Monday, 30 June 2014

June Monthly Round Up

A collection things that happened in the month of June

So, we are now officially half way through the year (how did that happen?!) and I’m sure pretty soon the countdown to Christmas will be starting (I’ve actually already seen it on Facebook but am trying to pretend I haven’t!) Unfortunately I’ve spent another month still having a lot of problems with my health and not getting many answers, which is incredibly frustrating. There have been numerous medical appointments, which still take up a great deal of my time and energy, but there have been a few fun things in between that I thought I’d share with you. Firstly, if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I’ve had a couple of really big events this month. The first being a trip to the Houses of Parliament for an awards ceremony I was nominated in, which was incredibly exciting and was also my first trip to London using a wheelchair, so definitely a new experience! Then, more recently, I appeared on BBC Radio Berkshire with Anne Diamond, discussing eating disorders and Beat (the leading eating disorder charity). This was pretty scary as I’ve never done live radio before, but it went really well and I’ve had lots of positive comments from it.

On my way to the Awards ceremony

At BBC Monitoring in Caversham
I expect you’ve guessed by now that I love to do a bit of baking when I’ve got the time, and I’ve shared quite a few recipes with you over the last few months (and there are lots more to come!) I didn’t do a recipe post for this cake (mainly because I completely forgot to take photos as I was in a bit of a rush!) so I thought I’d share what I made with you in this round up post instead. The story behind the cake is that we made it for my sister’s 20th Birthday, as she is allergic to nuts, so finding a suitable cake can be a bit of a nightmare. She gave us some ideas of what she’d like, but the finished product was actually a surprise. I tried a new chocolate cake recipe, as I was finding my original one to be a bit dry, and I was so impressed with the new one – it tasted delicious! After baking the cake and sandwiching it together with butter cream, we covered the whole cake in frosting before placing Kit-Kats all around the outside, then covering the top with multicoloured Skittles. It was great fun to cut (imagine the advert where everything turns into Skittles!) and even more fun to eat.

As you may already know, I’ve really got into entering competitions since I’ve been unwell and have actually done pretty well, which is surprising as I’m not usually the luckiest of people! June has been a particularly lucky month, with me winning eight different prizes (yes, one was a bottle of washing up liquid, but still, it was a win!) A few of them were Father’s Day related, so these were passed onto my Dad and brothers’ but a couple were really up my street! At the beginning of June this gorgeous Joules picnic basket arrived on my doorstep and I am so excited to have my first picnic with it at some point over the summer, even if I can only do it in our back garden. Then a couple of days ago I got a message from New Look, telling me I had won a £100 voucher! To say I was gobsmacked would be an understatement and I had to double check that it was real! I’ve decided to save the voucher to stock up my winter wardrobe in a few months time, so I’m quite looking forward to the new season stock coming into store soon.

The final exciting thing that has happened this month is that I finally decided to buy myself a walking stick. Now, to a lot of you this probably sounds like a really odd thing to get excited about, but just wait until you see how funky my new stick is! I have always been a firm believer in making disability fun – after all, there isn’t much fun when it comes to being ill, so I believe you should find joy where you can, and if that means using a funky walking stick then so be it. I’ve been trying to get out a bit more, which has been made easier by my acceptance to use a wheelchair and stick, and, although I’m still finding it hard work, it is nice being able to feel a little more independent.

My funky Switch Stick

Things I’ve learnt this month…

+   The thrill of winning never gets old
+   I love growing things in the garden
+   I know my body better than anyone and sometimes people should understand that
+   Just because someone has a medical degree doesn’t make them always right
+   I’m stronger than I think
+   A few simple words can completely change your life
+   I’m very lucky to have some really special friends
+   I don’t cope well with mess
+   Being over-tired makes me horrible
+   I hate coming to the end of a really good book
+   It’s heartbreaking when someone you have always been there for can’t do the same for you
+   Pain turns me into a complete cow
+   I don’t deal with the heat very well
+   I don’t like change
+   I need to say yes more often
+   It’s interesting how a blast from the past can bring back so many thoughts and feelings

What to look out for in July

I tend to find I don’t watch as much TV during the summer, as the weather is so glorious that I’d rather be sitting outside with a cool glass of lemonade and a good book. But, for those days when it won’t stop raining and you’re looking to curl up on the sofa with a good film, there’s a couple of DVD releases in July that I’m quite excited about. On the 7th July The Book Thief is due to be released, which I’m mega excited about, although I still really need to read the book before I see the film, so that’s probably going to take me a while! Perhaps I’ll get it done in time for my next monthly round up! The other film that I’m really excited to come out on DVD is The Lego Movie! I was desperate to see it when it first came out in the cinema, but unfortunately I wasn’t well enough so I’ve been patiently waiting for the DVD to come out. I won’t have to wait too much longer as it’s due for release on 21st July – just in time for the summer holidays!

For someone who doesn’t watch much TV over the summer, I’m actually going to be talking about a lot of TV watching in this post! I swear I’m not a TV junkie – honest! I remember watching the first episode of Glee and knowing then that it was going to be something I got addicted to. I just can’t help by sing along and we now have the majority of the soundtracks. Well, if you’ve been missing the guys from over the pond they’re back on Sky One at the beginning of July with another series of songs, squabbles and Sue Sylvester.

I love to go to the cinema, but at the moment I’m just not well enough, which is a real shame as there are a few good films coming out throughout July that I wouldn’t mind going to see. The first to come out is ‘The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.’ Phew, long title! I’m assuming that this will be based on the book by the same name (which is on my pile of books to read) so it will be interesting to catch this once I’ve read the book and see what it’s like. I’m one of those people who has to read the book first before I see the film, as otherwise I think it really spoils the way your imagination creates the scenes from the book. After this comes The Pudsey Movie on the 18th July. You may be thinking this is something to do with Pudsey bear from Children in Need, but you’d be mistaken. It’s actually about a dog called Pudsey who won Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago. I’m intrigued to see this movie as I’m not quite sure what to expect and whether they’ll have been able to make a whole decent movie about a dancing dog. I guess the only way to find out is to see it, so I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts. Finally, another fairly light-hearted film will be released on the 25th July called The House of Magic. It’s an animation, which I love (brings out my inner child!) about a stray cat called Thunder, who finds himself caught in a terrible storm and stumbles upon a strange house belonging to an old magician. After making himself at home there he then has to work with the other animals in the house to stop the magician from selling up. Not the kind of film that will get the cogs whirring, but perhaps one to see with your niece of nephew.

After all that talk of TV, I feel that I should add something more suitable for summer, and what better than good old English sunshine! I love England in the summer – we have so many beautiful parks and beaches that are just waiting for us to visit them. If you look on the National Trust website you’ll find a huge range of beautiful places to visit, from stately homes to beautiful gardens and everything in between. During the summer a lot of them put on special activities including nights of music, guided walks and fun for children of all ages. I’d definitely recommend becoming a member as I certainly get so much out of my membership, which allows you free entry to all National Trust places and you are sent magazines to wet your appetite!

The Vyne, a National Trust House and Gardens

Do you have any favourites or things you’ve learnt in June? What are you looking forward to in July?


  1. Ooh congratulations on being a radio star. And your sister's cake looks so fantastic. Yum! :] // ☼