tree autumn, yellow

We were recently invited up to celebrate the Guinness World Records 60th birthday, I have yet to tell you all about our day but we caught up with many of our favourite bloggers there and attempted a few world records too, more of that to come but I did manage to see Tara and say hello for the first time in ageeeesss.

You know she runs the weekly photography prompt The Gallery which I’ve been having a go at for years. Well this week’s prompt is Yellow and it gives me the perfect opportunity to share this photo I took outside our local swimming pool just before the girls lesson was about to start.

Come on mummy, we’re going to be late! Why are you taking a photo of a tree?

I’ll tell you why I stopped to take a photo of the tree girls, it’s because the beauty of it took my breath away. The sun was shining on it and made it stood out more than the others, it was a special tree in that moment and as we are heading for darker greyer days I stopped to capture the moment. Let this be a message to you too, as no matter how busy life gets, and it will, always take time to stop and look at the world around you. It’s good for the soul.

scotland united kingdom


8am the news – The Scotland debate – United Kingdom may no longer be united come Friday and that makes me sad. It also worries me.

I don’t know about you but I’ve tried to stick my head in the sand throughout the whole Scotland Yes/No process but over the past week I am getting more and more dragged into it.

It’s on my TV 24/7 and I cannot ignore it.

I hate it.

I wish it wasn’t there but it is.

I don’t like break ups and despise divorce and so naturally I don’t want Scotland to go. Some may say it’s got nothing to do with me but I think you’re wrong because if we do split there’ll be an awful lot of tidying up to do, sorting out to do.

Who keeps what cd’s, who takes the dog and we’ll have to start selling the house with all the trouble and heartache that brings.

How in God’s name do we start to split two countries that have been joined for centuries?

Every separation brings a lot of heartache with it and a lot of work and change is always hard, sticking with what we know is so much easier. ‘Better the devil you know…’

I am not in a position to give out opinions, I don’t have a soap box to stand on I just want it all to go away so we can back to ‘normal’ but that leads us directly back to the Tory/Labour argument, another one the whole country can’t decide on.

And down goes my head in the sand again….

With every politician, left, right and centre now offering Scotland the Crown Jewels to stay part of the United Kingdom of course everyone else is now jumping on the bandwagon, Wales piped up last night, ‘ Err, actually, if they’re getting that then we’re going to be fighting for this.’ English MP’s at Westminster quick to join in, ‘Well if it’s going to be like that, then we’re going to be fighting for this.’ and so it goes on.

If this lot were in the playground we’d tell them all to stop fighting, make friends and share nicely. It’s a shame that those rules can’t be applied to this debate.

And then I saw a link on my Facebook timeline and clicked on it to read: Life as a Semi-Colon has left her final message. It kind of puts EVERYTHING into perspective, what’s really important in life. If you read one thing today please read her post.



8am this morning Tara for your 200th prompt – huge congratulations on that – I was checking teeth had been brushed, faces washed, combing wild hair into neat bunches and watching the sorry state of our country on the news. I hope this doesn’t bring on a lot of bitterness and in house fighting. Whatever happens Tara at least we know The Gallery will be up next week … it will won’t it?

the gallery photography sticky fingers

Camping le croix du vieux pont sky

Image: The lake at Camping Le Croix du Vieux Pont, Berny Riviere, France perfect campsite near EuroDisney.

The sky is always there above us and it’s one factor I always keep in mind when I miss my Italian kids. I remember saying to them years ago, ‘When I miss you I shall look at the sky and know you can see the same as there is only one sky above us all’. I think all three of us still look at the sky to communicate before we jump on FB, WhatsApp or the phone.

I look up to the sky when I pray for important things.

I look up to the sky when I talk to my souls who have passed on. My dad’s been living up there since 2007, ‘watching down’ on me.

Heaven, for me, is in the sky. It’s where I will go when I leave this life. I’ll be in the sky, watching down on all my loved ones.

My Italian mother in law, Daria, passed away in summertime, I think it was 1999. She’d been suffering terribly and I had been lucky that she had let me assist her in those last few months and weeks she was with us. This was an enormous stamp of approval from her which I am so grateful for to this day. I remember visiting her in hospital on what was to be her final day, she’d given a nurse some money to buy biscuits and chocolates which she had on her bedside table.

I walked to her bed at visiting time and she used her head to point to the goods on her bedside table, she told me they were to be given to the nurses to thank them for all their hard work. My husband was with me, agitated and left the room to speak to a doctor. In his absence she said

“Goodbye Marianne.”

In my heart I knew it would be the last time I would ever see her and speak to her.

She passed away the next morning.

I saw to it that the biscuits and chocolates were given to the nurses who didn’t want to accept them in such a sad moment but I insisted knowing it had been her wish.

My children were in England that week and we never ‘ruined’ their holiday by telling them their beloved nonna had passed away keeping the news for their return when we could hug them too.

There was just one tiny thing I could say to them to make the blow a little softer.

You see, the day she passed away was in August, high season and our hotel was full of guests. When I had finished serving in the restaurant, after the tables had been relaid for breakfast, the floors swept and washed and the service kitchen put to rights once again, I stepped onto the balcony that runs around the restaurant and looked up at the sky for a quiet moment before heading back in to the busy bar. The sight I found took my breath away because never in my life before, nor since that night, had I seen so many starts out twinkling in the crisp, black mountain night.

So many stars.

‘Hello Daria.’ I said.

Whenever my children were feeling the loss of their nonna which often happened at bedtime I would pull back the curtains, open the shutters and show them the sky and tell them what I have told you adding, ‘Nonno Orlando was throwing a party for nonna Daria as he’d been missing her for so long.’ Which always raised a smile as everyone likes a party.

This week’s prompt for The Gallery 199 is The Sky.

We had a fabulous time on our holiday in France this year although the downgraded hurricane Bertha had messed about with the weather a bit making it very unpredictable, until the day we left of course! However, on a good day there were some stunning sunsets that lit up the sky with thousands of colours and which the lake reflected beautifully for me when I took my photo, like these ones, same lake two different nights.

sunset, sky, camping le croix du vieux pont france

Image: The lake at Camping Le Croix du Vieux Pont, Berny Riviere, France perfect campsite near Disneyland Paris.

Nip over to The Gallery 199 to see more skies.

the gallery photography sticky fingers


back to school 2014

First day of Year 2


What are you looking forward to? To do writing, seeing my friends and meeting my new teacher.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher

What’s your favourite game? Puzzles

Favourite film? Aladdin

Favourite princess? Anastasia and Jasmin

Favourite book? Frozen

Favourite song? – ummmmmm?


What are you looking forward to? My new classroom and finding which table I am sitting at. Seeing my friends.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher

What’s your favourite game? Puzzles

What’s your favourite film? Beauty and the Beast

Who is your favourite princess? Aurora

What’s your favourite book? ummmmmmm

What’s your favourite song? Let it go!


Didn’t we have fun and yes there’s a huge part of me that is so sad it’s all over but there’s also another part of me that actually enjoys the first day back to school, I have always found it exciting. Seeing friends again after the long summer break, new bag, new pencil case and new teacher to get to know. There’s something scary and exciting about the whole September moment.

I recently wrote about my writing process in blog tour and it made me think lots. I feel as if I’m at a crossroad right now waiting for the ‘sign’ of where to turn next. But one thing I know for sure is I have been taking on way too much and need to step back a bit.

Looking back at my blogging journey I immediately recognised what used to be a weekly meet up for me, The Gallery on Sticky Fingers. Joining in this fun weekly photography prompt allowed me to meet and read lots of other blogs plus it encouraged me to get my camera out and have a go.

Some weeks my photos were simply just introductions to writing (and they were terrible) but the more blogs I visited the more I became inspired and the more I worked at my photography to try and get better.

The Gallery – first ever participation – Master of Good Ideas 2nd March 2010

Lots of writing and poor pictures of my beautiful chess set which incidentally is still in the loft.

chess set

But thumbing through all of my entries I smiled at this photo and it made me go awww. It’s not a good photo technically but it captured a moment that still makes me smile.

playing in mummy's shoes


And this one made me realise how grown up my girls are now, how time moves quickly and how I am so glad I kept a record of the important moments and the non-important ones like making snowballs when you’re 3.

twins playing in snow


beach huts westgate on sea

When I saw Tara’s prompt on Friday I wished I could have been in Dublin or London or a place where there are some really exciting doors but I was at the beach and of course there are lines and lines of beach huts along the promenade, each one decorated to reflect the owner’s personality.

I love looking at them and secretly wishing one was mine, I love to walk past them and peek inside. Beach hut owners go to great lengths to add a bit of ‘fun and home to make their day at the beach that little bit more special.

I haven’t yet managed to spot the Italians outside there’s yet, I wonder if they have an espresso machine in there?

beach huts

Along the other walk in the opposite direction are the council owned beach huts which can be rented for varying lengths of time. They may look the same on the outside but on a busy day when all the doors are open the insides once again different. Some with bunting, some with gas fired cookers, shelves, kettles, pictures on the walls and signs lots of ‘Beach Hut’ signs.

My last door photo for you isn’t new and It’s not even of the whole door but it is a very special door indeed. An exciting door, which hides a secret room in central London where you can eat chocolate until your heart is content.

choccywoccydoodah secret room

Nip over to Sticky fingers to find plenty more doors today

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery