Our Christmas Lights (by )

Fairy lights!

We both love fairy lights - these are the ones we bought back in Essex - they are still going strong 🙂 They remind me of the ones my grandmother had when I was little! I also found some wonderful snowflake window clings which both Jean and Mary love!

Snow Flakes and fairy lights

I love having lights showing on the outside of the building - it is like you are sharing the festivities with everyone.


Third Time Was Not Lucky :( (by )

Ok so I've been bleeding since Mary was born and as she is going to be two next month that is a long time, I've had hormones and scans and a coil and then a scan which showed the coil is in the wrong place and then I was waiting for biospies and re-coiling as the womb linning is too thick etc...

But the appointment kept being rearranged or the Dr was sick etc... so today I finally get in to have the coil removed, biopsy done and new coil put in but... the coil is stuck. They are worried that it is in the scar tissue from the C-section so am now awaiting a phone call from another clinic were they can scan me whilst trying to remove it.

I am actually quiet freaked out to be honest.

Because We Have Our Home (by )

Sleepy Alaric

This time last year we were not sure if would get this house, we were not really blogging about any of the trials and tribulations of it as we didn't want to get our hopes up. Alaric and the baby were both quiet sick and I was still on crutches and even Jean was not 100% with a repeating stomach bug. But we got through all of that and we got our shiny new home 🙂

Mummy and daddy having a kip!

With more than a little help from our friends. And feeling secure within this lovely house I finally felt able to write a story about our time after the 2007 floods. Again a time we would have really struggled with if it were not for family and friends!

So when I found out that over 75, 000 children will be without a home this year I thought, I am luckier than them and I should do something to help give them what our friends and family helped us get... A Home. Alaric agreed but we are not flush with money so how? And then a thought.

My mother asked me why didn't I draw the pictures and make the story into a little book for Christmas presents like I did last year with The Little Book of Festive Poetry. My initial reaction was 'There's not time!' and then I thought but I could do it as a mad sponsored thing and raise money for Shelter. So that is indeed what I am doing!

So here is the page where you can sponsor me. The money goes straight to Shelter. You are sponsoring a Draw-a-thon, the idea being that Christmas Eve I will release a free e-book for you all to enjoy 🙂 It will be an illustrated version of Percival's Christmas Wish and it is not going to be a five minute job so I am going to need lots of encouragement!

I have set the target as £100 as that will help five families not to end up homeless in the first place. More money = more people helped. If the target is reached I will be adding in the audio version of Percival's Christmas Wish as a free download for the 12 Day's of Christmas!

Families need homes

Mary Eating Christmas Biscuits Alaric in Elf Hat Daddy Elf being cuddled

I'm not sure if you can understand what it is like to being staying on friends sofas and things unless it has happened to you - no it is not sleeping rough but it is unsettling and exhausting. Especially with little ones. And not everyone has friends and family they can get help from. We are lucky others are not. Please donate/sponsor me.

Jean and Mary and The Posada Family 2012 (by )

Jean and Mary playing with the Posada Family

There is a little wooden nativity set that moves around the village over Advent and then does a procession on Christmas Eve. Jean has managed to get hold of it basically every year and this year is no different and more than that it was a lovely thing for the girls to do together this year, they really interacted well together as Jean organised it into a kind of play!

Jean and Mary playing with the Posada Family - no flash

Patrick Moore RIP (by )

Yesterday I heard the sad news that Sir Patrick Moore had died. He would have been 90 next year but didn't quiet make it. I feel there is very little point in giving an over view of his life and triumphs but instead I feel very much that I need to say what he ment to me and others like me.

I remember as a child being excited if I got to stay up and watch Sky At Night, I remember being plucked out of bed to watch the most amazing meteor shower ever with my father - because he had been watching The Sky At Night. I was so small I had to be carried out and I remember it! Along with the moon eclipse and looking at creators on the moon with my uncles telescope.

But this is standard - this is what everybody has as memories of him. But we were fortunate enough to have met him, to have had a conversation and to have been inspired more. He was giving a talk somewhere in Croydon - I can't remember explicitly where but my friend Becca worked there part time and so we had discounted tickets and we got together a huge group of us, from Imperial College and Alaric's friends from various mailing lists.

This was pre-blog days so I've had to look it up in my diary 🙂 Below is the book I got him to 'sign'. There was no photo as as we didn't have the digital camera either.

Partick Moore stamped Signature in Mars The Next Frontier

The talk itself was interesting though we did struggle with understanding everything that was said - this was less than ten years ago so he was already an old man. He sat there like the typical eccentric English gentleman and pulled off stunts like inflating balloons and sending them whizzing around to demonstrate the physics of rockets 🙂

Alaric's party piece for many years was a demonstration of this!

During the break we went and purchased books and I was barged out the way by some ingnoramous who had to have his book and NOW! I was awaiting the first lot of back treatment and it put my shoulder in spasm. I couldn't stop shaking with the pain but I went back for the last half none the less and then I asked a question which got answered and was really chuffed. It was at the point were I was getting into the meteorites at the Natural History Museum and was attempting to find a PhD.

Me and Becca wondered down to queue to get our books signed, but when we got there it was obvious he was in a lot of pain, his fingers where in a dreadful state from the arthritis and too my horror I watched the guy who had barged me out of the way earlier on, grab his hand and shake it!

The poor man was now in even more pain and yet he then stopped to talk to me and Becca when there was alot of people to get through still. We told him how much he had inspired us and that we were both going into related fields. He gave us lots of encouragement and the fact I was ill suddenly seemed a very small barrier, he had had medical stuff all through his life too. He then tried to introduce us to same people he thought would be useful for us to know but they had had to leave already to get trains etc...

I have not gone on to have my career but I am writing scifi and that is something else he has inspired me in. Becca on the other hand is working her socks off getting informations about space and science and what not out there to the public!

We will miss him and as I delve further into the realms of science communication I realise that he was perhaps the first in the age of the T.V.

p.s. the signature in the book was done by Patrick Moore but using a stamp and ink pad as his arthritis made holding a pen impossible.

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