Saturday, 31 December 2011

Hello to 2012

So farewell to 2011.

A lot of folk I know won't be sad to see the back of such a difficult year. I only know of a handful of folk who have found this year to be a vintage one - the rest of us muddled through and tried desperately to economise and keep the wolf from the door - I for one am delighted to welcome in 2012 and wave a hasty goodbye to 2011. Not that anything bad happened - and it was great to spend time with my kids in years I'll never get back - but I struggled within myself, worried about how to juggle the whole 'me' thing - and still be a great Mother. I'm intending to give myself a break next year - I'm the best Mother I can be - and that is good enough. Now it is time to get the 'me' back... Let's see what happens.

I have a really good feeling about next year, tomorrow. No idea why - not basing it on anything in particular. Just a feeling of 'out with the old and in with the new' and welcoming what is to come. I feel excited, this year has potential.

My resolutions - or rather, my hopes for the year:

1. To run a 10k in the spring. Maybe late spring. But some time this year. Hopefully not to injure my ankle in the process. God that is a lot of red faced sweating and huffing and puffing. BRING IT ON!

2. To enjoy the moment more, to worry less about what is happening next and just go with the flow - I am exactly where I am meant to be right now - and I'm happy with that.

3. To not care what anyone else thinks. And anyone who judges me - to eradicate them from my life.

That is all, pretty much. My aim with the whole running malarkey is because I remember how damn good my lungs felt when I pounded along the canal, all the blood rushing around my body. My circulation has always been that of a 90 year old woman - Husband complains nightly of my ice like feet clamped against his legs for warmth. So it is time to DRINK MORE WATER - (have been swearing that for the last ten years at least) and get the blood rushing around. I know I'll be starting from scratch again - but it is amazing how quickly the body responds to exercise.

Maybe this coming year I'll sort out once and for all job wise what I want to do... I know what I DON'T want to do - so that is a start. I've got itchy feet that's for sure. Husband and I are talking about how many years we have left in this house... I really feel ready for change - which is something I normally fear.

So to you all - I hope you have a swell new year's eve (hate the day if I am honest - all that need to have a great time - why?) and a brilliant 2012. Let's hope it is memorable, for all the right reasons.

And to all you lovely commenters and regular readers - thanks for sharing. Keep on sharing!

Love Suzanne (CM) x

Friday, 23 December 2011

Yultide cheer

So it's that time of year again. Stress, family squabbles, overspending, overeating and feeling like it just didn't quite live up to your rose tinted expectations.

But not this year! Nope. We have negated all stress by going out for Xmas dinner to the lovely Orrery on Marylebone High Street in London for 7 courses (memo to self - wear loose clothing - kinda Joey from Friend's Xmas day outfit) and a skinful of wine. We are taking my Mum and are also joining one of my oldest buddies in life, his wife and Mum. It should be great. I did all my shopping on-line and everything arrived in time! Hurrah! And I managed not to overspend (and luckily got some freelance work just before Xmas that paid for the lot). Husband and I aren't buying each other gifts this year because I am not earning - now those 3 weeks of work have finished) so technically he would have to give me the money to buy it. And also you know, I don't want anything. Maybe an address book and some rose oil bath lotion, or some of those lindor chocs. But in all honesty I'm pretty stoked with what I have - so don't need stuff to make it special.

Sproglet watched The Grinch this week - a family favourite at this time of year (just behind Elf on the Xmas must see list) and then that night as I tucked him in, I said 'what if Santa misses our house?' Sproget said 'It doesn't matter Mummy. It doesn't. Christmas isn't about presents, it's about having fun.' Gawd bless him. In saying that if Santa did forget to drop by he would be beyond gutted. As crap as it sounds I'm just happy to have some fab home made mulled wine that Husband will rustle up, watch my kids play together and eat some fabulous food. That is enough for me. My Mum is so excited and all the old ghosts of the past beween us are long buried - so now we can just relax and enjoy each other's company. I feel pretty darn lucky. I have a great feeling about 2012 - don't now why... maybe because it is my last year in my 30s!!!!!! I just think a lot of folk I know had a hard 2011 - and next year is sure to be better.

My plan in a few years is to take my kids volunteering on xmas day - so they can see how freakin' lucky they are to have families, and toys, and shelter and love when others have so little. Xmas is such a hard time of year for so many people - it breaks my heart to think of an old person alone all day, with no one to talk to. Or a parent who wishes they could give their kids some gifts... or even a home. it really is a time to be grateful for what we have. Ok, I'll get off my soapbox...

So, to you all - my lovely readers, I wish you a wonderful Xmas - I hope Santa is good to you and that your local store still has mince pies (as mine does not!!!). Here's to a memorable 2012.

Much love and hugs

CM xxx

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Caroline Flack I salute you

I've resisted the urge to jump on the bandwagon and cast judgement on the relationship of Caroline Flack 32, TV presenter and Harry Styles 17, Boyband member. But I can resist no longer. Caroline I salute you!

Here are some photos for those of you not familiar with the jobbing TV presenter of the X Factor after show on ITV2 (who I think has a great dirty laugh and can do the job a treat - something her co-presenter Olly Murs cannot) and the typical boyband fare that the X factor spawned -






Now Harry - he aint my type. Too much coiffed hair and arrogant flick of said hair - but I know rather a lot of women my age who fancied him when he warbled on the X Factor last year and came 3rd. But what I support is that even if he is 17 - he is in a band - they tour, they don't exactly sit down for dinner while Dad reads the paper - and he clearly is a bit more worldly than most 17 year old boys. Scrap that - just show me a 17 year old boy that WOULDN'T want to shag Caroline Flack? Exactly. I once dated a 17 year old when I was 27. It was blissful. I mean, we didn't put the world to rights or talk about the economic situation of the time - but for some friskiness with no strings he was perfect. He also told me he was 20, as he looked 20 and was very tall. But he was 17. Bless. Anyway, I wasn't planning on having an in depth relationship with him - I didn't dream of aisles and frocks and babies on my hip. So as long as Caro doesn't expect any meaningful commitment - then what's the problem? I mean he is 17. He is in a band. Do you really think he'll be her 'the one?' I doubt it - but maybe she - like I did - wasn't interested in 'The one.' Instead, she just wants some great sex. I say you go girl!

I also say this because I was out with a group of women on Fri night and I got chatting to a group of well bred stallion types next to me. They were all about 19/21 age group. I asked one if they had gone to the posh collegiate school in my town - and naturally they had. They asked how I knew this and I explained it was all in the jaw. Posh types - strong jaws, well bred bone structure - and a healthy glow, like they've been raised on calves who only eat chocolate and milk. Now one of the women in the group was mightily uncomfortable with my chatter - which is fair enough as I did tell the uber handsome one that he could be in the band that old Harry is in above... But this woman was deeply uncomfortable - to the point I stopped yakking to said stallion boys. Turns out she likes older men - she is 40 and likes 50 + year olds as they make her feel younger. I am at the opposite end of that scale - as the thought of gassing to some beer bellied bald bloke all evening about banking does not thrill me one jot. I am sorry, but I think my 'attracted to' button stopped when I was 17. I only am attracted to younger men. There, I said it. I'm no paedo - by younger I mean 20 and up... Is that wrong? That I could have birthed them when I was 18? Eeek. Now I do feel old...

My Husband is younger - by 4 years and looks pretty youthful. My Father always looked much younger than he was. I don't know, I first fell in love at 17... Maybe I'm trapped in the mind of a 17 year old... And before you chastise me - Husband and I think it is wildly healthy to be attracted to other people - but obviously we don't act on this. We're loyal, we believe in vows etc. But does that mean I do not wish I could have one night of passion with such veal fed young men? (and it would be all night at their age). Does it heck! Not that I would ever do that... But that you see is why I support Caroline in her fling. Young girls entice older richer men all the time and not a word is said. 52 year old actor from The Green Mile (what is his name?) and his 16 year old bride, Bill Wyman and his bride Mandy Smith, any man over 60 who has just 'fathered a child,' AND there is 17 years between these two - the exact same years between Dustin Hoffman and his wife, Donald Trump and Marla Maples, (now 24 between Donald and his latest squeeze) Jerry Seinfield and his wife... and 25 between Bogie and Bacall... and that is nothing compared to the 35 years between Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn. So don't get me started on the one rule for one sex and one for another malarkey....

At the end of the day - what harm are they doing? A few jealous older women getting their knickers in a knot because of the age gap - bitter because the last time their husbands shagged them X factor wasn't even on telly. Give over Ladies and let them have their fun. The day Kerry Katona slags off your relationship, you know you are doing something right.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Is it Xmas time or something?

So yesterday The Diva (aka Sproglette) was 1. Yep a whole year has gone by since I waited a whole day and got bumped 5 times to have my C section from which she appeared.

Here is how she felt about her b'day:



Just a bundle of joy. She was grumpy all morning, howled in Waitrose, caused an old lasy to recoil when she glared at her in the trolley and moaned all through her cake and semi-party. She liked her toys though. Particularly anything she could be violent with - hammering pegs was a real hit. (No pun intended).

Anyway, I am struggling to my head around the fact a year has gone passed since I spogged and still don't quite know what I am going to do work wise. But it is nice to relax into Xmas (if one can relax into the whole nightmare lead up to the BIG DAY) and not really have to give a feck. If I get a wobbly moment where I wonder where my life is going, I just stuff a mince pie down my neck with more cream than you could hake a stick at - and voila! I am fine.

Some of my old script ed buddies have started to have babies - so I am watching to see how they juggle telly work and motherhood. They all used to marvel at me working on the same show as them - me with a toddler and Husband who did crazy hours. Maybe they'll inspire me - who knows. To be honest though - I am really digging some time with my kids. It all is going by so fast - so to take some time with these little people feels right. They'll be grown up and slagging me off to their Uni mates before I know it.

Anyway - enough of that, there is Xmas stress to be had people! I try to get cool gifts I really do, but after three hours flicking through seven shops on line and debating how much to spend, and blue or red? And have they got that? And, does that look cheap - oh maybe because it is cheap... I end up at M&S and buy everything in one swoop. Then I beat myself up over - will they like it?

Real Tree or not real tree? That is the question. I am going real tree - but where is the time to get the thing, get the decs out and realise that your tree screams 'gay man trapped in a woman's body!' Think we'll be doing the deed on Sunday. Saturday - it is much more important to introduce Sproglet and his chum to Scorsese - not through Raging Bull or Goodfellas - no, Hugo. Hoping it will be wicked.

We are off out on Xmas day for grub at fancy schmancy 'The Orerry' in London. Hurrah! No idea how we will entertain a one year old during the seven courses - but that is what cough syrup is for isn't it? Only joking... brandy in the bottle... JOKE!

I just don't feel all festive yet - so in a bid to do so, I'm getting my best mate and her Mum over next week for mulled wine, mince pies (and cream of course) and 'It's a Wonderful Life.' If that don't get me in the spirit - nothing will.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How did you lose yours??

The other day in the Dr's waiting room I read a magazine article about first loves. This is mine:

It all began with a purple orchid. Or at least the promise one.

His name was Ben. He was tall, blonde, hailed from Germany and smoked so much weed he was barely coherent. He was my first love. I'd seen him around but it wasn't until I'd been roped in by my art buddies to paint a huge mural in my sixth form centre at school, that our paths began to frequently cross. So after school, in the evenings I had begun trek back across town to school and wield my small paint brush. It was a garish collage of various sporting activities - painted originally in the 70s, across an entire wall, and we were updating it - with even more hideous colours. It was spring, the school formals were just around the corner and there was sense of excitement in the stale school air.

Every evening post study (he boarded at my school) he would slouch down to the rec floor (recreation floor) and muster a few sentences through his stoned stupor. I was bewitched. His long dirty blonde fringe swept across his face, hiding one eye. He told me he planned to send a girl a purple orchid as a valentine and proceeded to ask me at length what I thought of such displays of affection. I blushed, unsure who this orchid was meant for and then muttered some inane reply. (This was the staple of our conversations - he would be direct whilst obtuse and I would stumble through the chat avoiding the grenades, barely aware what I was saying). Anyway, this night, we chatted on while the others painted, and just as the bell for boarding bed time rang, he got up announced that he wouldn't be buying ME an orchid after all. Then he was gone. I know, what a twat. But I was hooked.

Every evening I would down tools and wait for his appearance - he would saunter in, all scruffy shirts and thick boots, his silver ring gleaming in the glare of the bright school lights. It was if it pained him to speak. He was monosyllabic, with the most intense stare I have ever had bear down on me. So, I sent him a valentine card, but my promised orchid never came. I felt foolish. He stopped me as I left the local coffee house - The Mad Hatters - and thanked me for the card - I denied all knowledge of it. Annoyed at my refusal to admit being the sender, he strode off - leaving me in the lurch as always.

Then one night - March 15th 1990 - he finally, finally asked me out. It was in the days when if someone asked you on a date - it meant you were 'going out' already. He was constantly gated (kept in school over the weekend) for bad behaviour - so we only got to be together a handful of times. His A levels were looming - he was repeating them and this time could not afford to fail. He was 19 to my 17 and seemed wildly exotic compared to all the dull Belfast boys I had known all my life. We would meet at The Empire - a musty pub with a cinema on the stage. We would sit in the gallery and kiss over cheap pizza and cold beers. I could barely eat, I was so full of butterflies and excitement. We got drunk and foolish and were barred from The Empire for fooling around in the toilets together. It was worth it. Every night he would call - at the beginning of our relationship I would get 70p worth - and by the end, maybe 25p... Calling him was a nightmare - in the days before mobile phones - the line was always engaged and when someone did answer it took them ten minutes to find Ben - and often he wasn't around - getting stoned in the rafters no doubt.

We always knew there was a clock ticking - the end of term meant he would fly back to Berlin and then head off to Manchester University while I remained in Belfast, with A levels to complete. I kept a diary for every day of our last month together - an ode to those tortured days of first love.

As the weather began to warm we would lie in Botanic Gardens opposite school, smoking cigarettes, hands entwined. I was in love. I didn't even know what love meant - but every minute of every day I thought about him. My stomach flipped every morning when he would walk past my assembly room and grunt hello. He came to stay at my house - separate rooms, and breakfast with my step family. He gave me a rose and my first orgasm. We wrote letters when he had to disappear to Sri Lanka (where his Dad lived) for the Easter holidays... I still have those letters.

By June, I was on the pill and debating when, not if, I would have sex with him. I was ready. I was prepared. He wasn't a virgin - I was. I prized my virginity - thought of it as a gift to give, rather than something to be taken. But I always imagined having a daughter and her asking me how I lost my innocence - and I always wanted to tell her - that it would be through love.

His A levels finished, as did our summer exams - a sense of liberation rushed through us all. My Mum went off to visit relatives, so my house was 'free.' I drank cheap wine and worried about whether or not it would hurt. He was famed for being well endowed - just to add to my fears. And yes, those are the things you think about before you get around to having sex at 17.

Now my first time - on June 22nd 1990, wasn't great. Quick, painful and forgettable. He asked me for a number out of ten and I think I gave him a seven - when in fact I thought it was barely worth a 2 and I wasn't sure what all the fuss was about. The following night we had another go. Better, but no great shakes. But by my 4th time I'd got the hang of the whole idea and had begun to enjoy it. He taught me how to have sex, how to love and how to have a relationship - and for that I will always be grateful. My firsts in all these arenas was one of joy - and consideration and being cherished.

That summer I went to Berlin to visit him - my Dad paid for the flight after asking me of I loved this guy. I said yes. I flew to London then on to Berlin and he met me at the airport. His Mother met me in a bar, with with a rose between her teeth - she was not long out of a mental facility - that is the truth. She was vivacious, flirtatious and fun. She asked me what contraception I used and then announced that the first time she had sex she got pregnant and got VD. She said an injection cured both. I was expecting chat about school and hobbies - but with her, you always got the unexpected. She was amazing, open and a slight bit unhinged - telling us to vacate her flat as her lover was coming over and then would complain about sore nipples all evening.

We spun a line to my Mother that I was staying at his Mum's - when in fact we holed up at his Dad's empty apartment. We drank red wine, watched videos (I remember watching Rosemary's Baby in German and still loving it... and also Uncle Buck - what a combination. I read Riders and a book about sexual fantasies called 'My secret garden'). ran long baths, got stoned and made love for ten blissful days. Then I left.

At the airport I could barely see I was crying so much. That fucking Roxette song from Pretty Woman blared out from any radio I passed.... 'It must have been love, but it's over now...' Wearing his old tatty jumper and stubble rash, I said goodbye. Then a kind guy in the boarding lounge offered me a Marlboro red and asked me if I had 'thrown the apartment at him? Or getting divorced?' I couldn't even reply. I spent a lonely night at Gatwick airport, smoking endless cigarettes and pouring all my coins into phones as I sobbed to every friend who would listen.

I returned to grey skies and A levels, boring Belfast and life without Ben. I was lost. I went back to Berlin again, the following year and then to Uni... we hooked up again when I was 21 for one night... We kept in touch with letters and then emails - until he got together with a girl who had been a few years younger than us at school - and had always had a massive crush on him. I wasn't her favourite person. Then the radio silence began. I asked to be his friend on facebook and he ignored my request. It made me momentarily sad - I gave you my virginity and you can't me my facebook buddy?? But really, things are best left where they were. I will never regret loving him, learning from him and all the adventures we had. I was playing at being a grown up in Berlin and it paved the way for all my subsequent romances. The world opened up to me in 1990 and my life, and my heart, were never the same again.

Now I can I look Sproglette in the eye and tell her that I lost my virginity in love. So I kept that promise to myself. For all those memories of a wonderful angst filled first love - I thank you Ben. But I never did get that purple orchid...

*****************************

If anyone wants to share their first love/losing virginity story, I'd love to hear it.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Just a catch up...



Sproglet made Sproglette into Marge Simpson and she wasn't happy...

Fri night - watching an amazing documentary on Prince. Man, I just love that guy. He has inspired me, comforted me, cheered me, and been my own little talisman, since I was 11. I wish he would gig over in the UK again. I have blogged manys a time of my love of the purple one, so I won't bore you all again. But whenever life is shit, I stick on Dirty Mind, or Sign of the Times, - and hell, nothing is that bad anymore, because there is always Prince.

Anyway, I digress. I haven't blogged in ages - not because of any dark old reason - just a lack of time. I've been doing a bit of script work for my old bosses - and between that and raising two small beings, Husband starting a new job and all that jazz, I barely get time to pee.

For example - I am now looking on ebay for Prince T shirts and watching Purple Rain - when I should be packing for a trip tomoz that I am SO exited about. I am off to Newcastle with my sprogs and Husband to see my good buddy who recently had twins. Meanwhile another schoolmate is heading over from Leeds way with her new baby and another from bonnie Scotland. Hurrah! While our babies all gurgle and our older boys run riot - we can all drink fizz and blether. Oh I just don't get enough time with my Ya yas these days (as in 'The Ya Ya sisterhood) so it is long overdue. But it does involve a 3 hour train journey with kids, so it aint all joy...

So what's been goin' on down my way? My once razor sharp memory is toast these days. Today I did a food shop and then - no card! Genius. Had to trek home again... Well, After I threw a fab Halloween party for myself, I mean Sproglet, well November happened and now it is nearly over and in between there has been an enormous amount of tea drinking, manys a mince pie shoved down my gullet, a few wobbly moments when I thought 'what the fuck am I going to do with my life?' and lots of joy as Sproglette now leans in for kisses and has become more Miss independent diva by the day. There has been a special row where I was so tired I threw a cup of (sadly cold) coffee over Husband and I now have a dining room wall to paint... Some Xmas gatherings coming up, the starbucks red cups are out and I have yet to partake, and festive spirit has begun ever since I took Sproglet to see 'Arthur Christmas' which only cost me £24 for two tickets. £24!!!!! Bloody 3D bollox. Plus some exiting movies coming up - Scorcese's 'Hugo', Fincher's 'Girl with a Dragon Tattoo' and then all the pre Oscar stuff...

The Killing 2 is on!! And a bizarre new series by the Glee team called 'American Horror story' which is NUTS. I'm mightily enjoying 'The Slap' on BBC4. A character gets an episode a week and I find it riveting. Which is why I sat up last night until midnight watching a recording of it... TV is back in the good zone again - so why go out?

A new year will soon be upon us and I have a feeling that 2012 may just be my most memorable year yet. For a few reasons - but we'll have to see. Cryptic I know. But I just believe in fate and I think the universe is aligning at the mo. Plus the happy pills are keeping me chirpy. People keep remarking on the fact I have lost weight - I don't see it myself, but my jeans are all falling off me, so I've been scouting ebay for a size lower... The weird thing is I worked my ass of for 6 weeks before a wedding in May of this year and then after it I kind of thought, sod it and just ate cake again. Then the weight came off. Totally odd. It's like when you don't think about it every minute of every day, then it looks after itself. Mind you post xmas I may have to take up running again.... euughhhhh...

Ok Purple Rain really has the worst script ever. But I don't care. I love it. Sproglet asked me last week if I wanted to marry Prince (as we grooved post bath to 'Raspberry Beret') and I said yes. He totally understood. I am bringing him up to appreciate all things Prince. So far he is non plussed. I'm working on it. And so I am off to begin what husband calls 'stage 1' of getting ready for bed. I have packing to do and washes to fold and just pockling do to and then papers to read so it may take a while. Oh and last news - my best friend is making progress! Hurrah!

Friday, 11 November 2011

The old Me

Yesterday I went into central London to Soho, to meet some buddies I used to work with. It was a drizzly, grey nondescript kinda day, but still I felt cheery. I rarely get into London much anymore and when I stride through Soho, it feels like I am walking in a life I lived many moons ago. I used to work at various TV companies dotted all around the area - and frequent the bars and cafes for long boozy lunches/dinners justified as 'expenses' in the good old days when TV companies had money. One street always takes me back to my first ever date with my Husband - in a cafe in possibly the campest street in London. He was getting the eye from manys a cute boy when I arrived... all those years ago. Other places take me back to our dating days - double cinema dates at the Curzon Soho, endless thai meals at Busaba, dinners at Cafe Boheme... Days felt long and full of possibilities.

Mainly it reminds me of my single days - stumbling from one bar to another - blagging my way into member's only haunts, and creeping down dark stairways to late night lock ins... It all feels so normal - I feel myself again - and then I remember I am boring Mother in the burbs these days.

The gang I met yesterday, I started to work with in 2008. My second career - whereas for them, mainly this was their first. So that makes me that bit older than them all - that bit further down life's track. Sometimes I feel like the freak girl who is trying to be this good mother at home - and then with them, I guess around anything job wise, I'm worker CM. The holy grail is trying to marry these two states. I listen as they talk of exciting new jobs and experiences - all of which are so foreign to me (I know virtually no one in the drama industry here) - I couldn't possibly take jobs that they have with all my commitments. So it is strange - on one hand I envy their ability to just have themselves to think of, while I juggle playdates and baby stuff, school activities and all the after school malarkey - and feeding and raising two kids - and on the other I know that at some stage I will be out of these woods and be able to jump into work again.

I listen to myself and my only interesting gambits these days are child related - because that is what my life is filled with. I am turning into the person I never wanted to be - the woman who talks only of her kids. Maybe that isn't true - I can comment on trying to put a gypsy curse on someone even though I am no gypsy; gossip about ex colleagues; predict a winner on the X factor and throw in some opinions on various tv shows... But the thing that bound us together - work - is no longer in my life. Sometimes I wish they all had kids and could advise me how to juggle it all - but maybe by the time they do it they'll be well off enough to afford nannies and big houses, so they won't contend with the trivial issues that keep me awake at night.

It was so good to see them. For years they were my day in and day out family - I spent more time with them than anyone else. I was devastated when I had to leave them all last year - and beyond anything, they are fun. They make me laugh and rip the piss out of each other (and oh yes, me lots) and there isn't really a dull moment when they are all bantering away. I wonder if in my life I'll ever work with a team I love as much again. We had gathered as one of them is moving back to Oz with his lovely wife. It feels strange to think that he won't be around, even though I don't see him that often.

Yesterday as we left the restaurant where we had scoffed scones and tea (rock n roll baby) I spied some women at the bar necking martinis. For one second I remembered myself in a similar pose, all those years ago (1999/2000). My heart kind of sank because I will always miss those days - presenting kids tv until about 4pm (which meant larking about with my mates in front of camera and getting paid for it in all honesty) on Tottenham Ct Road and then sauntering either up to Noho or down to Soho, then hitting the bars, still caked in the on screen make up that would take 5 wipes to get off. There was no curfew, no worries about pennies in the bank - sure that's what overdrafts were for. Life was so carefree. When I walk those streets I remember myself, the bit of me that feels the most remote at the moment. Maybe one day, Ill be back...

Saturday, 5 November 2011

We are all in the gutter but some of us....

So did it turn out as you expected? Life I mean... Did you get the job you dreamed of, the partner you desired, the lifestyle you aspired towards? Or has it gone a little off kilter?

Reason I ask, is that I've been pondering this over the past few days - the fact folk assume that things will work out - and often they don't. Or rather they do, but not how you might have planned. Or the fact people are too scared to do what they really want to do and settle instead. So they wind up miles from where they thought they would be... maybe that's a good thing when they think the end result aint so bad at all. Others are filled with bitterness and resentment that their lives aren't quite as exciting, glamorous, fabulous as others.

Whilst I sort of subscribe to the idea that you get the life you ask for - I also see how circumstance and bad luck can ruin people and it isn't their fault at all. People rarely talk about their dreams though... In the Uk there is something terribly galling if someone talks up what they want to do - yet in the US this is positively embraced. Live the dream they say. I often think I was born in the wrong country.

Do people ever talk anymore about what they want - or is it all kept quiet, for fear of failure? Oh I hear weekly what folk would do if they won the lottery - but only one of my friends ever talks about his dreams and what he wants to achieve. He is determined and fearless. It isn't about showing everyone else what he can do - maybe a tiny part - but it is for him, so he can prove to himself what he can accomplish. One blog I love - The Girl Who, talked about what she wanted and made it happen. In life there are the talkers and there are the doers. I have always considered myself more of a doer - but lately I have been mothering and not doing so much. But I have a plan. Well a few. One is so sky high that is verging on impossible - but that is why I like it. I love a challenge. Life is all about the trying. You'll maybe regret the things you did - but more than that, you will regret the things the didn't. Like in 1993 my mates all hired a limo and went to Dublin to see U2. I said I didn't have the cash, being a broke student - and I didn't tag along. But I wish I'd gone, as they had a blast. They rolled up at some hotel where a wedding was going on, and the all the guests assumed that it was U2 in the limo, and not a bunch of stoned students... That is possibly one of my only regrets in life.

I wish I had more time to devote to all things dreamy, but with a Diva daughter and a son with more after school activities than you could shake a stick at... I aint got much time to do stuff. Only after 8pm when I am shattered. I'll have to make hay when the beasts sleep...

I wonder what you all dreamed, and if it worked out. I guess most people wouldn't even say if it didn't - who wants to face up to failing - or worse, not even trying.
But you know, I always think you can do anything you want. Anything. Focus, determination and a tad of talent - go a long way. Reach for those stars, or someone else will...

Friday, 28 October 2011

Jeans, Ren miracles and spooky stuff.

Hello y'all.

I haven't had the chance to write for a while. Stuff has been a happening in these parts which has been pretty tough. Husband is probably going to have to resign from his job, which is all a bit hideous, seeing as I am not bringing home any bacon. Not even a pork scratching in fact. Is a long and complicated story - and for no doubt legal reasons etc I can't go into it. But we have had sleepless nights, lots of stress and manys a harsh word.

However, in the midst of this moment of sheer terror, there are good things. Such as Sproglet won a trophy at soccer today and he was as pleased as punch - for 'most improved player' during his half term football school. I was beyond chuffed and cheered way too loudly just so everyone knew that was my son - yes, my boy, who won.

I have these vouchers for Selfridges - swanky shop in London - and decided to get myself some new jeans, as all of mine are falling down my ass. Not a good look. I went to the denim section and tried on many pairs - before I knew it, delighted with having dropped a dress size, I was bamboozled into buying a pair of J brand jeans that were sooooo expensive I felt sick. They looked great, were a size I have only dreamt of getting my arse into, and so somehow I agreed to this insanity. Came home, modelled said jeans for Husband who replied 'yeah, they are jeans, and?' Yes, they are going back. For in swapping them I will be able to buy an entire wardrobe of clothes for this winter. In my head you have to be mental to pay over £200 for jeans. They are JUST JEANS as Husband rightly said.

One thing that did excite me on my shop was the purchase of a Barbour International coat. Whatever that title means - but it sounds good doesn't it? Strapped up in it - for it does take a good five mins to do up and belt in around the waist and neck - I feel invincible. I probably look like suburban mother who needs to get out more, but in my head it has a biker feel - it is the closest to a bike I will ever get. I hate shopping usually - am a complete impulse buyer - so when I walked past the Barbour concession - I tried it on and when 3 women browsing nearby told me to get it (and not just the over-keen assistant desperate for commission) I decided it was a must. Winter - I see you and laugh in your frosty face. I am ready for you. BRING IT ON.

As I was leaving the store, desperate to use up all vouchers I stopped in the products area - where women pounce on you like hungry tigers who haven't seen flesh in months. I headed over to the REN counter as when I have had a facial (in about the 5 whole times in my life I have had one) that has a chemical fizzy peel thing in it, I end up with glowing newborn skin afterwards. So, I invested in this product - Ren Resurfacing AHA concentrate. Sounds like a hell of a potion doesn't it? Well, I'm not going to get all Gwyneth on yo' ass, and start telling you what you should afford that is merely 9 million pounds, but I have to say it is incredible, and is only £30. Lasts for ages apparently. It has this little pipette thing that feels very technical and chemical and terribly scientific, (so therefore MUST be good) and you put on a few drops before bed. You sleep and voila! A-MA-ZING skin. Newborn. I have two little dry patches and they are disappearing when they normally stubbornly hang around until spring. You use it for 7 nights and you are 21 again. I am sure this is true as my skin is all a-glow. It is the little things isn't it?

Halloween party time is nearly here - hurrah! I am reciped up - lets hope the Oreo spiders turn out ok - they may look like lumps of brown stuff with legs, but here's hoping. I have webbed out the dining room - plus garlands, streamers, candles, glittery spiders etc and Husband bought me a fabulous cookie tree of Halloween things - bats, ghosts, webs etc. I LOVE IT. I may just have to post a picture of said tree. When the little kids at the party try and get their hands on it - they will be in for a ghostly shock from me. Hands off rugrats!

So, things are still on the up. My best friend has been allowed to take a drug called Tyrabsi which she starts in November - and she will have an 81% chance of never having another MS attack. Fingers crossed. She is slowly starting to walk again - very very slowly, with crutches, but she is being strong. I took her to the movies last night to see 'The Help' - really great by the way (wonderful book, but brilliantly cast film - the book is better (natch) but film is still worth a watch. She really enjoyed getting out so I feel this could bcome a weekly date. Anyway, she spoke to a lady who had MS and lost her job because of it (back in the 80s) and she told my friend - 'Never ask why me? Never wallow. Don't look back at the wasted time being ill, only look forward and you will get better.' I love this idea. We can't change the past but tomorrow is a whole new day.

Here's looking forward. x

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Pray

We take so much for granted. Bitter when we run for the bus and miss it, never stopping to think that 'hell, at least I can run for the sodding bus!' The little things get us down. Only when something really awful happens do we stop and gain a bit of perspective. Life isn't so bad after all.

My best friend has MS. She was diagnosed with it almost 2 years ago - after her first 'episode' (as they call it) when her foot went numb. Scans revealed lesions on the brain. She recovered, she got on with her life. Then in the summer she fell while on holiday and hurt her shoulder. She was in excruciating pain - on tonnes of painkillers and then she began to feel numb - all the way down, below her chest. It kept going and after a couple of weeks she could barely walk - she hobbled like an old woman. She went through 3 doctors, two physios and one hospital trip until she was finally referred by her GP for MRI scans. I took her to hospital and we sat for 5 long hours waiting to seen by a consultant who finally agreed an MRI scan was needed. It showed inflammation to her brain and spine. She was in hospital for a week being pumped full of steroids. I held her hand when she had to endue a lumber puncture in her spine. All she was worried about was the fact she was wearing big pink pants. I told her thank god she was wearing pants - and talked through every episode of 'The Killing' while student doctors debated how to stick a needle in her spine. I brought her cup cakes and flowers and tried to be chipper, then would go home and worry.

Eventually, when she was well enough to make the journey she went to Scotland to stay with her parents, who drove her all the way there. Last week she came back and they brought her to see me. I was shocked. She was even worse than when I had taken her to hospital, back at the end of August. She couldn't walk at all without crutches, she couldn't stand to hug me, she can't get up stairs without help. We had tea and cookies, but she had to leave as she was in so much pain. When she left I sat on my sofa reeling, wondering how on earth she had gone backwards. Turns out steroids only temporarily help. She was back to square one.

She is seeing her consultant on Friday - and has started thrice weekly physio. It seems she can go one of two ways - she can take steroids which will prevent another MS episode (there is no MS cure) and do physio, acupuncture and the like to get her mobility back. It will take months. She won't be back at work this year. Or she can try a drug that has not been trialled over here but has been used in the States - LDN. My Aunt knows a woman whose niece takes it and she has gone from wheelchair to training to be personal fitness coach. Thing is, this doesn't prevent attacks, it just helps solve one. She has no idea what to do and is trying to do as much research as she can. A nurse told her that LDN is just a placebo - that it doesn't actually work, but yet my friend has read tonnes of cases online where it has helped folk.

She is so strong it is amazing. I really am in awe of her. I pop round with the kids as they create havoc and she hugs them, pulls them to her lap and shares a joke. Occasionally her eyes water, when I say that her parents are doing a brilliant job of taking care of her and she replies 'it should be the other way around though.' I hold her hand and tell her it will all get better - that she will walk again. That there are options. Then I go home and sit in a quiet rage that this happened to her and try not to cry because that would be so weak, when she is so brave. She is my oldest friend, godmother to my kids, my bridesmaid, the girl I travelled the world with. I have known her since we were 9. In a job she once started, she had to write a biography - and I wrote it for her. She is like a sister to me. Why has this happened to her? She's had a shitty time already with a divorce and men - she needs luck and joy and she needs to bloody well be able to walk. I feel so useless. I don't know much about MS - only what I read on line. I don't know anyone who has it.

I pray for her - and honestly, I am not religious. I just want her to get well. She is probably the nicest person I know. She is kind, thoughtful - always helping others, always thinking of people. She has a great heart. She has more courage in her little finger than I have in my entire body. It saddens me that life can be so cruel - that things we take for granted can just disappear. Every day now when I get up and deal with the kids I think how lucky I am to be able to carry my daughter down the stairs, to chase my son around the house. I'm off now to look up LDN and do some research of my own. As silly as this sounds - but faithful readers, would you do something for me? Will you include my friend in your prayers?

She will walk again. Hopefully to the pub with me. When we can celebrate her health and this horrible horrible time will be a thing of the past.

Halloween is coming and the geese are getting fat!

So I'm throwing a party for Sproglet for Halloween. Ok that is a big fat lie. I am throwing a Halloween party because I love Halloween and am pretending that it is for the kids, when in reality, it is all for me.

Husband isn't exactly jazzed on my crazy decoration shopping - he asks 'are these glittery spiders an essential purchase?' And I reply 'yes, of course.' I have seriously gone to town - I have pumpkin and bat garlands, bunting with ghosts, scary tinsel, pumpkin fairy lights, a skull cupcake stand and the said glittery spiders. That is even before I get going on the scary food and carved out pumpkin lanterns... Halloween is my favourite holiday. I put that down to growing up in Ireland where we never celebrated Bonfire night - as far as the Irish were concerned Guy Fawkes was a hero in blowing up the Brits in the olden days - and as we were knee deep in the Troubles you weren't allowed fireworks in case folk thought that a bomb was in fact going off. So we went big with Halloween: trick or treating (for a good few weeks before the event), carving pumpkins or turnips, and embracing the finger burning nightmare - 'indoor fireworks'. In reality these were a burning pyramid, a weird snake that bubbled up from embers and a strange blue dot not unlike a pill, that would flicker intermittently and smoke the entire house out. Guaranteed trip to A&E with every set.

The Indian summer has left a wonderful kaleidoscope of colours in the trees and an amazingly satisfying crunch when jumping in the fallen leaves. Bonfire smoke curls through the air and evenings become cooler - blanket reaching times. I cannot wait to head out trick or treating. They go to town in my neighbourhood - those who want to play along stick a pumpkin in their window as a sign. I've got a fabulous wreath for the door, so they know we are IN!

Life is pretty damn good at the mo. I've decided not to go back to work this year - which gives me more time to concentrate on important things like Halloween decorations and how to make witches fingers... Sproglette is almost one. Where did that year go? She will be dressed in something suitably spooky and ridiculous this Halloween although her trick or treating days are a few years off. Sproglet has a bat costume and is beyond excited. Almost, but not quite, as excited as me.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

GracesGift

Last night when I was lying in bed, reading Red magazine, something caught my eye. A small column, but a really significant one. A woman wrote it called Helen Salberg and she told of how she suffered a stillbirth three years ago - losing her daughter Grace, who she never really met, due to being horrifically ill and asleep for 3 days after her emergency C section. I can imagine nothing more horrendous in life than having a stillborn child after going through pregnancy. What I cannot imagine is how someone begins to come to terms with such a devastating loss, or how life ever feels 'normal' again.

I know several women who have sadly gone through this experience and I have always struggled with what to say to them - what words are good enough? Once you are pregnant your whole body changes - from your glossy hair to your swollen toes and your head gets to grips with what is happening and what will happen. There are tonnes of books to read, websites to pour over, friends to swap stories with - even strangers smile at your bump in the street. You pick out names, plan the nursery, imagine yourself out with the stroller, stroke your belly, feel the life kicking inside you. Your future is planned - the weeks counted off. The biggest moment of your life is about to happen. No matter the heartburn or the breast pain, or the sore limbs, swollen feet, aching joints, sickness and nausea, it is all worth it at the end.

But to go through all that and then - an empty cot... What is meant to be a time of joy suddenly being a time of unmeasurable grief. While all around the world carries on its merry way and seemingly every other celeb announces their 'great news' that they are expecting. It is so terribly unfair and unjust and sad.

Helen did something incredible - at a support group she went to, she found that lots of women noticed changes in their baby's movements before losing them. So she designed wristbands, which have babies footprints on them with the idea that when a pregnant woman feels her baby kick she turns it over - so it acts like a warning signal. A fundraising event she held on what would have been Grace's second birthday provided the funds to start production of these bands. Her local hospital is trialling them with 300 women and the feedback so far has been amazing. She hopes to go national. Helen strikes me as an amazingly brave woman - to try and find positivity through such heartache. To want to help so that others will never suffer what she has. Women like Helen render me speechless. I am simply in awe.

I've read several articles recently where women lost babies after their due dates had passed - one woman wrote an incredibly moving piece about how she always thought she was 2 weeks ahead of the hospital's due date that she was given. She is convinced that if her son had been born earlier that the tragedy would have never happened. There has been a call for the government to fund more regular scans during a pregnancy - (at the moment in the Uk you get 2 in the whole 9 months - at 12/13 and 21 weeks which seems ridiculous when a pregnancy lasts 40 weeks). Hoping for the Tory government to do anything positive seems futile (when we have to fight tooth and nail to stop them privatising the NHS with their planned reforms) so why not check out www.gracesgift.co.uk ?

This tragedy happens in over 4000 births a year - which is 11 a day. If a wristband helps in any small way, then that is brilliant and a wonderful legacy for Grace. I wanted to write about this so we can help Helen to help others. I have never gone through this so I can't pretend to have any idea of how soul destroying and life changing this heartache would be. But as a mother, it touches me. So if you can donate, please do. Thank you.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Update to last post

I swear my heart was beating pretty darn fast as I watched the verdict on the Meredith Kercher case. It was so bizarre as SKY tv got the verdict wrong and started to flash up 'Knox loses appeal' across the screen, while Knox remained emotionless. For one moment I thought 'Christ she is taking this all really well' and then she began to sob, with what looked like relief, and the screen changed and suddenly all we heard was 'she has won her appeal, she is free to go!'

I watched her sobbing as she left court and it would have been a cruel person who did not feel for her - so tiny amongst the whirl of police, the snapping paps, the booing crowd. But my real sympathies lay with the Kercher family. Her Mother looked completely stunned. She sat, motionless, barely blinking, as if she couldn't believe what she was hearing. Poor Meredith, lost in all the palaver.

So Knox got to go home. She was whisked to the prison where apparently the inmates gave her a huge cheer. Then to meet her family - what a reunion that would have be - and to Rome, to begin the first leg of her long journey back to Seattle. How can one begin to process four years inside prison? The life that you have one day and the freedom you have the next? The fame, the doubters, the hungry baying press, Donald Trump on the phone - that alone would fry anyone's head.

And what for the Kerchers? All the verdict did for them was bring them back to square one. Yes, Guede undoubtedly played a role in their beloved daughter/sister's death. But the stab wounds - could only have been caused by more than one one person. Guede did tell a fellow inmate that he had someone else with him on the night of the murder. Is there another killer at large? I hope Guede rots in jail. Only he knows what happened that night. If Knox is truly innocent, he let her and Sollecito suffer for four long years. He has no heart, no humanity. To murder a young girl so brutally, without regard for life - he is an animal.

I'm not one for prayer, but I genuinely pray that the truth will prevail. That justice will be done. That Meredith and her family may at last be at peace.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Knox - guilty or innocent?

For the past few days I have been devouring all the articles and essays I could find online about the Amanda Knox case. Or rather, as it seems to have been forgotten in the midst of this media frenzy, the Meredith Kercher case.

It is truly fascinating. Everywhere I turn there is conflicting information - the pro Knox supporters (Knoxophiles) tarnishing the prosecution's case with disputes, such as Knox having bought bleach the morning after the killing. They say it took the shop owner a year to come forward and he only did so after receiving a low level of fame through his chats with a reporter. That a shop assistant also working the same day never saw her - because they assert - Knox was never there in the first place. This is merely one small detail amongst many that the defense insist did not happen. The general view in the pro Knox camp is that prosecutor Giuliano Mignini made up the sex crazed orgy story and fitted Knox and her boyfriend into the story - a tale that he created to appease the Italian authorities who wanted a quick resolution to a case that had garnered worldwide interest. They say his tale is fabricated and flawed.

Upon first glance it would appear that it was in fact a lone wolf attack - Rudy Guede, a drifter and petty thief has already been convicted of the murder and sentenced in a 'fast track' trial. His DNA was found on, inside, and all around Meredith - and his bloody hand print was left on her pillow. Why on earth would Knox, seemingly a bright student with no previous record, be involved in a crazed sex game with a man she had only fleetingly met, and her new boyfriend? It isn't exactly the stuff of early dating rituals.

However, I just can't get past the fact she blamed an entirely innocent man, due to a 'vision' she had that he was killing poor Meredith. Patrick Lumumba is currently suing Knox as it was proved he had a cast iron alibi. Why would you blame an innocent man? Why change your story so many times? Why did her boyfriend and co - accused Raffaele Sollecito explain Meredith's DNA arriving on a knife he owned by way of her having dinner at his place - he cut her accidentally when cooking - when she had never been to his home? Then there is the whole break-in issue - was it staged? It was a damp night and yet there were no footprints or scuffs on the wall outside the window that was broken - no signs that someone climbed in. Guede's DNA was not found in the room with the broken window - proving that is not how he entered. Again, this is one mere detail that could potentially point at their guilt - why stage a break-in? When nothing was tacken from any other room than Meredith's? There is debate over when Sollecito called the police, the prosecution arguing he only did so when postal police arrived at the scene, checking out mobile phones that had been found in a nearby garden.

Then there is the DNA - which appears to be inadequate in proof that Knox and Sollecito were in fact there. Guede left prints all the way out the front door - however, the DNA found showing Knox's blood mixed with Meredith's could in fact just be DNA shared from living together. The DNA issues are the reason the appeal has been lodged in the first place. If the two lovers had killed Meredith, why was the room free of their DNA? Had they cleaned it away, if indeed Know bought the bleach after all?

It is mind boggling how conflicting each side is. At the heart of it is potentially two innocent young people who could spend the rest of their lives in jail if today's appeal is quashed and the prosecution wins a longer sentance for them both. But, there are so many odd things to think about - not least Knox's behaviour after finding Meredith dead in her room - that perhaps there is no smoke without fire... Today we will find out the appeal verdict, but will we ever really know what happened to that beautiful, happy kind girl with so much to live for, so much hope for her Italian adventure?

In all the foggy maze, it is Meredith that we should think of and not some trial by media. However, it would be a lie if I said I wasn't on tenterhooks awaiting the verdict. I cannot explain why this case has fascinated me so. The horror in such a beautiful place, the tragedy of it all, the fact it seems unending. I have no idea what the outcome today will be. I hope though that Meredith's family find some peace and finallity in it, as they have suffered enough.

Did she do it? What do you think?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Loving Mr Jamie Oliver

I think I may be a teensy bit in love with Jamie Oliver.

Not in the 'rip his clothes off shag him into next week, Taylor Kitsch kind of love' but in the 'thank god there are folk out there, celebs even, that say "marriage is hard" and are honest way. (And his is not of the school of Gwynnie "my life is perfect, have you seen my freshly baked organic cookies and my abs are still rock hard.")

In The Sunday Times mag, he talked about how he was expected to do more at home, the more time off he took - which in fairness sounds like most marriages. Women who have been left holding the babies, want a break as soon as their tag team walks through the door. They also bicker. Hallelujah! Someone admitting that day to day is a world of negotiations, quiet simmerings, frustrated looks and endless compromise. The interviewer admitted his wife struggles with being a full time Mum - she gets bored, she misses work. (We could be friends for sure). Jamie then pitches in with 'They do say, and I see it as an employer of thousands of women, that the most unhappy women are the full time workers and the full times mums, and the ones who are the most happy are the two to three dayers. I see both models of Mum and definitely the ones that remain engaged, vivacious, humorous, have got the mechanism of work in their lives.'

Amen Jamie.

The only time I had a little fleck of disgust with his wife was when Jamie said 'She doesn't necessarily get every project I do. She's like 'But why do you care? If you're not going over there and doing it for the money, then why do you care?'

Nice Jools - sitting in your two-put-together mahoosive Primrose Hill mansions, with your designer shoes and endless bank account funds, why would you care about more philanthropic deeds? There again, she may just be a Mum on the edge who needs a break. Here's a thought - hire some help Mrs Oliver, and go do something fun. Then you might be more supportive of Mr O trying to encourage American kids to eat some greens?

Apparently it is all flexi time and work life balance if you work for Jamie - but I wonder if this extends to the folk who produce his TV shows? I doubt that on a budget in the US, that half way through the day the director will feck off to pick up his/her kids or shooting in a studio in Wembley, the producer will nip home to do tea. If it is the case - Jamie, where so I sign up? An employer like you, a man, who understands the plight of Mothers, is quite frankly the holy grail of employers.

Jamie clearly has a heart of gold and an admirable ambition to be a provocateur - funding schools' kitchens and supplying dinner ladies on his endless quest to make us all eat a bit better. But he is also a father of 4 who is needed at home. No matter the help you have with kids, it is always better when you are together as a family. Everyone mucking in, the team supporting one another.

The thing I found most heartening about the whole interview was his complete honesty. If only more people were as brave as old Jamie, the world would be a better place. Instead we are forced to buy into the bullshit idea that everyone has a Tom and Katie style romance, that happy every after exists, that marriage and kids is one easy road.

No one has all the answers, not even Jamie.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

For Daycare Lady...

Ok, maybe it's time for me to be a bit more honest. See, I wasn't into blogging because I thought 'what is the point of blogging, if I am going to keep secrets?' Totally defeats the purpose. But then I kept thinking of folk who read this blog who I know, folk who don't like me, etc and thinking how I really didn't want people to just have a good old chortle at my life. Oh ho ho, CM is having a shit time! Looks like her career is up the left and she's broke! I'd feel bad for her if my diamond shoes weren't so tight and my wallet could no longer hold my £50s... I also felt a bit ashamed, for many reasons, and a failure in lots of ways.

I am on anti-depressants. Yep, I am back on the pills. There, I said it.

I am completely convinced that having a baby does something chemically to me, and that about 8 months or so after having one my head kind of melts down. I am sure it is chemical because not one single thing has changed in my life, not one, since I started taking them - but my god I feel a whole world of better! I still have moments of feeling a tad blue occasionally, but it is more of a 'oh, that sucks, big deal' feeling than a gut wrenching, tormented angst that used to spasm through me.

It all came to head a week ago on Tuesday. Funnily enough, the day I took my first pill, I got my period that evening. So my PMT just about sent me over the edge. I realised I had cried every day for weeks. That aint normal. That I struggled with stuff that really isn't that big. Every day would overwhelm me. Fear of not finding work, fear of finding work and hating it, fear of never getting away from my kids, fear of getting away from them and never seeing them. Realising I am not really that interested in script editing any more, but not quite sure of how to proceed, as the bills keep a'coming. I felt like all my friends have their lives sorted - great jobs, fab homes, success, success, success, and I am here, unemployed, at a kind of dead end in my tv career. Again.

Firstly, I really need to stop comparing my life to others because it is MY life. One I am proud of, with a whole variety of experiences that mean I am a pretty fun dinner party guest. And that is enough for me, it really is. Secondly, my Mother in Law is here and she tells me daily that I give myself a hard time. So that has got to change. I met with some Mums yesterday who I have known for years and all of them had no idea what they were doing and how to make it all work either - suddenly I realised it aint just me who struggles with the whole work/kid dilemma - there are a whole army of women out there who are vastly skilled and would love to working, and have time to see their bairns.

But those few days before I took a tablet, were so damn hard. I swallowed down tears at everything. I flinched when anyone spoke. Things that I thought I had got over made me sad - like seeing an old friend who now hates me and briefly congratulating her on her pregnancy. I walked away in tears, so so sad that this is how it was with us now. Sad that someone I care about, who I thought knew me well - well enough to know I would never hurt her intentionally - can dislike me so, when I thought I had put it behind me. Seems that I am far more vulnerable than I thought.

I wasn't really eating. Life felt grey. I felt lost. I put on a false smile when I saw my friends and then would cry all the way home on the train. It is easy to pretend you are ok if no one challenges you, if no one asks. So I did what I thought was right, and I am so so glad I did. Nothing has changed in my day to day life. I don't have any more answers to my (endless?) job issues. I don't have any money in my bank. Winter marches taking a little bit more light, a little bit earlier every day. But I am ok. More than ok. I am loving my daughter with a newfound vigour. I am throwing out my CV and am not caring too much where it lands. I have hope again. Feck me, you are nothing without your health and hope.

So, that's where I'm at. 5 weeks to Halloween. Woo hoo!

Monday, 19 September 2011

A little break

Someone emailed me asking me why I haven't blogged for so long. It has in fact been 12 whole days since I last blogged. Which isn't that long, well maybe in blog land it is. Thing is, I'm just not feeling it. Blogging that is. For the first time in like, well, ever maybe, I just don't want to share all my innermost thoughts. I just want to keep some things to myself in this time of change and unsettledness. I feel that for me to continue blogging at the mo would be like a tape being jammed - playing over and over and over. And who wants that?

Things I do want to share however:

1. I am over the MOON that Kyle Chandler won and Emmy last night as did Jason Katims, the lead writer on FNL. So deserved - this show was truly brilliant and should have won best drama and Connie Britton best female actress. I miss it. If you have never watched it - go buy series 1. You won't regret it, I promise. Taylor Kitsch, swoon.

2. I have just finished 'Room' by Emma Donoghue. A brilliant book that will forever haunt me. I won't even begin to tell you what it is about - save to say I have read nothing like it. I couldn't put it down. Mind you, it did cost me £100. I bought it in the local cancer research charity store - when I was dropping off 3 big bags of kids clothes, and as I went to pay for it, a rolled up wad of notes - £100 worth, that Husband had given me to put in the bank, must have dropped out of my pocket. When I got to the bank - 30 seconds walk away, my money was gone. I ran back but it wasn't found. I sobbed and sobbed as I have so little money, what with no income an all. If only I hadn't stopped to buy the book, I never would have lost the money. Oh well, the book was great.

3. My Mother in Law is here for 2 weeks, - helping me with the kids and generally being lovely. In having the slightest time away from my daughter, I have been smitten with her. I find myself torn between wanting time for myself and dreading the thought of work and leaving her.

4. Please DO NOT go and see 'I don't know how she does it.' Seriously, give the money to charity or buy some chocolate or something. Even paying the window cleaner with the cash would be more satisfying. SJP plays Carrie, being a mother. Piers Brosnan should give up acting - now. Right now. In fact why did he ever take it up? There is no plot to speak of and a woman with a full time nanny (one that stays over surely must be about 40K plus a year no?) really can't be struggling that much? It is so dreadful I can't waste any more energy writing about it - but it makes Sex and City 2 look like a masterpiece. Exactly.

5. BBC2's Bake off show is brilliant. Cake and a hot guy called Rob making said cake. What is not to love? I am addicted to this and never knew there was so much skill in having a thin crust, non soggy base and over whisking.

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I am sure I will be back blogging shortly. I did toy with the idea of setting up a new blog, under a new name, just for some complete privacy. Which is a complete paradox I guess - blogging for privacy! I feel I am a bit of a paradox at the mo. At 6s and 7s. When I work through this time I will be back. Bleating on about my usual rubbish. Until then, I thank you all for reading, for caring, for supporting me and for making me feel not so alone. In moments of complete darkness, you guys were twinkling little lights.

CM x

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

No, I don't know how she does it either

Miraculously I got to read the Sunday papers this week - and there was an interesting column by Eleanor Mills titled 'the truth we hide from career women.' In it, referencing the new film out this week called 'I don't know how she does it' based on the book by Alison Pearson, Mills concluded that no woman can indeed 'have it all' and that many women are down grading their careers or compromising their ambitions in order to raise a family. That women are forced to choose and in doing so negate their positions in the boardroom - leaving men to hold the powerful jobs while they fumble around not achieving their potential. Such a sorry state of affairs. We fought for equality, we fought to have a voice and when push comes to shove it is us who have to take a back seat once we sprog.

I found it remarkably comforting when Mills described women who wished that someone had spilled the beans earlier - who had guided them when making their career choices - which lets face it start at 14 when we pick our GCSEs. Pick and be damned. From there the path of A levels and then uni choice is set. Not in stone, but pretty solidified. No one told me that TV was an insane career to compliment motherhood - in fact I never even gave it a second thought. I clearly remember telling a friend's parents this in a restaurant in west hampstead in 200 when I was a kids tv presenter: 'I want my own film show - like Johnathan Ross, to be working in telly still, kids - two, and a fab life.' They said that probably wouldn't achieve all of that - they were right. Claudia Winkleman has though and she is brilliant - so there is hope I guess. But for the majority of women it is either work all hours god sends, never really see your kids, or go flexible, take a pay cut and tough it out trying to have the best of both worlds. Or simply stay at home and try not to go out of your mind - insist that you love it, after all, you gave up everything to have it - so you sure as shit better enjoy it.

Why did no-one have word in my shell like? I didn't marry a rich man so I could swan around with vanity projects or mumble something about 'in development with an idea' or the like - I want to work - I really do, but I'd also like to see my kids for more than an hour every day. A friend has recently agreed to go full time, but she will leave every day before 3pm to collect her kids - so she is effectively doing 4 days spread over five. I've got 3 meetings lined up - all potential to get work which is great. But my big fear is that they will say 'yes, we are filming in Scotland for 3 months' in which case my meeting will be in vain. Still, I'm keeping positive - something will turn up. It will work out and all these mantras. I have my health, blah blah.

But, as Mills said - why do I have to compromise on my job to be a mother - isn't there a way of trying at least to keep a foot in both camps - without coming across as SJP does in the movie as a slightly scatterbrained, exhausted, balls in the air falling all the time harassed stressed mother who still wants to work? And don't get me started on the expense and difficulty of finding good childcare. We fought to make choices when in reality we are still so limited.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

All to play for

Husband has been off all week. He has been getting up with the kids, bringing me breakfast in bed, putting on washes, endlessly emptying the dishwasher and generally being MR fabulous. I like him. I keep trying to force affection from him and he pulls away noting that he has 'banked a lot of credit' for his Mr house help activities of late. He personifies 'smug.' And yet I still like him. I wish this stress free, chilled Dad would appear more often.

Thank god, the school holidays FINALLY end on Tuesday. Sweet Jaysus, I have struggled to fill those days. I have no idea why - when in fact all I needed to do was discover Angry Birds. It fills a good 6 hours easily. Maybe more. And before you finger wagging Mums tell me that it aint good for my child to be staring at an i pad screen for 6 hours. I am joking. Maybe. Sproglet is addicted to it. I pretend that I am not and then get hideously, frighteningly excited when I blast those green motherfuckers into next week. It is possibly more addictive that pringles. The Oirish one is amazing - pig leprechauns. Is there anything better?

I am pretty loved up with life at the mo. After everything that has been happening with my best friend and her health - I have realised that life really is too short.

So I called my Dad.

We chatted in nice warm voices and even though things may not entirely resolve - he is my Dad and I want him in my life - no matter what. It felt good. I am sending out CVs with gay abandon and I've a few meetings lined up. Who knows what will happen next - I'm kind of excited to find out. Instead of stressing about it all I'm just savouring this last few moments with Sproglette aka THE DIVA. She finally ate a jar of baby food, instead of only eating home cooked mush - so the gateway to a less stressful non endlessly blending and boiling lifestyle has been opened.

Autumn, my favourite season, is nearly upon us. It is ok to start planning Xmas - which we have - we are gonna go out for Xmas lunch to Husband's swanky hotel, with family and friends. Hurrah - no snipping in the kitchen as the turkey remains frozen, no huffing over who should help with washing up, no stress over the bread sauce curdling, or the forgotten cranberry. In my head it is the end scene from Scrooge, when I doth my hat to all I pass and everyone wishes everyone else a merry Xmas in old London town as snow softly falls and soft jingly bell music floats around. It will be just like that I am sure.

So, I'm cheery. As I passed my favourite dream house in our neighbourhood yesterday, a bird shat on me. A first I thought a fly has landed on my shades and eyebrows, but then the fly did not move and to touch, was overly moist and well, green. Instead of bemoaning my shit smeared self, I was overjoyed. "It is a sign!" I yelled to a laughing Husband. Immediately I bought a lottery ticket. It's all to play for at the moment, it really is.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Back to earth

Sometimes, when you least expect it, life just throws something in front of you that opens your eyes and makes you reassess where you stand. This week has taught me more than any other this year. I guess because I had gotten so wound up in my own head about the whole work issue, crossing all the bridges before I had even come to them, that I didn't really see the bigger picture.

But having spent all of yesterday in the hospital with a very dear friend, my oldest friend of all, I have a whole new perspective on everything. Simply, you are nothing without your health. It doesn't matter how rich you are (mind you that helps, christ the NHS bureaucracy sucks - and the waiting, the endless waiting - I can totally see why private health care is appealing) or how thin you are, or if you have the best job in the world, without everything working as it should, well, you are stuffed.

Lots of folk around me haven't been having the easiest of times. I feel a bit helpless, only able to lend an ear, or a supportive shoulder when I can. Anyway, I watched my poor friend being so vulnerable, and my heart kind of broke and I would have given anything in the whole world to make her better. My stomach churned with the needles and the sympathetic nods, and the doctor speak and the endless poking and prodding. She was so brave through it all, it was very humbling.

And as the count down to ten years since the horror of 9/11 happened, my TV is filled with tales from that day - and all that has happened as a result of it - it has made me realise how lucky I am to be here, to be healthy, to have my family, to have my friends. How insignificant all the other stuff is. Reminds of the days I used to head home after a shift at Samaritans, so bloody grateful for all that I had. Being there made me grounded, made me appreciative.

So enough of my wingeing - life is short, it is for living. Fuck it, all I need is a job. And if that is all I have to worry about - then how freakin' lucky am I?

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Giving myself a break... and a Gazelle.

There is a cool nip in the air. The sun fades a few minutes earlier every evening and the days begin chilly and only blossom into sunshine in the late morning. Autumn is a knockin' at the door. That back to school feeling is just about to descend. My favourite season will soon be here...

I'm feeling pretty chipper. For manys a reason. I feel like I pulled myself out of the brink in the last week, and all that changed was my mindset. The darkness that enveloped me - dragging me under, threatening to overwhelm me at any given moment, continued through until about Wednesday. Even the news that a dear fiend had a beautiful baby girl couldn't quite lift me from my numbness. I called the Dr, arranged a chat for the following day. In the meantime a man came to build my son's trampoline - it took him almost 3 days. 3 DAYS. How the feck does it take someone 3 days to build a sodding trampoline? It poured, the skies were grey and pretty much everyone I knew was having the worst time. At the back of my mind, the nagging fact that my Dad hadn't responded to my 'I miss you Dad' text last week made me blue. My last ever maternity pay dropped in my account - and I knew that the time was up. A job is required. My spirit sank.

Then, well, I wish I could state a defining moment when my head changed gear. When I began to believe in myself again. I think it came down to papier mache gazelle. I swear. I was flicking through a few blogs I like and one woman blogger showed how she was decorating her nursery - and I fell in love with this here gazelle from Anthropology (a US store):



How can you not love it's happy little face? It made me smile even though I can't afford it. It made me want to get a job so I could decorate my gorgeous daughter's room and put this gazelle head in it. And maybe the matching zebra. Because the gazelle needs a buddy, right? I went to bed smiling. I sound simple don't I? Anyway, a few folk responded to some emails I sent and I have a couple of meetings set up - which makes me feel so much less of a loser. Like I still have something to offer. So when I chatted to the Doc, between sobs, she offered me some anti depressants. But I never even picked up the prescription. I chatted to a friend who pointed out that I was setting some hideous deadlines in my head and all I had to do was give myself a break. Why was I stressing about getting a job and how it would all work with childcare - when I hadn't even started looking for the job yet.

So I've been giving myself a break. Like I had friends over today - meant to BBQ, but I knew it was probably going to rain so I planned a pot of chilli instead. And instead of worrying about 'is my house big enough to fit everyone?' and 'will they think it is shabby?' 'will they see my chipped plates and mis-matched wine glasses?' and all that crap, I gave myself a break. Who cares I thought, they are coming to see me and Husband and my fab kids - and that is all that matters. I don't need for everything to be perfect, I just need to relax a bit more. And I did.

It is a big revelation to me, this giving myself a break malarkey. Now I'm not so worried if things aren't perfect and I'm wearing a top from 3 years ago and the baked dip sticks aren't crunchy and all that jazz. It's like - this is who I am, this is my home and I love it, and that is all that matters. I've made some plans for Xmas, I'm going to send out some more CVs and Husband is off all next week so I get time to see him, catch up with some friends, see the new Almodovar film (Avoid One Day - caught it last week - such a shame, LOVED the book, HATED the film. Why oh why did Anne Hathaway - too beautiful to begin with - get that part? Her accent is woeful. Dexter unlikable. Jumpy rushed storyline desperately trying to squeeze in the whole book. Wasted opportunity - but Rafe Spall is brilliant - sorry, I digress) and hang out as a family.

Something will turn up. I've just got to keep believing. Things always work out ok in the end - they have before and they will again. I just have to stop giving myself such a hard time and putting myself under such stress.

And before I know it, the gazelle will be mine. :)


Saturday, 20 August 2011

I had a better day today...

Spent the morning talking to Husband - finding some solutions, putting some plans in place. Being a team, instead of opposing sides. Spent the afteroon in a soft play area - think a wonka factory on acid with 5 trillion kids racing around and then some (seventh circle of hell replete with a girl on the entrance desk sporting a face that would turn milk sour, or as my Granny would say 'she had a face like a fried egg's lip'- mind you I would feel that fucking murderous if I worked there...) with Sproglet and his mate and a good friend. Then it was all back to mine for some spag bol and chocolate ice cream. Both of which comforted me.

I think everything just spiralled a bit on Friday. Illness ('orrible flu like bug that felt like my muscles had done 7 rounds with Tyson) combined with the worst period of my life (TMI... sorry) and the fear about job hunting and money and all that jazz just sent me reeling. Anyway, I thank my commenters for being so sympathetic and caring. Whoever said that I light up a room, know that you lit up my day. It is possibly one of the nicest things I have ever heard/read about myself. On dark days I will try and hold that thought. I also found a picture a friend posted on facebook - and it makes me feel better. More positive. And if days like Friday keep a comin' then I'll head back for citalopram - as maybe my hormones post babies, don't work as they should. Chemical, indeed. I needed them once, and may well again.

Hope you like it:




Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Playing to the crowd

"He showed us his willy."

Two pairs of tanned limbs point in Sproglet's direction as their deep northern voices chorus in unison. I look to Sproglet, waiting for him to deny the charge.
"They told me to!" He shouts indignantly. I look back to his accusers. They shrug their princess shoulders and hide under their eyes under their long fringes, twirling their curls as they cluck the inside of their mouths. I look to their mother and she looks back. I have no idea what to say, to them, to their Mum, to my son the flasher.

I should explain. We are in York, at my Aunt's and Sproglet has buddied up with two girls next door. They are 4 and 5, called Thea and Grace, have long hair tumbling down their backs, big brown eyes, rosy cheeks and shining white smiles. They never stop asking questions: 'do you live in another country?' 'Where is his Daddy?' 'Does Sproglet's Daddy get the train to work, in Australia?' Sproglet met them on Friday about two whole minutes after we arrived as they bounced over and then cajoled him into playing on the their trampoline and then insisted he 'stay for tea.' Every morning he rises and his first question is 'when can I see the girls.' He has called them 'the girls' so often I am unsure he even knows their names. They look like twins, dashing around in a sea of glitter and pink and stripes. One has a Spanish dancers costume in flouncy satin with swirly tassles that she shakes with every step. Sproglet is transfixed - as are they with him. They fight for his attention over dinner and follow him around the garden. He holds court, playing to his adoring audience. So when they asked to see the contents of his pants he felt obliged to do so. Apparently it was only a fleeting show and tell, thank god, but I had to have the 'respecting your body' chat. The girls don't appear to be scarred by the experience - as the younger one asked if Sproglet could stay over 'and sleep in my bed.' Sproglet seemed keen but I pointed out to him it would be a bit of a squish. Unisex sleepovers are at least 12 years away I hope... I note that Sproglet had no interest in seeing their feminine bits - and they didn't offer to show theirs. A raw deal for Sproglet, I feel. However, I am relieved that my son didn't ask as these things wouldn't occur to him. This episode has highlighted to me that girls do indeed mature faster than boys and are definitely interested in bodies (and how they work) first.

Suffice it is to say that when the little one (aged 4) invited Sproglet for a shared bath time, we felt she had learnt enough about the male anatomy for one day and politely declined. Best to leave your audience always wanting more.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Doing a Monica

So we are in the cheese aisle in Sainsburies. Sproglette is covered - I mean covered - in biscuit gunk and is hollering as she cannot stand how laid back the bloody kid seats are in the trollies. Agree with her actually - can't they just raise the damn things two inches? I mean two inches aint much is it? She strains her neck to nosey at other folk's trollies - as she has to know everything. Must get it from her Father. Sproglet was demanding to go to the car as 'I am tirrrreeeddd.' My god, he has morphed into a tweenager overnight. Sulky - check. Stroppy - check. Zits - not yet. Anyway, there we where in the cheese aisle, having another 'debate' about money - about whether or not we should go Belfast at the end of the month as if we don't I won't get 'home' this year... But as my Dad STILL hasn't spoken to me since I sent him a letter at the start of June - is there any point?

But I want to go, to take the kids to my other families, to see the sea, to relax, to have some help with the bairns. But that isn't really relevant. Because it all came down to cash. Lack of. Air prices are crazy and it just seems a lot of cash for a wee one hour flight. For 4 people now. Husband muttered that he has to shoulder all the financial responsibilities at the mo and shouldn't I really be thinking about heading back to work, even if it was full time?? All of a sudden I felt hot tears prickle at the edge of my eyes. There, he'd said it. It was time to get back to work. All out in the open now.

He doesn't seem to get my industry at all. That my friends who were script eds have had to put in punishing hours in their subsequent jobs - post soap that we all worked on together - as working in TV production is LONG hours and no one gives a stuff about your child care issues at all. They don't have kids, so they can do this. Even though they hated it. So you can either give your life over to telly, and accept it, or dry your eyes and move on to new pastures. One ed moved oop north for 3 months and barely saw her Husband. She had one day off every two weeks and often filmed until 2am. She was exhausted and stressed and hundreds of miles from home. I admire her as I simply couldn't do it. It is impossible for me.

So as Husband picks up a ball of mozzarella and announces that I should go back to work, I want to scream at the top of my lungs 'I fucking want to go back to work but I have no idea how to!!!!!!'

Next day I visited a good buddy and old colleague of mine (from said soap) and ended up crying on her shoulder. Poor woman had only invited me over for lunch and a gossip and there I was asking her to solve my life problems for me. She told me to either A. Get a job - any job. 'The kind where, when folk at parties ask you what you do, and you tell them, their eyes will glaze over...' OR B. Get a nanny at a huge cost and give your life over to the devil. I mean TV. Then hope at the end of it that the TV company will reward you with a cushy little development job part time. She then said 'what about your blog, can't you somehow make that a job for yourself?' It made me think of the wonderful Monica Bielanko, who has realised her dream to write for a living and now writes for Babble amongst others...

Bless my friend, she has no idea that I have a small, but amazingly loyal audience and that not that many folk know I am here. Meanwhile, Mum blogger that I was cyber introduced to sent me links to all kinds of blogging events for Mums and it made me realise there are MILLIONS OF US OUT THERE!! I aint special! I mean half these women tweet nonsense about 'we are all wonderful in god's eyes' and 'great picnic today, now what for tea' which makes me want to open a vein - preferably theirs. I have no clue how to 'publicise' myself - (bloggers as great as Monica don't have to) and it also makes me feel a bit icky. Like, I write this for me, and well you guys, but not for the sole plan of getting more readers. I started it in 2008 - as I was so freakin' lonely I just wanted one other person to say to me 'yeah, I get it, I feel like you.' I felt so guilty for not loving motherhood with all my heart, I jsut wondered if anyone else felt like me. You know, freakish. Anyway, it is a nice idea - but even the thought of having to 'tweet' regularly makes my heart thump with the sheer PRESSURE of it all. Be funny. NOW doggy - jump!!!

So what to do, what to do. I feel like Husband just sent me on some Indiana Jones style holy grail discovery trek. A trek through countless rejection letters, media wankers, endless harping about 'favourite writers' and 'loving your show' (when in reality I watched half an ep on You Tube) futile meeting after futile meeting, sipping badly made tea or crap coffee and endlessly smiling and bolstering egos of tired execs, as people laugh in the face of the girl who wants 'part time work - in telly!!!' Yes, good joke, ha ha. Oh sorry, you were serious??' In truth there isn't even a single British Drama I'd like to work on (some are good of course, but just not my thang). Honestly - nothing excites me on TV at the mo... Except drama from the US - they always do it best. Or maybe the Danes. (Desperate to see The Killing - desperate! The Danish version I mean). So do I want to give up my life and never see my kids for a job on a series that I hate, just for my CV? In the hope it will lead to good things... And how on earth would that work with my kids and Husband working nights?

When I try to explain to any people in my industry what I am after - they all look at me as if I have asked for Brad Pitt's hand in marriage. It aint gonna happen. Not when Angelina is a super mum who looks super hot AND manages to take her brood for a painting session at some cute 'Art For Fun' type place in swanky Richmond. In heels. With no vomit on her shoulder or make-up running down her face. You see what I want, what would work for me and the family - the nightmare gang in the friggin cheese aisle - it just doesn't exist.

So now what? Would I love to 'do a Monica'? You betcha. But it aint likely, as these US bloggers get major traffic to their blogs and that is why folk love 'em. And also - they are damn talented writers to boot. That goes without saying. I don't quite know what to do.

So, back in the aisle. I picked up some red leicester cheese and marched on, my hands shaking, white knuckles holding the crappy list that takes me hours to do - when I do the sodding 'meal planner' every Saturday morning and try and work out meals for Sproglet 'I don't like that', Sproglette *slams mouth shut and refuses to eat any jar or packet - only freshly cooked mush for madame* and myself. In that moment I feel such fear, such terror of what is expected of me, and how the hell I will ever achieve it, I feel sick. Cheese aisle and nausea - not a good combo.

We finish the shop in silence. This feels like my burden to work out. Not his. I stare out the window on the journey home, as Sproglet demands a drink, Sproglette howls with hunger and I howl too, just on the inside.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Makes me smile.




Sometimes I just wanna blog about things that catch my eye. Now a while ago I was home in Ireland, walking down a quiet little street in a place called Holywood near the sea, when I spied a wonderful painting the window of a gallery. I stopped in my tracks and went inside, leaving Husband muttering about why I always have to 'pockle.' Anyway, turns out this fabulous painting called 'Mother Hen' was by a local artist called Dawn Crothers - and this here is her web page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dawn-Crothers-Artist/112181038831448#!/pages/Dawn-Crothers-Artist/112181038831448

She loves to paint animals in funky colours - a wash of colour and joy. Her work makes me smile and I thought that maybe, it would make you guys smile too.

Twitter ye not

I just don't get it.

Sorry. As you can see from the little button to the right - I have signed up with Twitter. Why? Because, well, I am trying to attract folk to my scribblings on this here blog and another blogger told me it was the way to go. So, I did. But it is e-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-n-g. Oh the PRESSURE to be FUNNY. All the time. Every few minutes - here ya go - another side splitter/wise and sarky/obtuse and interesting/ debate starting comment from moi. Also - it is PC in Twitter land to follow those that follow you. Which is cool - as some are indeed funny. Some however, are not. At all. Do I want to know you had beans for tea and the kids are still up past 9pm? That you painted a wart with nail varnish or your bikini wax went wrong? No. And these folk - well they don't fart without letting you know about it. I think that mid shag, they'd even have one hand on the keyboard...

Then there are the career Twitter-ers. The ones who are journos and spend their lives at a keyboard, so twitter what they are writing, how they like other folks writing, what we should be writing about and all kinds of entertaining lines in under 160 characters - which I think is an art in itself. These journo types feel like a Twitter 'in' club - one that only Guardian/Times/Grazia writers can join. Then there are the selebs... who have something to plug or just inane crap to spout. I get it, if you do indeed have wares to trade - fair enough, it is just another marketing tool. Then there are apparently the Twitter hiders, who only come out to play to read banter that swings back and forth between the career Twitter-ers when X Factor is on (or the like. Having never watched a single ep of TOWIE I don't have a clue who most selebs these day are). I can't help feeling that it is incredibly smug and narcissistic to think that what you have to say is really that thrilling that it needs updating every day/hour/minute. Which, is rich here with me the pot calling them the kettle... But my blog is really just a venting place - rather than a place to show off *waves madly - look at me*.

It takes a while to get the lingo, understand the 'rules' and to enjoy it. I am still waiting for that to happen. Often Tweets are merely replies to some other tweet which is pretty confusing if you haven't read the thread of the convo - mind you I am sure there is a way to do this - but being such a Twitter virgin I have yet to work out how to get to that base. Sure Stephen Fry is funny, and Catlin Moran is always worth following - but by and large it is full of waffle. Clearly I am missing something as it has millions of Tweeters and most internet savvy folk Tweet like their lives depended on it. Facebook feels like it has more room to communicate - whereas Twitter is 160 or broke. Less 'here are my holiday pics' and more 'this is my hilarious opinion on Piers Morgan' or in seleb land 'I just want to come across as all caring-like, so I'm gutted to hear that XYZ died yesterday...'

Will I stick with it? Doubt I'll ever get to the 'I Twitter therefore I am' stage - but I feel to dip out now would be dropping at the first hurdle. Deep down, I don't think it is for me - the technophobe. Frankly, it feels like hard work. Plus, I don't think I can scroll through a hundred posts of 'Husband did the washing today - Miracles!!!' before I come across a gem worth reading. * Pops over to Twitter in time to see my 24 followers feck off*

Thursday, 4 August 2011

A shameless begging post.

Ok, are you ready for some shameless begging? Good. Here goes: If you like this blog a little, even just a tad. If it has ever moved you, made you laugh out loud, mildly chuckle or weep like a baby - please vote for it. Tell all you know far and wide, about this and maybe, just maybe, something miraculous will happen in my tiny little life. Maybe just maybe, by all this paying it forward malarkey the universe will do some damn fine things. Who knows? But you gotta try eh?

Here it is:

http://www.gurgle.com/gurgles-2011

You just go there and vote for me. CrummyMummywhodrinks. And I will be thanking you telepathically from the bottom of my rusty heart.