Facing all the facts of reality,
Means that I was born in 1970.

Somewhat nearer 50 than 40 now,
Yet I’m nowhere near ready to take a bow.

I’ve lived a life but I haven’t felt fulfilled,
Made too many new starts on which to build.

With the itchy feet of a Pisces fish,
Never feel settled, though it’s always a wish.

Another wish is my old size 8,
Piling on the pounds does aggravate.

My skin stays young and my hair is long,
But everything else has gone Pete Tong!

Reality means all truth, no lies,
It also means there’s no disguise.

No hiding away from the daily grind,
Even when you feel you’re going out of your mind.

Reality means I’m still a kid at heart,
Adult decisions? Don’t know to start!

nearer 50 than 40

Written for Sara’s prompt at MumTurnedMom and Prose For Thought at Verily Victoria Vocalises  :-)


Prose for Thought
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Woof Wednesday: Lick and Tell

I know only too well how, erm, challenging, it can be to get a decent portrait of your pet. I remember, must be 4 or 5 years ago now, taking Stella along to see a professional photographer at our local pet shop and how the chap managed to get as many frameable shots as he did in the time allocated amazes me! One hangs above my fireplace :)

At home

Then we mustn’t forget her outdoors photoshoot which proved more than a little frustrating. The lovely Kirsteen has the patience of a saint with all her subjects though and did a splendid job. Woof Wednesday

This week I heard about another pooch photography project and I think you’ll like this as much as I do! 

Innovative canine photography company ‘WP Studio‘ has announced the launch of an amusing yet insightful portrait series, aptly named ‘Lick & Tell’.

Brainchild of head photographer Jess Wealleans, the portrait series offers a light-hearted and bemusing opportunity to view man’s best friend as we’ve never seen them before. Dogs being dogs, the ‘Lick & Tell’ series captures the moments formal photography shoots would inevitably be interrupted by; the dogs natural urge to lick!

Jess Wealleans commented “Every so often, after getting a reward for a sit and wait, the portrait would be lined up, focus perfect, then just as I was pressing the shutter, the dog would lick. The contrast between those formal portraits and that totally dog-typical lick was always amazing to see afterwards in post shoot workflow & editing!”

Having been recognised professionally for her work in niche photography arenas, Jess has worked extensively with well behaved pets for commissioned portraits. However after feeling the strict formalities began to become a little mundane, she noticed a highly interesting and amusing side to her work when she captured the dogs licking.

Jess continued “Those lick shots were what made me smile more than any of the others. They showed personality of each dog in such a strong way, so much more than the formal portraits I was commissioned to capture.”

The ‘Lick & Tell’ portrait series is available as a paper photobook and showcases a range of heart-warming pairings of both formal and ‘lick’ styled shots of each featured dog.

Photo by Jess Wealleans at WP Studio.  As soon as I saw this brodie lookalike I knew I had to have a copy of the book!

Photo by Jess Wealleans at WP Studio.
As soon as I saw this Brodie lookalike I knew I had to have a copy of the book!

Photo by Jess Wealleans at WP Studio. Another favourite of mine, reminds me of when I'm trying to take Stella's photo in the garden and the sun suddenly makes her squint!

Photo by Jess Wealleans at WP Studio.
Another favourite of mine, reminds me of when I’m trying to take Stella’s photo in the garden and the sun suddenly makes her squint!

Stella 2013

Stella 2013








 These are 2 particular favourites of mine but I believe there’s something for everyone!

© Jess Wealleans as before

© Jess Wealleans as before

© Jess Wealleans as before

© Jess Wealleans as before


© Jess Wealleans as before

© Jess Wealleans as before

© Jess Wealleans as before

© Jess Wealleans as before
















You do get to see the intended portraits too but most of these are better! 

I’ll handover to Jess to show and tell you more…


More details on the book and how to buy it can be found on the WP Studio site. I’m already looking forward to the next one!


*written in collaboration with WP Studio and photos used with the kind permission of Jess Wealleans, please respect copyright.




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Name Three Indulgences aka Happy Birthday To Me

Karen from The Mad House Of Cats & Babies gave us a week to think of these while she took a much-earned break for half-term and I was struggling to think of indulgences as I think I live quite a modest existence. I was taught not to waste food when I was young and to save when I was a kid so there’s money put aside if I, or more often, Stella need it. Current saving-up-for item is a new laptop to replace this blessed thing that, despite me buying it a cooling mat continues to either overheat or just turn itself off randomly! 

But, having thought that most of you need to spend money on your kids before yourselves and/or pets I chose things that I don’t have to think twice about popping in my shopping basket. I don’t drink and I don’t smoke so these don’t even seem overly indulgent to me, but, I do realise they must do to some of you so enough of the waffle!

Lisas-Life is like a box of chocolates

Black Lindor truffles

I still don’t see these as being especially indulgent when I think of the amount I used to spend on milk chocolate bars before I was dairy intolerant. It’s true that it’s an addiction but at least I’m not stupid enough to go mad with the cheap stuff that’s going to make me really poorly!

books name 3 things


Now I know for a fact that I’m not the only blogger on the block with this problem. I also know it’s quite likely that my hours on Earth will run out before I get time to read all of them. So then, why can’t I stop buying them until I get caught up?! When I was a teenager my pocket money all went on records so maybe I’m trying to recapture what I should have been doing then? I don’t know, I just know I love them, every single one.

29 Jan 2015 Tired tulips

Fresh Flowers

Not always tulips and not always purple but I do love a vase of flowers in the house. If I was more green-fingered they’d be fresh from the garden but I’m not so I buy them. This week’s tulips were a bargain £2 at the end of a supermarket check-out. Love them  :-) 


I shall be indulging in chocolates and flowers for myself again today as it’s my birthday…I should probably treat myself to another book too shouldn’t I?!

How do you indulge yourself? 

Let us know in the comments or join in with the linky :) 

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F is for February Flowers


 photo 4d06e438-4e6a-4f3b-88b2-0c1093350397_zps361ad0e9.jpg

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Betty Crocker Birthday Brownies

February is quite a month for the girls in the family. My mum’s birthday is the 15th, my niece’s the 23rd and mine the 24th. Having all been blessed with a sweet tooth means any opportunity for cake is rarely turned down!

As I work at my parents there’s normally a day in each half-term holiday that the family come over with the kids, and tradition now dictates we have a fish & chip lunch. Before and after lunch I get on with work and then at 4ish it’s cake time. This week my auntie brought over fresh cream cakes and I made a batch of Betty Crocker brownies #bettybloggerbakes brownies 1


I don’t have vegetable oil so used rice bran oil instead and they turned out just fine. Once again they proved so simple to make and needed little preparation which is just what I need right now with my carpal tunnel syndrome wrist in a brace! #bettybloggerbakes brownies 2

Of course I hadn’t spotted the top tips bit on the website about cutting them into shapes instead of squares (I have a butterfly in the cupboard desperate for an airing!) but nobody seemed to mind. #bettybloggerbakes brownies 3


They went down well for afternoon tea on Thursday and again when I shared the rest with work colleagues at the charity shop on Friday morning. I’d offer them round now but there’s only one left and that has my name on it!  :lol: 

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‘Dream’ turned out to be an apt prompt from Sara at MumTurnedMom this week and had such an effect that I think it deserves to be my Word Of The Week at The Reading Residence too! dream #wotw #theprompt

In the daytime I’m dreaming about a cure for canine cancer and vestibular migraines but at night my dreams are often as bizarre as ever. My doctor says I dream so much because I don’t get enough good deep sleep. I can start dreaming almost as soon as my head hits the pillow, I haven’t perfected that thing yet of having a dream disturbed and being able to go back but some days I’d love to. Yes I’m looking at you Jason Orange! 

Talking of busy dreams last Saturday night was no exception…Somehow in between living back at our old home with my Dad and having a fling with Fletch off of Holby/Casualty (by the way I have never thought of him that way…Michael French, yes but I don’t even know this poor actor’s real name!) anyway, in between these shenanigans I was, to put it politely, caught short. I’ll spare you the details but to quote from my dream analysis book, the more embarrassing the dream, the better the real-life outcome. This was a 7/10 on the feeling embarrassed scale.

According to my book I would be coming into money. I didn’t expect much as dreaming of a white horse is meant to mean the same, and, by the way, is a much more pleasant dream! It’s come true in the past in as much as I’ve got a lottery e-mail telling me I’ve won £3 on the Thunderball game! Woo and indeed hoo. Another time it meant I made a sale on Zazzle. Those extra few pennies are certainly handy but not really exclamation worthy.

However, no such e-mail arrived in my inbox; I checked Zazzle and Redbubble, no sales overnight; I checked Ebay, no sales and the one person owing me money still hadn’t paid; checked the blog e-mail for sponsored post opportunities but nothing there either.

I forgot all about it and got ready to go out for my mum’s birthday lunch. Remembered to stop at a cashpoint…ah, could this be it, could a banking error have put extra money in my account?! No. Maybe it was my mind’s warped way of telling me I’d be receiving my own money? Daft but I wouldn’t put it past my brain to work that way!

Got to my parents and my dad handed me an envelope with a few quid in. There was one for my brother too (we always get treated the same) but I didn’t ask him if he’d had a similarly awkward dream! Mine will go a little towards Stella’s vets bills insurance excess and I expect his will go towards preparing for his own baby…6 weeks to go…exciting!! No, I don’t know if I’m getting a niece or a nephew though I have a feeling it’s a niece. None of us mind as long as arrives healthy and happy. 

It’s not the first time I’ve had a predictive dream but they’re normally much more straightforward. All I get from those is a feeling of deja vu. Cold hard cash is far more useful, wouldn’t you agree?!


The Reading Residence
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Woof Wednesday: The Yellow Dog Project

I’ve written previously about how important I think Yellow Dog UK are as having a frequently nervous and often unwell Stella means she needs space. This is why I picked her up a yellow ribbon from Crufts a couple of years ago.

Yellow Dog UK are still trying to raise awareness about dogs that need space and so I offered to give them a mention again.

I’ve also ordered Stella an ‘I need space’ bandana as she may start getting more tetchy as her lump grows and it may well draw unwanted attention from curious people and pets.

(Saw the vet last Friday and she was telling us she has seen a boy dog with a very similar tumour in a very similar position – he started to resemble a dog attached to a lump rather than vice versa but remained otherwise high-spirited for 2 years – pooch prayers we get that too please)

Here’s a short video too:

The Yellow Dog Project Helps Public Give Pooches The Space They Need

A not-for-profit pet organisation is campaigning for greater public awareness when it comes to giving canines the space they need. Organised by NarpsUK, Yellow Dog UK aims to promote the use of free yellow ribbons in order to help keep pets, owners and members of the public safe and stress free.

According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association dogs are the third most popular pet in the UK, preceded only by fish kept in tanks and ponds. The statistics were drawn from the organisation’s annual 2014 Pet Population report and confirmed that 24% of households own a pet pooch. Yet despite their popularity owning a dog does have its complexities. Under certain circumstances dogs need to be given space while being walked or socialised.

It can be necessary to give dogs space for a variety of different reasons. Whether it’s experiencing health issues, being rehabilitated, in heat, suffering from old age or is simply a little shy, a dog who feels uncomfortable can quickly become stressed. Keeping dogs on leads is one solution however canine space can also be jeopardised by playful puppies, curious children and friendly passers-by. Yellow Dog UK is helping owners keep their pets in the ‘no go zone’ by promoting the nationwide use of yellow ribbons.

Nikki Parra, Managing Director said, “we know how stressful it can be for a yellow dog and its owner when a social dog or off lead dog approaches. we believe that by making the yellow ribbon an accepted representation throughout the uk that a dog needs space will benefit everyone and make dog walking more enjoyable experience. The yellow ribbon or bandanna can be used for short term periods – i.e. whilst a dog is in training or on heat – or long term – for example if a dog is elderly and does not like young lively dogs around him. we support that it is imperative to socialise dogs for their well being and development but also recognise that there are times and circumstances when a dog needs space and this is a way of letting other dog owners this, we hope that the campaign will encourage dog owners to recall their dogs when they see a dog wearing a yellow ribbon, giving that dog and its owner time to move out of your way and to get him used to people and animals.”

The organisation is underpinned by a trio of three core missions – “We promise that all donations will be raised and used to promote awareness of the campaign,” “We pledge to provide yellow ribbons free to any dog owners whose dogs need space,” and “We will tirelessly continue to promote the campaign until everyone in the UK recognises that this means the dog needs space.”

Yellow Dog UK offers FREE ribbons to any member of the public. Simply send a stamped self-addressed envelope to: Yellow Dog UK, PO Box 206, Erith, DA8 9FX.

Already Yellow Dog UK has received over 85,000 Facebook ‘likes’ and counting. To help promote the project even further the organisation is calling on members of the public to make a one off or monthly donation via the website.

To watch a set of informational videos on Yellow Dog UK, go to:

To find out more about Yellow Dog UK, make a donation, order a free yellow ribbon and browse the range of merchandise, visit:




Launched by NarpsUK, Yellow Dog UK is on a mission to promote the use of coloured ribbons as an indicator that a dog needs space. The project is a nationwide initiative that extends to all breeds. Owners are encouraged to use yellow ribbons when dogs are in training, recovering from surgery, being rehabilitated, in heat or experiencing any other form of problem that requires them to be given space. Yellow Dog UK is charity that’s supported by generous donations from pooch loving members of the public.

The Official Yellow Dog UK poster


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