A gift from Woolworths Review

Ive had the privalidge of reviewing a book called A gift from Woolworths.

It’s written by a very talented author called Elaine Everest.

About the Author

Elaine grew up in north west Kent where she grew up listening to stories of the war years.

She actually worked briefly at Woolworths herself.

A former journalist she has written over sixty short stories.

Elaine Everest
Elaine Everest

Whats the story about? 

The book is based in 1945 thick into the war where the story is based around the lives of the woman of Woolworths.

Betty is the store manager of Woolworths and soon discovers that she is expecting a baby which will change her life.

Masie is a loving mother who looks after her nieces as well as her own children but life doesn’t run as smoothly as she likes.

Freda falls in love but will it all be roses and end well?

Sarah dream of a cottage and the return of her husband from the war but will she get the happily ever after?

With Woolworths beckoning, their life changing and the continuing war nobody know what lies ahead.

Book review 

I have this book to my teenage bookworm of a daughter to read and told her to let me know what she thought.

She enjoyed the book very much and loved how clever it was that each woman had their own individual story tied to the war and Woolworths.

Ot was very well written and she look forward to reading more of Elaine’s work in the future.

Where to get A Gift from Woolworths?

If you would like this book you can order it from amazon here.

its also available as an ebook.


Thank you very much for letting me review your work and I wish you all the best in the future.

Daddy Giraffe x


Feeling let down by the system

Throughout my journey with Mental Health there are a few things I’m that I am feeling.

The first being overwhelmed by the level of support and love I receive from my family on a day-to-day basis.

The second is the feeling of being let down by the Mental Health team throughout and the battle just to get some sort of care or support.

From the start its a big step to admit that you need help and to get that help is a long and lengthy process from getting and appointment to getting a diagnosis.

At the beginning I went to every appointment, took all the medication and followed every task I was given to start my journey to getting better.

Through the first year I was passed from pillar to post, from person to person and department to department where I was being turned away from every door.

Then it happened I had my first melt down!

I was in the house and thought I heard my name called and just lost the plot all together.

I was lost and scared, the tears wouldn’t stop and I refused to go back into the house.

This would last for hours but luckily for me Cheryl was there to help me through it the whole way and called the crisis team for help.

After a lengthy conversation and advice it was only then did we find out what my diagnosis was of Personality Disorder but it came from them not my own doctor and the reason why??

In his own words he thought he told me!

I heard nothing for a few months until I called the team myself to see what was going on to be informed that my doctor had left and I was under someone else now and that they would be in touch very soon.

I meet the new doctor and the first thing he does is up my medication and add a few new ones, run a few tests and book an appointment to be assessed.

I leave feeling positive this could be the start of me getting better.

Little did I know how bad this doctor would be for me.

I attend every meeting like always and every other meeting is met with my medication being up which is now just basically sedating me.

He asks me why I’m on the medication because he doesn’t remember prescribing it for me!

It’s now been a year waiting for the tests and referral at this point to which he asks what they were for but its ok because he will up my medication if I need it.

And as for the advice he gives me goes as good as this…

“If you were to hurt someone even kill them you would be cover by the mental health act”

Tell me what kind of advice is that??

Again time goes by and I receive no appointments no phone calls and the time came that I was dreading the most and wished it would never come to that.

Being sectioned for my own safety and the safety of others.

I spent a short while in a hospital in Stafford where I was taken care of and treated properly, re medicated and when the time for me to leave came I was assured that there was care in place from my team.

I left and waited but nothing came again.

I call to find out whats going on and oh yeah my doctor had left again and I was assigned a new doctor.

This doctor I never got to see my appointments were cancelled days before then she was on holiday and oh yeah she left!!

So where am I now?

I m left with a new doctor that Cheryl had to fight and scream for me to see because they just wouldn’t seal with me or kept fobbing me off.

When it comes to the point that your own mental health team are asking you to make a complaint to PALS then you know that they are in desperate need.

I don’t know where I go from here, I know I don’t want to be locked up again so all I can do is hope they sort themselves out and just start getting better.

Fingers crossed







Mental Health Journey with Mel

Its been a while since I have done a Mental Health guest post so I thought what a better time to do one than now and I had the pleasure of talking to a lovely lady called Mel who opened up about her journey.

Could you tell me a bit about yourself?

I’m 45 and married.

We don’t have any children but we have a dog is our baby.

Just under 2 years ago we left our life in England and moved to Spain .

I was a teacher England and I worked with adults with learning disabilities.

I am now a teacher of English as a foreign language where we are now in the process of starting our own language school.

Where did your Mental Health journey begin?

My mental health journey began around 9 years ago when I was diagnosed with Severe Depression.

I was having trouble dealing with the little things in my life not the big issues. 

My husband noticed the change in me when I didn’t.

When I went to the doctors they prescribed me with Citilopram and I’ve been on it ever since.

However with hindsight I think I had issues with mental health before then nut nobody including me recognised the signs.

How is you Mental Health now?

Most of the time I think I manage with life ok.

Being in Spain has been good because life is different to England and I have time to be me.

However some days are harder than others.

One thing I find hard is people expect me to be happy.

So when some of my English friends who know I have Depression ask how I am where I respond low don’t understand how when I live in Spain.

Do you consider yourself disabled?

I’m not sure I consider myself disabled.

In some aspects I think I am enabled because I am beginning to understand myself.

How does your family deal with your Mental Health issues?

My family has never had a problem with my diagnosis.

My in-laws don’t understand.

My mother in law doesn’t understand what I have to be depressed about.

I think it might be a generation thing.

My brother who works in the medical profession is great, he’s non judgemental and just listens.

My dad works for the Samaritans and is very good as he is able to distance himself and ask questions that make me think about how I’m felling and honestly answer.

Some of my friend found it difficult because they hadn’t recognised that in me but they are supportive.

What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

I think I would tell people its scary but enabling.

Some days you will take 2 or 3 steps forward then the nest you go backwards.

Its frustrating and agonising but you will go forward again. 

When people ask how you are tell the truth even if your felling crap.

They will find it difficult and weird at first but your true friends will get used and help you through the bad times.

The black dog is always there but not always negatively.

And finally tell me something you like a bout yourself.


I like my eyes and the fact that I care about others.

Thank you very much for being so open and honest Mel and I wish you all the best in the future.

Daddy Giraffe x 














Anthill for sale Daddy Giraffe review

In the time that I have been a family blogger I have reviewed quite a few children’s books, I was approached by a company called Big Belly Book Co where I have the chance to review a new book called Anthill for sale.

Who was involved in this book? 

Big Belly Book Co is an award-winning publisher of children’s picture books.

The Author is a by a very talented man called Johnny Ray Moore

The illustrator is from a very gifted lady named Zuzana Svobodova

What is the book about?

Anthill for sale is about an ant called Alvin who decides he is selling the family home.

Upon selling his family home that is filled with fond memories he has a list of potential buyers, the only problem is the want to change everything about Alvin’s home.

Selling the Anthill
Selling the Anthill

After remembering all the good memories Alvin and his family have had in the Anthill Alvin has a change of heart and now must convince his wife that this is still the perfect home for them.

Freddie’s Review

Like every children’s book I receive they are read to my 4-year-old who loves books, I settled him down for bed and we read this story together.

It’s hard to gain Freddie’s attention for long but the pictures had him entertained and asking questions, he enjoyed the story and all of the insects trying to buy Alvin’s home.

The book was long enough for Freddie to enjoy and hold his attention.

Now time for the scores, Freddie likes this part very much.

Anthill for Sale scored  10 out of 10 because in Freddie’s own words ” Ants are cool!”

Where can I get this book?

If you’re looking to read this to you little ones them you can get this from following the links bellow.

Going onto the Big Belly Book Co website where you can get a 10% discount before the end of November. http://www.bigbellybookco.com/home.html

On Amazon by clicking here

At Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound or at your local book stores.

Happy Reading

Daddy Giraffe x 










Things I didn’t see myself saying as a parent

As a child you would hear your parents say things to you that didn’t make much sense like “If you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about”

Or having to correct you about the most random things you would do as a child like.

As a parent there a few things I have had to say to my children that made me just shake my head and wonder if that actually happened.

I would like to share with you my top things I didn’t expect I would have to say to my children.

Get you finger out your bum!

Freddie is now at that age where he is forever holding his willy or scratching his bum, the kid is obsessed.

we think sometimes it’s because he need a wee but no he just likes holding it.

One day his hands were down his trousers and I’m thinking he is scratching him bum again like he does but I notice he’s doing a lot more than that so I shout get your finger out your bum, which then involves the next step of me chasing him around to clean his hands and him thinking hilarious.

Keep it up and I’ll ground you so you have to go outside.

Now I know what your thinking, well if we ground our kids we take their phones, laptop, TV or there no allowed to go out.

Well not Ellie!

We can’t get her to leave the house, if we take her phone, she will watch TV or even worse read a book!

If we ground her to stay in she will snuggle on the sofa under a blanket and watch a film so the treat of going out doors and playing with her brother is enough to get her to buck her ideas up.

Stop wiggling your bum! 

This is to my 2-year-old who discovers she loves to wiggle her bum.

When we say to her Bethie stop wiggling your bum she looks at us and shouts…

”It’s wiggle time!”

Which just makes her do it more.

No homework on the 6 week holidays!

Yes we really did have to say this to Harry on the 6 week holiday.

Not only did we have to tell him to cut back on his homework and extra homework but also his teachers had to tell him to tone it down.

After he try’s to do some and we tell him no you would have sworn his life was over, what such mean parents we are.

No there is no A or U in shoe

This would make sense is it was my four-year old but sadly it wasn’t.

It was our very smart very clever daughter Ellie who turned to us and asked the question straight-faced waiting for an answer.

Of course she was met with laughter and once she realised what she had said she was left very red face and even now at 13 she hasn’t lived it down and will be brought up on her wedding day or any special events.

I’m sure some of you can relate with these things your children have said but I would love to hear yours.

Daddy Giraffe x




Being a stay at home dad

I never saw myself as being a daddy nor did I want to.

I didn’t have the worst upbringing in the world but I lacked the paternal instinct where I wanted children so from an early age I was positive I was never having children of my own.

I am the eldest in my family and I saw 3 of my siblings having children before me which just reinforced my decision.

I had a good job, a nice home, spare money and time to myself to do whatever I wanted to do with out responsibility.

Then I met Cheryl who had 3 children the youngest being 2 at the time, it didn’t faze me like I thought it would have had done but I really liked her so threw myself into the new situation.

I had never looked after children before, sure I’ve looked after my nieces and nephews before but that was different because I could give them back to my brother and sister.

After a short while I quickly discovered how awesome these children where and what it was like to have children around all the time and being given the chance to share my time with such amazing people.

I was still working at the time then coming to the family with Cheryl being the stay a home mom and it wasn’t long until we were expecting Freddie and I was going to be a daddy myself at the age of 30.

It was already decided that I was going to be a stay at home dad when we had Freddie so I could experience what it was like having a baby of my own and learning how to look after it and build a bond and wow did it hit me fast. 

I didn’t know how to change nappies, feed them or put them to bed this was all new to me but with the help of Cheryl every step of the way I learnt pretty fast and fell in love with being a daddy even more.

Bethie came along a few years after and I had 5 children to look after and was absolutely loving it.

The biggest achievement in my life was becoming a daddy even to this day and I’m sure it will be on my last day.

At the moment I can’t go back to work through no fault of my own due to Mental Health but until I can I’m going to continue to be the best parent I can.

It’s a full-time job by its self, it’s a 24 hour job that doesn’t have breaks.

Your on call every minute of the day, you take them to school, tidy the house, do the shopping, cooking, keeping them entertained, helping them when they are sick and its then its bed time.

But the rewards outweigh the work, I’m seeing my eldest achieve awards, go to university days and on his way to change the world.

My eldest daughter top of her year growing into a woman, so smart, funny and always thinks on both sides before basing any opinions.

My second eldest child having the best parents consultation ever!

Where the teacher tells us she is just amazing, everything is happy and rainbows to her and I hope she keeps it that way.

My youngest boy starting big boy school and loving it, working hard and making friends.

My baby girl starting nursery and learning so fast along with how beautiful she is the world is her oyster.

When people ask what I do as a job I’m a blogger on the side.

My real job is being a stay at home parent!

Being a stay at home dad
Being a stay at home dad

Daddy Giraffe x




It’s ok to cry sometimes

We all know the stigma or the saying that men are not supposed to cry or that it’s a sign of weakness.

I have never been a crier in my life really, the only true emotions I have is happiness or anger and that pretty much sums it up.

So it’s no wonder I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder.

In the worst situations where I should have cried I have stood there dried eyed, emotionless but dying and hurting inside.

I guess it’s a case of if I’m seen crying I will be seen as weak, stupid or even an easy target.

As I get older I realise that its ok to let your emotions go once in a while and that in fact helps you balance as a person and balance your emotions out.

So what has made me cry the most, I d like to tell you it was tears of happiness like when my children were born or any other happy point in my life but the things that have made me cry most in my life have been my Mental Health.

The point of when you get to the bottom, the very bottom of where you see no return and you can’t hold it back anymore it come out and it comes out like a bombs gone off.

On the few break downs that I have had or where I lose control I have then never cried so hard in my life and I have to say I felt better once it was all out and then powered through with help.

Don’t get me wrong I do get the occasional man tear, the single tear that runs down the cheek that’s quickly rubbed away.

But the last year has shown that its ok to cry and still be seen as strong, I’ve watched people who never cry crumble in front of me in tears but even today they are the strongest people I know and their better people than me.

After a Mental Health session this week I cried out of nowhere and for the first time I didn’t feel stupid for it, it was how I felt and I felt better for it afterwards.

If your low and want to cry it out then do it!

Let it out, let it all go then pick yourself up and power on like we know you can do!

If I had showed emotion when I needed to could I have changed things?

Maybe but I won’t be holding in my emotions any longer, I just want to be normal.

Daddy Giraffe x