Life in the Mum's Lane

Posts about life as a working mum. The ups, downs and humour.

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Walking Dead - Obsession and Annoyances

I've become slightly obsessed with The Walking Dead recently. I know I know where have I been!!! I'm just finishing season 5.

If you haven't seen this far the below may contain spoilers.

In The Walking Dead it is about survival and in several episodes this seems to be at the expense of kindness, trust, decency and fairness AND sometimes if I'm honest a decent storyline.

It is kill or be killed.

I think in this situation I'd be a gonna. I'm too level headed and lack any physical trait that may help eg - martial arts, running, handling a gun, camping, the list is endless.

Whilst my obsession is raging there are a few things that have really bugged me about the show. Some are curiosities & some are true annoyances.

What do the women do about periods? Probably not the most important issue when you are potentially being bitten by a zombie but come on where are they finding sanitary towels & tampons???

Hair. The women should have pits you can plait and the men should all be sporting pony tails by now. I know a few times we've seen them groom but seriously do they all kill a zombie and then have a shave/trim.

Judith. How is this kid surviving? Where's the steriliser, bottles, formula, nappies and all manner of other baby paraphernalia. Maybe we've all been doing it wrong. A box/sling and acorns. Job done. Who needs to spend hundreds of £'s in boots.

Weapons. Seriously I know America is a gun haven but where do all the bullets & guns come from. Especially the bullets. There always seems to be a steady supply.

New characters. Love a new character but why do so many of them die so quickly. Dawn, Noah, Lily (Tara's sister), Milton, Lizzie, Mika. It also seems they sometimes have a huge storyline to introduce a character just to have an elaborate death scene. Noah is a prime example. Huge hospital storyline, he escapes, meets the group and soon after RIP.  I thought he had so much potential. Why kill him so soon?

Killing our favourites. Why do they kill some of our favourites? Dale went way too soon. Hershel 😭 Beth had just grown & developed. Tyreese needed more of a story than just Judith's babysitter & he still has a firm grasp on the basis of civilisation & could have been an amazing character.  One character I wouldn't mind them bumping of is Carol. I've never warmed to her & season 5 has put me off her even more.  I haven't seen it but its been all over social media so I'm already gutted about Glenn. No!!!!!!!! He was one of the few real good guys. Poor Maggie.

Rick Grimes. Sometimes I love him. Sometimes I think he is a fruitloop & sometimes an absolute selfish violent knobhead & the group should really start making their own decisions & basically ignoring him.

What do you think? What's bugged you about the series.

Emma x

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Fractured - Short Story


“For goodness sake! Why didn’t you call?” Melanie said sounding agitated,

“It was only a little fall. Nothing to worry about.” I replied trying not to let my irritation show,

“But mum you are in plaster. That’s hardly nothing is it?” I sighed looking at my daughter. She looked cross, harassed and worried. This was exactly why I hadn’t called her. I’d arranged a lift home and felt fine. Unfortunately a nurse had checked my next of kin details and called her without my knowledge. The nurse had probably thought she’d been doing the right thing.

I was home with my leg propped up and my daughter was busy in the kitchen. She had brought me a drink and some snacks on a tray. I could hear her banging about in the kitchen and the sound of something cooking on the hob. I’d tried to stop her. I was more than capable but she’d just told me to rest and I could see her mind was set. I knew Melanie worried and I loved her dearly but today her presence was making me feel like a burden. Since her dad, my beloved husband Jim had died three years ago she had called me like clockwork three times a week and we went for coffee most Saturday mornings. It’s like she thought I couldn’t cope alone. I missed Jim dearly but had surprised myself with a steely independence and had managed to build a strong support network of friends. Jim had been my rock and we had gone everywhere together but I’d coped better than I ever imagined. I still thought about him daily but it was always happy thoughts. I was just reminiscing about our last holiday together when Melanie interrupted my thoughts. “Earth to mum. Hey are you ok?”

“Sorry love was just thinking.”

“Oh. Are you ok?”

“Yes my love. Was thinking about your dad?” Melanie smiled continuing, “Do you remember when he broke his ankle falling over the cat? I’ve never heard him curse so much. I never think he forgave Charlie.”

“No that poor cat avoided him for weeks.” I laughed remembering the accident vividly. Melanie sighed seemingly lost in thought but then visibly shook herself off.

“I’ve made a quick shepherd’s pie. It’s just browning in the oven and the washing is on the line. So how exactly did you hurt yourself?” She settled herself on the sofa and her face relaxed,

“I was at the community centre for our ballroom dancing session…..”

“I thought ballroom dancing was supposed to be sedate.” Melanie said interrupting and laughing softly,

“Well it is but we were learning a new routine and I just lost my footing and fell awkwardly. Could have happened anywhere. It’s not a bad fracture. The doctors said it should heal well.”

“That’s good. When I got the call from the hospital I panicked. You really should have phoned.”

“Mel it was all under control. A friend took me down and stayed with me for a while and then Pam picked me up. I feel absolutely fine.”

“I’m so glad it wasn’t worse. I’ll pop and see you tomorrow.”

“There’s really no need love. Pam is going to come round for coffee and I can always ring Becky she’s only up the road.”

“Are you sure mum? It’ll be difficult on crutches living alone.”

“I’m fine love. You are busy. You don’t need to pop round.” After dishing up the shepherd’s pie and clearing the plates Melanie left and I relaxed. I needed to talk to her but now was not the time. I’d been dreading her spotting the holiday brochures under the coffee table. I wanted to tell her but was worried about her reaction. For the past 6 months I’d been seeing a lovely man called David. We had met at the community dances over a year ago and become firm friends. To start with it was purely companionship but had developed into something more. He had given me a new zest for life. It was partly his fault I fell today I remembered smiling. He’d convinced me to give Salsa dancing a go and I’d borrowed some higher heels for the afternoon. A mixture of speed, lack of experience and higher shoes lead to my downfall. It was a bit embarrassing but everyone was lovely and shared jokes about me being swept of my feet.  So far I’ve not discussed David with Melanie although I have mentioned him when discussing a collective group of friends. Pam thinks I’m being silly but I’m worried about how she’ll react.  She was so close to her dad.

Several weeks passed and I failed to talk to Melanie about David and our holiday plans. We’d settled on a cruise that left from Southampton and went around the Mediterranean. I’d always wanted to go on a cruise but Jim had hated boats. Two other couples were going to come. I was growing increasingly excited about it all but needed to discuss it was Mel before booking. 

One Friday Mel popped round to share a take away and watch a film when she unexpectedly mentioned going away. “I’ve been thinking mum. Do you fancy going to the Isle of Wight or maybe Spain? I could have a week off work and we could go away together.”

“Oh…I…Um….” I stammered.

“Don’t you like the idea? Obviously we’ll wait till your cast is off.”

“It’s not that love. It’s just I…Um…I might be going away already.”

“Really? With Pam? You didn’t mention it.” Mel said surprised,

“I’ve been meaning to tell you. I’ve meet a chap called David. We are planning to go away together. They’ll be six of us including Pam. It’s a cruise.” I blurted hurriedly feeling strangely nervous.

“You’re dating? How long?” Melanie said looking stunned,

“Um…about 6 months.” I said blushing,

“Mum! Why didn’t you tell me? That’s fantastic news. I’m delighted. Dad always said he didn’t want you to be alone. Where did you meet your fancy man then? Spill the beans. Did he have something to do with your fall?” she indicated my leg and grinned,

“Oh Mel I’m so glad you are pleased. I was worried about telling you. I met him a while ago through the community centre but it’s slowly developed. He’s a lovely man. We were at a salsa class when I fell.” I said smiling,

“What are you like?” Mel said laughing. She shook her head gently and sighed. “Mum I can’t believe you were worried about telling me. I’ve only ever wanted you to be happy. You’re too young to spend the rest of your life alone. I’d like to meet him though before you sail of into the sunset.”

We settled into a long conversation and I showed her some pictures. A week later following the removal of my cast we all got together and had a lovely evening meal. We poured over the brochure and I was delighted when Mel decided to join on us on the cruise with Pam’s daughter Kelly. I decided breaking my leg had been fate and said a silent thank you and began counting down the days till the now much anticipated cruise.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Newbie blogger tips

Newbie blogging tips


Newbies may be puzzled when they first see the word linky. What is it & why participate?

A linky is when a host blog invites other blogs to link up a post, the aim is getting additional blog traffic and comments.

This can be a great way to interact with other bloggers & find interesting posts.

It is easy to join in. Copy your blog post URL to the linky, tweet about it & comment on some fellow posts. Make sure you read the host rules but it is usually to comment on the host and at least 2 other blog posts. 

Only negative is large linkies can be time consuming due to the commenting and you may not get as many comments back as you make. 

I was worried about the rules and what a linky was when I first started out. Don't be afraid just dive in.

No follow/do follow

When you search Google for information, the sites with the most links pointing to them rank high in the results.

Occasionally Google checks your blog and looks at all the links you have added. A normal link on your site is known as a ‘follow’ link because Google will follow that link to see where it goes.

The reason no follow/do follow is important is because Google’s guidelines say that any blogger should use a no-follow link when adding a paid link to their blog eg - you were given a product to review/paid to write a specific post.

If you use blogger you simply untick a box. I got worried & found sites telling me to enter HTML codes & was baffled. If you love coding brilliant if not just untick. Phew! Easy. No need to panic.

Social media

Try to get the same name across all platforms.  I have Life in the Mum's Lane across all platforms.
Get on instagram. I was late to the party as I thought how will a photo format help share my words! However it has become my favourite.  I love it.
My instagram link - come join me

Google Analytics

This is a free piece of software from Google that monitors traffic to your blog. To use Analytics, sign up for an account, then copy the code provided into your blog.  Your account will then start tracking things like visitor numbers and what posts they read while they’re visiting.

I must admit although I've signed up to this I've not really spent any time looking at the stats or understand some of the information it can provide so I'm very far from being an expert.

DA - domain authority

Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) that shows how well a website will rank on search engines.  You need to have your own domain for this score to have any validity. For example if your URL is this will not give a valid score.  If your URL is this would get a valid score.
1 is the lowest and 100 means you are the best in the world! Anything over 50 is professional with good back links.  A site I found was really useful and broke the score down.
1-10 Poor
11-20 Decent
21-30 Fair
31-40 Competitive
41-50 Good
51-60 Strong
61-70 Excellent
71-80 Outstanding
81-90 Superior
91-100 Rare

I have yet to get a score as only recently got my own domain and you usually need to wait a month or 2 for this to update.

I hope this helps.  These are the top 5 things I wish I'd known when I was starting out.  There is loads more information but I think understanding these 5 things will really help you get into the blogging world.  AND remember to enjoy you can easily get bogged down on stats and forget about the joy of writing.

Emma xxx

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Easy Craft (DIY)

My daughter LOVES Diary of a Wimpy Kid and we have world book day very soon so I made a Diary of a Wimpy Kid inspired mask.

You will need
  • white foam sheet
  • pencil
  • black pen
  • sock/tights
  • scissors
  • double sided sticky tape
  • elastic
  • normal sell tape

I drew an outline of the face shape on the foam using a book for inspiration.

Cut this out and colour the hair strands and eyes black.

Cut the mouth out and then cover on the other side with a cut up sock or black tights.
(tights are best as this will be your child's viewing point - I bought some tights for this project which mysteriously have vanished so I used an old sock.  She can just about see!)

I used the double sided tape to stick the sock on which worked well.

Measure the elastic and use the double sided tape the stick on either side of the mouth.  Use a small piece of the normal tape to go over this for added strength and to stop the sticky bits catching on your child's hair.

Hey presto you are finished.

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