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On the 12 May 2018 at approx 2.30pm, I received what can only be the best news any mother of a grown up daughter could hope for!! I was to become a Granny 🙂 To say that I went ballistic would be a complete understatement…I did the whole Greek Mama shrieky thing LOL

Getting the news 🙂

I was quite simply over the moon. This was not something I was expecting (sorry for the pun), and had made my peace with the idea that I may not ever have grandchildren. I guess I should have known better! The planets had aligned; my daughter was in a really good place in her life, she had met a wonderful man, they were engaged to be married, she was settled in her home, her business was doing well and life was good. The universe knew that the time was right.

becoming a granny, first time parents, first pregnancy

I’m going to be a Granny 🙂

The months both dragged and flew by with visits to a clinic for an ultrasound that showed the wee bub sitting comfortably in the position he was to pretty much maintain for the full 40 weeks right up until he was born.

first baby, second trimester, ultrasound, listening to babys heartbeat, granny in waiting, first grandchild, ovia app, knitting for babies

isn’t that just extraordinary….so tiny and yet so very real

first baby, second trimester, ultrasound, listening to babys heartbeat, granny in waiting, first grandchild, ovia app, knitting for babies

Ultrasound ❤

Each week was marked with images of his progress off the ovia app,

ovia app baby progress

one the day I received the news, this is the size of the bub; a poppy seed

photographs of Mummy’s slowly expanding belly,

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Lots of clothes shopping (we ended up with wayyy too much), various excursions as nursery equipment was collated and frequent trips for treats LOL I’m surprised he doesn’t look like a treat…oh Wait!! He does!!

After a relatively problem-free pregnancy, he didn’t after all make it easy for Mama and stuck to his guns, resulting in a breech birth.

Finally the big day arrived and exactly 40 weeks to the day (according to their calculations, not the NHS’s) without any further ado, my tiny, beautiful, cute, gorgeous, exceptionally intelligent (of course), delightful little grandson arrived. Albeit very traumatic for Mummy, his birth went fairly smoothly and I had the privilege of being able to support her right through from beginning to end. We, Simon (her husband), Maisie (her Doula), myself and of course the beautiful Mama, were all in shell-shock and I’m still bemused by the fact that I actually managed to get through her labour without going to pieces.

Jamie, just 10 minutes old cuddled on Mummy’s chest, Maisie, me and Daddy

In fact she had, a few weeks before, asked me to knit her a birthing blanket. The idea was for me to knit this blanket whilst she was in labour, to focus my mind and keep me calm and occupied….it didn’t quite work out that way, and 4 months later the blanket is still under construction. Mostly because I’m forever holding the baby or taking photos of him rather than knitting….oh and working. I have 2 other cardigans 95% completed that I have never yet found the time to complete.

So Jamie, my precious little boy, here you are….just hours old

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and now you’re fast-growing, gorgeous, funny almost 4 month old with a mega-watt smile that lights up the room and my heart.

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I loved the idea of being a Granny, but I love actually being a Granny even more that I ever thought possible.

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He’s now 16 weeks old and I can hardly believe that the weeks have flown by so quickly.

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What a charming little boy he is, and we are so blessed to have him in our lives.

 

 

 

#XR52

As part of my ongoing pledge to do better by this world and help save the planet, leaving it in as much a decent condition as is possible for future generations, I’ve taken the XR52 (extinction rebellion) pledge to not buy any new clothes for the next 52 weeks. The programme actually started on 30th April 2019, but since I’ve been working over this last 2 weeks, I’ve not bought anything anyway.

Not that I’m either a follower of ‘fast fashion’ or a prolific clothes buyer, my last purchase was a light top for summer on 8th March 2019 LOL- so no fear of me being a follower of fashion…..I usually have to be dragged off to the store kicking and screaming. I simply can’t be bothered. For me clothes are merely a way of covering my body, avoiding arrest for indecent exposure and keeping warm. Buying clothes is tedious in the extreme and I can’t be bothered with looking through a rack of items that for one reason or another do not excite me much, usually don’t fit for one reason or another, whilst looking at myself naked in front of a full length mirror is not for the faint-hearted LOL

Prior to March, the last time I bought anything was in December 2018 when I took a pair of harem pants and slippers off my daughter…she had bought them but they didn’t fit comfortably, so rather than her ditching or giving them away, I bought them from her. Besides these few items, the last major purchase I made was in March 2018 when I bought an outfit for their May wedding. I’m still wearing shoes (very seldom I might add since they have heels) I bought about 15 years ago. They’re almost brand new as I only wear them about once every 3 years.

My only major purchases are trainers and hiking pants. I go through a pair of trainers every 1500miles or so and my hiking pants were bought in 2016 when I started training for the Camino in 2017.

So, am I a follower of ‘fast fashion’? I think the answer to that is obvious 😉 When I do buy any leisure clothes they are invariably from a charity shop and when I’m done with them, I return it to a charity shop.

Nothing goes in the bin except my underwear and socks, and usually only when I have worn them through. However, going forward, I’m going to see how I can recycle those items as well.

If you’re not familiar with extinction rebellion, they are a protest movement that recently brought London to a standstill and upset a few commuters and of course the government (no bad thing that). Ironically, the Government had just declared a ‘climate emergency’ but nonetheless, they were seriously pissed at the protesters. Many of the people who were ‘inconvenienced’ by the protests are likely people from 1 of 2 camps: 1. people who are trying to make changes by reducing their plastic waste and being active in reducing their carbon footprint, and supported the protests, despite being inconvenienced. 2. people who don’t give a shit so long as they can continue to buy their pretentious takeaway Starbucks latte and their Evian pure spring water, and really couldn’t care less one way or the other about the state of the planet. Now before you breathe flames, I have no doubt that a lot of people were inconvenienced going to work or business meetings or whatever it is that people get up to daily, but consider this…..

We are in a dire situation. The latest UN report is the stuff of nightmares…..100 million species are on the brink of extinction!!! This is besides the thousands, if not millions of species already extinct due to mankind’s exploitation of the planet and her resources. The Amazon forest is reduced by 50 football pitches every SECOND!!! Not year, month, week or day…but SECONDS. Read that again… Seconds!!! The Amazon, along with other forests in places like Indonesia are the planet’s lungs, and we are destroying it by the second!! Billions of trees are razed to the ground for agriculture, for feed for beef, for palm oil plantations (and don’t even get me started on that).

Extract from the report : “PARIS, 6 May – Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history – and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely, warns a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the summary of which was approved at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary, meeting last week (29 April – 4 May) in Paris.” you can read the full report here. The last mass extinction was 66 million years ago. fck sakes. It’s insane. This folks, is happening on OUR watch.

It’s terrifying and if anyone is not afraid, then they have not been paying attention.

So back to ‘fast fashion’ and my XR52 pledge. For me it’s an easy one. I have a grandson now whose future is of vital importance to me. This pledge is just another cog in my determination to make a difference and reduce my impact on the planet and her ecosystems. I signed a pledge to never use plastic straws again in 2016. I’ve persuaded our chippy to change to a more sustainable container for take-aways. I persuaded a local restaurant to ditch plastic straws. I litter pick as often as possible when I’m home. It’s tiring, it’s hard and I incur a fair amount of abuse. But, and it’s a HUGE but, I have to try and make a difference for my grandson’s future.

If you’d like to learn more about extinction rebellion, you can read more here

Join me, come on board the XR52 campaign and reduce your impact on the planet.

Oh and if you were wondering about the impact that fast fashion has on the planet, then I can recommend that you watch the Stacey Dooley documentary. It’s is quite frankly just shocking and terrifying. “A sea half the size of England has dried up because of the horrific impact of fast fashion.”

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here.

The garment industry is the 2nd largest polluter in the world, whilst the UK, Europe and the US are the largest consumers of ‘fast’ fashion. These days clothing chains bring out a new ‘range’ every week. I remember when I was young/er the fashion industry had ‘seasons’. You waited a full 3 months for the next season. The clothes were invariably well made, stood the test of time and didn’t choke landfill and end up in the ocean by way of plastic micro-fibres.  Lots of people think that donating the items made today; threadbare, badly made, last a few weeks (if you’re lucky) to charity is a good idea…well it’s not. The charities are beginning to have to dump tons of old clothes because they are not fit for purpose and because they have too much. Africa is fed up with our cast-offs and some countries are beginning to reject the charitable donations made by the west in favour of encouraging home-grown, local businesses to produce cultural and traditional garments. Bravo to them.

I could go on and on about the terrible impact the ‘fashion’ industry is having on the planet, the animals that live on it, our water systems, and people’s lives, but……

Instead I’m inviting you to join me and take the XR52 challenge and NOT buy any clothing till 30th April 2020. Follow extinction rebellion on instagram

Would you be prepared to take this challenge?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I opened an online delivery account with @asda a couple of days ago to have my food delivered as I can’t get to a store from where I am currently working. I was disappointed at the lack of plasticwrap free vegetables available, but ordered the few items that were #freefromplastic namely bananas, carrots, onions and butternut. Imagine my utter dismay when the groceries were delivered and the bananas, carrots, onions and butternut were bagged in….. a PLASTIC bag. Ffs. Seriously.

These supermarkets really MUST up their game. I pointed this out to the driver who said they are ‘phasing the bagging out’. Wtaf does ‘phasing’ it out mean? Over what period of time?

We need DRASTIC action NOW!! have they been living in an alternative universe? Have they missed the Planet Earth programmes? Have they not seen the destruction that plastic pollution is causing our land-based animals, the devastation of our oceans and the creatures that die regularly.? Why do you have to bag potatoes (unless it’s to FORCE us to buy more than we need), or courgettes or mushrooms or tomatoes?

My message to the supermarkets : STOP WRAPPING THE VEGETABLES IN PLASTIC!! DON’T SEND MY VEGETABLES IN PLASTIC BAGS!! PLEASE JUST DON’T. I stopped using Tesco for this very reason. Urgh. @asda @sainsburys @tescofood @coopuk @morrisons @iceland all of you. Please reduce the plastic on vegetables NOW.

There’s been enough media information for you to all get the message. Step Up and STOP 🛑 using unnecessary plastic. If you simply HAVE to wrap your vegetables in plastic, change to the alternatives that are now available. #bansingleuseplastic #plasticpollution #endplasticwaste #endplasticpollution #doitfordavid #saveouroceans🌊 #saveourwildlife🐯🐯🐘🐨🐺🐋🐬🌝⛅🌻 #saveourplanet🌍🌳🌳🌞

I haven’t updated my bio on my various social media sites for a few months/years so this morning while drinking my tea I thought I’d give it a go.

Of course we are limited in the number of characters we can use, but in summary, on instagram, this is what I wrote.

‘Granny to Jamie 19.01 💕💙 Firewalker. Long-distance walker. Amateur photographer. Pro-remain. Anti-plastic Activist. Litter Picker. Vegetarian/Vegan’

In my head I can picture myself from those words, although it’s only a small synopsis of who I am and what my interests are/things I’ve done. I wonder what conclusions a stranger would make of the description?

I was saying to my (wonderful) daughter just a few days ago, whilst going out of my mind with boredom at work, that I need to sit down and draw up a new list of the things I’ve done and my achievements in life, as a reminder that I’ve had a rich, varied and full life (especially the last 18 years) for those days when I feel trapped by my need to earn money to pay the bills.

There’s this personal development mantra that gets bandied about the Internet that comes to mind…. “If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life” – at first glance it seems quite benign and holds out hope, but what does it actually mean? I mostly love my job, on the whole I get enormous satisfaction from it, but hey ho….I ‘work’ every day I’m in each assignment. Does that mean I don’t ‘love’ the job enough. I also don’t earn very much which requires me to work more to pay the bills to have a marginally decent living standard….not extravagant by any means and I do without a lot in order to get by.

So, who am I? Do I love my job?

I know what I’d love to be doing (see, there’s that word again). Perhaps I should change it to ‘what I would prefer to be doing….

Spending more time with my grandson 🤗 👶🏻 ❣️ 👵🏻

grandchildren, being a granny

my wonderful, heavenly, delightful, precious little grandson.

Travelling 🚶🗺️⏳

porto to santiago, padron to santiago, osprey tempest 40 mystic magenta, walking the camino, nordic walking poles.

my trusty companions; Pepe (backpack) and Gemini (Nordic walking poles) – 10.166 km to Santiago

Taking photos

photography, mobile phone photography, travel

I’m absolutely loving my walks for the #walk1000miles 2017 challenge. It certainly gets me out of bed and out the house, making sure I don’t lag behind. I love walking anyway so it’s no hardship, and what fun it is to see different scenes while I’m out. It also gives me the opportunity to get fit for my Camino. The #mapmywalk app is perfect for my needs.#walking #walkbritain #exploreengland #englishcoast #VikingBay #StoneBay #Kingsgate #isleofthanet #traveldiaries #Camino2017 #cindystravels #viewsofengland

and campaigning against plastic, especially single use plastic.img_20190505_200251163268184.jpg

I’ve been seeing so many posts recently about this walk… I guess I’m just going to have to do it 😂 😂 😂 😂

The South West Coast Path

After 3 trips across the “pond” my wife and I finally completed the South West Coast Path in October 2017. Originally we were just looking for something a little more civilised than our usual trips on our native Vancouver Island, where thick bush, ice and snow, heavy packs, rotten food and smelly tents are the norm. However, it didn’t take more than a few hours out of our original start point at Port Isaac in 2013 before we knew that we were in this for the duration. All those endless seascapes, impossibly lovely coves and fishing villages, comfy digs and good food are not a difficult sell, especially after the rigours of Island hiking.

Photo 2015-09-26, 9 54 58 AM Ann and Martin at the start of the Path in Minehead

Altogether it took us 55 days and 3 visits to get from Minehead to South Haven Point including some rest and short days. For those…

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No need to add anything more.

Pride's Purge

Theresa May’s kowtowing to the hard Brexiters in her party may have just cost the UK $1.7 Trillion of access to international projects after Brexit.

The U.S., New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, Israel and Moldova have all blocked Britain’s post-Brexit entry into the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement, a market worth $1.7 Trillion.

And while the first six big players on that list may eventually (after perhaps years of hard negotiations) give in with separate trade deals, with the last one – the small country of Moldova – it’s unlikely.

Because it’s personal.

This is because Theresa May – in an effort to look tough on immigration – made the inexplicable and utterly disastrous decision last year to deny visas to a Moldovan government delegation who wanted to visit the UK on a trade mission.

Corina Cojocaru – a government adviser to the Moldova government – and her…

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Step by Step

I’m going to have to start getting up earlier in the morning if I want to catch the sunrise 🌅 Got to the promenade at just before 8am but the sun was already above the horizon albeit behind the clouds.

The weather is amazing once again, its so mild out. And we’re still waiting to say #Peanutisontheway❣️ 👶🏻 💙 This lad is surely taking his own sweet time…. although actually it’s exactly 40 weeks tomorrow, so perhaps will arrive he is ready and not when the NHS say he should arrive.

I went to see the film ‘Wildlife’ last night. Its an incredibly weird film and the jury is out on whether or not I actually enjoyed it… I didn’t. 🤔🙄

It was such a mild evening I decided to take a short walk along the beach… What a blessing to live so near to the sea.

I could hear the crashing of the waves behind the harbour wall so walked over to see what I could ‘sea’… Which wasn’t much, but I could hear it and that sound is like music to my ears.

Afterwards my daughter (the very pregnant soon to be Mummy), her hubby and I took a slow midnight stroll along the promenade in the hope it might encourage baby to start his journey…

The evening air, albeit only 2 degrees out, was perfectly still with a 3/4 moon and a canopy of ✨ crispy clear and really mild.

This morning, although I was tempted to stay in bed, I made the effort to get out to capture the sunrise. I really want to be sure to have a photo for Peanut’s book…on the day that he is born. I hope that’s soon 😀👶🏻💙❣️

Meanwhile I’ve started reading Simon Reeve’s book Step by Step. He’s my favourite travel presenter and I’ve watched all his travel documentaries which are a real eye-opener. By page 33 I’ve concluded he was a naughty little shit 😂 😂 😂 which explains the ever present twinkle in his eye and the quirky smile.  I also discovered quite weirdly that his Dad’s name was Alan which is my middle name. His Mum’s name is Cindy 🤔🤔 and his brothers’s name is James (my grandson’s name). Totally weird.

Meanwhile I shall get back to the book I’m compiling for said grandson and hold thumbs that soon I can say with absolute certainty that Peanut is on the way 😀😀😀👶🏻💙❣️

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