Journal Jar Q44. Have You Inherited Any of Your Father’s Traits?

The short answer to this question is no, I don’t think I have.  When I think about it more, though, perhaps I do have some similarities to my father.  I am more like my Mum than I am my Dad, both physically and, I think, in characteristics.

As I get older, I can hear myself saying the same things, in the same tone of voice, to Will, as my Mum used to say to me when I was a teenager.  I can also see the physical similarities between us when I catch sight of my face at certain angles.

My mum and I share the same temper – we blow up, get it off our chest, and get over it, all very quickly.  Neither of us are ones to sulk or to hold a grudge.

I am a very organised and methodical person, and I think I inherit these traits from both my parents.

It’s interesting to wonder how much of your personality and characteristics is inbuilt/inherited and how much is learnt from our upbringing.

For example, both myself and my brother are hard workers, always have been, always will be – I feel like this is probably more due to the example set to us by our parents during our formative years.   And I wonder if the fact that our parents are still married to each other (as are both our spouses’ parents), is related to the fact that Nick and I are both still happily married.  I mean, it’s not just luck, is it, marriage?  It’s not all a bed of roses, and if you are both happy to accept that there will be ups and downs, and that marriage is something that needs working at, then you’re more likely to pull together to make it work, I guess, than if one or both of you have come from a broken home (to use an expression I dislike), hence making separation/divorce more acceptable, somehow.

I seem to have waffled on and got myself totally off the subject I started on!  Reading back through I’ve sort of answered the question.  I found it quite a hard one, to be honest.

Back tomorrow with something a bit less deep – a beauty vlog!  See you then x




Life Last Week #6

Oh my goodness, how did we end up more than halfway through November?  I can’t believe that it’s only a matter of weeks until Christmas ….

Last week was another crazy busy one and went by in a flash, once again.

Nothing very exciting happened – just the usual juggling of work, home, unsuccessful furniture shopping, appointments, social things and life in general.  The weather was mostly wet and blowy.

I did make a start on my Christmas shopping, thank goodness – all online as usual.  I don’t know how I ever lived without online shopping, I honestly don’t.  Life has changed so dramatically since the inception of the internet and, although without doubt it’s an amazing thing and generally nothing but positive, I often wish William could have experienced life without it – things were just so much simpler and slower then.

Bloody hell, talk about sounding middle-aged!  *Administers sharp slap to self*

My broadband connection was (and still is) very sporadic and I wouldn’t like to count the number of hours I spent on the phone to BT’s ‘help’desk in India.  They are sending an engineer tomorrow, so hopefully it will be resolved.

I did my first round of the charity shops in aaages, and picked up a couple of pairs of shoes.  Also some Rimmel bargains from Poundland.

Ashley was in London on Friday evening for a conference, and I had visions of a cosy evening in front of the TV with William.  In actual fact, I sat by myself in the lounge with a glass of wine for most of it, and Will only emerged from his bedroom for long enough to order and eat Domino’s pizza, before returning to his XBox.  Charming!

Saturday night we went out with friends for a meal to Michael Caines’ restaurant in Exeter – the food was very average, but the evening was fun.  Here’s a rare selfie with my outfit of choice for the evening.

Sunday morning brought showers, so rather than get up and go to the bootsale, I snuggled back down in my bed – lovely!  I took Ashley to see a potential sofa that I’d seen while he was away, that I liked – unsurprisingly, he didn’t like it!  I think I may order it anyway, though, as I haven’t seen anything else I like, and time is marching on.

I finished all my crochet snowflakes this week – I have really enjoyed making these, and now just have to decide how I’m going to display them at Christmas – so many options …

And that was another week over …

How was your’s?


That’s My Boy!


Conversation with William after I picked him up early from school for a hospital appointment:

Me: ‘What lessons are you missing this afternoon, Will?’
Will: ‘English and something else – I can’t remember’.
Me: ‘Why can’t you remember? Don’t you know your timetable by now?’
Will: ‘No, I have people for that sort of thing.’
Me: ‘Errr, people? Who?’
Will: ‘Lewis, Alex … and Jamie, sometimes’.
Me: ‘So how come all your school mates know what your timetable is, but you don’t?’
Will: ‘My mind is on higher things, Mother.’

50 Before 50 Update

I thought it was about time to do a brief update on how I’m progressing with my 50 Before 50 list - and a good way of concentrating my mind on where I’m at and the things I want to look at doing next.

The first section was Health& Fitness, and I haven’t made a start on any of these yet – I’m thinking that the New Year might be a good time to think about this section again.

Next section was Friends & Family, and I have made a little bit of progress here, I’m pleased to say.

8.  Once a year trip with my mum – I’ve booked up our annual trip to London towards the end of January, so we’re looking forward to that.

Next is ‘Just for Fun’.

16.  Go to the cinema 50 times – I’ve been once so far, but have plans to see a couple of other films later on this month, too.

17.  Try 100 different cheeses – I’m up to 11 and counting.  Yum – I love this one.

22.  Send flowers to somebody when it isn’t a special occasion.  Completed in September 2014 – sent to my Mum.

Next section, ‘A Bit Scary’, I haven’t yet started on.

‘Travel and Experiences’ has seen a bit of action recently.

28.   Go to a country I’ve never been to before.  Ticked this one off with our recent trip to the United Arab Emirates, Oct 2014.

32.   Go to the top of the tallest building in the world.  Yep, here’s me at the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, 1.11.14.


Under the ‘Home’ Section:

22.  Build and decorate our home cinema room – this is currently in progress, and Ashley tells me it will be completed by Christmas.  I must say I have my doubts!

‘Projects’ is next.

38.  Finish my Journal Jar questions.  I’ve done two so far of the 39 still outstanding, so only 37 more blog posts to write!

42.  Complete three months of the Photo A Day challenge – I’m on track for November so far.  You can follow me on Instagram @caroline_mrsm to see my pics.

No progress with the ‘Learning’ section yet.

And the final section is ‘Giving’.

49.  Give 25 Kiva loans – I’m up to 10.

51.  Donate to 50 charities – 7 so far.


So, not a huge amount of progress, but some, which can only be a good thing, right?

The next few goals I”m going to look at are.

50.   Give blood – I want to get this one crossed off, as it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but am totally not looking forward to at all.

48.   Emergency first aid course – I need to research this to find out more about dates and locations.

44.   Crochet an African flower blanket – I’ve made a start on this, and the long winter evenings are a perfect time for a bit of crochet, I reckon.

30.   Visit 20 local attractions – a bit of planning and research for interesting places to go is in order for this one.


I’m really enjoying this list of goals.  Because I gave myself the best part of four years to finish the list, I don’t feel any major time pressure, and it’s lovely to have a list to refer back to of things that I want do, all in one place.  And of course the satisfaction as I tick items off the list is great, too!

Life Last Week #5

We left our hotel in Dubai early on Monday morning and spent the majority of the day on the plane home.  We are lucky enough to travel Business Class on our longhaul family holidays, so it was quite a pleasant 8 hours, stretched out on a comfy chair with my feet up, being served delicious food and drink, and watching movies.


Virgin Atlantic afternoon tea – yum!

We landed at Heathrow mid-afternoon and by the time we’d driven the long drive back to Devon, it was after 7 (though nearly midnight Dubai-time), so we did a bit of unpacking and pretty much fell into bed.

Tuesday morning we were awake early (hello, jetlag!) so the 8 am appointment at the surgery for Will to have an ECG wasn’t too bad.  It was so quick that we even got to school on time afterwards.  We had another appointment even earlier on Wednesday morning, to get the ECG results with the doctor, and I’m pleased to say that all was in order and nothing untoward was detected.

As usual, the couple of days after returning from holiday were taken up with laundry, emails, unpacking, more laundry, grocery shopping, yadda yadda.  Nothing exciting to report there.

Wednesday evening saw the inauguration of our hot tub, complete with colour changing lights – very 70s!


Friday was William’s school’s Remembrance Service & Speech Day, and my parents came down to stay overnight so they could attend with us.  It’s the first Speech Day I’ve attended since he’s been in the Senior School (the date usually clashes with our October holiday), and I really enjoyed it.  They have a new Headmaster, and it was the first time we’d met him – first impressions were very good, I must say.  William won Progress Prize for Year 9.

Friday evening I cooked dinner and we had a few drinks and spent a nice evening chatting over the holiday with Mum and Dad.

Saturday didn’t start well – rain AND a ‘full and frank discussion’ with William about the state of his room, his grumpy attitude, his lack of organisation and his predilection for blaming everybody else when something goes wrong for him.  This was all brought on by him getting up too late to have breakfast before his 10.30 am appointment at the chiropodist, and then making an arrangement to go and stay with his grandmother for 24 hours without even asking us if that was OK beforehand.  So, appointment over, photographs of chiropidist’s new baby (Geoffrey) duly admired, and verrucas once again treated, Will and I repaired to a small cafe for coffee for me and tea and a large slice of cake (breakfast!) for him.  We had another chat and I tried to explain to him how things looked from my perspective, and he seemed to take it on board.   For about three days, if past situations are anything to go by, I’m sure!

Honestly, parenting a teenager is not an activity I find easy at all, or even particularly enjoyable 80% of the time.

Saturday afternoon was spent furniture shopping with Ashley – it was GHASTLY.  We didn’t find anything we liked, and we seemed to spend most of the time either stuck in traffic or looking for a parking space.  Awful.  No wonder I do most of my shopping online these days.

With William at MIL’s  for the night, we had a nice relaxing Saturday evening and a steak dinner cooked by Ashley.  Saturday evening TV viewing really is dire, though, isn’t it?  Good thing I had plenty to watch on Sky Plus!

Sunday morning was COLD – I had to scrape the ice off the car before venturing out to the car boot sale, where I picked up a few bargains – thankfully the cold hadn’t put the sellers off, and there was a good turnout.  The rest of Sunday was spent very lazily, I must admit, though I did list a few things on eBay in the afternoon.  I did my usual planning for the week ahead – menu plan, online grocery shop, diary organising and blog plan – it’s always a nice feeling to know that I’m all sorted for the coming week.

The week ended with roast dinner with sausages (we were too lazy to go to the supermarket and get a joint of meat!) and Saturday’s Dr Who (for the boys – my nose was in my book!).




The Return of Sunday Car Booty


It seems like aeons since I went second-hand shopping, but despite having to scrape the ice off the car before setting out at 7 this morning, I’ve finally made it to a car boot sale!

It was quite a successful morning’s shopping (taster in the pic above), and you can see everything I bought over at my Car Booty blog.

For newer readers, my car booty blog is invitation only, but if you’d like to be able to view, please leave me a quick note introducing yourself in the comments on this post, and I’ll get an invitation emailed to you so you can share my second hand shopping delights!

Have a great Sunday, everybody x