Monday, 30 July 2012

Farewell old friend

This morning one of my old friends sadly lost his battle with stomach cancer he was just a little younger than me and was a man who always had a smile on his face, always happy, the kind of person who would do anything for you, he will be sorely missed by all that were lucky enough to know him and I just want to share with the world a little story that will always make me smile.

He was known to many as 'trickle trickle' but I don't know how many people know why, well it was thanks to my then young sons and Halloween!
About 20 years ago I was taking my 2 little boys then aged about 6 and 4 out trick or treating and we stopped at a friends house where there were a number of people my friend Dave included playing cards they didn't really want to have their card game disturbed and quite happily gave my sons and their friends  5 and 10 pound notes quite a haul in those days! They got to Dave gave the cry of "Trick or Treat!" and Dave said "trickle trickle! What's all this trickle trickle?" to which everyone laughed and explained it was trick or treat! Originally from Africa Dave didn't really know about this Halloween tradition and whenever he saw my boys from that point he would always say "trickle trickle!" and in turn everyone started to call him trickle!

I will truly miss that smiling face but will always think of this story and smile.

Goodbye Trickle.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Only the Lonely

On the radio today they were talking about the subject of feeling lonely especially in a big city like London and it really struck a chord with me. I often feel lonely even though I have the children it's not quite the same as spending time with someone who's company you enjoy or doing something that entertains you.

When we're young it's all about friends, socialising and having fun but as we age things change, work commitments, partners and starting families all take priority and we can all too often lose contact with our friends and even though we are on the same path we can realise that we're lonely and then what? you don't want to burden your friends you think they're busy with their lives if they had time you'd arrange something, right?

Well if you are thinking like that you're probably not alone but admitting you're lonely ......well apparently its something we're not very good at, it's almost taboo especially if to the outward world it would appear you have no reason to be lonely.

But what do you do if you're feeling like this? Well you could place an ad in paper something like 'Lonely in London, seeking new friends for fun and interesting times' but really do you want to get the kind of responses that you're likely to get?! If the answer is no then just pick up the phone and see what your friends are doing, what's the worst they can say, They're busy, its not the end of the world.

Join a club, take a class, there's always something going on somewhere you just have to participate.

I met a lovely older lady last week who at 73 had just started piano lessons, dance lessons and joined a swimming club because she realised that although she had her family around her she was sometimes lonely so she did something about it!

what about you, do you ever feel lonely?

Friday, 13 July 2012

Magic Mike

Ah Magic Mike .......Where do I start...... Well first of all with an honest admission actually, I had absolutely no real idea what this film was about! I saw a few trailers and well, basically Channing Tatum was shirtless! as was Joe Manganiello! what can I say, I can be shallow!

I thought it was probably going to be some average rom com with a lot of eye candy for the was at times an edgy gritty portrayal of a lifestyle centring around a man who wanted more and saw stripping as a means to an end.

Channing Tatum stars in the title role as Magic Mike , entrepreneur, dancer, jack of all trades in order to save enough to make his love for custom made furniture a viable business and stripping is well and truly helping him on his way until he meets the young Adam played by Alex Pettyfer and he takes him under his wing unfortunately Adam is drawn into the seedier side of the club and lifestyle and is soon knee deep in drugs, alcohol and casual sex much to the disapproval of his sister Brooke played by Cody Horn.

The film of course focuses on the strippers and the dance routines for the thrill of the women in the club and Channing Tatum can really move! but its not just that, its so much more.

Matthew McConaughey plays the egotistical Dallas the owner of the club, there is something almost menacing about his character and McConaughey plays the role almost too well 

There is an obvious chemistry between Mike and Brooke, though this is isn't an average love story and its not until the very end that anything happens between them.

Directed by Steven Soderberg It was shot at times to give a feeling of reality, dim lighting , dialogue trailing off, scenes cut as they got perhaps too uncomfortable for its 15 rating, the stuff that indie films are made of if you like.

I have to say I took my 2 daughters one aged 15 one 18 and I have to say there were some scenes that I'm not sure I would have been comfortable with them seeing had I known before hand.

It wasn't the best film I have seen but it was highly entertaining and hey love it or hate it did I mention it has Channing Tatum shirtless!

Monday, 9 July 2012

It's that time again

It's that time of year again when my birthday is getting closer and I start to get that ' woe is me, what have done with my life, what am I doing with my life and oh god look at my saggy boobs!' moments!

I do feel like I should me more together, more sure of what I want and where I'm going, I'm a mother for Christ's sake but in honesty I still have the same teenage insecurities hidden well under an air of mature confidence, of course any of my friends reading this are probably wetting themselves laughing at the idea of 'mature me' but I said it and I'm sticking to it so there! And yes I am poking my tongue out!

I wake up some mornings and think, oh god you're 41 this year, you're edging your way closer to 50! You're getting old, what's next the menopause, becoming a grandparent, where will it end? Well with death obviously it's inevitable but then I just hyperventilate!

My body is is fighting against my mind where I'm still young and can still wear anything that takes my fancy , the reality is my bingo wings are so bad that if I commit the sin of wearing a sleeveless top, one strong gust of wind and I'll be gliding through the air without the need for a hand-glider, maybe people will think I'm some kind of super hero! My boobs are so saggy I may need some kind of mechanical hoist to get them back up where they belong! I contemplate an uplift but surgery scares me so what is a girl or middle aged lady to do?

But that's the thing isn't it you can choose to grow old gracefully accept the card that life has dealt you or you can fight the ravages of time and end up looking like this....

I know which I'll choose!

How about you, are you growing old gracefully or are you going to fight it every step of the way?

What about in your head, are you really as old as you feel?

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Ikea adventures

We went to Ikea the other day, our aim to get the 15 year old a mirror for her bedroom, so off we set to buy said mirror,promising that that is all we would buy this time, that we would just go there, get what we wanted, maybe have a cup of coffee and then go.........Oh, how foolish was I to think this!

You've got to give the guys at Ikea their due they are geniuses, first they herd you around the entire store with their clever arrow system and god help you if you deviate away from it, you may never be seen again! seriously, I met an old couple who had been there since trying to furnish their first home they deviated away from the arrows and they have quite happily raised a family there! Seriously though it is a bit of a nightmare.

Then just as you have lost the will to live by being herded round and absent mindedly picking up all those items that you just didn't realise how much you needed, there it is....the oasis that Is the Ikea restaurant!! Oh and if you think you can escape with just a coffee when you take the kids....wrong!! 3 cups of coffee, 15 meatballs and a daim cake later we feel like maybe we can go on and find that mirror and we do, we also buy a laundry basket, a notebook, 4 picture frames, a cable tidy, some straws and a stuffed carrot! Then after negotiating our way through the strangest till system in the world you find yourself at the food market and end up coming home with crisp bread, pickled herring, elk sausages and cakes! See, genius and of course the kids have to have an ice cream as well!

And then here's where it gets interesting we get to the car and the bloody mirror won't fit in! Seriously outside the store this thing seemed to quadruple in size so we stand there, we look at it, we look at the car, we look at the kids and try to decide which to leave behind!

I suggest taking the mirror back and getting one from somewhere else, this causes an almost meltdown by 15 year old and her dad, who apparently didn't come all this bloody way to get herded round a store, spend a fortune then not come home with the thing that we went there for!

We try their helpful home delivery service, turns out that it costs the same price as the mirror to have the damn thing delivered! I kid you not!

Then it is decided that he will go home with the mirror and one daughter while I and the other 2 wait in the restaurant! It's a 1 and a half hour round trip from Ikea to our house and back, I am not impressed! But off we go to be herded around again until we get to the restaurant and this time the 18 year old and I have coffee and cake while the little one has fish and chips and cake which of course she doesn't eat because she's still full from meatballs! And of course we end up buying yet more stuff we need, this time a little tea set, another laundry basket and some fairy lights! Just the essentials!

What was supposed to be a straight forward shopping trip turned into a 6 hour adventure and don't get me wrong I love Ikea, I really do but after this particular visit I think it will be a while until I build up the courage to go back there!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

I'm fat! I decided this today when I couldn't fit into a lovely jacket. I'm not just pleasantly plump or curvy or reubenesque, I'm fat!

So now is the time to stop complaining and do something about!

I have struggled with my weight all my adult life, I have been very thin and fit, I have been a healthy weight, I have been up and down like a yo yo and it's mostly down to the fact that I love to cook and I love to eat the end results! I don't seem to have a moderation button I just eat!

But not anymore! I am going to be a conscious eater and I hope to lose a stone by my birthday in 6 weeks times, so wish me luck!

Parenting teens

Some words of wisdom in poem form by a parent in one of my groups I just had to share it.

By Tina – words of encouragement for parents
Mother of three girls
Through the panting and pushing, the swearing and screams
Giving birth to my children, fulfilled all my dreams
When they were little I would hold them so tight
And when they were sick I would sit up all night
Sing all the nursery rhymes and dance to their tune
Then BAM the baby years were over too soon
WELCOME to the teenager who just slammed the door
To the bedroom they own, all their possessions on the floor
The one word answers, the ignorance too
The feeling you get when you think they hate you
This weren’t in the manual, nobody mentioned this
I mean SERIOUSLY were they taking the piss?
I guess I never knew what motherhood entailed
And why I constantly think I have failed
STOP, hold on, this is a test
Sit down a minute, breathe and rest
You were once a teenager too
And what was your parent’s reaction to you?
Most would scream and no doubt shout
Probably to let their anger out
But problems can’t be sorted unless they are shared
Talking to your child shows them that you love them and you care
Special time with your child the two of you alone
Turn the ‘tele’ off, light candles, lock off your phone
Just half an hour daily could do you no harm
Then watch your relationship turn from madness to calm
Don’t be downhearted, it won’t happen overnight
With parent/child relationships it’s an ongoing fight
But never give up, it’s part of your life
Wouldn’t it be boring without some turmoil and strife
God has blessed us with the bundle of joy
Whatever your baby, be a girl or a boy
Before you start screaming, calm down, make a drink
And just for a minute, sit down and think
If you were having dramas and really felt glum
Who better to talk to, there’s no-one better than mum
By doing this just watch the effects
Then be thankful to the Building Blocks of Success

Monday, 2 July 2012

Oh for a school!

I have been trying to find a nursery school for my daughter I wanted one that was attached to a school as I believe that continuity is important children settle into nursery, make friends, get to know the school, the staff etc and then that makes the transition to 'big school' easier.

Well let me tell you in my particular area this seems to be mission impossible I can't get a place anywhere and apparently even if I did it wouldn't guarantee her a place at the actual school! How is this possibly right and why has the system changed so much since I had my older children?

The even semi-decent schools are hard to get into and catchment areas are creating a culture of those that have money can move to the catchment area of the good schools and those of us who don't have that kind of option are stuck with what's left!

The point here though is all schools should be good schools and I know schools in poorer areas tend to have larger numbers of children where English is a second language and so often more of the schools time and resources are spent there and for whatever reason the higher proportion of children on free school meals is linked to those in need of special needs attention whether that be at action, action plus or statemented level but this should not affect the level of teaching, care or discipline but it does and this is where we are failing so many of our young people.

I feel that some schools don't try their hardest and don't have higher enough expectations of the children and I think it can often be the case that if you expect little you get little! But why should it be this way?

As for me I have decided to home educate at least until my daughter is of reception age then I can only hope to get a school of my choice.

What do you think of the school system and it's admission process? I'd like to hear your stories.

A blog a day keeps the doctor away!

I keep vowing to blog regularly and my life gets in the way of me doing things for me and I realised today that blogging is good for my health! Well my mental health at least

It allows me to express myself and spend some much needed me time, who cares if the posts aren't completely brilliant ( well actually I do but.....) they allow me to empty some of the stuff that is swirling around my head

So here's to blogging and here's to taking care of yourself! And you can expect to hear a lot more mad ramblings from me!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

50 shades!

Ok I admit it I did it I'm sorry but I just had to ........what am I talking about?... 50 shades of Grey by E.L. James. I just couldn't resist anymore I needed to see what all the hype was about and I downloaded it!

You'd have to have been living on another planet not to know what I'm talking about and what I don't want to do is give yet another review of this book, I just want to give my opinion on the whole 50 shades of hype and while doing that obviously I have to address the book a little.

It would seem that 50 shades is like the marmite of books you either love it or hate it!

Now I didn't expect them to go at hammer and tongs on their very first meeting but I didn't expect it to start out like some teen chick lit either, the way I had read the hype was that it was an Erotic novel the likes of which have never before seen!

That would be a great big NO! The book centres around Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey and their less than conventional love affair.

The story is basically boy meets girl, boy happens to be very rich and and hot, Oh and boy just happens to be in to S&M and likes to dominate and humiliate you know just your average love story and of course girl just happened to be a virgin but wanted this so bad! And is constantly on about her "inner Goddess"! I want to slap her inner bloody goddess, I mean come on!

This is not a great book but it keeps you reading and lets face it whoever is doing her PR, genious!

And as for all those out there that go on about it not being true reflection of s& m well come on let's think about s&m or sex for that matter is not a prescribed action,it's not something that you do with an instruction manual do A and then B and c will happen! its whatever floats your boat and if this is the type of sex that Ms. E.L James gets her rocks off about then who are we to judge!

No one is saying this is a literary masterpiece and its not exactly well written but its a bit of fun! no one is forcing you to read it so get off your high horse and take it for what it is!

As for me I intend to read the other 2 books in the series, just out of curiosity and for research purposes of course!