Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Saturday, September 30, 2006

In the end....



Abigail and Iain did provide a couple of great photos for me to use for my portfolio!!

Not much else to report at the moment, Paul had a very dark day yesterday so most of that was spent trying to be normal and not notice the foreboding depression surrounding us, he seems a little cheerier this morning so lets just hope that things stay this way for the remainder of the day, why not pop accross and see him and send him lots of hugs.
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Just got to keep on pushing


I love this photo from yesterday of Abigail, she just looks so pretty and sweet and you know for the most part she is, we've jst been to see her reception class teacher tonight and she's thrilled with how our little girl is settling in and loves how she is bright as a button and a hppay little soul, I'm really proud of her.

So yes I'm pushing, pushing and pushing a little more with regards to my business, it's so disheartning at the moment, the website is now all finished and I secured my professional email address today (more money) so if you want to hire me you can visit the site or email mandy@mandycharltondesigns.com, now thats a huge email addy for you!

The thing is though i still feel like i'm playing at big girl shops and i probably will until someone actually pays me for my services, my friends build me up and give me loads of confidence but there's still that niggling doubt at the back of my mind atleast 30 times a day which says your not good enough, My therapist calls this niggling doubt my mother!!

I have now chosen some very nice leaflets and business cards which are going to take a while but in the meantime I have some cheapie emergency business cards en route which I'm kind of hoping my hubby will help me spread accross the north east. Talking of Hubby, he's doubtful about playing on his calf strain at the weekend, so I'm asking you all to send a little healing energy over to Mr 30minutemeandering so that he gets to play in the county cup n Sunday morning, if he doesn't I fear my life will not be worth living for yet another week!!
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Finally...


A great photograph of Abigail and Iain together! quite pleased with this one i am as it really was another near disasterous shoot. Still none of the three of them together but I'm guessing that other peoples children can be nowhere near as much hard-work as my own.
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The failed photo-shoot and a layout



Sometimes you know before you set out that you'e never going to get the shots you want, firstly never try and get hubby to have his photo taken just before lunch, he'll co-operate for around 5 minutes before faking some kind of hypoglycemic coma and ranting about cake and buns every 30 seconds. Secondly don't expect a 3 year old to act any differently!

Yes not everything in life goes to plan and in my family it's usually a surprise when something actually does work!

Anyway I can home with a camera full of nothing, if you think this shot was bad you should see the rest of them!

One of my fabulous team-mates had a brilliant idea for my business, Fiona recommended that I do a Babies first year package or as i'm calling it the Poppet Portrait Package!!

The layout was created for the Happy Scrapper design team and features the fabulous swirly papers of Winnies walls, I think I took the swirlies 1 step further. Photo is of course my Looby being a princess!!
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

He's lots of fun and a bit tasty...




Except that he's not happy at present as he just went out for a 3 mile run and came back 5 minutes later having pulled his calf so I want to dedicate todays post to his loveliness and say i know life can be a bitch but your gorgeous, you're all mine and i love you to bits!!

Here's a few shots of him from yesterday being silly as usual!!

Ooh I must tell you I have been arranging business cards and leaflets so hopefully i should get some customers soon, starting your own business when you have nothing to finance it with is nearly impossible but hey ho, i do have determination and hopefully by Christmas I'll have loads of people queueing up for photography shoots!!
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Monday, September 25, 2006

See The Devil Wears Prada free


I've just had word from the lovely Michael Cooper on behalf on the Nissan Micra team inviting me to see "The Devil Wears Prada" tommorrow night at the Metro-centre Gateshead at 7.30pm, of course I said I'll be there will bells on and so will my hubby. you know the best thing though is that it's totally free, you get to see the movie over a week before it's generally released and the ultimate thing is that Nissan are raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness and so there'll be volunteers collecting.

So if you're in the north and you fancy a darned great movie staring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway (I've seen the trailers and it looks hilarious!!) you can Email Michael HERE

Do it soon though as tickets are strictly limited and don't forget to tell him where you heard it.
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sharing Sundays photos






So today it was Loobys birthday party, she's 3 tommorrow but of course its a monday and as usual all the family wanted to come and annoy us and eat cake etc, anyway i took quite a few photos today and thought i would share just a couple, Looby must have gotten every single Dora toy in the shop and Looby being Looby she just got on with it and was happy but not hyper. My gorgeous baby girl will be 3 tommorrow and i really wish i could stop time and keep her like this forever, she's just adoreable and luckily so are her brother and sister!!
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Saturday, September 23, 2006

I went to a football match!!!



Yes I know what you're all thinking, but Mandy hates football, Mandy just doesn't get it at all, well thats true but I find in the last 7 years since I met my man, he's actually made me do a lot of things I never did before and you know what I'm delighted about that, life truly is s voyage of discovery, the match itself was Dire and i mean bland, boring and utterly banal but I enjoy the Craic and spending time with hubby doing something he wanted to do for a change and I got to try out some sports photography, i have to say that I'm not cut out to be a sports photographer as my boredom threshold just doesn't stretch that far but on the whole it could have been much much worse!! on the way home we had a quick stop at The Angel of the North where I took a couple of photos for my stock photography, there weren't any I really loved but I was sort of pleased with this one!!

Oh and the footy photo, well i didn't take many and who knows if it's a good shot but paul is giving it to the player (Willie Moat) in the stripes as he's off to play sunday footy with a new team tommorrow. lets hope Willie likes it, tells everyone and gets me a lot of business!!
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Friday, September 22, 2006

In the stripes!!

Oh my word, I'm nearly exhaspirated and I haven't even done anything, it's just taken ages to upload that photo, taken today, I had to do this effect just because of the stripey jumper!!

Now then you must go and visit my friend Olwen

She said lovely things about me today and has a snazzy new blog, I'm so glad that she's come over to blogger, don't tell her i said that i never really got the point of Yahoo 360 but i still don't, I think it's trying to be too many things and thats never good.

Anyway she's a very dear friend whom i met over the www and then in person and is just a sweet bundle of loveliness!!


Happy Weekend peoples!!
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I'm a dotcom

Yay, it's official, i'm a dotcom, well atleast mandy charlton designs is! It's a funny thing though, I find at the age of 32 that I don't actually own a lot in my life and yet i now own 2 websites, www.mandycharltondesigns.com and www.craftkingdom.co.uk whether they ever make me any money is another post entirely!!
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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Unseasonably warm


It is, it's really blinkin hot today which is not good when you are a lady of my persuasion!! I'm sitting here practically melting. I also noted that the Rowan tree still has most of it's leaves where as this time a year ago it was almost naked by now!!

So anyway after the usual weekly therapy which i have to say made me feel better today we went off to the park, more playing with my camera, a lot of which I have to say was reasonably awful, I don't think the BIPP are going to let me have full membership quite yet!!

I did quite like this photograph though, Looby as per usual looks a bit of a sweety but I have to say that she was not in the mood to be a model today, she and her daddy make great models, sadly they also have the temprament of them.

talking of hubby, he's applied to be a postman, it's a job he used to do and enjoyed so lets hope he gets the job. i have to say that things have been a little stressful of late and it's not easy watching someone you love so much being so very unhappy, lets hope that this is the thing he needs to be happier. He's also off to Footy again tonight and I swear if they don't sign him, I'm off to have a word with his manager, he's done so much, given up smoking, runs to footy and back and then does training in the middle, plays extra footy on a Sunday, give the guy a break, he's a million more times dedicated than i could be, i love him so much and hope that both getting signed and getting a job will give him the self worth he seems to need right now, i could give him a little of mine which I found (under the sofa or the bed I don't remember) but i'm not sure he would accept!
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Taking an hour off




Yes we all need a little down time every now and then and life is, well it's pretty frustrating at the moment, I'm so near to having my own business and yet so far, i even implemented a special Christmas offer today in the hopes that people will hire me for christmas purposes. I have tripods, reflectors portfolios, blinkin photographic and scrapping stuff everywhere, i need a bigger house! LOL

So anyway off we went to the sealife cente in tynemouth for an hour, totally loved it, it made me feel calm, cool and collected even if it was just for an hour. So I'm sharing the highlights of our hour out of the real world and into the sea... a sea cucumber, a couple of Otters which the centre have bred since they were born and Looby who was actually staring at a huge hermit crab, Sorry of they're a little noisy but i was trying to avoid flash as it freaks fishies out!!

I adored the otters who were very cute although they were squealing as it was feeding time, we watched them enjoying their Rat dinners, also being otters they were quite smelly, still gorgeous though!!
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Back into the Swing...



3 weeks since the kids have gone back to school and they've both settled in incredibly well, Iain did his literacy homework last night with no complaining at all which must surely be a first and Abigail, well what can i tell you about Abigail, she rushed home today to do homework which wasn't even homework, she adores learning although I'm not sure the same could be said of reception class as there's hardly a day goes by without her not wanting to go to school, I'm pretty sure that this is just derigeur for a four year old!!

I had to buy a new printer today which hurt a lot but if I'm going to run a photography business it's not like I can do without one. I've had to make some hard decisions and even sold some of my beloved scrapping stash, the thing is that no one else is going to help so I have to just grit my teeth and get on with it, thanfully I have my lovely Hubby who supports my every decision, you can pop over and see him HERE but don't love him too much, he beat me on battle of the blogs earlier today and he's had a smug look ever since!!
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Monday, September 18, 2006

No Photos.....

Today! I did take a couple but they weren't really worth sharing, Iain and looby also tried taking some while I was playing with the tripod, Looby loves taking photos, I have a feeling that she may well grow up to be creative, Iain also seems to have a love of photography and certainly has an eye for it. Abigail is also creative but in different ways, that little girl does more crafting than me and has her own set of craft draws, there's rarely a day goes by without her coming down to show me her latest paper and Double sided sticky tape creation!

I'm really tired just now, My bi-polar is hanging in the balance and ready to blow at any moment, i've been so lively and carefree for a while now and I can feel the dip starting. The thing is that i just feel so frustrated, i need a new printer so i can start my business, my other one has given up the ghost again and it's just not good enough to be used in business, I'm desperately trying to scrabble together the cash to get one but it's just been Iains birthday and it's Loobys birthday on Monday, you know the thing is that when I start my business I can get grants (supposedly) but not till that moment, I can't do that because i need some people willing to pay for my services and for that I kind of need a printer and a business thats capable of functioning in the fullest sense of the word! arrhghh vicious circle, screaming into cupboards, you get the picture!!
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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chic!


























It was Abigails turn for a photoshoot today, helping me in my quest for world photography domination and I'm so glad she did, we only shot for around 10 minutes as any longer and it would have ceased to be fun for her, she has a really short attention span at the best of times.

I guess it's been a while since I noticed just how much she's grown and how she's turning into a lovely young lady, I think she looked very chic hence the title of my first layout of the week, hadn't scrapped in a whole week, mostly due to all the photography going on and spending every spare minute on my website

I'm lucky to have a wonderfully supportive hubby and tonight I think me and him
might just settle down for a night of less internet and more top telly, Spooks returns tonight and we both love that!! All in all it hasn't been a bad week!
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Saturday, September 16, 2006

One of my favourite models...




This man provides pretty darned fantastic images every time he models for me, yes it's my hubby, the cuddly ball of gorgeousness that he is, oh and i couldn'resist showing this one of Looby, she was being dangled upside down at the time, all in the name of photography!! oh and by the way you must go and click on my hubbys blog today, he said really lovely things about me, makes you just want to squeeze him!!
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Antonia and Harvey



My other 2 little models who were both delish and edible.
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Perfect models.


So yesterday i had 4 models who are helping me to build my portfolio, Brooke (2) Antonia (2) Harvey (11 months) and of course Looby were all complete stars and even Brooke my most reluctant model proved to be wonderful and very photogenic little models!! I haven't edited most of the photos yet just this one of Brooke, ( I have permission from the mummies to show these by the way) but Oh isn't she quite the little poppet?

if you're in the north of England/south of Scotland and you would like a photoshoot for you, your children or even your beloved pets you can book me by contacting me through my website Mandy Charlton Designs

Oh and I have to redo the website this weekend, i think I concentrated too much on the scrapping side of the business and not enough on the gorgeous photos!!

I'll be back throughout the weekend with more scrummy piccies of these gorgeous little people!!
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Todays Photo of the Day


Ok so it's the only other 1 I've taken today, you can't always have perfection so this is 800 iso, noisy and the most awful lighting situation for natural light photography, however i still love those big eyes.

Tommorrow i shall endeavour to take more than 2 photos!!
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I laugh in the face of adversity!!


Yes it's been 2 years since my agoraphobia was at it's worst and 2 years since I had my haircut until today that was!! I finally went and had 10 inches chopped off, now you can't see it too well in my speedy self portrait but OOh it's so smooth and sleek and finally you can see my hair and not just a bunch of split ends!! My hubby said afterwards that he loves my sexy new style and it was a little manky but he was too scared to say, Manky?????, what kind of a word is that!! LOL Thats men for you!!

Anyway I've had another uber busy day and this is about the only photo I have taken. mostly I have been begging for grants to start my business and i'm not getting anywhere fast but I'm not giving up!!

Tommorrow i have a plethora of people coming to be photographed, they're all kind enough to model for me so I'm doing it free for use in my portfolio, hopefully the more variety the better. Of course I'm really hoping that they'll go away and tell their friends etc and soon i'll be able to get my business properly up and running!
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Soooo Busy...


I can't begin to tell you just how busy I am so I won't!! I think it's enough to say that hot water has finally returned to the Charlton Palace and bathing can happily recommence, thanks to all members of my family who have kept us clean during our 2 week ordeal!!

So today has been far to quick to keep up with, I did think I would share todays best photos though as I always say, A photo a day helps you get better!!

The one with Looby in the pink was actually in the kitchen as she baked Noddy cakes and really wasn't optimum lighting so I'm quite pleased with the end result. The other one is from this afternoon when she decided to have a snow white session, obviously couldn't miss out on that opportunity. Blogger is still very tempremental at the moment and doesn't like A) my large file sizes or B) more than 1 photograph in a post, Ya Boo Hiss to blinkin blogger.

My final thought for the day before I send you off to see hubby and his muffins, If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Happy Little Update!

I'm so late blogging tonight but oh what a day I've had, lets not dwell on the fact that I still have no hot water and the new tank turns out to be the wrong type of water-tank so they have to come and pull the new one out again tommorrow! JOY!! no lets instead concentrate on the fact that I went to the enterprise centre today and it looks like Mandy Charlton Designs is actually a viable business. I think in the end though that it's more about the photography than the scrapbooking and in the end I suppose I'm overjoyed to become a professional photographer. I'll still be incorporating the scrapping part in there as well and also of maintaining my design team manager post for Happy Scrapper which i am super chuffed to be able to do at the same time, it does however seem like i might have to work a million hours a week for the next 50 years but hey ho!!

So if you're in the north and you're looking for a photographer to come and take shots of you, your kiddies, your animals, whatever don't hesitate to contact me! I'm busy working on my portfolio and persuading every friend I have to come and have a free sitting, hopefully they won't need too much persuasion, I mean after all, I could make them look as cute as Looby!!

Back tommorrow, hopefully not in so much of a spin!
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Monday, September 11, 2006

Looby and Elphaba

























They have a very sweet relationship, Looby adores Elphaba and for the most part Elphie doesn't actually mind too much!

I thought I would share these today as it is 09/11 and i can't think what I should actually write, so I thought i would leave that to those bloggers who can. I think it's enough for me to say, I do remember, I had just found out 3 days earlier that I was pregnant and watching those horrific images and the story unfold left me changed forever. to all those bloggers who were there, or know someone who was there or lost someone, i can only aplogise for the evil that caused such atrocities.
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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Signs of Autumn....

So the photography competition on UkScrappers this month is signs of Autumn, well wouldn't you just know it, there we were in the middle of Chopwell woods picking blackberries when Looby offered to model one for me! I have to say that this is only half the story as the other half has to do with learning new photoshop techniques, i.e. editing in labs which I have to say gives the most amazing effects, pretty much with a tried and tested formula, hopefully it's pictures such as this that people will hire me to take their photos and make their memory books, Mandy Charlton Designs goes to see the small business advisor on Tuesday morning and i'm more than just a little terrified but you know I really have the self belief, unlike anything I have done before, this I beleive really could work and really could give me and my family a future to be proud of.
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Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm ready for my close up Mr De Mille!!




How can you tell that I'm home all alone, even the poor cat hasn't escaped a photo-shoot!!
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And now it's become....


My next layout, Pause!
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Pausing For Thought.


I thought I would share this photograph of my daughter, pausing for though, obviously whilst she decides what she needs to do next to take over the world!!

The girls have gone off to grandmas for the day so it's just me and paul and Iain, Paul is off to footy this afternoon so no doubt i'll end up here on my own once iain has gone off to re-connect with his friends. Being back at school means they probably have an awful lot to catch up on!!

Ooh and can someone please send some bandages and a magic elixir, my poor hubby is really stressed at the moment and is quite like a bear with a proverbial migraine!
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Friday, September 08, 2006

Quack, Quack, Quack....




So here's the thing, I actually went up to Warkworth in Northumberland to take some photos of Warkworth Castle but to be honest, I'm a little disappointed with my efforts, i did however get to spend a little time quite near to a group of quacking new friends and they became todays top photo totty!

I love taking photos of scenery, buildings, even the occasional door knocker should the occasion suit but I'm actually far better with people and animals!

I could have sat with the ducks for ages, they were so nosey and were literally only a couple of metres away from me, I do love a good old quack!!

Ooh and the third piccy is looking up the river Aln which runs through the historic village of Warkworth, a village I would move to in a minute given a large lottery win!!
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tag i'm It!!

Arghhh, I'm usually so good at avoiding being tagged but it seems that Natty has got me, so here goes:-

1. If you could build a house anywhere where would it be?
Easy answer this one, it would most definetly be in the highlands or somewhere similar, I love Scotland, my dad was born in Leith and whenever I'm in Scotland I feel like it's where I'm supposed to be.

2. What's your favourite article of clothing?
I don't actually have 1 set article but I would probably say my shoe collection, I love shoes, especially ones with high heels, I'm a girly when it comes to shoe choices!!

3. What's the last CD you bought?
So here's the thing, I don't actually buy many CD's these days, I like to download tracks rather than whole albums, so the last CD I bought was a couple of years ago and was the Wicked original broadway soundtrack. The last track I downloaded was probably The Dixie Chicks "The Long Way Round" it's catchy and I kind of like it.

4. Favourite physical feature of the opposite sex?
I love sporty men, I like slightly muscular with a flat stomach and a nice round pert bottome, luckily hubby has all of the above as does Ewan Mcgregor, David Tennant is a little weedier but still a little scrummy!

5. Where's your favourite place to be?
Right here at home with my hubby and a bottle of red wine, note the children would be away ruling the world or something!!

6. Where's the least favourite place to be?
Anywhere busy or crowded.

7. What's your favourite place to be massaged?
Neck.

8. Strong in mind or strong in body?
I would have to say Mind because I am never going to be strong in body, I have my sporty hubby for that!!

9. What time do you wake up in the mornings?
Oh I'm a lazy person, I hate mornings so i get up at 7.45 when my hubby brings me my meds and coffee!

10. What is your favoutite kitchen appliance?
Without a doubt my breadmaker.

11. What makes you really angry?
My Mother, usually every time I speak to her!

12. What instrument would you like to play?
Well I can play the piano quite badly and I can sing so I suppose I would just love to be better at those. I can often see myself on the west end stage and i have a myriad of Wicked dreams, ala Ms Menzel can't go on can you step in??

13. favourite colour?
Orange

14. Sports car or SUV?
Hmmm, something little and sporty though I can't drive so I guess it doesn't matter, I'm not a status symbol type of a gal.

15. Do you believe in an afterlife?
Oh yes absolutely!!

16. Favourite Childrens book?
Hmm, I like Each, Peach, Pear, Plum, also We're going on a Bear hunt and of course I want my potty. Classic childrens reads from my youth included What Katy did and Little women.

17. Favourite Season?
Ooh hard one, I love them all for different reasons, as long as I can get out and take photos I'm happy.

18. What is your least favourite household chore?
Ironing.

19. If you have a tattoo what is it?
I leave that to my hubby, i don't like pain, even for arts sake!!

20. Can you juggle?
A little and enough to amuse the childeranos!!

21. If you could have a super power what would it be?
The ability to eat what I want and stay healthy and silph like!!

22. The one person you wish you could go back and talk to?
My grand-dad, I was only 7 when he died and didn't know him well enough.

23. Whats in the boot of your car?
In my hubbies car, probably things belonging to the children.

24. What do you prefer sushi or hamburger?
I loves Sushi!!


Phew that took ages and i think i have gone crossed eyes, beware blogger friend readers for you may be next! Mwahahahahaha

Ok if you're wondering why it's all in red, don't ask but basically blogger beta did it!!













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Explore and Dalek cake


Ah dalek cake, just what every 10 year old boy wants for his birthday and I have to say it was taysteeeee!

No one got exterminated, although many calories may have gone to my hips!!

Needless to say that 24 hours later and there's not even a crumb remaining!!

Oh and this is my latest layout, lovely scrummy SEI petals an paisley papers go perfectly with my pretty little daughter deep in exploration of the woods.
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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Happy Birthday to you!


Yes Happy Birthday to my dear son Iain, 10 years old and making me feel like a dinosaur.

It's also Abigails first day at school today, another reason for me to feel old.

So with that in mind a list of 10 reasons that I am still young.

1. It's going to be up to 33 years before I can retire.

2. I still enjoy occasional drunkeness, old people just get tiddly!

3. I still have full control of my bowels

4. My hot flushes are due to a hysterctomy not the menaupause

5. I haven't grown up and had a career yet

6. I can still sing, old people just warble

7. I like Mcfly ( thats a teen pop group, just in case you're old and don't know)

8. I don't have grey hair. (I never will, i shall dye it until I am 90)

9. I hate the supermarket (old people love it and regularly go for day trips, ask my granny!!)

10. I'm still called Mandy (when I am old I shall become Myfanwy or betty, Hubby will become Bert or stan, although Paul has a middle name which will suit him fine when he's old!!)
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Monday, September 04, 2006

Take 2 children, add some cheap face paints....

this is what you get, lots of fun and lots of colour, I have to admit that I may be many many things but I'm not a face painter, this top one was actually Looby herself and I filled in the bits she left and the other 2 were done by Mr Scrapping through Life

What could have been a tense last day of the summer holidays certainly became entertaining. After this we went on to decorating Gingerbread men and this of course descended into making icing mess and eating it out of the tube (the children, not me) I'm so glad they had fun!!

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