In the beginning there was a Princess, a beautiful Princess who loved to read, and she liked to read so much that it hurt her eyes so she had to get reading glasses.

One day along came a baby bookworm, who wasn't very good at reading and often just read the first few pages of a book and just gave up. The princess laughed at the baby book worm because he was a very bad reader and the baby book worm felt sad. He really wanted to read more books and he tried to read more books but he couldn't.

Then one year the whole of the Royal Family, including the Princess, went on holiday and invited the book worm along. The Princess' father chatted to the baby book worm about a website called GoodReads which helps you read by tracking your progess, setting goals and finding other books you will enjoy reading. Also on the holiday was the Princess' brother-in-law who told the book worm about some books he loved to read, books that he just couldn't put down.

That lit a fire in the little bookworm, and he slowly started to try reading again. He set small goals and bit by bit he began to complete books. The Princess was surprised at the change but still chuckled to herself, "He might be finishing books now but he will never be a reader like me!"

But that only seemed to fan the flames further as he read more and more. The harder he tried the faster and faster the books piled beside him, done, finished, completed. Old books, new books, novels, science fiction, thrillers, faster and faster the little bookworm read.

As the new year started the Princess and the bookworm drew up goals for the year ahead. It included things they could work on, things they could improve and together they wrote them down. But the bookworm kept one goal to himself, in the back of his mind he came up with this thought. Into the GoodReads website only he typed his goal; that he would aim to read 12 books in a year, a modest goal most would say, but a goal all the same. 

But amazingly you see this goal was just the beginning because by end of the second month in the new year, the once tiny, struggling bookworm had already reached 6 books and had even out read the Princess and turned into a real grown up bookworm!!! His transformation was magnificent. 

Um... Just a spoiler...This is just a made up story and in no way happens to represents anyone I know. It also is nothing to do with the fact I have read more books this year than Hannah. 

However I would add the recommendation that you join up on the Good Read website. That way as a happy bonus to this story you can add me and see what I'm currently reading.


Ps. Yes Hannah, thank-you for editing my English in this story so that everyone can actually make sense of it. I will try not to be too smug about it, one day I may even become a better writer than you. Hahaha!!!

Pps. Yes Hannah, it has been an unfair challenge because I have lots of time on my hands, I'm sorry.


Macintosh hates dog coats. We have only ever tried putting them on him a couple of times and each time it was a disaster. He doesn't really like wearing hats or anything really. Of course we still try to force him to wear things (see the instagram feed on the right hand side for evidence!) But yesterday he ended up wearing something voluntarily!!

He was busy chewing away on his bedding in another room, which is no great surprise and is unfortunately a normal occurrence. However when I heard Dad laughing rather a lot I felt had to go and investigate what was going on. Somehow in the process of chewing on his bedding and playing with it he had managed to end up wearing it! As you can see from the photo he has managed to get his whole body through a hole in the bedding! It's like a skirt really. 

(I apologise for the blurry photos. He wouldn't exactly hold still!) 


Except as you can see from this photo he soon proceeded to get his legs entangled too!


It took quite a while for him to get out of it which made him very cross and confused. It was possibly made worse by the fact I was just taking photos of him and refusing to help!! In my defence though it was too entertaining to miss and therefore justifies the excessive amount of photos I took! 

So there we go, Macintosh wearing his bedding. Odd dog!


What on earth is gumbo some of you will ask... it is a slightly soupy stew containing everything and I mean everything (fish, shrimp, sausage, pork, beef) but it tastes better than it sounds. It is a very popular dish from the southern states creole cuisine.

So at the festival a load of the local restaurants and groups fought for the prize of the best gumbo, and at times used some very high pressure selling techniques! With live music playing and perfect weather we strolled around the stalls trying to find the best. 

Now professional gumbo eating judgement says that my favourite was Stall No.2; a less spicy gumbo with more of a smokey taste from the pulled pork. It was yum! However Stall No.11 set my mouth on fire with the amount of chillies in it! One of the guys even had a crab claw in his, very funny as he hates the taste of crabs!

Here are some snaps of the day's event. 



This last week has truly been a week of letters and presents; its been great recieveing news from friends and family. It was also super exciting recieving a box of presents from Hannah, which also had a load of letters from the Rock Solid Youth Group and the leaders. Wow! I better get writing back I think!!

Had a great Valentines Day too with opening presents and a long chat to Hannah on Facetime. I especially like the book she got me about Sir Alan Cobham's  flyingboat adventures toAfrica  and the funky dog desk tidy. It's a good substitute dog as I am missing Mac lots too.

Here is some evidence from the week of letters.



Its not Monday. I know that. Half term hasn't gone to my head just yet. However yesterday I was visiting friends near RAF Cosford and we didn't get home until gone 11pm. I wasn't really coherent enough to write a post about Macintosh. 

He had been fantastic at Kate and Steve's and was really well behaved the whole time. The only scare we did have was when walking him through the village and he ran out into the middle of the road in front of a car! Obviously the smell on the other side was too enticing! An excellent example of why he's not allowed off lead much! 

As a result of Mac's impressive behaviour I thought I'd do a lovely post of pictures to simply marvel at my wonderful dog. He really is like a person and I'm so grateful of his company whilst Andrew's away.

So here he is, my amazing beagle...

Who could resist his face? He's simply adorable....

Until he does something he shouldn't!! 

More on that next week no doubt! Oh Macintosh. 



5 years ago today I said yes!! 

It was the first valentine's day we had spent together in the 7 years we had been together. There may have been one early one but that was all. He was about to go to Afghanistan for 2 - 3 months. We barely saw each other due to his RAF shifts and my teaching degree. I think we spend about one weekend every 5 together. It was a hard existence when everyone around had their other half on their doorstep but we survived.

Then he came to visit for the valentines weekend and said he was taking me out early that day to someone special. Now I had just come off teaching practice the day before and was shattered so the idea of getting up at 5am was not very amusing. I consequently moaned all the way to our destination! When we got there I realised it was the Peak District and we were going to have to climb in the cold before it was even light so I began to get a little more excited but still moaning at the early time!

That moaning stopped the moment he got down on one knee....

He apparently had some great speech to say and had spent half the night agonising over it still but when it came to it what he said was perfect. I naturally said yes....not 'ok I guess so' like I did when he first asked me out but actually yes! 

It was about 7:30am at this point so everyone we wanted to call got a VERY early wake up, apart from my sister Becks who was on a shift at the hospital and I interrupted her rounds to announce it causing her to scream and panic a few people! 

And now comes the soppy part. At that point in my life I didn't think it could get any better. But then I got married and our wedding day was amazing. It really was everything we had dreamed about and planned for. Yet still that wasn't the highlight because for me being married and living our day to day life is the highlight and it only gets better with time.

Of course I would forgive some of you for thinking we must have the perfect marriage for it to be the highlight, but really we don't. At times its easy and good and we love it. Other times its hard, there are tough points, difficulties to live with and times when we really don't act like a married couple! But those are the parts I love as much as the good times. Why? Well because that's teaching us to grow as a couple. It's exposing our sin and it's where God helps us to grow and develop. See marriage isn't about what you get out of it. It's supposed to be a picture of God's love for us. He loves us like a husband loves a wife and so our marriages should be that loving and self-sacrificial. Marriage is where we get to love and serve the other person, not ourselves.

That's hard. It always has been but that's what we are seeking to do. We haven't managed it but we are growing to do that and will spend the rest of our lives together doing that. Thankfully we don't do it alone, God is always encouraging and giving us the strength to do it. We can't do it alone.

So Andrew, although we are far apart on valentines day I love you. I said yes five years ago and three and a half years ago I made that a public promise. Today its still the same; I will love you with all my heart as long as I'm here on this earth, no matter what happens.


If I could give this post another title it would be 'Doormat destruction'.

Ever since we've had Macintosh he's loved doormats. I think because they are covered in mud and smells from places people have walked he's been fascinated with them. He used to spend a long time sniffing them. Then about 6 months old he developed a taste for chewing them and before long we would come home to yet another destroyed doormat with an accompanying note from the puppy walker saying something along the lines of 'I tried to stop it but he'd already done it by the time I got here!' We must have gone through about 6 doormats by the time it came to him being a year old. 

So we decided enough was enough. No more doormats.

Until of course we had the builders in to do the bathroom and I decided that a doormat would be good as it would stop them treading dirt throughout the house. At first I only put it down when they were here and Mac was not. Then I had it out when I was here and Mac was here. Finally after 2 weeks of no chewing I had it down all the time. 

That was my mistake.

Saturday I came home from shopping to discover Mr Macintosh had clearly decided to take up his habit of chewing doormats again. It was shredded into thousands of tiny pieces that took forever to hoover up. 

I would show you a picture of it but at doormat number 7 it wears a little thin and taking a photo is not your primary concern! But here is a picture of doormat number 1 or 2 or could be any of them! 

So, eventually I might buy another one, just to stop the muddy shoes hitting the carpet quite so frequently. But I promise you Mr Macintosh, this will be your last chance....


Lately I've been swooning over new pieces of furniture like these chairs. I'm getting excited at the possibility of new furniture when we are in California so I've been looking at all their furniture shops to see whats around. How exciting to be sorting out a new house! Not that we know what the house will be like yet, but still dreaming about it is rather exciting. 

I've been toying with different ways to style my hair as I find I typically do the same things. Being a teacher it doesn't seem to matter what you do with your hair as the children won't notice but I like to put some effort in from time to time. This simple up do is pretty sweet and doesn't take to long to achieve.  

Been thinking lots recently about my life and its purpose. I often feel in the busyness of life I begin to live for the day to day and lose sight of the bigger things. I live for God and His glory, thats the purpose of my life. That's the 'more' that I am living for. Sometimes I need a reminder of that. Well, realistically I need continual reminders about that. I'm thankful for Switchfoot and their influence in reminding me. 

Andrew and I both fell in love with these mugs separately. He bought this one for himself and the white version for me. Can't wait until we can start using them. At the moment I just have to watch him use them via Facetime!  

Been reading 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak over the past couple of weeks. Its an amazingly gripping story of a little girl in Germany in World War 2. Although it sounds fairly typical the thing that fascinates me about this book is that its written by the character Death. He is narrating the entire book based upon his meetings with this little girl as he goes about his 'job'. It's truly gripping writing and I'm excited to finish it. 

There we go, a round up of the random musings of myself!


On Saturday myself and few of the guys from the more geeky end of the spectrum drove to Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum. This is a the main avaition museum for the whole of the US Navy. So when you have an aviation museum based on navy aircraft, what do you get? Yes you have guessed it...LOADS OF FLYING BOATS!!!

Seriously I was loving it! The problem was we decided to go to the cafe first and the service was slow and I just wanted to gobble it down and see the planes, then to annoy me even more the other guys ordered deserts, so I had to wait even longer! I'm sure the waitress took at least 25mins just to get the receipt!

So learnt a load more about flying-boats from little biplanes to massive transporters; they also had a cool collection of airship bits. We also had a little look round the base which had loads of old hangers and old buildings as this was one of the sites where the flying boats went through a lot of initial development. Sorry, I'm probably boring some of you. If you're not bored then wikipedia has a good article about the Naval Air Station.

Roll the slides....



During the wet and cold days here I have managed to sort stuff out, or use them for reading or creating whilst often berating the fact its raining and miserable outside. Then I found this short film on one of the blogs I follow. This film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won many awards.

The film follows the actual recordings from a tape diary of John Hull, a man who progressively becomes fully blind and records his thoughts and feeling via tape. It really made me value the gift of sight with respect to my love of creativity but also helps me to see into the extreme emotions which are attached to visual memories. I love the style its filmed in too. Definitely worth a watch though as a warning it might bring a tear.