Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Photo a day!

For the last few months I've been following Fat Mum Slim's photo a day challenge. I love the variety of photos and the things that other peoples 'eye' for photography sees. So I thought seeing as I love photography, taking photos and collecting cameras, that in August I would join in and have a go at the photo a day challenge myself.

The list, courtesy of Fat Mum Slim is as follows:

I'm hoping to use a mix of digital, analogue and instagram photos :)

Who else is taking part?



Friday, 27 July 2012

Day trippin' #5 Castle Drogo

Recently, Mr Pomps and I have been taking advantage of my Dad's National Trust membership and have been visiting a few of their places. You would have seen that we went to Killerton House and Gardens a couple of weeks ago in a previous post. This time we headed a little further out of Exeter to Castle Drogo. Being only a couple of miles off the A30 and about 20 mins out of Exeter it was ideal, and to make it even better... it DIDN'T rain :) 

So anyway, Castle Drogo was built in the 1910's for Julius Drewe, and was the last castle to be built in England, and entirely of granite. The castle was given to the National Trust in 1974, and was the first 20th century property that they acquired. After a fair bit of restoration and major roof repairs, more and more of the house is being opened to the public. So here we go, my photos through the fisheye lens...
Mr Pomps pulling a silly pose in front of le castle!
The library and games room
More of the library and piano
The living room
Dining table
Beautiful stove
One of the living areas joined to the bedroom
A pair of goons
The goons again
Pia, pia, piano
Windswept outside the castle
Just a snipit of the gardens
The view from the gardens into the Teign Valley
Mr Pomps
This has been one of my favourite National Trust properties so far. I was totally amazed by the architecture and how it was so warm inside despite being made of granite. Sadly Mr Pomps has said we can't live there, so my hunt for a castle will continue (let's face it, it'll probably be of the bouncy variety).

Now go visit, right now!!


Friday, 20 July 2012


Well thank god it's Friday. This week seem's to have dragged on forever. Every day I've gone to work, come home and cleaned and tidied the house due to a few viewings and not being able to leave a dish in the sink etc etc. But now Friday is finally here I'm getting excited about the arrival of two of my favourite friends from uni. Although there were originally going to be 5 of my bestest chums coming to visit, numbers have dropped and now there are two. 

What do we have planned? Well the weatherman as threatened some of this sunshine malarky so with that in mind Saturday will be spent showing them around my home town of Exeter, some shopping, coffees, lunch etc. They will finally get to meet my Mr Pomps, and he will get to meet them :) With Amy being gluten free and Kelly being a veggie, it took me a while to think of a suitable meal to feed them, so I've gone with 5 bean chilli, nom! We'll veg out in our pjs, watch films, eat sweets and catch up on EVERYTHING. Then sunday will have to include a trip to the beach, picnic etc before saying goodbye, boo :(

Here are a couple of pics from this time last year, when we were at uni and not really caring too much about anything beyond graduation. Plus I think these photos sum our nights out up pretty well, Flares, fake moustaches, silly faces and LOTS of smiles!!

Hope you all have a good weekend.



Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Tummy tantrums!

For some time now I've been pondering on whether or not to share my tales of my tummy troubles. It may get gory, it won't always be pleasant, but after being asked to talk to a number of people who've been in similar situations I thought I'd share it with you too. 

So here goes. As a teenager I often suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), something that would flare up and then disappear as if nothing had ever happened. When my mum died my whole world got turned upside down and with the stress came another flare up. This time though it didn't go away again so I went to my GP. After endless blood and other tests they decided it was merely a tummy bug so prescribed some antibiotics and sent me on my way. Needless to say this did sweet f a for sorting out my tummy troubles so I went back again. Finally I had a referral to see a specialist and after having my personal space invaded more times than I care to remember I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, something I had inherited from my Mum. Ulcerative Colitis is an inflamation of the large intestine/colon and the lining becomes covered in ulcers. I was put on steroids for 2 years and my face and body blew up like a puffa fish, but every time they tried to take me off them the colitis got worse again. 

By this point I was 17, massive and incontinent, needless to say it wasn't my finest moment. As I couldn't stay on the steroids much longer, I was left with 2 options: wait for my bowel to rupture and kill me, or have my bowel removed and be fitted with a colostomy bag, obviously I chose the latter. At the time my Dad was very anti-bag, being protective and not wanting me to go through such a horrific ordeal. But there was no doubt in my mind, I want my bowel out and my life back. I was tired of the sleepless nights, not being able to go to college, go out with my friends or leave the house incase I had 'an accident'. I soldiered on for a couple of weeks so I could finish my first year of college and sit my exams, then the day after they were over I was off to hospital.

I was really lucky to have such a fantastic surgeon and team looking after me (my sister used to babysit for him and I used to babysit for my anaesthetist). Although I wasn't exactly looking forward to having a colostomy bag, all I cared about what being able to be a teenager again, and it was the best decision I've ever made. Sure it took some getting used to, not everyone was understanding, I lost some friends who were too superficial to deal with it, and realised how amazing the rest were. I took it in my stride, and for 7 years I was 'a bag lady'. 

Cancer battles: The Queen Mother on holiday in Scotland in 1966 - she had a cancerous tumour removed from her breast in December that year
Even the Queen Mother was a bag lady!! (photo from the daily mail)
I want to finish this 'story' in a second post, not only because it's starting to go on a bit, but also because I want to talk a bit more about what it was like to be a teenager with a colostomy bag. We live in a society now where everyone is expected to look a certain way and conform to the norm. Well there is no such thing as normal! I lost friends because they thought I was a freak, it was easy for them to forget that it was the choice of having a bag or dying. I know I made the right decision and I would do it all over again if I have to.

Both before and after having the bag reversed I was asked to speak to ladies going through the same thing. Some girls were younger than me, some were much older. But we all had to face the same decision and adjust to a completely new lifestyle. You have to learn how to dress so it isn't noticeable, what you can wear swimming to hide it, what you can and can't eat/drink, or the most stressful, how to tell a new boyfriend/girlfriend that you have this bag full of poo stuck to your stomach. It's not easy but it's life and all you can do is take it in your stride. 

If you're reading this and it's something you've been through or know someone else who is, I have a couple of simple tips for you:
1. Drink peppermint tea like there's no tomorrow, it soothes your bowel and helps problems with wind;
2. If you want extra protection under your clothes you can get covers (similar to those on maternity trousers), or if you cut the straps off a vest top, fold it in half and pull it over your bag it keeps it tight to your stomach and hides the lines;
3. If you're nervous about leaks, carry a spare bag with you;
4. Stay well away from fizzy drinks, beer, cider and alchopops, they are evil. 

Other than that just live your life, enjoy every second and don't let anyone stop you.

Thank you for reading, I really do hope I haven't grossed you out too much but it's something that isn't talked about and to be honest, it should be! We are who we are, we come in all shapes and sizes, with or without bags. 


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Day trippin #4 Killerton House & Gardens

After a hectic saturday morning doing various things for my nan, and having the same conversations 5 times, mr pomps and i thought we'd go for a stroll along the river exe. I just bought new Split cam camera so wanted to have a play around with it. We saw the most amazing caterpillar, as snapped below, he was quite the beasty. 

Sunday was meant to be a dry, sunny day, so after getting up at the crack of dawn to get the washing done and on the line we headed out for the day. Our first stop was the Craft Hub fair in Topsham, full of beautiful handmade treats and scrummy cakes from Kiss and bake up, obviousy I had to have one! We then had a brief look around the toy fair at Westpoint where mr pomps' dad had a stall, i definitely know nothing about old toys because it all seemed over priced to me and there were far too many dolls for my liking, shudders!
By far though they favourite part of the day was a visit to Killerton House and Gardens. As it's literally down the road from where i live it seemed like an ideal place to go. Unfortunately for mr pomps, i wanted to go to take photos of the flowers, but we had a good look around the house and used it as an opportunity to play around with our new cameras. Here are a few photos from our weekend...
The very hungry caterpillar, the river exe & cow parsley
very old dresses, a grandfather clock and a portrait
Ration books, typewriter, children's books and old books
Beautiful chandelier, paintings, thimbles and mr pomps & i
bloody lovely flowers
Hope you all had a great weekend too, shame it goes so fast hey? 



Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Day trippin #3 It's Boss time!

after what has literally been months of waiting, the day of the bruce springsteen concert was finally here! i am a MASSIVE springsteen fan so had been getting seriously excited about going to his concert. The gig was at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, so we set off at 11am for the 4 hour *cough* journey, allowing plenty of time to get there. but no, with horrendous weather, flooding on the m6 and too much traffic, it took 7 and a half hours and missing the first song before we arrived *sob*. 

needless to say as soon as i was in my seat i forgot all about the awful journey, because it was time for over 3 hours of bruce and that was all i cared about. as always he did not disappoint. it always amazes me that at 62, he still has the energy of a 20 year old running all over the stage. i was also pretty excited about seeing stevie van zandt too, i love the sopranos and his 'it's boss time' comment at older concerts still gives me goosebumps. there was a lovely tribute to clarence, who passed away last year. it was really sad to see the e street band without him, but also brilliant that his nephew has joined the band, also playing the sax. 

Photos thanks to my good friend Laura.

it was a truly amazing concert and i can't tell you how much you should go if you get the chance. he never fails to put on a brilliant show and will not let you down. even if you have to go to america, get tickets right this second, go go gooooooo!!!



Monday, 2 July 2012


The very lovely Catherine of life collection has nominated me for a Leibster award. As a relatively newbie to blogging I'm most excited. When you're finished reading go check out her blog, it's a great read from a really lovely lady!

Here's a description of the award:
The Liebster award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
  1.  Each person must post 11 things about themselves
  2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer.
  3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
  4. Go to their page and tell them.
  5. No tag backs!
11 things about me

1. My nephew is my favourite thing in the whole world. 
2. I have 10 tattoos, my dad only knows about 7 of them!
3. I've lived in the same house my entire life, apart from while I was away at uni.
4. I'd love to have lavender grey hair like Kelly Osborne.
5. The first concert I went to was The Eagles.
6. I really want to learn to crochet but think I'm more of a knitter.
7. People always mock my size 8 clown feet.
8. When I was 17 I had to have my bowel removed so became a bag lady (more about this another time)
9. I'm no longer a bag lady!
10. My favourite flower is probably a sunflower. 
11. If I could see any band live it would be The Who!

Catherine's questions:

1. What's your favorite genre of music? Definitely got to be rock, it's a broad genre and classic rock is probably my fav but I like something I can sit and bop too.

2. Do you believe in fate? I'm not too sure about this one, I can be quite cynical so I guess I haven't had anything happen that's made me believe in it yet.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world for a year where would it be and why? New York City or San Francisco, both are my favourite cities in the whole world and I feel totally at home in both of them.

4. Are you happy with your style/fashion? What would you wear if you could wear anything you wanted? I am, it's taken a long time but finally I am. If I could wear anything though it would probably be 90% of the dresses on Mod Cloth.

5. Coffee or tea? And how you like it prepared? I could never choose. I have to start my day with a cup of tea (milk, 1 sugar), coffee (milk, 1 sugar) is essential to get me through work, and then a big mug of tea when I get home. There's something cosy and comforting about a cup of tea, but if I'm out and about or want an after dinner drink it has to be coffee.

6. If you had to become an animal, what animal would you be? A platypus, hands down. They are by far my favourite animal purely because of their uniqueness.

7. What is your favorite season? Probably spring because I love everything coming into blossom and knowing summer is on its way. But then again autumn is the most beautiful. Tough one.

8. Favorite actor/actress? After a lengthy conversation while watching Forrest Gump last night, probably Tom Hanks! He's just amazing!

9. If you could do anything with your life what would it be? I'd love to have my own little venue/cafe/vintage inspired shop, I love going for coffee, shopping for vintage/retro treats and gigs so combining all 3 would be amazing. I also want a vintage caravan/campervan so weekends can be full of little adventures. Plus a nice home, veg patch, craft shed and family! 

10. If you knew for one day everything would go as planned, what would you plan or do that day? Ooh good one! I would probably plan a job interview at some amazing place and get the job, because that's how I'd want it to go! 

11. Twitter, Facebook, or both? Both, my friends are split between them so both are handy for keeping in touch!

My nominees:

1. Joe at Josie-Mary 
3. Emma at Lemons for lemonade
4. Louise at Lucky Lulu Handmade
5. Debbie at carrots and kids
6. Adie at Adie
7. Jillian at Boringspice
8. Kate at Bluebell and rosie
9. Roisin at Dolly Clackett
10. Hannah at hey zombot
11. Chloe at lazy explorers

(I had to cheat slightly, finding bloggers with less than 200 followers is no easy challenge).

My questions:

1. If you could have been born in any era, which would it have been and why?
2. You're stuck on a desert island with 3 'celebs', who are they?
3. What's your favourite colour?
4. Name 3 of your favourite blogs to read.
5. If money was no object and you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
6. What's your favourite thing in your home?
7. If you could have any skill/hobby what would it be and why?
8. What is the best gig you've ever been to?
9. Daddy or chips?
10. What do you have phobias of?
11. If you could have any magical power for the day, what would it be and why?

And there you have it! Thanks so much for reading and an extra special thank you to Catherine. I look forward to seeing my nominees responses.