Do you follow me on Instagram? I mean, it’s my fave social, so before you read on, check me out >>here<<
Ok so I asked about Instagram because if you DID follow me on there, you would have seen that a wonderful thing has happened, M and & have officially become parents…. to a beautiful Cockapoo puppy we have named Daisy 🌼.
OK, buy lets rewind slightly, as you might have seen previously on gilliblogs, we have been looking for a dog to adopt for a few weeks without any success. So we had a real think and after a long discussion and a chat with a few friends, we made the huge decision to get a puppy. Yes, I know. 🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶 OMG.
So on Friday the 4th of May, which incidentally was also M’s birthday, we visited the breeder we chose to work with and met our beautiful Daisy. She’s a Cockapoo which is another name for a x-breed between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle. She is currently 10 weeks old and she joins our family on Thursday 10th May 2018. It’s really going to be the best day!!!
So I why not check back in a few days to see her homecoming!!! I can’t remember the last time I was this excited 😆😆😆
Today we visited Bleakholt Animal Rescue in Ramsbottom in out attempt to give a rescue dog it’s forever home. However this was our 4th rescue centre we had looked round without really seeing a dog that we could consider adopting. We sat on a bench in the sunshine and started to discuss our options, which after some discussion led us down one particular and unexpected path. Yes, you lovely people, you guessed right, we have decided to get a puppy!!!!!
Not our neighbours dog, but still the cutest. Google images rules!
We always disregarded getting a puppy as obviously it’s a lot of work and also I am big fan of rescue dogs. But after our experiences of the local rescue centres, we think that getting a puppy is our next option.
15th April 2018
Sooooooo, the first step was to invite our very lovely neighbours round as they have a puppy that is around 12 months old and we firstly, wanted puppy cuddles and secondly to mine them for information!
The brought round their little waggy one and it was a total joy to have him in the house. He’s such a sweet natured dog and he was inquisitive and giddy and simply loved a tug of war. He’s a Cavapoo, which is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossed with a Poodle – just adorable. Our neighbours were brilliant and told us all about their experiences and it really helped to answer some questions that we had as well as calm any nerves. We aren’t totally sure what breed of dog we want just yet, but we think we have selected the breeder that we want to work with.
However, after contacting them today, we might have to wait a few weeks as once dogs are ready to leave the mum, the breeder isn’t able to hold them. We have a family holiday planned in a few weeks, so the timing is a little off. The upshot is that it’s M’s birthday early May and we already had annual leave planned. So guess what… on his birthday, we are going to look for a puppy!!!!!!
So just a few more weeks to wait until things get real…. I am honestly SOOO excited!!! 💗 🐶 💗
I love dogs, like LOVE them. I have never wanted children, totally not my thing. Dogs are my thing. We had Peggy dog from 2004-2013 and when we lost her we were so devastated that up until recently, we haven’t felt ready to have another pupster in the house. There were lots of other factors and things to consider and the time never really felt right, but in the last few months things, things have changed and the upshot is that last weekend we started the search for a doggy to share our lives with. Here’s the story so far:
Sunday 8th April 2018
OK, today is the day we start our search for a dog. As Peggy dog was a rescue, we have decided to try and adopt another dog. However, we drove past the place we got Peggy from yesterday and there were protestors outside brandishing banners that said things like “Dogs Die Here”. So maybe we won’t go there! We decided to go to The Dogs Trust in Manchester instead here:
When we arrived it was MASSIVE with plenty of parking and many branded vehicles outside. However inside the experience was a little…clinical. It was a huge double height building, with big indoor areas containing park benches and places to exercise dogs (presumably). But there was no reception as such and the staff we did see where dealing with other people or doing other things. It also wasn’t very clear where the dogs where at first, as we thought we could see kennels, but not many dogs. We were sort of separated from the perspex kennels by a walkway and a wall. The wall contained mounted iPads which held each dog’s photograph, story, and sometimes a short video, but the actual dog was more often than not, not visible in the kennel. We didn’t know what to do, so to be honest, after a short look round, we left. I am sure it works very well for lots of people as there is no doubt it’s an excellent facility, but for me, it was more like a school or hospital and I personally, didn’t get a good vibe. Shame.
From the start our visit here was much more successful as it was busier and there seemed to be many more dogs to look at. They were in more traditional kennels, which meant it was easier to see the dogs and to get an idea of size and temperament. We walked around for a while, saying hello to each dog in turn, trying hard to resist the urge to kidnap every pair of sad doggie eyes and waggy tails we saw. Do you know what was really interesting, the main 2 type of dogs that we saw in both Dogs Trust centres were Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Lurchers! It’s a shame as neither of these breeds appeal to us for different reasons.
However, towards the of our time there, we came across a terrier cross called Dexter.
M meeting Dexter
Checking us out
I think we can all agree he’s pretty cute. We went to the office and spoke to a staff member and she told us that he hadn’t been properly assessed yet, but after checking she told us a bit about him, including the worrying news that he had shown aggression towards children. M & I have 2 nieces under 13 and so we quickly realised that unfortunately Dexter would not find his forever home with us. Sad times. However after visiting the Merseyside centre, we left more hopeful and decided to continue our search another day.
Saturday 14th April 2018
Today’s dog search took us a little further afield, as during the week both people in my office and one of my Twitter friends had suggested alternative rescue centres for us to try. The first one being Freshfields Animal Sanctuary here:
It took us a little longer to get there than usual for 2 reasons, one being today is Grand National Day and the second one being, despite Sat Nav, I took a wrong turn and ended up in Race Day traffic! ANYWAY…. we arrived at Freshfields and there wasn’t any parking, which was ok as we parked in a little lane nearby. We followed the signs for the entrance, but the first odd thing was that we had ring a doorbell for someone to let us in. It turns out, they don’t have any public viewing facilities and they kicked off by asking if we had seen a dog we liked on the website. We hadn’t. We were then shown to reception and given a folder of prospective dogs to look through, then if we liked any of them, and we met the criteria, the dog would be brought out to meet us. I don’t know why, but this felt like I was hiring a prostitute in a brothel. 😣
But we politely perused the books just in case, but ultimately left with a slightly odd feeling. *sighs*. So our final place that someone had told me about was a place called Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary in Ramsbottom. So we set off, wondering what on earth we would find when we got there.
Bleakholt is here:
Again, despite Sat Nav, it was a little tricky to find, especially because my route took me up a large hill and down some tiny country lanes, but as it turned out, that was exactly right and we did end up in the right place! Bleakholt was lovely, it’s positioned with 360° stunning views and not only rescues dogs and cats, but some large and small animals too.
We found reception and a lovely lady told us all about the rehoming procedure and where all the kennels where. Bleakholt probably had about 20-25 dogs for adoption and the place was packed out with prospective owners. There were lots of staff/volunteers around and about and it was a lovely place to visit. We even met a sheep:
But despite the good vibes, we didn’t find a dog for our family. 🐶 We did however, sit on a bench in the sunshine and start to formulate another plan…..
You might just have to keep your eye on gilliblogs.co.uk to see what happens next… I for one am VERY excited!!!
Nope this is not click bait. Yes, I HAVE been invited to a party at Buckingham Palace, in fact I have been invited to a Garden Party to celebrate HRH The Prince of Wales 70th Birthday. The party I am going to is on the 22nd May 2018 and is just 3 days after the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Yes, I KNOW.
I know what you are thinking, “How does one get invited to a Royal birthday party?”. Well as you might know by now, I work for The Prince’s Trust, which is a charity that was started by HRH in 1976. He is the president and often pops up at important functions and things. All the staff were told earlier this year that HRH was having a celebratory garden party as part of his birthday celebrations (his actual birthday is in November) and that the Trust had been allocated 200 invitations. Staff had nominate people, including any one of the 1,000 people that work for the trust, also including any of the hundreds of delivery partner staff and 1,000s of volunteers. Basically, I had no chance.
But, as it turns out, someone DID nominate me and a few of my colleagues and we all got an email about a month ago to invite us along. I. AM. THRILLED.
I have to be honest though, this isn’t my first Royal Garden Party, as I went to one in 2016 which celebrated The Prince’s Trust’s 40th Anniversary. It was an amazing day as I was surrounded by celebrities and my head was constantly on a swivel. Glorious.
What is going to be cool is that I am going down the day before and staying at the Hub at Covent Garden which is a Premier Inn and not very far from both London Euston Station and Buckingham Palace. It’s not exorbitantly expensive for London at £140 and it was a little pressie to myself after my PPI payout. 🙂
I am also really pleased as a little gang of us are going from the Team I was working with at the beginning of the year. They all work for The Trust and live and work all around the UK. They are the loveliest bunch of smashers you could ever meet and I am SO looking forward to seeing them all again. I feel so honoured to have been invited – twice in 2 years, what a lucky girl I am!
So I need an outfit (obviously) and a hat or fascinator. I think I can see a little shopping trip in my near future!!! Happy days.
Ok people get ready, it’s that time of year…..I have entered the 2018 Race for Life. Around this time every year since 2004 I enter this race, which is a 5k that I do to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
I have already lost 3 of my grandparents to cancer and in 2015 I lost mum. I have blogged before about how heartbreaking my mum’s cancer journey was and I honestly wouldn’t want another family to go through it. It almost broke me in two when she passed away.
Race for Life
Mum & I at my sister’s hen do
Also in 2017 I started a fitness journey, which is still ongoing. In July 2017 I did the Haydock Race for Life and I was thrilled to walk around in a decent time, so in 2018 I am hoping to do a sort of run/walk and maybe create a new personal best!
Anyway, if you have got a spare £1 or £5 or anything at all really, I would really appreciate it if you could support me and Cancer Research UK by clicking on the picture below:
One thing I learned in 2017 is that a pound here or there isn’t the end of the world. My whole reason to try to lose weight was to feel healthier and to fit into my clothes better, which I do! But I am not finished yet. I want to get down to 12 stones and then, even though Weight Watchers still deems this overweight, I know I will feel happy and fit enough to leave it there.
You can see from the calendar above, I actually put 2lbs on in December, but I am not too worried as this encompassed the wonderfulness that is Christmas and I enjoyed every mouthful. We have also gone for plenty of walks and I have really enjoyed being outside making full use of the park right next to our house.
I am really hoping that I learn to love my body a little more and I am going to work on adjusting my thoughts to be more positive around self-image. I still don’t always like what I see when I look in the mirror, but I am getting better. For Christmas I got a few gorgeous jumpers, all in a size 14 and I was more than a little surprised to see they all fit. This is around a size and a half smaller than I was wearing last year, when I was in a 16/18 top. I was also wearing size 18 jeans, which is definitely a size smaller than last year!! My brain did an odd thing though. The tops that I bought, did fit me, but my brain told me that they must have been a “BIG” size 14, as in, the shops’ sizes must be slightly off. My brain hasn’t adjusted to my weight loss yet but it needs to catch up, as I am sat in one of the said garments right now! If you are interested, they are my 3 new favourite sweatshirts:
I just want to carry on making healthy choices this year and get fitter, healthier and stronger. This isn’t a New Year’s resolution, but just a continuation of my 2017 mission. I know I can do it, I have come this far and I haven’t finished yet!
So I thought I would write a dead honest blog tonight. I try to remain positive and happy as a rule, but we all know sometimes it harder than others. I have to say, upfront, that I am definitely not sad, but I am very very tired.
As you might have seen in previous posts, I have been seconded into another role at work, which has seen me working away on and off since mid-October. I am now VERY familiar with the Travelodge and even the not so glorious Ibis in Leicester. I have also been working super hard on the new project and my 43 year old brain is a little fried. So the combination of the train journeys, many nights in hotels and the extra work, combined with my current commute to and from Manchester (anything from 40 minutes to 2 hours) I am ready for a good old rest.
I haven’t been able to get my ducks in a row to do VLOGMAS this year and I am sort of letting my YouTube channel stagnate. I have made arrangements to do things and see friends with genuine intentions, but after long days and things, I just can’t be bothered. Tonight was one of those nights, when I couldn’t muster the energy to go to the WI Christmas party. I REALLY wanted to go, but I just couldn’t drag my weary butt into the shower and I am not sure greasy hair and comfy pants is really all that Christmassy. 😫 Then of course there is the feeling again this year, that Christmas without mum, is just a little bit shitter.
BUT. I have just one week to go until M and I finish for Christmas. 7 short days until I can switch off the alarm and call “job done” for 2017. Then we have got a lovely mini-break to Harrogate before the hoopla of Christmas kicks in and even a night away in Chester in between Christmas and New Year. So 7 sleeps until I can just actually sleep past 7:30am. I can’t bloody wait!
Our lovely delegates who were enjoying themselves (honestly)
As you know I have been working away in London for the last 5 weeks trying to get my head around a new computer system in order to train hundreds of Prince’s Trust staff how to use it. Well this week, that training started in earnest when I trained some of our staff alongside the lovely Laura from Dundee. I had the first day jitters initially, but by the second day they settled down and we ended up having a really good couple of days.
I have been doing IT Training for about 15 years on and off, but this is the first time I have ever trained people on a system I didn’t know inside out. But the fact that it seemed to go ok and the feedback was good, has given me so much confident that I feel good about the sessions I am doing solo next week.
Actually, next week sees me going to Leicester for the week and as I have never been I am interested to see what it’s like. I am going on my own, which means 4 x nights in the Ibis Leicester, but I am back on Thursday night so it’s not too bad.
Also, this weekend is our last “free” weekend before the Christmas hoopla kicks in.. namely:
My brother-in-law’s birthday breakfast (not Christmassy, but yanno.. still lovely)
So lots to look forward to and I think that this weekend I might pick up my vlogging camera. I have really neglected my YouTube Channel over the last couple of months due to work things but as Christmas approaches and VLOGMAS tickles my creativity – I think it’s time to start filming.