The Advice Safe

crowdedmind.coOne day you might have children of your own

I fear this part, the letting go.  I know my children are good, I know they understand right from wrong, I know they want to do their best, I know it is time to let go.  I just hate the thought of it.

I have spent my time as a parent preparing my children for an independent life.  I have taught skills, spoken of life with all its complications.  I have explained the good and the bad.  They understand life is a hot soup, to be tasted with caution,  enjoyed to the last scrape.

I am not sure what it is I fear, broken heart, broken limbs, broken mind.  These things can be mended.

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Advise Safe

cropped-588fcb7b25a73b5f39ac7a6eb5e69b2b.jpgLife is a river, everything changes

An old lady knocked on my door.

I said “Hello”

She said, “I hope you don’t mind, my husband built this house.”

I was confused and left space for the explanation.

It was the first house on this section” she continued, looking back to the road. “We bought it from the farmer.”

I wondered whether she was still talking to me.

“I hope you don’t mind but I see that you have been doing a lot of work on the place.”

We had totally renovated, an 8 month project,  I was still titivating.

I remembered my manners.  “Would you like to come in?” I put the roller in a plastic bag and tapped the lid back on the pot of paint. Continue reading “Advise Safe”

Advice Safe


Weeds are just things in the wrong place

Here are a few I found out gardening today.   I have plenty and am happy to share, so I have made a catalogue for your convenience.  A one time special offer. Disclaimer – I am not an expert- reasonable terms.  You just have to help me move them from their current position.


Common daisy

Admired for its delicate white petals and popular with children, Bellis perennis is a very useful ground cover perennial. Excellent for dry, sunny areas with poor soil. They bloom profusely in the early summer and will dominate your lawn, and open up any cracks in your paving. Makes beautiful chains. Continue reading “Advice Safe”

Advise Safe


How to cheat at quiz nights – 10 best old school hacks

Those that know me will confirm that I have a poor memory; they call me Dory.  I suspect I am more like a hoarder, the memories are there just hidden under piles of other stuff that I enjoy more. I have always used memory aids like long sticks to poke and prod the information out. To pass my history exams I used to sing the significant dates in limerick form. I still hum 30 days hath September, April, June and November…..when I need to know how many days are left in the month.  Violet, Indigo, Blueooo and Green, Yellow Orange and Red in a T.V sing song voice for the rainbow. I guess remembering it is redundant now, given that facts can be retrieved  from phones before I can recall the  appropriate mnemonic.  I thought it would be fun to leave my favourites here, in case you ever attend a quiz night.  Some are well known, I made the rest up.  I really does work, I typed them out quickly, too many years later.p1130476-2-e1507153575148.jpg Continue reading “Advise Safe”

The Advice Safe


Kids eat your greens – fat and sugar often wear sheep’s clothing

Is coconut oil good for you?

Kids, I am now writing this down. Eating a variety of foods, in suitable amounts, from all four food groups, that’s carbohydrates, dairy,  protein, fruit and veg, will go a long way towards keeping you healthy.  Just to be clear, a portion of fruit or veg is about the amount that you can hold in one hand, not a couple of peas and it’s two fruit, three vegetables.  Theories change but apart from some nutritional changes this rule has stood the test of time.

growing your own is even better, last year’s stash, grown from a pot on the deck. No excuses.

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Advice Safe


Some words from the old girl in the boat up ahead

My husband is on the waiting list because death is not imminent and our medical insurance does not cover what ails him.  I have just been to the doctors and paid $55 to be told the mole that has appeared on the back of my thigh is not going to end my life but marks the end of my youth.  A full stop.  Apparently, at my age these things start to appear, I do not have to worry about death, just the slow decline.   Potentially this is depressing news.

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Campfire Story

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A New Year – a brand new me

10 Points to look at to build a healthy, balanced approach to life.

A New Year always brings within its first month the scent of change.  For me, January wears a heady perfume of new resolutions, reflections with a slight undertone of regret. January is the year’s new paragraph; for me, it is also a very special month.  My daughter was born on the first and I married my husband on the last of its days, in between these two celebrations I always find myself vowing to be a better version of myself.  Generally, it takes the form of a Warrant of Fitness, where I check my health, eating and exercise habits, moderate my drinking and have a good cleanout of my life’s debris.  I mentally make a list of places I want to go, people I want to see and things I would like to achieve.  I sometimes even write these things down, but as you know by now, my random scrawlings are often lost to the wind.  My plans are normally a little loose and by March mostly forgotten, I suspect this is a typical pattern.  Hear my cry THIS YEAR WILL BE DIFFERENT. Continue reading “Campfire Story”

Advice Safe

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Be safe at night – Make like a gecko, drop your baggage and run.


Whilst statistically you are no more likely to be attacked at night than in the day, these attacks do tend to be more violent. Life is good, attacks are rare, but they do happen and when you are not expecting them. This is just in case, prepared always does best.  Do not be afraid, be strong and aware.

As part of a team, I used to teach self-defense to woman.  Here is some of the advice that has stayed with me and I can share on the page.  It is worth noting that 90% of this is common sense and gender neutral. To my daughter, please find space in your bag for a light pair of socks in a plastic bag.  If you find yourself staggering home after too much to drink, alone, in high heels, take them off, put in the bag and put the socks on before you start.  Better sore feet and ruined socks than a ruined evening.  To my son, do not be a hero, anything but your life can be replaced.  Let them take it.  To my children, always think about how you are going to get home before you start your evening if you are going to drink. Travel with someone else or take a taxi.  If this is not possible then try and remember something from this list.   Continue reading “Advice Safe”

Advice Safe

CHECK THE SINK Check the sink before you wash your jeans.

When you move into a place that does not have a plumbed in washing machine, and you will, please remember this.

The pipe to take the dirty water out from the machine will be hooked by various and ingenious ways so that it feeds directly into the sink.  Please make sure the sink is empty BEFORE you load the machine.  There is a reasonably high risk that:

  • a towel has been used to soak up a spill and the sink was the obvious place to put it, but no one thinks it’s their job to take it out.
  • a sock or piece of underwear has fallen off the makeshift line above the sink without anyone noticing.
  • something has fallen in from a nearby shelf or the top of the washing machine which is communal, so no one can be bothered picking it up.
  • muddy sports clothes have been left to ‘soak’ and forgotten.
  • something is defrosting – try and get rid of that flatmate.
  • a piece of cloth has purposely been shoved into the plughole as no one can find the plug.

It is for this reason that you should always check the sink before you wash your pair of jeans –  the ones that you want urgently clean for a date in half an hour- as any of the above will block the plughole and cause the sink to overfill anSinkOverflow_larged flood the room.  It is a very common and expensive mistake to make.  Be warned, and always have a pile of old newspapers in a bag, by the tub, as this will happen at some point and the mop will be in the garden sitting in a bucket brown water from the last incident.