I just heard an advert for Peppa Pig World that if you buy a ticket during a limited time you can get the second day free. I have a couples questions here; when they say the second day is free do they mean real days or Peppa Pig days? I ask this because Peppa’s days appear to be about 6 minutes long. Any parent or grandparent who has been subjected to Peppa Pig knows this. My next question is why? Why would any sentient being want to endure a second day? 6 minutes long or not!
I know the kids adore it, not quite sure why but I can confirm that my grandkids never and I do mean never hit the Peppa Pig wall. They can watch the same episode over and over with as much glee and joy as the previous one millionth viewing. How this is possible is beyond me but hats off to the creators of Peppa because they must know more about how our kids brains work than we do. Example, they can watch Peppa endlessly without complaint but get them to come away from the telly to do some other activity and immediately you hear “I’m bored!” You want to shout “you won’t know what bored is until you have kids and the Peppa Pig of their day is driving you nuts!” I realised my Peppa threshold was once and truly breached when I heard myself practically begging my 4 year old granddaughter to watch Doc McStuffins just for a change!!

One Snowy January Day

There are certain events and special days that mark and shape our lives. Some of these are obvious and many of them are public knowledge such as birthdays, weddings anniversaries and so on. Most of the days in our lives when we wake up we have no clue how significant that day will turn out to be. Five years ago on the 13th of January was exactly one of these days for me. I was due to have lunch with someone I had been chatting to online. We had been in touch almost every day for about 2 months. I should have known, the minute I woke up and looked outside, that the day would be a good one because it was snowing. I love the snow and I still get as excited as a little kid when the white stuff comes down!
We had planned to meet at my local pub. This also turned out to be a bonus because I literally could not drive out of our neighbourhood, it was totally impassable. I got ready and walked down to the pub which is about 3/4 of a mile from my house. It was one of those perfect snowy days where there are only a few cars on the road and all sounds are muted by the blanket of snow. It was bitterly cold as well but that didn’t seem to bother me as I crunched my way down the path towards the pub. There was a sizzle of excitement running through me that I thought was a combination of the snow and the meeting now only minutes away. Like the weather outside I too had a flurry, this one of emotions buzzing around. Excitement yes but also hesitation, what if she shows up and has 3 heads? What if we find that after two months online there is nothing else to say or we don’t have things in common etc. I didn’t have to wait long to find out I had nothing to worry about. Once in the pub and the initial greeting hugs over we started to talk and did not stop. In one way It was like I had known this incredible person my whole life yet in other ways I couldn’t wait to get to know her better. I never wanted that lunch to end and in a way it didn’t. Five years have now passed and we still have not runout of things to talk about. We have been married for three years, have seen 4 grandchildren born and have a very busy and wonderful life. So, moral of the story, what appears to be a “normal” day can turn out to be one of the most important and special days of your life. I now try to wake up each day thinking “what incredible things are going to happen today?”

Things you Learn When Working in an Open Plan Office

Open plan offices are very common now but  you would be amazed by what you still see and hear going on in these shared spaces. Here are a few do’s and dont’s for working in an in this type of environment:


Gentlemen, when walking through the office Don’t adjust yourself first and then turn around to see if anyone can see you…they can!

Ladies, don’t hold conversations at your desk or other’s desks regarding the pros and cons of various feminine sanitary products.

Don’t perform personal business transactions on the phone while in the office because when you give out your bank details, date of birth, credit cards number etc. the person on the other end of the phone is not the only making notes!

Don’t argue with your kids on the phone because everyone will just think you are the meanie no matter what the child has done.

If you are the one person in the office with the piercing laugh please refrain because it makes others want to strangle you!

Hovering,…this spans both the do’s and don’ts.  If you are hovering because you do not want to be at your desk but you have nowhere else you need to be this is a don’t.

Hovering with Intent is slightly different and gives you leeway as you are simply trying to give someone else (who is currently engaged in something you consider to be not very important or you think will end very soon) a clue you need to speak to them and s acceptable.

Hovering because someone else is hovering near your desk is not acceptable.

Eating in an open plan office has its risks.  The rule of thumb should be just because you think the strong aroma of your lunch is nice does not mean others share your olfactory preferences.

Don’t eat a food that can be measured in decibels.

Don’t PICK anything!!


Be considerate of others but if someone else is annoying you with one of the don’ts plan to use a more offensive don’t back!

I hope you will find these tips useful in your day to day working life. 🙂

So Long 2014

I remember writing my blog at this same time in 2013, where I was more than happy to see that year come to a close. This year has been very different. The pain and loss of last year was replaced with a lot of joy, laughter and good times. We welcomed two new members to our clan and we have been watching them grow and flourish, with their respective big sisters watching out for them, while they too are changing every day.

We were able to visit family in the States and be visited by family and friends from abroad throughout the year. 2015 is looking like it will be a good one as well with more company coming with whom we can share all the delights of England.

Pam and I are truly blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. We look forward to 2015 and everything it has in store for us this year. With the riches that our incredible family and awesome friends bring to us we hope your New Year brings you everything you wish for.

December 17, 2011

I have always heard that as you get older time seems to speed up. I found this to be true but in other respects certain things feel like they have been part of your life forever even if it is truly only a few years. On December 17th, three years ago tomorrow, is when these anomalies in time really kicked in. It was on this day that my incredible partner joined me at the Registry Office in Oakham (a community in rural Rutland in the heart of England), to exchange vows that would bind us for the rest of our lives. At that very moment I went from being a single person with no children to a married person with 2 kids (I hate the “step” people use in these circumstances), with 2 daughter’s in-in-law and 2 grandchildren! How cool was that?

Since then we have welcomed 2 more grandchildren into this world. So in some ways, like when I think of that crisp December day it feels like yesterday, then when I look at everything that has happened since that day it feels like this has been my life forever. All I know for sure is that on that day my life changed into this awesome dream that I am now living. Thank you to Pamela for this wonderful gift and to the rest of our crazy Wilks side of the family for the love you share with me every day.

Birthday #50

Awesome, incredible, fantastic…pick your most positive adjective and it will fit to describe today. Leading up to this milestone day I was not feeling overly enamoured with idea of turning 50. However, I have changed my mind and I think 50 is very cool. If today was any indication of how the future will be I’m ready for it!
I have been blessed to have had so many wonderful people in my life. I have been influenced, coached, mentored and loved by theses people. You all have touched my heart and left your impressions. I could not start to name you all but you know who you are. I carry you with me today and always.

9 Days and Counting…

I can hardly believe that in 9 days I will turn 50 years old! How could that possibly have happened? It seems like yesterday that I was running around the neighbourhood playing Army with my brothers, or planning the next snowball war with the kids from the next block. (No slush balls or embedded objects allowed). Before we knew it we could hear Mom calling us to come home for dinner. That would mean Dad would be waking up and having supper for his breakfast. Dad worked the Midnight to 0:800 shift so he slept during the day. We always ate together at 5:00 every day no matter what.

Sunday’s were an exception because we went to my grandparent’s house after mass. We would hang out or play whatever sport the season dictated, baseball in the sumner, football in the winter. Then it was back inside for pasta and meatballs…wow I swear I can still smell my grandma’s sauce. It would have been cooking for a minimum of 8 hours, simmering away. After dinner Grandma would put a plate of cookies on the table, not just for us kids but also for my Grandpa who would not leave the table without eating at least one cookie. There were always 8 or 9 different types of cookies, all homemade of course. I don’t know how she made so many different cookies all with different dough. I know how long it takes me to make one batch of cookies, I can’t imagine doing that. However my mom has kept up the multi-cookie tradition.
See I told you it seems like it was yesterday, I could go on with stories as that was a glimpse of just a couple days in these 50 years. I’m looking forward to the next 50.

Almost 50

I am now on the doorstep to my 50th year, (it seems strange to even write that), I don’t think of myself as “old” or getting old. In many ways I feel younger than I did in my 30’s. I am certainly more emotionally energised and am taking advantage of every day. I do not allow months to pass where I look back and ask myself “what have you accomplished, who have you helped, what did those months achieve”, without an answer. In this way I am more proactive than ever before. I have found my place in the world and I have found my true love but instead of feeling I have “arrived” it it clear there is so much yet to do.
Let’s face it we are living longer but that is no guarantee. It is not about the number of years it is how you spend them and I plan on living every one of them to the full. I am so fortunate to have my partner, my friends and my family, I will not take their love for granted and I hope to continue returning it for many more years. Come on 50, I’m ready for you!

“E” for excitement


The letter “E” is significant in the English language but recently it has taken on a whole new dimension. Just over three years ago we welcomed our granddaughter Ellie into the world. Today the power of “E” has increased as we now welcome the newest addition to the Wilks/Matthews Clan..Erin. “E” now stands for so much more! I have not been able to see Erin yet as I am away on business but I intend to make up for this that is for sure.
This ever expanding family is phenomenal. We cross two seas (Atlantic and Irish) and multiple countries. As if the arrival of our newest member was not enough to rejoice we also have the pleasure of welcoming another new family member, by marriage, Amanda. Two new family members in as many days…wow, how lucky are we?

Congratulations to Matt, Sarah and Ellie and to Mark and Amanda! Thank you for writing the preface of the next chapters of our family history.

A Family Tradition for Valentine’s Day…Now Fully Appreciated

For as long as I can remember (that’s how theses stories always start don’t they, kind of like “once upon a time”…) every Valentine’s Day, my dad gave me a card and some kind of treat. I am the only girl between two boys and I used to think Dad did the card and treat thing so I wouldn’t feel left out when Mom got her Valentine’s gift. As I grew up and out of our family home my dad still sent the card on Feb 14th. I thought it was sweet that he kept up what was now a tradition. This year when the card arrived I finally understood why Dad started this in the first place. It was not so I wouldn’t feel left out and it wasn’t because it became a tradition after all those years, it was because of the very special bond a father has with his daughter. It is something no one else in the world can truly understand. I guess it has taken having two beautiful granddaughters and getting to see that father/ daughter bond grow between them and their dads that has finally given me the perspective.

So, thank you Dad for this year’s card and for all the cards and treats in years past. I love you!

Your favourite daughter xx