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Friday, 12 October 2018

'In The Spotlight' at Darlington Hippodrome

On Saturday 6th October I went along with friends and family to Darlington Hippodrome to watch my three year old great-niece Isabelle perform with The Sandra Welsh School Of Dance in their show 'In The Spotlight'. This show was a real treat, and Isabelle's stage debut. I was so excited.

Every member of the cast from the youngest to the oldest (three to eighteen years respectively) gave outstanding performances. There was a full range of singing and dancing. The little ones came on, with chaperones, to a lots of oohs and aahs from the audience - including mine - then the chaperones disappeared into the wings. Did they get stage fright? Not a bit. They performed their routine like little troopers.

The whole show was very uplifting to say the least. One could be forgiven for thinking they were watching a professional West End Show. It was full of life, love and laughter, absolutely bursting with talent. A real tribute to The Sandra Welsh School Of Dance based in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. 

Photos taken by Paul Anderson ©
(used with permission)


                             

   
                             


                                      
   
                                    



Footnote: Isabelle takes her singing and dancing very seriously. I was shopping in Ripon a few days before the show buying an item of clothing for Isabelle. I rang her mother, to ask which size I should buy. Isabelle then came on the phone and started to sing 'You Are My Sunshine' her show song 🎼  She wanted me to sing with her, so I did, much to the amusement of the other shoppers, and staff 😄


Ellen Dean Recommends





DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There will be no cost to you. You don't have to buy the exact items shown in the advert. You can buy anything, the link is a doorway. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to allow you to read for free. Thank you for the support J








Monday, 8 October 2018

Swinton Park Hotel - Baby Shark - Ballet and Tap Dancing






Baby Shark, Ballet and Tap Dancing 

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Out for lunch (which was absolutely delicious) with the family at The Swinton Park Hotel, Masham.

Then there was the entertainment. My great-niece Isabelle decided to sing the Baby Shark song, and then when the music played (in the Drawing Room) she went into dance mode. First we were treated to Ballet followed by Tap Dancing. She wasn't at all bothered that other guests were watching, and I have to say they were loving it, and all applauded when she finished. 





DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There will be no cost to you. You don't have to buy the exact items shown in the advert. You can buy anything, the link is a doorway. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to allow you to read for free. Thank you for the support J

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Home Vestibular Exercises - Balancing Act

Home Vestibular Exercises





Why not make the exercises fun?


   I have written a couple of previous blogs about my having a vestibular disorder and I thought why not make the exercises you have to do to help your brain compensate, fun. I went outdoors and I could see the sun had made a shadow, on the grass, of the electric cable. And, it was a thick enough shadow to use as a high wire rope. Of course my trusty Labrador was by my side. He loves to tag along. Actually sometimes he must wonder what on earth I’m doing. But, he joins in the fun. Anything for a biscuit, and that’s just me lol!

On a serious note…vestibular disorders are the pits! If I can make exercises fun, then so be it. I learned to appreciate what I can do and accept what I can’t. Some people say fight it, but if you try and fight it, it causes anxiety and when you think about it…fighting something sounds like a battle and then your body becomes tense. You can’t win a battle that way.

 Forget the battle and go with the flow. Do what you can to help yourself…research the vestibular disorder you have been diagnosed with and follow the regime. VEDA is a brilliant website for all vestibular disorders, and all are professionals. What they don’t know isn’t worth knowing, believe me. Finding that particular website changed my life, for the better.


Onward and upward :-)



                                            




DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There will be no cost to you. You don't have to buy the exact items shown in the advert. You can buy anything, the link is a doorway. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to allow you to read for free. Thank you for the support J

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Baby Shark Challenge - Cheeky Monkeys



The video speaks for itself...

Baby Shark - The Craze

Seems everyone in the world knows about the fun and fabulous craze that is the Baby Shark. Don’t they? Yes, no, perhaps?

Well, everybody might have, but certainly not me. 

The first I heard about it was when my little great-niece visited. I was making tea in the kitchen and all I could hear was her laughing along with my friend. So, I popped my head round the door to see what was going on.

And there she was, at three years old doing her level best to teach my  friend something. I had no idea what she was trying to teach my him but they were both laughing and giggling a lot so I knew it had to be something fun. Luckily my friend was familiar with the Baby Shark craze and was able to go along with it and in what seemed like no time at all they were both singing the Baby Shark song and both doing the actions. 

Well, that was it. Everyone in the house just had to join in and from there came the idea that could we, or even should we, maybe have a bit of fun ourselves and have a bash at making a silly short film? 

So with very little practice we did just that as the film above shows and, quite rightly, I’m sure you’ll agree that the dog is the star of the show.

Since the film has been aired it’s not unusual for me to be greeted with the first few bars of the song when I visit local shops and it’s great to get such a terrific response and have a fun thing going. It brightens the day.  It’s become quite a thing in my local Co-op Store where everyone wants to be part of the ‘in’ joke and then my great-niece almost started a chain reaction while we were out celebrating a birthday, such happy reactions. 

So, I want to  say a BIG THANK YOU to the originators of the Baby Shark for helping to bring smiles and sunshine into our daily lives and for helping some little people pronounce their words better.




DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There will be no cost to you. You don't have to buy the exact items shown in the advert. You can buy anything, the link is a doorway. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to allow you to read for free. Thank you for the support J

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Vestibular Disorder - Earthquake Hull 10th June 2018

I blogged in February 2018 about earthquakes causing people (including me) who have vestibular disorders finding their 'off balance' and 'dizzy' symptoms hike.

Well, last night I let my dog out about 11pm (Masham, North Yorkshire) and thought I heard thunder in the distance. My dog barked when he heard it and I felt off balance. This morning I read the BBC news to discover there had been a 3.9 earthquake at 11.15pm in Hull, not too far from me as the crow flies.

For the last couple of days I've been really off balance and assumed it was because I had been to the Jane McDonald concert two days ago as it takes me a few days to get over the travel and the flashing lights, not to mention the loud audio. Then yesterday morning I had to wear my peaked hat and shades when I went outdoors because I felt off balance and nauseous. I think it's been the approaching earthquake. I'd love to know if you have had the same symptoms before, or when, there's been an earthquake?

These two links are to books that can help you if you have a vestibular disorder

                                                                   




DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There will be no cost to you. You don't have to buy the exact items shown in the advert. You can buy anything, the link is a doorway. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to allow you to read for free. Thank you for the support J




Friday, 8 June 2018

Jane McDonald - 20 Year Anniversary Tour 2018

I've followed Jane McDonald since I saw her on the BBC documentary 'The Cruise' in 1998. Well, after all these years I finally got to see her live at Darlington Hippodrome last night which was her opener for The Anniversary Tour.

I hadn't been to the theatre for over four years due to having a vestibular disorder. Lights, loud audio and crowds set off my symptoms and my balance goes awry. Not to mention the drive up the motorway which is hugely problematic for me, so I wasn't at all sure I'd actually make it. But I did and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. I'm suffering today, but it was well worth it.

Jane is a truly gifted performer. You'll note I say 'performer' because that's exactly what this wonderful lady is. Not only is she an amazing singer (and songwriter) she exudes love into the audience and in turn they love her back. It's like sitting in your living room chatting to her, her audience interaction is amazing. This down to earth performer with her huge singing voice had the crowd on their feet all beautifully wrapped in a wonderful Jane McDonald bubble complete with her fab band and backing singers.

                   


The last song was very appropriate for me - 'Dance Yourself Dizzy' - oh I had to laugh! I have to say going to the theatre was a big deal for me as it is for many people suffering with a vestibular disorder. I did need to close my eyes when the lights flashed and wore my hat for extra protection. The audio was so loud the seats vibrated so next time I will make sure to sit in the stalls instead of the Dress Circle. I think it will make a difference. But this does not detract from the fantastic show and the fantastic renovations at Darlington Hippodrome.

If you are able to get tickets - grab them!

Buy Jane's new album





Ellen Dean Absolutely Recommends



DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There will be no cost to you. You don't have to buy the exact items shown in the advert. You can buy anything, the link is a doorway. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to allow you to read for free. Thank you for the support J

Monday, 21 May 2018

Zoe Ball - Broadcasting Live from Pikes Ibiza - Press Release


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PIKES IBIZA 
2018 Media news just announced…
Saturday 30th June - Zoe Ball broadcasting live from Pikes
with Maxi Jazz, Groove Armada, Morcheeba, Ana Matronic, Pete Tong and more...
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The famous pool where George Michael filmed the video for 'Club Tropicana' in the early 80'sZoe Ball will be broadcasting live on the terraces of Pikes Hotel and will be joined by some very special guests.Pop-ups, food news, photographic exhibitions and residencies will be announced throughout the season.
Watch this space.
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On Saturday 30th June from 3pm-6pm, Zoe Ball will be broadcasting live on BBC Radio 2 from the terraces of Pikes Hotel, where Wham! famously filmed the video for Club Tropicana, to celebrate the music that has become synonymous with the White Isle for the past three decades. Maxi Jazz of Faithless will join Zoe for a special performance, plus there’ll be a poolside-mix from Groove Armada as well as live acoustic set from Morcheeba. Superstar DJ Pete Tong will be sharing his favourite memories of Ibiza and other special guests on the show will be Christian and Alan Anadon, of the famous Ibiza venue, Café Mambo, as well as Ibiza legend and the owner of Pikes Hotel himself, Mr. Tony Pike.
Scissor Sister Ana Matronic will take over the airwaves from midnight-2am on Sunday 1st July as she takes to the decks from Freddie’s Bar (named after Queen front-man Freddie Mercury) at Pikes Hotel for a live DJ set packed with the biggest dance anthems.
Listed as one of the ‘Top 100 Hotels in the world’ by Sunday Times Travel and winner of ‘Best Boutique Hotel’ by the prestigious White Ibiza Awards for three years running, Pikes hotel is set around sprawling fairytale gardens with a famous aquamarine pool.  Lovingly restored in 2011 by Andy McKay and Dawn Hindle founders of the world-famous Ibiza Rocks brand, Pikes is a cultural hub and one of the few places worldwide that is genuinely steeped in a unique pedigree of authentic rock n roll history. Today, the hotel still represents the original creative, Balearic energy of the island and for 2018 Pikes will be hosting a raft of the best cutting-edge art, literary, food and music and popup events throughout the season.
Editors Notes:
Pikes was originally created in the  late 1970’s by the legendary Tony Pike. For the last few decades Pikes has been a playground for the music and film elite with regular guests including artists such as Grace Jones, Tony Curtis, Spandau Ballet, George Michael and Freddie Mercury who held his 41st birthday party there.  Last year Primal Scream held their after-party at Pikes (attended by Kate Moss and Jade Jagger) and highlights included a photographic exhibition by fashion and celebrity and portrait photographer Diana Gomez, where illuminated images of icons such as Courtney Love and Jaime Winstone were dotted around the grounds and even sunk into the swimming pool.
If you’re feeling sporty, there is a neon pink tennis court, whirlpool tub, and a variety of massages, fitness and yoga classes offered in the 'Rockovery' tent day to night. There are 25 comfortable and spacious rooms and junior suites as well as a gorgeous vast apartment ‘La Residencia’, with walls hung with stunning photographic images by Victor Spinelli, Jerome Ferriere and other artists. Each room has a whimsical character and sexy Balearic feel, with décor that gives a nod to the hotel’s rock’n' roll roots with added extras such as one room with a vintage record player or a sunken bathtub inside another.
ABOUT CO-OWNERS DAWN HINDLE ANDY MCKAY;
Dawn Hindle and Andy McKay are founders of music brand Ibiza Rocks and owners of Pikes Hotel in Ibiza. They were also the co-founders of Manumission, the biggest and most famous club night in the world that launched in 1993 with over 1.5 million visitors over 15 years that gained global notoriety and redefined nightclubbing.  In 2005 they recognised the shift in youth culture and launched Ibiza Rocks that pioneered the social rejuvenation of the island.
Dawn Hindle is also co-founder of True Rocks jewellery.  A rock ’n'roll meets kitsch designer jewellery label  famous for their collaborations with Brit artists Gavin Turk and Polly Morgan available at Liberty in London and online truerocks.com
Room rates start at 149 Euros for a double room in low season: The hotel opens 1st May until end of October 2018
For media enquiries about Pikes this season contact Claire Norrish at Authentic Ibiza PR
Tel:  07866 800900 claire@authenticibizapr.com
Follow Pikes on Instagram at @pikeshotel
For our Ibiza client updates follow us on instagram at @authenticibizaPR

(photocredit of Zoe Ball above Hello Magazine)
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For hi res images or press information please contact Claire@authenicibizapr.com 
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DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There will be no cost to you. You don't have to buy the exact items shown in the advert. You can buy anything, the link is a doorway. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to allow you to read for free. Thank you for the support J

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

The Secret - Rhonda Byrne

                                                                         


The best selling book - The Secret - was first published in 2006 and made Rhonda Byrne a very rich woman. And, yes, I actually bought it. I know exactly why I bought it...it was because when you think of the word 'secret' you need to know what the secret is. Doesn't everybody? So, well done to Rhonda, a great title for a book.

It quickly became obvious in the first few pages that the 'secret' wasn't actually a secret, but had been talked about for years. Napoleon Hill - Think and Grow Rich. The Law of Attraction - Esther and Jerry Hicks. You Can Heal Your Life - Louise L. Hay are just a few authors who wrote in some way about The Secret.

Some people say 'The Secret' insults their intelligence because it's so what we do everyday, but do we? Sometimes we need a gentle nudge. I studied NLP years ago and have helped many people and that is actually using the same workings as the secret. I help people to move on in life whether they are going into business, training for a sport, or buying a new home. It's all about changing the way you think.

I have to say it is a great book and many people have changed their lives after reading it. Me, if I'm unsure about something I'm working on I'll pick up the book and open it at a random page and there is usually something there to help me think things through. I suppose it could be like having a counselling session.

I'd like to know your thoughts, if you've read The Secret. What has it done for you? 


Ellen Dean Recommends

DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There will be no cost to you. You don't have to buy the items shown in the advert. You can buy anything. The link is a doorway. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to allow you to read for free. Thank you for the support J

Monday, 30 April 2018

Stained Fortune by Joe Calderwood - Book Review

                                                                         



For Four Million Bucks, This Ex-Con Is Willing To Take The Biggest Risk Of His Life

Asheville, NC, March 22, 2018 ― Career criminal Clint Kennedy, a bisexual man with a background in finance and shady deals, moved to Mexico for a fresh start. While it's not in his plan to land in a Mexican jail, this adrenaline junkie would do just about anything for the right price – and since the right price for this job is four million, he's willing to risk it!

From his nighttime prowls through Mexico's seedy backstreets, to the thunderous roar of the bull ring, to the gleaming towers of Miami's most prestigious banks — Clint lived for each new adrenaline rush, even if jail was almost inevitable.

In Stained Fortune, the new suspense thriller from Joe Calderwood, we meet Clint Kennedy, a career criminal who grew up poor alongside friends with money. And now it was his turn to enjoy the good life. He will do anything to make money, and sometimes he'll pay. But that's a risk he's more than willing to take.

Following his first prison sentence for running an escort business in Miami, Clint moves to Mexico for a fresh start. A chance meeting with a Mexican bullfighter who also happens to be a drug kingpin sends Clint down a path toward his biggest payday ever. 

And all he has to do is move millions of dollars, undetected, from Mexico to a United States bank account. All without raising suspicion. All free and clear. And he would keep four million of it. But the tiniest mistake could cost him everything.

About the Author:

Author Joe Calderwood was born and raised in Homestead, Florida, and graduated from college in 1971 with a BBA. For many years, he was a practicing CPA in Florida before beginning his career as a serial entrepreneur. He's owned, so far, seven different businesses, and currently owns a 55-lot development in Western North Carolina. Stained Fortune is his debut book and the first in a planned three-part Clint Kennedy series. He lives in Western North Carolina with his partner of 36 years and spouse of three years, Gil.

My Review
Well, I've always wondered how people laundered money, and after reading Stained Fortune, I know. A little something to tickle your fancy...I once laundered money (by mistake) when I put my trousers in the washing machine and there was a £10 note still in the pocket. 

About the book: I felt I really got to know the characters very well and so wanted Clint Kennedy, the main character, to succeed in his pursuits even though it was wrong of him to do what he was doing. Clint is a kind of Marmite character, you either love him or hate him, I loved him. For a first book it was engaging, not too much description (but at the same time such attention to detail) and it flowed easily. My kind of book. It's what I call a page turner. All of the characters were easy to follow and I could picture them as though I was watching them on a film. This book has more twists than a Pasta Twirl.


Ellen Dean Recommends

DISCLAIMER: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There will be no cost to you. You don't have to buy the items shown in the advert. You can buy anything. The link is a doorway. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to allow you to read for free. Thank you for the support :-)


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

IzzieBuzyBits - Handmade Clothing for Children




Amy Addison the owner of  IzzieBuzyBits is so passionate about providing children's clothes and accessories that stand out from the crowd she has created her own line. Amy says, 'Every item is handmade with love and care with comfort and functionality to the fore. I have a great standard range but if customers want custom made items then I do my very best to meet their needs. Every piece is unique.' 


Custom Made Items

Custom made leggings



     



Amy started her business after up-cycling some of her own clothes for her little girl who loves being the model for new items. Friends started to ask Amy where she'd bought the lovely things her daughter was wearing and Amy explained how she made them herself. That started the ball rolling,
people asked her to make things for their children. Of course, Amy was happy to oblige.

  Sweatshirt, Hoodie and Dungarees

              


Amy sources new material, fabrics change constantly, from all over the UK. She has an Etsy Shop as well as a Facebook page where you can find out about all the new materials on order, and see lots of pre-made items and a price list.

             


Amy can often be found at charity events displaying her distinctive handmade creations on her stall. Dates and venues can be found of the Facebook page.

Amy told me people are asking if she makes clothes for adults. 'That will be the next step,' she said.

Available to Pre-Order


 
     
                    


                                   


Remember to check out IzzieBuzyBits on Facebook and at their Etsy Shop 
If you have any special requests be sure to contact Amy who will be happy to help. 
You can email Amy at amyea88@me.com

Available to UK customers only, at the moment.


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