The stage before the stage before the 1st Stage…

So, as many of you will have read about in my first adoption post (Day 1….), I have officially started my journey to becoming a parent, and yes, I plan to document it all here for you, my lovely readers.

I have initially thought that there was a 3-step process, based on my research. The first stage takes about 2 months, and involves some initial interviews, a bit of basic training, and criminal records checks etc. Then the second stage, the home study, takes around 6-8 months and involves extensively poking around into every conceivable part of my life to look for holes or skeletons, talking to my friends, neighbours, employers, bank, mortgage lenders, etc. Then if you make it past that stage, you are “approved for matching” – and matching is the 3rd stage, where you and social workers try to match up approved adopters with children needing families.

So having spoken to the adoption team on the phone, attending an information day, and doing lots of reading, I assumed that my initial interview was the official start of Stage 1.

Turns out, it wasn’t. Continue reading

“Look at my bad knee” – A story by Maya

Chapter 1 – The Crunchy Sound

Once upon a time, Maya’s knees started to make a funny noise.

It was a crackly, crunchy sort of a noise, like the sound of scrunching up paper or tin foil, or crushing cornflakes up in your hand, and it happened every time she went up stairs.

Maya was worried about the strange noises, so she went to see The Physio, who told her she had under-developed glute and thigh muscles which were causing the problems in her knees, and that her knees had started to twist inwards in a way that could be described as “not good”.

Maya “So you’re saying I have a lazy bum?”

Physio “Well, yes, basically. Here are some exercises you need to do to strengthen your bum.” Continue reading

Day 1…

This week I took my first official step to becoming a parent.

First, a little background for those of you not in the know…..

I’ve always known that I wanted to have kids. Having a family and being a mum is something I’ve always known that I wanted – even when I was 16. As a teenager planning my potential/future career I even looked for jobs that related to working with kids, such as social worker, teacher, etc, and did a lot of summer jobs working with kids in summer camps, or with my mum’s research with children. I always took it for granted that by the time I was in my late twenties, I’d be married with kids.

By the time I was 29, I realised that wasn’t likely to happen – I’ve been pretty much single for my whole life, and I realised that waiting around for Mr Right might mean I miss out on being a mum, and having a family, and for me, that’s too important. I realised that if I wake up one day and I’m 50, and I never had kids, it would be my single biggest regret. So I started thinking about doing it alone instead. Continue reading

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention

Video

This summer I went with a friend to Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, a small festival in rural Oxfordshire set up by the band Fairport Convention.

This year it was 50 years since the band was formed (although over the years they’ve had so many people leave the band, join the band, re-join the band, that the full 50-year line-up includes around 30 musicians!).

It’s predominantly a folk-rock festival, and the majority of the performers are ex-band members who have gone solo or formed other bands, mixed in with a few performers they just really love. An eclectic mix but really pretty good!

Here are a few video highlights: Continue reading

Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra

Video

Betty and I went to an obscure little festival in Oxford back in May, purely for the sake of seeing Pete Tong perform his Ibiza club classics with a live orchestra on stage, and it was EPIC!

I absolutely loved it and thought it was amazing to get such an incredible live orchestral performance of club tunes!

Here are a few examples, though you can’t always see the performers that clearly, but it was really amazing to see all these tunes performed live by an orchestra!

Continue reading

2017 Book Challenge

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This year, one of my new year’s resolutions was to read more books, so my Dad and I have decided to do this¬†reading¬†challenge together to get some new reading inspiration!

The list itself is fun, and we’ve both put together a list of books we plan to read in 2017. I’m going to post here all the books I have read (which I’ll update as I go along) with a short review of each book.

My first stop was a trip to Waterstones to buy some new books, as frankly, any New Year’s Resolution that involves shopping is a great idea! Continue reading

Raku firing and Kintsugi

After getting really REALLY into my new hobby (and while wondering how I would fill my days in the summer with no pottery to look forward to), I have been watching The Great Pottery Throwdown on the BBC, and getting lots of ideas and techniques.

I then found a place in Wiltshire that offered Raku firings so I booked myself in for an afternoon of Raku!

Raku is a Japanese form of glazing pottery that involves an outdoor kiln, where you bring the pots very rapidly up to about 1000 degrees, then remove them and immerse them in a combustible (usually sawdust or similar) which starves the pot of oxygen while it is oxidising and producing a lot of carbon, (a process called “reduction”).

Then the pots are removed and immersed in water, and scrubbed to get some very unusual glazing effects. The most common ones are the metallic colours from the oxides you paint on while glazing (Raku glazes are oxide-heavy to get this shiny metallic effect), and something called Crackle glaze, which is usually white, and which cracks in a rather beautiful way due to the sudden changes from hot to cold.The bits you leave without any glaze on will turn matt black in the Raku process, so you can use tape to make interesting designs as well. Continue reading