Two kinds of Christmassy angels…

Because I know the mascots in our centre our much beloved by some of my regular readers, know that they’ve taken their throne at the top of the teeny Christmas tree in the office. Next to the golden angel that I felt led to buy yesterday.

Two things to notice.

1. For some reason the gold angel looks pregnant, which we thought was kinda funny (you couldn’t tell this in the box)

2. I love the way they are kinda watching over us in the office. :) (FYI – the bookcase the golden angel is on top of is about 6ft in height).

You know it’s a good recipe book when the Cookie Monster appears

One of my friends (you know who you are) gave me a book token for my birthday. Just to say I LOVE book tokens, because I love books. I particularly love buying fresh new books. I have a dream of having lots of books in my home, and one of the things I love to do when I go to other people’s homes is browse their bookshelves. And then their DVD collection. And their music collection. The reason I have this dream is not to collect ‘stuff’, but just to have a home that’s filled with knowledge, inspiration, art and wisdom that can be discovered and picked up at any time by a fellow resident or someone visiting!

Anyway. I digress.

One of the things I’d wanted to be better about this year was trying to improve my culinary skills (or lack thereof). I’d seen this in the Innocent newsletter and wondered if it might be the answer…

I didn’t want to buy it until I’d flicked through it. I’ve got a few recipe books, but so many have TONS of ingredients that are not cheap, and some recipes will be pretty time consuming and complicated, and really not taking into consideration my severely limited culinary knowledge. Or the fact I’m one person. And there’s no room to store things in the freezer. Or that a Tesco Value electric whisk & a set of knives are the only kitchen gadgets I have. Plus lots of things that make food really yummy my body takes offense at.

After a successful sports bra shopping expedition, Waterstones just happened to cross my path between Debenhams & the car park…I entered in, found the book and flicked through. My hopes were reality! It was the recipe book I had been searching for! But should I use my precious book token? When I saw this page, I was sold…

When I got home and Elmo got hold of the book, he was so excited (just like I was) to see his Sesame Street pal, the Cookie Monster feature too.

And yes, this book is filled with good ideas to help make my diet a little less samey and boring. Hurrah!

The newest Elmo on the block…

You may already have caught a glimpse of him on twitter or facebook, but I thought I better introduce you to the newest Elmo on the block…

Sarah (my PCC partner in crime) was on holiday for the last few weeks visiting family in the USA and seeing her big bro graduate (Hey Steve if you are reading!!!). While she was in South Carolina, she spotted this wee guy and reckoned I’d give him a good home.

He’s currently sitting on top of a Dawson’s Creek boxset, leaning against the TV looking pretty chilled out.

He hasn’t really met the elmo slippers yet, I thought they’d been kidnapped and then I found them in a toybox in the centre office on Monday (!) 8O

The last 7 days in pictures

If you are in Scotland or North East England, you have no interest in this post. You’ve experienced it yourself, and maybe more if you live in West Lothian where they got 3 feet of snow.

After 3 days of snow & a teeny bit of thaw…this is the view outside our front door this time last week!

The beginnings of the gutter icicles – they grew & grew but the plumber took down the gutter before I got a chance to snap the final icicle product…

These guys are usually under the Christmas tree, but this year they’ve got a place on the windowsill.

My blog-famous Christmas tree – it’s 6th year. I only got 3 new hats from the Big Knit campaign this year.

A while ago someone on twitter advised me what advice I’d give to my 16 year old self. My reply was ‘GET A PHYSIO!’ – I hurt my back when I was 15 but with my last chance for student membership exams (Modern, Tap & Ballet), I kept silent & continued on for several months anyway. All was fine until after the summer when I went back into training & my back had healed squint.

The old injury flared up when I did the dance workshop at our Summer Holiday Club & again when I was ill 2 weeks ago. A trip back up through the snow/ice from Tesco made me best friends with this heat pack thing of my Mum’s as I almost fell a few times carrying a heavy bag of groceries. Oops.

Hopefully Santa is going to bring me my own one, and bring my Mum her own pair of wellies.

On Friday I was getting worried for my Mum as the snow was turning icy & my wellies have no grip. So I bravely ventured into town despite the back issue. I managed to snap a few photos of Edinburgh Castle in the snow. Prettyful!

The snow began to thaw at the weekend, we rejoiced as we managed to excavate Cassie the Corsa from the snow…and then we woke up to total chaos on Monday morning! Usually you’d be able to see all of South West Edinburgh & the Pentlands in this photo…but the snow came down thick & fast for 6 hours straight over the thawing old snow turned to ice.

View from the bus on North Bridge … 15-20 minutes before Lothian buses decided to suspend all their services…!

Doug came to visit the centre after leaving work early when the buses got stopped. We ate bagels and we decorated the centre in between trying to pay all our bills that came in last week & came up with a contingency plan for how things would go if the sucky weather continues… (this involved a lot of phone calls & e-mails!)

After getting stranded for several hours (thankfully Doug & I were able to walk back to his – but it hurt!!) and catching the last bus before they stopped the route going to where I live, I woke up this morning to find the bus I would have gotten to Interact wasn’t running in our area. However with blue skies & sunshine, the view a few hours later from my bathroom window was pretty rockin’.

I did bravely venture down to the bank later in the afternoon – I needed to put my wage cheque for November in the bank! Plus, I went over to PC World and just bought a power adaptor since my laptop is now a necessity with the centre being shut – I’m unlikely to get to the Apple Store in Glasgow anytime soon. While there the staff had no clue which adaptor was the right one, but did think I needed to see a doctor because apparently I looked like I was in pain (thanks for that dude!). I thankfully guessed correctly…phew!


You may have picked up from twitter/facebook that I’ve been an invalid koala for the last few days. To be expected I guess when my ‘mbc’ and ‘irl-friends’ twitter list feeds are filled with ailing tweeters. Even one of our volunteers who NEVER gets ill has been down with a horrible cold. And today, I’m sad because I was DETERMINED to be well enough to go see Harry Potter, but in the end had to admit defeat. :(

But  I want to say that I am grateful.

I am grateful that I have lasted this long before I got ill. Though I’ve had a few days where I’ve felt really yucky but it’s never come to anything, really this is the first time I’ve been properly ‘out of action’ since I can’t remember when.

I am grateful that I don’t have a cold (at least not yet). I’ve fought fevers & been coughing my guts up, but my sinuses have been behaving themselves!  Therefore I can get sleep and don’t look like Rudolph.

I am grateful that when I had a fever the other night, it took me a while to find some paracetamol. Because so rarely take paracetamol. I still remember when paracetamol and other painkillers were a regular item on my supermarket shopping list.

I am grateful for the fact that I’d been gradually taking over a drawer in my Mum’s freezer and was able to make a whole batch of ‘mumps soup’ the other week and freeze some of it. Plus that Innocent fruit squeezies have been on special offer in Sainsbury’s lately. With little appetite and zero energy, I’ve been thankful for both!

I am grateful for heat packs and hot water bottles since my muscles are kinda sore from all the coughing.

I am grateful that there is a whole week until the first Rock Gospel choir practice (phew).

I am grateful our heating is in good working order, and for twitter which keeps me sane when I’m stuck in isolation!

I am grateful for the inter:act team who prayed for me on Tuesday when I was out for the count at home, and for the team at our  pregnancy centre…especially our counselling supervisor. We had our annual team meeting which was very important, and I couldn’t miss. They helped make being there manageable by bringing stuff, getting there early to set up the room, tea/coffee, baking stuff, printing off agendas I sent by e-mail.

It would be very easy to wallow in the fact I feel a little bit rubbish right now, but really? I have so much to be grateful for!

And to end, I just wanted to share some pics of 2 groovy characters I ‘met’ when staying at Sarah’s parents’ house near Blackpool on Sunday night…

Sarah reckons that me and the orange fluffy fish are long lost twins. And can you believe that ‘Tickle Me Elmo’ was rescued at a table top sale by Sarah’s Mum for a mere £1 (he’s worth so much more than that!!!). You can see Elmo in action here.

The adventures of the Elmo slippers – Part 6

Those little Elmos have been up to mischief again. It’s getting chilly in these Northern parts, so I’ve started taking fluffy socks to work (& inter:act) with me to keep my toes toasty. Well. I’m attempting to keep them toasty. Even in summer my feet are still like ice blocks.

Anyway, imagine my shock to discover that those little red monsters had stolen my fleecy socks!!

Thinking I need to give them a few lessons from Bible In One Year. Namely reminding them of Moses and the Ten Commandments.


Bollywood comes to the PCC…

Today we had more than 2 of us in the centre at various points throughout the day. So we finally decided that it was time to start having a spring clean – taking out all the baby clothes and equipment, taking inventory, seeing what needed to go, organising what we had, what we need and checking out everything worked.

It seems it may have made us a little bit stir crazy, and though it’s happened a few times before when Jai Ho has come on my radio station, this will be the first time it’s been caught on camera.

I’ve posted many embarrassing things on my blog before, but I’m pretty sure this video trumps everything that has come before…

(This is the first time Elmo has joined in…I also love that Grace is wearing her Indian To Write Love On Her Arms t-shirt. That was totally unplanned!)

What you didn’t get to see on camera was Sarah and I out on the street testing out some of the buggys and prams that have been donated to us, seeing if they still work. And us trying to work out how to fold them and so on. We sure got some strange looks from passers by!

Just another day in the life of working in a pregnancy crisis centre… :D

The adventures of the Elmo Slippers – Part 5

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about some of the Elmos adventures in our office (apart from the sneak peek of Elmo you got the other day!)

We got some funding to get some education resources. I used to work in a place that had tons of fantastic interactive resources for health & social education. I loooovvveedd it!

Anyway, the Elmos ended up looking through the Health Edco catalogue with me…

On the left there is something we’re thinking of getting – an empathy belly!

Elmo is looking at ‘Womb to Grow’ a resource I used to have – these sacks way about the same as an average healthy pregnancy (foetus, amniotic fluid etc!) and are about the same size. I was really tempted to take the biggest one, pop it up my jumper and go to a CU meeting just see what reaction I would get, then go in the next week with one of our ‘Baby Think It Over’ dolls in a car seat or buggy. Tee hee hee.

The Elmos were properly freaked out by these Breastfeeding model dolls. I don’t blame them for being a little creeped out…

After that they were keeking over my shoulder as I logged onto the forum which links up people working in pregnancy crisis centres across the UK, plus all the partners team. It’s such a great way for us to keep in touch, ask questions and share ideas!

So yep, just a typical day in the office for the Elmos!

Elmo, work, tornado & Thrive Africa

Yesterday was a rough first day back. I came home with a major headache which made me feel sick to my stomach. I didn’t plan to go to into the office today, but there was so much to be done (and is still so much to be done) that I went in anyway. Elmo got me through…plus Sarah was back and she brought cinnamon swirls…

Anyway, I ended up wearing my Thrive Africa t-shirt, and when I logged onto Twitter later in the day, I discovered the news that a tornado had hit the Thrive mission base in South Africa :(

The full story can be found here.

So me & the Elmos just want to say….we’re thinking and praying for you all at Thrive.

In other prayer requests…

1. My friends David & Diane Goodwin who were meant to emigrating from Australia back to the UK today…..currently stranded in Sydney

2. David (another one) who was hitchhiking to Morocco to raise funds for Link Community Development. We were so busy praying he’d get there, I don’t think anyone considered praying for him making his way back since he’d pre-booked a flight for that. Now he’s stranded in Morocco.

3. Pupils from my cousin’s old high school who are currently stranded in China

4. One of my colleagues in another pregnancy crisis centre who is currently stranded in the USA

5. My friends Kathy & Duncan who are supposed to be heading to the Q conference in Chicago later this week

Not to mention 1000s of others stranded due to 6 days of limited-no flights in Europe because of the Icelandic Volcano spewing it’s ash at us, plus the airlines and so many other businesses across the world affected by all of this.

Oh yeah, and I’m supposed to be flying down to London next Tuesday – partly for work, partly to SEE MY SISTER!!! & hopefully party to meet Becca.