Tag Archives: Adventures

New Additions

13 May

The Sparkles household has recently had two new additions. I would like to introduce to you Freyja and Hamish.





We collected them 3 and a bit weeks ago and they are now lovely! They were not to start with!!!!

We got them from Bristol & Wales Cat Rescue on a sunny Sunday afternoon. We had been in Birmingham for the weekend meeting up with some friends and somehow ended up agreeing to re-home 2 cats that afternoon. After a mad dash to Pets At Home to buy some cat essentials for 2 cats that we knew very little about we headed over to meet 9 month old Freyja (or Sadie as she was know then). B&WCR keep the cats in foster homes rather than at a cattery. So we met Michelle, Sadie’s fosterer, and she managed to coax Freyja into the living room where she promptly hid behind the sofa. She did appear when some food was put down, this as it turns out is her favourite thing in the world! She is quite petite but puts away food like a horse! We decided we would give her a go, so in the cat carrier she went and off the 3 of us went to meet Margaret and 2 year old Hamish (or Biscuit as he was then).

The 2 of them had never met before so we need to get them both into the house at the same time so that they were on a level pegging. Hamish was lovely and wandered around the kitchen so into a box he went! The only thing was that Margaret gave us a cardboard pet carrier box to bring him home in – not a problem we thought – into the car then home – sorted! NOT!!!!

Not even half way home Hamish figured out that if you claw at the air holes they get bigger and then you can force your head through one of them and make a bid for freedom!

Hamish's Escape Route

Hamish's Escape Route

NOTE: At this point I feel it important to mention that I have never had a cat before, in fact I think the longest time I have ever spent in the company of a cat was maybe 5 hours. I have no idea about cats at all!

So there I am in the passenger seat of the car, Freyja in her box at my feet and Hamish attempting to escape from his on my knee. Lets just say that there is a man somewhere in Bristol who probably still hasn’t stopped laughing! I’m there trying to stuff a cat back into a box through a tiny hole that he has managed to force his head through, Mr Sparkles is trying to help poor clueless girlfriend wrestle cat and not crash the car! My face must have been a picture! I did manage to get him stuffed back in the box and then covered the whole thing with my coat which I then clung onto like a woman possessed all the way. I had really painful cramp in both hands from holding on so tightly and was quietly blubbering to myself. Mr Sparkles took them inside and locked them in the dining room and then come back outside to scoop his blubbering wreck of a girlfriend out the car!

So with Hamish under the sofa and Freyja under the drawers we put some food down and left them to it! We checked on them a good few times and nothing then went to bed. At 1:30am we were woken up by a series of crashes from the dining room. On inspection – CARNAGE! – someone had been right across the mantelpiece and knocked everything off then across the window sill knocking off the stained glass panel I forgot to move! Stained glass: in food bowl – Little confetti stars kept in jar on mantelpiece: all over room – cats: nowhere to be seen.

Since that night we have had some hissing, a bit of a biff on the nose and backside, some very loud midnight shouting and now they are best friends!

It’s amazing thinking back that these two scaredy cats who had never met before are the same creatures. They have settled in and have welcomed guests, tried to steal pizza out of people’s hands, spent hours chasing each other up and down the stairs and looked longingly at the birds that sit on the fence.

Hamish gets his final injection on the 28th so after that we start the process of letting them outside to terrorise the poor birds!

They are just the cats that I wanted 🙂

We have posted a letter on the BWCR website under the Happy Endings page to hopefully encourage other people (like you) to rehome some of these lovely little critters!

Still nowhere near as good as a Buster but then nothing ever will be!


NOTE: In case you were wondering Buster came from the Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home. He is currently living with Mummy Sparkles in Scotland and loves every second of being spoilt rotten x


It’s my Un-Birthday!!!

12 May

Someone at my meeting yesterday mentioned ‘unconferences’ and all the way home from Newcastle I had this stuck in my head!!!!

PS I have not fallen off the face of the planet as you might have been suspecting.  I have lots to tell you all about so I will pull my finger out and get on with it!  PROMISE!

Please don’t take it personally!

8 Feb

I have been rubbish recently!  I still haven’t written my thank you letters from Christmas, my desk at home is a shambles, I haven’t made any jewellery in weeks, I still haven’t sorted out the pictures in the house, I haven’t cleared the garden and I haven’t been writing on my blog!

It’s not as if I haven’t been doing things that I could write about I’ve been up to plenty of things but I have just not managed to get around to writing about them!

So here in bullet form is a quick up-date since my last post:

And that brings us back up to today!  Tonight I am off to the Wool Sanctuary again to attend a Knit School session on textured knitting.

Over the next couple of days I am going to make a conscience effort to ‘blog out’ some of the above bullet points for your reading pleasure.

Until then, stay sparkley!

A to Z of 2009

31 Dec

A…is for All That Glitters. 2009 has been a great year for All That Glitters.  I sorted myself out a website, got this blog going and have actually kept it going, been to a craft fair, had a good few sales and I have learnt a lot!  Hopefully 2010 will be as successful if not more 🙂

B…is for baking. 2009 and my new kitchen have reawakened my baking bug.  Just bought a cooling rack in the Lakeland sale (also bought a load of other stuff I didn’t need but it was cheap!)


Cupcake Tree

C…is for cricket. Who knew I liked cricket!  Being in Bristol we oddly have Gloucestershire County as our local team!  There was also plenty of Twenty20 action too!  We are even looking into a joint membership!

D…is for dolphins. And the lack of whales!

E…is for entertainment. In 2009 I saw Baroness, Chesney Hawkes, The Mangledwurzles, Bill Bailey, Dave Gorman & Eddie Izzard. 2010 has Billy Connolly and KISS lined up so far…

F…is for fat. It’s still there!  There was a brief spell of successful weight loss but then moving house and Christmas happened.  Not been brave enough to stand on scales yet but lets just say the baggy trousers are not so baggy anymore!

G…is for growing up. 2009 has seen a lot of my friends buying houses together, getting married, splitting up, having babies and settling down.  It’s strange! But good!

H…is for home. In particular my beautiful new home that I have made with the lovely Mr Sparkles.

I…is for I AM THE ONE AND ONLY! In June me and my friend Tony went to see Chesney Hawkes at Puxton Park.  Mr Sparkles bought me 2 tickets for my birthday but ‘un-selfishly’ let Tony go with me!!!

Mr Hawkes Rocking Out!

J…is for Journey! My anthem of 2009, strangely!

K…is for knitting. A huge thanks to Susie at The Wool Sanctuary for teaching me to knit again.  My Granny would be very proud of me for starting knitting again.


The front of my house doorstop

L…is for La Rocca baby! AWWWOOOOO!  Hopefully 2010 will see a few more visits.


La Rocca Beauties!

M…is for marinated. Our fantastic weekend spent at Dannah Farm Country House in the Peak District in a room with our own private hot tub!  We spent far too much time in it!!!

N…is for NFL. For the 2nd year we managed to get tickets to the NFL International game at Wembley.  I love going as it’s a chance to get together with my little bro and to have a day waving a flag about like a right idiot!

O…is for old tat. 2009 saw the official start to my old tat (or vintage) collection.  Accompanied by LB, The Queen of Old Tat, I now have a lovely wooden boat, French 1920’s cushion covers, a folding mirror and a few other bits and bobs!  2010 will hopefully see this collection expand.

P…is for pain. The sheer pain of my own stupidity!  Why did I ever think that I would be able to snowboard?!?!?!


One of my Snowboarding bruises

Q…is for quality cider. Yep I have become a proper resident of the South West and I officially proclaim to the world I AM A CIDER DRINKER!

R…is for riding. This year I got a new bike.  I LOVE IT!  It’s the bestest bike ever!  During the nicer months of summer and autumn we were out almost every Sunday on a trip somewhere.  I am very much looking forward to some nice 2010 weather!


A ride through Bristol

S…is for Swine Flu. Poor Mr Sparkles managed to contract the piggy flu on the 22nd Dec so there was a bit of a last minute stay at home for Xmas.  But it just means we get to do Christmas at least twice more!!!


Christmas brought to you by Tamiflu

T…is for tantrums. I have had a few of these during 2009.  Mostly at myself or inanimate objects.  It would appear that I am not as good at dealing with stress as I thought I was!  Thank you again to Mr Sparkles for bringing me tea and being so loving and understanding.

U…is for unknown. This time last year I couldn’t have told you I would have done most of the things I ended up doing in 2009.  Hopefully 2010 will bring some fantastic unknown adventures too!

V…is for Vegas. Went to a brilliant wedding of our great friends Mark & Bobbie complete with Elvis!

Elvis is in the building!

W…is for walking. This year I took part in the SunWalk in Bristol, I managed to complete the Half Marathon course and rewarded myself with a big ice cream!


Mr Sparkles, Me and my Medal!!!

X…is for eXtreme amounts. 2009 saw extreme amounts of paperwork enter our lives: mortgages, bank accounts, life assurance, the list goes on and on!  We also joined Costco so we have been bulk buying all sorts: toilet rolls, ketchup, Fairy liquid, Pepsi, water, beer, Oreo cookies…  Last night we realised that we wouldn’t need to buy dishwasher tablets again until approx April 2010!

Y…is for happY. (is it obvious I’m struggling to find things for the end of the alphabet?)  2009 has seen a lot of things that have made me very happy.  My lovely boyfriend, my lovely house, my lovely nice normal neighbours, my lovely friends and my lovely family.  And of course my lovely blog readers!

Z…is for ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Hopefully now that the stress of moving and unpacking is out the way I can get back to the plan of long lies, cat naps on the sofa and hopefully if the weather is good to me afternoon naps in the back garden all summer long!

Wishing you all a very happy and glittery 2010!

Schemes, Plans & Plots

4 Nov


I am still in the land of the living!


Sorry I have not written for so long, I have been busy but also have been wallowing in a fug of house seller/buyer overwhelmed confusion.


Lets get the house bit out the way first – I still haven’t moved!  Nor do I have any idea when I will.  But things are progressing SLOWLY!  After my post on Friday 23rd we  went to London for the weekend expecting to come back on Sunday night to a nice brown envelope on the doormat full of signed stuff – NOTHING WAS THERE!  And nothing continued to be there until Thursday 28th – A WHOLE WEEK LATER!  Lets just say that I wasn’t myself that week, I was so worried that I might be trapped in that stupid flat FOREVER!  And even worse is I would be stuck with the same neighbors too!


But it has gone to the mortgage company who have passed it to their Underwriters and hopefully it should be sealed soon (secretly wishing for it to be done by the end of this week) AND THEN WE CAN GET ON AND GET MOVING!!!


But after all that I am falling apart.  Mr Sparkles is sending me to the Doctors this afternoon to get me checked over.  I have a sore wrist, which I suspect is the return of the Ganglion, I keep getting really bad indigestion or something, I did have a pain in my side but need less to say that has gone now and I was just a bit glum and emotional.  But, of course, now I feel much better!!!  Still going to go as my wrist is bloody sore!  I had one removed when I was 17 so it has come back and the scar tissue is making it press right on the nerve up my thumb 😦


I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone I have grumped at recently!

I’m Sorry x

So now that I am back to my old self here is a list of all the half written posts and other subjects I have planned to blog about shortly:

  • Trip to London to see the International NFL game at Wembley
  • Preparation for the MISI Makers Bristol Christmas Craft Fair Explosion on SATURDAY!!!
  • My little brother’s week in Bristol
  • Things I plan to make once I get my own desk in my nice new house
  • Things I would like for Christmas!!!

So there you go, stay tuned for at least five new posts shortly 🙂



A quite cheerful and relaxed Shona x

A letter to my friend

20 Oct

Dear Chy,


Me & You on one of our first night at La Rocca

At La Rocca in the Tuna Does Disco top

You are a wally sometimes!  But I understand what is going on in your head!


I know I can tell you until I am blue in the face that it’s all in your head but as we both know it helps at the time, but then at 2am when he hasn’t texted you back it all comes out again.  Like a really bad zit that just won’t die!!!!  But trust me, I was the same as you.  But it’s mostly all gone now and I am so happy it has!  I can’t lie, every now again there is a tiny thing that sparks the little voice in my head to think something stupid but then I remember those thoughts are attached to a different person in a different time not this person now.


I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much I admire you for being able to go back to University to follow your dreams.  I can’t even drag my butt to Wales to do a distance learning course in something I am already doing.  Whereas you moved here from a whole other country to learn to do something that you love.  You are one of the bravest people I have ever met.




I know it’s difficult for you and you are desperate to get back to your ‘normal’ grown-up life where you can happily make a cup of tea without having to fumigate the kitchen first.  But you only have a few months left to suffer and then you can get on with it!


And the boy loves you.  Stop thinking about it and try to just enjoy it.  He’s a lovely person and mot even a little bit of a twat!  My twat-senors are finely tuned and I’m telling you this one is OK!  The pair of you just go together like La Rocca and the Hunger Hatch! 🙂


I would also like to thank you for moving to Bristol at the same time I did.  I would like to thank you for being single at the time.  Otherwise we would never have met.  The Bridget Jones Society has a lot to answer for!  I would like to thank you for being there for me on my many disastrous quests to find Mr Right.  Luckily I did find him eventually!  Thank you for sitting through a Metal \m/ birthday party,  I will forever owe one!


Looking for a love getaway?

Looking for a love getaway?

And so I move on to the thing that oddly unites us more than anything, cheesy disco!  To be more precise La Rocca – our spiritual home.


Some of the best nights out EVER have been with you in La Rocca. 

You probably have every idea just how excited I am to be going again in November with you and Laura, as I am sure you feel exactly the same!


I am truly thankful to count you as one of my best friends.  It upsets me to see you going through all this upset on your own.  I just wish you weren’t so far away from me now.  And I would like to request that you return to Bristol as soon as possible.


Why drink and La Rocca are bad for your health

Why drink and La Rocca are bad for your health

But in the meantime, here’s a little something to get you in a FANTA-ASTIC mood.  You will need to supply your own bottle of Strongbow/Peroni!


Just remember I love you for being daft, for La Rocca, for wearing glued together shoes, for fending off randoms, for Balloon Fiestas, for wine tasting, for gin & tonics, for cups of tea, for long train journeys and for you being my friend.





Right Honorable Wine & Pizza

15 Oct


On Tuesday night my department was invited to by the Lord Mayor for a reception at the Mansion House to say thank you for all the hard work on the Banksy exhibition. 


The Mansion House

The Mansion House

We were told that it was going to be tea and cakes, and you know me I can’t resist a cake 🙂


So after work off we went to the Mansion House, not quite sure what to expect.  Are we supposed to curtsy, bow, salute????


On entering we were offered a glass of wine (or juice)  so, of course we grabbed one, only to then be told that we are to be officially announced one at a time on entry to the Drawing Room to meet the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress.  PANIC!  I have handbag, jacket and glass of wine and now I need to salute the Lord Mayor!!!!!!!!!!!  I settled for shaking his hand but I’m quite sure he thought I was some kind of wine swilling pack horse!


It was a great evening, both the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress are absolutely lovely, very chatty and very easy to talk to. 

Me, Lady Mayoress, Lord Mayor & Sabs

Me, Lady Mayoress, Lord Mayor & Sabs


The biggest surprise was when the buffet was brought out – sandwiches, mini sausage rolls and PIZZA!




But the pizza was very nice and I do like a sausage roll 🙂


We had a tour of the house and the little museum they have in there on the history of Bristol’s Lord Mayors.


So it was time to go home but first a visit to powder one’s nose.  In the Ladies Powder Room!  I don’t think I had ever been in a real powder room before!  So I took some pictures 😉


Sadly I couldn’t capture the massive aroma of roses to share with you.

A Haven of Pink Powderness

A Haven of Pink Powderness


The whole room soley for the application of powder!

The whole room solely for the application of powder!


Beautiful Couch

Beautiful Couch


Sadly my handbag wasn’t quite big enough to fit the couch or any of the gorgeous chairs from the Drawing Room in 😦



But the house is lovely and the grounds are beautiful.  They hire it out for weddings and events if you are interested have a look here.



It wasn’t quite Afternoon Tea with the Queen but I really enjoyed Pizza and Wine with the Lord Mayor!





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