Rocking My World Friday...

**Picture heavy post - you've been warned!** 

Hi everybody! It's been a while since I've played along with the other Friday Rockers so bear with me, I'll try and condense but I have a feeling this will be a mammoth post!

Firstly I am grateful the move is over. Finally! It's true what they say, it's one of the most stressful things you ever do. When I was younger and didn't have any children I used to move around quite a lot, always restless, never found somewhere that I'd call home, it was always just a stop gap. Moving was so easy, sling stuff in boxes, hire a man in van, rope in some family to help and job was done in a few hours. Throw a partner, dogs, three kids, a shed full of birds (80+) and a business into the mix... I'm never moving again. I don't care if they sell this house from under us - I'll claim squatters rights!

Next BIG grateful is the holiday people being so understanding and moving our holiday ahead a few weeks to give us breathing space... and not charging a single penny to do it either - a rarity these days. Oh what bliss Scotland was. We'd been worrying as everyone we'd been talking to had said how horrible the weather was up there. However we were really lucky, we had gorgeous weather and for the week we were away it apparently rained constantly here, in Kent.

We've been to Drumnadrochit, a small town on Loch Ness, a couple of times now. It's becoming sort of a tradition that on the last day we do the boat ride around the Loch before we set off home. Ruby and Phoebe loved it when the guide let them drive the boat - literally, he sat them down, told them what to do and walked away to continue his spiel about the Loch. The other tourists faces was a picture, especially when Ruby sat down and span the wheel. With a little help she even parked it alongside the dock. They both said it was one of their favourite bits of the holiday.

Castle Urquhart

These two came to see us one evening, we think they are fallow deer, a mother and daughter. They came so close, this was taken from our kitchen window. We also had loads of bird life (Craig was in his element!) and bats flitting around the lodge.

Pheebs (Monster no.2) and me :) at castle Urquhart.

Devvie tried her hardest to get us to sneak this goat into the car. They really took a shine to each other :P

Piper at Castle Urquhart.

Beyoootiful picture of Devvie (monster no.1) and me.

I love Highland Cooo's! The only thing I bought was a mouse mat with one of these gorgeous beasties on.

I'll stop there as I will just upload them all. It was fabulous - we didn't do the expensive touristy things this time, we kept trying to seek out the cheap or free, off the beaten track things to do and it was amazing. We had a couple of costly days like the castle and the boat ride but the rest of the time... we found a tiny little croft tucked away that had an honesty box at the gate asking for £5 for a family! Can you imagine that in most places here in the UK? It would be empty! It was one of our best days too - the kids loved it. Then we found a gorgeous mountain trail when trying to search out a pottery that was signposted "just up the hill." For future reference, if you go to Scotland and a sign directs you "up the hill," what they mean is - up the side of a mountain and down the other side! We are taking better walking shoes next time to explore further.

Anyway - can't wait to go back in 2013! Although, I will say I seem to be taking ages to bounce back from the 12 hour drive this time. I'm feeling constantly tired, my ankles of a morning and evening still swell up and ache... and if I do anything remotely energetic (like park with the girls and their Nanna yesterday) I'm knackered up for a few days afterwards... but on the plus side my back isn't as bad lately so I suppose it's give and take, eh?

Next up, a long overdue thank you to the lovely people who sent cards and gifts at the beginning of the month. I apologise in advance for the truly awful camera work - I am coming to the conclusion that my girls are way better photographers than me!

This wall hanging was sent by the amazing Sam. It now has pride of place in our hallway so it's the first thing people see when they come through our front door...

Isn't it amazing? The corn represents Lughnasadha (August 1st) which is apparently "the first harvest and a time of plenty." The silver crow represents my silver crow which I still think is my good luck omen and, AND, we have seen a few more times since we came here. He's getting big now and still hopping around. I never have my camera when I spot him though.

The corn and crow are Sam's own stamps that she carves herself. Can you imagine how blown away I was to find this hand cut lino stamp in my parcel too? She's used my cartoon avatar and cut a stamp based on that! I mean.. WOW or what? Chuffed to bits doesn't even cut it! Thank you Sam.

Gaily sent this card...

...and this wooden heart which now hangs in our dining room. I think each of the girls has so far tried to swipe it. Thank you Gaily :)

And then these two beauties came from Susie (above) and Helen (below) Love them both. I am nicking that design to try and have a bash at Susie *g* And Helen - you KNOW I am framing that card! Talk about laugh when I opened it, love it! Love them all - thank you girls.

Now, I'm going to try and be really quick and zip through the rest as this is turning into an epic novel...

Yesterday, taking the girls to the park in Hastings and finding a slide that my gargantuan backside didn't get wedged in - in fact, I went down so fast I burnt my bum! But, taught monster no.2 to never, ever say "you wouldn't dare!" as am poised to slide and she runs up from the bottom...

Would I not, now?
Hur, hur, hur!

My gorgeous new boots, a pressie from Craig because my kitties are dying a death (you can actually see through the soles now but I refuse to stop wearing them!)Those charms at the back (a skull and a rose) tinkle when I walk and it sounds like wearing spurs. Yes, I have trotted round like I'm on a horse, yes, I have walked like a cowboy and snarled "get off your horse and drink your milk." Yes, they take forever to put on... yes Craig is wondering why, why, why did he buy them. But that's why I loves him, because he's bonkers!

Another grateful is the big pile of craft books that have arrived for me to review - ooh, there's some goodies there. Have not arted, or crafted...was going to say farted but I would be fibbing about that bit... in a good couple of months but these books are getting me all inspired. I'll be claiming back my afternoons when the girls go back to school tomorrow trying to resuscitate my ailing mojo... ooh and I was able to save my mahoosive desk. It just fits in the workshop attached to the garage so Craig squeezed it in there for my messy play. Another reason I love him! But back to the books, watch out for reviews because I am going to give some away as I review them, they'll have been read by me so not brand spanking new but hey - I know there are more art/craft book addicts out there - it's not just me!

And... I'll leave it there. I will be very surprised if anyone made it to the end but if you read a bit - well done. I am ever so slowly catching up with everyone. Between the girls hogging the PC and trying to make the most of their last few days of the hols and just being downright knackered and out of sorts... well you know how it goes. I will get there eventually.

Thank you as always for stopping by, it's never to late if you want to play along. Just stop by Virginia's and link up!


  1. Everything sounds fantastic, Carmen! New home (however stressful it was getting into it!), and holiday. Brilliant to have you back, and I'll look forward to those book reviews - I really trust your judgement more than gushing book blurb.


  2. Lots of comments from me. Firstly ohmigosh, look at what your comment box says, above it, it's a kick ass layrinth quote!! lol. That's a bit awesome!

    Secondly, glad you are settled, lovely new home gifts and I loooove your lino stamp, they are just fab. Very talented person who makes them!

    Thirdly,loving the holiday pics, they are making me want to take a trip out that way myself lol

    Much love,
    Beck xx

  3. Woohooooooo! You are back girl!!
    Loving the photos ..and doesn't Pheebs look like you???
    Sounds like a wonderful place to holiday..sigh (says she, who is off to Snowdonia next children but one dog in tow)
    Looking forward to your book reviews..I did check one of your latest out on Amazon as you made it sound so good but I'm not an artist:( so couldn't justify buying it.
    I'm going to email you about the laughs you missed (and why Virginia and I missed you!!) on my blog.
    Hugs xx
    p.s. if you seriously want to copy the card I sent, it's called a Joy Fold Card and I can give you the link to the destructions. :)

  4. Oh wow that was an epic post ...loved it glad you had such a great holiday ....sounds a wonderful place ...your girls are so grown up and Dev is so tall ...where does the time go xx

  5. love that stamp that Sam made for you - and those fab trainers!

  6. It is so good to see you back here - I have missed your posts (yes, I got to the end) and your photos are great, the holiday looks amazing, I really want to go to Scotland... glad you liked the card too! That hanging from Sam is beautiful - and I want your boots!
    Hope to see you soon!!

  7. Hurray you're back - honestly it's been the longest of times since I got to sit and catch up with all your life, the move sounds awful but having relocated from a different part of the country back in 2004 back home to Yorkshire I soooooooooooo know what you mean - I also said the - "never again" statement and as we are at the moment we are still in the same house! It's amazing how much you accumulate over the time!

    The holiday in Scotland sounds great and I've admired piccies on Facebook as well as on here, the idea of your girls driving the boat (do you drive boats? not sure - navigate them? Nope that doesn't sound right either - well whatever it is) makes me giggle all those slightly shocked tourists on board LMAO!

    We've still got today and tomorrow off being the last of the school holidays and unusually I've taken them as TOIL to snatch the last of the summer holidays that I can - not that it's been much of one for said 10 year old!

    Can't wait to read the craft books - I'm utterly addicted to them so got giddy when I read about your reviews, loving all the gifts that you got sent as part of the move they are all amazing!

    Hope you manage a bit of crafting time soon - can't wait to see what you create - I haven't made a start on the RIP CJ Resurrected yet - really must get my thinking cap on because apparently Flo runs a tight ship so she'll expect everything to be sent on time LOL!

    Hugs to you all

  8. Sounding full of life and enthusiasm for it - even if you are a bit off top form..wonder why...go to Doc, might just be a bit of iron or something missing...YOu sound like a pig in poop and that's a good thin g- loving your holiday pics.

  9. I'm still reading and still selfishly enjoying the happy glow your post is giving ME! The holiday looks fab - the simple things really are the best (not that driving a boat looks simple, it looks fiendishly difficult and you'd have to be pretty smart to try it lol). It's good to have you back Carmen. You will let me have your new address, won't you?

  10. Hello *wave*

    I am right with you over the highland cows, waiting for someone to breed a miniature version I can put in the back garden:) We moved house with cars and lots of friends helping (for the last time - next time it will be pay the removal van to pack it up and move it.......). Hope the new home has no side access to cause you grief :) We are much happier in our house just waiting and hoping for the flat to shift soon (keeping everything crossed it makes walking very difficult!!
    How do you to get into reviewing art and craft books?

    Good to read up on everything and yes I made it to the end :)

  11. ....reached the end and I still want more!

    Can't wait for the book reviews (and give-aways)...cuz, yes, I'm a, I mean Collector of arts and crafts books, too! ;P

    Looks like you and your adorable family had such fun on holiday....I love seeing pics that people bring back! Those cows are really cool!

    Well, Sweetheart...take your time....break in your art space (break wind in your art space...haha!)

    We've missed you!!

  12. I'm so glad you're all moved in and getting settled! I hope you're feeling better. Vacation looks like it was amazing! The girls are getting so big...wait, does that mean we're getting older too????

  13. Wahey, you're back. I never want to move EVER I have got SO much stuff, and only some of it is the result of having boys.

    Thanks for sharing your holiday photos, its great being able to be a big kid once in a while and embarass your own kids in the process! ☺

    Lovely 'Moving House' goodies you got, such clever people making them for you.

    Enjoy sorting yourself out when the kids go back to school, thats my plan anyway. xx

  14. omg omg omg omg, he bought you Ironfist trainers, they are FAB. I own the Fug version of them, ironfist shoes are always sooooo comfortable.

    Glad you had a great time & looking forward to seeing your reviews & crafting projects

  15. So lovely to see the photos of your holiday! Great ones of the kids driving the boat! Sounds like you had a fab time. So glad you liked the prezzie, I really enjoyed making them. LURVE your new trainers, how awesome are they??!!! Love all the positive things you have listed this week and so nice to have you back in blogland x

  16. so glad you are back,

    I've got the new addie but didn't send anything yet - must put that right...


  17. Great boots! And what's not to love about them sounding like spurs? I hope you do enjoy some of the series - even though you're already a purple-convert.

    Thanks for your lovely comments as always.

    Glad you a had a good holiday - the boat driving looks like it will leave some lovely memories.

    Julie x


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