Tag Archives: Liverpool

Woman Vs Machine

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!

La Princesse (Credit)

La Princesse (Credit)

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.

La Princesse (Credit)

La Princesse (Credit)

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.

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The Saturday Strop

I love being a mum, I love seeing my children playing together, laughing and ultimately fighting and pulling each others hair. My girls are still relatively young and we’ve not yet reached the demanding teenage years, although my eldest is doing her best to keep up with the big girls already! She is now forming opinions about what she does and doesn’t want to wear, and how such and such at school has just got the new Lelli Kelly’s to wear with her school Summer uniform and can we buy some? I wrote a blog not long ago about how the kids of today are so much more fashion conscious than I ever was aged 6, you can read it here

Not long after my eldest daughter was born we were photographed for the local newspaper for a shopping feature. That year I went a bit mad when I found out I was having a girl and literally blew the top off my credit and store cards. The Next sale has an awful lot to answer for as their Summer sale happens just weeks before my girls birthdays every year and I considered it a crime to not kit them out for another 12 months. I suppose you have to admit you have a problem when it makes the local news eh? You wont be surprised to learn that it was this attitude that ultimately got me into a lot of trouble financially, but that blog will take some serious thought before I make it public.

One thing I absolutely abhor about shopping with children is that the kids department is always on the top floor of most high street stores. In Liverpool city centre alone I can name and shame the following: Clarks, H&M, Boots, Primark, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Debenhams. Even my love of Next’s children’s wear has taken a beating as their kids section is in the basement, yet another lift ride to endure before being able to flash the cash. On behalf of all parents out there struggling to get through a Saturday shopping trip without having a complete meltdown, thank you for adding the saga of store lifts to our worn patience. Anyone else noticed that you end up doing at least two full circuits of all floors before reaching your destination as perfectly able-bodied, child-free people insist on clogging up the lifts despite there being copious amounts of stairs and escalators at their convenience! Arghh, it’s making me angry just writing about it. We all know that kids fashion is never going to be conveniently situated on the ground floor as it doesn’t entice enough impulse buyers, but thank the lord for the likes of Mothercare who are understandably market leaders in child friendly stores. To be fair though the Liverpool city centre store is split over two floors with no lift, but the staff are extremely helpful and I’ve witnessed them carrying many a buggy up the short flight of stairs.

Fortunately the team at the Liverpool One complex has begun to make small efforts toward enhancing family shopping. I have seen staff now casually watching the public lifts and ensuring they are available for people with prams and wheelchairs, rather than those who can easily use the near by escalators and stairs. I understand that this can be a particularly difficult thing to judge, as not everyone has a visible disability, but so far so good.

So to all the parents who can identify with this frustration, if we pool what little patience we have left maybe one of two of us could enjoy a stroll around the shops at the weekend. Failing that accept every babysitting opportunity from anyone daft enough to offer and shop like there’s no tomorrow.

Happy Shopping!

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Formally Yours

It was a whirlwind weekend for social events here in the north-west and whether you attended The Grand National at Aintree, or just placed a cheeky bet at your local William Hill, the chances are you will have seen the hundreds of photographs that have graced every newspaper and gossip site since it all began last Thursday. Unfortunately I was unable to go this year and I’m disappointed to miss out on the preparation frenzy.

Earlier in the week my husband and I were invited to a black tie event to celebrate St Georges Day at his workplace, the dress code is an age-old tradition for any formal event in the forces and strictly adhered to. To top off a week of dressing up we have my sister’s wedding on Saturday, so this morning I am happily slobbing out in joggers and hoody while I write, at least until I have to go out in public later on. I absolutely love dressing up but when I’m in the comfort of my home, dress code’s are null and void much to my husbands dismay.

With so many occasions happening in a short space of time, the main topic of conversation among my friends has been dressing up. The majority are all for it and go all out to complete their look, nails, hair, eyelashes etc. My friends who chose the more casual look are able to effortlessly rock jeans and a top to any occasion, something I have never perfected. Since broaching the subject many different opinions have surfaced focusing on whether a dress code is suggested or enforced. For The Grand National meeting at Aintree the dress code is as follows;

Although there is no official dress code, smart is preferable and is often adopted. Aintree is a spectacle of colour for all three days of the race meeting, with many using their trip as an opportunity to showcase their favourite race day outfits. Hats are optional too, but are frequently worn. Sports clothes and fancy dress are not permitted for the John Smith’s Grand National meeting.

Merely a suggestion and there have been many race goers who have pushed this to the limit, i.e.girls in bikini’s, heels and fascinators. With regards to the formal events at my husbands work, there is no way it would ever be acceptable to ignore the rules of traditional dress. Whilst I doubt that a woman would be asked to leave should her cocktail dress be an inch above the knee, it would certainly be noted and possibly have an impact on future social invitations. To make steps toward rolling with the times, the forces also organise a huge amount of informal events which are equally if not more popular. Lets face it, when you can spend more money on alcohol and less on hiring a tux it’s a no-brainer for most young guys.

But is at all about money? Do you have to spend a lot of money to be able to attend these events? That’s a difficult question to answer than I thought because people have their own opinion on money and what is ‘expensive’. The last time I was at the races (2010) my outfit cost a total of £130 and I spent around £50 getting my hair and make-up done. I think I did okay? Now that I have two kids and more financial restrictions but so many practical outfit options from cheaper stores, I think I could easily create a perfectly acceptable look for around £40. Honestly, have you seen the shift dresses at Florence & Fred, Tesco?

Thanks to some lovely friends I have showcased some races outfits that haven’t broken the bank, including some tailor-made garments and I think they look very glam indeed. Just a small note following all the nasty remarks by the haters in the newspapers and online .. I’ll bet that all of those women looked in the mirror on Friday morning rocking  their carefully chosen outfits with their hair coiffed and nails done and said ‘I look fab and I’m going to have a great time’ ….So don’t hate because you weren’t there.

I will finish with a tweet from Steve Timmins from Liverpool’s Juice FM who I think knocked the nail on the head….

The Ladies Day snidefest really pisses me off. They’re dressed up, having fun. Bore off with your ‘slags in hats’ remarks.

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Thank You!

It’s the first day of a whole new blogging month and I’m completely blown away by the response from readers in the last 30 days. Thank you for taking the time to read my words, it’s nice to know that among the thousands of blogs out there my page is read around the world from Australia to Alaska….yeah really!

I have a busy few days ahead, I’m heading back to the mecca of glamour today to cover The Grand National at Aintree, Liverpool. It’s my one of my favourite events in the North West because everyone makes a super effort to look their absolute best. Pics and words to come.

Also its St Georges Day next week which comes with union jack clad everything and following that is my sister’s wedding, lots of observational fodder in three jam-packed days.

Loyal Readers, I salute you!

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