Saturday, 31 July 2010

A bit of a Prince Tangent.

So just as I was about to get out of the car yesterday morning, the radio blasted out 'When Doves Cry.' That was it, I couldn't move. I sat holding my shopping bags, engine off, window down, just grooving along to the wonder that is Prince.

I may not have told you this before - but I heart the minute purple one big time. Have done ever since I was 11 years old and 'Let's go Crazy' hit the top ten. I was hooked. I hired the VHS of Purple Rain (all padded sponge filled cover in true 80s style), then bought it and fell in love. The movie is terrible, I know, but I love it. I watched it the morning my son was born - telling myself not to be nervous, that there was, there is, and there always will be Prince in my life - so all was well. I know it word for word. I even bought 'Under a Cherry Moon' a few years later - and it really is a woeful film. After wearing out my LP version of Purple Rain, I discovered his back catalogue - Purple Rain being his 6th album. The early two funk-fests aren't bad - but Controversy and Dirty Mind are amazing. Then there is the masterpiece that is 1999.

On a trip to London in 1985 I went to HMV on Oxford St - seemed thrilling - and bought 'Around the World in a Day.' Raspberry Beret is possibly one of my top 3 Prince tracks of all time - but Paisley Park isn't far behind. He was such an escape in my teenage years... I'd stick my Prince album on my tiny little record player - switch it to 33 speed and drift off into my own fantasy land where Prince would whisk me off to Minneapolis and make me his purple bride.

What was it about him that I loved? Apart from the fact he produced, composed, arranged, performed and played every instrument on his records, he was quirky, sexy and boy he could move. He thrusted and jiggled across a stage in a way that only Mick Jagger could in years gone by. And his peepers? WOW.

1987 brought his finest album - EVER - in my humble opinion. If you have never listened to Sign o The Times - go buy it. Seriously. If you hate it - mail me and I'll give you the cash back. Oh. My. God. A double album - 4 sides of heaven. I'm no rock journo sadly (what a cool job eh?) but feck me, Starfish and Coffee, The Cross, I could never take the place of your man, U got the Look, Hot thing and the amazing 'If I was your Girlfriend' just blew me away.

I remember sitting with my sort-of step sister in our driveway, blaring the music out the windows on a hot summers day, singing along to 'Sign O The Times' and wondering what 'getting high on reefer' meant. My whole teenage years are peppered with Prince memories: when a girl at school tried to convince me the masked woman in the 'Kiss' video was in fact a man and Prince was gay; when my first love sat with me at 17 in a study room at school and it began to snow, just before Easter and he said 'Sometimes it Snows in April' (from the Parade album - 1986). When the record store in town painted a massive picture of the cover of the 'Love Sexy' album in 1988 - and I wished I could win it with all my heart. Listening over and over to Graffiti Bridge in Berlin when I was 17 and visiting my boyfriend - feeling like such a grown up, living with him at his Dad's flat, just after the wall came down...

In '87 when friend of mine fell in a scalding bath and was in hospital for weeks and I made her a Prince mix tape (only she and my mate Dax understood the amazingness of Prince Rogers Nelson - and regularly we mulled over his latest offering). The time when I was due to see the Sign of the Times gig in London - my Uncle was going to take me, I was only 14, - and I was up a mountain, soaking wet doing a Duke of Edinburgh award and someone with a tinny radio called out 'Hey, Prince has cancelled his London gigs' and I cried the whole 6 miles down the fucking mountain.

He did the same to me in 1990. Dax and I sneakily got hammered on a flight together to London - him to see his Dad - me to see my step-Sis, the very day we should have been in Cork getting down to The Black Album tour. I did finally get to see him - The Diamonds and Pearls tour 1992, and in 93 the Symbol tour - when I got back to my best mate's student flat in Leeds and got stoned and then convinced myself Prince was the anti-christ! All that backwards writing, the 'Thieves of the Temple' lyrics - book of Revelations, how Satan will walk amongst us and be known blah blah. Great weed, clearly. Finding the (then) elusive Black Album in Camden Market whilst at Uni in '91. Listening to the Batman soundtrack when my CGSEs had finished...

And then somewhere after about '94 I lost my way with his Purpleness a bit. The albums kept a coming - but they just didn't hit the spot. Emancipation, the Gold Album - all duds. He returned to form with Musicology and now 2010. I saw him when he played his 21 date tour of the 02 in 2007. I'm not the mega fan hairdresser I know who paid to see every one of those nights... I can't recall 'the wilderness years' between 95 - 2005 when he released stuff from his NPG club or through The Crystal Ball website.

But I love him. Because he is a genius. Because he is kind of other-worldly and obviously bonkers. Because he gives interviews where he speaks through someone else. Because he looks amazing. But most of all because his music really touches me - in a way no other artist ever has or will. I air guitared beautifully to the last chords of Let's go Crazy on my wedding day - and at every important moment of my life, he's been there. And yesterday, sitting in the car, it reminded me how I love hearing an old song of his, totally out of the blue - a little magical gift in my day. This may just be the dorkiest post I have ever written. Oh well.

Long may his Purple Highness reign....

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The kindness of others

Last night I had some good friends for dinner. I was giddy to see them, excited to cook and hang out and gossip and hear about their lives and all that jazz. The buzz that comes with seeing people you care about and wish you saw more of. I'd prepared the thai sweet potato soup; the Italian chicken cacciatore dish (yes I was mixing my menus up from all over the whole damn world, but hey, they are tried and tested recipes so you can't go wrong) was waiting to be baked and I'd got in lots of lovely soft drinks. The others were bringing dessert, nibbles and wine, bless them. A few arrived but one more had to come - so I offered to collect her at the station. (A ten min walk away, but 3 min drive). One mate came along for company. Husband was working, Sproglet was being entertained by another friend who is on his mental wavelength - they were playing kick in the garden, the tomato sauce was reducing under the watchful eye of another mate. All good.

I collected my friend and then popped to the garage to get ice. I was hankering for a watered down Pimms - it is the drink of summer - and to me, it doesn't feel like liquor. But we had run out of ice - and if there is one thing Pimms needs - along with cucumber, mint and apple if you are picky - is ICE.

So I stopped at the petrol station to get it. There was a big freezer thingy saying 'ICE.' I only had £2.50 left. Utterly broke - so I was holding this massive bag of dripping ice in a long queue, thinking, please god let it be less than the cash have in my hand. £2.99 flashes the till. So I leg it back to car, my friend gives me her wallet and I pay the remaining 50p. I dash back, throw the ice bag on Sproglet's car seat and off we go. We were talking, and laughing and when I drove in there was nothing behind me - so I pulled out. Crunch.

Not again.

Please god, let me not crash - AGAIN. Seeing as I have had two accidents since I started writing this blog - oh and a scratch episode.

I looked back, the car looked ok. But then I saw a serious looking guy walking towards his BMW. He came over and I got out. I had scratched his bumper - a good gash. Plus he pointed out, I had cracked it. My car has a scratch - but I could live with it. My friends got out and we all chatted - the man's girlfriend came across out of the garage and surveyed the damage. I gave him my name, my number, my address and said that I hoped we could resolve it without having to go through insurance etc. He said he'd be in touch - and I burst into angry hormonal tears. My frigging pregnancy head. The day before I'd bought a ticket for a car park and forgotten to leave it in the car window and so earned myself a ticket. Great. Day before that I left the house with no keys and had to get Husband out of the shower to give them to me. I just can't seem to get it together.

But being broke and annoyed and hormonal, I was teary and apologetic and frustrated. Man was nice and said he'd get the 'boys at work' to look at it. Him and his partner/wife/girlfriend told me not to worry. But I did. I came back in tears and then got Sproglet to bed, worried to tell Husband, worried what it would cost.

My friends all calmed me, the two who were with me, saying that he seemed a nice man, not out to screw me for cash etc. So I served up the soup (went down well) and then the main (everyone a bit stuffed on crisps and startet by now) and we were all chatting round a candlelit table when my phone went.

It was BMW man. Turns out his name is Phil. Phil Ward. He told me that next week he is doing a skydive jump, to raise money for charity and asked me if I had heard of 'Just Giving.' I said I had - it is an online charity service wheer you donate to people who are doing sponsored stuff. He replied was doing it for cystic fibrosis. He asked me if I would kindly donate to his charity and then we would forget all about the scratch - he owned a paint store and he'd get his work to sort it. I was bowled over. I never expected such generosity. I was so relieved, and bless him, he only asked me to donate what I could afford. We chatted about how he hates heights and how mad he was to jump and I took down his name and promised to donate. And I did, this morning. I discovered that like me, Phil has a son. His son was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was 6 weeks old. He is now 14 and was only expected to live to 15. But with the charity's support he should live to 40 - hopefully longer.

Phil Ward is brave and kind. I only met him for 5 minutes and probably looked a bit barmy for 3 of those minutes. But he took pity on my pregnancy brain and did a lovely thing. If you fancy paying it forward - if you read my blog regularly and enjoy it - go on, give to nice Phil:

And who knows, maybe someone, somewhere, unexpectedly will do something pretty lovely for you.

Friday, 23 July 2010


Well, where to start?

Firstly, I should say that often I blog right in a moment - in the snotty, tissue laden, tear tripping, second. About an hour later after a cup of tea and a sweet treat, I'm usually feeling a bit better.I blog to get it out - I purge and then am released. And I always know that I could be so much worse off. I am so blessed in so many ways - it is just sometimes, in a dark moment we can't see the wood from the big old trees. I thank all my commenters on my last post - as they cheered me up. It was comforting to hear of folk who have been there and found their way back. Speaking of which...

The very day after my hormonal blub fest I got an email from a good buddy at my old job - offering me 6 weeks work! I was dying to blog about it but wanted to check that financially they would pay me enough to cover child care etc and that it would be worth my while. Turns out they will and now I am about to go back to working with my old muckers for 6.5 weeks! I'm brimming with excitement and a tad nervous too... there is a whole new system and they work on stories 3 months ahead - but hey, I've my buddies there to help me through it and it will mentally do me good to get out, work, earn some much needed cash and do a job I really enjoyed. So that gets me out of a huge hole! Plus, it has re-energised me book wise - I have been working in the evenings, beavering way - determined to get half of it finished by the time I start back at my old job. I have planned out the final 10 chapters so aim to have it all done by the time Sprog no2 appears. So good things happen. You just have to have faith. I am so relieved. I honestly feel like having my own wee dancing party. I know it doesn't solve what will happen post bairn, but that is then, this is now. I can't worry endlessly about the future. Today is good. I can survive until we have the baby - and who knows, if the book goes ok, then maybe I'll get a book deal and all will work out. Something will turn up. It always does. Usually when I am least expecting it.

I went to the hospital this week - I was checking out where I will recuperate after my section. Last time I was in an NHS ward and I didn't sleep for 3 nights - I was a basket case by the time I got home with a new baby.Proper blubbering mad as a bag of snakes, mess. The midwives were grossly overworked and all night people talked, babies yelled, drawers slammed and weird bodily sounds floated around the room. Hideous. Also the showers were filled with dirt and hair, the toilets were blocked and a midwife failed to point out I was allergic to the adhesive of the plaster covering my scar - and I had a huge scaly raised rash that ran across my nether regions and down my leg. Grim. I needed antihistamines and cream to get rid of it - and it took two weeks! As if my lady garden didn't look unappealing enough post section, without the reptile scabbiness on top.

I always swore if I had another sprog - I would go private, no matter if I had to sell a kidney. I have no money left bar the funds for one night in a private room, but I was so determined not to spend it. Sections are full on - I wanted to know that the recovery would be more pleasant. Husband is saving for the other night and I asked a family member to loan me the rest of the deposit needed as it goes back to them as soon as I leave hospital. This is what started my meltdown on Monday - I rang the hospital and they broke it to me that you have to pay for 4 nights, not just the ones you stay. Like a deposit. Then you get back what you don't use... Great. As one night costs the same as a fancy schmancy hotel. Which is because, well it is like a fancy schmancy hotel. All products and soft bedding and flat plasma screen tv and bowls of fruit and fancy decor. I sound as deep as a puddle, I know. Forgive me, it was my one promise to myself. I loved this place so much I'd like to vacation there next Spring. The woman who showed me round guessed that I wasn't from the rich club who just use pocket money for such events, she even offered not to charge me the new prices, which start in Aug. She was so lovely I wanted her to be my new bessie mate and she could holiday with us at 'The Knutsford Suite' Watford Hospital too.

I also had my 20 week scan! This, is the best news of all. The baby is well and healthy and jumping around. The sex? Well maybe we found out, maybe they stuck to hospital policy and didn't tell us. All we cared about is that the wee one was fine. And it is. I was really nervous for some reason, but the sonographer was lovely. She had only 20 mins to take measurements and check the heart and the brain and kidneys and limbs and all. I kept my eye out for signs of a penis, but I have to say most of the time there were bubbles and squishy looking bits that I had no idea what was what. The lady thanked us for making her day - as she said that sometimes she has to give bad news. She said that a woman in before us had had bad news, an abnormal baby. Funnily enough, I had clocked her and her family leaving, and they looked very flat, very quiet. Often folk don't know, until the 20 week scan - which is awful, because after the 12 week one goes ok, you would presume you are out of the woods. To say I am lucky is an understatement. Now, I'm off to do a small dance. Steer clear, I had my chest measured this week and the poor woman in John Lewis eyed my enormous bosom and said 'we don't have much in your size I'm afraid!' She was holding a FF bra!! I am in a 'large' and for some unknown reason, it has padding. Like I need the freakin' padding! If you get too close, my nipples could take your eyes out, I tell you. Lord only knows what monstrosity I will need to hoist up my mammeries by 39 weeks. I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, 22 July 2010

It's a girl....

So I had my 20 week scan today and boy did I do some serious buttering up. The poor lady sonographer was powerless against my onslaught of chat and jokes and general banter. Somehow our wedding came up - oh yes, because the baby moved around so much it was impossible to get a good photo of it - I said it was like it's Father - who on our wedding day managed to be in a whole 4 pics of us together. This tickled her.

We checked the baby's brain and heart and legs and arms and face and hands and feet and bum and my eyes were peeled for a penis. I was sure it was a boy and I just wanted confirmation. At one point I was sure I saw a set of balls... The lady wasn't for telling - but right at the end, when she had done all her measuring I said, 'I know you can't tell us, but have you any idea,' and she replied 'I don't know for sure but i think it's a girl.'

Husband swore and then quickly countered this by saying 'oh no, another CM' - but he was grinning from ear to ear. He is a tad concerned how he is going to deal with female nappies as for him wee girls are meant to be all sugar and spice and no wind or poo or stuff. I just was in shock. I had so wanted a girl the first time round I wouldn't even consider the fact it was a boy - and when Sproglet was whipped out of me I lay in shock to know I had a boy. This time round I was so sure I was having another boy, and it really didn't matter as long as the wee one was healthy - but I am kind of bowled over that it is a girl. That I'll raise one of each. I hope to god I don't re-create my Mum and I all over again. Maybe this will help heal me. God, she'll be the apple of her Daddy's eye I just know it. I love Sproglet so much and he is so beautiful and big eyed and sweet and such a lovely kid that I cannot imagine something else being so amazing. But she will be. Wow - a she. I am delighted and a tad nervous and trying to imagine my life with a girl in it - as I am so in the boy zone these days. But most of all I am just grateful - that she is healthy and well and we are so blessed.

Now to deal with Sproglet who only wants a boy... and wants his brother badly. EEK!

Monday, 19 July 2010

TAXI for Crummy Mummy - make it quick.

God I just can't go on like this. I'm not even hand to mouth, its stealing from Peter to pay Paul and then Pedro turns up hand outstretched too.

I weep as I type. Today the tears just keep a comin.

I feel so trapped and frustrated and I want a way out - christ I need a way out. Yet all of this is my own making. Where I am, here, right now, I brought it all upon myself.

Here I sit, 5 months pregnant and utterly broke. I have nothing. I can't even afford a coffee. Or a paper. Husband and I fight over money all the time. My day: get up, take Sproglet to school, write, hang out washes, Husband up late after bed at 4am- tired and grumpy - I tell him that X has had a baby and we need to get a gift and that Y's son was two yesterday and we need to get a gift and oh, the phonebill is in and I need maternity bras and then he gets all annoyed and angry and pissed off that he works so hard and we have nothing. Asking him for money is humiliating and upsetting and fucking hideous. Then I cry and he gets all soothing and kisses my cheek and tells me it will all be ok, but it isn't ok, it is far from ok.

Our tenants thankfully want to stay on for another year - or at least until April when they will get married. At the moment, their rent covers the mortgage there and my part of the mortgage in our house - just. To sell up now would be insane. Anyway, they'll probably move out May next year and the 8 year old carpets and marked walls (haven't had a proper paint since 2003) need replaced/painted in order to spruce it up to attract new tenants. The whole thing will cost about 2K. I remembered I get maternity pay come Dec - and realised if I saved all of it then it would cover this. I told Husband - pleased as punch that I have a solution. He thinks I am mad. He is like 'we are struggling to get by and you want to buy carpets?' But in my head it is a necessary purchase to keep the whole rental thing going. Anyway, how boring is this? Christ I'd rather watch paint dry in the flat than read the crap I'm writing...

I have thought of every way possible to cut back - I buy maternity clothes on ebay. I make cheap dishes and work out every meal every day so I never waste anything. I don't go out. I make do with products I have, cheap shampoo etc. Goodbye small luxuries. I need a fucking a job. But how the hell am I going to get that 5 months gone and with a child to pick up every day at 6pm at the latest? That means leaving London at 4:30pm. Do you Mr employer person want to employ the tired pregnant lady who can only get to work at 9:45am and has to leave at 4:30pm, or the hot 25 year old who can work for 10p and will stay until midnight, in these recession driven times when there are a million folk looking for work in telly?'

Baby no 2 comes in Dec. I know that when I had Sproglet I only had 3 months money saved and so had to lose weight, find an on-screen job and conquer motherhood in 12 weeks. Which I add, I did. I did screen tests wearing maternity pads and pregnancy jeans. So it can be done. But at least in those days there were crap quiz channels to present on. Now there aint - and frankly the TV execs aren't going to be crying out for post partum ladies over 35 to grace the screen that puts 10 pounds on you anyway.

I never knew it would be so so hard. Every day brings something new we need - Sproglet shoes, whatever - and in the past I just bought it. I was working - not for a great wage - but at least I had one. Now I feel the fear in my stomach, the embarrassment that for all my hard work, my glam tv career, what do I have to show for it now? While all my friends are comfortable (some have wealthy parents footing their school fee bills, or paying for them to go on hols etc - my parents haven't two notes to rub together) here I am scratching around my bag for coppers. I HATE THIS SO MUCH.

What scares me more is that I don't know how to get out of it. Here I am again, post presenting career, now in post script ed career thinking - why do I pick these fucking creative jobs that are impossible to sustain???? Why didn't I love numbers and become a fucking accountant? Come Jan, with now 2 kids in tow, how am I going to get a job that makes it worth leaving them and covers child care?

Last week I felt I could climb mountains, this week I feel a weepy fucking failure. I'm bright, I'm a good person, I'm not materialistic, I am a team player, I work hard - why am I here? I blame myself. My stupid dreams and the reality of working motherhood. I've got to stop typing before I embarrass myself further. Anyway, my tissue is all soggy and my nose looks like Rudolph. I look around me and wonder how everyone else does it? How can I start again at 37, plus a 37 year old Mother at that. Normally I'm full of fire in my belly and hope in my heart and now... I just want to give up.

Monday, 12 July 2010


Lately with all my pregnancy hormones raging around my body (and let's face it, having a good old Irish temper in my bones) I've become a bit of a grouch. But today, I just had a word with my myself.

You see I took Sproglet to the dentist for the first time. I hadn't been in quite a while and managed to secure a NHS dentist in the neighbouring town for us both - a bonus because under the NHS I don't pay, being preggers and Sproglet doesn't pay cos he is under 18. I always find driving somewhere new a tad stressful, what with my driving skills being well... in saying that they aint the best is being kind. Where to park? Do you have to pay? What if I don't have change? Blah blah...

I had to stop a total of 4 people to find A. Where the dentist was, B. Where to park, C. How to get in to said carpark and D. Whether or not you needed a ticket/had to pay. Awful complicated stuff when the clock is a ticking - appoitment being at 4pm on the dot. Sproglet seemed excited about the whole adventure - why would someone want to see his pearly whites he asked? They just look at your teeth, yes, but why?? The dentist was pretty and petite and chatty and super lovely. I told her I always relaxed more at smear tests when the nurse was full of chat and she took it well that I was comparing her to gynaecological experiences. I was a bit nervous: how to mind Sproglet whilst I was getting my mouth peered into and a bright light shone in my face? What if he refused to open his little gob?

Turns out I needed a filling - but not a big enough one to warrant a blissful feel nothing injection - 'you might feel a twinge' she warned. I did. Feel more than twinge. A nerve practically danced on the ceiling. Anyway, Sproglet was AMAZING. He sat like an angel on a blue stool while I was prodded and then jumped up on the dentist's chair as if it was a fun ride. When it went back he beamed. He opened his wee mouth as wide as he could and lay completely still as the dentist counted and checked his wee teeth. 'Perfect' she declared and he grinned from ear to ear. She complimented his brushing skills (and mine) and he hopped off the chair in under 2 mins. Then bless him, he held my hand as the nasty drill drilled away my decay and I squeezed it as hard as I could without scaring the child.

We left with springs in our steps. Just in time as the meter ran out on our one-hour-free ticket. I could have smothered him in kisses I was that proud of him. I felt completely blessed to have such a happy, good kid. I realised that so often on this blog I'm moaning about this and that, the angst and guilt of Motherhood, the stress, the relentlessness etc. But I'm just so lucky. I'm so lucky to have him in my life, making me appreciate the small stuff. I'm so lucky to be having another baby and for being so blessed by getting pregnant so quickly both times. I am truly lucky. In my book I've got a character who has unexplained infertility and whilst researching this I interviewed a few people and their stories really moved me - in their passion, courage and hope - against the odds. It just seemed so unfair why some folk have problems and others not. The life lottery...

Today reminded me it is a great gift to Mother this little boy - to watch him absorb the world, see new things, experience firsts all the time. I need to remember this when he won't eat his greens, or he wakes at 6:30 am or he has a meltdown because it isn't time for sweet treats at breakfast. I need to remember this when I have my meltdowns, when I feel lonely or bored or frustrated. I found a necklace at the bottom of my mirrored jewellery box at the weekend. A cheapie fake gold thing from Accessorize. It says in swirled loopy writing : Lucky. I've been wearing it every day since, because I am.

Friday, 9 July 2010

To find out or not to find out?

Two posts in one day... I know.

Thing is, I've myself a quandary on my mind. And you know me, a quandary shared is a quandary halved... So... On July 22nd I have my second scan. The 20+ weeks check that all is cooking nicely with the wee one. When I had this scan with Sproglet I chose not to find out what sex the baby was. Husband however did decide to find out - so he knew and I didn't. Weird, but that's us. We're a bit contrary.

Husband kept screwing up with both sexes - saying 'for him' or 'she'll love it' so I never knew the real one. For my part, I convinced myself it was a girl and so I didn't want to know anything different. Girls you see, I get. I am one. Boys were a whole different world: arcs of wee, football, dirt, rough and tumble. A strange land of one thought, one action and an ability to eat like locusts and remain stick thin. I got a friend's Husband who was in the police to grill Husband and he returned with the verdict: girl. My breast pain - not unlike being soldered by a blacksmith's iron I warrant - coupled with raging heartburn meant my acupuncturist thought 'girl' too. But my straight out bump, lack of sickness and glossy thick hair were all telling the true story...

As I lay on the slab mid section - I was stunned to hear that I had a brand new baby boy. It honestly took the rest of the day for it to sink in that I had a boy, and that yes, I could cope. Now I have embraced the wonders of boys and am truly in the boy-zone. My son amazes and inspires me daily. He is just so damn cute. I want another one of him if I'm honest.

Which brings me to to the 22nd. Now the hospital I will be going to, doesn't reveal the sex, so my quandary may well cease to exist. But thing is, we could go privately and find out. But do I want to know? In my heart I think it is a boy. Keeping me in my boy zone. Not that girl wouldn't be amazing too. This time I round, I genuinely don't care, I just feel blessed to be having a baby. Do I just wait and see? Do I find out but not tell anyone I (we including Husband obv) know - or even that I have been to find out in the first place, because people then just hound you to know...

What to do?



Woe betide anyone who crosses my path at the moment - I'm just a ball of pulsating rage. What is this? PMT in pregnancy, does it even exist?? A friend told me this week (yes, I got out and met someone for dinner, it was fabulous. She looked amazing - all fashiony London and I looked like a middle aged heffer in a sweaty black T with maternity jeans that kept falling down. Classy. But we had great sushi and for a moment it felt like I was back in my hay day, except while she necked champers I necked... water. Oh how times change...) that she got a huge burst of testosterone during pregnancy - due to the fact she was having a boy - or something like that.

I must be gestating an Alpha fecking male because I feel on the verge of my temper exploding 24/7. It is 9:11am and already I feel annoyed about 4 different things: the cleaner using masses of kitchen towel instead of cloths to clean everything - works out pretty expensive; a very late email reply from a good friend who seems completely self absorbed in a way they never were before - maybe I am just being uncharitable; my Husband, well for breathing and doing not much else but bemoan the fact all I do is ask for money (mate it aint no picnic being the asker I assure you - I would rather die than be a 'kept wife' - I am used to having my own cash and to not have it is humiliating); neighbour - because I seem to have collected the kids more times this week than it should be... (I am petty, yes, I never said I wasn't. You want to make something of it eh? EH??); and the one that threatens to tip me over the edge: a shop I bought maternity trousers in yesterday charged me £14:99 when in fact they were in the sale for £7 and now I have to drag my ass back there for the refund, for THEIR mistake. ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Nothing major as you can see. Nothing worthy of such red mist. Mildly irritating at best. For a NORMAL person. Yet, man, I could go to war for this stuff. Live or die by it. I mean what is that about? I swung by my old agent yesterday - great to see him. I was kinda hoping he was going to magic work out of the sky for me, so as I could get out of this scraping the bottom of my bag to buy a pint of milk life that seems to have enveloped me. But there is nothing I am needed for at present. The teaching work appears to have dried up and oh my god I need it to get wet again... How did I not realise that not working and our household losing a salary would have such a profound effect?? I must have been mad.

Which brings me back to being mad - angry mad that is. If you see a looks-7-months-but-is-infact-4 months pregnant blonde woman in fetching new maternity leggings and a stripy top (that perhaps isn't the best design considering her current shape) storming down a street in a leafy village outside London, cross the road for the love of god. Please tell me I am not alone, that there are some days you could just cheerfully go medieval and feel utterly absolved of guilt? No, well you are much better person than me then.

I am deep breathing.... And so begins my count to ten: 1....2....3....4....5.... Think it is time for some acupuncture...

Monday, 5 July 2010

De-cluttering part 2.

It only took 2 minutes. 2 whole minutes to skim through my facebook list of 'friends' and debate 'do I ever want to see this person again?' No? Ok - delete. Delete. Delete. Delete. Easy peasy. 100 gone in 2 mins. Try it - it is amazing how many folk you don't care about, even if they were lovely to you back in 1986 at a festival.

But somehow it wasn't enough. I still felt the political pull of 'can I really delete my Husband's cousin even though we have never met and are never likely to meet? What about my cousin's cousins? If I see them at a wedding in 5 years will they remember I de-friended them and ignore me as the bride and groom cut the cake??' Plus, I'd had to log on to cull and that brought me to my home page filled with endless baby pics and people showing off how fabulous their lives are. A bit of sick crawled into my mouth and I thought - enough. So I de-activated my account. It felt liberating.

Meanwhile one of my recent posts about said cull brought a few folk out of the woodwork - the 'we must meet' texters who never follow through. One emailed me - someone I haven't seen in over 6 years or in fact been proper buddies with since 1996. I was kinda surprised, even though this person had asked to be my facebook mate (everyone does though so it kind of means nothing) and had traded a few facebook messages here and there.

Anyway, the email was nice and I can never not reply, so I did. They emailed again and then suggested that we meet up. Which was kinda odd. Why now? We lost touch a long time ago, amidst some weirdness involving a love triangle (I wasn't one of the corners) between friends and the last time we had a proper conversation at a TV wrap party this person had waltzed off during what I considered to be a meaningful discussion where old grievances were being buried. So why trawl over old ground? I remember once that a sour Comedian I once dated told me that at a party his mate said 'there is this great mate of mine, you have to meet him' and Comedian replied 'thanks but I've got enough friends. If one dies I'll get back to you.' I thought at the time - what a cock, but now I kind of get it. You get to a stage in life where you have your buddies of old and friendship is such an investment of time, it really takes someone amazing for you to welcome them into your life. Comedian was a cock by the way - a misogynist one to boot.

Anyway, I digress. This email person has a good heart and was always a laid back affable sort, and feeling like it would look really bad to say 'no, let's not meet' I said ok - even thought it is hard for me to ever get the hell out with Husband's job and Sproglet.

They never replied!!

Which is fine - but why ask to meet up in the first place? Possibly they were under the influence and had a small moment of whiskey flavoured nostalgia or maybe they just wondered if I would jump at the bait. Who knows. But people are strange aren't they? Christ, am I - the social animal, the talk a glass eye to sleep, the share my life story with checkout girl, becoming a fucking hermit?

I think with all my house de-junking that it was only a matter of time before I started life-dejunking. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Forget the politics - cull I say, cull and watch your life feel infinitely richer as a result.

Friday, 2 July 2010

It's getting weird....

When I started to blog I did it for two reasons: 1. I need to vent. I've written diaries my whole life (god they are beyond embarrassing, but I kinda like that - it's good to remind myself that at some point in my life all I cared about was getting my period for the first time and if I made a boy's 'top 10' list). 2. Because I thought it would be good to reach out to like minded souls and say - 'Hey, I'm having a tough/fun/cool/hideous/abnormal time - how 'bout you?' I wanted to debunk the heinous myth about Motherhood - that we should all have lives like a White Company advert and find people who related to this. I found Motherhood so overwhelming and tough - I still do, which is why I started blogging after my kid was born. Plus I was inspired by THE GIRL WHO, and her amazing, honest, smart, likable blog (check her out: - I can't do that jazzy thing of adding the link so you just click it and you're there. Wish I was better at technology, I really do.

Anyhow, I picked a pseudonym because my reckoning was - those I admitted to that the blog was mine, are my mates and I would tell them this stuff anyway. Those that read it not knowing who I am, well, they are strangers, so what does it matter. It never really occurred to me that folk who know but don't like me would get their mitts on it.

That is until two things happened:
1. Someone left an anonymous comment saying that they enjoyed the blog, knew who I really was and now liked me better because of it. Implying that they hadn't liked me much beforehand. Which is cool - as I can't be everyone's favourite flavour and hey, there are plenty of folk I aint keen on myself. But it felt a tad weird if I'm honest - someone knows all about my life, someone I haven't chosen to let in on my life in the flesh, someone who didn't fess up to who they were either....

2. I spoke to a good friend on the phone on Sunday night and she told me about someone I really don't like, who apparently loves my blog. Which is flattering - and hey, the whole purpose I did this in the first place (for people to enjoy it and relate to it) - but all of a sudden it felt as if it had fallen into 'the wrong hands' if you know what I mean. Will this person rub their hands in glee at my misfortunes? Enjoy my struggles and heartbreaks? Then I thought - maybe I won't write about that stuff anymore, maybe I'll just sing along like I have the best freakin' life in the world... But I can't do that. And I won't. Because my blog is for me most of all - to unload, to feel relieved, to try and make sense myself of all the things that hurt and confuse me along the bumpy way.

I stewed over this a fair bit and I've come to the conclusion that by writing this blog in the first place things like this were bound to happen. And my life - no matter how shared out to the masses - is still only what I want to share. And so what if folk from my past know that life aint exactly perfect at times for me - is their life so perfect? I like the freedom of wearing my heart on my sleeve - I do this in the flesh as well as online. It means what you see is what you get and I don't have pretend to be anything - which is liberating. Most of the time it draws folk to me - and that is such a bonus (especially for me, the freak who hates to be alone).

So welcome to all of you who know what I look like, or don't, those who have hated me since first form or Uni or some shit job I had in telly in 1997, or those who have loved (tolerated) me since I was 7 and we first met at school. To all those that read it, I thank you, for taking the time out to enjoy my journey along the way. Long may it last.