interior design

Mood boards are the perfect way to reduce the stress of DIY decorating. They work well because you can play about with the room before spend lots of money on paint, wall paper and accessories.

To create your very own mood board there are a few things you will need:

  1.  1. A big flat piece of wood or cardboard, about A3 size is ideal. You can go bigger, but smaller is not recommended.
  •        2. Collect together sample paints, wallpaper, fabric and flooring.
  •        3. Look through Google images or magazines to find images of any seating, tables, storage or footstools that you might want in your room. It’s important to make sure the images are in proportion to your room on your mood board. If you can’t find the right size picture, you can scan it in to the computer or use a photocopier and resize it.
  •        4. Something to stick things to your mood board. Sticky tape is not a good idea because it will make it hard to move things about, so it’s best to use pins or blue tack.

When you have all the things you need you can start creating. To make the most of your mood board start by layering the background, floor, walls and ceiling. You can then see how well the colours and textures fit together. Once you are relatively happy the background you can start to add in your accessories. Don’t forget to make room for everything that should be in the room, a bedroom becomes just a room if you have forgotten to put a bed in it.

No comes the most fun bit, switch out the accessories and play with your design, when you hit the room you love, you will know.

Remember, that just because a room looks great in a magazine or on a website, it may not suit the physical structure of your room because thing like size and lighting can have a significant impact on the outcome of a great design.

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Hi folks,

I am back.


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Why choose Buildings and Contents Insurance for your home?

2 months on from the budget and insurance is due for renewal, I found this useful when trying to decide on whether to have contents insurance with my buildings insurance.

Consumer Debt Solutions Blog

Our previous blog talked about the level of cover required when it comes to home insurance. This post highlights the two different types of insurance and how by having these correctly documented could save you having to investigate debt solutions in the case of an unfortunate event.

You can get standalone or combined insurance policies. (Some insurance companies now offer extra discounts if you take out other types of insurance with then such as motor, holiday or pet insurance.) The type of policy you would need, in part depends on whether you are a home owner or tenant. If you are a home owner, still paying on a mortgage, a policy covering the building is usually mandatory and you would have to ensure that you have an adequate policy in place. For the tenant, the landlord would usually have a buildings policy, but would not have contents cover in place.

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DESMOND….not the 80s sit com

As the DESMONDS in the title is  not the the 80s sit com based on a barber shop, (I fondly recall the show, sitting with my family laughing at the character called Pork-Pie) what is it?




Management for

Ongoing and



About the course, it is 2 sessions with a diabetic nurse and dietitian, it is attended by about 10 diabetics and their carers or a friend/relative.  (My husband came with me, because he does all the cooking, aren’t I the lucky one?)

So, what did I get out of the course, if anything? I learned about insulin resistance and about visceral fat and the damage this can do.

I learned about the different types of fat in food and which are good fats and bad fats and which impacts the different body fats. This is interesting stuff.

Well, I started writing this post a while ago, but at the minute, I am finding it hard to concentrate and motivate myself to be brave enough to post my thoughts and feelings.

Whats been happening since my last post and the start of this post. I have been for a couple of interviews, nothing doing though. Stressing about my doctors appointment on Monday. I don’t know if i should be pushing to stay off work a bit longer, I am not sure how I will cope with the pressure of call after call, while at home I feel OK some of the time, I still have bad days without the pressure of work.

My cholesterol has gone up even though I have achieved my half stone award at Slimming World. My group have been lovely and supportive.

I am sat staring at my computer. Not sure what to write or where to go from here.

Does anyone else with depression feel like this? I feel drained from the constant battling in my head. Every word I type or say or even think is judged before before it is released in to sphere of reality. Not sure where I am going with this, but feel the need to get this out there. So let me apologise for the disjointed nature of this post.

On that note, will leave this post and maybe get my head in to gear later and start fresh with a witty and informative post.


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My Saturday

Yesterday, I  attended the Cabin Crew Selection Day preparation course that was led by Sarah and Leigh from First Class Crew Training.

The course was held in a large room with tea and coffee facilities. There was plenty of space and the layout of the room was perfect.

Leigh came to the reception to take me into the course room. He was friendly and welcoming, as was Sarah when we entered the room. We were greeted with some warm up exercises, which were related to the skills needed for cabin crew. The picture brain teasers were fun and set the tone for the whole day.

The course started on time. There were pens, work books and note paper on the table for each of the attendees. Health and safety/housekeeping was covered at the beginning of the day.

The Ice Breaker was a great idea, and it encouraged us to be out of our seats and we learned a bit about each other.

Sarah and Leigh seemed to adapt the course to suit the need of the attendees, because we all knew what we needed to know about pay and the life of cabin crew this section seemed quite brief. The idea of putting a big sheet of paper on the table and each person writing their own thoughts was a good idea, rather than spending time splitting in to groups and then deciding who does what round a small free standing flip chart.

We only covered grooming and dress briefly, This was good because I was not looking forward to this section, I thought it would be patronizing, however, it was handled in a competent and tactful manner.

The team building exercise was fun and challenging. We were allowed to move to a smaller table so we could all reach and see clearly.I won’t give to much away, but was certainly an improvement on the normal ‘build a tower with newspaper and sellotape’.

The next task was a balloon task. We were given tips on how best to organize the group. (Always appoint a time keeper and note taker). This encouraged debate and allowed us all to show our problem solving and debating skills. Sarah and Leigh observed this session and provided feedback for us all.

The map work was next. Again this was well prepared and fun. This involved matching flags and capital cities to their countries. We were encouraged to take a picture of the completed map. Sarah said she would email every one a completed copy of the map and maybe a world one as well because it is important that you can recognize flags and capital cities as part of the geography part of the selection day.

We then completed another balloon task. We were encouraged to take part and have a different person feed back to the group. This was completely different to the first balloon task and we were given advice on things to mention, should we be given a similar task on the day.

After lunch, we had a debate. This was cleverly done. We were provided with a list of controversial topics and then we were given 5 minutes to read the list and add some of our own. We then had to pick an issue to debate. Sarah and Leigh both became involved, and interrupted the debate with real time updates and tips for us to improve the quality of our participation.

Another really useful part of the day, was looking at application forms. This was done in a more useful and interesting way than I have ever seen before. We were asked to give OK words  such as ‘good’ and ‘try’ and then we were asked to replace  them with better words and phrases, I now know how to get rid of the word ‘I’ in a personal statement or in the first paragraph of a CV.

We also looked at interview questions. Again it was very useful to have practice of the dreaded question, “What are your weaknesses?”

There was enough diversity of tasks to keep the day interesting.

Overall a great day. I think that going on this course will greatly improve your chances of success in any interview or application process.

I  think that this course would be very easily adapted to all job seekers, not just in the cabin crew or emergency services industries, so if you are applying for jobs, this course is well worth a look.

Best of luck to all at First Class Crew Training.

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My posts are like buses…..

Today my posts are like buses, non for a week then two at once. It is also not like me to be a little disorganized. I have already saved a draft of my next post, before I have written this post. I will publish that today too.

I have been hiding away from the world over the last few days.  It seems like a long time since I have last posted but it has actually, only been about a week.

Why have I not posted?

I have resorted to listing my top three reasons…What I really mean are my top three excuses!

1. Depression.

When I first embarked on the journey of blogging, I was full of excitement, (although, I was still suffering from depression) because I,  like so many others have found an outlet for my thoughts and feelings. I also found that there were people out there that were interested in what I had to say. This past week, I have found it difficult to string a coherent sentence together, this is obviously not conducive to writing a good blog! I have found it hard to get to the point of switching the computer on.

I don’t know how any one else feels about or copes with their depression, but with me, it’s like I can’t get started on anything. I find my self, doubting my diagnosis, because I am not tucked up in bed all day every day. Yet, when I phone my mum, which I do on most days, she tells me I sound tired. Yes, I am tired all the time, and I wake up very early, (even when I don’t have plans), I am talking about  half five or six o’clock and I can’t settle so I have to get up.

I don’t spend all day crying, although I do feel weepy on a daily basis. I feel like every time I open my mouth or start typing, I am whingeing on about something. This is not how I want to be in the world.

I have an internal dialogue about everything. Should I say anything? Should I do something? (this can be about anything),  whether it’s giving a compliment or stating an opinion, writing a blog or looking for a job. I have a battle in my head each time I do or say anything. Should I have porridge for breakfast – I might be hungry again sooner than if I had that lean bacon bun on a small brown bun.

Should I be off work with depression? or is it depression at all? Am I just feeling rubbish because I can’t achieve the average call per hour statics, even though I know this is because I believe in giving the customer the best and most detailed information I can. Even though, through my visits to the counselor, I have come to the realization that, I am not rubbish. It’s just the company and I have a different ethos. I believe in customer service – it should be right and give the customer all the necessary information, whereas the company believes that productivity is most important and as long as you give the minimum amount of information, it’s ok.

Am I a good person or lazy scrounger, because I am off on the sick?

I have aches and pains all over and sinus pain – The doctor says these are not really stress related, so I am not sure what my symptoms really are. But, is this then another sign of the gloom of depression, that I am second guessing my self.

I am very tired all the time, although I can’t sleep. I usually put this down to the Diabetes and Poly Cystic ovary Syndrome (PCOS). These conditions do not help my mood either. My husband has said that living with PCOS is already like living with someone with permanent Premenstrual Tension.

I tend to score high on the depression questionnaires. I had to fill one in for my DESMOND program preparation. Even though I try to answer the questions quickly, to avoid giving answers that I know will show me as depressed.

It’s not good.

2. I have run out of things to say. To be fair, this is probably affected by the depression. It’s not really that I have run out of things to say! Anyone who knows me well, can testify that this would never happen. It’s more that I feel like I don’t have anything worth reading to say.

So. What can I talk about now. Not an awful lot. I need to save some of my creative missives for the next installment of Iccle blog.

3. Job search.

How frustrating is searching for a job. The only real jobs out there are call centre jobs and that’s what I am desperate to get away from! I also have computer issues, which mean I am very frustrated as keep having to start my job searches over, by the time I am due to start my blogging I am about to throw the laptop through the window. Are aggressive tendencies another sign of depression?

Well, I am now off to talk myself out of going to the pictures.

PS. Iron Man 3… Brilliant film

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Stress management …..Or not.

Am I really getting short-tempered in my old age? Or is the build up of stress from work and dealing with my current health issues just too much?

I have read a great story of a young woman’s struggle with the Hajib.  (I Want To Take Off My Hijab). Yes, in this article, there are a lot typing errors and spelling mistakes, but who are those people who think it is OK to put down  another person’s work? Especially with such a sensitive issue, If I were to put myself in this girls situation, I may have pressed publish before proof – reading just so that the courage to post did not desert me.

My mum brought me up to believe, if you have nothing nice to say keep your mouth shut! Some of the people who have commented on the grammar and spelling in this blog, have not done much better! See if you can spot the mistakes.

This girl needs support and encouragement to find a cohesion between herself and her ideological beliefs.

Thank you to the author of this article for showing that Muslims are real people, with real feelings, in a time when a lot of people see the  Hijab and automatically  make negative assumptions about a whole section of our society.

I also have read some of the comments about why people wear the Hijab. Really, is it anybody’s business what people wear and why? As a society we don’t really question fashion statements any more. I can’t really see the difference  between piercing or tattooing your face, wearing a Hajib, Sikh Turban or a beanie hat. Each person has their own reasons for making those choices whether it is fashion or religion. Why should I care what their personal reasons are?

Well  time to get my head round my latest batch of test results for the diabetes. Blood glucose has come down to 7.5, which is good for me because this is what the doctor advised me to aim for. A urine test has come back abnormal though. I am not sure what this is for? I will have to wait until Monday when I see the Nurse Practitioner.

I have mild carpel tunnel syndrome and I am also growing more concerned about aches and pains in my wrists and hands. I am not sure if this is caused by stress, or even if the diabetes can be the cause.

I gained a pound at Slimming World this week. I need to be more focused but it is hard to stick to. I have given myself a stern talking to, but I am fairly sure, when I go back to work on Monday, I will get stressed and then reach for the cookie jar (or vending machine as its more commonly known at work).

I had  best stop writing this now and get on with my planned reading for my career change and job search to get me out of my current job.

To all the readers of my blog, take care, be strong and most of all be happy.

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My Feelings, News Feelings, Arts Feelings

I haven’t done much towards my new career lately. This is set to change. I have some reading planned in for over the weekend and I   may draft my first article.

How am I feeling today? Well, work is still getting me down. I just think it should be more about quality rather than quantity. Emotionally and mentally, this leaves me drained, because I am getting coached on how to avoid giving full and frank explanations to our customers. One of the great tips I was given today, was not to pause when talking to the customer – I am like most other call centre drones and I am HUMAN! I  need to pause for breath when talking on the phone or I will get breathless, (that would make for a whole different type of call). The manager who was coaching me,  saw this untimely (before I died) pause for breath as a chance for the customer to question the amount of refund she was due, which was less than she expected due to the inclusion of a cancellation fee. On the plus side, my quality is excellent, it’s just a shame I must have my quality coached out of me to achieve productivity.

I was looking for a topic that was not me to write about and I came across this blog on Freshly Pressed Ponder This: Ethics Vs Art.

I have had a similar, long running (although friendly) debate with a now sadly missed very dear friend. The subjects of our discussions were not on such a serious issue as the one raised here, I would argue (rather pointlessly) about the difference between art and craft.

Anyway, I digress, my original reason for posting a comment on this blog, is I have very strong opinions on the way images of victims of disasters are used to sensationalize news stories. Do we really need pictures of seriously hurt children and adults to prove there were casualties in bombings or natural disasters?

I absolutely  believe that the media has its place in  ensuring that news and information reaches the masses, so we can make informed choices about lifestyle, political and social issues and give aid and support where it’s needed. I cannot however, agree with the use of these images when it is clear that the people involved are not able to provide consent to their image being used in this way. If it was me, I would not want my image to be used in this way, I would be heart-broken if some one used an image of me on a stretcher in a news story.

Rant over.

On a lighter note, I have just watched Wonders of Life, with professor Brian Cox. No, he was not in my living room with me, I meant he was in the program.  The introduction of the program said he was going to investigate the elements that made life on earth possible. I looked at my husband and said “if he does not mention fairy dust, he lies” My husband was not amused. I laughed. I think, he thought, I was serious!

Night night one and all.

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Work – AKA Call Centre Hell

This morning I started my day by reading some blogs. I identified with this one. The Secret Diary Of A Call Centre. I have worked in 2 different call centres over the last 8 years or so. For the last 2 years I have been on constant development plans for my call stats. It’s hard for people who have not experienced this type of work to imagine the feeling of utter hopelessness you can descend into while chained to your desk (with your headset, not literally chains, although, I am sure if some of our Team Leaders thought they could get away with it…..). It is soul-destroying as an agent to be one of those who spends their day at work wishing that the people who call me would hurry up and get off the phone. I am on a development plan you know! Especially, when I started this type of work to engage with people. One of the things we are judged on in our quality assessments is building report, yet we are to have an average talk time of less than 3 minutes 30 per call. I am planning my escape!

Now I guess its time for me to shed some light on my thoughts on a topical topic.

I have been torn about whether or not to write about Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. Trouble is, I am not sure where I would start. So many issues, so little space on the World Wide Web to write about them. Lets make a list of my top three internal debates:

1: To protest or Not to Protest? that is the question. Although I absolutely agree with the right to protest about any issue at any time, I cannot help but feel a little disturbed about protesting at a funeral. I mean, it’s not going to change the policies she forced on us. It’s not going to reopen any of the mines she closed, nor is it going to cure the rickets that now abound in this country because she took the free milk from school children in the 80s. She is still a mother and grandmother whose family will want to mourn in peace. Doesn’t every family deserve the time to say goodbye to their loved ones? It wasn’t her children and grandchildren that made the big mistakes in politics.

2: Cost? Should we, the tax paying public pay for her funeral? I can see both sides. I did not agree with her politics, however she was the first female Prime Minister. As a country, we are pretty much broke, yet we find money for people who do not work and are worried that they might have to move house as the benefits they receive may no longer cover their rent. Well my husband and I both work full-time and both earn below the national average, if we had a choice we wouldn’t live in the area we are in now. On a plus side to having a ceremonial funeral in London, as macabre as it sounds, it will bring the tourists out in force. Boom day for the shops and transport links in London, think of the extra money that could be made on the congestion charge alone.

3: Celebrate the life of an iconic Briton….Or not. Does she deserve the pomp and ceremony that this funeral will provide? I can’t decide.  There are so many different reasons for and against. Was she the most successful British feminist? Or  did she damage the feminist movement by abandoning all the attributes considered feminine in order to succeed in a male orientated world, thus proving, that to be the most successful politician you have to adopt male traits and disregard what it is to be female? Then again, who is to say what male and female attributes are, because this has changed greatly since her heyday in the 80s anyway.

Love her or hate her,  she has certainly left her mark on British history for better or worse you decide.

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(This was supposed to have been posted yesterday, but I had computer issues and gave up)

Blogging has become my new obsession. I am either reading blogs, writing blogs or looking at my blog stats. I have found little time to spend on my career development goals. Who knew that there were so many weird and wonderfully interesting people online?

I am referring back to a blog I meant to comment on a while ago, but got side tracked and then ultimately forgot. I can’t remember the name or author, but it did get me thinking.  It may have been on the depression questions I included as further reading? Anyway the topic is inspirational music, and do you make time to listen to it? I went straight to my Cyndi Lauper CD A Night To Remember. I spent many a night in my teenage years screeching along to one of my favourite songs of all time “insecurious“. A more current song that I found amazing is Tim Minchin “Not Perfect” I had forgotten the dramatic affect music can have on your mood.

I am going to  investigate how to write a good article


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