Tag Archives: Relationships

Keep On Doing Something

Okay so I’m back on the fit wagon, for how long this time, who knows? Here are the bare bones of the situation…

I am living on an RAF base 15 miles from the nearest town, I can’t drive and my designated driver (Geordie) is away for the next three months. I spend my days engrossed in the latest episode of Mr. Bloom’s Nursery, while my 19 month old toddler swan dives off various soft play equipment. I drink too much coffee and eat a bit too much cake. (I actually text my friend Rachel on Thursday morning in crazed capitals no less, at 7:30am demanding she go with me to the coffee shop for Victoria sponge, so you see I have a problem). I also have a little pooch who, as a border terrier cross-breed requires a good couple of miles walk at least once a day, so sitting on my ever-expanding arse sampling the new coffee shop carrot cake isn’t really benefiting anyone!

I promised myself that I would ‘smash ‘Insanity‘ this time around. With Geordie out-of-the-way and not admonishing me like my high school P.E teacher for not training everyday (and how he loves to do that which ends with me resenting him for being fit as a butchers dog….do people still say that?) I thought I stood a better chance of getting into a strict routine and ultimately start to look and feel better about myself. But alas it would seem that after a 6 day cycle I can’t stand the sight nor gloating sound of Shaun T, and I am still convinced he is trying to kill me. Insanity isn’t for me, and if you’re reading this Geord, I’m not sorry because I gave it a good go…..twice x

So almost four weeks into my so-called training routine I have completely sacked off Insanity, eaten a fair bit of cake, chocolate hobnobs, custard creams and went a bit mad and had chips, curry and Irn Bru for dinner tonight. I didn’t just fall off the wagon, I obliterated it! As with any downfall there must be a turning point, the phoenix rising from the ashes…or crumbs in my case! And I have my wonderful friends, who also eat cake, to thank for my epiphany!

Defiant Toto will get blown away for good one day

Defiant Toto will get blown away for good one day!

I have discovered that despite the fact that I live behind the wire and currently have to rely on my friends and family to escape the gold-fish bowl, there is a way to get your heart rate up and burn a few calories………..no not perving at all those cute guys in uniform…but the windy, unforgiving perimeter road! Rachel (from the earlier cake story) and me decided the weather was nice enough for a power stroll with our little ones and earlier this week we set off around the airfield assuming it was somewhere around 2-3 miles in distance…only to be completely battered by what felt like hurricane strength winds, while jets flew over head adding to the buffering, making essential gossiping impossible. We eventually made it, bedraggled into air traffic control to ask (read as beg) if there was a quicker route back to the residential side of camp. Sadly the answer from the smug looking airman was no and so we re-wrapped the children up in their buggies and headed back down the perimeter road, at times clinging on for dear life as the weather closed in. Finally reaching the safety of a built up area an hour later we calculated that we’d power walked (been pushed) 6 miles and vowed to continue our healthy start by not opening the biscuit tin the moment we stepped in the front door…..I lasted two hours and that was only because there was jelly in the fridge, which hardly touched the sides as I cleaned the pot. Even though it felt a bit hard going at times, it was fun. We talked about all manner of random things, the kids mainly slept and my dog didn’t poop anywhere near the runway so that’s a bonus!

Since our first escapade at the beginning of the week I’ve clocked up 18 miles of heart racing power walking and jogging and I’m really pleased that on nights like tonight, when I’ve eaten dinner and gotten a bit bored with the ironing, my first instinct is to stick on my Nike’s, wrap the little one up and head out with Toto for an hour’s fresh air….even if we don’t end up back in Kansas!

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The Lending Library

Following on from my earlier post/rant about lack of money I am reminded of a saying my ex father-in-law used to say when I was off work on maternity leave ‘Another day at the lending library is it?’ Meaning, another day whiling away the hours doing nothing basically. Who’d have thought that I would go on to focus on the lending library quite so much 7 years later?

Cover of "George's Marvellous Medicine"

George’s Marvellous Medicine

I have now read every single children’s bookin the 0-3 and 4-7 age group at the local library (for research purposes of course) as my own short series of tales for the 4-7’s has finally begun to take shape. This is the first step in a very long process and I’ve still got some work to do before getting myself a literary agent however I wanted to take a minute to say thank you to a few people who have helped me to push forward with my writing dream and make it a reality.

You’ll not be surprised to read that my first thanks are to Geordie and our beautiful little girls. The girls have given me so much inspiration and they’ve often trashed what I thought was my best idea with the blink of an innocent eye. Geordie is just well…Geordie, always super positive and encouraging me to do random things such as rowing (?!) for the sake of gaining a fresh approach to my writing, I wouldn’t have even started the blog had it not been for him.

Thanks to my lovely sister Caroline for all the free advertising she’s done for the blog, and for allowing me to recall some of our childhood mishaps for all the world to read. To my super talented brother Andrew for agreeing to provide some illustrations for the books on completion, thank you and I will be calling in that favour very soon!

To all the people on Facebook that always answer my crazy research questions and who take the time to read the blog. Watching those viewing figures gives me a ton of hope so thank you very much, I hope it’s made you smile if not laugh occasionally? Last but definitely by no means least (I really mean that) thank you to anyone who has ever read the blog as this site is basically writing practise and experience to help me to break into the big bad world of publishing.

Wish me luck!

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The Reward Chart

Earlier this week and at the request of my 6-year-old we made a reward chart and hung it in the kitchen. The tasks were all about good habits as we rapidly approach the start of the new school year so things such as manners, bed times, homework and nail-biting. After two days she got a full sweep, a smiley sticker on all 8 tasks and she was completely elated! This morning I lay in bed listening to Geordie banging things around in the kitchen while getting ready for work. He came upstairs to stuff his third lot of stinking gym kit this week into the washing basket probably knowing full well that I’d be laying there fuming because he’s broken our little agreement. At least this morning he’s managed the potentially dangerous task of washing his own breakfast dishes, so why didn’t he do it the rest of this week? Can you see where I’m going with this?

A Cadbury Dairy Milk bar in 2006.

A Cadbury Dairy Milk bar  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I could formulate a reward chart, only slightly more advanced than the junior one, where the reward for a full sweep of stickers was a happy marriage do you think it would work? If he can complete, lets just say 5 easy tasks such as putting a wash of your own stinking clothes on or hanging your soaking wet towel over the banister properly so it will actually dry. We could live in peace and harmony and happiness, small price to pay if you ask me. I came down after he’d left this morning to avoid any confrontation and to watch Fifi and the Flowertots (with the kids). I found a Dairy Milk next to the phone in the living room. Obviously I’m eating it….but I think I might have been done over. Is this my reward for not starting an argument? For not moaning on about his lack of help or thought for me? So he could go to work with the hope that I might have forgotten/chilled out by the time he gets home? I don’t know what the intention is but I’m eating it ………and putting a boil wash on. Bleurgh!

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Two to Tango

Geordie is away at the moment, with his job he tends to go away once a month for a few days or a week, I’m used to it now. He went away for 5 months not long after we started dating, it was like the end of the world for me. I didn’t eat for three days and couldn’t sleep. Without the support of my friend Danielle I’d have ended our relationship because the stress was too much to bear. Now I know it takes separations like this for you to notice the little things that make you a couple.

When I get up in the morning the first thing I do is tip the shower head down again, as Geordie is taller than me we have it at different angles to shower. I swiftly move on to put the toothpaste back in the cup on the window sill, I’m still not entirely sure why he can’t do this but sure enough day after day the Colgate lays half squeezed on the sink while his toothbrush nestles in the safety of the cup. Once I’ve hung his wet towel over the banister correctly I.e. so it will actually dry, I put his laundry in the basket, as opposed to on the floor next to the basket where he leaves it and go get dressed.

Toothpaste

Toothpaste (Photo credit: Fuzzy Gerdes)

Once downstairs I wash his breakfast dishes and wipe down the counter where he has spilled every substance he’s come into contact with that morning, butter, milk and tea usually. I make my own breakfast and clean up. In the living room I collect the empty lemonade bottle and glass that he’s left. The discarded crisp packet and biscuit wrapper go in the bin too. I fluff the cushions, have a quick hoover around and switch on the TV so the little one can watch cartoons while I catch up online.

As a couple this is the start of the dance routine of life, he sets the pace and I quick step around his handiwork to make sure we don’t live in a landfill. Occasionally I will moan about his lack of effort to help around the house and he will blame it on being a man and not being able to multi-task. Brushing your teeth and putting the toothpaste back? Come on…..he’s just a bloke.

It’s at times like these, when he’s away that I realise that it’s not really inconvenience, it’s just how we are. I miss the smell of his deodorant when he gets ready for work. The ear-splitting sound of the ironing board being opened at stupid o’clock in the morning when he forgot to iron a shirt the night before. I even miss putting his work boots away because if I don’t the dog will have a whale of a time chewing hell out of his laces and I then have to put up with Geordie f-ing and blinding about the whole thing.

It’s surprisingly easy to do the dance of love, even with two left feet.

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Guest Blog – Geordie on Manners

He’s off again banging on about manners this time. I really feel for my children because they will be talked to death should they ever put a foot wrong when it comes to manners and etiquette. I give you Geordie…..on Manners.

I’d like to think I’m a bit of an old school man because like my Dad, and his Dad I hate to shop. Shopping is such a bore and every where you go there are deals and offers that try to get you to buy products, mainly it’s just smart advertising and you’re not really saving any money, it’s just a scam.

'Manners Makyth Man': the motto of New College...

‘Manners Makyth Man’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The main reason I hate to go shopping is people, once again another situation were people become crazy idiots. I was brought up to have manners and to respect my elders, all the normal stuff  our parents drone on about or get a nice tanned ass. So when I walk through a door I will hold it open and let my wife go first and let others through, surely it’s normal then to expect a little thank you? No, nothing. You get blanked as if your invisible and they walk straight through. It drives me insane, tt’s like they are so important and above you, like it was your duty to hold the door for them! Also when I’m walking through the city people literally try to walk through me, I’m 6’3″ and yet people half my size will not get out of my way and will walk into me if I don’t move. I people watch, a past time my wife has introduced me to and I watch in amazement as people simply can’t deviate from their course to let others by.

Even when I have been in the shops it astonishes me at how rude people are, I mean manners don’t cost a thing. I was in a shop recently and was wandering up an aisle with my daughter in her buggy. At the other end a woman with a double buggy was coming towards me, obviously we both couldn’t fit so being a gentlemen I backed up and let the woman and her twins past. Did she say thank you? Did she hell, she sauntered past with a face like she was sucking a lemon and I’d purposely been in her way. Am I asking too much of people, is saying thank you that difficult? At times I have said ‘You’re welcome‘ very loudly as they pass, and they have the cheek to look at me like I’ve spat on them! What is wrong with people? Why do some find it so hard to be polite, is it their up bringing or is it just the way of our culture now and it’s me who’s in the wrong? Let me know won’t you?

Geordie.

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On The Job

I’ll get straight to the point……What do you wear to an interview today and does your choice of attire have to be relevant to the occupation? I am one of a rare breed, I love interviews. I also love going to the dentist, airline food and writing online dating profiles. The latter being a thing of the past now that I’m GeordiesGirl, but I am still called upon by the odd close friend to help ‘advertise their assets’ Wow that sounds totally seedy! I’m just good at viewing the profile as a self-advertisement where as when you write your own your maybe a little more conservative?

Back to interviews…..A good friend of mine went to an interview a couple of weeks ago,  he was hoping to secure the role of Assistant Manager in a retail store and text me for advice on what to wear. It’s been over 18 months since I had an interview but I have attended meetings and open days in that time and so kept my hand in with professional etiquette. Back in the day you could spot an interviewee at 100 paces, proudly carrying their record of achievement in one arm and sweating profusely in an awkward fitting Burton suit. Fast forward ten years and the goal posts have most definitely moved. As office attire has grown more casual with men not being forced to wear ties, and women narrowly getting away with sandals/platforms in some work places it becomes a real nightmare to know what is acceptable and to whom?

Computer

Too Casual? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s say your going for an interview to be a swimming instructor, what would you wear? A tracksuit…too casual? Is a formal suit, shirt and tie a little over the top? Your best Speedo‘s and goggles? What about if you were the manager of the Leisure Centre, what would you expect an interviewee to wear for such a meeting? From my friend’s quandry I can appreciate that it is more difficult to judge the situation when the role you’re applying for does not conform to the traditional office dress code. The last resort is to call the prospective new employer (and show lack of initiative) and ask ‘What should I wear’.

After three or four text pictures of suitable smart shirts and trousers combo’s we finally settled on a light blue Paul Smith Oxford shirt, Ralph Lauren navy blue chino-type trousers and Lanvin shoes, exactly what I would consider to be a smart casual look to work in management at a high street fashion store. We agreed that the outfit suggested that he was familiar with high street designers and knew what was currently on-trend in menswear. His choice of footwear was carefully selected to reflect the stores product lines, in my humble opinion it ticked all the boxes.

On the day of interview I don’t know who was more nervous me or him, but when the text came through a long, agonising week later to say he had got the job, I was ecstatic. As I write this my friend is preparing to begin his new job on Monday and probably enjoying his last Saturday lie in for a long time, at least he would have been had I not text him at 7:30am to check he definitely did wear the Paul Smith shirt?

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Moving On Up

Anyone who has read my author bio on the site will know that I’ve managed to fit a lot of life into my short 29 years. Without wanting to put too finer point on the negatives, there have been a fair few low moments for one so young and inexperienced, however my love of Psychologies Magazine and a good cathartic natter with my fiancé has helped me to focus on the positives, and never more so than now. Putting a failed marriage behind you aged 26 is a pretty soul-destroying process, as is learning the rules of being a single parent, living with your folks again and accepting the fact that online dating is an addictive pastime, nevertheless life does indeed go on and surely it can only get better….or more complicated.

I have regrets about my past, I think everyone does whether you believe in all the sayings about never having them or not. Mine lay mainly in putting myself out to my detriment; I am a terrible people pleaser and yet I often feel annoyed that I’m walked over, my own worst enemy! As a parent you might expect to hear of this selflessness, but my remit of being a door mat often extends to my family, friends, colleagues and even a few drunks over the years.

Penguin Book Covers

Penguin Book Covers (Photo credit: Paul Watson)

March 2012  poses a new chapter in life in two ways; first a humongous financial decision I made 12 months ago will finally come to fruition and I will gain the freedom and wisdom I lacked with money in the past.  Secondly, I have decided to use my young family as inspiration to go all out and meet my personal goals, instead of berating myself for another 29 years for making the wrong choices and always putting others first. Going through with my plan has taken some guts believe it or not, and the continued support of my husband who despite his apprehension of being left by the wayside due to my renewed determination and drive, has helped to make my plans a reality. So 15 years after leaving school I have finally worked out what I want to do with myself professionally and I’m about to embark on a writing course with Penguin Books.

I’ve never been so eager to learn something new! My husband has bought and assembled a new home office for me to work from, as well as arranged time off to look after our girls so I can study, and even sharpened my Cath Kidston pencils ready for action.

I’m still amazed that a little support can make these seemingly huge decisions so easy to put into practise. For the next few months I’ll be spending evenings researching, attending conferences and writing up reports while my husband making bottles, helping with reading books and ironing school uniforms. I know he won’t complain about it, he knows how much it means to me to succeed. I have a new goal to add to my list for 2012, and that’s to find a middle ground between door mat and assertiveness. I’ll let you know how I get on. ….

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