Dryathlete? Moi?


Cancer research are running the Dryathlete event throughout September in aid of cancer research. Basically, you get sponsored to not drink alcohol for a month and donate the money- simples!

I am not as big a drinker as I used to be, but I do enjoy a drink and I like the idea that it’s there at the end of the day if I fancy it. So although I may be ok to begin with, I’m thinking it will get harder as the days and weeks go on.

Why am I doing it? Well, that’s pretty simples too..

My Dad

My Grandma

Hubster’s Grandad

Four of his Uncles

Aunt Karola


A colleague’s 5 year old child

Ten people attacked and only four survivors…it’s time to even out the odds!

For more details go to Dryathlon and if you’re feeling generous and fancy donating please go to My just giving page


100 word challenge “…the alarm went off at 6am…”

The alarm went off at 6am, Nyx opened one eye, turned it off and rolled over. Until the smell of cooking from downstairs made her sit bolt upright. She hadn’t set the alarm, today was a nothing day. So who was in her house? Nyx followed her nose downstairs and came to a sudden halt in the kitchen doorway.


“Morning sweetheart. Come, sit, tea in the pot and breakfast is almost ready.” Said the woman.

Nyx shook as she dropped into a chair, “But Mum….you’re…you’re dead. I mean, you…you…you died!”

“Ah, yes, well, about that…”

This is my entry into the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups over at Julia’s Place go and have a look at the other entries.

Home sweet home?


As I sip my tea and gaze out into the miserable, wet jungle that has become my garden since we went away, I decide that over a week later, my holiday hangover is most definitely not over. It is, infact, still very much in full swing. That groundhog day feeling of the school and work routine is about to begin again and I am truly not ready! The uniforms hang, ironed and named, in the wardrobes, the bags and pe kits are packed and ready to go and the calendar is full of all those oh so important dates, but I am not ready for the monotony to begin again.

I follow two raindrops as they race down the window pane and I realise, it’s not the routine that’s bothering me, it’s the place. As much as we have settled here and made friends and it’s nice to be near family, it just doesn’t feel permanent. It doesn’t feel like home! As soon as we cross that border into Spain from France, that’s when I feel like I am home. When I begin to see the road signs for La Safor, that’s when I feel like I am home. When I spy that huge black “toro” statue that sits on the side of the mountain near Gandia, that’s when I feel like I am home. I know that the school and work routine would be that much more bearable if I were living where I want to be living.

The rain begins to hammer against the window harder and I conclude that I do not actually have a holiday hangover, I am homesick!

A plan, of sorts…

I am so happy to finally be sitting down to write a post. It has been so long and I know I have been really bad at keeping this thing up to date since we got back to the UK. Things have begun to happen more slowly since we came back and it just made sense to wait until there was a decent amount to write about.

Anyway, I hope everyone has enjoyed their Easter and that you have all eaten your body weight in chocolate and bought power tools you don’t need from the various DIY outlets. I still haven’t quite grasped that there are shops open on a Sunday, Germany left it ingrained into our heads that Sunday is not for shopping and I think that is something we will continue to carry with us.

So, the news… The hubster’s treatment has pretty much had to begin again, his scans are out of date and new ones need to be done. And now that we no longer have Headley Court to push things along it’s all taking that little bit longer. The good news is that he will finally be receiving the farcet joint injection that he has been waiting for since the beginning of 2013! It’s going to take a while before the appointment comes through, in true NHS style. Not that I am putting down our health service, absolutely not, it’s just a big change to go from things being done quickly to having to now wait months for appointments  to come through.  Especially since in the meantime the Hubster continues to suffer with incredible pain and is finding day to day life difficult. I  can’t say it’s been easy,  we have had some pretty low times over the last year since arriving back in the UK and sometimes the people you expect to at least try to understand are the ones who really don’t.

We have found that it has been difficult for some family members to grasp the implications of the Hubster’s injury and the impact it has on our lives. They don’t understand that he simply cannot do as much as he was once able and I have found myself biting my tongue on several occasions.

Workwise, the business that he and his friend set up has begun to take off and things are coming together for them, slowly but surely. And I am enjoying being back in the early years environment.

As for Spain (another sore point with some family members) we had originally planned to make the move at the beginning of this summer, but with the snail pace at which things are moving, we have had to put that off for a year. So the plan is now that we will move next June so that the children have the summer to settle and we can get them into a summer school programme to help them make friends and assist their language  skills, before starting school in September. While we aren’t exactly happy to put things off this way, it is the best move we can make since this way Hubs is going to get the treatment he needs before the big move.

In other news and to cut a long story short, my brother and I inherited our Grandparent’s house at the end of last year and after the emotion and hard work of clearing it out (my Nana was a hoarder to say the least) it has been sold. Leaving not only us, but my little bruv, his fiance and their baby bump in a pretty nice position. The main thing for us is that this now means we will be able to buy a house outright  once we move to Spain, a huge weight off our minds.

And I am writing! This is something that I am very excited about. Writing has always been my first love and my dream has been to do it for a living. Well I decided that it was time to get things moving, so the book status is now updated to “a work in progress ” and I am loving every second of it!

The Dandelions continue to thrive and I think that brings us up to date.

 So in the

words of Forrest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that!”

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

We have arrived at the last day of term. And after spending last night sobbing like a baby in a corner of the school hall as Miss Tinks played Mary in her very first school nativity (believe me, I was a wreck!), we awoke this morning to find there had been a visit from Jack Frost in the night (cue many questions about Jack Frost and how he leaves the frost, why he leaves the frost, who leaves the rain/sun/snow etc. Ever wish you’d never said anything?). One thing we all agreed on however, was that it is most definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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And these from my morning walk in the orchards with the hound.

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I don’t know about you, but I like to turn the entire month into a sort of celebration, the anticipation and build up is almost better than the actual day for me. My parents did so much to make Christmas magical for my brother and I, so I intend to do the same for my children. The hubster takes a bit of convincing with the whole thing. If it were up to him it wouldn’t even be mentioned until Christmas Eve. He does get involved eventually, with the odd “Bah humbug!” thrown in here and there for good measure- just to remind us that he couldn’t possibly be enjoying it. Although, to be fair, once he is in the spirit he does pull out all the stops to keep them magic alive…


I have been getting the decorations out bit by bit throughout the month when the Dandelions are at school. I’m reminding them daily that we have an invisible elf watching over them, ready to report back to Santa and put them on the naughty or nice list. We’ve done the invisible elf for a few years now, never quite been organised enough to do the elf on the shelf thing- it looks like fun though, so maybe next year.

We are attempting to do at least one Christmas activity a day throughout the month. We’ve had letters to Santa, writing their Christmas cards, the village church Christmas market, Christmas light spotting, carol singing with their school friends, making bunting and lighting our advent candle daily…

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We’ve made some cinnamon dough decorations for our tree and to give to Grandparents. They’re ready to go in the oven and dry out, then it will be time to go mad with the glitter and sparkle!


I’ve also had some fun putting together a few Christmas craft projects. Christmas pot pourri and cinnamon candles being just a couple. I love how the candle looks in the centre of the pot pourri and it smells wonderful!
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And of course there is the great tree decorating ceremony!


The Dandelions will be finishing school in an hour and I have a Christmas movie night planned with snowman soup, popcorn and The Grinch. And I have just had the phonecall I have been waiting for…the hubster is “driving home for Christmas” as I type. Let the merriment commence!

Merry Christmas from The Dandelion Patch!

Staus Quo

Well hello! (waves) Yes, I know I have been absent from the blog for a fair few weeks now. Life has changed dramatically for us and we have taken some time to adjust now that we are no longer part of the army bubble. So, I figured it was time for a little update on the status quo for the Dandelions, the Hubster and me. And, what better time to get back into it with the big “C” word just around the corner. But before I launch into a glitter filled, cinnamon scented, bell jingling post about the festive season, here is that update…

Since being discharged in September, the Hubster has tried several different jobs in an effort to retain some self esteem and be part of the work force. Unfortunately for him, all were pretty heavy going on his back and he had to make the difficult decision to stop trying these things before he ended up in a worse situation with the injury. He is in constant pain as it is and to continue pushing himself in the way he was would only have made things worse for him. This is something that he has had difficulty coming to terms with, he has always worked so that I could stay at home with the children and to suddenly be unable to go out and provide for his family was a hell of a blow to his inner caveman.

However, it’s not all bad news, as he and a friend of his (also about to leave the army) have decided to go into business together. Meaning he gets to stay in the logistics trade, where he is familiar with the way things work, but in a role that is classroom based and therefore less of a strain on his back. So they are busy setting things up as I type and should be up and running by December. Exciting and busy times ahead.

Injury wise, we may have made some kind of progress. He has seen a civvy GP who, after a very concerning examination during which he discovered that the Hubster has no feeling in his lower back or abdomen at all, is referring him to Addenbrookes hospital where they essentially will begin the process all over again. There is also now an underlying problem with his hips that is likely to be a result of the back injury, which of course needs to be looked into. A tough time ahead in that respect, but hopefully light at the end of the tunnel.

The Dandelions have, in true forces child fashion, settled in to their new school and routine easily. They are enjoying being near their Grandparents and seeing their cousins often. Dinoboy has been having a little trouble with the work load in school as it is substantially more than at his last school. But with all hands on deck at home and at school to help him through, he is making good progress. Miss Tinks has fallen into full-time school happily and is loving every second. She has amazed us both with the speed at which she is learning. And, proud Mummy moment, she has been chosen to play Mary in the class nativity- rest assured I will be a quivering wreck that day! Zoom is enjoying pre school and has a lovely group of friends that he just can’t get enough of.

As for me? Well, I have got a part-time job at the pre school that Zoom attends and will be going back to work in the next few weeks- eek! All these years I must admit, I didn’t think I missed it, and couldn’t see how it would be much different from being at home with my Dandelions. But, having spent a few mornings in the setting as a parent helper, I quickly remembered how much I loved my job.

Spain is still very much in the forefront of our minds. Hubs and I managed a child free few days there last month- I know, child free!!! During which we made a final decision on the area we want to live. Now it just remains to find the right house. However, Hubster’s treatment has to be a priority at the moment, if the civvy doctors can make any progress where the military didn’t remains to be seen, but if there is even the slightest chance of any improvement for him then we must see it through.

So there you have it. Stand by for glitter and sparkle coming soon…

A word from “The Hubster”

Sunday 21st September 2014- the day my husband is medically discharged from the army. We will no longer be a forces family. I could fill this post with a lot of emotionally charged drivel about how it’s hard and unfair, but I won’t. Because nothing I feel can ever compare to what he feels. Instead, here are a few words from him:

“On the 6th Oct 1998 I joined the greatest club that you could ever imagine. I had my arse beasted from being a little shit to a bloke. I then joined the best Battalion in the British Army (1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment). In this time I made some true friends and had the best time of my life (Londonderry 99-01). I had the privilege of serving under and with some absolutely first class blokes. I ended up as a REMF in 2008 with the RLC until injury on H14. During this time again I met and made some absolutely brilliant friends. Unfortunately in 24 hrs time I will no longer be a Soldier in the greatest Army you can find. I borrowed my kit for 22 years but have to hand it back a bit earlier than I wanted. Ladies and Gents its been an absolute pleasure thank you.”

Nothing can take away what he has done for his country and for that I will forever be a proud army wife! All it leaves is for me to end this in true army style by saying the words;


A song for veterans.

I pledge allegiance to the back to school routine.

It’s that time again people. Three sleeps until school starts! 


 No more lazy mornings, where breakfast can be eaten whenever we choose. No more lounging around in pj’s watching cartoons until lunchtime. No more playing out in the garden until it gets dark. No more spur of the moment trips to the park. No more grabbing the first clothes you see because no school run means no “yummy mummies” to compete with. 

Instead it’s back to ramming breakfast down the Dandelions throats while barking orders at them in my best Sargent Major voice. Hastily throwing food into lunch boxes and quietly hoping nobody checks the nutrition content. Frantic searching for that one school shoe, that even though you placed it carefully alongside all the rest has somehow managed to do a disappearing act 10 minutes before you have to leave the house. Tears and tantrums about getting dressed and hair brushing. Searching for the hairbrush that is never where you left it. The last minute “I forgot my PE kit!” just as the front door is opened. More frantic searching for the PE kit that has fallen into the same abyss as the lost shoe and the hair brush. 

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It’s back to five second showers, grabbing the least dirty pair of jeans and a t shirt, yanking a brush through my hair, searching for a scarf to hide that stain on my t shirt and running out the door hoping my shoes match.

And, once again the hubster has somehow managed to find himself a “must do” course to go on, therefore leaving me to face the madness alone. 

However, this year I am ready for it. Routine must prevail and thanks to the power of Pinterest I am completely in control. No, really, I got this shit handled! 


 I have, rather ingeniously, spent the last few days scouring Pinterest for amazing back to school plans. Ok, maybe it was weeks. Actually I kind of got lost in there for a while (so much pretty in one place should not be allowed!) but it was all in the name of sanity. 

So, with my new found knowledge in mind, I pledge allegiance to the back to school routine.  

This year on the first day of school, I will not fall out of bed in a wine induced haze…

itemImage_111_6_11_20_7_57…scratching my head and desperately trying to figure out what day it is because the schools couldn’t make life easy by gong back on a Monday could they? No, they picked Thursday, I mean really, it’s practically the weekend!


 My mornings will no longer involve me taking the form of a zombie rising from the dead!


 Instead, while the Dandelions still sleep soundly, I will rise happily from my blissful slumber before skipping gracefully from under the duvet and dancing downstairs to embrace the morning routine.


I will set the (oh so healthy!) breakfast table with a smile on my face and a song in my heart (because nobody should ever have to actually hear me sing!). I will leisurely pack lunches chosen from the array of previously prepared healthy and delicious Pinterest “lunch box hacks” in my fridge. I will find happiness (and a small amount of smugness) in the knowledge that all the uniform was lovingly ironed and hung and school bags were packed weeks before and everything is placed in our new school command centre (you see? Pinterest rocks!) making it all so much less stressful. I will dress in my carefully selected “school run chic” outfit (set out the night before- genius huh?), and calmly perfect my hair and make up, before gently waking the Dandelions for breakfast.  Because with Pinterest I can handle anything the little darlings throw at me, with Pinterest I am invincible! 


So you see, I got this. I am not dreading it this year. I am clam and relaxed and organised. This year I can honestly say, I have every confidence that I will get to at least 7.15am on Thursday before I start running around the house screaming “Pinterest is evil!” and preparing to do this…


 Before doing this…

thbecause it’s too early for this…

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Let the madness commence! 


WW1 Cetenary

While World War One actually began on 28th July 1914, today, 4th August 2014, marks the centenary of Britain entering the war. More than 15 million men and women lost their lives as a direct result of the First World War. We owe these men and women a debt of gratitude and the least we can do today is stop and remember their sacrifice and be thankful that they were brave enough to stand and fight for our country and our future.

Tonight at 10pm the Royal British Legion is holding a worldwide event that anyone can take part in. Simply turn off all your lights and light a single candle in honour of those who fought, those who died and those who lived to tell their stories. There will be a candle burning in the Dandelion Patch tonight.

Lest we forget.



With the redundancies in the armed forces and the removal of the troops from Germany, being part of the forces community has meant saying goodbye to several regiments over recent years. Yesterday saw the disbandment of the regiment the hubster was serving with in Germany. Sadly, this has become a regular occurrence within the military in recent years.

The disbandment of this particular regiment though, has struck a chord of sadness in me that I wasn’t expecting. We spent almost six years with them and would have been there until the end if we could have been. It was a huge part of our forces life, with memories both good and bad and so many good friends.  I only wish we could have been there to say our goodbyes with everyone else.

But in this life, it is never really goodbye, only “See you later!” as we all inevitably meet again when we least expect it. That opportunity no longer exists for us as we come to the end of our forces life, but we will be staying in touch with many of our forces friends regardless.

So, with a somewhat heavy heart, I want to wish all of our friends over there, past and present all the luck in the world for their new adventures. Whether staying in Germany or returning to the UK, may you all have happy postings and find friends as wonderful as you!






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