Tag Archives: United States

When Zombie’s Attack

I think I have married one of those utter weirdo’s who prepare for the end of the world and Geordie is expecting Zombies.

I am genuinely scared of everything zombie related and other than Shaun of the Dead and an amazing short story called ‘I, Zombie’ by Nick Spalding there is no fun in zombies. I was given a class in what to expect from Prof Geordie earlier in the week and basically if we get those slow-moving, idiotic zombies that just bimble around bumping into hedges and low walls then he reckons we’re okay and we’d outlive them. However if we are plagued by those mega fast, actually quite intelligent ones that mistake your head for an all you can eat buffet, like the ones from the new Brad Pitt film, we’re goosed! This is not the best news I’ve had all week.

Earlier he asked SIRI (the Iphone Assistant App) if he was gay, and SIRI replied ‘We were talking about you not me’ which was hilarious at the time. This is the best news I’ve had all week. I know I know, we need more friends. 

Oh God Not Starbucks!

Do Zombies pay income tax?

So about the inevitable zombie invasion, Geordie reckons we could easily cruise around the local supermarkets  thanks to his advanced driving/zombie squashing skills and stock up on everything we need relatively safely, with one of the kids manning the Gatling gun at the back window to keep the blood suckers at bay, then return to the safety of our compound (he actually said compound because apparently he knows some awesome remote places that will be safe……help me!)  where we can live like kings, having the best of everything….apart from freedom.

Following the end of the 13th cycle of the Mayan calendar in December just passed there were reports of people from all walks of life who had spent months preparing for the end of the world. Some have prepared to be completely self-sufficient in case of economic collapse, with gas and electricity being generated within their own homes, and growing their own food. Others have built shelters, bunkers and basically just reinforced their sheds to withstand nuclear attacks (can’t see the shed being a good option there to be fair) and some can do little more than pray which appears to be enough for them. Now I’ve seen a fair few end-of-the-world type films and with most of them I’m not sure I’d want to make it through the apocalypse anyway! I am Legend anyone………no I didn’t think so?

When/if the Zombies come, and I hope to Christ it’s those slow buggers, I’m going to do my best to not be the first person munched into a big mess, I can’t see Geordie taking the same approach…’Come on kids, It’s Zombie slaying time’!!!!!!!!!!

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I Do

So this week (in the UK) the government have passed a bill in favour of gay people being able to marry….and I say hurrah!  In my opinion I believe that if two people, regardless of gender love each other and want to make a legal commitment to become partners then they should jolly well be allowed to do so. I have a lot of gay friends and I can’t think of anything more wonderful than attending more weddings!

To follow on from this Geordie announces this morning that he doesn’t consider us properly married as we had a civil ceremony and not a religious one….er what? I think Geordie is lucky that he’s not being served his man parts for dinner tonight! While he is not particularly religious, only attending church for christenings, weddings and funerals usually, he is a ‘believer’ and would have much rather we’d had what he calls a ‘proper’ ceremony in the eyes on God. Don’t get me wrong I am not against being married in church it’s just that I’d feel like a bit of a hypocrite because I’m not 100% sure how I feel about religion, and when we decided to get married none of the local churches would marry us because I was a divorcee.

We're totally not married!

If the bill that was passed yesterday becomes law it states that same-sex couples can be married in civil ceremonies and religious ones that have been consented by religious institutions. And there lies the problem as so far religious institutions are keeping very quiet, or completely opposing the bill in a very public way. Our local Reverend would not marry us because I had been married before, so what chance do two women or two men have when faced with the ancient rules of the Bible?

In this day and age couples can have civil ceremonies in all different types of settings, from your own back garden to lavish country house hotels and even in theme parks, but I wonder how many people have ended up with those venues as second choice because the church was so unwilling to accept them? I cant help but think that the church could do with rolling with the times…just a little? Maybe my opinion is terribly misinformed and I do not fully understand the teachings of the bible on what is acceptable and what isn’t, but like everything in life, things change and people and society must adapt, at least that’s what I think.

Geordie has asked me to consider having a church blessing as we’ve just celebrated our first anniversary (supposedly the first year is the hardest) and regardless of my anxieties about religion, I cant turn down best wishes, thoughts and prayers for a long and happy marriage from anyone.

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If I Ruled the World

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand over the last week or so you will have heard that today is voting day for the US Presidential elections and the estimated £1.4bn, two-year election campaigns will come to and end. With all the world’s problems imagine what £1.4bn could have paid for!

English: Seal of the President of the United S...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyway I got to thinking about what my policies would be on the off-chance I decided to give up the stay at home mum gig and have a crack at running for office. Never mind that I’m not American, I don’t know an awful lot about politics and I have so much baggage that no media rep would touch me. But hey we can pretend right? What follows is my take on what needs fixing.

1. I will make sure that all public transport is accessible for parents with strollers and when I say accessible I don’t mean a teeny little spot where you can haul out your sleeping child then try to collapse your stroller with one hand while holding a grumpy, wailing child and shopping in the other. It’s madness and makes for very stroppy parents. Take note Virgin, Arriva, Stagecoach etc

2. Old people will be taken care of properly. Okay so not every person over the age of 65 is a sweet old granddad who buys his grandchildren Wether’s Originals or takes them fishing. Some old women are like Grandma in George’s Marvellous Medicine (my fave book ever) and can be pretty scary. But they’ve been through a lot, and even after surviving god knows how many wars and rationing and the 70’s sometimes the hardest thing to deal with is loneliness. I will implement a comprehensive care system that makes sure older folk allowed to keep their dignity despite needing care in their later years.

3. Shoes will be tax-free. That’s a bit daft I know but we all need shoes, have you seen the state of the pavements out there? We can maybe do without toothpaste or something (?) but not shoes, no.

4. Back to semi-serious stuff. Jeremy Kyle will be taken off our screens and he will be the CEO of a network of national finishing school’s/college’s that teaches the youngsters of today how to behave. For instance; if you are offered a job that you are fit and trained to do you will do it. You will then be paid for your work. If you don’t do it there are no benefits for you. Work = money. No work = no money. Obviously I will work on the economy to make sure there are jobs.

5. Cigarettes are going to be completely banned. We’re constantly reminded of how family, friends and people we know in the community are battling cancer. It’s all around us without having to go looking for it. Get some gum or some patches or a white stick and stub nicotine out. There is no excuse.

Now that concludes my pearls of wisdom (didn’t take much huh?) and I found it stressful just writing five points.  We’ve all got opinions on how the country is going to pot but at the end of the day I wouldn’t want to be in charge. If I ruled the world I’d rule that someone else should take over immediately.

NaBloPoMo

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Across the Pond

I was scrolling through lots of images of New York this morning after reading the news that the New York Marathon has been cancelled this weekend due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, curious to see the aftermath of yet another devastating event in the history of the great city and how people come together to restore the streets and parks to their former glory. I have been fortunate enough to visit New York a couple of years ago and fell in love with the city as soon as our car emerged from the Lincoln tunnel into Manhattan. As I’m sat here writing this I’m reminded how the weather was around 19 degrees the day we arrived, prompting us to peel off a couple of layers of winter clothes while snapping away in Times Square. We woke the following day to find a foot of snow on the hotel balcony and sub-zero temperatures!

I visited New York with my daughter who was just 2 at the time and so our activities we’re limited to daytime only pursuits, but that didn’t stop us spending hours in Central Park and FAO Schwartz! In fact my fondest memory of our trip was her waking up from a nap on the Staten Island ferry and through blurry eyes pointing out and shouting ‘Mummy looks, it’s Liberty’. I’ve already written my homage to the great city not long after returning from the trip, you can read it here.

If I could live anywhere, even just for a short time I’d love to live in New York. Like every big city it has worrying crime rates and ‘dangerous’ neighbourhoods but unlike every big city it has iconic architecture, beautiful wide-open green spaces and a breath-taking skyline. I want to sit in my fabulous Friends-like apartment eating Chinese take-out from those little white cartons that we don’t get here and stroll around The Guggenheim on my days off from working in anything whatsoever to do with fashion. Bit of a mix between Friends, Ugly Betty and SATC. Well, one can dream. On a day-to-day, and more realistic basis I am immersed in a lot of New York virtual culture, The New Yorker and NYDAILYNEWS.com are two of my current favourites. I’ve also started to amass a collection of American Vogue which is quite hard to come by in my rural Cumbrian village. On my next trip to New York (because I’m hoping there will be many return journeys in the future) I’m going to have to prepare a much more in-depth itinerary, pack sensible footwear and leave the kids at home!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why? Tell NaBloPoMo they’d love to hear all about it too.

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It Could Be You

 

This Friday see’s the EuroMillion’s jackpot draw reach the dizzy heights of £138m, what’s the first thing you would do if you won the jackpot? The absolute first thing I would do is ring my husband at work and tell him to get home sharpish to check I wasn’t having some kind of psychotic meltdown and that we had just become insanely rich. I wonder how long it takes to sink in?

D.C. Lottery

Gotta be in it, to win it!

If you’re anything like my family we’re constantly budgeting for our bills and shopping, plus odds and ends for the kids and school uniforms for the new school year to make those pounds and pence go a little further each month . So after winning such a huge amount of money, do these sensible practices go out of the window? Regardless of price my daughter’s uniform would still come from Marks & Spencer and shoes from Clarks because she’ll still wreck them the first week back at school. No Gucci for the little ones just yet!

Once all the sensible boxes are ticked i.e. paying off debts, buying a nice house and putting money into bonds for our daughters, I’d go on a ridiculous spending spree starting at Chanel, Paris! Sorry UK, but it’s going to take more than £1m shopping spree to fix our economy. (Bizarrely some of the fabric supplied to Chanel comes from a factory down the road from where I live in Cumbria!)

I think the biggest advantage of having disposable income is being able to travel. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a little bit before having my two girls, often taking them with us (NY & Vegas) but any time I’m asked where I’d like to go I can easily real off 10+ places I simply have to visit before I kick the bucket…..

1. Niagara Falls, Canada

2. Cannes, France

3. Sorrento, Italy

4. Darwin, Australia

5. San Francisco, USA

6. Monte Carlo, Monaco

7. Waikiki, Hawaii

8. Washington, USA

9. Cape Verde Islands

10. Port Louis, Mauritius

That’s my top ten at the moment, it changes almost daily thanks to the power of the Internet as I find out amazing things about new places all the time. Some say that money can’t buy happiness, but I believe it can buy options and choices that can lead to happiness. Maybe I should actually buy a ticket this week? If you don’t hear from me after the draw on Friday, it’ll probably be because I’m wallowing in disappointment that I didn’t get a single number…or because I can’t get an Internet connection on Waikiki beach!

 

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Birds of Paradise

If for some mad, mad reason you have read all 60+ of my articles you may have realised that in the last few weeks I’ve written a little more philosophically than normal. With lots going on and big decisions to be made I have begun to seek a kind of meaning to what I’m doing with my life and how I am to achieve my goals.

Like a lot of people I have struggled with the economic downturn in the last 12 months or so, and in true Geordies Girl tradition I have heaped it all on my plate at once and spent insane amounts of time worrying about how to deal with it all. I’m a bit of a pessimist, I used to believe that by thinking the worst all the time I’d be less likely to be let down, however I know now that this isn’t the case.

So after coming through pneumonia, voluntary bankruptcy, relationship breakdown, pregnancy and birth, marriage and a huge house move all in twelve months, I realise I’d made of stronger stuff than I thought.

When I came out of court after having my bankruptcy granted I wandered around the city centre trying to come to terms with my actions which had spanned ten years. I got a Top Shop card when I turned 18 and was still paying for it a decade later, talk about irresponsible. Needless to say I didn’t wander into a clothes shops but I did see an item that would give me a little bit of hope for a brighter, debt free future.

In Wilkinson’s discount store (I was there buying bleach of all things) I noticed a little bird ornament. It was a small black enamel bird, no markings, details or engravings at all, just its little plump body, head and beak. It sparked an idea about having your wings clipped, or being trapped in a situation. The ornament was only £2.50 but given what I had gone through that morning, the thought of spending money on anything that wasn’t completely necessary put the fear of god into me. Also, my pessimistic subconscious reared its head and as I stood turning this bit of hope over in my hands, I believed that if I bought it something else would go wrong. I put it back on the shelf and walked away, hope wasn’t for me.

I’ve seen the little bird a few times over the last 16 months, I’m not ashamed to say I buy my bleach and hair dye from Wilkinson’s (It’s cheaper than Tesco for Live XL hair colour!!) I even told Geordie all about the little bird and how I felt when I first saw it. He encouraged me to get it, maybe it would work in the same way The Secret does, find something to focus all your positive thoughts and energy on and it will breed positivity? But I couldn’t do it.

Not until last week anyway, I went into town specifically to get this little bird and I chose a colour that I associate with my two little girls because they both look beautiful in lilac. My little bird is looking to the sky, because that’s where we’re heading. I’ve finally begun to believe that the only thing stopping me being positive and pushing on to do the things I want to achieve is me. My little bird has helped me get some amazing contacts and meetings lined up to showcase my writing plus the continued interest in the blog gives me a little lift every day. I’ve been massively inspired by lots of friends and their life experiences, illness, weddings, births, family and of course Geordie and his outrageous opinions. I’m pushing on and feeling really good about it. I hope this post will resonate with those who feel stuck in a rut and in need of change. I know it’s not easy but when you get going the freedom you feel is exhilarating.  So here is to you, get yourself an object and make it your talisman for a bright future full of possibility. Don’t you know Bird is the word?

 

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There’s No Place Like Home

I was born on the other side of the world where the sun shines bright, the sea is warm and the beer is cold. The most popular question people ask me when they hear of my sub-tropical beginnings is ‘What on earth are you doing here’?

Australian Coat of Arms (adopted 1912)

Australian Coat of Arms (adopted 1912) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The move to England was totally out of my hands, I tried as hard as I could to gurgle and blabber my wishes to stay in Aussie to my anglophile parents, but at just 10 weeks old communication wasn’t my strong point. The trip back to Blighty was fraught with the usual  tensions applicable to travelling 12,00 miles with a new baby and naughty toddler. During re-fuelling at Changi Airport, Singapore my elder brother, then 4 years old decided to sneak off in the duty-free toy shop and hide on a shelf behind a particularly large monkey teddy. This sparked a security alert, cue my Mum hysterically tearing the shop up, shouting his name and wailing like a banshee that someone had taken her little angel. On the verge of a full security lock-down the little sod meandered out of the toy shop where an eagle-eyed officer spotted him and an international air travel disaster was averted.

I recently moved house again but with my own little family, and just a few hundred miles away and not another continent. If I’ve reckoned it up right, and it’s taken consultation with 5 different people, I think I have now moved house 22 times. This includes various UK cities, as well as two moves abroad, and its only now that I can appreciate the military precision with which my Mum expertly organised and coördinated what we saw as ‘adventures’. For a long time it’s been hard to find a place to call home, I have emotional ties to many places but my roots are too entangled with trains, planes and automobile tracks to choose only one of my many past dwellings. One of my passports says I’m Australian, the other says I’m British, even the powers that be cant agree where I come from or more importantly where I belong.

Now I have similar plans for my brood, I’m keen for my children to see as much of the world as possible, my eldest daughter has been abroad 17 times in 6 years. I committed the ultimate sin and took her to the adult playground that it Las Vegas and to New York when she was just a toddler, trying to break down the barriers against taking young children on long haul city breaks. I will never forget the look on her face the first time she saw the Statue of Liberty, that made the 9 hour flight so worth while. (Ps, she did not bawl her lungs out during the flight, she was very well-behaved and the air stewardesses loved her….genuinely)

Newyorknewyork-corner

Newyorknewyork-corner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I may not have grown up with the same group of friends from nursery to university, but thanks to Facebook and other online social networks that’s hardly a worry. I believe that my gypsy-esque upbringing was an amazing adventure that has shaped me to be the out-going, friendly person I am today. To all of those who have a place to call their home town, cherish it, embrace its familiar ways and changing landscapes. To those like me, who are undecided, class yourself as a citizen of the world…always the new girl, never the veteran.

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