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Camilla Armstrong moves out of her flat in the city centre and into an old farmhouse in the rambling Scottish countryside.

Camilla is a spiritual medium, who ends up falling for the local vicar, but will their relationship be able to survive their conflicting beliefs? Or the return of an old flame? Why was she drawn towards buying Rosehill by the spirit of her grandmother? What secrets lay hidden in this old house in the country?

Part paranormal, part love story, part mystery, this book will appeal to everyone. If you are not a big fan of the paranormal, please don’t let that put you off, as there is a lot more to it than that.

I found the book to be a bit slow to get going. I wondered where The story was going for a while, but then, all of a sudden, I just couldn’t put it down! I had to find out what happened next. The book has nice, short chapters. I kept thinking, “I’ll just read one more chapter before going to sleep”, and ending up reading three or four chapters!

All in all, I thought this book was great. So my advice would be, grab a cuppa, curl up on the sofa, and start reading – you won’t regret it!

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iPhone vs. Blackberry

I got my first smartphone in October 2010. I had a great deal, £15pm for 300 minutes, 300 texts, and 500mb of Internet.

The phone is a HTC wildfire. For the first 6 months at least, I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t understand why anybody would pay all that money for an iPhone, when they could have a phone like mine, for just a fraction of the cost.

Then, the problems started. Things had been niggling away at me for a while – the fact that the phone had practically zero internal memory, and that there are very few apps in the android market that can be saved to SD card, started to bother me. My phone kept flashing up warnings telling me that it was getting low on memory, even though I had only a few apps on it.

I was having trouble with the touchscreen. It was laggy and slow, and even now, I have trouble typing on it. The web browser is slow, and very temperamental. I keep having a ‘force close’ message popping up on the screen, but I have no idea what’s force closing! I even restored my phone to factory settings, to see if that would solve the problem. It didn’t.

The android market is fragmented. It must be hard for developers to make apps work for the many different phones that run the android OS, therefore very often, when an app works perfectly on one phone, it is buggy on others.

My 4yo kindly put an apple sticker on my phone, so I could pretend it was an iPhone!

My contract is up for renewal in September this year, and although I am aware that this is many months away, I have already started looking at other phones. Wishing to steer clear of android, and not being a big fan of windows phones, that basically leaves me with 2 choices : iPhone, or Blackberry.

I have an iPod touch (4th generation) and I love it. I do all my social networking on it, surf the net on it, and instagram is turning into a bit of an addiction! The touchscreen is not half as laggy as my phone, and typing is so much easier on it. My 8yo, however, does not want me to get an iPhone. She is worried that that I’ll be on my phone all the time, whereas if I have a blackberry, I won’t, as it’s more like a ‘normal phone’! I can see her point though, I am a bit worried that I might not be able to put it down!!

The thing that worries me about getting an iPhone is the signal strength and the call quality. From reviews I have read, this can be a problem with iPhones. I wouldn’t want to pay all that money for a phone only to find that it drops calls and has poor reception. Also, having another touchscreen phone concerns me – how do you answer an iPhone when it rings? On my phone, you have to swipe the touchscreen to answer a call and the screen often freezes, leaving me unable to answer.

The one and only thing that I don’t like about my iPod is the email. The only way I can get my emails is by checking my inbox, and, much as I don’t like my phone, email is something it does very well, it has push email, notification tones, and a blinking LED light.

This is why I am curious about Blackberry. I know they’ve had a lot of bad press lately, but they are famous for their push email and the thought of being able to push a physical button in order to answer a call, does sound tempting. They are also quite a bit cheaper than iPhones (depending on what model you get) and , I might be wrong, but call quality and signal strength seem to be better with Blackberry. However I do see a lot of people on twitter, complaining about how their Blackberries are not working, which worries me a bit.

I really don’t want to make the wrong decision again – 2 years is a long time with a phone you don’t like. Which phone do you think I should get?

My 8yo just told me a brilliant joke:

A boy was in school when a teacher asked him for his homework, to find out what the first four letters of the alphabet were. He asked his mum “Mum, what’s the first letter of the alphabet?”
“Shut up” the mum replied. The boy went to his dad, who was watching rugby at the time. “Dad, what’s the second letter of the alphabet?”
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” replied Dad.
The boy went into his big sister’s room. At the time she was listening to Michael Jackson. “what’s the third letter of the alphabet?”
“Michael Jackson! Michael jackson!” his sister replied.
He then went into his little brother’s bedroom. His brother was playing with a red lorry and a yellow lorry. “What’s the fourth letter of the alphabet?” he asked him.
“Red lorry, yellow lorry” replied his brother.
The boy goes back to school the next day. “What’s the first letter of the alphabet?” asks his teacher.
“Shut up” the boy replies.
“Do you want to go to the headmaster’s office?” asks the teacher.
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” replies the boy.
“Who do you think you are, talking to me like that?” asks the teacher.
“Michael Jackson! Michael Jackson!” replies the boy.
“how do you think you’re going to get through school with that attitude?” asks the teacher.
“Red lorry, yellow lorry!” the boy replies.

Pretty funny for an eight year old! The funniest thing to me was that, before telling me the joke, she said to me, ” mummy, I want to tell you a joke, but it’s got swear words in it, is that ok?”
You can imagine what was going through my mind….! After she had told me the joke, I asked her what the swear words were.

The offending words? “Shut up!” 🙂

It’s Christmas

I am sitting here, in my living room, 3 days before Christmas.

All Christmas presents have been bought and wrapped. I have visited family, and delivered presents to them.

All carol concerts and nativity plays have been attended. Letters to Santa have been written, and replies received.

Cards have been posted, the Christmas T.V guide has been purchased, and our festive T.V viewing has been duly planned.

Advent calendars have been opened, the house has been cleaned ready for Christmas, and the Christmas stockings have been dug out, ready to hang at the ends of beds on Christmas eve.

The Christmas cooking has already begun. The groceries have been delivered, and everything is in its place.

The house is eerie and quiet, and I’m waiting for the whirlwind to begin!

All that’s left, is for me to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a happy new year xx

My trip to London

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My sister has a learning disability and had to go to London for an appointment with a specialist. I’m a real city girl, I love the bright lights and the hustle and bustle, so when my mum offered me the chance to come with her and my sister, I jumped at the chance!

It was a long journey. I got on my first train at 8am, and didn’t arrive at paddington station til 12.30pm. Our train was delayed, and although we had booked seats, because of the delay the train company had been unable to reserve our seats for us, so we had to sit somewhere else. Inevitably, those seats were reserved by other people, who then also had to find other seats!

Being from a small town in Wales, even Paddington station impressed me! The amount of shops, and places to eat….it seemed more like an airport than a railway station! Our first stop was the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. All the doughnuts looked amazing, and the strawberries and cream one I had was gorgeous! The cappuccino was a welcome pick me up after a few disgusting train station powdered coffees.

We got a taxi to Oxford street, starting at john Lewis. Oh my gosh! It was huge! We felt like celebrities, because the ladies at the perfume counter were making such a fuss of us. A little walk further down the road and we came across the Disney store. I felt like I was five years old again. Just standing in the doorway, taking it all in, made me gasp in awe at all the amazing things there were to see. There were so many great things, I didn’t know where to look first! There was a whole section dedicated to toy story, one for cars, another for Disney princesses, a section for rapunzel (all to herself), one for the Disney fairies, Mickey and Minnie, and billions of cuddly toys. There was even a little room that children could go into and watch Disney films in!

We had to go to my sister’s appointment after that, and by the time we came out, it had got dark, and the lights had been switched on. Wow! They were like nothing I had seen before. It was like our local town lights times 100! John Lewis’ lights were particularly pretty, as was Boots. House of Grazed had lovely lights too. After having a bit of a wonder, we found Selfridges. The lights outside the store were beautiful and inside was just as amazing! We spent ages just walking around their Christmas department, looking at all the gorgeous decorations and ornaments. We also went to the Cath Kidston shop, and saw loads of cute little girls aprons and bags. Then we visited their tech department, which was like heaven for me! We had a play with all the mobile phones and tablet computers, before time started getting on and we had to leave to get back to the train station. It struck me that London was not that busy for the time of year – I thought there would’ve been a lot more people about.

We got back to the station, and grabbed a Mcdonald’s, before catching the train home. As our train was once again delayed, we had to change at cardiff, otherwise we would’ve missed our connection. The other train we had to catch, added an extra hour to our journey, so it was gone midnight, by the time I got home, and much later for my mum and my sister.

Today I am tired, but I am so happy I had the chance to visit London – and I’ve already started saving for next year’s trip!

Review: Vtech Mobigo

 

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I bought my 4yo the vtech mobigo for her birthday in September this year. As she is a very girly girl, who loves pink and princesses, we got the pink one that came with the Disney princess game included. I also bought her the Disney’s tangled game, to go with it.

I was a little worried that the games would be too difficult for her, but she enjoys playing with it, and I have found that there are both easier levels and more advanced levels on both games, meaning it should keep her interest as she gets older. I also connected the mobigo to our computer, and we downloaded 3 extra games for her to play with, which were free, as we received 3 free v-coins when we registered online. The games include a colouring game, and one where you have to count how many bunnies are hiding – she really loves that one!!

It’s easy for her to set up and switch on by herself, and she can work the touch screen and the buttons well. Battery life is not amazing, but that may well be because my daughter plays with it all the time! It might be worth investing in some rechargeable batteries though, just in case. I also found that because my daughter is quite little, she found it hard to hold the mobigo in one hand, as is is quite heavy. All in all though, it’s a great buy, and it gets a big thumbs up from us!

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Serves 2-3.
Ingredients
4 chicken thigh pieces, or 450g  diced chicken breast
1 onion, chopped
1 tin low fat condensed mushroom soup
150g sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs

Method

1. Fry the chicken in the frying pan to brown it, then place into the slow cooker.

2. Fry the onions until soft, then add to the chicken.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the chicken and stir.

4. Cook on low for 6hrs. Serve with rice or naan bread.