Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Moving House

Did you have fun here? Want to come and have some fun over here at What Did She Say? instead?

Right then, off we go!!!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Not Made Up

It worries me sometimes, you know. In a lot of respects, I'm quite a girly woman. I've no particular desire to do sports, I don't hanker after cars, I don't yearn to do woodwork. I like cooking, I like sewing, I like sad films that make me cry, and happy films that make me cry, and honestly any sort of films that make me cry. So you see, I'm properly girly.

So why is it that I find it so difficult to take an interest in cosmetics?

Virtually every woman I know, and every woman I see, wears at least some form of make up. Bit of mascara here, bit of lip gloss there, bit of concealer all over for all I know. Not me though. Virtually never. Unless I happen to be going somewhere grand, for the majority of the time I look exactly the same when I go out as when I get up or go to bed. And that's not good.

Part of the problem is I don't really know how to use it. My mum's never been a great one to wear make up either - I remember when I was just a little girl, looking through my mum's cosmetic bag and discovering something called Panstick, I believe. At least it appeared to be a cosmetic sort of thing, and looked like an American Tan coloured big fat lipstick. I think it might be some sort of foundation affair, but truthfully with a name like that it could be a saucepan scourer and just kept in the wrong place.

When I try to put make up on, it just looks wrong. I poke myself in the eye when I put mascara on, and then it ends up in one of the eco-friendly bags for life under my eyes. I don't know whether eyeliner's meant to go on the inside of your eyelashes or the outside - either way it makes me look like an auditionee for a stop motion Tim Burton film. I have no real idea of where blusher goes.

So this year, with 42 behind me, I've decided it's time to make an effort.

I've decided to start using moisturiser.

I know, I KNOW. How can I not have used it before?

Because, mainly, well, you know. Mainly because I can't be arsed.

It just seems like a huge load of faffing. When I went to bed before, I could just take my clothes off and be in bed and asleep inside 5 minutes. Now I apply moisturising, anti-wrinkle, pro-age, anti-death cream, and some gucky stuff that's meant to get rid of the dark circles under my eyes, and hand cream like there's no tomorrow. Which there might not be, if all the advertising is true. I'm now a firm believer that if I stop applying it for just one night (or morning), my face will either crumble to dust or implode in on itself, leaving me with an inside out face or just a neck, depending on which cream stops working first.

And does it make one bloody jot of a difference?

Well, here's the strange thing. Actually, it seems to. I've never had so many people tell me how fresh I look. Or how well. And even I can see a mild improvement in the corpse circles under my eyes. Now, I suppose you can take that with a pinch of scepticism - I mean, it could be that some of those people at least are saying that I look fresh now because I looked like a pile of crap before. But it's all relative, innit?

And it makes me feel womanly too. Because now I feel like a proper woman, because this is what they do. I sit happily in bed, applying the creams to my face and hands, looking at the gleaming little pots containing their fresh smelling magic and I'm proud.

Even though it does take me 20 minutes to assume the appearance of a greased-up pig.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Stop for a minute and think - Help for Haiti

Did you have a great weekend? Back to Monday eh? Back to the grindstone?

Stop for a minute and think.

Imagine for a minute that instead of the great weekend away from work you've just had, everything you had, disappeared. Your workplace has gone. Your way of getting to work has gone. Your shop has gone. Your bank has gone. Your supplier has gone.

Stop for a minute and think.

Imagine for a minute that instead of coming back home tonight to your beautiful home, your home had disappeared. Everything you'd worked for has gone. Your building has gone. Your furniture has gone. Your power supply has gone. Your water supply has gone.

Stop for a minute and think.

Imagine for a minute that instead of coming home to the people who love you, that they'd disappeared. Imagine that your street has gone. Imagine that your neighbours have gone. Imagine that your friends have gone. Imagine that your husband, your wife, your partner, your soulmate has gone.

Imagine that your child has gone.

Stop for a minute and think. Really think. Try to imagine what it would be like.

Today we can imagine, because it hasn't happened to us. But it has happened to the people of Haiti. They're hurt, they're scared, they're hungry and they're thirsty. Many of them have lost everything they own, everyone they love.

Today we can imagine, because we're still safe. Today, we can help the people of Haiti. Today, we can help.

Please, if you read, make a donation.

Please, stop for a minute and think. And give.

Stop, for a minute, and think.

Sunday, 10 January 2010


In my vast experience of having MS for 1 month, I am more than happy to declare it the most ridculous disease ever. I've not got a lot of experience of anything else, and I haven't much experience of this one, but you can trust me on this. In fact, so far in my life, I appear to have escaped many illnesses, and my most significant prior to this escapade was chicken pox.

I was diagnosed on the 15th December 2009 (Merry Christmas!), after various fruitless visits to consultants following months of pain in my left hip and thigh. There was a brief encounter with a physio, and a couple of MRI scans thrown in for good measure. In fact, despite all information to the contrary, I'm probably as radioactive as Sellafield, and I'll need a change of identity and a decent PR campaign to convince anyone otherwise. When the neuro (see how familiar I am with these terms? - how much do we love the internet?!) gave me the news, it was on the back of me pushing for another MRI scan following his assertion that no one had ever presented to him with hip pain as their first sign of MS.

Look at me, a medical marvel.

At the beginning of December, before I was diagnosed, my neck went into spasm and for three days I had an almost perfect view of my right ankle and very little else, unless it was located in my bottom right hand corner.Still, it gave me every opportunity to work on that slightly coy look up through your eyelashes when you're talking that I've often admired, but honestly, never really spent any time working on it.

But do you know what the really funny part is? I went to the GP this week, and mentioned the neck spasm, and she declared that probably wasn't MS. Well forgive me, but my neck's never done that before, and unless I'm very much mistaken, one of the symptoms is muscle spasms. The hip pain? Surprising. Despite pain being, again, a symptom of MS. The neuro warned me against thinking that everything might be MS related. Apparently some days I'll wake up and feel crap, and it will be nothing to do with MS, it will instead be everything to do with feeling crap. And some days I'll wake up and feel great and think, well do you know what, no MS for me today, and that will be entirely down to MS because it affects your mood.

So. A ridiculous disease. If you think you've got it, you probably haven't. And if you think you haven't, that's when you most likely have.

I couldn't have asked for better comedy material.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

All and Nothing

When I started this blog, I truly believed I was the luckiest woman alive, and in many ways I still do. I have the most wonderful partner, the most gorgeous son, I have friends I will keep forever. Every morning when I get up, I should get to my knees and give thanks to some god, any god, for even one of these things, because I know I'm incredibly lucky.

But when you believe your life is full and complete, you become complacent and you take even the tiniest of things for granted, let alone the big things. Snowballing for instance. I know the weather is dreadful for some of you and if you're struggling with it, forgive me. The sheer joy of walking with your child in the snow and having an impromptu snowball fight, when you wish above all you had a better aim, and were a smaller target. You take for granted the fact one day you're surely going to run a marathon or write the great British novel. And when you dream about these things, it never occurs to you something might stop you, because why would you?

Other things too. If ever you stopped to think, would you take even the most basic of imaginings for granted? Do you assume you'll live to a ripe old age and become a terrific old pain in the ass to your children which they will surely deserve? Is it just me who is so deluded she imagines nothing will ever get in the way of the apple pie, rose covered cottage future which is surely on its way? Because isn't that how it's supposed to be?

How completely and utterly nonsensical.

Life isn't a storybook, and it doesn't look like an advert for luxury chocolates. Life is what you make of it, and sometimes it's nasty and dirty and it makes you cry. Sometimes you try really hard and you don't get what you want, sometimes you try really hard and nobody gets what they want. Sometimes you're selfish, and sometimes you're selfless and sometimes you're angry and sometimes you're hateful and jealous and bad-tempered and sometimes you're kind and caring and sometimes you're all of those in one day because it's the person you are.

And sometimes you're frightened, really frightened, because you've been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and it's suddenly hit you that you can't take things for granted any more.

Or maybe that's just me.

Friday, 11 December 2009

A Modern Christmas?

Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm an absolute traditionalist. Obviously, at this time of year, I'm allowed to indulge this more than I would usually, because what's Christmas if it's not traditional? I do however seem to have somewhat of a romanticised view of the whole affair. You see, in my mind, it should snow. A lot. Dramatically in fact. But this won't affect the travelling, because you see, everyone will still be able to get to their large country houses in their horse and carriage. They'll simply have to sweep up the long drive, and when they arrive, Mrs Tiddlypom will help them descend onto the drive, extending a mulled wine to warm the cockles of their hearts.

When they get inside, they'll cluster round the roaring log fire, and try not to step on the 2 hunting dogs panting in the warmth. When they've finished socialising, they'll move through to the dining room and indulge in a glorious feast of turkey with all the trimmings, and a flaming, brandy-soaked Christmas pudding. I imagine they'll be called Victoria and Henry, their children George and Matilda, be with various generations of their family, and will probably wait until after they've finished their dinner before they open the presents.

But this isn't Christmas for many of us anymore, because times have changed. I don't have a Mrs Tiddlypom, I don't have a roaring log fire, and I don't even have a horse, with or without a carriage. Not even a picture of one. Lots of families don't have 2 parents any more, are made up of step-relations and not quite in-laws and are more Royle than Royal.

So this year, we'll start our own tradition. My son will arrive mid morning from his dad's house, and my partner will be here already. There'll be a mad dash to open presents and find something to watch on the tv in the background. Partner's parents will arrive at some point in the proceedings, and we'll do the presents again. I'll be rushing in and out of the kitchen burning stuff, forgetting to put stuff in the oven, and wishing I'd made the trifle last night. Because of course, of course, not everyone will eat Christmas pudding. We'll stagger to the living room when we've finished eating, maybe play a game, but probably watch the tv and fall asleep. Then I'll make everyone wake up and start eating again, because of course they'll be hungry again, won't they?

And the day will be fabulous because I'll be with everyone I love at the time of year I love the most.

And maybe, just maybe, it will snow.

And one of my Christmas presents will be a hunting dog.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing...

D is now 4 weeks into senior school and it's been quite a culture shock for both of us. I'm still petrified that he'll get lost going from one class to another, or run over on the way home, or he'll lose his lunch money and starve or any number of other unlikely things. D is still surprised that he has homework every night, and that much against his will he appears to be learning stuff completely unrelated to the television. Of course, all parents understand that children will never admit to learning anything; in fact you will be lucky if you get more than a "dunno" when you ask them what they've done that day. As a result, I was incredibly excited when D started to tell me about his science class without any form of arm twisting or torture...In addition I have unfortunately realised that mentally I'm still the same age as D, and I really ought to be supervised. Picture this conversation while I was making dinner the other night...

Me: D, will you go and fetch my cardigan from upstairs?
D:   Where is it?
Me: In my bedroom
D:   Where?
Me: On the chair (sighing and wondering if I should just fetch it myself)
D:   What do you need it for?
Me: Because I'm cold (and why can't you just do what I ask)
D:   Do you have to have your cardigan?
Me: Yes please (am I still in charge here? has there been a revolution? a mutiny?)
D:    Only you've got the kitchen foil there and in science we learned that tin foil will keep the heat in and      
        it acts sort of like an insulator
Me: And? (where is my cardigan?)
D:    So you could get warm again if you made yourself a cardigan out of tin foil, and then I wouldn't need to
        go and fetch the other one...
Me: Oh! I see! Now go and fetch my cardigan!

That's a fairly standard conversation in our house if I'm honest. But the really worrying thing is that I spent a good long time eyeing up that tin foil, and I honestly haven't come up with one good reason why I couldn't try making a cardigan out of tin foil, just to see how it works.

And this is only 4 weeks in - just think what I'll be making by the end of term!
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