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
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
So has 32 been good?
Well I finally kissed goodbye to the harmful family members who had done so much damage over the years, still having to protect the children from their malevolence but I have no doubt that we'll triumph in the end.
I've got the beginnings of my own business which I never thought I would do, I have a job which I love and I have a husband who I adore and cherish, I aslo have three darling children who no matter what they get up to at home always behave immacuately in company (well nearly!!) I think I'm pretty well blessed lately actually.
I've of course just bought my first DSLR which a year ago may not have been half as possible, amazing what a two income family can do in comparison to a no income one!
Yes there have been tears and trials but you know that even if it's bad in the end so long as we learn from it then I firmly beleive it's all good and you can't know just how much therapy it's taken for me to realise that.
So the future is bright, I'm meeting with my therapist tommorrow and will be telling here that I feel it's time to wind things up, I have gone about as far as I can go i think and I'm as healed as I possibly can be. my hubby remarked the other day that I'm definetly not the damaged woman he married, I'm this whole other exciting and exhilarating being, thats about the best compliment that anyone could give.
Life is Good!!
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
After several days (weeks/months) humming and harring over which DSLR to buy I finally bought this one!!
I had wrestled with the fact that I would have to spend an entire months wages to get anything else and this way I'll have enough left on payday to buy a great lens and maybe some groceries for the family if they're good! LOL
The thing is that truly in most cases your camera is only as good as your lens so I plan to get a really great 70-200mm and then my ultimate purchase is to get an 85mm f1.8 but thats another months wages in itself (don't tell hubby) Now I can really forge onwards with my business plans and who knows maybe one day I'll get the Hassleblad I really want but at £20,000 that may be a few years yet!!
Sorry also if I have just bored you senseless but what can i tell you, this camera is the biggest purchase I have ever bought outright all by myself and you know what it feels damned good right now!!
Thanks mostly to hubby who helped me become the person I want to be and have faith in my ability and not mind too much about my spending!
As for my wonderful not even 6 month old Fuji S9500, well I love that camera and it's not going anywhere yet, Hubby wants it so look out for his photography very soon!!
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Well I used to think it was, that was in the days when I thought my photography was ok and photoshop was something evil, however I now realise that as a photographer it's not always possible to have perfect conditions, especially in winter and when you see people saying "Hey thats a great coversion, well this is the kind of thing they're talking about. I took both of these photos yesterday and whilst they were good they're now a gazillion times better and worthy of maybe hanging on the picture wall. I especially love the one of Abigail and Looby because i manage to get so very few of them together, the one of Iain I kind of gave him an inner glow which I think if you know Iain really captures his inner essence. of course you may think my editing and photography is pants and thats fine too if thats how you feel click on and thanks for stopping by! If you love it, well thanks very much so do I, it's one of my great passions along with scrapbooking and the reason I decided to go professional and have my own business. if you really really love it, well I do photoshoots too you know!!
Friday, January 26, 2007
This is the face that Looby uses to tell us she's thinking about mischief, usually if we don't take any notice we get the maniacal stage I shared with you in my last blog post! Nothing really to tell you from Chez Charlton at the moment, life is fairly quiet but busy if you know what I mean, Paul and I have both been working increduously hard and trying to squeeze in life around that, it starts to show by a Friday though, atleast I sort of get a lie in tommorrow, Paul still has Saturday morning post to do.
We're off to China town for the friday treat this week, the kids haven't been before and I'm only going as I now know we've reached the stage where all kids will like atleast one dish on the menu, it's a change from our usual family pub Friday night where we go to one of the local family inns for tea, I think you can only do that so many times though as the menu tends to be a little on the limited side. Abigail actually said she would like to go for Sushi which of course I love but Iain probably would be aghast at the thought of raw fish so maybe we'll leave that till my Birthday on Thursday when children are being babysat and it's just Paul and I!
Thought I had made a firm decision on the camera, 11 days till C day and counting, savings so far amount to half the required cost and the rest will be made up with wages, I do love earning my own money! LOL
Anyway for any camera enthusiasts, I was going for the Sony Alpha A100 with 2 extra lenses but today I have seen really great deals on both the Canon 400D and the Nikon D80 argh, the decisions will probably have killed me by the time the 6th of Feb comes (C Day!!!)
Ooh I did get paid for the Memory book this week, the company loved it and I hope to get more work from them in the future, although the book itself had a couple of ups and downs the company were lovely to work with and there was always someone on hand with a quick answer if I had any queries or questions.
Right then, onwards to the weekend and thoughts of that trip to China town might just keep me awake a little longer!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
We occasionally have to tell our youngest to stop with the Maniacal laughing, she's like a nutty professor possessed when she gets in these moods, honestly you've seen nothing like it, today I suspect it may have something to do with a packet of tangy tomato wheaties, not something I would usually feed the children which is how I know!!
In other matters life is fairly quiet at Chez Charlton, the only blot on the landscape is my liver apparently! I went to the doctors after being called in to "Discuss" my test results after all the recent testings because of my sudden high blood pressure, well it looks like they have found the cause, I have something wrong with my liver, this of course is a bit of a worry because he still has no idea what is wrong with me, so now I have to have more tests and be referred to a liver specialist so once again I've had to put the official launch of Mandy Charlton Designs on hold (though I am still available on a more casual basis) whilst there are further queries over my health. Funny how I seem to be lucky in love and lucky in life, if only my health would take the hint!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Hmmm, you have to wonder what she was thinking about. Knowing Abigail it was probably sweeties, playing with her best friend and maybe just a little bit of world domination. I really like this photo though, she's not often caught in serious thought, it's not that she doesn't have serious thoughts it's just thats she's usually bouncing around or jumping up and down at the same time!!
Going to the enterprise centre this week to sort my business out, it's just been sort of bumbling along which is fine, I do get enough business but I think it's probably time to start promoting myself more as it's getting on to that time of year when people start to think about photoshoots. If you're in the north of England and you would like one, you can visit my website Mandy Charlton Designs where you'll find I also do memory books, retirement albums, general photography, portraits...... What can I say I'm passionate when it comes to craft and photography!!
Saturday, January 20, 2007
To the weekend once more!
No family dinner last night as Paul took Looby and Iain to Adventurelands, Abigail was already there at a party so they all had quite a ball. I have to say that I stayed at home working but managed to get finished up by the time Paul got in today so that we could go for a family lunch!
We went off to Amble to a family pub there and had quite a delicious meal, the food portions though were huge and I have to give medal of honour to Iain who almost managed to eat a whole adult portion of fish and chips.
Looby and Abigail had lots of fun playing funny face/nice face, this is my secret ploy now to make sure that I get some great photos of them everytime, if you are a parent and you're having trouble getting your kids to play nice for the camera why not indulge them in this fun game, the rules are funny face photo and then nice face photo, that way you can assure yourself that half the photos you take will be fabulous and the other half will probably be priceless!
It's funny this week Paul and I have both worked exceedingly hard, Paul clocked up nearly 48 hours and I managed my own job plus photography work and a memory book, my only hope is that when all the payments come through that we'll have the time to enjoy it!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
OMG, sharing so much today, can you beleive it, the server is bound to have a fit with 5 photos!
Anyway, all is well except we're freezing to death with all this icy rain, supposed to be storms today then snow after the weekend, brrrr give postman Paul a medal!
So from the top:- Altered clipboard which is so lush I'm having trouble deciding who I should send it to!
Then all occassion card which will probably get sent with the clipboard as they kind of go together!
Then Lovely gorgeous Looby whom I managed to get just a few shots of yesterday afternoon.
All is so well in Charlton Towers at the moment, my new DSLR (nikon D80 or Canon 400D0 and 85mm f1.8 lense are looking a definite by the middle of next month. After that it's pretty much onwards to world domination so watch out Mwahahahaha
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Ring Ring, Ring Ring
Burly man : Is Paul there please
Me: Mmm no he's at work
Burly Man: no he's not he's broken down
Me: oh ok
Burly Man: could you ring him and tell him i'm standing by the phone now
Me: oh ok
I hang up, call hubby:
Me: Ok the man is standing by the phone now
Hubby: thanks darling, bye.
Now then, can I just say there are better ways of being hoisted from your dreams in the morning, especially when you are just about to make a surprise appearance on a catwalk in Milan wearing a rather attractive "This seasons Poncho is all about the bigger woman"
I should have really asked Hubby or indeed the Burly post office employee if both hubby and car were ok but at 6.15am I wasn't really in the mood for pleasantries, I'm sure there was some definite sense somewhere in the phone-call but I tiredly missed it!
I did climb back into bed but I was too perturbed to sleep so I thought I might as well get up, blog about it and then atleast I could laugh about it at a later date!
Right, time to go and stir the children, funny how on Weekends they come into my room at 6.45am asking if they can watch "Cartoons Quietly" 2 things spring to mind, 1 - how come they only sleep in on school days and 2, My children never do anything quietly!!
Monday, January 15, 2007
Anyway so there I am feeling skinny (yeah like thats going to happen!!) and the weekend arrived, Friday night we were out for family dinner, Saturday we were out for Family lunch, Saturday night I was out with hubby for date-night dinner delights and we'll not count the amount of G&T consumed over the last weekend, in my defence atleast the tonic was diet tonic! Yesterday I was back on track though with a steamed feast for lunch and then smoked salmon and extra light cheese on bagels for tea, again though those G&T's were calling my name last night!
I have to say though that for once I really feel like we had a weekend, Paul had the entire weekend off, I only worked yesterday, an hour or so for the photography job in the morning and then a couple of hours for Happy Scrapper later on, we did though manage to squeeze in lots of family fun inbetween and I think dear reader we're all a little sad that Monday has arrived so very quickly!
So whats in store this week? Well my highlight will be my ultrasound scan of my kidneys this afternoon, really looking forward to that one, plus 2 parents evenings this week, tons more work, lots of ferrying children to and from whereever and then hopefully before we know it the weekend will approacheth and we'll get to have fun, fun, fun again!!
Saturday, January 13, 2007
I had planned to spend most of the weekend working but alas I'm far too easily distracted and it seemed a shame to waste Pauls day off making thw whole family wait around for me. I guess thats the good thing about working from home.
Tommorrow I have a photography job at 11am and hopefully I'll get that done before the kids come home from grandads where they're spending this evening and tommorrow morning.
I thought I would share some photos from the last couple of days, I took this lovely photo of Iain the other day and I think I must have caught him unawares as he's got such a great smile and doesn't look to freaked out like he usually does when I point the lens at him! The other photos I took this afternoon when we were out and about in Richmond in the Yorkshire Dales, we had a lovely home cooked meal and as you can see here we all took the opportunity to take photos of each other, I think somewhere I also have a photo of Paul taking a photo of Iain taking a photo
of me, thats life these days, I become a photographer and they all jump on the bandwagon! LOL Actually it's great that the whole family want to take the chance to record their own memories of out times together, thats one thing I definetly encourage and celebrate!
As per usual Abigail and Looby provided many chances to get great photos and these two were my particular favourites.
So what does tonight hold in store, well as I mentioned, all poppets are off for a spot of entertainment at the local ball pool and then in the morning they're off swimming and shold get home about 1pm. My Photography job isn't until 11am so Paul is taking me out tonight to kick my heels up and then hopefully we'll get a wee lie in tommorrow and after the week of work and fun we've had I think I'm just about ready! Oh did I mention Hubby bought himself a 7 foot fish tank? No I don't think I did, less said about that one the better!!
Friday, January 12, 2007
One thing has become very apparent of late, we're all so very happy, the children are happy, Iain is much happier and totally enjoying school at the moment, he has a new teacher who makes him laugh and is only strict when he need be, I say a big old Hurrah for that! I think we just need to get some of that weight back on him, of course he really has always been a bean pole and he did have a week of sickness over the holidays so once again i'm just doing that parental worrying thing!!
So it's the weekend and although I'll hardly look up from work I'm determined that tonight we'll do something fun and Sunday we'll maybe get away for the day.
Do you know, I just ordered some gorgeous shoes from Next and for the first time I didn't have to worry about the price, I never really appreciated the freedom from financial worry until the last couple of weeks. Work Hard, Play Hard, Laugh Harder, thats my new motto!!
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Ooh I just love this from Mambi, perfect for my daughter Looby who does indeed go by her Sunday name occassionally, this is just part of a scrumptuous order of goodies soon to be heading to my workplace ;) What a great idea, the only problem is of course being from the US, there are a lot of US names and not many of the british ones, no Abigail and No Iain for instance, well atleast Looby gets her name in sparkles!! There's a Scottish lady I know and her name is also on the way :) Anyway keep a look out at HappyScrapper for their arrival very soon!
So thats been my day really, lots of work and not a lot else, managed to pop out to Asda this afternoon and picked up a scrummy new tunic top to add to my collection but other than that I have been a proper working mum today.
More work for the rest of the week as there are so many things on the way and in addition to that I also have a custom memory book to create, you know I also do those as well, well this one was started in October, held up and now is in the finishing stages or it will be when my new Gold pen arrives, there I was happily finishing off when kaboom, no pen, no idea where it had got to and my other one was bled dry!
Argh, all this talk of gold pens must surely have you falling asleep by now so off I go, till tommorrow dear reader, sweet dreams!!
Monday, January 08, 2007
I think we're decorating or atleast on the way to renewing all that needs done in this house and blimey there is such a lot to do, I know we're talking of moving but I feel that as long as we're progressing in this house then we'e half way there.
We did pass a nice place tonight where you can take part n one of those schemes where you buy half and rent half of a house then when you've bought the first half you move on to the second half. It's so good not to have to worry about money any more, I know we're not exactly rolling in it, far from it, in most peoples eyes we're probably the poorest of the poor but in comparison to what we were used to when we were both ill it's amazing the difference, plus of course we're both happy, have jobs we love and whats more both our jobs still allow us to see the children grow up.
we saw so much furniture we loved today, it's funny how you can get excited about wardrobes but we've only had clothes rails for the last two years in our bedroom, we even saw a wrought iron bed frame which was gorgeous and totally affordable. The only hard decision is should we get the bedroom furniture first or the Wii which the kids probably think is much more of a neccessity!!
Sunday, January 07, 2007
I've been feeling rather creative this week, funny how when life is hard I resort to craft to keep me sane, it doesn't always work but it does seem to chill me out a little.
The cards are part of my attempt to be more of a cardmaker in 2007, also I wanted to come up with some different types of cards as opposed to the traditional birthday cards, i came up with these as all occasion cards but also for people who have wintery birthdays, much like myself, also it gives me a chance to try and use some of that excess Christmas stash which I seem to have accumulated, I must keep reminding myself, Craft is for life not just for Christmas!
The layout came about because I took this wonderful photo of my daughter the other day, wondeful in all aspects apart from the light just happened to catch her in the wrong way and totally bleached out the top corner of her hair. i had to come up with a way of asving it because firstly look at those twinkling catchlights in her eyes. So I thought lets hide it a bit and the layout and circle theme really started there.
I had a real rant last night and somewhat lost the plot for an hour or two, I think though I needed to do it as i have been bottling up so much lately and if it hadn't come out it would have done damage in the end, I have an appointment with my therapist on thursday and will I be glad to see her!
I did move my blog and then I moved it back again, I decided I'm not scared or frightened so why should i move, i was here first LOL
I think though we're not destined to be in Newcastle much longer, Paul and I both have jobs now where we can easily relocate, paul of course could work for the Royal Mail anywhere in the country and as my job is online it doesn't matter where I live. I have a feeling that although we don't know where or when you can almost certainly guarantee that it will be north-bound.
Happy Sunday dear reader I'm off to finish Sunday Lunch!
Saturday, January 06, 2007
I switched back to here straight away until I can either resolve the issue or cancel the hosting and just switch to using the custom domain feature which new blogger currently has.
Look out for the updates!!
The thing is though that my archives no longer work and I'm so scared that I'm going to lose everything now.
I'm in a right flippin state. If anyone should happen to be reading who knows anything about setting up a website, HTML or indeed how to get my archives back from the last year I would really really appreciate it.
I've actually asked my hosts to cancel my package and then just turn my name servers to google so that I can just have the domain name without the hosting and it will all be on blogger again, I'm so stressed!
Friday, January 05, 2007
I painted yesterday afternoon with the girls, they made such lovely painty messes and wonderful works of art were indeed created and then after they got cleaned up Paul baked with them, Thomas cakes and Dora cakes. I think they had a great afternoon and it was fantastic to just be doing something normal.
I commented to hubby that i thought we had been good parents, he said we've always been good parents it's just other people who have chosen to suggest otherwise, this of course is all true, I've worked through it on many an occassion with my therapist and we realised that we've always been plenty good enoug, it's just now that we're well and happy we're flippin fantastic parents most of the time! LOL
We had another letter arrive this morning from the dark headquarters of evil HQ, this one was so completely full of B@~#S;=T that dear reader we're not even going to rise to half of the accusations, to put it plainly it's all a load of crapola!! Iain quickly dispensed with his letter, he knows full well it's a load of rubbish and thank goodness we have such great children, children who realise the difference between truth and lies, wrong and right, good and evil.
Apparently my weirdness began when I was young, probably about the same time as the abuse I would expect. Yes dear reader I'll say it now I am wierd, my husband loves me because of this, I'm quirky, I'm different, heaven forbid that I would be normal!!
Oh and 1 last thing, apparently if you read my blog from beginning to end you can see I'm someone with mental issues, dear reader did I ever say I wasn't??????
have a nice weekend, my blogging pals, may your lives be filled with "Sunshine and Lollipops" just as the song says!!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
I think mother realised she was defeated when even Iain had enough and hung up on her, he told us that she was trying to say awful things about us and obviously Iain loves me and his dad very very much. We're so proud of him for standing up to the malevolence and saying a big fat NO, funy how when you empower your children and give them a daily dose of love and support they can conquer almost anything.
I'm still unclear as to whether we're being sued for libel, there was a ranting that me publishing mothers email was illegal but I think it was time for the world to know!
Thanks for all the kind words and comments, I've received more friendship, love and support from my time on the internet than i ever received from my family (well until i met paul obviously!!!)
I bought myself a domain and hosting package last night and it's my intention to start hosting my blog on my own domain, that way I can ban certain IP addresses and also take further steps to protect my images. I'll let you know as soon as I move my blog over to the FTP server, Thank goodness for my webstats though as now i know exactly which IP addresses come from where.
I think the final word on this must go to hubby whom whilst on the phone to granny commented that the last time when we went to her about all the abuse none of it was denied, the comments we received back were "It was a different time and she deserved it all" Yesterday again he raised this point and I would like to state again that NOTHING WAS DENIED. Atleast that is one thing we're all clear on and if it should end up in a court somewhere I don't think I'm going to be the one left crying.
Just to say this is my last word on the matter as I don't think I want to spend the rest of my life dwelling on evil people, in the end the kids were only really upset that all their pocket money had been stolen from them, well they see it as stealing since they aren't allowed to have it unless they all see mother at her house, on her terms, by themselves. Do you really think I would leave my children alone with someone as dangerous as her. No I most certainly would not!!
Happy Days and onwards to the future!!
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Anyway thats all by the by, I'm back and I'm better than ever, one of the many features of my childhood would be to be given as presents secret diaries, one I definetly remember had a lock, anyway it usually occurred that I would write in it for a while, then it would be broken into and I would be punished. My blog was never a secret, I doubt it would have had 14,000+ readers if it had. I always knew that my family would find it one day and luckily it came at a time in my life when therapy has helped me not be scared of them any more. So dear reader I shall continue to share, my ups, downs, therapy and other assorted effluvia in exactly the same vein as before and should anyone try to stop me from doing that, i'm sure there are news agencies around the world who would find it quite an interesting story to publish. You may of course wonder why I am taking such a stance, well quite simply freedom of speech and freedom from persecution and if dear reader someone in similar circumstances is helped by any of it then i've done my job. Dear reader I am damaged, given that I'm a whole lot less damaged than when my husband met me, if you want to know just how bad it was then you'll have to ask him (by the way he's not been frightened off blogging either you'll be pleased to know).
It's funny the things we think are normal until we have something "normal" to compare them with!
So dear reader I'm not going to ramble any further this morning, I have said what needs to be said and taken steps to protect myself and long may I continue to blog, for me it's a permanent record that one day my children (from whom i have no secrets)can look back on, they can discover what they were up to when they were just wee beans and beyond!
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
I have received threats due to having a blog, oh and you're going to love this, the threats were from....
Dear reader I'm sure you've been following the story and I was already mad to the point of contacting a solicitor myself after yet another letter full of what can only be described as Liabel about my husband (Apparently he's got some dark secrets). Anyway after discussing the letter with my hubby we decided that we would give her one more warning before we took the matter further and then dear reader i receive this in my in-box this afternoon
We suggest that at the start of a New Year you refrain from writing your libellous comments on a public site and also stop writing fantasy about things which did not happen in your life except in your mind.Both written article and reply comments can be held as libel when it is there for all the world to see.We have always kept things within the family and we would not issue written libel on a public site.We could take this matter further but for the sake of our grandchildren enough is enough and it ends both ways.NO MORE WRITTEN ALLEGATIONS ABOUT US AND NO MORE LETTERS FROM US.We will still write the occasional letter to Iain and hopefully he will be allowed to phone us.We also reiterate that we have NEVER said that we do not want to see the children which you well know and we have nothing to do with what granny does,although when we show her what you have written over the year goodness knows what her reaction will be.So once again no more on your Blog and no letters or communication by us to you.We will never stop loving the children and we live in hope that one day we will be allowed to see them at our house in a manner in which I can cope as long as I am able to.We just hope you never have what I have, as it is not hereditary, and we wish the children well and hopefully we will hear from them and even though the feeling is not returned we hope you get your life on track which is all we have ever wanted whatever you think.
Goodbye and goodluck.
Love and Happy New Year to our 3 grandchildren"
So dear reader will I be removing the comments and posts I have made about her, no I bloody well will not. Don't abusers always say things like "it's all in your head"
I'm saying this now, once and for all, loud and clear I am not scared, she knows she could have seen the children at any time she wanted all she had to do was have them all at once or alternatively come and see them, we have reiterated this till we're blue in the faces. Our son doesn't want to ring her because he's mad as hell with her.
The reason i am doing this is so that when my children look back they will see that no one gets away with abuse forever, as she said in one of her many rants "What goes around comes around"
Thanks for listening.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Well thats what we wish each other in our house!
So here's what I got up to in the last 24 hours, a layout called Blossoming, my daughter is and when I don't want to kill her I notice just what a lovely young lady she is. Next a birthday cards, I don't really do cards but this was an exception when my hubbykins challenged me last night to come up with a birthday card, a new year card and a layout, thought I would share the birthday card and layout, the new year card was shall we say hmmmm!
The last photo I'm sharing this morning is our Cat Elphaba, she snuck in whilst I was taking photos of the layout and card, she stuck her big nose right into my lens so it's obvious dear reader that she wished to spread some new year wishes to all!
So in reveiw, and it's a quick reveiw you'll be pleased to hear dear reader, 2006 wasn't so bad, we got our acts together, conquered our own mental challenges and health problems, sorted out our financial situation and both got decent paying jobs that we both liked. We've worked hard and we're better people for it, we finally said goodbye to the tyrannical reign of Mother and for once i set myself free, 2006 really was the year or Friendship, growth, and therapy.
One thing of course has remained constant and that is scrapbooking, my reason for being, my life, my work, my passion and may that continue into 2007 and beyond.
Hubby and I both look forward to this year, a year in which we finally hope to achieve nice carpets, lovely wallpapers and maybe even a decent set of wardobes!
I wish you all dear readers the happiest and healthiest new years and may all you all achieve your dreams in 2007.
Ooh and 1 final wee iddy biddy thing, you may remember that I own a craft forum, well it's just had a major makeover and got a brand spanking new fabbaroony gallery, we've lots of exciting things planned for 2007 and prizes aplenty, membership is free and everyone is welcome regardless of location or type of craft, we are a kingdom after all! Check out the Craft Kingdom for fun, facts and much fabulousness!!