Exploring the world through the web

Experiencing life in any way you can.

Blessing 103 – Coming out of my shell on camera April 12, 2012

I’m almost at the end of my second week on the online video course I’m doing and we had a week of doing crazy videos, smiling to the extreme, changing out tone, emphasising out words, being someone else and finally being us again. It was hard at first, I felt really self-conscious; but it got easier and I actually had fun messing around in front of the camera. Something that I never, ever would have imagined a few weeks ago!

I’m actually discovering that I can relax more when I’m doing a video and let more of my personality, the real me, out in this safe, quiet environment. The side that normally only my family and sometimes my friends see. The quirky, goofy, silly me that I never really felt I should show others in case they might judge me. Turns out that I don’t need to worry. The ladies in the group have all been so encouraging and supportive that it just feels natural and very safe to let them see me. It actually feels really good to not be hiding or pretending. I have a feeling that this is going to change me in more ways than I ever imagined, or maybe not change, perhaps release is a better word.


Blessing 94 – Getting to be a kid again. April 3, 2012

Filed under: Blessing Blog 2012 — Claire @ 11:04 pm
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Grr WordPress is driving m crazy with its sudden postings. Anyway, where was I? Oh right, today my friend Louise and her little boy Casper came round. I’ve known Louise for about 12 years as we both have ME and I’ve watched Casper grow up, from the cutest baby to a gorgeous little boy. We don’t get to see each other much because of being ill; but we always pick up from where we left off.

I had so much fun with Casper today, it was like being a child again. We played with a box of Playmobile figures that my Mum has hung on to. Every time Casper found something he didn’t recognise, he asked what it was, he was so inquisitive it was lovely and he kept up a running commentary the whole time. We had a picnic lunch where we discussed the merits of the different colour Smarties, Casper’s favourite are red, mine are orange because of the flavoured chocolate and I think I might have converted him too!

We then played with the rubber ducks in the bathroom, making them swim in the sink. My colour changing ducks were a particular favourite!

Later he showed me the toys he brought in his Ben 10 backpack and I even got to try on his army hat. Casper told me very seriously that I looked like a Lady Soldier, I was very honoured.

He’s full of energy and it was quite tiring; but the most fun I’ve had in ages!


Blessing 90 – The perfect birthday. March 30, 2012

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my birthday this year – I’m a huge fan of birthdays in general, normally getting excited about mine as soon as Christmas is over. I’ve been known to count down the days from 1st January; but normally from the beginning of March. This year I’ve been so busy that I got distracted and it sorted of snuck up on me.

I had planned two different things to do on my birthday; but both fell through, so I decided not to make any set plans, just to go with the flow and see what happens. I can say whole heartedly and very happily that the day has been perfect!

Mum made me pancakes with ice cream for my breakfast – it’s a tradition! I had some of the new Ben + Jerry’s core ice creams – if you haven’t tried them then you have to! They do two flavours of ice cream with a core down the centre, like caramel or chocolate ganache, they are so yummy!

I’m going on a cupcake decorating course tomorrow, so we had to go to a cake shop to buy all the bits – that was a scarily expensive shopping spree; but at least I’ll be able to use most of the bits again as they were mainly sugar craft tools. I’m really excited as I’ve always wanted to learn sugar craft.

Then we had lunch at one of my favourite places – Taste of Oz, an Australian themed restaurant who do amazing food! I did knock over the vinegar bottle which shattered on their tiled floor. I felt embarrassed; but not as mortified as I would have once.

We then came back via Waitrose to get a birthday cake (Butterscotch) and some bits for tea. I got lots of cupcake china and themed presents from Mum, so we had decided to have a tea party. We bought some salad, a tomato and garlic pizza bread and some other picnic style bits. It was so good!

I got lots of lovely messages on Facebook – 57 people!!! – some texts and I talked to my brother, aunt and friend Grace, who sang to me on my answer machine. It was fabulous! We then watched Letters to Juliet which was a classic RomCom; but was really sweet.

I feel very luck and very spoilt and I don’t mind too much that I’m now a year older! I am truly blessed.


Blessing 72 – Being normal for a change March 12, 2012

Sorry if you got this post too soon – WordPress sometimes flips out on me.

Where was I… Oh right – tonight I got to sit in a pub, relax and chat with other people and generally have fun. It is the strangest sensation at times doing something which is so completely normal, because it has been impossible for so many years. At first I was too ill to go and then I never had anybody to go with. Now I’ve discovered NIN (my networking group) and they are a fantastic bunch of lovely people who not only understand what I’m doing with Holidays From Home; but are very quickly becoming good friends. I love the fact that I get to go out and be me, not ME, it’s an escape and it’s wonderful.

It can be so incredibly isolating being at home, you wonder how you’re going to meet like-minded people. Don’t get me wrong, I have brilliant friends; but when you all have ME, it makes seeing each other a bit hit and miss, so there are times when I’ve wanted more people in my life, more connections, just generally more. Tonight I realised that I’m getting what I wanted and I feel really, truly grateful!


Blessing 60 – An Extra Day February 29, 2012

Filed under: Blessing Blog 2012 — Claire @ 11:31 pm
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What did you do with your extra day today? I visited a friend (Charlotte) who is setting up a business selling second-hand children’s clothes. She’s close to launching; but has lots left to do, so I and another friend (Martin) went to help out. We’d all met on a business mentoring course and it was great to be able to do something productive to help Charlotte out.

I wasn’t sure what we would be able to do to help; but I got busy on the computer writing some content for the website and Martin helped Charlotte take pictures of all the clothes. They were so cute and tiny! They did not have clothes that pretty and stylish when I was little. It was interesting to realise the skills I’ve developed over the past few years and great to be able to put them to use. I’m not sure the content I wrote was particularly sparkling or insightful; but I just hoped it would give Charlotte a starting point. I think it’s easier to edit something than start from scratch, when you have something to work with it feels less daunting. I can’t wait to see Charlotte’s finished site. The design is beautiful, I’m actually a bit jealous! She’s put in so much work and deserves to do well.

We were rewarded with tea and cake, definitely a  fair exchange!

To top the day off, Mum took me in to Shaake again, I got a Ginger Ninja, ginger nut biscuits with a Toblerone. Mmm!


Blessing 51 – Finding a place where you belong February 20, 2012

Tonight I went to my first meeting at a new Norwich Network – it’s a new version of the Wonderful Women group I was looking forward to joining earlier in the year. I was nervous; but excited too. I had high hopes, something about the group just felt right. I was not disappointed!

I was greeted by a group of lovely people, who were all warm, friendly and welcoming. I instantly felt relaxed and at home. The first meet up was just a social with an introduction; but I got so much just from that. People were so kind and enthusiastic about Holidays From Home, it was really encouraging. They had ideas of things I could do and suggestions on how I could use Twitter more. I was caught up in their excitement and it was lovely to hear about other people’s businesses too.

The next meet up will be on goal setting for 2012, which I think is going to be brilliant. I love the fact that everybody has a unique business; but they all have similarities and the different experiences and backgrounds of people works well together. I enjoy being in contact with people who are motivated, have passion and big ideas. I believe that you can achieve so much more with the support, encouragement and enthusiasm of others, than you can on your own.

The group is exactly what I’ve been looking for, with people I can see becoming good friends, not just contacts. I’m exhausted now; but so grateful that I found them!


Blessing 49 – Cuddly Babies February 18, 2012

Filed under: Blessing Blog 2012 — Claire @ 11:26 pm
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Tonight has been my monthly get together with my ME friends, which was lovely, if a little hectic. We had pancakes in honour of Shrove Tuesday next week. They were really yummy, one of my favourite things to eat and incredible considering they only have three ingredients in them. I traditonally have them as my birthday breakfast which I’m already looking forward to!

My friend brought her two children and I got to have a lovely long cuddle with her little boy Dexter, who is now five months and is starting to look like a proper little person, as opposed to the uniform cute baby look that all babies seem to have. He was so soft and warm, totally gorgeous. His smiles lit up the room and totally melted my heart.

I was happy to just sit with him on my lap. He was very chilled and contentedly sat while I turned a brightly coloured maze toy over and over, while he watched the balls tumble. I know he’s not always that easy and that he can be a real handful; but I thoroughly enjoyed being an aunty for the evening.

When Dexter’s like that he can lull you into the false belief that maybe you’re ready for children and I saw the broody look in two of my friends and probably in me too, if I’d looked in a mirror. Fortunately his big sister is full of beans, into everything and has more energy in her little finger than I do in a whole week. She kept my hormones in check and reminded me that I’m not yet ready for babies of my own; but with more cuddles, I’m definitely getting tempted.