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Blogging so my kids can read about themselves when they are older, as I may still be too traumatised to talk about it.

Stop assessing young children and let them be - Argus Friday 20th 2015

Posted Friday 20th November 2015   By Ericka Waller

My daughter has not had any days off sick, is never late and is yet to be on 'red' for bad behaviour at school, so I was looking forward to Parent's evening this week. I'd nipped into town in the morning and bought some Fuzzy Felt (for her) and a Domino Rally (for me) to hand out as 'well done' gifts, mine being well done for making her. I wasn’t prepared to be told my daughter is significantly behind what rest of the class is achieving, and that I was responsible because I was not reading, writing and doing maths with her every night.

Perils of staying in a stranger's house on holiday

Posted Friday 13th November 2015   By Ericka Waller

Staying at home is far easier than going away. So last weekend I thought I'd try one of those 'airbnb' accommodations. They are the 'in thing' right now apparently. I got quite excited when I looked at the website. Castles, igloos, villas.. each destination a 'unique travel experience'. We decided to go to the Cotswolds. Idyllic, picturesque, cobbled-streets. Beautiful countryside. The location I found promised peaceful leafy streets and luxury accommodation. Imagine my surprise when my Sat-Nav directed me through the overcrowded streets of Cheltenham, down the most complicated one-way system ever (I'm talking Monaco Grand Prix street circuit) before finally declaring 'You have reached your destination' outside a terraced townhouse with 'parking permit' only signs all over the place.

Recipe of the week - Spicy butternut and peanut butter soup

Posted Tuesday 10th November 2015   By Ericka Waller

So a lot of people have been asking me for recipes. I must have made my dinners look delicious with all my fancy iPhone filters... I try and eat an anti-inflammatory diet as it helps control my Rheumatoid Arthritis. This diet would also work for people with Fibromyalgia, allergies, and those wanting to lose weight. It's also a brilliant diet for people who do a lot of exercise, as it's protein heavy and low carb. It's also mostly vegan. Don't know it till you've tried it.

Having the right support network is everything - Argus Friday 6th November 2015

Posted Monday 9th November 2015   By Ericka Waller

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). When people hear the words they often think I mean a sore knee or a dicky hip, like your nanna has in cold weather. RA is a chronic auto-immune disease that affects the whole body. There is no cure. When the Specialist diagnosed me, I thought she had made a mistake. I was 30, had just had my third child and exercised five times a week. When she went on to list all the medications I would need to take and their possible side effects my head swam. My whole life changed in fifteen minutes. I went from someone who you could never pin down to someone who you could never get up. The drugs took a long time to work, and the recovery was slow. Joints, stiff from lack of use, could not do much and I slept three to four hours of the day away, waking no less tired, tangled in sweaty bedsheets. Depression hit hard, life slipped away. My joie de vivre, my marriage, my friends, my hobbies. All I wanted to do was sleep. It took me two years to stabilise and learn to live with my disease.

Halloween's not like it used to be when I was a kid - Argus Friday 30th October 2015

Posted Saturday 31st October 2015   By Ericka Waller

When I was a kid, Halloween meant a toffee apple (that would require teeth made from dominoes to bite into) on sale by the till and ‘trick-or-treating’ round the green outside the local pub, where most people told us to “jog on”, chasing us to make sure we did so. Now, the first three aisles of ASDA are dedicated to fake cobwebs, jack-o-lanterns, masks and ghouls to hang round the house. My four-year-old is so scared we have to shop elsewhere for the month.

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