has fond memories of our trip to London. I loved every minute of the experience and am very grateful that I was able to take part.

Good Morning Britain


Work – I have an almost full time day job which I don’t really talk about on my blog, I work for the NHS and this year has brought so many fabulous opportunities to get involved with projects and new opportunities. I started the year telling myself that I would throw myself back into work after maternity leave ended and take every opportunity I can to say yes and get involved and its been a fabulous year. I am also very grateful to work with such a fabulous team, my line manager and manager are wonderful people who I really enjoy working with and under.

Family – I am and will forever be grateful for family. This year although our family hasn’t expanded like it did the year before! But we have grown in other ways. We have grown in love for each other. We have grown closer as a unit. We have grown stronger and learnt so much about each other.

2015 Gratitude List

Husband – I am grateful for such a loving caring man who is my other half, the milk to my coffee, the reason to my daft ideas, the calming influence when I’m on the ceiling. He is my best friend and makes me whole. He is always there for me and I cherish everyday we have together

2015 gratitude list

Children- I am so grateful for the boys, the bring sunshine everyday, even when it’s raining outside. The teach me so much about myself. They bring me so much joy and happiness, I love them so much, I just want to spend so much time hugging them. This year they have both grown so much, the boy started school ( how did that happen so quickly?) and Flixster started nursery when I went back to work. I can’t express how grateful I am for them both in my life.


I have so much to be grateful for I could go on for quite a long time but I’m keeping it short with the main things in my life to be grateful for. I truly am thankful for so much, I feel blessed to be so happy in life. Thank you universe, thank you.

I hope 2016 brings us and everyone we know many more things to be grateful for, if you look hard enough even the greyest days have some sunshine, you just need to look hard enough to find it.

May 2016 bring health and happiness.