I was recently lucky enough to win a £100 voucher from DotComGiftShop.  I’ve got no intention of turning this into an advertorial (or one of those smug “look what I won this month” posts) but as it’s a shop I’ve been using for a few years I figured I’d share a few of the stand out items.

Legal bit first: I wasn’t paid to produce this post. I won a comp, that prize was not conditional on writing 100 words on similar.  I do not blog for food or prizes. Although if people want to send me anything to test the theory then feel free!

Ok, so as I say I won £100.  I added about £10  and ended up with a massive 47 items!  I will not be writing about them all, that would be silly.  And in case you’re wondering, if you spend over £50 you get free postage. Which I sort of did, if you ignore that £100 of it they paid for….


Weekend bag
First and foremost I got this bag.  I love it!  The sixties design is very now (if that makes sense) and with those colours they clash with everything.  Which in my mind means it goes with anything!  It’s pretty big, you’d have no problem getting ring binders in there. It’s not massively deep though so for me it’s not ideal as a weekend bag (although a kid would love it) but as a large handbag, which I firmly believe a girl can never have too many of, it’s perfect.


Shopper bags
Speaking of bags, DotComGiftShop usually have some of their shopper bags going at £1.  They really are fantastic value.  They are lovely and strong and as well as being great for shopping I find them really useful for storage.  I have all sorts in them.  Perfect!


Nail Books
I got a whole load of these nail books to use as stocking fillers, they come in several different designs.  Similar to old style match books these pretty little books six removable files which appear to do a pretty job good.  Not much more that I can say other than they are well worth having in your giant handbag!

DoComGiftShop have made an art out of lunch.  They have bento boxes, crockery and a wide range of samdwich bags.  It’s just a case of picking what you want.

I can’t give too much away with the next couple as they are planned as Christmas pressies but have a look at  both mugs and the teatowels.  They are really good quality and with a wide range of designs there is something for most people.

The designs really are DotComGiftShop’s strength.  They change periodically and there are a whole load that appeal to me.  There’s also a load that I really dislike – always a good sign of a wide range!  I would imagine there is something for most people and as the quality is always good I’d strongly suggest having a look.  As you can see the prices are fantastic. And it’s always worth having a look at the sales items – there are bargains to be had!


A few bits to look out for:

Notebooks- a really good range in lots of sizes.
Cards – good range of designs at a good price
Ceramics- there are a couple of stunningly beautiful designs
Bags – bags bags and more bags!  They have handbags and satchels, shopping bags, wash bags and new designs always coming in.
Stocking fillers- this is my favourite place for stocking fillers as there is such a range of  random.  I would imagine useful for kids party packs too although not my area of expertise!

Many thanks to DotComGiftShop for the prize and the use of the images, all of which they own.  Now go trawl their website!



Goodbye Grandad



When I wrote the alzheimers post a month or so ago I didn’t realise I  was inviting you into my life.  But with the responses I received I realised that I had, that what I said connected with a lot of people.  So now there is a follow up to that.  There will be another, better thought out one soon, but for now this is it.  Don’t expect any great insight or wisdom – it won’t be here.

Grandad is dead.  He died at quarter to four Friday morning (it’s Sunday night as I write this).  He died sleeping, of kidney failure.  From the moment we were told it was the end he was not alone for a minute (although occasionally it was hospital staff changing bedding rather than family).  As per his usual style he was later than had been said.  It turns out that it really is hard to predict when people will go, although doctors can tell when someone is past the point of no return.

The staff that I met in the hospital – nursing and healthcare- showed how the job should be done. They were a credit to The Caring Profession. They were kind and considerate but not obtrusive, looking after grandad’s family as if we were patients too.  I cannot praise them highly enough.  (For those interested it was Lincoln NHS hospital with both EAU wards [we were moved from one to the other as it had a private room available] and Burton Ward). If you are going in there breath easy).  We had tea and grandad had morphine and another drug to clear his throat when we felt he needed it.  At the very end he was put on his side and for the last few hours was at utter peace.  He had not woken since I got there Wednesday morning.

I am sharing this because so many people told me they were in, or knew of, similar situations to the one I wrote about.  This is something they will face,  be it sooner or later.  I want them to know not to fear it.  It hurts of course, and I will miss him. Both the person he was and the person he became who, although deeply annoying on occasion, was also the sweetest, most generous man, imaginable.  So often he told me how happy he was, how comfortable and how much he loved us.  That he had never been happier.

I am not worried for him now.  I don’t know what comes next but I know if there is something he is among people who love him and if there is not then he is not suffering.  There is no longer the worry on how to cope – or how to afford it.  It feels mercenary to think like that but it is true, a weight has been lifted.  I will cry and be unhappy, and reminisce and smile.  I will grieve, because however it sounded in the other post he was, and is, very well loved.  But I will not worry for him any more.

One thing that will not wait is for all you carers out there.  You know the person you care for and you know when something is wrong,  just like a parent with a child.  It turns out all the signs for kidney failure were there.  But we didn’t know to connect the symptoms and the doctor brushed off our concerns.  We should have insisted but didn’t realise there was anything to insist about.  In this case it would have made no difference other than to give us more time to prepare.  That wouldn’t have changed anything for him but might have given my aunt a chance to say goodbye in person. Don’t be brushed off.

Thank you for your time in reading this.