For better and for worse

My incredible cousin, writing with honesty, integrity, and a gallon of tea

The Life of Reilly

Jesus I’m stressed.

I despise the summer holidays. This is not just because it’s difficult for Reilly thrown out of his routine, I’ve never ever been the Mam sobbing on the doorstep on the 1st day back at school. I’m the Mam planning what I’m going to do when I’m free and they are back in school. I’ll probably do side heel kick jump when the transport pulls away whilst flying a flag with ‘see you turds’ written on it. I’m demented I really am.

Reilly and Ellis spending lots of time together is disastrous. If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard MAMMMMMM he’s pulled the plug out my PlayStation I’d have £2.75. Mammmm there’s a full toilet roll down the toilet. Mammmmmm Reilly’s had a poo.

There’s never any food. Reilly eats about 6 slices of bread daily and puts the rest through the letterbox or…

View original post 798 more words


The Fear

I have the fear. It’s here. The summer holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love them in most ways. I love lazy days with the kids, no rushing about doing the school run and after school activities. 

But this summer we’re not going away anywhere, and this makes me pretty miserable. Basically, we are skint. I’m not just talking about feeling the pinch a little, I’m talking bones of our arse penniless. This means I’ve been spending the last few weeks praying for good weather for the school holidays. But it wasn’t to be. We woke up on Monday morning to howling wind, drizzle and Hubs with, to put it politely, an upset tummy. 

In my wisdom I’d also booked the boys in for their dentists check up in the afternoon, thinking that getting it out the way was a good plan. But nope, it wasn’t.

My youngest son has sensory issues, meaning he can be hyper sensitive to touch, textures, taste, sounds, and much much more. So trips to the hairdressers, doctors, dentists (see where I’m going with this?) are incredibly stressful. So you can imagine his reaction to a dentists appointment. Two hours later he’d eventually stopped crying and came out of his bedroom. Our dentist is brilliant with him, thank goodness, not all professionals are as understanding. 

So yesterday was an utter washout, and today, well that hasn’t started very well either. Crappy weather, crappy health (me), still poorly tummy (Hubs), bored kids and no money. So the fear has kicked in. Is this what the next six weeks will be like?? God help me. Although, it will be good news for the vineyards of New Zealand, their Sauvignon Blanc sales will go through the roof! 

 Nic xx

PS any ideas for free/super cheap days out with the kids gratefully accepted!!

PPS all donations of Sauvvy B greatly appreciated! 

Soaking my troubles away

I started blogging again for two reasons. Firstly, to unload my thoughts about my tangled old mind, health, life! Secondly, to talk about the methods I use to untangle, de-stress, and decompress. Today I thought I’d start with a simple one. A bath.
Now as any parent will know, a bath in a one bathroom house is rarely relaxing. In ours, it’s usually accompanied by various children with various stinky toilet needs. Our dog Shadow loves to butt in and drink the water. Or Hubs will be shrieking questions up the stairs or giving the kids a bollocking. But on those rare occasions, like today, those beautiful, peaceful times when Hubs has taken the boys and dog out and left me alone, I run a steaming hot bath, put my tunes on and soak my troubles away.

But first there’s the ridiculous process of even running the bath in our house. Hubs is amazing at DIY. He begins the most incredible projects. The only thing is, he NEVER. BLOODY. FINISHES. THEM! You migh sense that this irks me slightly? You’d be right. Our bathroom was installed 2011. It still isn’t finished. Yep, you read that right. The bath has a super fancy mixer tap that cascades down the side, that required complicated plumbing. For 6 years, that tap has only run hot water. So we either have to throw buckets of cold in from the sink, or run the shower on cold. So yes, even the running of the bath is mildly stressful.
Next, the bath products. I have ridiculously sensitive skin. Even the whiff of a Christmas gift set from M&S brings me out in hives. For the last, probably 20 years, I’ve relied on Simple Bath Cream. None of those lovely bath bombs for me, no Radox baths to sooth tired muscles and arthritic joints.

So when my friend Wendy, who owns the fragrance company Northburn, gave me a sachet of her bath salts range to try, I was dubious. I’ve used her home fragrances for years, they’re stunning, and even worked with her for a while. But knowing how I am, with anything remotely pretty smelling or soothing, I was fully expecting to look like Will Smith in Hitch! But Wendy assured me they’d been tested rigorously, not on animals but on her daughter Laura, her partner in the business! Laura wins the ‘who’s got the most sensitive skin’ competition between us by miles, so I took this as a good sign.

This morning, I endured the farce of running the bath, then scattered a handful of NorthburN, No.5 Vetiver, Luxury Bath Salts into it. And a minor miracle occurred! Not only did they not irritate my skin, but gave me the most relaxing, luxurious bath I’ve ever had. The salts are a blend of natural pink Himalayan salts, Cocoa butter, and the stunning fragrance of Vetiver, and dissolve beautifully, leaving a silky smooth fragranced bath that eases your aches and pains while soothing your busy mind. The packaging recommends soaking for at least 10-15 minutes for maximum benefits, however I must have stayed in there at least half an hour, topping up the hot water every now and again (no one tell the hubs, he goes mad about water bills). I was also burning a NorthburN candle, in Sandalwood and Amber, just to add to the luxury.
I can honestly say I’ve never had such a relaxing bath, and once I got out my skin felt, and smelled, amazing. Not a hint of irritatation, just beautifully smooth and nourished skin. It was so relaxing that I fell asleep when I got out. The bath salts thoroughly deserve the accolade of their Editors Choice Award from the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2017.

So there you go. The first of my untangling methods blogs. It didn’t start out as a review, but I had to tell you about these amazing salts, from now on they’ll be my go to whenever I need to find a bit of peace, and soak my aches away. Check out the beautiful range at NorthburN

Happy soaking
Nic xxx

P.S. This post is entirely independent, I wasn’t asked to review or write about NorthburN products, I did because I truly love them 

What a week

It’s been a busy old week! A week of fighting for my youngest son to get the help he needs for his Sensory Processing Disorder. I could write a whole blog just about that. In fact I might. I think it’s one I’d have to do with a glass of Sauv Blanc in hand though, as I’ll get stressed again. Stressed me isn’t pretty, I get a dreadful frown line, and it really doesn’t need to be any worse! The complexities of getting a child help through the massively overstretched and under funded Child and Young People’s Service (CYPS) for ASD is long, difficult, frustrating and more.But that’s just a part of the week.There’s also been a family funeral, just over a month after the last family funeral. It brought about that grim humour that these things do, and comments like ‘fancy seeing you here, and more. It was sad, of course. Grief over the loss of a much loved family member. But also sorrow at the diminishment of that generation of my family. What was once a noisy, loving, feisty family of 8 brothers and sisters, with all of their accompanying spouses, children and grandchildren is now a small group of 3, with their loved ones gathering around them and a wry smile. It’s heart wrenching to watch.

Yesterday was my eldest sons sports day. He’s not the most natural sportsman, he always claims he’s the brains not the brawn! But I always encourage him to try everything, because he always surprises himself with what he can do! 

Today is his school trip, followed by his Cubs trip tonight. I’ll have a shattered, grumpy, and most probably tearful 9 year old on my hands in the morning. It will definitely be a 3 cuppa kind of school run!

Tomorrow it’s youngest sons Reception graduation and garden party, if you please! So I’ve been roped into putting the party food out tomorrow morning too.

After a week like this I plan on face-planting an Asda pizza for tea tomorrow then drowning in a bucket of Savvy B. I think I’ve earned it. As for tonight, I’m having a sneaky school night glass. Cheers…


I haven’t blogged in forever. It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say, it’s just that I had so much to say that I didn’t know where to start. But I recently wrote a short paragraph for a competition, called Life, and realised how much I missed writing. I’ve never published my blogs, I’ve always kept them just for myself, but I think it’s time to start going public. It might be rubbish, no one might read it, but I’ll enjoy doing it. 

I called the blog Untangling the Yarn for a few reasons. I love crochet, it’s my creative outlet, and untangling a mess of yarn is SO therapeutic. But also I have lived with anxiety, depression and stress since my teens, and when I’m feeling really poorly with it it feels like my head is a ball of tangled yarn. Writing helps me through this. Finally, I have a number of chronic illnesses, which all interlink and aggravate each other, I have severe Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory bowel disease), Ankylosing Spondylitis (an inflammatory arthritis), asthma, and much more. They all tangle together setting each other off, and treatments for one will inflame another! 

So that’s a little bit about the blog, it’ll be a big mix of other things things too

Thanks for checking it out

Nic 💖


Life can be hard. Life IS hard. At times. But it can also be joyful. It’s the look on your child’s face when he thinks you don’t know he pinched the biscuit. The twinkle in your dogs eyes when you take the tennis ball and throw it instead of shoving it out of the way. It’s the side glance from your husband when your kids say something rude but hilarious, and you can’t let them know you have heard them. It’s the first bite of fish and chips on the beach, the sip of the chilled Sauvignon blanc after a long day. The crack of your joints when you stretch out in bed, the tingle of your skin when you sink into a hot bath.  

All of these things are there to make you feel alive. They’re there to remind you that, despite everything trying to prove otherwise, life IS good. It’s happy, exciting, fun, crazy and wild. It’s also sad, hard, tiring, trying and rough. But as they say, we wouldn’t have light without the shade, we wouldn’t have love without hate. But there it is. 

We have life. And it’s something to be cherished, embraced, and lived! 

First Page

I’ve always loved the first page of a new diary. The crisp white surface staring up at you expectantly, almost daring you to write something interesting on it. Sadly, my diaries usually end up the usual lists of birthdays, appointments, and the odd night out, with not a bit of lucid thought or opinion. But for such a long time I’ve had such an urge to write, not about any one thing in particular, just to get all of those thoughts out of my jumbled head and into a coherent form. So I can read them back, make sense of them. 

I’ve got a complicated life, as do most people nowadays. Not in some ways, certain not in every way. I have a lovely husband, 2 healthy happy children, a dog, a house. On the surface it all looks just fine. But spend just an hour in my company and you’ll have heard tales of not one, not 2, but 3 serious crohnic illnesses (yep, that’s just me), a myriad of suffocating debt, anxiety, depression (yep, still just me!). But you’ll also hear about my dreams, my hopes, the love I have for my family, my friends. 

Hence the tangled yarn of the title, it pretty much sums up my brain. But I’ll get there, I’m patient. Actually I’m not, I’m the most impatient person in the world. But I’m bloody stubborn, and more that a little tenacious. I doubt anyone will even read this, but it’s not for that, it’s for me. If you’re here with me then I welcome you like an old friend, grab a cuppa, curl your feet up, and we’ll wile away the hours, putting the world to rights. 

Tangled xx