Tag Archives: 40yr old

The new me or another fashion disaster?

I like to think I am fashion conscious, however I don’t tend to spend a lot of money trying to follow trends.  I’ve always thought it was a little wasteful because as soon as the trend is over, you feel obliged to stick the item in the back of the wardrobe.

Inevitably, as well, I spend ages looking at the latest trend (ooooh leopard print shoes), deciding it was too seasonal and therefore wasteful, discover it’s still out there 2 years later and then finally buying it about 30 seconds before it becomes old hat.

Another favourite of mine is finding a new style, but disliking it.  Gradually being brainwashed over the course of the next year by seeing lots of people wearing it and thinking it actually looks quite good, not being able to find it and eventually buying it about 30 seconds before it becomes old hat.

It will probably come as no surprise to you that I am showing an interest in peplum.  I am resisting the urge to buy……….I think it’s on it’s way out. (you can see how this pattern emerges).

A couple of weeks ago I was reading a blog post by the delightful School Gate Style and she was at an event where she was trying on various outfits.  She is of a similar build to me (perhaps less bumpy and probably a size or 2 smaller) and I saw her try on some things from River Island.  I had an overwhelming urge to try them for myself, so at the next opportunity in my lunch break I headed off to do just that. I liked what I saw and bought it.

This is the whole outfit.

The top (which didn’t feature on Avril’s post) is a beige oversized gold stud top and is size 10.  The grey tweed biker jacket is actually a size 12  to allow it to be a bit more comfortable.  The trousers caused me a little bit of distress.  I am a size 10, but for some items of clothing such as skinny jeans, I do occasionally have trouble doing them up due to my mummy tummy.  This doesn’t happen in Next or some of the Debenhams brands, but I do occasionally have to go up a size if I don’t want to do myself an injury.  When I went to try these trousers on, they only had a size 14 so I thought I’d try anyway and get a feel for whether I liked them.  They fitted perfectly, but I ended up buying online and buying a size 12, which I felt was more acceptable.  Needless to say, I couldn’t do the buggers up, so took them back and bought the 14.  Some very kind people on twitter told me they have to do that occasionally and one lady cuts out her labels so she isn’t reminded.  I haven’t quite done that yet, but at least I will be able to breathe and eat in it!  I’ve worn the jacket so far, but intend to wear the whole ensemble to a 40th party in November that is at a bar/pub.

My second purchase this month (I rarely buy clothes, but I’m on a bit of a mission) was from TK Maxx last Friday.  It was an “accidental” purchase as I wasn’t looking for something.  As usual I have come late to the party with coloured skinny jeans and whilst the brighter colours make me look a little too “try hard” I thought the navy here was quite nice.  These were a 12, but are a little loose on the tummy (they didn’t have any 10’s) and I solve that by using a skinny belt to keep it tighter.

So what do you think?  Have I now become a yummy mummy?  Is there hope for me yet or am I too old to try the latest trends?
Disclaimer 1: Trying to photograph yourself anonymously, on your own with a timer was rather tricky.  I also had 2 hours to write this post, work out the timer functionality on my camera, find something to put it on and change. I apologise for the state of the pictures and the state of me.

Disclaimer 2: For those of you that were so kind about my hair on this post.  This is day 7……”dragged through a hedge backwards” springs to mind and I brushed it!


What has happened to my arse?  

On minute it was sitting high (and large in a good way), the right proportion of muscle and fat and now it’s gone horrendously width ways and changed into a shape I don’t even recognise anymore.

I used to have my arse serenaded to by sailors (I kid you not, it did happen!)

It hooked every man I EVER went out with including my husband and now it hangs there like some sort of lumpy, cheap, sprayable, foam filler.

Where once I could have tucked my arse neatly into a tight pair of trousers, parading it about like a thing of wonder, I’m finding myself adjusting the length of my tops to create the right silhouette.  Get it wrong and having THAT atop my skinny (ish) legs just looks comical.

I don’t think there are exercises available to rescue my arse from the cliff top its falling from, but if there are then please send help immediately. Otherwise I intend to either wear a bustle under everything and start wearing Victorian bathers in the shower to spare me the horror.

The one where……….I talk about friends

I have been musing about this post for a while.  Probably for about 15 years, even before the internet started and I knew what a blog post was.  I may or may not be unusual, but here goes…

I really don’t have many friends.

I don’t make friends easily.  I think it boils down to not wanting to put myself up for rejection, so I take a while to warm up to a friendship, I need to know that we are both in it 100% before I can launch into anything.

I wasn’t born in the UK (although my parents were born and raised here) so I had a big group of friends from high school that I hung out with a lot after I left school.  I probably drifted slightly away from them in the mid 90’s when I hooked up with my various boyfriends, partly because I was being all grown up and ACTUALLY having a real relationship (not a pretend one) and partly because my friends knew what I only knew in hindsight, that my boyfriends were dicks.  Anyway……I digress.

Leaving those friends behind to move to the UK was not difficult for me at all. I’m not even sure I said goodbye at the end, just moseyed off.  Our friendship was born out of circumstance rather than any real closeness and I was off on an adventure with my boyfriend (Dick number 2).

I’ve been living in the UK for nearly 18 years now (Dick number 1 and 2 now long gone) and I don’t have any group of people who are my friends, that I can regularly hook up with.  I have my husband’s friends (who we hung out with a lot pre children) and they are really nice and I’m sort of close to a couple of them, but if they shit hit the fan in our relationship I know they wouldn’t be there for me, because they aren’t MY friends.

I have a friend I house shared with when I first came here who now lives in Ireland who I barely stay in contact with and another I used to work with for several years who I was very close to, but lives a fair distance away now.  Another friend, both me and my husband met at the same time at drama school, is more my friend than his and we are very close, but I don’t see her as often as I should and she literally has MILLIONS of friends.

So I’ve got 3 people who are my friends.  They are littered all over Great Britain, they know each other from gatherings but aren’t friends themselves so we can’t all get together somewhere.  I have to see them all separately (if I do at all).

So, who do I turn to in a crisis?  Who do I phone when I can’t make my mind up about which dress is right or whether I should switch jobs or study full-time?  No one.  Nada. Zip!  I don’t ring anyone because I don’t have a friend I’ve ever done that with.  I’m thinking I’m a bit odd, so many people seem to have best friends or (BFF — bleurgh) and “the guys” “uni mates” “Bristol crew” and I’m barely scraping together enough people to have a meal with.

I’ve ruminated on this for some time.  My husband has worried about it on my behalf (I’m sure he has a friend making machine in the shed, because he has thousands).  In my darkest hour I’ve got concerned that I’d have no one to turn to if my marriage fails, no one to support me, dry my eyes and drag me through it.

The bottom line is that I can’t change anything.  I can try to be more social with the ones I have (I’ve just started booking meals, visits etc..) and my daughter is about to start school so maybe (maybe) another mum and me might strike up a friendship and enjoy each others company.  Who knows.  I do know that I won’t push things to try to get friends.  Slowly slowly gives everyone a chance to be sure it’s going to work out.  Too many times we embark on these things only to discover the person in question is an idiot, narrow-minded, alcoholic or just plain annoying.  There’s nothing worse than having to email someone to say you don’t want to see them anymore, because all of your subtle hints didn’t work and they won’t stop bloody calling. (I’m not proud of the fact but yes, I did do this once).

Well, I guess that’s hit the nail on the head huh?  I’m pretty picky about my friendships. I won’t be friends with any old Tom, Dick and Harry.  You have to have similar ideals to me, a sarcastic sense of humour, happy to talk about your embarrassing mishaps for the greater good of entertainment and enjoy a drink or two when the time is right.  If you have kids, my children HAVE to feel comfortable in your children’s company. They don’t have to be the same age, but if you have a “weird” kid, my daughter is going to freak out about it and we’ll end up only seeing each other in the cloak of darkness. Probably not ideal in the long-term.

I’ll keep thinking about it and hope I pick up some more on my journey through life.  I know I’m being a little awkward and whilst I think I’m a great friend I’m under no illusion that people have different views of you than you have of you, so I probably come across as aloof or unfriendly, when inside I’m screaming “be my friend, be my friend”.

So what do you find are the best qualities in your friendships?  Do you accept them warts and all or as you as slow and picky as me?

The fortnight I strayed……

I’m so dreadfully sorry.

I did it without thinking, without considering your feelings.

I did it out of pure selfishness and I’m sorry for hurting you………..but I don’t regret it for a second.

The Olympics were FAR more interesting and inspiring for me so I’ve chosen to neglect you all on Twitter. I haven’t died or moved to Facebook. I’m still here, caught up in the frenzy of gold medals and amazing athletes.

Wow. It’s been great hasn’t it?  I’ve managed to make it to beach volleyball and a diving event in the Olympic stadium.  I’m off to 2 events there on Tuesday as well.  I’ve also benefitted from living near Twickenham by seeing the road races and managed to get a view of the Olympic Torch.  If there was a medal for immersing yourself in the spirit of the Olympics I’m surely in for contention.

I know ALOT of people aren’t interested and I’m cool with that.  Whatever floats your boat.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  I think even more people thought they wouldn’t be interested until they saw some familiar streets, an opening ceremony that made our hearts soar and our national pride soar even more and then we actually started WINNING. I mean – heck!  We are winning Golds, man.  So people are hooked who didn’t know one athlete from another and had a hard time even naming some Olympic sports.

I do like the Olympics.  I get very emotional at the idea that all of these nations that usually argue, fight, have wars etc.. suddenly agree to meet somewhere and do some running races and give each other a pat on the back.  I like that, it makes me cry. ALOT.

It makes me google athletes (where are they from?  How did they start? Where did they train?) and it makes me find out more about countries too.  Watching the women’s 3m springboard and the awesomeness of the Chinese divers made me find out more about them.  I’m not so naive as to think they are frolicking through daisy strewn fields when they are on their way to training but I can’t be happy about their Golds at all.  It just makes me sad for what they had to give up in order to get them.  Surely it’s not worth all of that.

I googled Wu Minxia (or I may have read an article – I can’t remember) and it revealed that she hadn’t seen her family in over 8 years.  She is not allowed contact with them at all and it was only after she won her gold that they revealed that her grandparents had died over a year ago and that her mother had been suffering with cancer.  Is that really an acceptable way to treat an individual.  It makes me shudder.  However, perhaps I want them to win gold because I’m not sure how they would be dealt with if they didn’t.

At any rate, for all these sad stories come the amazing ones like Oscar Pistorious, other wise known as Blade runner.  He ran on artificial legs and was the first double amputee to compete at the Olympic Games.  What an amazing story and what an inspiration to the hundreds of people both able-bodied and disabled at what can be achieved if you just believe.

So I’m sorry I’ve neglected you twitter friends but I’m thoroughly enjoying my dalliance with sport.  It will be over too soon and I will be back seeking inspiration from you all in no time.

Sex, Infertility and the (slightly) older woman

One of the big advantages to blogging anonymously is being able to tackle the sorts of things I just wouldn’t do if my name was in the title and my mates were following my blog. So I’m going to tackle something that I find very difficult to talk about……….sex. Specifically my own.

The Irish one (my husband) and I had a pretty good sex life when we met each other in our mid 20’s. In fact, really good. Not a 6 in one night kind of sex life, but a frequently and very satisfying sex life that I had no reason to ever complain about.

We married in our early 30’s and waited a year before trying for a baby. And try we did. In fact we tried so hard to have a baby that the whole thing became a bit of a chore. You may have heard this sort of thing before. My advice to anyone trying for a baby is to hold off charting or using ovulation kits until as long as possible. As soon as you begin using it them, that’s it….things will never be the same again.

I don’t regret our regimental approach really, because I think we realised we were going to have issues within 2 years but it had a huge impact on our sex life. Lots of arguments and lots of having to have sex when really neither one of us was in the mood. A bit of a disaster really.

4 years, 5 IUI’s later and then our first IVF and we were finally pregnant. We had 9 months off sex. It was a relief. No more needing to do it and we both wanted the break. By the time I was 12 weeks pregnant I then didn’t want to risk going into early labour (I don’t believe this is a scientific inevitability, but I’d waited so long I probably enforced a lot of ridiculous rules on myself). I waited until I was a few weeks off my due date and we started again. It felt fun, I didn’t have to suck my tummy in or wear a vest (I have very small boobs) and I didn’t care if I went into labour early. All was good.

Trying for our 2nd meant we kept up the momentum. Less pressure because we had our daughter and after 3 years I successfully got pregnant naturally with my son.

So here I am, with a nearly 5 year old and an 18 month old and the likelihood that I won’t have any more children. I’m 40 and sex is very very very low on my agenda of things to do. It’s definitely below sleeping, it’s below finishing off my Millennium Trilogy and sadly it’s even below blogging. I’d rather get this post done in silence on a Sunday morning than have sex!

I read on twitter from women who seem to have sex with their husbands a lot. I’m often reassured when I read that they are still in their 20’s or they’re in the throes of early marriage (maybe their second). I still do find some out there, the same age as me rampantly enjoying a healthy sex life. I feel deflated, but it still doesn’t prompt me to rush off for 5 minutes of sexual abandonment.

I know almost every relationship guru or counsellor will tell you that sex is an important part of a successful relationship. I don’t doubt it and I worry about it for about 3 minutes and move on. I should be more worried really, but I can’t. There are several reasons why we don’t do it that often.

1. We’ve got out of the habit
2. We are tired! Early 40’s with 2 young children will do that to you.
3. When we aren’t tired (morning, midday) we have 2 young children. Logistically impossible.
4. We both have the libido of Pandas. Helpful we are both on the same page, but it means neither one of us is pushing the issue.
5. We both have quite low self esteems about our bodies and abilities in the bedroom. The slightest wrong word/sentence can affect us for weeks.
6. Infertility. We now have a choice. I choose to sleep.

So here I am. It’s been 4 months since we last had sex and I’m hoping one of us gets in the mood soon. I have purchased THE BOOK recently so I’m hoping a bit of racy literature will fire things up. In the meantime I will seek solace in the fact that many 40 somethings with young children will be in the same boat and that this boat will eventually reach it’s destination when our household becomes a little calmer and we start focussing on us again. Until that time I will see if Mr Grey brings some va va voom into my sex life. It’s worth a shot!