Thursday 25 February 2021

Book Review: "Can I give my stepkids back?" by Aurelie Tramier

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

It's an OK start to the book... the chapters are waay too short though.  It's not keeping my interest so far, but it's not too bad.  I really hope it improves though.

I was wrong.  It's such a dull book that I've skipped through the last 15 chapters, so I'm up to chapter 20 now and it's lost a star because of that.

Where has the time gone at the bottom of this page?!  It literally goes from Morgan going off in a strop at the end of one paragraph, to the tree being completely decorated in the next one!

I think the author/translator is confused 'cos Morgan isn't a *step* mother, she's an aunt and guardian/adoptive mother of her niece and nephew.  Morgan isn't an orphan either - her niece and nephew are, not her.

Why has the female child's name changed it's spelling all of a sudden?  It was spelt with an ie for the first two-thirds of the book, but now it's suddenly y... have I missed something??

And now, two pages later, it's back to the original spelling again!  That's something that should have been picked up during the first round of edits, waay before it was published!

What a beautiful ending!  I would happily have awarded it the full 5 stars if the backstory wasn't so dull right at the start... if it had be woven in to the rest of the story and the book had started at chapter 10 then the ending wouldn't have needed to be so rushed and the author could have gently finished the story instead of it going from the nerves of the first date to a year later, a new career, a husband and new house all within maybe 2 pages.

Friday 12 February 2021

I've decided to...

...put this blog and my websites on hold for the next little while 'cos I need to veg out and de-stress and just spend some time doing things for myself and preparing for the Neurology appointment and stuff.  I will be back, just not until I'm in a better headspace and I've got answers for my disabilities is all.  Keep checking back and when I'm feeling more like who I really am, rather than the fit and healthy persona I've been presenting for most of the last two decades, I'll start posting again.

For now though, it's see you later and goodbye.

Mornin' all

It's 12th February and so far today I've taken my pills, completed the virus scan and done the forum bits and bobs, which means that I can now spend the rest of the day on sorting out the news.


Forgot to exercise yesterday, so I'm gonna go and do that now before I forget.  BBS.

Thursday 11 February 2021

News but no opinions again on 11th February 2021

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11th February 2021

'I get better sleep': the people who quit social media
Why social networks need better blocking tools
How the pandemic is changing children’s friendships
This Turkish man rescued a swan 37 years ago, their friendship is still going strong
Friendship anxiety: “Am I the only one who worries they don’t have ‘enough’ friends?”
Age and dementia are no barrier to beautiful friendships at Hertford care home
This Is Why Martha Stewart And Snoop Dogg's Unlikely Friendship Works

Pills taken, virus scan completed, one set of news done... I'm all set for the day now.  Just gotta do the other two sets of news then catch up on my emails and Facebook.  


Steve doesn't seem to be motivated to make our breakfast (and he doesn't trust me near the cooker) and can't seem to motivate himself to cook for lunch either, so I bet it'll be down to me to make us bread and spread again, even though he's my carer and has claimed multiple times, to multiple people, that he "makes all our meals" despite not doing our breakfast since Monday and doing us a bowl of scrambled egg for a late lunch/earlytea yesterday.  He's just opened a packet of biscuits, so I bet he won't cook for lunch today either.  He wants the credit but refuses to do anything to earn it.

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Taken my last two pills of the day, so I'm gonna...

...head to bed for an early night I reckon.

See you all again at some point tomorrow.

Nite nite orl.  💤


Virus scan finished, exercise done, backups started...

...just gotta be patient with the backups and remember to charge up my Fitbit this afternoon, after the appointment is out of the way.  It usually takes all day to do the news, let alone the Wednesday virus scan and backups so I dunno what's made it so quick today!

If you decide you want a Fitbit Inspire too, there's a new version (Fitbit Inspire 2) out that has double the length of battery charge than my Inspire has, so I'll have to save up my pennies after I've paid for Patrick's insurance and my SCBWI membership this Summer.

Time to take my Calcium now, before I forget.  BBL.

Finished the news, virus scan is at 98% and Steve's home now, soooo...

...time for me to do my exercises then relax until the backups need doing and my appointment this afternoon.  It's been a good day so far, so hopefully it'll keep on being good too!


News for today (10th February 2021)

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10th February 2021

A dying dog owner’s request leads to an unexpected friendship
Can true and real friendship exist in today’s society?
Sharify makes it super simple to rediscover your city’s social side
Sunday lunches are keeping social club afloat in lockdown


It's gonna be a good day today (10th February) because...

...I saw that robin at the feeder first thing, took my morning pills, remembered not to open my email programmes and I've already done one set of news, so I've just got two more sets of news, the appointment this afternoon, the virus scan to finish (with hopefully no nasties), backups to get out of the way then the rest of the day is all mine.

Yesterday was a good day too, so maybe I just need to decide that it'll be a good day the instant I wake up, like I did yesterday and today?


I've gotta remember to do my exercises when Steve gets home from his medical appointment too... bet I'll forget though!  🙄


We've had bird feeders and fat balls up in our back yard for months now, but neither of us had ever seen a bird using them...


...until just now❕❕❕


Steve was in the kitchen and happened to look out of the window and spotted a puffed up robin indulging in the food at the feeder opposite the window❕❕  He crept back in here (the living room) and told me about it, so I silently went to have a peek too and it was still there❕  OMG❕


It's motivated me and hopefully Steve ('cos I'm too much of a short arse to reach the feeders down then replace them) to refill them at some point soon so that the robin and his or her friends have a reliable source of food.  We both love wild birds, so to actually see one has discovered our back yard source of food was incredible❕

Tuesday 9 February 2021

The gifts have just arrived, the course has been finished (at last), soooo...

I can now take my pills and head to bed.  Should I take the gifts upstairs with me or leave them down here though❓ Steve's just said to leave 'em down here, but I need to wrap them up before I pass them on to my BIL, which I was gonna do tonight, but I don't want to lose them upstairs is all.  Gonna take my last two pills of the day then take them upstairs I reckon.  I'll wrap them up then put them in a gift bag at the top of the stairs to hopefully remind me what they are when the final part arrives in mid-March.  


Decision made - take my pills, wrap up the first 3 parts, put them in a gift bag and leave it at the top of the stairs so that it doesn't get lost in the bedroom.


Got a medical appointment tomorrow early afternoon so I'm hoping I'll have finished the news before I get the call.  Hope I remember what it's for when I get the call though! 🙄🤣


It's also Wednesday tomorrow, so it'll be time for my weekly virus scan and backup session and I'll have to remember not to open my emails first thing... you watch me forget though!

Pill time then time for me to head upstairs now.  See you all at some point tomorrow.

All three sets of news and my exercise done already today, which means...

...I've got nothing else to do today, other than have my lunch and answer the door to the Amazon delivery, so I might even be able to study today, for the first time since I started doing the news each day!

Only 3 pieces of news with one comment today

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9th February 2021 

Why female friendships are work in progress
Emails from England: How a Winnipeg woman's typo led to an unlikely friendship - Amanda's comment: What a great, but random, start to a friendship - long may it continue!
The Healing Power of Friendship

Virus scan finished, pills taken, one set of news sorted...

...just waiting for the first part of my eldest nephew's birthday pressie to turn up and do the other two sets of news, then I can breathe for the rest of the day and get ready for tomorrow's appointment.  Need to do my exercises at some point today though, so that I don't get out of the habit.

It's burgers for lunch today, so that we can have the rolls while they are still soft and squishy.


Monday 8 February 2021

That's the groceries been and gone, phoned my mum so now...

...I can go head-on with the book - I'm at the point that I reckon I'll ask on the forum to see if anyone there can help me to delete the paperback so that I can re-add it with the proper size this time... more hassle than it should be though.


What a productive morning!

I've had me breakfast, put the Fitbit spreadsheet onto my site, taken all my daily pills (several hours apart because of the FA affecting the Calcium), brought the rubbish and recycling things in, completed the daily virus scan, done my exercises, made lunch for both of us (bread and spread) and done all three sets of news... it's only just gone 2pm too!


Just waiting for our groceries to turn up now, then I'll go head-to-head with my manuscript again!  Might make a start on it now, while we're waiting.  Gotta remember to phone my mum to let her know to expect a grey package from me from tomorrow onwards though... you watch me forget!  lol


News and a couple of opinions for 8th February 2021

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8th February 2021

'Friendship Goals': Puppy Takes A Ride On Duck, Netizens Joke 'Uber Looks Different' - Amanda's comment: The video is just too adorable and humans could learn so much from them!
Friendships in lockdown: why your motivation to socialise is at an all-time low right now
Rebel Friendships Last a Lifetime - Amanda's comment: What a beautiful story!
Why Forging Friendships Still Matters So Much As We Age
Bonded pair of blind dog and seeing-eye cat up for adoption
Schools, pubs, shops and social distancing - everything we know so far about plans to lift lockdown

Pills taken, virus scan completed, recycling gone...

...Fitbit spreadsheet up on my site, breakfast eaten, so that's me free to get on with the news until lunchtime, then have my lunch and get ready for the shopping to come this afternoon.


Gotta keep my ear out for the door so that the postie can take my mum's package with him/her.  Gotta remember to ask them to sign the form too, so that I've got proof it's been taken, if I need it.  Time to make a start on the news now though.

Sunday 7 February 2021

News for 7th February 2021

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7th February 2021

Social innovation for stronger rural regions in Europe
NHS: Government plans to reverse Cameron-era reforms
Message in a bottle sparks adorable friendship between Devon and Cornwall kids
Neighbors' one-sided friendship leaves woman feeling slighted - Amanda's comment: Yup, same for me with my friends... I don't mind supporting them when they need a friendly listening ear and shoulder to cry on, but it quickly becomes totally one-sided and then they go silent when I blow up from lack of support once a year... they never seem to understand that an occasional bit of support from them would totally avoid it. It's not like I need constant support, but for the last two years I've accidentallly blown up on Facebook about it, they've avoided me for a while until they need support and the whole cycle starts again.
A Bend front-door friendship delivered: That rings a bell
Hartford Community Shed offers fun, friendship and new skills
Kate Middleton row: Duchess and Meghan 'not forged kind of friendship' Palace hoped for
How male friendships can survive without the pub

That's the battery run down for another month now

I literally had time to shut my programmes down really quickly when I got the pop-up saying that the battery was "critically low" before it died on me lol  That's it done for another month now though, so I'm just charging the battery back up now then I'll go and make our lunch (5 pieces of "bread and spread" each, 'cos Steve "can't be arsed to cook lunch now that I've done the mountain of washing up") so I'll go out and get it sorted in a bit.  Again.  He's supposed to be my carer, but I can't remember when we last had porridge and the only reason that we had a cooked lunch yesterday was 'cos his mum got a couple of packets of meat-free pieces for us... if she hadn't, I could have almost guaranteed that it'd be me making more "bread and spread" for us again.


I'm gonna hopefully remember to keep a record of everything he does as my carer so that I have an accurate record of how much to pay him for his care each week.  It's supposed to be 35 hours of care a week to get carers allowance, whereas in reality I'm lucky to get that in 6 months.


Ho hum.


Rubbish, cardboard and recycling out for another week

 That's all our rubbish and recycling out for another week, one lot of news done and my laptop battery has discharged quite rapidly, so I'm gonna make a start on the next set of news for my homepage and this blog now, and hopefully be able to get a good chunk of it sorted before the battery finally gives up on me for another month.

That was pleasantly easy!

Just coded and uploaded the exercise spreadsheet and sorted out the one on my phone ready for next week... it all worked first time without my blood pressure going through the roof❗  I'm hoping that means that today is gonna be a good day for me and I've remembered to unplug my laptop for the monthly discharge of the battery too, which is even better... just gotta remember to start closing down my programs when it starts warning me about the battery so that I don't lose what I was doing when it eventually dies.

Morning again all

 It's 7.40am on Sunday 7th February 2021 and I've already run the virus scan, done my exercises, emailed the spreadsheet to myself, taken my pills and refilled the pill box, which means that I've just gotta do the news for my three sites, code and upload the spreadsheet, edit the spreadsheet on my phone ready for next week then work out what the next step is with my book after my BIL emailed me with the cover last night.  Gonna sort out the spreadsheet first methinks, so that I can spend the rest of the day on the news.

Saturday 6 February 2021

Busy morning and afternoon!

So far today, I've done three huge sets of news, taken all my pills, caught up with my emails and forum and just done my exercises, so I'm gonna spend the rest of the afternoon on the cover for my book.

Loadsa news and a couple of opinions on 6th February 2021

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6th February 2021

Let’s get some perspective here. The UK needs to rekindle social consensus, solidarity, and trust. - Amanda's comment: Very well said that student! Let's hope that people start to take notice of their wise words!
12 lessons for children’s social work from practising under Covid
Social value: More than metrics
Which social media app is the most addictive? - Amanda's comment: I've never been to the first site in my life, I haven't used YouTube since the start of November, but I'm guilty of using Facebook every day although even that's less than it used to be used!
School closures and job losses in UK 'could lead to social unrest'
Social care charity chief speaks of Covid pandemic anxieties
How the Social Platforms are Celebrating Super Bowl LV
Fired for using social media: Where is the red line in Spain? - Amanda's comment: This may be an unpopular comment, but I stand with those Spanish businesses - especially if the employees had signed a confidentiality agreement before they started at their jobs. I can understand employees sharing pictures of the public areas of their job, but anything that isn't open to the public shouldn't be recorded and put online!
Ed Sheeran praises friendship with Co Down guitar-maker in rare interview
Opening new doors: Changing types of friendship in a COVID world
What Chimpanzees Can Teach Us about Human Friendships
Lockdown friendship: “I feel awkward talking to friends I haven’t seen – have I forgotten how to socialise?”
The Truth About Christopher Plummer And Julie Andrews' Friendship
How One Night In Miami Exemplifies the Joy of Black Male Friendships Onscreen
A Fisherman’s 10-Year Friendship With a Blind Seal That Greets Him Every Day: Video

Mornin' all

It's 6th February and I've already managed to have my breakfast (loadsa sultanas and a flapjack), taken my daily pills, charged up my Fitbit, downed a cafetierre coffee (thank you for making it and bringing it in for us, Steve), finished the daily virus scan and got one set of news sorted all before 🕚 11am.  I'm motivated to get the second set of news sorted now, so hopefully the next blog post will be the news, then I've gotta do my exercises, then lunch (curreeeeeeee!! 🤤) then I'm gonna get graphically creative after that, hopefully.  I've already achieved more than I did yesterday though, so I'm hopeful 🤞 that the motivation will continue for the rest of the day 👍.

Friday 5 February 2021

Spent the afternoon working on...

...a new look for my 🌍 homepage.  Go and take a peek if you want❓


No news today (5th February 2021) because...

...I just don't feel up to it, sorry.


I'm gonna be selfish this afternoon and work on a new look for my homepage then might try and come up with a cover for my book... we shall see though.


I've taken my morning pills, completed the daily virus scan, done the news for my writing site and I'm not planning on doing anything else for anyone else this afternoon.  Gonna take my Calcium in an hour or so then have my lunch ('not sausage rolls' and chips because my carer "can't be arsed" to do the pasta bol he promised me yesterday) then take it from there.  Need to do my exercises at some point too, so that I don't forget again.

Thursday 4 February 2021

News (at last) for 4th February 2021

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4th February 2021

  Influencers told not to use 'misleading' beauty filters - Amanda's comment: About bleedin' time! Surely the odd bad skin photo or showing spots and open pores occasionally would make the influencer more human and approachable?? I realise that I'm not an influencer in any way, shape or form, but surely appearing more human to your followers would improve the brand's image because the people you are influencing would show you as human. Same with genuine mistakes - you're human, not perfect and showing that would help to improve your approachability too... especially if you can genuinely laugh at your slip-ups and apologise for your bloopers!
7 Alternative Social Media Platforms to Consider - Amanda's comment: I'm pondering on joining a couple of these, just to have a look around initially, but potentially, in future, to use as well as Facebook and Twitter
4 in 5 people are sharing too much information on social media, making them vulnerable to cyber attacks and 4 in 5 people are sharing too much information on social media, making them vulnerable to cyber attacks are about the same thing, just by two separate websites.
'I make £20k a year from my pig': how social media stars turn beloved pets into cash cows
UK government prepared to dole out 'billions' in fines as social media companies fail to tackle racial abuse
Social care charity's 40th anniversary fundraiser to support Fifers with disabilities
Majority of pupils with EHCPs left without health or social care support in lockdown, says report
‘Being teetotal does not mean social suicide - it can enrich your life’
Friendship and difference at the University of Dallas
Schoolgirl uses cancelled birthday party money to help combat loneliness with friendship boxes
From Barbie buddies to happy hour pals, a 50-year friendship
7 Films About Friendship To Stream This Valentine's Day
Angus girl makes friendship boxes for lonely members of local church
Shepparton Friendship Cafe begins again