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To important for bias.

Have you ever wondered how you view life?

How we each have our own unique way we understand, commute things.

How our own life’s experiences relate to our understanding.

I was once told by a detective that there is nothing more confusing than eye witnesses. How five people could watch the same event unfold yet describe it back in extremely different ways.  How bias and expectation could change how they saw things.

I’m seeing this greatly today in the current political sphere especially around the subject of the NHS.

How people who have never had to use the Health service or only once in a blue moon are falling for the Conservative facade of a failing system.

I’m so tired of reading that more money won’t save a failing system or the biggest myth that doctors are asking for unfair contracts.

That privatisation is the only way to save our healthcare.

Bullshit and lies.

On July 5th 1948  Aneurin Bevan launched the first NHS hospital, his philosophy was simple. A service paid for by the people through taxation but all healthcare given freely at the point of delivery. The cost through taxation was to be fair as people would pay according to their means.

It was and still is one of the greatest achievements of any government here in the U.K. The NHS saves lives every single minute of every day. The Doctors and nurses work tirelessly and are often under appreciated for the wellbeing of everyone.

When a patient turns up on a surgeons table, he doesn’t stop to ask before he makes his incision to check the man can afford his fee, the surgery costs. No he works hard to save or to give a better quality of life.

The midwife preparing to deliver a baby doesn’t check the financial wellbeing of the mother. No she is too busy checking the physical wellbeing of the child and the mother.

A life is a life, one is not valued above the other and that’s the way healthcare should be and should stay. One for all, free at the point of delivery.

Let me tell you about my experience of the NHS. I was actually one of those people that moaned about waiting lists, moaned about crowded GP Surgeries. I was healthy, my children were healthy it was easy to moan from position of healthy privilege.  Then suddenly my world changed. My beautiful daughter became a regular visitor on the children’s ward. Nurses started to become my friends and Doctors became literally her life savers.

The NHS started to extend into my home, prescriptions, medical equipment, Physio things needed to help keep my daughter well, help keep my daughter alive.

Not once before an emergency seizure medication was given was I asked for my bank details. Not once did they turn around and say “I’m sorry you cannot afford this”.

Because guess what, I wouldn’t have been able to.

Already this year Doctors and nurses have saved the life of my son. They worked through the night, standing by his side. Oxygen, high dependency machines.  The NHS continues to work to keep him well, only today did our wonderful community nurse come to take bloods and swaps.

Our NHS is something that here in the U.K. we should be extremely proud of. Privatisation doesn’t work, I only have to look to other counties for evidence of this. Insurance companies refusing to pay for treatment, disabled children going without equipment, because rules have changed and what was once entitled is no longer considered necessary.

Privatisation works for those that can afford it. It’s as simple as that.

Our NHS is not dying it is slowly being strangled by those that wish to exploit the system for their own personal gain.

Those that do not care about people just pound signs.

I’m tired of seeing photographs and reading stories of people being left in corridors in hospitals waiting for treatment.

Does this happen?

You Bet.

But it is not because a system is failing but because a government will not fairly fund the system. We are not running out of beds because they are all taken up by asylum seekers, there are beds. Wards and wards are being left empty simply because the government will not fund the staff needed to keep them open.

This is the truth, the government are risking lives for no other reason than to force a public service into privatisation. So that the services can be slowly deemed as failing and the only option left is for the white knight of a private company to come in an save it. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.  No private company can offer a service without a profit its as simple as that and profit always has and always will come at someone’s cost.

Our cost, the millions of people who work day after day to make ends meet. Who though no fault of their own find themselves in need of treatment.

Our NHS has probably been there for most of our lifetimes. It was there when we were born, when our children were born. When we have needed it.

Now it needs us.

It needs us to drop our biases and work together to save it.

It needs all of us to realise that one day we may need to use the NHS to save our lives and to fight now to make sure when that day arrives it is still there to do so.

Doctors, nurses, medical staff all need to know that we stand beside them. That we are not falling for the right wing media hype that the crisis is their fault, mismanagement, lack of compassion, egoistic junior doctors.

We need to stand together to fight against the lies that the NHS is dying and fight to save it and restore it.

 

10 Ways To Support Your NHS from the NHS Support Federation 

1. Sign the NHS supporters’ pledge
If you haven’t already done so, please sign our petition – and encourage your friends and family to as well.

 

2. Lobby your parliamentary candidates
Contact your MP and other parliamentary candidates. Give them key information and ask them what they are doing about it. MPs use the content of their mailbag as an indicator of what the public care about. Sending them a letter takes a few minutes using our platform, or you could make an appointment to see them. Alternatively use our lobbying tool.

 

3. Follow us on Twitter and help spread the word
Retweet links to reports and infographics. This is a good way of highlighting key facts on funding or privatisation and getting others involved in doing the same. start a ripple and watch it spread. Join in with mass tweets where NHS supporters collaborate to promote a single message.

 

4. Join a local campaign group
See if there is a local NHS campaign group in your area, to join and help protect local NHS services.

 

5. Help as volunteer researcher
You may have just the skills we need to gather and analyse information. Contact us if you have some time to help us with internet or desk research, james@nhscampaign.org
6. Distribute campaign materials in your neighbourhood
Print off a supply of campaign flyers and post them around your neighbourhood. If you feel like talking to people, then ring or knock before you leave the flyer. Some NHS supporters set up stalls in their local shopping centre or railway station to talk to residents and collect support. Try and encourage people to visit this website, find out more and to sign the NHS pledge.
7. Distribute our campaign materials at work
Email links to the facts and NHS news that stand out the most to your friends and wider networks, it will help to get their attention focussed on what’s happening and why. In a more traditional way, feel free to print off pages from our website to copy and circulate them.
8. Write your local paper or take part in a radio phone-in
The letters page is one of the best read parts of the paper so can help to let local people know what is happening to their NHS. Use the briefings and key statistics to help you. Don’t just shout at the radio, why not phone in them and give them some of the facts.
9. Ask your trade union branch to affiliate
If you’re a member of a trade union, encourage your local branch to affiliate to our campaign.
10. Donate to our campaign
We rely on the help and generosity of NHS supporters to run campaigns and organise research. We are an evidence based campaign, so your donation will help to establish what’s happening and to get it into the media and then to the public.
Setting up a direct debit is particularly helpful as this can help us to plan, research, and coordinate our campaigns more effectively in the longer term. However, one-off donations are also gratefully received and used  to protect the core principles of the NHS.

We cannot stay silent anymore, we need to be asking questions of this government, demanding that they protect our NHS. If we don’t speak up now it will NOT be there when we need it.

 

 

 

#Earlymomentsmatter

Completing my degree in Therapeutic Childcare last really drove home the importance of a child early years. The impact early negative experiences could have on the whole of a child’s life. The need for awareness and support in this area is high and so much more needs to be done to protect our children. This is why I am truly happy today with share with you the UNICEF campaign #Earlymomentsmatter.


During the earliest years of life, brain cells can make up to 1,000 new connections every second – a once-in-a-lifetime speed. These connections contribute to children’s brain function and learning, and lay the foundation for their future health and happiness. A lack of nurturing care – which includes adequate nutrition, stimulation, love and protection from stress and violence – can impede the development of these critical connections. 

According to a recent series in The Lancet nearly 250 million children in developing countries are at risk of poor development due to stunting and poverty. But the need for greater investment and action in early childhood development is not limited to low-income countries. Disadvantaged children living in middle- and high-income countries are also at risk. UNICEF estimates that millions more children are spending their formative years growing up in unstimulating and unsafe environments, putting their cognitive, social and emotional development at risk.

 

Investment in early childhood is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing the ability of all children to reach their full potential – increasing their ability to learn in school and, later, their earning capacity as adults. This is especially significant for children growing up in poverty. One 20-year study showed that disadvantaged children who participated in quality early childhood development programmes as toddlers went on to earn up to 25 per cent more as adults than their peers who did not receive the same support.

Early childhood development interventions, such as the Care for Child Development package that includes training community health workers to teach families about the importance of playing with their children in a way that stimulates healthy development can cost as little as 50 cents (USD) per capita per year, when combined with existing health services.

 

UNICEF is calling for governments to increase investments in early childhood, expand health and social services offered to young children, and strengthen support services for parents and caregivers.

My job as foster carer has brought me into contact with children whose early lives have left them for the want of a better word damaged. There whole personalities have been formed in environments of fear of neglect. They brains were hard wired in worlds that weren’t safe. It’s heartbreaking to watch a child who doesn’t know peace.

Here is the UK today is Valentine’s Day, let’s share the love and share this campaign. Let’s celebrate the love of our children and the worlds children and let’s support UNICEF in their campaign to protect our children.


1000 connections in the first 1000 days let’s make them positive ones.


#earlymomentsmatter

D- Day

A reminder popped up in my phone today was 13 years since my dear Nan passed. How I miss this woman, she was such a character, always up to something. She was such a big part of my childhood from holidays we spend together filled with nights in the Sun centre in Rhyl to the nights at the local pub. My Nan was a madam, she would tell you as it was, how many times she told me I  should be nice to my husband because I was lucky to get someone to have me. Now this could have been hurtful but with my nan you knew it was meant with love. My girls loved their great nan and she loved them even if she refused to call Eden by her given name, “evil edna”  she said due to my child’s fiery temper, I guess at times that name certainly fitted. I miss my visits with my Nan even though after ten minutes she would be asking me when I was leaving or “do you have somewhere else to be”. She had her ways and her charms and I loved the very bones of her.

 

I cant actually believe its been 13 years now, I remember the day as vivid as if it was yesterday. It was a hard day, Livvy was suffering with her seizures and reflux, I was so tired and my husband had just started a new job that was leaving him exhausted and grumpy. I had dropped the girls to school and was home alone when the postman dropped four letters through the door. Isn’t it strange that I can remember it was four, one from the bank, another the council the third was junk mail and the fourth was from the children’s hospital. It was now a month since the neurologist had told us that Livvy had Rett syndrome and I was slowly trying to get my head around the diagnosis, trying to understand what this meant to us as a family, what it meant to Livvy. I wasn’t in the right place then, I wasn’t in a good place. I was still so angry, so lost, so when I opened that letter my heart just broke, there in black and white was the official diagnosis the genetic test was back and the results showed without any doubt that Livvy had the mutation on the MECP2 gene and she had Rett Syndrome.

I couldn’t hide anymore, I couldn’t cling on to the last ray of hope, it was gone, it was true. I had the answers to the questions of her deterioration, her seizures, her movements but it was the answer I really didn’t want.

Rett Syndrome

Dear Mrs Meredith 

After seeing Olivia in clinic we send her bloods off for testing for the genetic mutation of Rett Syndrome, we have now had the results which confirm my clinical diagnosis. Olivia has Rett Syndrome.

We will arrange for a follow up appointment in the next few weeks but any questions you have please contact me on the above number. 

Many thanks 

 

Many thanks ???

No thanks, no thank you, not today, not this syndrome, not my Livvy.

I think i just sat on the stairs and cried, my heart breaking there and then. This wasn’t fixable, there was no cure and at this time there was barely any information and most of it out there was so sad, so scary.

She didn’t deserve this.

Why my Livvy?

Yes I remember this day so well, I remember Alan getting home early just to hold me tight, to hold each other. I think Alan had moved further forward with his acceptance since the clinical diagnosis but I needed evidence, i needed proof.

Well I had it now didn’t I !

I wish I could tell you that there and then I made peace with the diagnosis that I accepted Rett Syndrome into my life. I didn’t i just cried and cried.

Then the call came, my Nan had passed away, my beautiful nan’s heart had finally given up. I think that right then and there I would have happily joined her, I was so lost. How do I move forward knowing that there was a good change i would outlive my own child? How do you move forward with this knowledge?

All I know is that I didn’t want to be brave, I didn’t want to find peace, I was angry, I was hurting I was lost.

13 years ago, 

My fears that day was realised I did lose my beautiful daughter to Rett Syndrome, I do have to live with the knowledge that I outlived my child, yet I know now how very blessed I am. I got to be Livvy’s mom, I got to walk through Rett syndrome with her and yes whilst it may have won the final battle for Livvy, I am not giving up on others. The beautiful girls and boys that are fighting this everyday, the heartbroken parents hearing this diagnosis today, tomorrow. I will continue to fight for this awful devastating disease to be no more.

I may have been lost 13 years ago, I may still grief desperately for my Olivia and my wonderful nan but I do take comfort today in thinking about the chaos they are causing right now in heaven. I’m quiet sure my nan would test even Jesus’s patience. I’m a hundred percentage sure that Livvy is causing mischief.

13 years feels like an eternity at times but right now this day feels a heartbeat a way and whilst I am allowing myself to reminisce I am moving forward with determination and hope. One day that letter will not fall through the door of unprepared parents and even if it does it will not come with the fear and dread that filled my heart, it will be filled with hope of treatment and a cure. One day this will happen.

 

We are awake …

I didn’t attend the Women’s March on Saturday, not because I didn’t want to, I so did. My heart, my soul walked step by step with all those standing up to be counted. I didn’t march because it’s been a hard few weeks and although we are out of hospital we are still recovering. 

I followed social media with such pride, so proud of everyone that stood up and said no. 


NO to discrimination 

NO to racism 

NO to Misogyny

NO to homophobia 

As a mom of four amazing young woman I want them to grow up in a world that does not see their gender as second class. A world where they are offered the same opportunities as their male counterparts. A world where they are safe from sexual predators a world where harassment isn’t ok.


I want all my children to know it’s ok to fall in love with anyone of any gender, colour, faith. That the only barrier should be their own hearts. Where love is celebrated as two individuals without the stereotypical guidelines attached. 


I want them to live in a world where colour has no impact on people’s perceptions let people be judged on their hearts not their ethic backgrounds. There is no superior race just superior hearts.

I want them to live in a world where the only person to have control of their bodies is themselves.


I want them to live in a world where people with disabilities arent viewed and treated as second class citizens where support and help is giving freely for all to live fufiled lives. 

Equality, freedom these should be the right of all not a few. 

I’m sorry I didn’t get to be part of Saturdays women’s march but I also know that this was beginning and there is so much more left to be done. 

 We have been woken, we are awake. 

Born in my heart 

So it’s seems my little man loves the hospital so much he had to return for another visit. This time of course he had to up the drama level a little or a lot as the case may be.

I’m exhausted both physically and mentally, my body aches and is craving sleep and my mind well maybe we better not go there. 

The thing is I know the life I have chosen to live could get scary, that adopting a child with such complex needs could take me back to a place of such anguish, fear and pain, I do understand this. 

Yet as I sit here in the hospital room after a few days of real fear all I am feeling is thankfulness. I’m so very grateful and honoured that I get to be by this little ones side when he struggled. So blessed that when he needed me I got to be there.  

I know some people do not understand my life’s choices, they see the risk, the pain and understandably they could never imagine putting themselves through it and I completely get that. I can honestly tell you that this week I was petrified. Yet even now as I still reel I know how lucky I am and I don’t doubt or regret my decision to adopt this little one. I am counting down the days till he is officially mine, my son, my heart, my world. 

Life is certainly going to be an adventure and whilst my life may be extremely different to others I am so very content, so very happy. 

And whilst I understand why people ask me “how can I ” my answer will always be “how couldn’t I”.

This boy may not have been born from my body but he certainly was born in my heart.

My word for 2017

So I’ve started my New Year in the hospital. Little man is not 100% but is improving unless to count the after effects of antibiotics and numerous nappies, the joys of being a parent. 

I cannot actually believe we are heading into a fresh new year last year seems to have flown by. It’s definitely going to be a busy year, the adoption completion, two 16th birthdays a 21st and a daughter leaving behind her teenage years. It’s also the year Livvy should have turned 18th, I nearly decided to just wallow in my grief of this but I reminded myself of what she would have wanted. So I’m hosting a ball, a wonderful special night of music, laughter and friends old and new. We will be fundraising for Livvy’s Smile and Reverse Rett both in her honour. I’m hoping it will be an evening she will be proud of. It’s going to be on her actual 18th birthday how special is this. If you would like to come along and support the event please do, tickets are on sale now. 

So yes 2017 is going to be a busy year and like previous years before I want to take a word with me to stand by me throughout the next 365. I’ve struggled this year to be honest choosing one, strength and determination came close but my chosen word for 2017 is Challenge.

I want to challenge my family to live a more fun adventurous life, getting out there and making more fun memories.

I want to challenge my health and self care making sure I look after me a little more.

I want to to challenge my marriage, it’s easy after 21 years of being together to forget to make each other feel special. I want to work at this with my husband, valuing each other, loving each other. 

I want to challenge the government and fight against the devastating damage they are inflicting on communities and town around the UK. Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity, families have the right to stay together and children and adults with disabilities have the right to be heard. 

I want to challenge myself to say yes even when it scares me but also to say No when I’m overloaded or just not interested. 

I want to challenge myself to accept invitations and to strengthen existing relationships but also let go of those that are unhealthy or just aren’t making me happy.

But mostly I choosing this word as I want to challenge myself to believe in me more. To value my own worth and to know that I can achieve great things. 

So come on 2017 let’s see what fun we can have. 

So very thankful 

Sitting here in a hospital bay with a poorly little man is sending me on a journey of memories. Endless nights of observations, temperature checks and the general hustle and bustle of a hospital ward. I am so thankful for the wonderful NHS and all it’s amazing kind nurses and doctors and ward assistants and cleaners, yet I miss my Livvy. 

I remember as if it was yesterday how she took over the ward, how she charmed doctors with her cheeky smile and how her laughter infected the nurses. The handsome Physio who melted her little heart. There is nothing more special that watching your daughter play coy with the man that makes her work hard to stretch and bend. Even having chest Physio was ok as long as it was with the cute one. I’m smiling to myself right now because I remember when the handsome Physio had a trainee with him a lovely lady he told her how to work on Livvy yet he never expected Livvy to be a stubborn, obstinate little minx she would have none of it, she turned over in her bed and refused to even look at this poor trainee. Five minutes later the handsome Physio came to check up on his trainee and well wow there were the smiles and arms wide open ready to work again, what a madam

I feel her close whilst I’m here, I don’t know if is just the memories or the fact that it’s quiet and I’m allowing my mind to wander. But I feel her. I can sense her laughter, her joy for life. As I sit here and watch her new brother sleep I know she watching over him. 

This hospital had been the place of many awful memories but it has also blessed me with some wonderful ones and some wonderful ward mates that became dear friends. How I wish A was here with me now, how I long to spend the night talking and giggling until we got told off by the nurses. We put the world to right over those camp beds. It’s New Years tomorrow how I wish Ryan and Livvy were causing us trouble and drinking my wine. Love you A and your beautiful family. 

It’s a weird night and it could well be a long one. But I am so thankful for the wonderful NHS, how now whilst I may be wallowing in my memories they are caring for my little man. Working hard to get him well and home. I am watching him sweet talk the nurses with his beautiful smile. Pulling his tubes and giggling.
We are moving forward making memories that are different from how I planned but that’s life I guess 

Yet whilst my heart will always have a missing piece I am so thankful for all I have in my life. 

So very thankful. 

Christmas when grieving

I’m going to start this post with a truth, no matter how hard we try to deny it, it is simply a truth. Christmas when grieving sucks, it hurts, its hard and its so blooming wrong. No matter how far you are down this grief journey the fact that there is an empty space at the table, presents missing from under the tree and one less face to kiss simply sucks. There actually is no eloquent way to say this, “ it hurts’ “ The pain is deep’  IT SUCKS

Whilst I am super excited for Christmas this year and thrilled to have a new little one to share in our day nothing will ever fill the void, the emptiness that is left by Livvy. It doesn’t matter than I am adopting another child because he is his own sweet wonderful gift he isn’t and never will be a replacement for Livvy.

 

So how do we handle Christmas without those we love?  

First thing is to be kind to yourself. I have pretended myself into a enormous amount of pain, hiding in the doing, slapping that great big fake smile on my face and acting like its all ok has only led to the pain of not being ok hitting me like a hammer, pounding deep into my heart. So first up we need to be kind to ourselves.  I miss my daughter,my heart aches for my missing piece ,my arms beg to hold her just one more time. Its a pain like no other and by trying to pretend I’m ok I’m just making myself less ok. So be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it hurts.

Secondly, talk about them, honour them, do whatever you need to do to survive grief. Livvy is very much still a big part of our family, every Christmas we decorate her grave and on Christmas morning we visit with a big bunch of yellow glittery roses. Its not a lot but it gives me some peace. Her photo is on my tree and her stocking is on my wall. She is and always will be part of my celebrations.

Thirdly, give yourself time out, allow space for you to remember. I love spending Christmas afternoon whilst the kids are playing and the hubby is sleeping just spending time in my memories. Giving myself a Livvy hour allows me to acknowledge that I’m still struggling with losing her but also reminds me of how blessed I was to have her. Special time, special memories.

Fourth and most importantly, do whatever you need to do to get through this season. Ignore all that I have written or take away part of it. You see grief is different for us all, not one person will walk through it in the same way. The real survival technique is finding your own way. Map your own personal route. Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year, yet it can also be the stark reminder of whats missing.

I want to wish you all a wonderful and kind Christmas, may you all have an amazing time, may your days be filled with magical memories new and old.

#Giveabook

Books, books and more books this is my kind of personal heaven. Let me escape between the pages to far away lands on dangerous adventures. Books have been my refuge, my escape for longer than I care to remember. So it was a foregone conclusion that any child of mine was going to grow up surrounding books and hopefully growing up with the love of words as I do.

I honestly think reading with your child is one of the most special times you can have together, watching a child’s face as they follow the character’s adventure, watching them trying to work out the what’s, the where and the why’s. Just the closeness and the togetherness you can get from reading a story together is simply priceless. Books cover all ages, all abilities, Livvy was severely disabled but loved nothing more than to cuddle in my arms for a story, “We are going on a bear hunt” never got old for her.

Now my new son who is blind may not be able to see the words but he follows the story getting excited at his favourite part, I think I may have read “The Gruffallo” so many times I actually may not need the book anymore.

Yet our family special book and the one I gift to all newborns in our family has to be “Guess how much I love you’. This book holds such a special place in our hearts even my twenty year old still texts, “I love you to the moon, stars and back again” its so special to us all that these words are actually engraved on Livvy’s grave.

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Giving books is one of the greatest things for me, my nieces and nephews can always count on a book or two from Auntie Sara. My dad and stepmom love nothing more than a gift card for books and me well I am never disappointed with a book or two.

This advent I have even made a book a day for my new little one and he is loving getting a new story way more than a piece of chocolate.

Can you tell how much I love books??

So I am super excited to share with you the fantastic Christmas campaign being run by Scholastic #Giveabook, by visiting their website and purchasing books through the Scholastic Gift Guide they will then donate 20% of orders over £10 back to a school or nursery of your choice, allowing schools etc to get free books. You buy a book and they give a book, how awesome is that.

The gift guide has a wide variety of books to choice from for all ages, for my little one I would love the

Tales from Acorn Wood Box Set Award-winning author/illustrator by Julia Donaldson (author) and Axel Scheffler (illustrator) I am a lover of Julia Donaldson work so these look fantastic.

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For my older daughter Hero by Sam Angus (author) looks like a story she would enjoy.

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So if you are after that special book to gift this Christmas pop on over to Scholastic and buy a book whilst giving a book, its like getting to give a gift twice over.

How truly special xxx

Pretty please

When I first found out I had been nominated for a UK Blog award I was completely surprised and a little nervous. You see competition scares the pants off me and often you will find me running in the opposite direction of anything that leaves me open for judgement.

Then I spoke to my husband who in his own endearing way told me to “get over myself” and accept the nomination in the way it was given. Recognition for the hard work and the heart I put into my blog.

I do have to be honest though, you see these pages here, the words written here have never really been for the benefit of others. Here in this little place in the virtual world I share my heart and my soul because I simply love it.

I get to share my life with all my readers people who I may know and many I don’t but I allow them in to see me warts and all. It’s actually something I really struggle with in real life. Yet here on this blog I share all, sometimes, well often I may actually over share.

Still for the last 8 and a half years I have found kindness, support and friendship in my readers and for that I am extremely grateful.

So why should you vote for me?

I still have no idea, if I could vote for each and everyone of you I would because it’s been your comments, your emails that have gotten me through some incredibly hard times. It’s been your shared joy that has made some of my special times more special.

So please it’s up to you guys, please vote for me if you want as I honestly would love to win this award being nominated has been rather special but winning well that may just make my year.

Vote here 

But more than that please keep showing up, keep coming over and reading and keep being the best people I have the pleasure to know or not know as the case may be. My life is a little hectic right now and I know for a fact that next year is certainly going to rock so let’s carry on walking through this crazy thing called life together.

Vote for me in the UK Blog Awards 2017