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Showing posts from October, 2019

To Pitch or Not To Pitch

That is the question! I began this blog almost five years ago and ever since it has been a fairly constant struggle to define what I want from it. Is it a repository of all the random interests clogging up my brain? Or is it a record of family life and Marianna's early years? Or, is it what I initially envisaged it being, a side business that brings in some much needed cold hard cash every year? At the moment it's a messy mix of all three. It gives me an outlet for the research I want to do without demanding academic footnoting, and it provides a platform for family life that is super easy to share with Nanny. It even makes a contribution to the housekeeping occasionally, not in the form of money but in products for review or little treats I couldn't justify shelling out on. Like books and personalised soft toys... Part of me feels I should strip out the randomness and do what all the blogging guides tell me: find a single niche and make this place collabora

Kids' Halloween Playlist

Halloween is one of my favourite times of year and the endless themed novelty songs definitely has something to do with that. So, here are 30 tracks perfect for your little ghouls and ghosties! (I've gone for lively and upbeat tracks for this playlist, the kind of thing a sugar hyped kid can get into even if they've never heard it before...)

This Week - 27/10/2019

Cold and flu season has hit me hard this week. It was full council on Tuesday and afterwards I went and picked Marianna up from school and then just went to bed. I basically stayed there for the next two days feeling like death warmed over. :/ Friday evening we went around my aunts to look through the photos from my nan and gramp's house. I took my scanner with me and did about 175 in the end. Yesterday I spent the day cropping, editing and uploading them to a new imgur account. (Details HERE .) I put up all my dad's photos I've scanned too which brought the total up to almost 1500! On the blog I've written about Mattel's new Creatable World dolls and my five favourite fruits . Song of the Week - For more like this, please click the image below:

32 by 32 Reading List

Five Fruits

FIVE FAVOURITE FRUITS #5. Banana #4.   Grapes #3. Satsuma #2. Strawberry #1.   Kiwi For more like this, click the image below:

32 Films Checklist

One of my bucketlist items for this year was to watch 32 new (to me!) films. Here's my progress list: ★ 1. The Witches (1990) ★ 2. That's My Boy (2012) ★ 3. Anger Management (2003) ★ 4. Click (2006) ★ 5. Maudie (2016) ★ 6. Eli (2019) ★ 7. Over the Hedge (2006) ★ 8. Mrs. Miracle (2009) ★ 9. The Littlest Reindeer (2018) ★ 10. I Walked with a Zombie (1943) ★ 11. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) ★ 12. Gnome Alone (2017) ★ 13. Santa's Apprentice (2010) ★ 14. A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish (2019) ★ 15. The Knight Before Christmas (2019) ★ 16. The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) ★ 17. Beethoven's Christmas Adventure (2011) ★ 18. Jack Frost (1998) ★ 19. The Poseidon Adventure (1972) ★ 20. Penguins of Madagascar (2014) ★ 21. Scrooge (1951) ★ 22. The BFG (2016) ★ 23. Aladdin (2019) ★ 24. Behind the Candelbra (2013) ★ 25. Paddington 2 (2017) ★ 26. The Limehouse Golem (2017) ★ 27. Free Birds (2013) ★ 28.

Family Photo Album

I've set up an imgur album to give everyone access to all the family photos I've scanned. You just need to log in to imgur with the username familyphotosalbum and password r863076 . I've tried to fix up some of the prints (erasing creases, etc), but if there's substantial work done I've uploaded the original scan too. NEED PRINTS? - You get 25 free 6x4" prints when you sign up. - Get 15 prints with delivery for £1.99; you can add as many more prints as you like for 5p each. - Download the app and get 45 prints plus delivery each month for £1.49. - Sign up and get 30 prints plus delivery for £2.99. - Get a free personalised photo greetings card with code EPCARDFREE . postnando - Download the app and get one free personalised postcard, including delivery, with voucher code REFC30CD72324C8 . - Download the app and get 50 prints with

Full Council - October 2019

I seriously considered ringing in sick today, but as it's much more a one-man-show than it once was I figured it would be more stressful trying to find someone to cover for me. So, yeah, I coughed and spluttered and wheezed my whole way through and - as sod's law dictates - because I felt like death warmed over it ended up being a really long meeting. After item #15 I called a bathroom break for 15 mins or so. That's got to be the worst thing about chairing: you can't just sneak off for the loo, you literally have to halt the whole meeting! Still, it also gave me chance to take some cold and flu meds and get some tea. I was kind of surprised when someone approached me during the break to say it looked like I was just a mouthpiece for the Chief Exec, as I kept taking her advice. I suppose it must look different from the floor because you do get people leaning in to say stuff a fair bit, but the content really varies. I sit between the Chief Exec (or another senior of

Creatable World

Over the last few years Mattel has really turned their doll game around. Less complacency and horrid shiny nylon, and way more exciting inclusivity and innovation. Their new Creatable World line introduces gender neutral dolls with wigs and lots of accessories. From a making the world a better place viewpoint, this is such a great move forward. From a doll collecting viewpoint this is simply awesome! The dolls are fully jointed - yep, even the ankles - and the focus on customisation is really fun. The dolls are 11 inches tall and designed to appear pre-teenish, with faces reminiscent of brands like Lottie and Licca. I do wish they were a bit smaller (Stacie size, maybe) so they could be better used alongside Barbie and other 1/6 scale mainstays, but that's an 'I want these in my doll house stat ' quibble. I'm super excited for the line, and I plan on expanding Marianna's doll collection ASAP. :) There are currently six doll kits available at £35 each.

This Week - 20/10/2019

On the blog I posted a couple more Welsh song graphic sheets - Penblwydd Hapus (Happy Birthday) and Lliwiau'r Enfys (Colours of the Rainbow) - along with a guide to the L.O.L. Surprise O.M.G. fashion dolls  and a review of Moli, the cow who moo she was different . I also blogged about  five names Marianna was almost lumbered with as part of my 'Friday Five' series, and an account of a couple who were arrested while on honeymoon in Pontnewydd ! In real life it's been a bit of a tough week, to be honest. My anxiety is so bad at the moment it's making me physically ill and I don't really know what to do about it. I've gotta go see the doctor and ask if they'll up my dosage. I've already been through all the counselling, and other than that's it's just get signed off work for a few weeks so you can sit at home and panic about all the stuff building up for you to deal with while you do so. :/ There was an overnight awayday(s) for Bron A

Lliwiau'r Enfys - Colours of the Rainbow

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Five Names...

FIVE NAMES MY CHILD WAS ALMOST CALLED I was always very taken with the name Marianne from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility . For whatever reason I was convinced it would be pronounced Mariann-uh, and decided that to get something similar I would have to use the spelling Marianna - otherwise it would be a silent 'e' all the way. It's actually a more common name than I imagined; there were 27 Mariannas born in 2017, compared to just 11 [Nanny] Wendys. Still, even though I was set on Marianna right from the beginning of the pregnancy, here are a few potential alternatives that almost made the grade... #5. John First choice boy's name, after my granddad. Anthony Jr was dismissed out of hand. #4.   Jake My favourite boy's name until an inconsiderate cousin stole it for their offspring! #3. Bronwen Back in school this was the name I would give my future daughter. #2. Cassandra This was Anthony's favourite girls' name. As I was the

Penblwydd Hapus - Happy Birthday

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Honeymoon in Pontnewydd

Pontnewydd has lots going for it, I'm the first to say so, but honeymoon destination is not something that springs to mind! Yet, on September 29th 1903, two lovebirds had their Pontnewydd honeymoon cut short when police arrested them on suspicion of theft. The Evening Express (30/09/1903) told its readers: A HONEYMOON ARREST - Joseph Franks, a Jew, and his wife, Elizabeth, were arrested at Pontnewydd on Tuesday on a charge of stealing a gold chain value £10, and £20 in money. The parties, who were married in London on Saturday, were staying at the house of a relative when arrested. It is alleged that the watch and money were taken from the house of another relative in London. Other newspapers elaborated on this; Elizabeth Wilson was a Pontnewydd native, the daughter of mason Thomas Wilson and his wife Hannah who lived at #5 Grange Road, Thomas Row, with their many children. (See census for 1891 , 1901 , 1911 .) Elizabeth moved to London to work in service, and there she met