Summer holiday thanks…

Summer holiday thanks…

I haven’t blogged much this year, but one thing I did want to document was how fab the summer holidays were this year… in more ways than one. Continue reading

Dame Judi Dench – when you’re in good company…

I don’t know about you but I love and admire Judi Dench – I think she is an amazing actress as well as being incredible for her age – I mean who wouldn’t want to look like her and have her enthusiasm and passion for life at 81?

AND she only goes and gets her first ever tattoo on her 81st birthday no less!!

Dame Judi Dench

‘CARPE DIEM’ – it’s her motto in life!  Woohooo how fabulous is that.

Seize the day, or Seize each day.

Her daughter gave it to her (or I guess paid for her to have it done) for her 81st birthday – what a present and how totally cool is she.

If I wasn’t so totally scared of the pain, I might even be tempted… but can’t actually ever see that happening.

Two of my loveliest friends posted the article straight to my Facebook knowing that this would totally resonate with me, which of course it did and brought a huge smile to my face.  Thank you to them and they so know who they are.

Thank you Dame Judi for bringing me back to my roots and embracing what my whole blog is about – seizing each and every day.

Oh and her birthday is the day after mine … although it has to be said she’s a few years ahead of me.

Go forth my lovely friends and Carpe Diem x

This image was borrowed from the BBC News




DanTDM – YouTuber


I can honestly say, I’ve just had one of the most stressful half hours of my life!

True story…

Would you believe that DanTDM is a YouTuber – yes, that’s his actual job, it’s what he does (who’d have thought) and for those with children and tweens who are into, dare I say the word, Minecraft, they will know this young guy well I’m sure.

Just to put you in the picture DanTDM (don’t ask me what the TDM stands for because I have absolutely no idea) has 590k followers over on Twitter and over 10 million subscribers on YouTube *gulps* – now that’s a lot!

Stampy is long forgotten and these days it DanTDM all the way… MasterB even styles his hair on Dan’s and wants to go blue in the summer hols!!

Anyway the point of this is Dan announced his first ever tour earlier in the week and it’s all MasterB has been talking about since.

Looking at the dates, the only one we could make due to holidays was his last date in Milton Keynes, about a two and a half hour journey for us from home.  But I thought ‘what the hell, it’s something he’s excited about and can be an end of school year well done treat‘.

Little did I know the pressure I would be putting myself under!!!

The site was due to go live at 10.00am this morning and I was sat ready with my credit card to get straight on there and purchase the best seats I could possibly buy.

10.00am – site not live!

10.01am – site still not live!!

10.02am – site still not live – stressing now!!!

10.03am – site live!  Go, go, gooooo!!!!

I went straight to the Milton Keynes date matinee performance – SOLD OUT!  OMG what was I going to tell B?  I knew he wouldn’t believe me when I told him I literally got on the site as soon as it went live.  He’d think I was like blaaah blaaah blaaah bimbling around.  Aaaaarrrggghhhhh!

Quick thinking, made me look at the evening performance (the very last performance – is that what you call it, I have no idea?  I mean who ever thought I’d be buying tickets to go and see/watch a YouTuber on stage fgs?  What’s he going to be doing?).  No evening performance tickets left or VIP tickets (where the kids get to meet their hero with apparently a whole host of other cool stuff) – meanwhile I tweeted DanTDM (@DiamondMinecraft) in my panic and he replied with ‘VIP tickets sold extremely quickly!!‘ – you’re telling me!!!

Dan suggested trying the venue’s website directly for tickets as he believed they still had some left, so I swiftly opened a new tab and navigated my way around to find the show on the right day at the right time and …… Yippeeee I managed to nab myself TWO TICKETS in the stalls.

Woohoooo I cannot tell you the relief I felt.  I would be able to tell MasterB what a wonderful mother I was with my dedication to the cause and had secured two, not too bad, seats for DanTDM’s first tour!!!

Phewie!  A cup of tea was called for – had it been later than 10.30am in the morning I might possibly have poured myself a glass of Blush!

So Milton Keynes look out for us in August when we hot foot it up for the DanTDM first UK tour!

I will of course let you know how the DanTDM show/performance/thingy goes… but in the meantime if you tried to get tickets but didn’t manage to, my commiserations – I feel your pain.

Carpe Diem x






I’m back and here’s a little catch up…

Branksome Chine beach

Gosh it’s been a long old time since my last blog post and I think the longer you leave it the harder it is to get back on and post.

But here I am after a little break… lots of things have happened, but it’s all good and I want to get back into posting regularly on my little blog.  I want this to be my on-line journal where all our special family memories, my thoughts, feelings and inspirations are captured and can be looked back on in years to come.

I received a notification from WordPress that my annual renewal was due, and if not renewed my blog could be deleted.  Yikes, all gone!  So this is what really prompted me into thinking ‘come on girl, get your act together, otherwise there’s gonna be a whole big part of your life missing on this ole blog of mine‘.  So here I am.

Christmas came and went in a flurry and we celebrated New Year’s Eve with some lovely friends.  It’ll soon be Easter and I’m feeling quite festive (if you can feel festive about Easter) and looking forward to a bit of time off with the family.  Oh and there’ll be chocolate eggs of course too – though not too many for me!!

But what I’m really looking forward to is – – – SPRING!  I can’t wait!  Leading on to some lovely summer months; pleeeease.

So looking forward to getting our garden sorted and being able to sit out and enjoy it – bring it on Mr Lovely Weather.

Last weekend we headed down to our beach hut and it was bliss.  It was a sunny day and in the shelter was really quite warm.  I even fell asleep in the sunshine on the balcony.  So, I’m planning to spend more time there this year.  If it’s looking like a nice day, I’m gonna pack up my bag, grab Kipster and head off for a chill at my little beach haven.  It’s such a beautiful place to be.

For now, I’ll leave you with some pics taken down at the beach to give us all a flavour of hopefully what is to come.

Branksome Beach

sand from the beach

shells at the beach hut

Kipster on the beach

Hope you’re all good and wishing you a wonderful weekend.

It’s MrD’s birthday tomorrow, so we’re off out for a nice birthday breakfast.

Carpe Diem x

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month…

Broadstone war memorial

Today is Armistice Day – marking the end of the first world war.

When the nation falls silent for two minutes to remember and pay respect to all those who have lost their lives in conflicts since the beginning of the first world war.

Every year at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, marking the time when Allied Forces declared an end to fighting with Germany 97 years ago.

Today a friend and I thought it would be a nice thing to do to go to our local war memorial and pay our deepest respects for all those lives lost.

Rememberance poppies

Stanley Brewer (aged just 23) and Les Whyle of the Royal Navy I have no idea who you both are, but you fought and died for your country and for that I have no words – but the deepest respect for you.  You will never ever be forgotten.

We stood, with a few others who had decided that they too wanted a moment of contemplation, at 11am this morning, for two minutes in silent reflection.


Rememberance poppies

Albert Richard Hart (aged 29) who died on 23 February 1917.

So many lives lost.

But never forgotten.

Poppy wreaths

I’m so glad we went.

Lest we forget‘ … why those words?

They are taken from Rudyard Kipling’s beautiful poem ‘Recessional‘ – 1897

God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word—
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

Carpe Diem x

Baby French Lop rabbits – introducing the newest members of the family

If you read my post, French Lop rabbits you’ll already know that we were looking forward to welcoming two baby French Lop bunnies to our family.

Well, I’m pleased to say that we are now a family of seven – MrD, MasterB, Kipster, Dilly (also known as the mog), and our two new buns… oh and of course myself.

So before the exciting day of picking them up came, names had to be discussed.

A lot of disagreement ensued (I didn’t think we were ever all going to agree)… however, we finally agreed to go down the ‘French‘ route, seeing as they’re French Lops.

So without further ado, may I introduce our darling Pierre…

Pierre the french lop

and of course our little girlie, Fleur…

Fleur the french lop

Oh my, they are sooooooooooo cute!

On the day of pick up we met their mum’s and dads (both from different litters, but born days apart) who are all HOOOOGE but absolutely gorgeous, giving us an idea as to how big our babies are going to get – eeeeek!!

We were lucky enough to have found an exceptional breeder, clearly knowing all there is to know about French Lops and so we knew straight away we were in safe hands with our babies.

They have both proved to be absolutely delightful and beyond our expectations, having settled into life with us so well and becoming the best of friends (now called brother and sister) as this picture shows…

Fleur and Pierre the french lops

Can you actually believe how adorable they are.  I can’t.  And they’re soooooo soft too!

They met for the first time on the journey home from Ross-on-Wye when I sat with them both on my lap having snuggles for three hours.  I think this actually worked really well for them to bond both with each other and me.  Luckily we didn’t have any accidents on the way home, although we did have pee pads (puppy training pads) just in case.

They really are the friendliest pair and absolutely love being fussed and stroked.

People don’t realise just how friendly rabbits are.

Fleur and Pierre

Every day they come in to the house for cuddles and a bit of fussing and then they sprawl out on their throw on the sofa and have a little snooze.  Awwww it’s just so cute.

We all love them to bits already, although MasterB is having a bit of a reaction to them at the moment which we are hoping is just to their ultra soft and fluffy baby fur.  He’s having to take an anti-histamine before touching them which is doing the job just fine, but we’re hoping once they molt and lose their baby fur he will be much better (fingers crossed).

They’ve also adapted to having a dog around them very well too.  A little unsure and nervous to start with, they’ve both taken it in their stride and now don’t take much notice of Kipster at all.  Kipster on the other hand is absolutely beside herself.  She loves rabbits and becomes very excited around them.  She wouldn’t hurt them, but I think wants to play with them – not sure they’ll have any of that to be honest, but she’s not giving up.

Kipster watching the bunnies

Kipster watching the new bunnies with interest…

I’ll be talking a lot more about our baby bunnies in the forthcoming weeks as to how they’re settling, growing and the new home we’ve made for them, so keep a watch out for those blog posts.

Do you have rabbits or ever had rabbits?  They really do make such good pets.

Carpe Diem x

Pierre and Fleur our French Lop rabbits are ten weeks old in these pictures.  Due to their large breed they are already around the size of a normal rabbit.  They will reach between 9-13 pounds in weight.

Half term – a birthday and trip to London

Apologies, but here’s a belated mini round-up of our adventures during MasterB’s birthday and half-term.

We celebrated young B’s 11th birthday in the morning with presents and croissants – Kipster had to help too!  Although it has to be said she was a little disappointed that none of these were for her.  She’s too used to receiving her own birthday and Christmas presents (spoilt pooch or what).

Kipster and the birthday presents

Once presents had been opened and the last bits popped in the suitcase we hot-footed it up to London for a three day break – although MrD hadn’t planned the timing too well, bearing in mind it was the Rugby World Cup semi-finals!!!  We were subsequently held up in traffic and diverted, but we arrived in London as excited as ever.  MasterB has been known to stand on the platform of the tube station and sigh ‘Ahhhh I’m home‘ – how scary is that – I just know my baby is gonna move to London the first chance he gets.

MasterB on the train

Oh my heart… my gorgeous 11 year old

It’s sort of become a bit of a tradition that during the October half term we head to London where we stay at The Grange Hotel, Holburn.  For us this is perfect because it’s so central to everything and you can even walk to Covent Garden from there.  The hotel is very nice and pleasant without being over the top and has the advantage of a swimming pool and spa.  The boys can go swimming first thing, whilst I enjoy a nice massage – – – everyone’s a winner!

We had planned to go to the London Film Museum in the afternoon where they were showcasing the Bond in Motion Exhibition with actual vehicles used in past and present films.

London Film Museum

I have to say it was really interesting seeing real life relics from the Bond films (including Bond’s passport) and MrD being a bit of a 007 fan was in heaven and enjoyed explaining things to MasterB.

James Bond car

We all enjoyed it very much and it’s definitely worth a visit if you have a chance.

We had a VIP tour of the Houses of Parliament.  A dear friend of mine (who mixes in high circles) arranged this for us and was conducted by a friend of hers, Stephen Benn.  Stephen took precious time out of his schedule to give us an amazing insight into what goes on and we were all fascinated by the ins and outs of parliament.  We really were very lucky indeed (Stephen  is a wealth of knowledge with dates, names and places at the tip of his tongue when recalling stories to us) but did you know you can arrange for your local MP to give you a tour of the HofP?

Houses of Parliament

We normally try to fit a show in whilst we are up in the big smoke and this time we were lucky enough to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I have to say, it’s not my favourite show we’ve been to see, but it was enjoyable and the sets were amazing and the young boy who played Charlie the night we were there was brilliant – well done him!

We had meals out, including the Rain Forest Cafe, Piccadilly on MasterB’s birthday evening as his chosen restaurant where we enjoyed huuuge burgers and ribs.  They also made the poor boy stand on his chair whilst the whole restaurant sang happy birthday to him (embarrassed doesn’t come close!!).

We had cake…


and enjoyed drinks in the hotel lobby after long days on our feet…

The Grange Hotel lobby

I popped in to Liberty of London (my fave store) with a couple of friends whilst the boys did Hamleys.  Again everyone was a winner!  I made a small purchase in Liberty, which I will share with you in a separate post – so look out for that one.

MasterB also attended a comic workshop at the Cartoon Museum where he was helped by a professional cartoonist to create his own character and a comic-strip.  He had great fun for a couple of hours, whilst MrD and I headed to the British Museum.

Look out for the Cartoon Museum’s workshops during school holidays, because it’s incredibly cheap and great fun for them to take part in if you happen to be in London.

On the Wednesday before we headed home, we met up with some other friends for frozen yoghurt (as you do when you’re in London) at fro-go and then headed over to the Shard.

frozen yoghurt

Having promised MasterB we’d take him up the Shard, but hadn’t had time before, we suggested a little trip up to Aqua, one of the bars on the 32nd floor.

This is a shot looking up at the Shard – it really is an amazing glass building.  And look at that sky for a November day too!

The Shard

Unfortunately, we just missed out on the last table (as children aren’t allowed to stand at the bar) and as we hadn’t booked, grrrrr, we weren’t able to stay.  But I did manage to get this shot before we left…

view from the Shard

How spectacular is that!  It’s fabulous up there and next time we will definitely be booking a table.

We crammed so much into this visit, we all came home exhausted.  Happy but exhausted.

London really is an amazing place – there’s just so much to see and do all of the time.  Every time we go we experience new things.

China Town London

It certainly was a birthday to remember for MasterB!

Do you like visiting London?  What’s your favourite place to go?

Carpe Diem x