I spent two glorious child-free hours sipping over-priced coffee and people watching in the city centre this morning as I waited for inspiration for this blog post to pull up a chair opposite me.
I spent two glorious child-free hours sipping over-priced coffee and people watching in the city centre this morning as I waited for inspiration for this blog post to pull up a chair opposite me.
Happy International Women’s Day, today is dedicated to women and just how bloody amazing we are!
I’m surrounded by strong women in my family and friends. Some are stay at home mums, company execs, some consistently blow me away with their natural talent and flair in floristry, baking and cake decorating, medicine and nutrition, fitness and well being……not to mention my friends in the armed forces. They all deserve the utmost of respect and beneath what they do for a living, all of these women are the most amazing friends and mentors a girl could ask for. They all love to have lazy days in their pjays, dress up in their heels, read, shop, work out, act daft with their kids and unite in their mutual love of wine consumption. Since moving back to the city and facing the challenges that 2014 brought, I’ve never felt more grateful for having them in my life.
We women are just awesome. Life’s multi-taskers! I regularly manage to bath my kids while simultaneously having a pee, restocking the toilet roll, cleaning the dried toothpaste off the sink and soaking up the tidal wave of bathwater with the bath mat! Are you nodding? You do it too right?
On the world stage there has been much talk of pay equality, the press went wild at the Oscars where Patricia Arquette made a resounding speech, supported by cheering and whooping from fellow A-listers Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez. There are varying reports on what percentage women are paid less than men, and it varies by industry too. Whatever the percentage, anything less for the doing the same job as a man, is just plain wrong. I live in hope that the more publicity and high profile backing this issue gets, the more likely a positive outcome will be…..and soon. I’m not going to go on a feminist rant (that’s a blog post in itself) but I will be writing a post about how mothers are treated differently in the world of work. Watch this space.
So back to us amazing women……I want to highlight a trend on Twitter #womencrushwednesday and encourage more women to support each other by posting a pic or brief description of a woman you admire and tagging it #wcw. It started out as just a daft celebrity thing, but hey, why not spread the love and bring it to the masses!
Women, keep doing what you’re doing because you rock!
I would like to dedicate today’s blog to Judith Arnett and Rebecca Gould, in loving memory
I was gone a little longer than I expected there but……weep into your pillow no longer, for I have returned!
A super quick recap of the last 15 months so I can move on and write about fun stuff….I gave birth to a beautiful little boy, I moved 200 miles across the country, I left Geordie, I learned how to not pull my hair out on hold to various companies such as Scottish Power and realised just how boring it is picking out carpets and wooden flooring. I now see my parents (all four of them) in a whole new light and my brother and sister continue to be my absolute best friends. Nothing like family when the shit hits the fan huh?
So it’s the very last day of 2014 and what a year its been. I feel like I can confidently say, this year…at the grand old age of 32….I have finally grown up. The day my baby boy was born I felt complete (and sore as hell following a C-section) but complete none the less. We are now an awesome-foursome and we’re starting a whole new book of adventures.
I don’t have any resolutions for the new year, I have about as much will power as that bloke from the Fatboy Slim video ‘Lazy’ and therefore wont stick to any of them. I am feeling really positive though, and more importantly I’m being proactive. I’ve signed up for two new courses after loving every minute of a creative writing course earlier this year with the OU. I’ve pitched to two new magazines with articles ideas and I’m applying to the BBC journalism training programme in the hope I might elbow my way into a new career. In the mean time I’m going to continue to learn, be happy and enjoy every minute of my beautiful mini people.
What does the new year hold for you?
It really has been a while this time, are you well? What have you been up to? Are you all sorted for Christmas? So many questions, so much catching up to do!
I’ll make a coffee and decide where to begin….Sept 14th 2013 would probably be a good start!
Okay deep breath……My name is GG and I am scared of heavy machinery, in particular JCB’s and wrecking balls. (Not an euphemism) I can’t even go to Alton Towers without getting a bit jittery driving past the humongous JCB plant en route. You’d think I’d be more frightened of rollercoasters?!
I’m going to treat today’s blog as a sort of scaredy cats anonymous session and get it all off my chest while the nightmare I had last night is still annoyingly fresh in my mind.
I wondered into a dream where I was happily playing with my kids and nieces and nephew in some left-over builders sand, you know the type just left on the road side when someone has had a drive block paved? Anyway, we were knee-deep in builders sand when my youngest niece shouts ‘Look a BIG DIGGER’ at this point they all run off and start climbing all over the big bright yellow machine and I immediately start backing away shouting at them all to get down. Now conveniently at this point one of the kids remind me that the other adults are at a party so if I want them to get down I’d have to go and get them. Nice subconscious….nice!
I’m a bit hazy about the next bit but sure enough I end up sweating profusely while climbing up the impossibly big JCB (more like the assault course from The Krypton Factor) as my eldest daughter begins to pull levers to move the gigantic claw, laughing maniacally (I wonder if Stephen King might be interested in a synopsis?) . I’m wildly chucking kids down to the ground as the claw swings frighteningly close to my head (I’m getting a bit shaky reliving this) and shouting like a docker at my daughter to get ‘the hell’ down when she leans on the control panel and the claw doubles back to wrap closely around me, pinning me into the machine. This is where I really start panicking, trying to control my breathing because the thought of being trapped in a giant piece of machinery and unable to move, is to me, terrifying.
I woke up at this point yanking the bed covers away and taking in huge gulping breaths. It’s the type of scenario only a nightmare can manifest and luckily for me I have a mum voice that strikes the fear of God into my kids, so the likely hood of this actually happening is slim to none. I’m also scared of spiders and unfortunately they don’t give a rats ass about me shouting at them in my scary voice. It appears that shouting ‘Don’t you disobey me’ at them is pointless and they crawl lazily into the corner of the room when they feel like. Only my Vogue back catalogue can deal with such insubordination. Eat high fashion suckers.
This irrational fear may well have sprung from my old home town of Liverpool hosting Capital of Culture a couple of years ago. The city was visited by a gigantic robotic spider (see photo…… it had to be yellow didn’t it?) La Princesse was lowered sneakily in the night into position on an old tower block and proceeded to spend a couple of days wandering around the city streets terrifying the masses. It was actually pretty awesome at the time but spiders and JCB’s……oh my!
Wonder what damage a rolled up magazine would do to a rogue JCB?
I’m not hopeful.
Earlier this week my youngest daughter celebrated her second birthday at a fancy dress party with her sister and some friends at the camp soft play area. One of the main topics of conversation (along with potty training, fussy eaters and reluctance to eat anything that’s not coated in chocolate) was the impending ‘Terrible Twos’. I told my friends that I wasn’t expecting to see so much of a change in my daughter as she is mainly well-behaved and pleasant (you can see where this is going already can’t you?) and as I had already endured this phase with my eldest daughter, I was prepared for an easy ride.
Since Monday my daughter has been in the naughty corner a total of 5 times, that’s an average of once a day for each time she has thrown a strop, a crayon or her juice cup across the room. (You may remember she has a flair for throwing after the pig incident) Suddenly she is incredibly possessive of her things and will shout her little lungs out if I dare to interfere. I took her to coffee morning yesterday so she could play with the other little ones (while I ate two..that’s two pieces of cheesecake!) Once she’d wrapped her little mitts around the handles of the baby pram there was no going back, if another child even looked at the pram she raised her voice so show it was her toy and she was not sharing! However just seconds later she was sat on the floor sharing pots and pans and playing at the kitchen nicely. I think my toddler has prematurely turned into a teenager! Talk about mood swings!
I’ve started reading up on the current techniques for dealing with such behaviour. Super Nanny suggests I continue with the naughty corner and that consistency is the key. Bounty suggests I give my toddler a choice so that she has a feeling of control ‘Would you like to play with the pram or come and play with the kitchen’ and Baby Centre says we should hug it out! Hmmmm got to say I agree with Super Nanny and will continue to enforce time out for unacceptable behaviour……I’m also block booking hair-dressing appointments as I’m going grey at an alarming rate!
Last night I spent an hour watching auditions…no not catching up on X Factor but watching a bunch of 8-12 year olds larking about pretending to be minions, evil queens and dainty princesses. It was the best fun I’ve had in ages!
I’m so pleased to be involved in the camp Christmas Panto this year and my role as Costume Head Honcho (just made that up, sounds awesome doesn’t it….might make a badge too) is going to keep me very busy between now and December. So far on my list of ‘Wants’ I have; two-piece cow costume, goggles, floaty princessy-type dresses, long gloves, clown wigs, evil queen crowns, water-squirting flowers and lots and lots of yellow t-shirts. I knew that working with kids would make for a varied workload but this is by far my most interesting challenge yet.
I nervously crept into the session last night amid lots of questions ‘Who are you?’ ‘why are you here?’ ‘Are you the cleaner?’ and after my initiation of shouting my name very loudly into the middle of the room I was accepted as the costume lady and quickly got involved in discussions about character and plot ideas. The weird and wonderful suggestions that poured out were nothing short of Burton meets Tarantino with a bit of sparkle and pop music thrown in……I know it’s going to be unmissable!
After the brainstorming session the auditions themselves took place, each child given just 60 seconds to perform their best acting/singing/dancing and state their case for which part they’d like…tough crowd. The best by far had to be the girl who stood and very proudly declared she would like to be ‘anything that burps’ and proceeded to let out the most humongous burp I’d ever heard…..well on demand anyway! Priceless.
After a super loud dance around to Gangnam Style, the session ended and it was left to the Youth Club leaders to deliberate over who shone and who was destined to be a tree…(Evil tree who throws apples of course) I’m not sure who is more nervous now, me or the kids? I’m counting the hours until the cast list goes up next week…..
There’s no business like show business!
When Geordie gets back from his work trips we tend to spend a huge amount of time…….watching films and this month has been no different. Every night for almost a week now we’ve each stretched out on a sofa surrounded by munchies and settled down to watch a blockbuster, or dusted off our comfy pants and hauled ass to the local Odeon.
I’m not a big movie fan and tend to save my viewing for this kind of special ritual we have, Geordie on the other hand has seen pretty much everything from The Devil Wears Prada to Up!
It’s quite difficult for us to agree on a genre to watch together too as I’m a huge scaredy cat and stereo typically prefer rom-coms or at least action films. Geordie will watch pretty much anything apart from rom-coms! (Although he did shed a tear at Wall E and I’m probably dead meat for publishing this haha)
This week we’ve packed in a lot of action with GI Joe Retaliation, Oblivion, The Purge, Star Trek into the Darkness, Pain & Gain and managed to squeeze in What happens in Vegas, as it was on Film4 and we were too lazy to physically put another dvd into the player! First world problems huh?
I grew up watching a fair bit of Star Trek thanks to my older brother (I still draw the line at Babylon 5…load of pants) and really enjoyed the first ‘new’ film and now the second part mainly due to the casting. Chris Pine is a very handsome Kirk!
I’m not a huge Tom Cruise fan (other than Top Gun of course) so I watched Oblivion while scrolling Pinterest for home decor ideas. Not sure I can even recall the plot but Geordie says it was ‘alright’.
I’m a HUGE Dwayne Johnson fan and of the two films we watched I preferred his character in GI Joe, as the slapstick role in Pain & Gain seemed a bit beneath him. Still you can’t knock a bit of half-naked Mark Wahlberg and there are some classic lines to listen our for…
Daniel Lugo: [to a little boy] Don’t eyeball me! I’ve seen your mother driving up and down these streets looking at me! I’ll be your stepfather in about a week!
I had to watch The Purge in two parts because we settled down to watch the film around 9pm, at which point it was dark outside and the opening 30 minutes had me close to tears with anxiety. Seriously. I’ve read many books that brought about the same kind of feeling but there was no turning the page watching the film. The plot line is this….set in America there is no crime, violence, unemployment etc. For 12 hours, once a year nothing is illegal and therefore citizens are encouraged to rid themselves of angst, jealousy and anger by basically going ballistic killing, raping and pillaging…without consequence.
I’d uncomfortably watched a family prepare and lock down their house for the night, consoling their kids that there was nothing to worry about etc while monitoring their outdoor security cameras…..only for a lone figure to appear at their gate…..its literally terrifying. Yes I am a big Mary Ellen when it comes to thriller/horror type films but this was simply eerie.
I wont spoil the rest of the film but out of the 6 we’ve watched this week, this is the one I’d go for.
Just call me Wossy eh?
Just a quick post to say a genuine thank you to everyone who has dropped by to read the blog during my 12 week break (omg was it that long?) I’ve spent the time practically chained to my desk trying to come up with amazing blog ideas to thrill and entertain you…
Okay by ‘desk’ I mean hot tub, and by ‘chained to’ I mean floating in heavenly bliss with a cold margarita. Despite all this gruelling hard work, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my viewing stats have remained steady and people from around the world are showing an interest in my musings. Officially blown away.
You guys rock
I know I said I needed some space and that we should have a break from all this sharing of stories and views and opinions….but the thing is…I bloody missed you guys! Since I last wrote I’ve lost two laptop keys (right arrow and exclamation mark, damn it) gained a tooth filling and a good few pounds due to my new love of baking. Things haven’t gone entirely to plan.
So how was your Summer? Or should I say how IS your Summer seeing as it’s officially September 2nd and it’s still gloriously sunny outside? Mine was awesome, even though I’ve spent the majority of it on my own (Geordie away with work for a few months) but me and the girls have made up for it with some lovely trips, visits and shopping sprees.
It’s Summer break eve eve in my house as my two girls are back at school and nursery on Wednesday, so the question of ‘what am I going to do with myself’ rears its ugly head once more. I consider myself ridiculously lucky to have been able to stay at home with my girls for almost 2 years now, the time has been incredibly precious and I’ll treasure being here for all those important milestones which I know others have sorely missed.
Unfortunately for me full-time work is not an option at the moment, living in the middle of no where and still only on my provisional license makes finding worthwhile part-time work very difficult indeed. Not one to sit around and mope (okay I’ve moped a bit) I’ve found a couple of projects to keep me busy…..
Behold the pile of junk I bought on Sunday from an ‘Upcycling’ centre near by (sadly no jobs going there, yep I asked) which I intend to ‘do-up’ and sell on to make a few bucks. I’m already at the sit-scrolling-through-Pinterest-for-hours-on-end-looking-for-ideas-whilst-eating-baked-goods stage of the transformation. Sadly the only thing looking more attractive so far is an elasticated waist band.
I’m also doing my bit towards the Fraja Ellie appeal and today pledged to stitch 500 badges to be sold and the up coming charity ball (attended by some Emmerdale stars) as well as overhaul the photo character boards I painted earlier in the year.
It’s so good to be back (exclamation mark….exclamation mark)
I’ve walked like I was shot in the arse today, it’s not a great look let me tell you.
It has been a jam-packed few weeks and I’ve absolutely loved having some of my nearest and dearest around more often, especially while Geordie is away. I’ve travelled down to Devon and Cornwall (fell in love with Bideford fish and chips and Padstow beach) and back up again to Whitby (I’m still too terrified to go back into the Dracula experience). I’ve been to watch moto gp track training, I’ve sewn ball gowns and of course I have eaten way too much cake to even think about losing any weight for ‘Summer’ (whatever that is?) I’ve shared the momentous occasion that was Baby Isaac’s Christening (you remember my cake eating partner in crime Rachel…well her son Isaac, who will also grow to adore cake) which was a 9.5 hour bouncy castle-fest. The sun shone for the gorgeous little one on his special day and a good time was had by all.
Yesterday I ran the Race For Life 5k in memory of my lovely friend Rebecca, support of my wonderful school friend Emma and in hope for a healthy future for Fraja and my own two beautiful little girls. My mind was set on taking off and sprinting the course, Paula Radcliffe style, while my ever supportive running partner Danielle had a more realistic approach and pondered whether to carry her phone to take a picture for if/when I fell over! I had so much fun doing comedy power lunges and moshing during the warm up, as we made the most of being child free for an hour or so. We made a point of high-fiving a bunch of kids and a few marshals which ultimately lost us valuable seconds at the finish and has cost me the use of my legs for the last 24 hours. Unfortunately the sun was blazing at the start (that’s my official excuse) and I limped around in 31:02, greeted at the finish line by my eldest with these pride filled words…… ‘Aww Mum I thought you were gonna win it?’
Lessons I have learned in the last few weeks are as follows;
Always do the warm up and take it seriously instead of taking self portraits impersonating Sonja-from-Eastenders’ fitness dvd.
Do not get a stomach bug the morning of the six-hour car journey home from Devon….
Always have nappy bags in the car (for vomiting into) should the above situation arise.
Mini Pizzas are the best sustenance at a Christening…..all 9.5 hours of it…just keep eating and you will not get drunk….much.
And above all else, surround yourself with lovely people who make you laugh so much your stomach hurts, eat cake and be happy. Life is too short.
I have a confession to make…I slept in the bunk-beds again last night! I know I know, I did mean to get around to that massive pile of laundry and to be fair I did make a good start by sorting and putting away all of my clothes and then I neatly re-arranged all my shoes and then I opened one of my suitcases to find Summer clothes and randomly, my leaver’s book from school! So you see I got a bit side-tracked. Anyway I promise I’ll do it today. I will. Honest.
This week I’ve conducted a kind of sneaky experiment with my blog. I was reading about how to boost my viewing stats without plastering my url all over every social networking site or paying for advertising . I thought I might try a more simple approach and simply write about good news (hey it works for Russell Howard) and after sharing some of the positives in my daily life I more than tripled my best daily viewings total. In conclusion, we all love a happy ending don’t we? Thank you to everyone around the world who read the blog yesterday, I went to bed (bottom bunk) with a big smile of my face!
So back to the school leaver’s book which I was almost in tears reading (there will be a whole blog post on this soon, friends from school look out for your pages!) I’d like to say thanks to my old PE teacher Tim Wright for his comments which, 14 years later have inspired me to get off my ‘ever expanding gluteus maximus’ and do something positive for others.
I’m taking part in Race for Life UK this year, like many I have lost too many loved ones to cancer and I’ve felt those losses very deeply. I am taking part in the 5k event for my daughters and the future generations who might stand more of a chance of fighting and beating cancer if there is more money for research, clinical trials and ultimately treatment. Now that I’ve got you’re attention I’d like to ask for your help. Yes it’s a charity thing and yes I am going to ask for a teeny tiny small donation if you can spare it but more importantly I’m going to ask you join in. Argghhh run away, audience participation. No really, it’s not that scary and it doesn’t even involve raising your heart rate, if you don’t want to. You can run, jog, walk, skip or disco dance the 5k distance at any of your local Race for Life events, click here to register.
If you can’t take part but have a spare £2 in your pocket/purse/down the back of the sofa, please click here to laugh at my just giving page and help me to kick cancers arse.