Wednesday, 2 May 2012

You have mail!

As I open the inbox to my emails and sift through the spam, rubbish, cons and my pet hate – chain mail, I come across another Madeleine McCann appeal. Asking me to share with my friends yet another updated image of her and yet another heartfelt plea from the parents I hesitated deleting..

This is a truly sad event that I struggle emotionally with, especially being a parent myself. I want to be able to empathise with the McCanns at their loss and torment but I cannot understand how you can leave your small children unattended in a foreign place whilst you socialise…?? It's a bit like letting your dog off the lead and then acting all shocked when it runs off!

I've never truly connected with the parents when watching them in interviews (and I am not for one minute accusing them of anything). I’m sure as a parent the fearful thought (I have recurring nightmares) of losing your child has swept across you that takes your breath and inflicts a pain in the heart of shear panic. I personally think I would need to be sedated in their situation but the interviews always seem so cold…or is it that I am sick of the press praising them for their strength, or is it just me expecting more from them, some sort of remorse or shame or just anything that spells out we were wrong for what we did but our daughter doesn’t deserve to suffer for it?

Anyone who knows me and has been in my home have often found themselves locked in (no joke). I lock my front door whilst I am still in the house to not only prevent my Houdini 3yr old from escaping (and she can run fast for a wee tot believe me) but to also stop people from just walking in. If I was to pop across the road to my friends house (and this is literally 15-20 footsteps away) and leave my children alone I would be reported to social services and perhaps even find myself in trouble with the law….wouldn’t I? I would be classed as a bad parent….wouldn’t I?

On the other hand I can’t stand to think of this little girl still alive growing up away from her family, scared and upset and going through god knows what day in day out for 5 years now. I am unsure whether I want her to be still alive and reunited with her family and undergo a lifetime of serious therapy or if I prefer to believe she is a beautiful angel and no longer suffering with these cruel people who felt it acceptable to snatch her from her happy life.

All I know is that this is a lesson (even if we didn’t need it) to remind ourselves of the saying as parents we need to ‘have eyes in the back of our heads’ when it comes to our children!

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann when she disappeared and how she might look now

Friday, 24 February 2012

You gotta have Faith-a-faith-a-faith

Being christened into a Catholic family but with a Mum whom never really pushed us to practice our beliefs I did quite like the thought and found comfort in the fact there was some greater Being watching over us and providing an afterlife of happiness for our lost loved long as they were good!

However, since the age of 7, when my father died, I have really struggled with my faith. Believing no God could possibly take a child's father away from them...surely he wouldn't be that cruel?

Losing my father had a huge impact on me, for a long time (and sometimes still) I felt angered that I wasn't enough for him to stay alive for, I felt lonely and latched on to my Gramps for that father figure in my life and massively saddened when I couldn't share my good news with him...exams, driving test etc. Worse still when I couldn't get him to beat up those waste of space ex's ;) I strongly believe this is where my attraction for older men comes from....a whole different blog!

The rebellious side of me likes to see how far I can push my faith ....I do feel I might selfcombust if I was to walk into church but there is still a huge part of me that can't quite let go. I think it's the fear I may be wrong (which ain't that often...I am female after all) and then turned away from the big pearly gates to live an eternity in the pits of hell! The thought of us being born to live and struggle to then just die and rot scares the creepers out of me. There has to be more to our existence...right? 

A death of a loved one brings me closer to my beliefs but I think it has more to do with me taking comfort they have moved on to a better place rather than lying in the ground. When my father died I always remember how my Mum told me. We sat looking up at the stars and she pointed at the brightest one and said, your Daddy is now one of the angels looking down on us and keeping us safe. Nice thought for a child. However, when your older and you meet boys it's a bit off putting to think so many people (especially your FATHER) are looking down on you ;) if you catch my drift!

I used to have weird rituals and code words where I would say out loud 'private time' and think this would stop any spirits from seeing me, or if the lights weren't on (if I can't see in the dark they sure as hell can't) or if I wasn't in Carlisle then they wouldn't know because they don't have GPS...I know I'm seriously strange!! ;-p

Growing even older and having more of an understanding on just how cruel we as humans can be to each other weakened my faith further. Someone who is supposed to be so good, loving and caring wouldn't allow such suffering to innocent people ...would they? Strangely though when I do start having serious doubts something weird will George Michael will come on the Radio (I knnnow who plays George Micheal these days) 'You gotta have Faith'! Now I know it ain't about God but the title haunts me.

However, at 9pm last night two tall men knocked on the door and to their horror my husband answered.......they were Jehovah Witnesses and they are yet to meet the most heathen individual EVER so I'm quite nervous as to his reaction! To my shock Ian told them to 'HOP IT' and shut the door on them before they could utter a word. This restored my faith in God again....The hubby usually swears (true story)!!

 It's a constant yo-yo battle for me!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

One for the ladies - it's just PANTS

Following on from my post 'as we get older' another problem I am sadly experiencing is that my underwear is not only mismatched now but is most probably 3 year old (could be older to fair) and more fitting for Bridget Jones than Bridget Bardot!!

Once upon a time (a life before children) I would spend a lot of money, time and effort sourcing the perfect underwear (oh how I miss Agent Provocateur). Making sure they fit well, created the right cleavage lift (not that at that age I needed much lift), bum didn't need lifting then so thongs were a popular choice and I actually felt comfortable. The right pants and bra could make an outfit and really make your day (or night *wink wink*). Sometimes (okay often) my underwear would become my outfit and the bra would end up my top (oh the shame looking back now) and I'm sure I can remember a time when my knickers where worn on the outside of my outfit....  
                                                                                             was a dare to be fair ;)

Now (a life after children) I don't have a single bra and knicker to match! This is when I can hear my Mam's voice, "what if you had a crash and the doctor had to cut your clothes off?", Ermm kind of hoping the doc would be concentrating more on making me better than making a move (although depends on how good looking he was...). The things Mothers think are important hey ;)

Life has become too busy and priorities have changed to worry about my underwear matching. Rushing round every morning chasing toddlers and getting the preschooler ready for school, whom by the way is JUST like her father and is never organised and can't find anything - even if right infront of them. The last thing on my mind is if I'm going to have a car crash today and would the doc mind if my bra was slightly grey from going through a mixed wash or if my pants were so far hitched up I could give Simon Cowell a run for his money. I should be bothered about the fact that I probably haven't shaved my legs in a few weeks but that's a whole other issue ;)

Thongs are now impossible and resemble something I floss my teeth with and I wouldn't dare put anyone through the image of me trudging the paths on the school run with a bag of ferrets as an ass! And don't even get me started on come once you pass the average C/D cup they start to resemble hammocks, not as pretty in design, certainly not dainty and they have ugly wide straps. If you didn't feel feminine before hand you certainly won't sporting one of these monstrositys. I don't think it's a lot to ask for someone ample chested (34FF) to be able to wear something you?

Nope, it's safe to say that the suck in, tummy tuckers, buttock lifters, waist cinching Bridget Jones pants are now a firm commodity and will be part of my wardrobe collection for sometime (well actually a life time unless I win the lottery and visit doctor plastic).

Oh ladies, hitting my thirties wasn't a problem for me before infact I was quite looking forward to it but the closer September is getting the more things remind me on how my youth is disappearing QUICKLY and how I'm only going to get .....OLDER!!!

Damn the calendar ;-p 

Monday, 20 February 2012

This Dancing Queen is going to Waterloo..

"Friendships last much longer than life lets us"

This post is inspired by a good friend, Patricia. A beautiful young woman both inside and out she is jetting off and experiencing the big bright world on her own (a braver girl than I). Although doubtful she will ever return I like to believe this is just an extended holiday.

Trish is a friend that I don't see on a regular basis (She's in Newcastle and I'm in Carlisle) but when we do meet up it's like we just saw each other yesterday and is heartbreaking when we depart again. When someone is far more special than they realise it makes you feel even more blessed to have them in your circle of friends. A million miles will never take away a friendship like that.

The leaving party was this weekend gone and although it was dreaded and not really wanted I knew if I didn't go I would regret for the rest of my life....and an AWESOME night it was indeed. In true Tricia style she danced the night away imprinting more fun memories on her loved ones and yep those darn shoes were kicked off within minutes of turning up. Cut and bleeding feet did not stop the 'Dancing Queen', plasters were not required as alcohol masked the pain and to be honest the blood trail helped us keep an eye on where ever she wandered off to ;)

There were speeches, there were tears, there was laughter and a surprising potty mouth from our gorgeous little Sarah (who is a teacher may I add). And of course there was a cake!! However, I don't recall anyone challenging the 'Dancing Queen' to a dance off....funny that ;)

A very hungover, tired and ILL Emma set back off to Carlisle (in my very comfy pyjamas and dark sunglasses - yep I really did drive home in my pj's) and blasted Rihanna from the speakers to try and keep me awake...when 'Farewell' came on. The WHOLE journey home I blubbed like a baby with it stuck on repeat! Finally hitting home that we will never see each other again, never party, cry, laugh, hug EVER again. A truly sad time for me.

Friends are a lifeline and essential in life and should never be taken for granted. It's not about how many we have or how popular but the quality of your circle and what you have to offer each other. Patricia reminded me that no matter how cruel life can be sometimes it shouldn't turn the person you are into the monster you have experienced. It is possible to absorb strength and become even more beautiful. That is you Trish, a tower of strength yet a delicate and beautiful butterfly.

Farewell my little luvey :)) xx



Sunday, 12 February 2012

Mr Sand Man bring me a dream...

"Innovators don't just dream, they remember their dreams"

I always remember my dreams and usually two or three different ones per night and find it quite unusual (and annoying to be honest) when my husband doesn't remember any of his. I wake up quite eager to share my weird and eccentric dreams (and sometimes racy *wink wink*) with him and wonder what exciting places and adventures he has visited in the land of nod for him to just grumpily shrug his shoulders and say, 'I can't remember'. Arghhh!!

My strangest (and yet ironic) dream which has stuck with me since childhood was that I was pregnant and still living at home. My Mum was outraged and said I wasn't old enough or fit enough to be a Mother and I had to get rid of this 'thing'. Terrified, I left my home and gave birth alone (bet your thinking what is strange about this....) to a ....LADYBIRD! I brought my 'baby' home and tried to convince my Mother that I could care for this tiny little angel and started picking leaves off the hedge in our garden to feed it....(cuckoo, cuckoo I can now hear you saying). So I guess this gives you an idea on what goes on inside my head and I don't necessarily need to be asleep ;) 
However, last night's dream woke me like a slap in the face! I dreamt my doctor had altered my medication and never told me the side effects. Having taken them as prescribed I started to notice a 5 o'clock shadow....I was producing male hormones! I shaved my manly beard with a lady razor (as this is all I could find being a woman an all) and could still feel prickles. Distraught and not able to get to doctors in the morning I cried myself to sleep. When I woke (in my dream still) my face was stinging, bright red and had the worst shavers rash ever. Now the weirdest thing about this dream is not that I am a man but that I felt like I could really feel (in my real world) all the pain and the prickles of this stubble. The shock woke me up!! Frantically checking my face with my hands and still feeling the burning sensation I sighed a BIG breath of relief to find I was in fact a woman! Phew!  

Never forget ladies to ex-foliate, cleanse, tone and moisturise - important routine!

Any dream annalists out there willing to share their analysis of this?

Illustration - Picasso, The Dream

Saturday, 11 February 2012

As we get older..

Nearly 2 weeks into the diet now and I have lost 5lbs. I was hoping for a far greater loss but I've noticed that the older I am getting the more difficult it is to shift the weight.

Long gone have the days where I could starve myself for 1 week living off tea/coffee and fags and easily loose 6-7lbs in preparation for a big party weekend with the aim to look my best in the tightest, low cut dress god could possibly create (and when I say god I actually mean my love for Karen Millen's creations).

I was (still am) a constant yo-yo dieter and having tried just about every craze out their for the 'quick fix diet' - including Atkins, Maple Syrup (this made me loose weight alright...I threw up all day on this disgusting concoction), cabbage soup (we won't go there), baby food (yep I really did), Weight Watchers (got sick of counting), packaged food delivered to your door (very expensive), Scottish Slimmers and now Slimming World.

As a child and entering into my early teens I was always very slim (my cousin's nickname for me was whippet) and I never really worried about what I ate. I ate what I wanted when I wanted and never seemed to put on weight. I swam and played hockey for the County (this was a bribery from my PE Teacher who promised she wouldn't tell my Mum I was skiving off from Cross Country and having a fag...apparently she saw potential in my hockey skills.....I just didn't want to run cross country so thought what the hell). 

As my body started changing and boobs (sorry to the guys reading this) and curves started to appear I became a lot more conscious of myself and trying to look more like my skinny-er friends who were also slightly more flat chested than I was. Puberty is a cruel time and certainly not something I would like to go through again!

This is when my unhealthy obsession with finding quick fixes (cos I hate exercise) to diet. At my very slimmest (and not the most attractive time) I was wearing the children's clothes range out of Newlook (ages 9 to 15yrs) and could fit my bony feet into a size 4 shoe. I thought I looked fab but my health was suffering - hair would fallout, had really bad skin and I was always ill with colds or some bug. I literately lived off tea, toast, fags and booze and was not in the best place with myself.

I met a guy (the old cliché), whom I fell in love with and made me like who I am again. As all couples do (and don't deny it) I started eating - we'd eat loads of junk food, late night pizzas, meals out etc and the pounds slowly started piling on but felt happy - perhaps this is where the saying, 'blinded by love', becomes relevant. Two kids later and I now look like this.....

Now, once upon a time I would have been devastated (well I'm still quite upset) and would have easily kick started myself into a regime but this time I'm finding it really difficult. Don't know whether this is because I'm older and my priorities have changed, or because I have the love of my life and not having to go out and impress or if because deep down I actually don't care what people think of me (well the latter is a lie sadly I do care). At the time this picture was taken (only a week a go) I actually felt okay - I put on my lala (that's make up by the way), washed and straightened the hair (which is usually tied up in a hair net), got myself a new outfit and spent the best night out with the girlies. Now looking at the picture I think - what the hell, I'm MASSIVE!! How on earth did I go out looking like that!

So peeps, this is where I remind you on why I am torturing myself with rabbit food for 3 months a) to loose weight and b) to raise money and awareness for a charity that is very close to my heart SANDS. So if you have a spare £1 or 2 I would ask you to help support me and the 30+ ladies taking on this challenge (and it really is a challenge as I'm desperate to tuck into one of my cakes again) for an inspiringly strong lady, Kirsti, who's beautiful baby boy, Alfie Joe, was born asleep.

picture with thanks to Picture U Carlisle

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The cost of becoming healthy ££££

As a family of four our weekly shopping bills are never cheap but as we navigate the isles in Morrisons and load up on fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta, lean meats and sacks of potatoes we have to remove youngest from the seat so we can find room to put the essentials in....Yorkshire Tea and my amazing new mug!!!

Look what I found....

I notice the hubby is fine with whatever we put in the trolly (it's my turn to pay) and hasn't really double checked the price of things (like he usually does) but nothing prepared me for the cashier's announcement of, "that will be £199.98 please". WHATTTTT!!! The worst of it is I'll be round the Co-op mid-week topping up on milk, bread and even more fruit so it's not the end of the spending :(

This is what £200 buys you......hasn't even filled the fridge!!
My pocket may have been better before the diet but hopefully my waist line will benefit from the extra £60pwk spend on food! ;)