#Littleloves: Cuckoos, cards and perfume.

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks, I’ve been so busy with half term, working and life! Can’t quite believe that we’re into June already. Eek! So, without further ado, I’m linking up with Butwhymummywhy again this week to share my #littleloves.

Read: 

I’ve just finished reading ‘I Let You Go’ which is the choice for our book club this month. I usually approach crime / detective / psychological thrillers with great caution as I often feel disappointed on some level – often they’re not believable enough or end up being a bit naff (obviously I’m reading the wrong ones!) But I love, love, loved this one. I don’t want to say too much for fear of saying TOO much, other than that I wholeheartedly recommend this book – it will keep you gripped and awake into the early hours (just one more chapter…) At the very end it was interesting to read about the author’s background and motivation for writing it.

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Watched: 

We’ve also just finished watching the second series of ‘Broadchurch’. I’d heard mixed reviews about this drama and entered into it with a very open mind. The very first episode made quite uncomfortable viewing but I’m glad we stuck with it. However – watching ‘Broadchurch’ and reading ‘I Let you Go’ in tandem is not advisable, there were a few parallels, in particular the setting of the stunning British coast and it was hard not to imagine one when reading / watching the other.

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Wore: 

I’m loving this perfume at the moment! It’s very floral and spring-like and I’m sticking with it until summer officially arrives!

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Heard: 

The cuckoo! Ok this was last week but every year since I was a child I listen out for it and the sound of the cuckoo always makes me smile.

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Sticking with the perfume theme, Elodee is well and truly in the ‘perfume making stage’. She loves collecting up flowers and petals to mix together to find out what scent they make – unfortunately the dominant smell tends to be Cow Parsley, but she’s enjoying the process and also finding out about the different flowers that we see when we’re out and about.

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We’ve also stumbled upon a fun new activity – personalised children’s birthday cards! This originally came about because I’d completely forgotten to buy a card and we hastily made one from the bits and bobs in my craft box, but E took such great pride in making something for a friend that it has now become a bit of a pre-party tradition!

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And finally….

We’re off to Peppa Pig World this weekend! Wish us luck : )

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Thank you for reading xx

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If you enjoyed this, why not head over to Amazon and check out my children’s book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1906954801

You can also check out my book news and latest artworks at:

www.facebook.com/pollymwalker

and

Twitter: @pollymwalker

 

 

 

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Animals, Ninjas and Singing… My #littleloves

Hello! I can’t believe it’s Friday again already. Life is finally returning to ‘normal’ for me now. I’m feeling so much better each day and I’ve been doing a lot more. My week has been much more varied than in the previous couple of months! I’m linking up with Morgana at Butwhymummywhy again this week to share my #littleloves. Here goes….

Read:

I SHOULD be reading ‘Suite Francaise’ for book club at the moment but I’ve been really struggling to get into it. My thoughts keep drifting off and I’ve started from scratch twice now. I’m hoping the weekend will give me some renewed focus! In the meantime, I’ve taken a diversion and have been reading ‘My Family and Other Animals’ by Gerald Durrell. This book retells the life of Gerald’s family on the Greek island of Corfu. I remember watching the BBC series as a child back in the 80s and being fascinated by the rich flora and fauna that he encounters during his adventures on the island. It has made me want to go bug hunting!

My_Family_and_Other_Animals_BookWatched:

The girls are really into Ninja Warrior UK… so much so, that we have made it a bit of an event in our house on a Saturday evening – they’re allowed to stay up ‘late’ to watch it if they’ve behaved themselves! I love it too… it takes me back to the days of watching Gladiators on a Saturday afternoon! They especially love watching the women compete, they take note of their name and then cheer for them as they make their way through the course. A few days ago we were at the park and mid-climb, Paige suddenly exclaimed ‘I am a Ninja Warrior aren’t I mama?!’ Such a funny thing to hear from a 3 year old!

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Wore:

Ok, this is a bit of a rubbish one but as it’s not something I do every day so I thought I’d include it: if you didn’t see my post earlier this week, I wore an airline pilot’s hat! Find out what I was up to here….

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Heard:

Another one from the girls… lately they seem to be having an increasing amount of conversations in song! I love it. Favourite this week, again from Paigey:

‘I’m a medium candle in a medium place… lovely lovely ta da daaa’

Made:

I finally invested in a Nutri Ninja recently and have been making some fabulous concoctions – I’ve been getting very creative and naturally some have been more successful than others. I’m going to start experimenting with adding alcohol to some soon… eek! This is my favourite at the moment and it’s so simple: just a pear, a lump of ginger, some ice and a little water to blend, then top up with carbonated water. It’s like ginger beer! V refreshing and yummy even though it looks revolting!

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And finally:

A little bit of shameless self promotion now – apologies…. Now I’m up and well again, I’m back to organising school visits with my book. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent and you’re interested, I’d be delighted to hear from you!

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Thank you again for reading. Have a great weekend!

Polly x

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Facing my Fear….

Spending a day learning about spoilers, flaps, slats and ailerons whilst paying for the privilege might seem a bit of a bloomin’ nutty way to spend a large portion of the bank holiday weekend. But, if like me, you’re in the 25-30% of the population that suffers from Aviophobia, you’ll probably agree that it’s money and time well spent – especially if you need, or want, to travel.

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Whilst I can’t pinpoint an exact event or reason for the onset of my fear, I can tell you categorically that it’s not a learned behaviour – my parents both loved flying. All the messages I received in my childhood about air travel were positive ones. Yet I still found myself in my late teens so gripped by fear 38,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean that I didn’t leave my seat for 8 hours, refused to look out of the window and literally pleaded with the gods that the end would be quick and painless when we inevitably plummeted out of the sky into the watery depths below. I couldn’t quite believe it when I stepped out into the gleaming sunshine at the other end following our smooth flight. We’d ACTUALLY touched down without incident – this time I’d obviously been lucky.

Crazy? Irrational? Stupid?! Probably. But I was still very sacred and I was planning a gap year. I desperately wanted to travel – my desire to explore far-flung shores somehow overshadowed my fear of flying, but the sight of a jetliner continued to fill me with adrenalin and make my palms clammy from the safety of the ground, I realised it was a battle that I needed to fight head on.

So, back in 1997 I attended a ‘Fly without Fear’ course at Heathrow, run by experienced pilots, crew and psychologists. While there were no promises I’d be ‘cured’, there were definite guarantees I’d come away educated and informed about the phenomenon of flying: how a plane actually gets off the ground, why it’s wings won’t fall off, why turbulence isn’t actually dangerous; I’d hear a detailed breakdown of the rigorous training every pilot must endure before taking charge of, well…our lives. I learnt a plethora of relaxation techniques, as well as the reasons why we develop fears, how we fuel them, and how we can manage them. The climax of the day was the opportunity for a regular commercial aircraft full of nervous (some downright petrified) flyers to practice everything they’d learnt during an hour-long flight, whilst receiving a running commentary from the flight deck about the various noises and sensations we were experiencing during the different stages of the flight. We visited the cockpit and received oodles of reassurance and encouragement from the patient, calm crew. It was fascinating.

In the years that followed, the utter fear I’d previously experienced when airborne reduced to minimal. I flew into Hong Kong’s Kai Tak airport, weaving between skyscrapers whilst peering at residents hanging out their washing. I sky dived from a tiny plane at 10,000ft and took a 16 seater propeller plane into the mountains where we landed on a short, sloping airstrip at an elevation of 2,845m with a gradient of 11.7%. I’ve flown to a remote island in the Indian Ocean where we landed on sand and flown through the infamous air currents bouncing off the Rock of Gibraltar, as well as some other crazy weathers in flight; I was completely surprised at how mesmerising it was to look down over an electric storm illuminating the clouds below rather than feeling that the end was nigh… Experiences that left me exhilarated and feeling more alive than ever, and far from afraid.

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Kai Tak Airport

 

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Lukla Airport

 

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Gibraltar Airport

 

 

Now we have a young family I probably fly once or twice a year and our destinations are not remote, nor are they listed as the ‘most dangerous runways in the world’. But my phobia has recently reared it’s ugly head again despite the fact that last year was recorded as being the safest aviation year on record. Regardless of the statistics, over the last eighteen months the aviophobes among us have been on a heightened alert to the horrifying and increasingly familiar news story of yet another jetliner disaster. There’s a little voice inside of me that’s started to pipe up again: ‘You see, you were right to be scared all along’….

It was on a recent flight with our daughters that I realised I needed to tackle this again. A few minor rolls of turbulence and I was so stricken with fear that I could barely string a sentence together. Desperate for them to not see, I made the walk of shame down the aircraft to the nearest air steward with whom I confided that I was feeling ‘a bit jittery’. A few reassuring words and a bit of deep breathing later and I was able to return to my seat, the girls none the wiser. But now we’ve committed to a holiday in sunny climes over the summer, I’m desperate not to have another anxious and embarrassing encounter with my high-flying demons – and most importantly, not to expose my children to them.

So, today I returned to Heathrow Airport to attend the Fear of Flying course for the second time in 20 years. I’ve come away feeling secure that my aviation knowledge is well and truly refreshed. I know what’s going on behind the scenes these days to ensure our safety whilst hurtling through the clouds at 500 mph and I’ve been reminded of how to manage when the panic rises along with the altitude. Whilst I don’t fly until the end of June, I feel confident that when I do, I’ll be in good hands.

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The course I attended today was run by Virgin and was the ‘ground only’ course. The pilot and crew were highly experienced and were prepared to answer all manner of questions about flying – even those you’d be embarrassed to ask. All the major airlines run Fly without Fear/ Flying with Confidence courses and most of them offer the option of a flight on their premium courses. If you’re like me and you’re a nervy flyer, I would recommend attending one!

Thank you again for reading.

Polly x

My #littleloves: Hands Free, Shortbread and Meditation.

Hello! Happy happy Friday to you. I’ve been trying to put a blog together for days now and have been really struggling… is that Blogger’s Block?! I’ve lurched from writing about Miley Cyrus and daughters, to the earthquake in Nepal, to my health ‘issues’, but I just can’t seem to pull it all together. It’s so much easier and nicer to write about my #littleloves for this week….

Read:

I love this site: http://www.handsfreemama.com There are so many beautiful and inspiring quotes and snippets of advice for parents. My favourite is the list of ideas of how to salvage a bad morning. We’ve all been there – the stressy dash out of the house, following by the lingering guilt for being such a nag. There are some lovely, yet simple, ideas of how to save the day! My favourite is:

If someone is grumpy, let her do something you usually do like pour the milk from a small pitcher, add the brown sugar to the oatmeal, or decorate a sticky note to put in a family member’s lunchbox or briefcase.

Heard:

Every evening I hear the tranquil sounds of Elodee’s meditation for kids CD drifting from her bedroom as she drifts off to sleep. She loves listening to this soothing relaxation journey at bedtime, and each evening she is asleep before the disc ends. Sometimes I lie with her and listen to it and find myself dozing off whilst visualising myself calmly floating through the night sky….

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Watched:

I watched the girls spend over an hour sitting on the driveway in the sunshine cleaning a huge box of Granny’s old toys. They scrubbed with cloths and old toothbrushes and soap suds and thoroughly enjoyed the task at hand! They seem to really embrace getting involved in tasks like this.

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Wore:

This beautiful feather necklace that I received on Mother’s Day. I’ve only just started wearing it though as I was ill in bed for so many weeks! I’ve also worn a great big smile after getting the best recovery plan from my neurologist: lots of lying down and caffeine for a couple more weeks! Can you believe it?! I am feeling so relieved, and incredibly grateful.

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Made:

Paigey and I made shortbread.

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It’s SO easy and absolutely delicious. A perfect cooking activity to do with a little one! This is the recipe:

4 oz soft butter

2 oz caster sugar

1 tablespoon of milk

6 oz plain flour

Sieve the flour into a bowl. Stir in the sugar, then rub the butter, flour and sugar with your fingers. Add the milk. Form a ball of dough with your fingers. Make shapes! Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until they are a pale golden colour at 350˚F / 180˚C.

And finally:

Have a wonderful early May Bank Holiday. I hope the sun shines for you!

Thank you for reading.

Polly x

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If you enjoyed this, why not head over to Amazon and check out my children’s book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1906954801

You can also check out my book news and latest artworks at:

www.facebook.com/pollymwalker

and

Twitter: @pollymwalker