Tag Archives: Penguins

Penguins and Manic Depression

Penguins and Manic Depression

I bet you never thought you’d see those two topics in one title, well now you have!  I guess I should explain why.  This is a very difficult subject for me as it concerns my last penguin charity campaign, it also might explain why I took so long to post the final blog….it was because I couldn’t bear to think about it anymore.

Many people seem to think that depression is simply being low, feeling like you’re at the bottom of a pit that you can’t get out of, not wanting to go places, to see anyone.  But manic depression isn’t always like that, it can manifest itself very differently.  You can feel as high as a kite and as if you can conquer the world too believe it or not.  I know this because I’ve been like that.

My depression occurs naturally in that I’m extremely insecure and lack confidence in almost everything I undertake.  The best way I can explain it is that when I’m down it seems like everything is wrong all the time.  Nothing that I do is good enough, I lose my concentration, I get scared of doing everyday simple tasks, I want to sleep all the time and I think everyone dislikes me and that I am unlovable.  Which is frankly rubbish.  I know I’m ok, maybe I’m not amazing, but I’m ok.  I can say that now because at the moment I’m doing alright. That’s one way depression pulls me in pieces at least.

Over the last few years I’ve had to take a lot of medication to get my Ulcerative Colitis under control; the most debilitating and effective drug has been Prednisolone which is a kind of steroid.  Without it, I wonder if I’d even be here today, so it is amazing stuff really – but it does have side effects, one of which is mania.  On high doses it can affect people an awful lot.  This time, my natural predisposition to depression took on another form because of the steroids.

I honestly felt like my computer and I could take on the world! This was fabulous for me, I had so many bright ideas, so many plans, so many things I wanted to do.  I chattered mindlessly to family and friends about my current Penguin Amnesty campaign and how I was going to do it, about how I planned to film the vlog, about contacts and fund raising and how much could be done so easily.  My brain was a whirlwind.  I just couldn’t understand why my mum always changed the subject and looked at me sideways every now and then.

It was only after I came off the steroids that I landed back on planet earth and thought quite literally ‘Oh my god, what have I done?’.  I had a house full of penguins, parcels to send , a vlog to film, a lot of work to do…..and of course a house to run and a family to feed. Make no mistake, I panicked.  In all truth, my sister and my mum started coming around to the house to help me keep everything together as without the steroids and my high anymore, I lost the will to move.  The whole house descended into even more chaos than usual and I felt powerless to do anything about it.  Without my supportive family and my very patient, understanding husband I don’t know what I would have done.

But, I decided that I had started so I would finish, that I was a woman of my word and I was going to finish this penguin malarkey, even if meant staying up nearly half the night parcelling the black and white birdies – which is quite literally what I did one evening/morning.  I was not going to let people down.  You had all been kind enough to listen to my insane penguin ramblings and you’d donated money, time and merchandise.  I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I hadn’t completed the campaign. So I did, and it all worked out really quite well and I eventually found my feet and a stable none-manic way of thinking again. Phew.

So, if I’m not as enthusiastic about penguins as I was, and if I sound rather embarrassed when someone says something about it being a great project, it’s because it’s simply something I’d rather not remember – because, to be blunt, I was very slightly crackers at the time.   I mean, I’m normally the type to go off at a tangent, it’s the way I work…..but that level of obsession is extreme even for me.

Writing this is basically a bit of therapy for me, hopefully I’ll never go back to either forms of depression, whether it be the manic type or the really fed up type.     My current colitis meds are working really well and I hope I can avoid steroids in the future, but if I start banging on about penguins again, just give me a nudge will you?

Depression is a very strange thing, the human mind is so very complex and can screw up in such weird and wonderful ways.  I say ‘wonderful’ with my tongue in my cheek, as the penguin campaign did actually turn out to be something that made people happy in the end, I hope at least.

Right, so that’s confession time over for me, I shall waddle off and make tea now. If anyone else has any experience of this sort of thing I’d love to hear from you, it’s not the sort of thing people talk about and it’s a shame.  The more awareness the better.  Thanks for letting me bend your ear and if the ups and downs of life drive you a bit mad sometimes, you’re not on your own.

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Where Did All The Penguins Go?

Where Did All The Penguins Go?

Post Pals - Putting a Smile on Childrens Faces

You may have wondered about how the Penguin Amnesty and how it all worked out.  When all’s said and done, I posted out approximately 6o donations of penguins and penguin merchandise to poorly kids and with the help of Parcels For Delivery and their wonderful Round Up Your Pound campaign, we raised £852.19…..£100 of which was donated by them as part of their annual Christmas donation.

You'll just have to imagine muffled penguin squarking that was going on at that point. They were so excited about going to their new homes!

You’ll just have to imagine muffled penguin squarking that was going on at that point. They were so excited about going to their new homes!

Here is a link to their page which outlines how Parcels for Delivery supported the Penguin Amnesty.  They are simply amazing and if you’re ever going to post a parcel, they’re the company to post it with!  Love ’em!

And…if you’d like a nosey at the penguins people kindly donated, and the mischief they got up to, have a look HERE! 

This penguin would like to say thank you for all your donations, unfortunately he's drunk so he can't string a sentence together so I'm saying thank you on his behalf..

This penguin would like to say thank you for all your donations, unfortunately he’s drunk so he can’t string a sentence together so I’m saying thank you on his behalf.

It was one of the strangest, most successful charity blogging projects I’ve ever been involved with and it seriously restored my faith in people and their capacity for selfless giving.  Thank you so much.  I still have some penguin prizes to send out, and although they are terribly, awfully late (in typical me stylee) they will be posted at some point.  I have not forgotten.

To say thank you, I’d like to run a competition, my good friend Jo (@humanb3an) donated a penguin costume which you can see here:

Does my bum look big in this?

Does my bum look big in this?

It is a grown up size penguin costume so I couldn’t send it to any of the children so the plan was to use it for publicity purposes only.  With that in mind, if you would like to own your very fabulous penguin outfit, please simply comment on the blog to say that you will visit the Post Pals page and at the very least think about sending something to a PostPals kid.  That’s all you have to do.    I’ve decided to post out a brand new penguin outfit directly from Amazon to the winner who will be chosen on the 1st June.  Here’s a link to the prize!  Don’t you think this would be fabulous for Halloween (you could be a zombie penguin or something) or for a kid’s party?

Please do enter the competition and show your support for the fabulous work that PostPals do.  Thanks a million, billion, trillion to the myriad of businesses that donated to this project.  You should all be very proud of what you helped to achieve.  Thank you.  Hugs, squeezes and penguin kisses, Kay :O) xxxxx

A Silent Monday Post

A Silent Monday Post.

If you listen carefully you can hear the sound of muffled nook-nooks....

If you listen carefully you can hear the sound of muffled nook-nooks….

Penguin Amnesty Prize Draw!

Penguin Amnesty Prize Draw!

Anyone who donated a penguin, a penguin related item, or made a donation was put into a prize draw for one of the items modelled below by a helpful penguin who will soon be sent to a PostPals child, along with all of his other penguin mates.

Give us a twirl!

I’m too thick to know how to install Rafflecopter or anything, but I do know how to be fair.  So I dutifully wrote everyone’s names down and randomly chose four of them.  Here are the results!

ButtonF1Fan (Julie Marlow) won the sparkly penguin bracelet.

InkyPrints won the very useful wine charms.  (I think your penguin maybe takes after you?  If so I think these will be very handy ;o)

Staffstechgirl (Helen O’Keefe) won the penguin earrings.

CupCakeMumma won the handpainted penguin keyring.

All of these prizes were donated by Dylan Ward (DylanWardArt31) to help out with the Penguin Amnesty Project.  Thank you Dylan!

Please could all the winners contact me on Twitter with their addresses via Direct Message , you’re all on there so that’s handy!

There’s now a Penguin Amnesty Gallery Part 4 for you to have a look at if you like?  This project will run right through to the end of December with the support of the wonderful Parcels For Delivery. 

Penguin Amnesty Gallery Part 4!

Penguin Amnesty Gallery Part 4!

Post Pals - Putting a Smile on Childrens Faces

If you’re a newcomer to the blog, you may be wondering why I’m having an Penguin Amnesty of all things.  It’s a bit of a long story, but if you read this post HERE, it explains things a little.  I’m collecting them for the Post Pals charity and this is all sponsored by the fabuloso (I watch too much Dora The Exlorer…) Parcels For Delivery!  Here’s a link to Parcels For Delivery’s official sponsorship page.  They’re supporting Post Pals and the Penguin Amnesty.  I love ’em!

Couldn’t resist including this link.  You HAVE to watch it to the end!  I never knew penguins made this noise!

If you’d like to see previous galleries featuring the often mischievous penguins marauding around my home, please follow the links below.  You’ll be glad you did!

Penguin Amnesty Gallery Part 1 – Click HERE!

Penguin Amnesty Gallery Part 2 – Click HERE!

Penguin Amnesty Gallery Part 3 – Click HERE!

We have some newcomers to the Brink of Bedlam household, penguins with unusual skills and habits.  We’ve had to lock the booze cupboard put it that way….

I went out shopping for the afternoon and came home to this?!! Do they do an Alcoholics Anonymous for Penguins? G’iz the phone number will you? Please?

This little alcofrolic (ie, alcohol makes them frolic shamelessly) penguin was donated by Inky Prints.  I’d have preferred them to have admitted him to rehab for a fortnight before he got to our house, but hey ho!

‘Buttons’ These penguin themed buttons are used to help keep the tube from a stoma in place on a child’s tummy. The penguins have been playing frizbee with them, I keep telling them not to, but they ignore me now. *sobs pitifully*

There’s an absolutely wonderful group on Facebook called ‘Team Tubey’ who make free medical accessories for children and adults who use medical tubes.  They very kindly offered to help out the Penguin Amnesty project and a lady called Nadda Jabbour made and sent the buttons shown above and the bags shown below.  These will all be sent to Post Pals kids who use tubes and can make use of them.

If anyone would like to have a go at making penguin themed buttons there is a pattern HERE you can follow.  It looks fairly straightforward as far as I can see, and any help is much appreciated!

Medical accessory bags for children with stomas. Cute as….well… penguins!

Priscilla the Penguin likes horticulture, unfortunately horticulture doesn’t like Priscilla the Penguin. He has brown flippers rather than green flippers. :O( Dead pepper plants. Oops.

Misi Handmade sent me Priscilla thanks to SuperCute Crochet Dolls and they also sent this absolutely beautifully made Emperor Penguin drawstring bag from MinXtures.  Thanks so much to them for their lovely donations!  By the way Misi, please could you tell me the best way to tell a penguin that she’s actually crap at gardening?  Priscilla keeps trying, but she’s murdering my plants! Help!

The penguins have no excuse for losing their PE kit now!

The penguins now have ‘Penguin Pin Ups!’ I saw Priscilla staring at these posters the other day and she actually said ‘Pwoaar!’ I’m presuming these are the Kate Moss’s and the Brad Pitt’s of the penguin world?

Kim Lawrence sent 10 Penguin posters to donate to the Post Pals kids, thank you very much!  (they aren’t creased by the way, it’s the ice-bergs doing their rippling sort of thing).

This is not a ginger penguin, this is a cat in a wetsuit wearing blue glasses. It’s just Kim Lawrence included this postcard and it amused me so much I had to post a pic even though it’s not a penguin.  Just couldn’t help myself!

These are stunt penguins. One of them told me they used to perform in the circus. Please note the careful balancing act they perform and they way the top one is teetering just a little…. Daring little birdies!

Pabobo sent the Penguin Amnesty five Lumilove Penguins, they glow in the dark and erm…do circus tricks.  It doesn’t say that on the packaging you know! *nods knowingly* I should imagine they’re very comforting penguins on long dark nights.  You can find more about them HERE. 

So there you have it!  An updated Penguin Amnesty gallery!  As Parcels For Delivery is officially now supporting PostPals, they are also accepting penguin donations, so if you’d rather send donations to them rather than me, feel free.  The postal address is on their sponsorship page which is at the top of this post.  Alternatively you can contact me on kay@rubbermonkeys.co.uk and I’ll be happy to supply my details re. posting penguins.

Please do consider supporting the penguin amnesty, whatever you have that is penguin themed and suitable for a child, please do send it our way!  We’re accepting penguin toys, penguin clothing, penguin pictures, penguin books, anything penguiney or arctic themed!  The only line I draw is that we don’t want ‘real’ penguins.  The zoos are rather possessive over their penguins and frankly I don’t have room in the bath.

Thanks so much for reading and keep your eyes on the gallery as more and more penguins are collected for Post Pals!  Thank you!

Penguins and Parcels For Delivery!

Penguins and Parcels For Delivery!

Just to get you into the swing of things all Penguiney, this is a visual illustration of how I’ve been over the summer hols.  I’m so thankful for the British Education system and for all the wrong reasons!  Freedom!

Anyway, now to explain why I’m bombarding you with black and white flippery birds again. It’s because I have more news about the Penguins….big news….big, big, BIG news!  Big, massive, Emperor Penguin sized news! (and let me tell you, they’re BIG birds you wouldn’t want to mess with!)

Let me just outline where I’m up to just in case you’re new to the Penguin Amnesty campaign: 

I asked people to donate penguins in all shapes sizes and forms so they could be featured in a vlog  in my lovely kitchen which features a gorgeous american fridge freezer amidst a lot of fake snow, sent to me for review by Appliances Online.  You can see the vlog review  of the freezer HERE if you like.  I say ‘Here’s a shelf’ rather a lot.  (This is the straight review, I’m still working on the one with penguins in by the way)

I did this because I adore my new fridge freezer and I couldn’t believe my luck when it I was chosen to review it. I decided I’d pass on some of my good fortune by running the Penguin Amnesty campaign.

Every single penguin or donation is being sent onto Post Pals after the Penguin Amnesty vlog – coming soon to a puter near you!  Basically the tenuous link between the freezer and the penguins is that penguins like cold things, like erm…freezers… so they show it off quite nicely…and it’s great being able to find lovely new homes for penguins with kids who will love them.  That’s the train of thought anyway.  It makes sense in my head anyway!

Post Pals - Putting a Smile on Childrens Faces

After the vlog they’ll be posted off to Post Pals which is a fabulous charity that aims to cheer up very poorly kids by sending them post to brighten their days. . (also a work in progress)

The Penguin Amnesty galleries can be seen below, the idea is to show the penguins in their unnatural environment (ie, my home) and credit everyone for their generosity.  This is still being updated as penguins are still arriving!  There’s three Penguin Amnesty galleries because the campaign has been so much of a success that I ran out of room on one blog and had to extend it.  Happy days!

Penguin Amnesty Gallery Part 1 – Click HERE!

Penguin Amnesty Gallery Part 2 – Click HERE!

Penguin Amnesty Gallery Part 3 – Click HERE!

‘Twit-Twoooooo Whooo are yoooouu!’ One of my favourite photographs from the Penguin Amnesty gallery donated by the lovely Rhoda from the ‘Ramblings of a Foggy Mind blog.’ Thank you Rhoda!

Please do remember that anyone who has donated a penguin for the vlog or who has sent me a donation is being put in a prize draw for some penguin prizes – this is being drawn after the vlog has been completed.

The absolutely hilarious penguin outfit that was sent to me by my Twitter mate Jo Bean will also be auctioned in aid of PostPals, it’s adult sized so can’t be posted onto PostPals kids, unless I can find a 5ft 7 child.

Does my bum look big in this?

That is just the beginning of it all though! And now for the BIG NEWS I’ve been babbling on about…………

This is the mega, mega MEGA exciting bit.  *Kay jumps about in a room filled with over-excited penguins shouting Noo-Nook!*

P4D, otherwise known as Parcels for Delivery have chosen Post Pals and the Penguin Amnesty project as their nominated charity for the months of November and December.  They’re supporting BBC Children In Need at the moment, but we’re next in line! I’m so excited!  If you want to have a beaky at their current charity sponsorship and how it all works please click HERE!  

So if you have a passion for penguins and Post Pals  you can send penguins to me and I will feature them on yet more Penguin Amnesty GalleriesPost Pals will also receive penguins from P4D customers and in early January, P4D will ship these penguins squawking en masse to me. I’ll post them off individually to Post Pals kids with the names of the people who donated them.  By that time Parcels for Delivery have all the donations in and the penguins will have their postage plus a bit extra hopefully, all accounted for.  Neat!

Sorry if I’ve over-explained things, I just think it’s important that you know what I’m doing considering how generous so many of you have been.

Post Pals, Parcels for Delivery and I will make sure your penguin donations reach the homes and hearts of Post Pals children, many of whom deal with painful and crippling diseases and conditions on a daily basis.   The plan is to bring some smiles to their faces, raise awareness of Post Pals and to pass on some good old Christmas cheer.  The campaign will end in January once the penguins have been posted,  brightening the start of the new year.

Although real penguins are cute, I really don’t expect to find a live one in a box. Please refrain from stealing from zoos, thank you!

Well, what do you think? And more importantly, what will you do? Can I suggest that you send me a penguin?  Please?  Pretty please with fish on the top?

I Hate Choosing Blog Post Titles.

I Hate Choosing Blog Post Titles.

(and an update on the Penguins!)

I just do, so today I’m skiving.  Today’s blog post title is a cop out.  So….

The summer hols are ending, Darlek is back in school already and Sausage starts his first term at primary school next wednesday.  All I can say is ‘Phew!’.  I love my kids, I really, really do – but I need some space and some semblance of routine in my life.  There’s no doubt about it, I’ll miss them, but any more than 6 weeks of hols and I’d be sectioned.

Over the last six weeks I’ve tried very hard to do my best for my two little monkeys, we’ve been to Brockholes in the Lake District, went out and got soaked in a rowing boat in a rainstorm and Darlek went in one of those strange massive see through bubbles that bob around on the surface of a big pool.  No I’m not going nuts, basically they’re like hamster balls for kids that go on water, google them if you like.  She loved it and scrambled around and giggled lots.  Sausage stood at the side in absolute amazement and refused to get in one, which was a blessing in disguise really as it was a fiver a go.  It was a lovely day out , we all cheated at Crazy Golf and both kids went AWOL at the adventure playground.  I’d definitely recommend the place and no, this is not a sponsored post thingy either.

We also went to Wavelengths which is a swimming pool near us with a wave pool, slides and tiny waterfalls, very pretty!  Sis and I decided to go and take her nephews and my two.  In typical Kay fashion, I arrived only to discover I’d forgotten half of my two piece swimming costume.  Rather than go topless and be arrested for looking like a minger, I sat at the side and read the only bit of literature I could find.  I got half way through some indepth leaflet about the state of British Breweries and Camra beers brewed by big hairy blokes in Scotland or summat, and then fell asleep on the plastic table in front of me.  Sis had to cope with all the kids on her own and was an  star.  I felt an absolute idiot.  It didn’t help that even before setting off I was completely unable to find my wallet and she had to pay for me and my brood.  Some days eh!

What else have we done?  You know, it’s quite scary, I can barely remember.  The last six weeks have just gone whoosh and my head is now full of school uniforms, school runs, pending judo lessons, labelling coats and soggy school runs.  I guess I’m looking forwards rather than backwards, which is good as I’ve not had a great time of it recently.  In fact you could say I’ve had a bigger wobbly do than ever before.  Due to the pressures of renovating the house over the road, not sleeping, colitis, finding a job, being made redundant, active kids, a close family bereavement, I’ve just nose-dived. But, I feel happier now.  Which is nice. How many times have I come out with that old chestnut!

I do have some great news though! The penguin project has been so delayed due to everything, but the vlog will hopefully be done next week when the kids are in school and I have time.  If it kills me I will film the damn thing!  If the penguins don’t eat me first that is, we’re running short on tins of tuna you see….

Here’s a ‘teaser’ photograph of the penguin vlog. Half of it has been done, just the other half to do now. The divas amongst them have demanded their very own private caravans and sparkling salmon champagne.  I think some of them are a little star struck myself….

And…….this is the really good bit……Parcels 4 Delivery are seriously considering PostPals as their nominated charity for November and December along with my Penguin Project.  That means after I’ve done this PenguinAmnesty vlog, the campaign can continue, although in a different format (still to iron out the details).  How good is that!  Obviously this isn’t absolutely for definite yet, but it’s looking very very hopeful.  Call me a do-gooder if you like, but it’s nice to do something constructive and Post Pals are such a lovely charity.

Here’s a little video about what Post Pals do.   It’s easy to sit and watch these sort of videos and feel helpless, you might think, what can I possibly do to help these poor kids who go through so much hardship in their short lives?  Surely it’s hopeless?  Personally I know we all struggle to pay for our own kid’s Christmas presents, birthday presents, school uniforms and what not.  But, I say ‘Bogey-pants!’ to inaction (my son says that phrase all the time and it make me laugh). We can cheer them up simply by sending post,  it can literally cost the price of a stamp.  Little acts of kindness can make all the difference.

I have a number of much delayed reviews pending, one for the blummin’ brilliant BaloonBaboon, Orchard Toys, Vapestick and others.  I also still have some penguins to add to the gallery, InkyPrints that means you! (not forgotten!) I guess there’s marvellous mummy bloggers, businessy mumpreneurs, yummy mummy glammy bloggers and then there’s moi – a bumbling mumsy blogger. Huge apologies to anyone who is sat tapping their toes thinking they’ve just sent a load of merchandise to a hypercondriac with a penguin obsession.  Nope, not quite.  I’ve just bumbled a lot over the summer hols, have taken too much on and my colitis has quite literally been a huge pain in the arse.  But, with my youngest starting school I can finally see everything getting back to normal and I shall return to my bloggin’ tweetin’ writin’ reading’ social networkin’ self. I can’t wait!