I’m Moving – Come With Me

moving

Well since I started this blog just over three months ago it has been a whirlwind.

I have shared a lot of thoughts, some well written (I hope) some rubbish (I’m learning). I have had comments from lots of lovely people, learnt what people seem to enjoy reading and made lots of lovely new followers.

I also seem to have veered wildly off my original path of talking about parenting which is why I’m moving!

Don’t worry you’ll still see all our family frolics, our arts & crafts and baking successes and disasters as well as tips for the best days out or products to try. Hopefully though there’ll be a bit more adult content (no, not 50 shades type), my outlook on current affairs, and anything else that happens to pop into my mind.

I really hope you’ll join me and let me know what you want to read and thank you for following me so far.

My new site is My Life In Type

Facebook and twitter will remain the same as will my bloglovin account.

Oh and don’t worry, anyone who is waiting to hear who wins the macarons, the competition will continue to run on here and all entrants and comments have been counted and will remain valid, entry is also available on my new site and on here till the end date 15/05/2015.

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A Marriage breakdown As Told By Facebook

One of my favourite pastimes is reading my facebook thread and making comments such as “who cares?” when someone posts another picture of their dinner or their kids winning a medal for writing/walking/singing (delete as necessary). Posts such as “so tired,” or “fed up” also drive me to shout stop moaning at my computer screen. Mr B gently reminds me that I don’t have to actually read these posts that annoy me. Does he not understand that I enjoy my daily facebook rant?

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That was until I started seeing the recent posts from the application “On This Day” similar to other applications like Timehop, On This Day  show’s you what you posted 1, 2 or even 5 years ago on that particular day, and boy did I post.

Over the last few days my posts from 5 years ago became distinctly different and frequent, see if you can spot what happened?

17/04/10 is really very, very angry to find out her son’s nursery play area has been vandalised AGAIN by some drunken idiots, will not tell you what my husband thinks should be done to them!

20/04/10 Sometimes I wish I were a little kid again, skinned knees are easy to fix.

20/04/10 has just realised it’s when the chips are down you find out how many wonderful friends you have.

26/04/10 knows that in time this too shall pass.

27/04/10 would like this to stop, now please.

Yep on the 17th of April I was a happily (I thought) married woman with 2 children moaning about her son’s playground being wrecked by vandals.

On the 18th of April I discovered via facebook (ah yes that wonderful thing again) that my husband of 9 years had been having an affair and wanted to leave (he did, it’s all ok, that is not the point of the story).

The  last two posts above are exactly the kind that drive me crazy when I see them on facebook. Attention seeking, cryptic, begging for people to ask whats wrong? And they did, they replied, they sent private messages and texts, came round with chocolate and wine and travelled from the other side of the country to be with me. Those on the other side of the world couldn’t do that but checked in with me as often as possible and I needed it.

Maybe facebook isn’t the place to air such things and admittedly I’m sure there were some ill advised posts with language and recriminations which shouldn’t have been in the public eye and which were subsequently removed (mostly after threatening solicitors letters -scary!) But it was a support mechanism, it was reaching out to people whether they were close friends or vague acquaintances to be reassured someone cared. It was someone to interact with during those long hard days devoid from the one person I had come to rely ons support and company.

Here are some more;

28/04/2010 has lost a stone, knew there had to be a silver lining 

03/05/2010 what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and I have no intention of lying down and playing dead

03/05/2010 what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and I have no intention of lying down and playing dead

25/05/2010 is tired and sore and down in the dumps, boo hoo

25/05/2010 know’s it’s only Tuesday but really needs a large glass of wine, soon

30/05/2010 needs a big night out this Saturday, who’s with me?

30/05/10 I am woman, hear me roar!

17/06/10 is not sure a free bar on a school night was a good idea!

20/06/10 had a lovely evening with lovely people but is really getting too old to roll in at 4am, bang go any plans for today.

30/06/10 is starting to stress about childcare during the hols, not quite sure how all those working mum’s manage!

12/07/10 Illegitimi non carborundum

16/07/10 is feeling very wobbly about spending 4 days without her babies.

19/07/10 is loving being back at work but not loving the endless forms and telephone calls to arrange tax credits, childcare, council tax etc, aaaaaaaaagh my brain is melting.

25/07/10 sometimes wonders if she really is strong enough.

26/07/10 is truly blessed to have so many wonderful friends to lift me up when I am down.

The posts actually make me laugh now, they verge between fed up, tired, sad and there is also an awful lot of talk around partying and alcohol (see above) , before you judge I wasn’t celebrating the end of a marriage I was desperate for distraction. I had never been apart from my kids before and now found myself suddenly spending 48 hours a fortnight childless, and without another adult in the house and without those friends who dragged me out on the town I can honestly say I may not have made it through, so thank you.

facebook-oversharers

There was a ridiculous amount of posts for such a small time scale and I’m sure I must have annoyed many facebook users with my incessant moaning but they were all kind enough not to say anything or unfriend me. In some ways I am glad to have them as reminder of what I went through and how I came out the other side. They are a permanent record of my journey from stay at home mum to single, working mum and all that, that entails (not least childcare issues and the maze that is tax credit applications).  There was also an awful lot of terrible cliched phrases and a couple of Kelly Clarkson lyrics, for those I apologise profusely.

So my vow to myself is, for all those people who are sad, lonely or upset and post something on facebook I will try not to be so quick to dismiss them, I will try and reach out and see if I can help someone the way others helped me.

Oh and I will also continue to post pictures of my kids winning things because they are the best 🙂

My favourite post though was this one, I’ll leave you to google it.

12/07/10 Illegitimi non carborundum

Reflections on Reflexology

Way back at Christmas time my daughter was lucky enough to win a prize in her Guide group Christmas raffle. She was most excited when she received a sealed envelope, thinking it may contain cinema, bowling or crazy golf tickets. No such luck for her it contained a voucher for a 45 minute reflexology session. Good for me though as she kindly donated it to her mum.

Fast forward 4 months and I have finally got round to using the voucher. Just after the new year I seemed to damage my toe in some unknown way and spent weeks hobbling about on what I self diagnosed as a broken toe so felt it wasn’t the best time to go for a foot treatment. Eventually all healed up I made my appointment with Gillian at Dalgety Bay Therapies.

014Based in Dalgety Bay Business Centre Gillian also offers Swedish and aromatherapy massage as well as hot stone therapy. I have had several massages before but never tried reflexology, all I knew was it involves your feet. I was interested to find out exactly what it involved and how I would find it.

Gillian immediately put me at ease with her pleasant and relaxed nature as she took time to explain how the session would work. She explained that reflexology works on the basis that certain areas of the feet relate to other areas of the body and that the treatment was designed to first locate and then work on any problem areas and restore balance to the body.

After the treatment had been explained I was asked to provide in confidence a brief medical history covering any previous illnesses or current aches and pains or feelings of fatigue or stress. Gillian then took time to discuss the blend of  oils she felt would be most beneficial for me, ultimately opting for peppermint and grapefruit when I indicated that I was looking to feel more uplifted rather than relaxed.

Once on the massage table the lights were dimmed and soothing music put on. Gillian had explained she didn’t talk during treatment which suited me fine. Quiet time away from the kids is to be grasped with both hands as I have learned. She did also advise she would take notes of any issues she uncovered throughout the session.

So onto the actual treatment. I have to admit I wasn’t sure what someone could spend 45 minutes doing with your feet but turns out time flies as I drifted into a pleasant near doze. The treatment was extremely relaxing and whether imaginary or real I am sure there were certain areas of my body I could feel react during the massage. In particular there was a feeling of relaxation in my shoulders and across my forehead and face.

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                                                       Happy Feet!

The most interesting part of the treatment for me was hearing her discoveries. She told me she had done a lot of work on the areas that related to my shoulders and they definitely felt looser. She also asked if I had sinus problems (I do they run in my family), and said she has worked on that and not to be surprised if I had a runny nose later as they should now be cleared.

The most fascinating part though was her “reading” of my feet. From what I can gather this is a little like reading a palm, don’t scoff it was pretty accurate. Apparently my feet give away the fact that I’m pretty sociable and outgoing (guilty), call a spade a spade (em yep), but that it looked like I was holding something back (ooh not sure what that is).

The whole experience was professional, relaxing and really interesting. I left feeling lighter but not entirely sure if I felt better as such, but then I hadn’t felt particularly unwell before hand. What is really interesting though is that as they day has gone on I have felt upbeat, positive and just lighter in myself, if that makes sense. Not that I am normally all doom and gloom but I just feel a bit less stressy than usual. Put it this way Mr B say he’s sending me for a session every week! Is it coincidence or psychosomatic? Who knows but I’m not knocking it, this was a lovely experience and definitely one I would try again or recommend if you are in need of a bit of a lift.

Celebrating National Stop Snoring Week

Today (20th April) marks the start of National Stop Snoring week. Snoring and my desire for it to stop are something which readers of my earlier post “Learning to live with it, err him” will know all about.

Mr B is a snorer of epic proportion, his night time nasal noises are famed amongst friends he has stayed with (even in separate rooms he doesn’t go unheard).

This weekend Mr B had a well deserved night out, he crawled into bed in the wee small hours and my peace was shattered. On previous similar occasions I have resorted to taking a blanket downstairs or clambering into an unoccupied child’s cabin bed to spend an uncomfortable night squashed amongst the teddy bears.

This time I was determined I wasn’t shifting. So I nudged Mr B, then nudged him a bit harder and then harder still,  and nothing. I shook him, I declared loudly that I wanted him to go and sleep downstairs, I even told him we were over (yes really). I huffed and puffed, writhed around and all to no effect. Mr B was oblivious, in his alcohol induced state he was completely unaware both of my discomfort and his horrendous snoring. By 5am I was literally in tears through lack of sleep and frustration.

snore

According to the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association the reason people snore more when they have been drinking alcohol is because it relaxes the muscles causing the oropharynx (the bit at the the back of your mouth) to collapse more readily causing snoring. This is fascinating information which has led me to one conclusion. Mr B will in future be left a blanket and pillow on the couch, and told in no uncertain terms that this will be his bed for the night when he next has a boys night out.

Luckily it is not all doom and gloom though, Friday night was awful but also a now unusual occurrence. After my previous post the lovely people at Snoreeze were kind enough to give us some products to try out.

To be honest, while I was willing to try anything I wasn’t convinced they would work. Mr B has previously been prescribed nasal drops to try and stop his snoring which were difficult to insert and made little or no difference. Still nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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Mr B opted to try the throat spray, the nozzle is angled so it’s easy to use and you simply shake the bottle and spray three times to the back of the throat. It provides  8 hours of action for each application. The first night Mr B tried the spray I lay listening intently, and the snoring began as usual and continued. Night 2 we gave it another shot and whether he had not used the spray correctly the first night or it required some kind of build up, this night was different. The snoring, what there was of it was far lighter and easier to live with.

Since then MrB has used the throat spray every night and we have gone on to buy a second bottle so impressed are we with it. The snoring has all but stopped, and any that does persist is actually quite cute and snuffly (aaaw) as opposed to like a freight train rattling through my bedroom every night. They do several different products including nose strips and throat strips. Different types of snoring may be better effected by different products and you can find out which is most suited to you here. Personally we will be sticking to the throat spray and celebrating National Stop Snoring Week with harmony restored in the bedroom (thank you Snoreeze)

Disclaimer – Amazing as this product has been for us it cannot compete with inebriated men who a) forget to use it, and b) have further relaxed their oropharynx I  with excess alcohol.

And now as promised to Mr B I will let the subject of his snoring lie, as long as he let’s me lie in peace (clever wasn’t that.)

Mini’s, Maxi’s and MOT’s – Will I Ever Pass First Time?

Driving to work yesterday I heard about a What Car survey on the radio detailing the most reliable and unreliable makes of cars. I listened intently and was delighted not to fall into the top 3 most unreliable, maybe this year would be different after all. Because this was  a day I have come to dread every year, it’s not my annual smear test or dentists check up, but my MOT, and I was on my way to drop my car off at the local garage.

Since my first car at the age of 17 I have had a succession of beaten up and broken down old bangers. Sofor me the chances of passing my MOT are in line with the chances of me winning the Nobel Peace Prize or The X-Factor for that matter.

I can honestly say I have never heard the words “you passed first time,” in relation to motoring terms. Well unless you include my one and only breathalyzer test, it turns out it was just my natural dizziness and not alcohol which led to me being stopped for going round the same roundabout three times! It was only after 4 attempts and a near nervous breakdown on my driving instructors behalf that I passed my driving test, he retired shortly after.

mot

My first car was a gorgeous midnight blue mini which was for sale for the princely sum of £400, my dad got it knocked down to £375 because there was no passenger side handle. This he assured me wasn’t an issue. What did turn out to be an issue was the faulty bonnet latch, flying down a narrow single lane track when the bonnet flies open obscuring your vision is a pretty hair raising moment, maybe Disney should consider it for their next big thrill ride?

Turns out the windscreen wipers weren’t too sturdy either as I discovered while driving back from Stirling one wet and wild night. The driver side wiper flew off never to be seen again. The remainder of the journey was spend with the window rolled down as I leant out and attempted to use my arm as a makeshift wiper. Still I survived if a little damply, unfortunately the mini did not. At it’s very first MOT it’s floor was declared to be holier than Mother Theresa and the cost to repair it more than the value of the car, so off it went to the great scrap heap in the sky.

There have been countless further examples and I won’t bore you with them all but here are just a few.

First was the Austen Maxi which at £75 was such a bargain it had the insurance lady in hysterics when I replied to her question regarding what the value of the car was. They didn’t have an option for below £100 so we had to settle for that. To be fair despite the bright orange upholstery and gunmetal gray exterior it was a good car, until I drove it into the back of a parked van, being insured for only £100 it was declared a write off.

maxi
Yes, I drove one of these

There was the Volvo 240 with the dodgy starter motor. Not at problem as long as I remembered to carry a hammer everywhere I went. Many a time I had stopped to get petrol and ended up having to lift the bonnet and give the starter a quick whack because ir had stuck again. Luckily this was before the days of stop and search or I may have had some awkward questions to answer about the offensive weapon stashed in my passenger footwell.

Then there was my all time favourite, my 16 year old bright red Micra. Now I don’t normally agree with naming inanimate objects but this car just called for it. The kids christened it Bessie Yoda (the second part being my son’s contribution) and she had a very special place in my heart.

Inherited from my great Aunt Jessie, little Bessie had sat untouched for many years in her garage. Cue much amusement and disbelief from the insurance agency again when I told them this vintage lady had only 16,000 miles on the clock, equating to just one thousand miles per year of her life.

If cars can have personalities then Bessie did, she came into my life at a time when I was once again an independent lady, albeit with 2 kids in tow. She had no power steering, a tape deck and certainly no mod cons like electric windows or central locking. She was good looking, fun and reliable though, just what every girl wants. It was heavy heart that I led her go two years ago to get a more modern and family appropriate Ford Focus, nice but no Bessie!

micra
A Betsy look alike

The one thing all these car’s have had in common is their ability to fail their MOT’s miserably. Every year I wait, continuously glancing at my phone to see if the garage has called and every year I pray for the word’s “it’s passed,” but it is not to be. Bushes and axles,pads and discs, I have no idea what these things mean apart from a large dent in my wallet. So was this year any different?

Good news Mrs Simpson, it’s only failed on two things? could it be 2 lightbulbs? maybe even a couple of tyres that wouldn’t be too bad? No two suspension arms, again I don’t know what these are (though I do suspect my reluctance to slow down at speed bumps may bear some relation to their sorry state) but I do know they are not cheap. Oh well another year another fail.

Still at least I can console myself with the fact that I’ll probably never have one of the most unreliable cars, at least not according to What Car’s survey, after all I doubt I’ll be able to afford a Bentley or Porsche any time soon!

Too Much Information – Things You Don’t Want Your Parents To Tell You

So Jamie Oliver has admitted this weekend that the story he has repeated several times about being conceived on Southend Peir was really just a made up tale (read the whole story here), originally used to wind up his mum and repeated until it became a modern day urban myth.

No such luck for me I know exactly when and where I was conceived, luckily the where was in the privacy of my mum and dad’s bedroom and not at some local landmark like under the Forth Road Bridge (though I’m sure there are a few kids out there who could lay claim to such an event, it wasn’t uncommon in my younger days for young chaps to suggest a drive down under the bridges to “admire the view”).

I do know however that I was conceived on Monday the 24th of January 1977 around 11pm, how’s that for accurate. The story goes that my parents had been attending an early Burn’s Night supper at the local women’s guild, where my mum had bumped into a heavily pregnant friend. She went home that evening and fuelled by envy over her friends maternal status and perhaps a sherry or too she hoodwinked my dad (who was quite happy to settle with my two siblings) into becoming a dad for the third and final time. Apparently on enquiring he was told that there was no change of conception at this particular time of the month. I hope she had her fingers crossed while she told this white lie but given the circumstances this may have been tricky.

scottish
Warning! – This may lead to unplanned pregnancies

Perhaps you might think this is a nice story to tell your child? After all it ties in nicely with why I was given a far more Scottish name than my older siblings, and show’s I was very much wanted (at least by one of my parents, though my dad seems to have taken to me anyway) but I’m not sure I want to know what my mother had in mind for my father while she stepped gaily toe for toe.

In fact since I became a parent myself my mother and indeed both my aforementioned siblings have felt the need to discuss aspects of their personal life’s with me that make me want to place my fingers in my ears, close my eyes and hum loudly until they go away.

Perhaps it’s because they feel that now I have gone through pregnancy and birth, it follows by default that I must have performed the task necessary to acquire such a state (only twice though of course!) and that I am therefore wordly wise.

ears

This may be the case and I am happy to discuss the odd amusing bedroom antics story over a glass of Pinot Grigio with my girl friends (although sorry boys, more often than not we are discussing what colour to paint our bathroom or the latest playground scandal rather than scenes we would like to re-enact from Fifty Shades).

This does not mean however I want my mum to make smutty innuendos about how she will need to take my key for her house back because, “you never know what me and dad could be up to”, or tell me with relish about her Christmas day ritual that involves leading my father back to the bedroom after their festive breakfast of marmalade on toast  (what would Paddington think).

It may be childish and naive but…I just don’t want to know! Logically I know it must have happened, I’m here as living proof, but  I just do not want to think of any of my relatives apart from in a fully clothed respectable manner, preferably doing some sensible activity like knitting, gardening, so please, please stop telling me!

Britains May Have Talent But I’ll Never Know – Why I Wont Be switching On Tonight

The new series of Britains Got Talent starts tonight!

I know this because I have seen it advertised on the T.V, I have heard it mentioned on the radio and I listened to numerous discussions at work about it, but as usual I wasn’t able to join the conversations.

I have never watched Britains Got Talent, I’ve never watched The X-Factor, The Voice, Popstars or Pop Idol either (are they two different things?) I don’t know who the winners or losers of previous years have been, though I’m pretty sure there was a dancing dog that featured heavily.

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I am aware of a couple of other contestants such as  James Boyd of ferrero rocher eating fame. I went to school with James, although a few years below him and couldn’t fail to notice his television appearance given the amount of column inches it received in our local paper. Most recently I have become aware of last weeks The Voice winner Stevie McRorie, living just 15 miles along the road from me again it was impossible to ignore the local media’s interest in his rise to fame.

Has this piqued my interest in these shows? Nope, not even a little bit. Yes I miss being part of the workplace and social media discussion groups that surround these shows (my facebook news thread will feature little else tonight) but even that is not enough to bring me to watch them. I’m no TV snob, I don’t sit about watching high brow entertainment, in fact I’m rather partial to a bit of Motorway Cops or One Born Every Minute and have even been known to chuckle at You’ve Been Framed (admittedly not as much as my kids, who seem to think someone falling of a chair is the height of hilarity).

I just cannot bring myself to watch these people who put themselves in front of the nation to be ridiculed and humiliated or in some ways worse, promised the stars, told they are special, only to be forgotten two weeks later. I know they have applied and chosen to be on these shows, and the television production companies claim to have all sorts of support in place to make sure they know what they are getting into and  the X Factor in particular now claims to have introduced psychological testing for participants after the well publicised meltdown of previous contestant Susan Boyle, but is it enough?

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How many young people going into these shows desperate for their five minutes of fame know the impact it may have on their lives, and I don’t mean a lifetime of fame and fortune. Even singers who have worked at their art for years can find it hard to cope with the trappings of fame when they finally hit the big time, so how can anyone be expected to go from living a normal life, working in an office or shop to sudden stardom with everyone wanting a piece of you?

Those are just the one’s who do have some sort of success. What about the thousands of applicants encouraged to tell their sob stories of sadly departed relatives, or play on their unfortunate childhoods in an attempt to win the nations hearts but in reality making them appear sad or desperate. What about those who we are encouraged to laugh at because there singing is so awful or their dance routine so cringeworthy it is beyond belief? The old ladies or young children brought on for the aaw factor, but are they really emotionally able to deal with the pressure and attention that comes with these shows? Is it right to watch 5 and 6 year olds sob their hearts out on stage when they fail to proceed to the next round?

At the end of the day they may have signed up for this and therefore it’s up to them to know the risks, but how many of these people  people really know how they will appear on screen, which sections will be cut to leave just the most embarrassing and excruciating moments (it’s no secret after all that these shows are heavily edited) one little sound bite which will be repeated relentlessly in trailers across the nation every week to remind everyone just how wrong they were about their ability?

chartI read a Ben Elton book a couple of years ago called Chart Throb which although fictional rang all too true for me. It tells the story of contestants in a Pop Idol type show and how they are encouraged and manipulated to cry, lie and basically make fools of themselves for good entertainment. It may not be based on fact but I have to think it may not be a million miles away, and while I continue to read stories of former participants who have gone on to suffer mental health issues such as DJ Scott Whitley who attempted suicide after failing to make the semi finals of Britains Got Talent or more worryingly still of contestants who have apparently been specifically approached by these programmes it would seem purely for exploitation purposes such as the tone deaf Ceri Rees who was contacted and asked to appear on the X Factor in what can only appear to be an effort to produce higher viewing figures through ritual humiliation.

So although I may be left with no-one to talk to over my scone and tea at Monday mornings coffee break, I’ll continue my TV talent show abstinence, but I really must go now because Traffic Cops is coming on!