Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year - Silver Day 25

Happy New Year!

We forget how lucky we are.
There is always someone so much worse off than you and I now remember this every day when I am about to complain about something.

Losing everything you ever had - or almost everything.

Kindness can help to conquer all these.
And unkindness can crush when you have just one.
Most people are just 1 or 2 paychecks away from losing their home.
In my book if you are not listed in any of these categories you're pretty damn lucky to be here on the planet with a good life.
So I'm grateful, truly grateful for everything.

It's there, all over my social media timeline...can't wait for 2017, what a sh*t year it's been etceteraaaa etceteraaaa.
Don't let one or two bad events, bad days, weeks, dictate your life.
Think negatively and you'll be negative and it will seem that negative things happen to you. I don't understand why we all insist on waking up each day with this mindset. You just have to sit and think about it for 10 minutes and it becomes SO obvious.  Even on the crappiest of days look at the positive things which have occurred and you will only see those. And the next day and so on. Positive people still have crap things happen on a daily basis, they're not special, sh*t happens to us all. Don't let it define you. I don't have sh*t days any more. Sh*tty five minutes yes, I experience sh*tty events that occur, hey ho.
I totally get that being ill can put a different spin on all of this of course, but being ill, however serious, doesn't mean you need to spend the rest of your days living in a negative mindset. On December 6th I could have died. Simple as that. If I had, I wouldnt really have known about it anyway, it's hardest for the people you leave behind. And when my time comes then so be it and the thought that the people who care whether I'm here or not will think of me being miserable fills me with horror, I want them to think of me as happy and a joy to be around not 'thank god the moaning minnie has shuffled off'.
We all have the choice unless we're so ill someone else has to turn off the machine.
So choose to make yourself happy, deal with the crapola, push it out of the way and continue on your way. When youre walking on the footpath you don't stop when you see the dogpoop in your way, you flick it away with a stick and walk around it.

For us, 2016 was...
  • working hard and feeling worn out ALL the time
  • battling with permanent deadlines which almost made me lose my sanity and give in at times
  • having the car stolen from outside my house whilst sitting 5ft away blissfully unaware
  • opening the door to see the thieves bring back the car, only for them to drive it away again
  • business partnerships which promised the earth and were exciting but let you down creatively to the point you wish you hadn't bothered wasting the time and effort
  • losing out on a business award and not winning £3000 because of a technicality that didnt exist
  • the fire and the loss of 2 kitties
  • realising you have no insurance because you were a dumbass and didnt read the letter about renewing it properly
  • throwing out almost every posession you ever had due to fire/smoke damage
  • standing in the street with one carrier bag with 3 things in it and nothing else but the clothes on your back and the car...
  • being lucky to be self-employed and not having to answer to anyone else
  • the sense of achievement of getting through seemingly impossible deadlines
  • getting the car back 5 weeks later when it was found hiding in the next street
  • having our products launched in the US on the world's largest TV shopping network and working with amazing people that helped us to get there - being in a partnership with someone who totally 'gets me' and my ideas
  • being selected for a major business award and being told we'd have won if I had just explained something a little better, together with the great experience we had and having to make a proper speech in front of some very VIP people, and being proud that my speech was totally different to all the others even though the other people were clearly more corporate big businesses and should have been way way better than me
  • realising that winning the award didnt matter and really rooting for someone else to win over yourself and being more gutted they didnt win when you really felt they deserved to
  • throwing out 16 years of hoarding, stuff you don't need, never did need and never will need again without any regret other than all the money you wasted buying it in the first place
  • the realisation that finally you can actually do the house up and put right all the things you should've done when you first moved in but never had the time to do
  • realising how kind people actually are that complete strangers have your back and will offer a helping hand when you need it and are at your most vulnerable without even having to ask
  • feeling the most humble and grateful I have ever been
  • realising that it's ok to not be proud sometimes and that letting people help is an ok thing
  • truly valuing and being thankful for the people in your life that really mean something
  • being more forgiving and realising there are bigger issues in the world than your own even when you think your own world just came crashing in
  • realising that there is ALWAYS someone much worse off than you, even when you are at your lowest
  • realising that you are so strong nothing can actually break you because you won't let it
So to all of you who've helped me get through the past 3 weeks - yes it's only 3 weeks and it feels like 3 months...THANKYOU. Truly, Thankyou. Not enough but right now I can't say anything more powerful than that. Thankyou for your messages, your help, your support by buying our latest products, your offers of stash, furniture, hair products, offers to help come cleanup, even offers to buy us new cats. Thankyou all so so much. You will never know how much it has helped and is appreciated.

So, let's all have a very very Happy New Year.
Hello 2017!
Nice to meet you, can't wait to see what you have in store cos I'm ready and waiting!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Overwhelmed and Humble


I don't really know where to start with this post other than I feel I need to in some way express my thanks to everyone.
When I did my blogpost yesterday and posted about the fire it was to highlight the issue and if in some way I could stop just one person ever going through this my mission was complete. Little did I know!

My social media has gone ballistic LOL

But I have seen so many of you saying you have unplugged and will never leave them on again - thankyou!! Thankyou so much, phew! I've even seen some people cut the plugs off and I'm pleased about that too! We were actually throwing the Fusebox switch off when we were leaving work till we came in next day and realised the fridge stank and the milk was off LOL, so fusebox stays on but everything else goes off now.

And I don't know what to say, it seems like just saying thanks isn't enough, it can never be enough.
I keep choking up at all your messages but today is day 8 and at day 3 I vowed not to cry any more and I've tried to keep to it - not always succeeding but almost. The way I figure it is, that sad doesn't make you happy it just sucks the life out of you. It's there yes but it won't win, positivity is the winner always.
But Kris and I just don't know where to start thanking everyone for all the 100s and 100s of amazingly kind thoughts, wishes and comments you've all thrown at us, it really is an incredibly humbling experience.  So many offers of help to decorate, send craft stuff, clothes, makeup, furniture, money, our jaws ache from dropping and we can never in a million years express how grateful we are that you all care enough to even offer to help.
That old saying you find out who your friends are when you need them - could not be more true. And I have found that I have the most amazingly generous and loving friends and family I could wish for and whom I will never be able to repay enough although I will do my damnedest to try.  And you guys - all of you, most of whom I don't even know other than that you craft or have maybe bought my products - you have all restored our faith in humanity this week, you've all just been incredible.

One thing we came to realise though within 24 hours....the things you need in life are not 'things' at all. The Fire Brigade took us into the house to recover anything we needed...we walked out with a pair of smokey trainers, a coat and medication and nothing else. We didnt need anything else and even after clearing most of downstairs (we can't get upstairs at the moment as there are no stairs LOL!) we have just taken 1 small carrier bag of stuff out that we didnt want to lose.

So please don't think we're ungrateful if you offer and we say we don't need anything. It's just true, and both of us are very adamant that going forward 'We will have less and give more'.  You read all this stuff and scoff when you see it, but genuinely, I totally get it.

Some amazingly kind and wonderful people from my crafty world have sent me craft stuff this week - thankyou ladies, you know who you are and I am forever grateful.

I know some of you have read between the lines and figured out we had no insurance - I won't even go there at how this ridiculousness has happened, but make sure yours is up to date.  Bizarrely I took out a new policy the other day - who knows, a lorry might come crashing through the front wall and what is left will just fall to a small heap of rubble LOL.
And overall in the face of adversity my only advice is this - make a plan. A long term plan or goal. I never liked this house there were a lot of things that needed fixing, updating and changing and we could never afford or had the time to do, we've had a lot of rubbish things happen while we lived in this house. So my plan is this...we're gonna fix this house now and in 7 years time it's our Silver Anniversary and we will be living in a lovely new house and it will be called the Silver House. So we have our Silver plan, it's realistic and achievable and it will happen. This is Silver day 8 already so I need to get a move on, I havent done much the past 7 days and theres a lot of things that need to be fixed.

And to leave you on a positive note about seeing the funny side of things....
1. We got a new bargain TV 4 weeks ago.... some bargain that was!
2. Because we got the new TV we had to get a new TV unit which made the TV not a bargain at all. The TV unit was a nightmare to put together - we both just looked at it and looked at each other and swore at it
3. The fire was Tuesday. The day before, Monday, we had a brand spanking new mattress delivered which we got in the Black Friday sale. It was a nightmare to get upstairs and we slept on it once LOL! You can't make it up!
4. The fire burned the cobwebs away
5. We were slightly disappointed that I'd moved a packet of corn kernels from the cupboard directly above the dryer to another one when in fact we could have walked in to a whole kitchen full of freshly popped popcorn which would have been hilarious
6. The only clothes left were IN the dryer - figure that one out.
7. When I was clearing the dreaded 'junk' drawer in the kitchen the manual for the dryer was still in there! #karma
8. A neighbour popped round with a tray of tea for us when we were clearing up - my dad pulled said washing out of the dryer exclaiming 'look at this, how are these not ash' , to my horror holding up the washing which is welded to a big clump of melted plastic and hanging from said clump by a thread was a pair of big blue horrid nickers. Thanks Dad!
9. I was intending to start decorating over Xmas - thank god I hadn't already done it I wouldve been livid LOL.

And this is why you gotta laugh. Cry, laugh, blow your nose, move on.
Millions and Millions of people with no homes, no sleeping bag, no food, no family, no money to buy new nickers.

Ciao you lovely lovely people xxx

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

How one day in time can change your whole world in an instant....

So, last week this happened to my house....(the edited version)

See the big fat hole in the top of the dryer below? That is the control panel that started the fire....unbelievably some of my wet washing is still in there, now melted into a huge clump of fabric and plastic!....

(I have loads more photos and videos but don't want to bore you to death they all look the same)

I am not one for putting my private life out for public debate but I am doing this to PLEAD with all of you who have any kind of tumble drier to unplug it when not in use and whatever you do, do NOT have it running when you are out of the house or as I often do, overnight when in bed.

My entire house, small as it may be, has to be gutted and we are starting from scratch with not much more than the clothes we were wearing when we got the phone call that our house was on fire.




When you put wet washing in the drier the moisture can actually get into the circuits and cause a combustive reaction and it sets alight...because of the way the circuits are made, this does not affect the fuse, so it doesnt fuse out and switch off the power supply and just keeps on burning.

This had been smouldering and on fire for several hours before it was noticed so we have extensive damage to the house but luckily still have a roof and 4 walls.

Sadly my 2 cats died in the fire which we've both been devastated about as you can imagine..... RIP Mod and Scooter Ninjas.

We need all new windows and doors because they're all cracked and the Upvc has melted, new ceilings and floors downstairs, we have no staircase as you can see, everything, almost every single thing, gone, in a puff of smoke. The heat has been incredible, it has melted things that werent even in the same room as the actual fire.

I just want to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing people who have already helped me beyond words this past week, my DT girls have all been absolute troopers helping me to keep going when I could barely function and our friends & family for just being there when we truly needed help. Claire, Dee, Louise, Clare and Susan and Jan you have no idea how grateful I am to you for everything this week, you've been total superstars. ....I can't actually thank everyone enough, words fail me every day at the kindness and support we've had, not just from people we know but also complete strangers offering us things and places to stay, it's just incredible how people are so kind, it gives you hope for humanity quite honestly, if only everyone could be the same the world would be so amazing.

We have cleared a lot of downstairs out already, sweeping everything into bin bags takes no time at all, and on Saturday begins the biggest task which is tackling 15 years worth of craft stuff which will all have to be skipped. Yes, everything gone, that's one way to declutter your stash, although a little extreme maybe! I think the only thing that will be ok is all the metal dies, anything plastic absolutely stinks to high heaven and the odour just can't be removed no matter how many times you wash it.

The entire house has to go back to bare plaster because of the smoke damage, the only room saved is actually my bathroom because it's tiled head to toe which is a godsend. It will be several months before we can get back in and in the meantime we have moved in with my wonderful parents and are commuting 45 miles each way every day to the office.

We were actually very lucky to still have 4 walls and a roof still standing, it's only because of a door being closed and the time that the alarm was raised just in the nick of time that the whole house didnt raize to the ground and maybe take our neighbours on each side with us quite honestly.

If we are slow with your orders please bear with us, we still have a lot of things to sort out right now and we are a little slow.

I'm on Create and Craft TV on Friday 16th December at 11am and 3pm with some lovely new products so I hope you can join me - I WILL have my curly hair back because I have no choice my GHDs have melted into an alien like object LOL! ....
(and in a week where I have learned to accept help and not be proud if you really want to help us in any way please buy the new paper kits we're launching Friday, we kinda need the cash right now LOL!)

Next week will see commencement of the big cleanup so PD Towers will be on semi-closure for the first time ever until New Year (we will still be working but not full-time, operation cleanup will be underway)...

All I ask for Christmas this year is that everyone thinks of all the people who are alone, lonely and who have nothing and if you can do something to help just one person, maybe just taking a neighbour a mince pie or a christmas card so they know someone is thinking of them please do.

Losing everything is a very humbling experience and it makes you realise that you are indeed lucky to be alive and part of this planet. Standing in the street with nothing but what I took to work with me looking at my boarded up house in the dark made me realise how incredibly lucky I am and that I do not care about posessions and 'things' they are irrelevant.
Yes, we've both had a bit of a cry, but that doesn't fix things, it won't change the fact we have to start again so to be honest we've just put the rubber gloves on and got stuck into clearing up and moving on. Pronto.

Mr Doodles, one of the kindest people I know, said to me that he feels like he just needs to be 'kinder every day' and I could not have said it better myself.

Lots of people have said how it couldn't have happened at a worse time of year but well, just because it's Christmas makes no difference at all, Xmas trees and Santa aren't on our horizon right now, every single thing pales into insignificance quite honestly.

All you need is the clothes on your back, family & friends and a roof over your head, the rest is just a complete luxury and there are billions of people around the world who don't have a roof over their heads and family & friends so we both count ourselves the luckiest people in the world this week and I for one will try to maintain that thought for the rest of my life.

I might do a diary kind of thing so that I can look back and see what we achieved this time next year, not for anyone else but my own benefit really so the old blog might get a bit boring lol.

Right, over and out, work awaits and I need to go buy scissors and glue to be able to make things on Friday!

P.S - OH! Before I forget - yes we will be pursuing Zanussi over this, of course! Perhaps Watchdog might get in on the act, I will keep you informed on this score!
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