Tuesday, 5 March 2019

The three words that turn parents to booze...

There are three words that turn any parent to drink.

World. Book. Day.

Oh my fucking god.

This is more stressful than being stopped by customs at the airport or trying to time contractions.

I like books. I love books. I’m writing one for fuck’s sake.

But this is tough.

I thought we had a box full of dressing up clothes, but it turns out both kids have grown out of everything apart from the Christmas elf costumes.

YOU CAN’T GO TO SCHOOL IN MARCH DRESSED AS A FUCKING ELF.

Mildred from The Worst Witch. That’s got to be easy.

Just a witch’s hat and a school uniform.

No actually. IT'S NOT.

It turns out she has stripy tights and tie, and those accessories are ESSENTIAL to a seven year old, or no-one will know who she is.

So I turn to Amazon.

Yep. Found them. High five me- parenting the shit out of this.

But no. Hang on, they can’t deliver until Friday.

Friday? FRIDAY? ARE YOU SHITTING ME? That’s no good to anyone.

World Book Day is on Thursday. Why would I want to dress as a witch over the weekend. For a laugh?

I don’t think so.

So I send my husband to Asda. Jeez, they saw us coming.

Sixteen quid for a ruddy Harry Potter outfit?

But no stripy tights. Obviously.

So I’ve got 24 hours and no time to not make my seven year old think she looks a dick at school.

Ideal.

What happened to just dressing them in a sheet with a couple of holes cut out and being a ghost?


Thursday, 14 February 2019

Washing, wasting time and wondering how Richard Gere is getting on...

Hello being a writer. A proper writer. Two days a week to write my book. My new book, that’s going to be funny, and clever, and thought-provoking without being worthy. It’s going to be great. It’s going to be brilliant. It’s going to be…

FUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

Brain.

Shut up.

I wish I had an off button so I could shut it down, or at least put it on mute for a bit.

It’s not like I’m thinking important stuff, or clever things.

It’s just noise.

And working in the house?

Forget it.

Who knew I liked cleaning so much? And emptying the dishwasher. And washing everyone’s clothes. And virtually anything other than sitting down in from of the computer and writing.

This is the dream, right?

I’m living the fucking dream.

If the dream involved being cleaning obsessed, all over social media and an expert on the challenges Meghan Markle is having with her family. (Seriously? Her dad needs to get a grip.)

I imagined I’d be all, sitting in cafes, looking a bit UrbanOutfitters, bashing out another amazing chapter before having a swim because that’s just what I do these days.

Instead I haven’t bothered to have a shower, as its not like I’m going to see anyone and I’m panicking my face off that I’m just going to write the shit sequel.

The Mannequin 2 of the book world.

Right, OK. Here we go.

Quick check of Yahoo news. Facebook. Emails. Junk mails.

Hang on, Holly Willoughby’s poorly?


I will just get to the end of the Internet and then, THEN I’ll get started.

* Any procrastination busting tips would be much appreciated
** Asking for a friend
** Obviously asking for me.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Hoola-anuary is officially over...

Well, one week into the New Year, and I‘ve lost a stone, sorted out my finances, and have organised play dates for the kids from now until forever.

Said no-one.

None of my clothes fit.

Not in an, ‘oooh that’s a bit snug after too many mince pies’, kind of way. I’m talking eye-wateringly tight jeans and tops that give you a mono-boob and stop the circulation to your lower arms.

When talking about getting fit this year, I’d happened to mentioned to my husband that I was good at hoola hooping.

Well, what I actually said, after several glasses of fizz, was that I was ‘fucking incredible’ at hoola hooping.

It was one of the skills I acquired in my early 20’s, along with twat wrapping (the art of wrapping embroidery thread around a tight plait in someone’s hair and charging a quid an inch) and fire eating.

These are all clearly life-skills that we’re essential in the 90s.

Anyway, fast-forward a few days from my show off conversation and the postman delivers this.




I wish I’d said I was fucking incredible at wearing Dior, or going out for posh dinners, but there you go.

I guess it’s good to be heard sometimes in a house full of loud children, even if it is to request a bloody hoola hoop.

It turns up, and there’s a picture of a girl two-thirds my age on the box. Give me a few weeks and I’m going to look just like her.

So I slot it together. It’s weighted. Like actually heavy. But if that pre-teen on the box can do it, I, a woman who has birthed two children, should be more than capable.

I give it a go.

Now. I have never been repeatedly hit in the stomach, but if I had, this is how I imagine it would feel.

The weights twatted me in the gut every time the hoop swung around.

Undeterred, I kept focus. Managing to keep it going for ten rotations. Then twenty. Finally ending up in a knackered heap after getting the bloody thing to swing round thirty times.

The next morning I woke up feeling like I’d taken on Mike Tyson, and on further inspection I realised I was covered in bruises.

Actual hoola hooping injuries.


This was meant to be an easy way to lose two stone without having to leave the house or turning off Coronation Street.

And I’m walking around like I’ve had a hip replacement. I’m sure this didn’t happen when I was hoola hooping at raves in 1998.

And to make matters worse, it turns out hoola hooping only really makes a difference if you do it everyday for a minimum of half an hour. HALF AN HOUR? Are you shitting me?

It only burns off 7 calories a minute, and I’ve been doing it for an average of three minutes a day.

21 calories.

That’s not even a cup of tea.

I give up.

Hoola-anuary is officially over.








Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Resolutions and reminding yourself you're brilliant...

Hello New Year. Hello new me. 

Obviously not starting on 1st January as everyone knows that’s the day to eat all the leftover chocolate and down a shit load of full fat coke to shake off the old, hungover, 2018 me. 

But January 2nd. Here we go. Deep breath. Well deepish.
  
I wasn’t expecting to wake up and be like, wow, I’m spiritually zenned out and motivated to run a marathon. 

I have, however, been preparing for my radical transformation.

I’ve been signing up to newsletters. Lots of newsletters. As well as diet websites, running apps and calorie counting calculators. 

These pledges for the better, improved version of myself have almost exclusively happened at about 2am when I can’t sleep. 

And today, the first day of the ‘new me,’ the only thing that’s altered is my massive inbox.

It turns out I’ve signed up to everything. 

The running everyday for a month one, the giving up sugar one, 5.2 diet, keto diet, Veganuary (how are you actually meant to say that anyway?) As well as the classic dry January, of course. 

I’m knackered just looking at all the unread e-mails, which doesn’t, incidentally, bode well with my ‘declutter in a year’ app, as I'm meant to start with sorting out my digital and social media accounts. 

By 10am, I’ve had a-fucking-nough. I can’t find my trainers and I’ve inhaled the kids’ left over crumpets without even realizing I’ve done it. 

I’m completely stressed and not sure if a glass of orange juice counts as part of a fruit only cleanse or it it’s contravening the no-sugar diet. 

And what the fuck is a coffee bullet? And how can cream and cheese make you thinner?

I think I’m losing my mind.

So instead I curl up with the kids, eat the chocolate coins my youngest has found down the back of the sofa, and decide to do none of these things.

I can’t resolve to be something I’m not. 

I like running. But not every day. 

I like veggie burgers, but also a big roast chicken on a Sunday. 

I like coffee, but not with butter and cream (surely I read that recipe wrong…)

And I like wine. I love wine. 

So this January, I suggest we just be a bit kinder to ourselves. 

Fasting every other day might work for one person, but it equally might not for the next. And actually, what the fuck does it matter anyway?

So whether you have a glass of wine in your hand or not right now, whether you’ve signed up to do a charity swim across the channel or live on raw food for the next month, remember to also give yourself a break.

 Allow your inner voice be your greatest ally.

Let her shout how brilliant you are and not how much you need to change. 

Whatever other pledges you have made for 2019, also resolve to be kind on yourself.

Happy New Year. 


MASSIVE PS... 



Thank you so much for reading my blog over the years or months, or if this is the first time, ace as well! 
I have written a novel with the same name, You Can Take Her Home Now, which is due to be published by Orion in late Spring, but you can preorder it on Amazon now

THANK YOU TIMES A MILLION, I WON'T LET YOU DOWN.


*I am jumping around the front room with such gusto that the pelvic floor doesn't stand a chance every time I say this out loud.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Panic-buying presents, forgetting Christmas shows and losing your festive mind...

Christmas. A time for giving, for bringing people together, for the simple pleasures, right?

No. It turns out. Actually fucking massive no.

I feel like I’m losing my festive mind.

On a daily basis there’s another thing to remember for the kids.

As I was driving home from a meeting the other day I suddenly recalled they were both meant to be dressed as elves the following morning. I handbreak turned into the nearest gigantic Tesco, and purchased two pairs of Elf pyjamas. Double win. They can seamlessly wear them from day into night.

I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself until I got home to a crestfallen daughter who told me that I’d missed both her ballet and violin performances. I’D ALREADY BEEN TO THE RECEPTION CLASS NATIVITY THAT MORNING, HOW CAN THAT BE??

And then there are the presents. I’ve asked the kids what they want for Christmas, and the list is extensive.

Mainly from Father Christmas.

I’m starting to resent him, the big jolly gift-giving buffoon. He’s going to get all the credit, while the practical presents they’ll receive from us will be, almost definitely, met with shrugs of ‘I never said I wanted that, what does it DO anyway?’ (It’s a microscope. It’s fun AND educational. Like it any better now? No, thought not.)

I’m on first name terms with the delivery guy from Amazon who knocks daily to deliver another panic present I’ve bought at 1am when I suddenly remember another relative we’re due to see that I’ve forgotten to buy something for.

Thing is, by the time Christmas actually arrives, you’re kind of over it already.

See, low level excitement for children starts a good six weeks before the big day AT LEAST. No-one can remain enthusiastic about anything for that length of time.

It starts the first time you hear Jingle Bells in Sainsbury’s. There’s the squeal of anticipation from the children, and a heart sinking feeling from the parents as it’s only fucking November.

Then December 1st comes along and with it, the chocolate advert calendars. Who isn’t going to lose their shit if they’re stuffing their face with chocolate on a daily basis before they’ve even got out of their pyjamas? Ho ho fucking ho.

I’ve bought my Christmas outfit, a silver sequinned mini-dress from a brand waaaaaaaaay too young for me off e-bay. It arrived. I squeezed into it. It turns out sequins are one of the more unforgiving fabrics and I look like an adult bauble.


So. Hang in there. Get that wine mulling. Pour yourself into your snazziest, sparkliest outfit, and try and remember that it’s not about the gifts. It’s not even about family.

It’s about two weeks of not having to shout -brush your teeth, put your uniform on, find your shoes, get your book bag, where are your shoes? Do you want ham or Marmite? What do you mean you’re vegetarian now? Where are your shoes? CAN WE ALL JUST LEAVE THE HOUSE NOW??

So. Merry Christmas. And breathe…