Monday, 28 February 2011

Annual Family Holiday - Egypt

So last week was our annual family holiday, and this year we went to Taba, Egypt for the week. It was all-inclusive pretty much 24 hours a lets just say I made the most of it...and gained 1kg in the process :P

I did stick to my £10 budget while I was there though and only bought a cute little wooden and mother of pearl box and I managed to haggle (how amazing is haggling!!!) and got the guy to throw in a couple of postcards for free so I didn't go over my budget :)

It really was a magical holiday and I'm so grateful to my parents for taking us there. It was so exotic and 'Arabian' something out of Aladdin! We stayed at the Sofitel Taba Heights which was one of the most beautiful hotels was set right in between the Sinai mountains and the Gulf of Aquaba, looking out over Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

I was really worried at first with the revolution going on in Cairo, but when we got to the resort I couldn't believe how quiet it was! There were only British people there because all of the Europeans had left, so the hotel only had a 35% occupancy. We were talking to the waiters in the restaurant and they were saying because we were in the Sinai region there were no troubles there...they even consider it a different country! Our Assad (our waiter who served us every mealtime the whole time we were there), said that it wasn't considered the real Egypt because it used to belong to Israel.

The staff at the hotel were sooooo nice and couldn't do enough for us! We also made the trip to St Catherine's Monastery and the Burning Bush in the Sinai Mountains, which was so surreal and as a Christian I felt so honoured to be able to see where Moses had actually spoken to God and received the 10 commandments. Just to be standing where Moses had stood thousands of years ago, to actually walk around a Monastery and view Icons that were thousands of years old! They also still have the relics of St Catherine there, and her thumb is actually on display! I understand some of you may not be as excited by all this as my Dad and I were...which is fair enough lol :P

It was also amazing seeing the Bedouin people and seeing how they live. Some of them still live in Caves in the mountains and travel around the desert with their camels and tents.
We also went swimming/snorkelling in the Red Sea and it was like swimming in a fish tank, the coral and fish were incredible! Really wish I had an underwater camera...but couldn't buy one before we went because of my £10 budget :(

If you ever get the chance to go there, DO! Ignore the warnings about the troubles and just do it, you won't regret it. It really was the most amazing place.

I really really want to go travelling around the Middle East now (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia etc). It's just like a completely different world to ours.

My brother, mum and I at St Catherine's Monastery
St Catherine's Monastery....yes I climbed a mountain to take this photo.

Bedouin People at St Catherine's

A camel that we thought looked a bit like our puppy dog Dylan

The Red Sea by our Hotel

Half Way!!

Apart from officially hitting the half way mark, It was a pretty boring week. This was the week before we went to Egypt so I spent most of the week at home packing, helping sort out the house, helping mum with last minute things and working. Basically all I spent was about £3 on my lunch at work, I decided to treat myself to a Costa Coffee pannini....lets just say it wasn't the best customer service I've ever experienced. So I complained to head office...much to the Manager's annoyance. Anyway, I won't go into details but lets just say I won't be eating there again.
Oh and I also bought Easter Eggs for my family.
£3.00 (ish) - Lunch at Costa Coffee
£4.00 - Easter Eggs
= £7.00

Thursday, 17 February 2011

I can't remember!

Wow...I can't even remember what I did last week :/ how bad is that!! I know I didn't do a lot...hmm...
Ok then, so I'll move onto what I spent and then I'll edit this part when I finally remember what I actually did.
Budget: 59p - Crumpets - Sainsburys
50p - Basics Natural Yoghurt - Sainsburys
£1.00 - White Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies - Sainsburys
£1.00 - tin of Rice pudding and a tin of Custard (buy 2 for £1) - Sainsburys
45p - Milk - Sainsburys
72p - Basics Tomatoes - Sainsburys
73p - Ground Cinnamon - Sainsburys
36p - Tangerine Jelly - Sainsbury's
9p - Basics Strawberry Jelly - Sainsbury's
£1.00 - Bananas - Sainsburys
50p - Car Park fee
£3.05 - I sponsored Emma Sheppherd to run the London Marathon
= £9.99

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Letter to people without chronic pain - Lupus & Hughes Syndrome

This letter was posted on the Hughes Syndrome Foundation Facebook page. It is a letter to people WITHOUT chronic pain. Lupus and Hughes Syndrome both give sufferers chronic pain. Please take the time 
to read this. It is important. 

Claudine Goze-Weber

'Having chronic pain means many
things change, and a lot of them are invisible. Unlike having cancer or being
hurt in an accident, most people do not understand even a little about chronic
pain and its effects, and of those who think they know, many are acutally

In the spirit of informing those who wish to understand,
these are the things that I would like you to understand about me before you
judge me....

Please understand that being sick doesn't mean I'm not still
a human being. I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and
exhaustion, and if you visit, sometimes I probably don't seem like much fun to
be with, but I'm still me--stuck inside this body. I still worry about school,
family, my friends, and most of the time, I'd still like to hear you talk about
yours too.

Please understand the difference between "happy" and
"healthy". When you've got the flu, you probably feel miserable with it, but
I've been sick for years. I can't be miserable all the time. In fact, I work
hard at not being miserable. So, if you're talking to me and I sound happy, it
means I'm happy. That's all. It doesn't mean that I'm not in a lot of pain, or
extremely tired, or that I'm getting better, or any of those things. Please
don't say, "Oh, you're sounding better!" or "but you look so healthy!" I am
merely coping. I am sounding happy and trying to look normal. If you want to
comment on that, you're welcome.

Please understand that being able to
stand up for ten minutes doesn't necessarily mean that I can stand up for twenty
minutes, or an hour. Just because I managed to stand up for thirty minutes
yesterday doesn't mean that I can do the same today. With a lot of diseases
you're either paralyzed, or you can move. With this one, it gets more confusing
every day. It can be like a yo-yo. I never know from day to day, how I am going
to feel when I wake up. In most cases, I never know from minute to minute. That
is one of the hardest and most frustrating components of chronic

Please repeat the above paragraph sustituting, "sitting",
"walking", "thinking", "concentrating", "being social" and so applies
to everything. Thats what chronic pain does to you.

Please understand
that chronic pain is variable. It's quite possible (for many, it's common) that
one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I'll have
trouble getting to the next room. Please don't attack me when I'm ill by saying
"But you did it before!" or "Oh, come on, I know you can do this!" If you want
me to do something, then ask if I can.

In a similar vein, I may need to
cancel a previous commitment at the last minute. If this happens, please do not
take it personally. If you are able, please try to always remember how very
lucky you are--to be physically able to do all of the things that you can

Please understand that "getting out and doing things" does not make
me feel better and can often make me seriously worse. You don't know what I go
through or how I suffer in my own private time. Telling me that I need to
exercise or "do seomthing to get my mind off of it" may frustrate me to tears
and is not correct. If I was capable of doing some things any or all of the
time, don't you know that I would? I am working with my doctor and I am doing
what I am supposed to do.

Another statement that hurts is, "You just need
to push yourself more, try harder..." Obviously, chronic pain can deal with the
whole body, or be localized to specific areas. Sometimes participating in a
single activity for a short or a long period of time can cause more damage and
physical pain that you could ever imagine.

Not to mention the recovery
time, which can be intense. You can't always read it on my face or in my body
language. Also, chronic pain may cause secondary depression (wouldn't you get
depressed and down if you were hurting constantly for months or years?), but it
is not created by depression.

Please understand that if I say I have to
sit down/lie down/stay in bed/or take these pills now, that probably means I
have to do it right now - it can't be put off or forgetten just because I'm
somewhere, or am right in the middle of doing something. Chronic pain does not
forgive, nor does it wait for anyone.

If you want to suggest a cure to
me, please don't. It's not because I don't appreciate the thought and it's not
because I don't want to get well. Lord knows that isn't true. In all likelihood,
if you've heard of it or tried it, so have I. In some cases, I have been made
sicker, not better. This can involve side effects or allergic reactions. It also
includes failure, which in and of itself can make me feel even lower.

there were something that cured, or even helped people with my form of chronic
pain, then we'd know about it. There is a worldwide network (both on and off the
internet) between people with chronic pain. If something worked, we would know.
It's definitely not for lack of trying. If, after reading this, you still feel
the need to suggest a cure, then so be it. I may take what you said and discuss
it with my doctor.

If I seem touchy, it's probably because I am. It's not
how I try to be. As a matter of fact, I try very hard to be normal. I hope you
will try to understand. I have been, and am still, going through a lot. Chronic
pain is hard for you to understand unless you have had it. It wreaks havoc on
the body and the mind. It is exhausting and exasperating.

Almost all of
the time,I know that I am doing my best to cope with this and live my life to
the best of my ability. I ask you to bear with me, and accept me as I am. I know
that you cannot literally understand my situation unless you have been in my
shoes, but as much as is possible, I am asking you to try to be understanding in

In many ways, I depend on you - people who are not sick. I need
you to visit me when I am too sick to go out...Sometimes I need your help with
the shopping, cooking or cleaning. I may need you to take me to the doctor or to
the store. You are my link to the normalcy of life. You can help me to keep in
touch with the parts of life that I miss and fully intend to undertake again,
just as soon as I am able.
I know that I asked a lot from you and I do thank
you for listening, it really does mean a lot.'

Surrey Times

The Surrey Times follow up article on my challenge is in the newspapers from today! If you live in the Surrey area you should get these papers delivered to your house for free...if not then you can view it on the

I'm pretty pleased with it...apart from my cheeks looking puffy in the photo lol! I guess you get that from living off £10 a week for 4 and a half months :P

I am basically half way through my challenge now (I think the official date is 15th Feb), so only another 4 and a half months to go! But that means only another 4 and a half months to donate and reach the £4000 target! :O
So far I've raised just over £ we've still got to raise about another £3300...come on people, you can do it...just £2.00...that's all it needs. The price of a cup of coffee or a large bar of chocolate...remember every little helps!

Surrey Times Article

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Poundland is amazing. I bought a book from there last week....and it's actually a REALLY good book with an RRP of £12.99! I also got SIX bottles of water for £1.
Anyway, the amazing poundland aside, I also had my photo taken last week for another Surrey Times article. I wore my Tommy's - The Baby Charity fund-raising t-shirt and held the Home-Start money collector lol! The photographer was very nice and he said once the article's out I can email and ask them to send me the photos, so I'm looking forward to seeing them. The article will be in the Surrey Times this Wednesday, and is a follow up story on those of you who live in Guildford, take a look in the paper that gets delivered to you for free on Wednesday :)
I've been enjoying spending the gift cards I got for Christmas as well, I used my HMV one to buy the Indiana Jones box set on DVD, and then for an extra £2.99 I got the Failure to Launch dvd. And I've also decided that as soon as I've finished this £10 a week challenge I'm buying the Alfred Hitchcock box set! And I spent my M&S voucher on a new bra :) not that you all needed to know that....

The sad news came through the media this week that Amanda Holden's baby boy was stillborn last week. She also had a miscarriage last year. It really isn't fair. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family x
My mum and I are running the Bupa London 10k run in May for Tommy's - The Baby Charity, to raise money for them so that they can carry out vital research and hopefully help them to obtain their goal of halving the number of babies who die during pregnancy and birth by 2030.



£1 - Book - Poundland
£1 - 6 bottles of water - Poundland
£2.99 - Failure To Launch DVD - HMV
86p - Ice Cream - Wimpy's :/
60p - Maltesers - Work vending machine :/

= £6.45

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Stylist Magazine Article

I was directed to this article from Tommy's on Twitter, and after reading it decided to share it with you all. I think it's important people are aware of the taboo surrounding miscarriage and the amazing work Tommy's do to try and make sure every baby is born healthy.

As well as living off £10 a week for 9 months, I am also running the 10k Bupa London run in aid of Tommy's in May, if you are able to donate, I would be grateful for any donations small or large.