Saturday, 13 October 2018

More than just a children's book shop | Seaton, Devon


I recently took my sons age 6 & nearly 8 to Seaton's bookshop 'Owl & Pyramid'. I am ashamed to say that this is the first time in at least a year that we have been in there! As i work full time and the kids often have clubs after-school i sometimes struggle to get into town with them as much as i would like. I find i usually nip into town during the day when i have staff in my shop to cover.

After a chat one day with Jenny the owner of Owl & Pyramid who often pops into my craft centre i found out that she was actually open until 5pm most days, which i had no idea about! This meant that i didn't need to rush after the school run and could make time to pop in after-school with the boys and enjoy a browse.

Upon entering the shop i instantly saw that it has changed so much since i had last visited, it has so much more inside than just children's books! My boys were drawn straight away to the activity table where there were some fantastic magnetic toys out. They had great fun building different things with them which gave me chance to look around the shop in peace. I found a vast array of fantastic books, activity cards, games, pocket money gifts and all sorts of things. Something i had no idea about was that they now offer books for adults too, which as a book addict is fantastic!


My youngest Finley pictured above took a shine to a couple of different books, Jenny was fantastic and on hand to make some suggestions that would suit his interests and age. It was so lovely to have Jenny there offering advice and suggestions, so many shops these days don't offer that personal service. It really does make a difference and made the whole experience much easier and more fun for the boys and me.



Reuben my eldest found the corner for older children where he came across his favorite type of books, non-fiction and full of facts. On the day we went he wasn't feeling too well (tired as just got over a cold) but still he enjoyed browsing the books in the peace & quiet.


Finley though as you can see was full of energy and after some time browsing and changing his mind (He had £10 from his grandad to spend and changed his mind from books, puppets, puzzles, toys & cards) opted for a rather interesting pack of cards 'Optical Illusion' cards which we have since been having great fun with. It just goes to show that the Owl & Pyramid in Seaton doesn't just offer children's books, it has a vast array of things on offer that suit from baby and beyond.

I highly recommend that you go in an take a look, they are open 9am - 5pm most days, you can find them on 10 Fore Street, Seaton, Devon. Jenny also mentioned that they run book clubs and activities, so it is worth popping in to ask her more if you are interested.

More information here on their facebook page

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Retail success results in expansion for Seaton business | Seaton, Devon



I had the pleasure of chatting with local retailer Colin Mcgreal owner of ‘Grandpas’s Gallery & Interiors’ who informed me of his expansion plans in light of his success in Seaton. 

Colin opened his first retail unit 'Grandpa’s Gallery' in Seaton on 6th October 2017, open 7 days a week with a fantastic array of art, sculptures and model ships. Colin said that from the start he has had lots of support from local friends, family and fellow artists; not only in willing to exhibit their art but also in volunteering to watch the shop on some days so that he can take much earned breaks. Colin did go on to mention that though in the majority it was support and enthusiasm he received when starting up he did also meet a couple of doubters who questioned why he chose to open such a gallery in a town like Seaton. Colin though was not put off and has said that it has been a fantastic success, so much so that he is now expanding not only in premises but in variety of products on offer.

Colin very kindly gave up his time to not only talk with me about his plans but to show me around his new outlet in Cross Street that is opposite his current gallery space. Colin has exiting plans for the new retail space he has acquired including more exhibition space for art, home interior products, nautical themed toys, a framing suit, an onsite upholstery workshop where a resident upholster will be placed and even a little courtyard space where there will be wood sculptures on display.

The Grand Opening of the new retail space for Grandpa’s Gallery and Interiors will be on 9th November 2018 6.30pm – 9pm

To find out more about Grandpa’s Gallery & Interiors why not pop in and see him where he will be happy to chat with you or, check out his website here.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Me and my Manic Depression : World Mental Health Day 2018



I've spoken out about my mental health on a number of occasions, I've even vlogged and shared it on You Tube. I don't hide the fact that I'm an unstable mess, I don't really think I could if I tried to be honest!

I expect everyone who knows me will have guessed I'm not well. My moods change at the flip of a coin and it is hard to know which version of me you will meet each day...

Some days I will be confident, I will walk down the street head held high and I will talk to you, I'll talk really quickly in an excitable manor and I'll be smiling (usually with rosey red cheeks) On these days I can easily get over enthusiastic, I can suddenly take on a million extra jobs on my 'to do' list because I feel like a super woman, I will come up with new ideas, business plans, I'll want to buy all sorts of things I can't really afford, I'll let the kids choose what to have for tea (pizza & chocolate sure OK!), I'll let them stay up late and we'll read books and watch movies, play games, sing, dance, I'll play my music loud, i'll be rushing around all day until gone midnight when I realise that I really need to get some sleep...i'm a mum afterall I have responsibilities. Yet still I will stay awake reading or writing until I just drop. 

Some days I will panic from the moment I wake, I will struggle to lift my head from the pillow, struggle to open my eyes, struggle to get myself showered and dressed, let alone the kids. Some times I can manage to get them ready and leave the house and i'm ashamed to say, some times I physically can't. On those days I'm too anxious, I'm too scared to face people. The boys don't mind, they know when I'm unwell and they claim to be too "I'm poorly mummy too listen - cough cough cough" I know they need to get to school, I know it is important but I physically can't move, I can't shake the feeling that I'm a failure, just look at me, I'm a mess. On these days you won't see me, on these days I hide away. On these days if people talk to me via social media / try to get hold of me via phone I either pretend not to get it or I pretend I'm totally fine. If I have these days and force myself to get the boys to school, which I promise I always try to. Then yes you'll see me, but I won't respond, I'll keep my head low and I'll hide then I'll rush home.
On some occasions these days are even worse, on the days I feel like this and I don't have my son's to care for (if they are at their grandparents), to get up from bed and look after I will hide under the covers and cry, I'll contemplate how much better they would be without a mum like me. I'll rip up notes, photos and ideas. I'll realise that I haven't really achieved anything in my life, that I don't truely have anyone who understands me. 

On other days I cope, I find a balance, I wake up and take a deep breath. I have a shower and I calmly get ready to face the day. I juggle being mum, running a shop, working side jobs & keeping the house running. 

Now you've read this I expect you either think I'm completely crazy and will never read a word I write again or you will think to yourself 'ahh, now I see why she is so different each day'

Now for the worst part...oh yes, it gets worse! If you are still reading I applaud you. 

I am currently medication free, WHAT - WHY I hear you scream. Well because prior to my hormones being all mixed up from having kids, moving house, getting married, getting divorced, moving house again but on own to a completely new town - I had had a few really good medication free years, I had felt great, been stable and I was doing really well. But when I moved here to my new home I definitely was not. I had what I would describe as a break down and I in the end asked for help from the doctor but I had to start fresh with a new doctor who didn't know me and didn't take notice of my previously diagnosed condition. I was asked to do reviews, I was referred to a 'team' to a person who saw me about 3 time asked a few questions then told me I was depressed and to take some pills for it...I knew straight away they were wrong, I knew I would spiral into an unavoidable high but still I did as I was told. I tried their new medication and as expected I had days and days of being 'super woman' which was not healthy on my relationships, bank balance or physical health! Those close to me pointed out how bad I was at this point, how scary it was to see me that way most of the time. I stopped taking their prescription and I went back to tell them...I was told to call a number on a piece of paper and practically pushed out the door.

I didn't call the number, I never will.

Instead I learnt how to identify what sort of place I am in mentally, I have learnt my triggers and I have explained to those close to me about my manic & depressive behaviour. (To be fair they had already noticed but it helped to talk openly about it) I have even sat my children down and explained it all to them. I spoke with others who experienced the same as me, I realised I am not the only one and this helped me - a lot. I used alternative therapies, I use healthy eating and essential oils. I write my thoughts in books so I can record how I'm doing and look back over it. I learnt to look after myself, because there was noone else to look after me and because I have two very important boys to look after.

So that is me, me and my Manic Depression. I totally understand if you no longer want to know me!

#mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthday