Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mine, Yours, Ours

Dear Hubby,

 Most of the time it’s mine.  Some of the time it’s yours and occasionally it’s ours.

 “It was such a hot day on MY wedding day”

 Well, let’s not beat around the bush.  It was my wedding day. Obviously I was marrying you, which was the most important part but the rest of the day, the whole day around the wedding vows, that was mine.  I don’t even know why I giggle and correct myself by saying “Our wedding day” anymore.  Lets call a spade a spade.

 “Do you know what YOUR son did today”

 He’s never mine when he misbehaves.  He’s always yours.  No child of mine would have such a temper or do something quite as terrible as that.  When he’s in my arms, cuddling, stroking my hair.  Then he’s mine.  That’s a given, right?

 “OUR Holiday”

 This gives me just as much right to praise and criticise the purchase, planning and content of said holiday.  It doesn’t denote that I had anything to do with stuff if it goes wrong but it allows me to take credit when things go right.  We’re all in this together, but I reserve the right to pick apart the bits I had nothing to do with.

 “Don’t put your shoes on MY sofa”

 When I am the one that has to clean it, it’s always mine.  At any rate, I’m the one who spent 4 months on google looking for the right sofa, set up the payment agreement and stayed home for the delivery. Now I think of it, there’s nothing about that sofa that is yours at all.  Mine!

 “THE bed needs changing”.

 Curve ball!  When I need you to do something with an item that is normally mine (the bed is mine, I provide rights for him to sleep in it) I will de-personalise the object.  It is a “thing” that belongs to no one and in this instance you’ll be doing the changing.  Once it’s got new sheets and a duvet cover on it, it becomes mine again. Capiche?

 “Have you seen what MY beautiful daughter has made for you”

 She’s artistic and it’s all down to me.  Anything she does for you that’s lovely is because she’s mine. Her mother’s daughter. 

 “Our debt”

 It’s actually because of you.  I’m just trying to be diplomatic.

 “My blog”

 Well it is…………and one day I hope I pluck up the courage to tell you about it.

I Hate Shoes!

There I said it.

Despite showing some of my lovely shoes above on my blog, I don’t really wear them very much.

I don’t dislike shoes in the sense that I like to pad about barefoot or with “hippy-like” sandals on my feet, although if they were warm, I’d probably give it a go.  No, I mean as a woman who likes to looks nice and likes to buy things that are pretty, I just don’t “get” shoes.

There is one main reason for that and probably a load of reasons I just don’t understand.

The main reason for my lack of enthusiasm for shoes is because I don’t find ANY shoes particularly comfortable.  Boots seem to work for me ok. High boots or ankle boots, I don’t care, but anything else is uncomfortable.

I think my upbringing in Australia may be to blame.  I spent about 9 months of each year barefoot or with flip-flops on (although they are called thongs in Australia — I’ll give you a minute to giggle about that).  I think my feet got used to being free. It’s entirely possible that the front of my foot is wider than it should be or higher or something but as a result there is always one, if not more, places on a shoe that rub or cut into me.  It can be incredibly miserable.

I wear trousers to work about 99% of the time and I wear the same ankle boots with those trousers every day.  Even writing this out now I can see how that seems really wrong.  The ones I wear are really comfortable, fit me well and have a chunky heel that tapers a little at the bottom.  Not too clunky, but not too dainty either.  Perfect for that 10 minute cycle from the car to the office and easy to walk in.  Do people really notice that sort of thing?  I have had the same boots for nearly 3 years and they’re worn down passed the heel now, so I’m literally looks for a replacement for them.  That’s what I do.  I buy on a “need to” basis.

Even if I bought another pair of ankle boots, I’d only buy a pair of brown ones similar and that’s because I’ve just bought a pair of Next trousers ….. yep you guessed it, in brown.  All my other trousers would only work with black (I think).

On the weekends I wear boots.  With my skinny jeans I can wear ankle or high boots (1 of each designated for that use).  I own a couple of ballerina pumps but only 1 of those doesn’t hurt me.  I mostly wear those in the summer, with knee-high tights (please don’t give up on me….I’m doing my best).  Shoes without socks or tights are a big no no for me. Pain city!  I’ve got a pair of sandals for summer too, but as a sufferer of the cold it has to be pretty hot for me to get my feet out.  To be honest I own lots of shoes, I just don’t wear them.

On nights out…….well that happens about 3 times a year and most of the time it’s somewhere I don’t need to dress up very much.  I have ventured out a bit since turning 40, in an attempt to be a bit more fashion conscious, with heels on, but it’s always ended in embarrassing disaster.

One of those nights I had flats on me, but by the time the top of the heeled shoes had damaged my foot, even the flats were painful and I limped next to my friends for the entire trip home.

I have bought a shoe stretcher and was successful in making a pair of patent black heels less painful.  I went out in my flats though and carried them in the bag, but I wore them for a couple of hours at a party (admittedly I was sat down for most of it) but I had thick tights on and didn’t suffer in them. shoes 2 I’ve tried to do the same with a pair of nude heels from Next that weren’t leather, but it doesn’t seem to have made much difference.  They look nice, but I walk like a zombie in them because they hurt so much.

So, maybe my whole love affair with shoes was never going to get off the ground due to the whole painful issue.  I don’t know. I do see some of the sparkly heels that get posted on twitter occasionally and go “ooooh lovely” but then I’m a sucker for sparkly “any things”.  Sometimes people say “I love these” and to me they are just shoes.  “Yeah they’re ok”.

Am I missing an important chunk of DNA here?  Did I fail to read the memo at birth that decreed I should love shoes, buy shoes and generally obsess over shoes?  Or do you think it’s all down to my painful relationship with them?   I have no idea how to overcome that, by the way.

I wish I didn’t but………….I really don’t like shoes.  :(

20 Year old me vs 40 year old me

Let the fight commence!

I love the party season in the UK. Every top and dress has sparkle in it, everyone agrees to one more glass of champagne and those of us that are of a certain age and with children finally lift ourselves from the safety of our sofa, take off our jogging bottoms, put a bit of eyeliner on and decide to be social.

Now despite my willingness to partake in as much of the party season as I can muster the energy for, I do things very differently now, as a 40-year-old, than I did as a 20-year-old embarking on a night out.   Here are my two different versions:Bubbly

GETTING READY

20yr old: Get ready from about 6pm, take approximately 2 hours. Spend ages on hair & makeup. Call up friends to find out what they are doing.  Drinks at home before heading out at 9pm.

40yr old: Get ready in mad rush between putting kids to bed and babysitter arriving. Leave hair as is, do minimal makeup.  Head out as soon as babysitter arrives (hopefully 7pm), time is money!

CLOTHES

20yr old: Wear short dress/skirt, heels and no coat regardless of the weather.  Putting a coat in the cloak room loses valuable drinking time. Mini handbag, just fits a credit card, cash and my lipstick.

40yr old: Wear glamorous but sensible outfit (if there is food involved, needs to be roomy or elasticated), heels in handbag, flats for walking, cardigan in case bar is chilly and coat. Normal handbag, I need everything in there….probably.

EATING AND DRINKING

20yr old: Follow rule “eating is cheating”.  Saves on money for drinking.

40yr old: Eat before going out to  ensure you don’t get too drunk as you are up at 7am with a small child.  May even pre-empt hangover with two nurofen.

PLANS

20yr old: No specific plans organised. Meet in a bar Centrally, have a few drinks, go somewhere else, head of to a club when we’ve made up our mind which one.

40yr old: Must be a pub/bar with seating.  Need to arrive fairly early as we have to leave at 10.30pm so we’re back before midnight to let the babysitter go home. (At any rate, I’m going to struggle to keep my eyes open until 10pm).  We’ve only got 2 hours people, let’s have fun QUICKLY.

MUSIC

20yr old:  Loud, Recent, Dancey, House Music ideal.  Lets go mental!

40yr old:  Not too loud I want to chat, definitely would like to dance, House Music still ideal as is anything on Radio 1 (still my fav station – I’m so hip!).  Let’s not go too mental. I don’t think they dance like that anymore.

JOURNEY HOME

20yr old: Random conversations with strangers on the tube. Might pole dance on the bars.  Swig of wine from a bottle working its way up the carriage.  Singing, laughing, loud.

40yr old: My feet are hurting, I’m cold, I’m tired, we should have left a bit earlier, What the hell is that girl wearing?  Please don’t talk to me weird bloke with beard.  I just want to be in bed, I miss my bed, mourn for bed.

THE NEXT DAY

20yr old: Crawl out of bed at 1pm.  Lots of tea and water. Bring duvet to sofa and watch anything that happens to be on.  Everyone who stayed over wakes up and we do a full post-mortem on the night. Someone offers to go and get takeaway. We dare each other to be the first to have a cigarette.

40yr old: As I drank 4 pint glasses of water before bed and took 2 nurofen, my headache is minor which is just as well as I had a wake up call at 7.30am.  Downstairs in dressing gown, breakfast made for children, finally lie on sofa and try to rest through the noise of Fifi and the Flowertots and the gentle bickering of my children.

My Christmas party outfit

My Christmas party outfit

I have to say the effort involved in making it possible to have a night out now sometimes just isn’t worth it.  If I had a live-in nanny, things may be very different, but as it currently stands, you have to be a very important friend and have a pretty important event to warrant me getting out of these jogging bottoms!

So, how does your nights outs compare to the ones you have now?

January Anniversaries

Funny old thing anniversaries aren’t they?

Some are significantly wonderful, others are incredibly sad and all of them reminds us of the passing of time.  Life just seems to be flashing by so fast doesn’t it.mark-calendar

So I guess the first significant date was the 1st January 2013.  It was only over Christmas, whilst thinking about a few other anniversaries, I realised that this was a pretty significant date.  I doubt my father or my sister realise it and I’m not going to remind them, seems a bit pointless really, they know the date, the number of years less important.  On the evening of the 1st of January 1983 my brother “accidentally” took his own life, in our house.  He was 15 at the time and my parents had refused to allow him to go to another party as he had attended one the night before.  He got flustered in his angry explanation and we had all laughed at him from the dinner table. He stormed off.  During the evening whilst my sister and I watched the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (a program I can’t watch anymore) he asked to go to the shed for a screwdriver and whilst there he made a choice that cost him his life.  He chose a particular bug poison in my dad’s pesticide cabinet that we found out years later, increased in toxicity the longer it was on the shelf. It was 10 years old. He took barely a sip, just enough to teach my parents a lesson I guess.  By the time he got inside he was already vomiting. His body started shutting down within 20 minutes. The ambulance took over an hour to come because we were semi-rural and they got lost.  My grandparents arrived before the ambulance did and my grandfather and dad carried out mouth to mouth resuscitation to keep him alive.  He was hospitalised but a few days later it was confirmed that he would not survive.  It’s been 30 years.  I was 10 years old and whilst I had and have no strong connection to my brother the events of that night still haunt me.  A thousand what ifs. I guess this is the big anniversary I’d rather not dwell on as it completely changed all of our lives forever.  My mother was never the same again and my brother was NEVER spoken of in the house again.  Everything you shouldn’t do, my parents did.  I didn’t even get to go to the funeral.  I still expect him to turn up one day, having skipped off to live another life somewhere.  I went to a different high school, met different people and my life path changed. Without this event I wouldn’t be living in London or married to my husband.  A very strange anniversary.

January 7th – 15 years since my mother’s funeral.  I think she died a about 5 days earlier, but for some reason this date was the one I remembered.  I flew back to Australia on the 1st January to see her as her brain tumour had returned. She was in a much worse state than I thought she’d be. Each day she declined massively until she went into a coma. I had only managed to get 2 weeks off from drama school and in typical Mum fashion, she timed everything so I’d be able to say my goodbye.  It was 40 degrees on the day of her funeral.  The sky was cornflower blue.  Not a great anniversary, but a significant one.

11th January – 7 years since my dad had his stroke.  He’s alive, at home, being cared for by his wife in Essex, but he hasn’t got a great quality of life.  However, had he died on that day he would have missed out on seeing his youngest daughter marry and 4 grandchildren, so I imagine he thinks it’s well worth it.  He’s still going strong.  Not a big anniversary but worth remembering.

So, January isn’t such a great month for my family, but life has a funny way of changing things.  January IS a wonderful month because on the 20th January 5 years ago my longed for daughter who was conceived via IVF was born. This has made January a very important, happy month in my house.  My son was due on 5th January 2 years ago (although he opted to arrive on the rubbish date of Christmas Eve!)  So for me, January is a wonderful month despite these horrendous reminders of past sadness.

And when we are done with January……….I get to celebrate 10 years of marriage in August.  I’m so impressed that Hubby and I have managed to weather the storm through some quite tumultuous times to get here. I wouldn’t be without him and a fact I need to remind myself of sometimes when I’m grimacing about his lack of washing up skills.

So for all the BIG anniversaries that aren’t so good, there will always be those that are amazing and remind us of what is really in important in life.

Do you have a month of significant anniversaries?  Is there a time of year that throws them up, good and bad?