To One in Paradise

My friends at CMW Music put on a performance of ‘To One in Paradise’… I may have mentioned it before… you know, seeing as how my name is in the credits for the music video. Oh look, there it is again.

The live performance went for quite a bit longer, and didn’t hold back on the theatricality either!

CMW Music to one in paradiseI came in at the last minute during rehearsals (with the coffee shakes and the wrong lens in my camera) to shoot some good material. All things considered I’m not unhappy with them.

The show was in the Peacock Theater in Salamanca, which can be a bit of a pest to find, down little lane ways and through the arcade, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s a small space, with uneven walls of bare rock and a very enclosed, secretive atmosphere which worked really well for the production!

Michelle Wood of CMW Music in 'To one in Paradise'

Mid-year Stocktake 2014

Mid-year Stock Take 2014 – I haven’t done one of these before, but I read about it on and followed her link back to to see what it was all about.

Obviously, I’m not in the beauty game (you’ve SEEN me, right?) but the idea is still nice and I thought we’d give it a go. I didn’t use all the categories as some of them didn’t really apply, and others would have led to me repeating myself (which I do enough of anyway.)

Chicken Soup

My ‘we’re all sick chicken soup’

Cooking: Chicken Soup! Everyone has been sick for almost 3 weeks solid around here and this is the only thing keeping us from disappearing into our own bellybuttons. I’m not a good cook by any stretch, but I quite like my chicken soup, I have to say.



Energy DrinkDrinking: Wicked Energy Drink. I know, I KNOW, it’s terrible terrible terrible, but I have tow children, I’m sick, and I don’t sleep. It’s this or zombie mumma all day.


Reading: Blogs! I’m working on expanding my blog reading and setting up some systems to have them delivered to my kindle and/or tablet in the mornings so they’re easy to find! There is an incredibly vibrant community out there and I want to be more a part of it this year!

Wanting: Motivation, time, sleep… not necessarily in that order. I know that sounds a little down, but I’m actually fairly optimistic about things right now. I think everything is going in a positive direction, I’m just waiting to catch up.

Wishing: I were a tidier person, a more organized person. I operate on a boom-bust cycle. I pull on my big girl pants and organize the heck out of my life, my house and my brain and then, slowly but surely, lose momentum until we once again find ourselves in a position where there is a trampoline in the living room, my daughter has made snowflakes so there are bits of paper everywhere and I haven’t done this morning’s dishes yet.

Enjoying: Having my name on a few things that I’ve done lately, like a Music Video, and the promo photography for a live performance here in Hobart. Seeing it there makes me feel a bit more accomplished!

Loving: My family and to be honest, my life. I complain about things sometimes, but the truth is my children are beautiful and kind, my husband is supportive and sweet (also hot, don’t forget hot) and my friends whether near or far are always available for a chat. Everything is actually pretty sweet. We’re not rich, but we’re not struggling, and for right now, that’s pretty good.

Watching: A whole host of old TV shows that I love. It’s the one positive thing about being sick. I give myself permission to just chill right out and go back through my favorite shows; Hemlock Grove, Castle, Warehouse 13, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, and Leverage have had complete reviewings so far and I’ve loved every second of it just as much as I did the first time around!

Hoping: That the let-up in my cough means I’ll soon be out the other side of this swine flu and ready to get moving again!

Marvelling: at my daughters, and how much they can love and hate each other in the space of five minutes. They’re so similar in some respects, and in others complete opposites.

Needing: To eat better. I need that quite badly, but nothing has been appetizing lately. This too should come with beating this flu.

Smelling: …ah, unfortunately I’m still smelling the poopy nappy I changed a little while ago… that stuff lingers like a bastard.

Wearing: House pants and old singlets… usually covered with floppy jumpers and daggy cardigans. I’m a classic frumpy house-wife right now, but I’m comfy!

Feeling: cautiously optimistic. Of the things I have applied myself to in the last few months, half of them have come off perfectly, a third is boiling along nicely… and the fourth is my novel which has been kicking my butt for a long time now so I’m kinda used to it. I have the feeling that I might be kicking over into a more productive mode of being. I hope.

Disliking: Vast swathes of global politics.

Coveting: I covet my husband’s immune system, which seems to kill bugs much faster than mine! Also stationary… ALL the stationary!

Hearing: My personalized playlist of songs that inspire or speak to my novel concept. I put it together way back at the beginning of NaNoWriMo two years ago when this concept first came to me. Each song brings to mind a scene in the story, or a character relationship, or a revelation in the plot. I like to direct little music video’s in my head peopled by my characters and set in their world.

Does literature have to have an alignment?

I came across a piece by Zaron Burnett the third while cruising StumbleUpon tonight. It was called ‘Is Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ A Feminist Film… Or Not?‘ Far from wanting to argue the point back and forth, which Mr Burnett does quite convincingly, I can’t help but wonder; does literature have to have an alignment? Must ‘The Little Mermaid’ be defined as feminist, or sexist?

Texts are open to radically differing interpretations – even well studied ones. No where is this more obvious than in tertiary study of Shakespeare. I’ve read essays which insisted Shakespeare was a misogynist, but I’ve also read essays which stated categorically that not only what Shakespeare a feminist, but he was so much a feminist, that ‘he’ was almost certainly a she. Now, both of those positions can’t possibly be accurate (ignoring the gender confusion, that’s a whole other argument) can they? It depends on who you ask.

I don’t believe that life, the universe and everything, falls into categories in this way. Existence is not feminist OR sexist, it’s not racist OR egalitarian, life is not a dichotomy.

Burnett made plenty of points, both for and against a feminist reading, and none of them were ‘wrong’.

As a child or teen, I bet you saw it as a story of longing, a desire for adventure, and a cautionary tale of what one stands to lose when they stubbornly go after what they want. Perhaps, as an older teen or 20-something, you saw The Little Mermaid with different eyes. Suddenly, it’s the story of a young woman who is tricked by an older woman into giving up her voice so she might have a man, a guy who in many ways is clearly unworthy of her, and she trades her father’s world for her tenuous place in the world of her future husband. How can the same story have such vastly different interpretations?

As I read the article, I battled with irritation that my childhood loves were open to such dissection of character. That hours spent in front of the TV, gleefully rewinding so I could sing the songs again could be seen by someone as patriarchal indoctrination, rather than an innocent pass time (which no doubt made my poor father nuts!) But I can’t argue the anti-feminist themes are there, if you want to look. While Ariel rails against the control of her father and ‘goes her own way’ it’s really only to plunge into the control of another man, leaving behind her own world for his. She gave up her voice to chase a guy! Bad, bad Ariel. What kind of an example is that?

In truth, a real one. Like life, the readings here could go on forever. How many fathers, forced to sit through the movie, found themselves thinking about the mistakes of Ariel’s father and promising himself he’d never make them? How many understood the profound, driving need to protect their little girl from everything that was wrong in the world, and the terror of the day, inevitably, when he would have to let her out from under his protection? Did they then watch as she came into her own, married a man who loved her, and became the princess he always knew she was? Is this then a King Leer style tale, about a father who holds on too tightly only to discover that his daughter cannot be his forever, that he cannot protect her forever, no matter how much he wants to? That trying to do so will only make things worse? Maybe the entire point of the story has nothing to do with her? Maybe it’s all about King Triton?

What about little boys who might sit through it? What would they see? Perhaps a prince who allowed himself to be distracted from what he really wants? Tricked and turned around until he almost married the wrong girl? Did the prince place too much importance upon her voice? A part of her physical being. Or even more, perhaps he was too hung up on the heroism of a single moment, the woman with the voice saved him. Would a young man maybe see that love is not the result of a single act, but the building of days and time and memories. Surely it was obvious as Ariel and Eric spent time together that their affection grew, he liked her for who she was, for the fun they had together, but he was caught up in a romantic notion of his savior. He was ready to abandon her for someone he had no knowledge of, because he believed she had performed a single act. That’s kinda nuts.

Are either of those readings of less value, or less reasonable? I don’t think so.

Is Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ a feminist film… or not? Yes. It’s a cautionary tale, and a love story. It’s joyful and sad. It contains viciousness and gentleness, love and hate.

There is a great fear in lots of parents, floating just below the surface, that we might accidentally expose our babies to weird and powerful indoctrinations that yank their delicate minds this way and that. It’s possible… I for example have serious issues with Heathcliff being referred to as a ‘romantic hero’ – he’s a what now??? Like hell! And if a man thinks he’s going to be able to treat my baby that way he better watch the hell out and I don’t care how sad his childhood was. That being said, in-depth readings of literature are encouraged throughout our schooling in the Western Education system, and that’s not a bad thing, but I think sometimes too much emphasis is put on labeling texts or films or TV as one thing. If it is this one thing, then it cannot be anything else.

Instead, if you’re concerned, why not try and walk through the story with your children wearing different hats. Ask your daughter what she thinks is going on with Eric, or with Sebastian. Ask your son what he thinks the sea witches deal might be. Ask them to think about King Triton, why he lost his temper, why he looked to sad at the end.

Life is unlabelable. It is complex and complicated, as are the people you and your children will meet on the way. Explore all of it. Also, sing this, and sing it loud!


Now I’m properly 30

Well, there you have it, now I’m properly 30.

Properly 30.

Not ‘nearly 30′ or ’30ish’…

I’m a few days late if I’m honest, I turned 30 at the beginning of the week, but there are three birthdays in my immediate family in the one week this year (once every 7 years that happens) and I’ve been going insane on some personal projects as well.

What does 30 look like?

30 looks remarkably like this face. Right here. This is me at 30.

30 looks remarkably like this face. Right here. This is me at 30.

In reality it looks a lot like 29, which looked remarkably like 25, just with an extra mortgage and another baby. It LOOKS to the casual observer like there might be another baby some time soon – there wont people, I’m just fat.

For some reason, 30 feels like an achievement. A place in time where I should have reached milestones including, but not limited to; a career (which I don’t have) a husband, children, millions, calm, maturity, all those things you assume adults have when you’re a kid. They somehow magically come along at 30. The 30 fairy turns up, waves her wand full of tequila and lime, and suddenly you understand. No more confusion over what the hell the right thing to say is. No more making dumb mistakes about people in your life (good and bad). No more lack of control, no more insanity. At 30 you’re a master of your own destiny!

To borrow a line from Hemlock Grove “Adulthood is just like high school, with mortgages.” It’s all rubbish. There is no 30 fairy. I still have no idea what to say half the time, I still worry about whether or not my friends have moved on and forgotten about me, or even worse if they ever really liked me in the first place. I still own WAY more ‘daggy about the house’ clothes than ‘nice going out’ clothes (by a terrible and frightening margin.)

I walk down the street in my ugg boots with not a lick of makeup on my face, my 20mo baby in the pram, probably trying to eat her own snot as it dribbles down her face because I just can’t get ahead of it, and I’m getting looked at by all the normal people as a total failure. I’m 30. I should have tailor made clothes, my house should be spic and span and when I appear in public, I should look impeccable, as should my progeny. I could be 60, and my money (what little of it there is) says that is NEVER going to happen.

I am 30

I am 30, or I will be on Monday. Since I managed to give birth to my first daughter only three days after my birthday, my celebrations have pretty much ceased to exist – this year that might not be such a bad thing.

What is it about 30?

I didn’t have any kind of freak-out when I turned 20. I don’t recall my 10th birthday specifically, but other than ‘what’ya get me?’ I doubt there was much turmoil. Why does 30 bother me so much? There is just something about it that leaves me playing the ‘comparison game.’ There’s a reason 99.9% of self-esteem books order you, in no uncertain terms, not to compare yourself to other people… because it’s noxious! Yeeeeet most of us are doing it, and we’re doing it in such a way as to make SURE we’re coming off the poor cousin.

The two oldest friends I have, who are the same age as I am, leave me for dead. At least in my mind. One is married with a beautiful baby boy. She’s a nurse and hubby is in the armed forces. She’s STUNNINGLY beautiful. She knows how all the weird torture things in the girly isle work. She drives a car that doesn’t look like it’s about to fall apart, and her house looks like it’s on purpose. She’s killing me.

My other oldest friend works in the field of pharmacy (she’s not a pharmacist, but seriously, she may as well be, she’s been at this since we were in high school.) She has a car that’s probably worth only slightly less than my first house. She goes away to Europe almost yearly and has the most amazing adventures. She’s seen so much stuff, and she has so much freedom. She’s killing me too.

Compared to these two women, women I’ve known since we were girls, I’m a serious disappointment. My house is a mess. Like ALL the time. I clean my living room with the ‘two bag’ rule. One for garbage, one for the play room. If it doesn’t fit in one of those two bags… yeah it’s probably staying right where it is so I can trip over it later. I haven’t finished my degree. 5 Years I’ve been working on this thing, but when you keep taking breaks to have kids it really jams things up, you know? I don’t have a job. Well, not a ‘real’ one. I write for a living… no one takes that seriously. I know the moment the words “I’m a writer” pass my lips, the other person is thinking ‘unwashed, unwanted, probably undernourished and certainly unpublished’, rather than ‘oh, like J.K.’ My house does not look like it’s on purpose, and our mechanic just broke the news to us that the car probably only has 12 months left in her. My dog is an idiot and my ferret has cancer. It’s not so much that they’re winning the race, it’s more like they’re running and I’m standing on the side lines with my finger up my nose.

I’ve been on such a kick lately of making sure everyone knows how well they’re doing – reminding them of the great things they’ve done. I’m starting to wonder, psychologically, if I’m really just trying to distract myself from the incredible LACK of achievement that is me.

Intellectually I know this is ridiculous. I have two beautiful and healthy daughters who eat their vegies. I have a ridiculously good looking husband (shut up, it’s what I think that counts) who doesn’t seem to mind that I had two kids and inflated like a rubber dingy. We’re in the process of paying off two houses, which is pretty cool, right? I mean they’re dumps, but there’s two of them! I AM published, I got paid and continue to be paid for my writing, that’s already more than some can say, I’m sure. Yes the car is falling apart, but we can replace it when it goes and we’re not particularly worried about it, which means we’re OK financially. I don’t know what it would take to make me feel like I’m ‘getting somewhere.’

Do any of you have that feeling? The powerful buzz of accomplishment? If so, where did it come from, and do you have any to spare?

I am 30.

Jesus, how did that happen?!?!?!

Disparate accomplishments

This month has been a little mad, with Disparate accomplishments all over the joint that don’t really relate to each other, excepting of course that I’m in them up to my eyebrows (which need waxing, hella bad right now.)

A couple of weeks ago I did hair and dogs-body work for a music video! Awesome right? My office space, which I gratefully mooch from a friend, is in a music school (CMW Music to be exact,) and one day this friend innocently asks me “CJ… can you do hair and stuff?” I’ve got daughters, so my answer is a tentative yes. The next Tuesday we’re out at some ruins with a film crew (an actual film crew!) and I’m frantically trying to keep the leading lady’s hair from frizzing in the wind with a whole can of hair spray! It was AMAZING!

CMW Music Video

Tuesday of this week, I had a meeting with a rather large charity, I’d been asked by my business group organizer to help write some programs for young, at risk women with babies. It’s a heartbreaking story to hear over breakfast, but at the same time there was this elation in us that something was being done. That we could make a difference to these people…

That meeting saw me writing media kit outlines for them in an attempt to drum up some more publicity! Watch this space, I may be going a bit nuts on the subject later on once things really get moving.

The first installment of Fractal has been handed out to some lovely ladies to read over for me before the final edit. Of course the second I did that, the installment I was working on jammed up tight on me and I’m struggling to get it moving again. I’m considering a choose your own adventure situation so I don’t have to make any more decisions. I’m sure that’s how those were invented.

In the Kitchen – Managing resources

Truth time, before we even start. I am not strong with the cooking. I cook in much the same way Disney witches brew up spells – I flit about in the kitchen, my eye falling on seemingly random ingredients, until some indeterminate time later, I’m DONE!

This drives my family crazy, because when I land on a serious winner, like as not, I can’t replicate it. My poor father is driven nearly to tears sometimes “you should write this recipe down, darling.”

“Write down the what now?”

Why am I leading with this? Well, the first rule of saving money in the kitchen, according to the internet, is to know exactly what you’re doing at all time. Buy only what you need etc etc. Yeah, that’s not going to work for me.

Why the internet is wrong

The lifestyle tasks in my household are split in a rather unconventional fashion, we’re unconventional people. My husband does almost all the grocery shopping.  He’s good at finding bargains, he gets to go without the kids so he can take his time and in general he does a pretty bang up job. What he then comes home with, that’s what I’ve got. End of story.

This week, for example, my fav Hokkien noodles were on special. I have a freakin’ bag of them. That’s OK though, because I’m the queen of sauces!

Like a lot of the stuff we do around here, this kind of shopping takes a couple of weeks to really roll out nicely. We never buy coffee unless it’s on special, husband knows how often it goes on special, and how many he has to buy at a time so that he’s never paying full price for it. For the first couple of weeks, your diet can look a bit boring, because obviously you’ve got a ton of the stuff that was on special that week and nothing else, but once you’ve been at it for a while, things even out and you’re always rolling over.

Why I like my way better

I’m a random sort of person. My whole family are random people really, that’s why we work, and trying to be ‘organised’ and ‘together’ the way that other people seem to think is important… well it drives mummy to crazy town. I can’t be that way, and trying doesn’t do anyone any favors.

My best advice is to be the most efficient version of yourself that you can be, but don’t try to be the internets idea of efficient and organized. If you take one look at those perfectly organized cupboards and start having heart palpitations… that’s OK. You don’t have to do it that way.

There is a certain amount of self-discipline involved. We have a food budget that we stick to every fortnight. When we land on a GREAT idea, we’ll jig the budget and the ‘plan’ such as it is, to include it, but it’s not a set list. We don’t do lists. It’s not a set meal plan, we don’t do those either.

Develop your own way

Everyone has their own style, their own comfort zone, and their own pace. Trying to cram yourself into a style that doesn’t suit you is only going to stress you out, drive you nuts and probably end up costing you more in the long run.

How do you like to shop?

What kinds of meals do you and your family enjoy?

Don’t panic if your house doesn’t look like pinterest… I’m pretty well convinced that’s all rubbish anyway.

The Bills – Managing Resources

The bills.

Oh how we hate them. They just keep coming. Like doing the dishes, you no sooner clear a pile than more arrive! While this relentless tide can feel like the ultimate loss of control, it also represents an opportunity to force some stability into your finances. It’s all outgoing, but control is control so lets start at the easy bit.

Open excel, or grab a piece of paper. You’re going to need 12 columns, label them January through December. Now, snag up your bills. We don’t keep physical bills very long any more unless they’re relevant to tax, but if you don’t have a system, my guess is you’ve got at least a few lying around.

Now, under each month, put in the bill and its amount. To start with, go with things like power, rates, water, rego, the bills that come on time all the time. My husband and I do NOT include our mortgage or rent in this spreadsheet. There are a number of reasons for this, mostly having to do with tax and keeping track of stuff. You’re welcome to include it if you’d like, or not. I’ll have another post about those kinds of things later on.

Once you’ve listed all the bills you can find by month, I want you to add it all up into one massive terrifying number. This number is going to suck to look at, there’s no getting around it, but keep breathing. Once you’ve got that yearly number, I want you to divide it by the number of pay periods you have. We get paid fortnightly, so for us that’s 26. The same process works whether you’re paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly though.

Managing Resources - Bills

Don’t panic, my bills aren’t THIS low, I just did it as an example.

What you’ve got now is an amount, per pay, that you should be putting somewhere to pay your bills. We have a separate bank account, but you can just as easily use an envelope, or you could reverse this and take the extra money OUT of your account and leave the bills money in there. Whatever you think is going t work best.

Having this system set up means that when bills arrive, you literally just pay them. Sometimes you go for a few weeks or even months without any bills… but the amount you put aside doesn’t change. You keep doing it, because when that winter power bill comes in, you don’t want to have a heart attack! You want to look at your bills account, whatever it may be, and simply take the money out and pay it.

The real key to making this system work is maintenance. Don’t set and forget. Whenever you get a new bill, go back to your spreadsheet or paper. Erase the old bill, and put in the new number, then recalculate your amount to pay every pay period. When you work out a neat way to cut down power usage, or you get a cheaper car or whatever, it’ll cycle through and the amount you need to put aside will be less.

After we ran this system for a while and there was a nice amount of money in it all the time, we had the wiggle room to include one-off bills in there too! If we have a medical bill for example, we slot it in. Our contributions would go up, but by a surprisingly small amount (because it’s over 12 months) and we pay the money back into the bills account. Then, 12 months later, since that bill isn’t recurring, we delete it from the spreadsheet. It’s been paid for!

Much like making any kind of change in your life, this can be a toughy. My advice to make the change over as smooth as possible is to try to plan to start this program of pay organization in the biggest ‘bill gap’ you have. You can start putting a bit away every pay right now (that’ll help take the edge off), but I advise kicking into this system when you’re going to have enough to to accrue one bill’s worth of money before the next bill comes in.

If you need any help with the system, please don’t hesitate to ask! Even better, if you give it a go, stop by and let us know how it works for you!

Do you have another mechanism for staying on top of bills? Drop a comment and share what works for you.

Managing Resources

You are more resourceful than you think you are. This morning, the internet is alive with people who are, to put it bluntly, panicking. The Budget has come down, and very few people feel like they’re going to be better off. In fact, across the board, everyone seems to feel that they’re the most negatively affected group, while everyone else got off light. I’m sure I don’t have to point out how impossible it is for everyone to be right about that…

I’m not an economist, and I’m not here to discuss the ins and outs, pros and cons, of the budget. That’s a little beyond my scope, but I DO want to help people to come to terms with their financial situation, and reassure you that you can survive and thrive, even now, with a little bit of planning and some help from your friends (that’d be me).

To start with, I’m not going to repeat the obvious – pay down your credit cards, go with the high interest ones first etc. Everyone has been telling you to do that for so long it’s like a drunken conga line of economic cliches. We’ve heard them all before.

Instead, I want to talk about a few organizational things that might help to lower your stress, and leave you feeling more in control. For some of these, a knowledge of Excel or similar would be very helpful, but you can also do it on paper if you’re more that way inclined.

I’ll be talking about things like Bill management, the perfect grocery shopping list, stretching what you’ve got and there might even be a post or two on how my family has managed to do what we’ve done financially without having to go into full time employment. My husband works three days a week, and as you know, I’m a copy writer who works from home. We’re not rolling in money, but we’re quite comfortable, and not afraid for our financial future.

I’d like to help you feel the same.

International Blog Exchange – Meet Helpful Mum!

Hello! My name is Siân and I am a blogger from the UK. I am excited to share a post with you today about where I live and what I do.
I started my blog very nearly three years ago now, to prove to my husband that it was possible to be creative and have a family. Since then, I have also nearly finished a degree full time as a mature student. I began university at the age of 29, when my daughter was six months old. If you want to read about where I found the inspiration to learn, having left school at 16, you can do so here. It’s fair to say that I am not very good at not doing anything!
I live with my husband of nearly 11 years, our five year old son, three year old daughter and Bruce and Bella, our eight year old cats. We live on the cusp of the Yorkshire Dales, filled with wonderful scenery and many, many hills. In fact, we are on the route for the Tour De France when it comes to the UK this summer. In fact, we shall be spending our 11 year anniversary watching a load of men cycling up large hills! Can you tell we’re not very big on romance?

My Grandma runs a Bed & Breakfast in the Yorkshire Dales and we spend an awful lot of time with her, most weekends in fact. She and I are incredibly close, and she is amazingly inspirational. I have written about her on my blog so many times, but here is one post which sums up our relationship. Sadly, six months after I wrote that post, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the day before her 84th birthday. She has just finished chemotherapy, which hasn’t worked, and doctors have given her just six months to live. I am trying to stay positive, so very aware of the fact that we have time with her, when so many others do not. But it’s difficult. In two months we are moving in with her, to care for her so that she doesn’t have to go into a care home. We will be taking over the B&B, which isn’t quite the career I had planned when I started my degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, but I believe that everything happens for a reason, so we will make the most of this opportunity.
I struggle not to be optimistic! My husband is the realist, the pessimist, who brings the grounding element to all my dreams and the crazy ideas I come up with (such as starting university)! It’s nice to have someone to rein me in once in a while, otherwise who knows where we would end up! In a few weeks time I am doing a skydive, which I am petrified about. The purpose is to raise money for cancer research. In July I am then cutting off all my hair (which has been long since I was a toddler) and donating it to be made into a wig for a child with cancer. You don’t really think about fundraising until something impacts on you personally, so this is why I am doing it. For once, my husband hasn’t tried to stop me. He knows I need to do something, and this is all I can do. If you want to sponsor me, you can do so here.
I love where we live. I love the hills, the green and yes, even the rain. Without the rain the grass and the trees wouldn’t be nearly so green! I love the lambs in spring and getting out and about on adventures. I have lived in London and enjoyed that at the time too, but I don’t miss the hustle and bustle. At the moment the pace of life is pretty much perfect. People in Yorkshire are quite laid back and very friendly and this rubs off on everyone who lives here. Sometimes I think about moving to a warmer climate, somewhere which guarantees a little bit more sunshine, but I don’t think I could. I would miss the rain!If you want to hear more, why not pop over to my blog You’re not from round here.