Thursday, 6 September 2012

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Changes

My shiny, brand-spanking new website is currently being created - by me, so this could take anything from a few weeks to a few decades, given that my knowledge of website building is mainly based on "lets see what happens if I mash all these buttons with my palm" - so you probably shan't see much here for a little while. Do keep checking back & keep an eye out on Twitter for all the changes!

The new website will incorporate my current personal blog, the Pea Green Pantry food blog as well as some reviews & my personal art portfolio.

I'm so excited I could wee!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Crossroads

At the moment I find myself at a crossroads. Everything is changing & this really is the beginning of my adult life.

Yeah, I have two children so perhaps that sounds a little bit stupid but as far as my education & work goes I feel as though I haven't yet started on the road that I will feel most fullfilled walking along.

What is more, I have no clue which road to take.

I've never been one to stick to plans - something unexpected has always come along & diverts me along some path I never knew existed. These diversions have most notably come in the forms of my girls. As much as I love them, they didn't half fuck things up for me! Of course, in the best possible way as I have learned so much & grown so fast it's all most overwhelming, but now I need to implement all this knowledge & experience in another part of life.

But where?

How do you know what you choose to invest your time, energy & passion in is the right thing?

It seems to me that some people just know what they want to do with their lives & so they go ahead & do it, but me, I just can't figure it out.

I've thought about the things I love - art, music & writing. With art, I am a perfectionist & I become frustrated but that aside I would certainly like to expand my knowledge & create a portfolio & of course mix with like-minded people. Really though, in the long term, aside from being a professional artist what more can I do with this? Teaching, perhaps, but the long term prospects don't appeal.

Music - well, I play classical piano & I love a broad range of music but a career in music is not what I'd fancy persuing.

& Writing? Well, I've often considered writing for a living but how bloody difficult is that to do, & am I really that good at it? No, i don't think so. Perhaps I am being lazy (though I'm calling it realistic) but aside from the blog I'm not sure folks would like to read about what I have to say. I'm certainly not keen on journalism either.

What was in the original plan (before children) was to study linguistics (with particular attention to English). With a degree in linguistics I could be a speech therapist, speech coach or I could teach this. I find the English language & it's history compelling & I have always been deeply fascinated since I was a child even, loving to find out about the origin of sayings & words. Do I want to be a speech therapist? Maybe. But in truth I'm not sure. I'd like to help people, particularly children but my passion lies in the history of language. Would I really be satisfied?

Another way in which I'd like to help people is in mental health services. Since experiencing my own difficulties & encountering the local mental health services I was shocked at frankly how appauling it was. I would love to help people but I fear that the state of the current services would drive me to despair. I know I'd want to devote a lot of my time to changing it, should I have a greater understanding of it, but I am the kind of person who becomes resentful of people in power when I see what lack of funding & understanding does to the users of such services. I fear I'd become so angry I'd be unable to work in such a service.

Another thing I always wanted to do was to work in radio, behind the scenes. Don't ask me why or what, for that matter, but I get the feeling I'd enjoy that kind of workplace. Foot in the door anyone?

Reading this back, it sounds a lot like I am making excuses. Perhaps I am. In truth, I'm scared & I'm confused. I have no clue what to do with my life & if I leave it much longer I am terrified that I will never do anything. I'm also terrified that if I rush this decision I will make the wrong one.

What do I do? Does anyone have any advice to offer me?

Are you choosing a career? Have you been in a career that you love or one that you hate? What would you do differently?

Artist? Speech Therapist? Support Worker? Writer? All of the above?

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Hibernation

So I havent blogged in quite some time, as you can see.

It's because I'm the type of person whose interests revolve I guess. I'm creative but the things I feel I  need to create change. I'm fickle, I suppose - in so much as that I have more than one outlet & I can only channel my energy into one thing at a time. I am not yet organised enough to do them al at once, though  I so wish I were!

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'll definitely be back blogqing when the zeal takes me, but I'm not going to force myself - my blogposts I'm sure are difficult enough to get through without being tedious & forced!

In the mean time, why not go & have a look at some past posts?

& check out one of the things I'm doing in the mean time -  original watercolour & she is for sale too, just email me for details if you are interested!



Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Perspective

On 29th May my best friends brother, Evan, passed away. He'd been fighting HLH, a disease which you can read about & you can also see pictures of him before & throughout his treatment here:

http://www.justgiving.com/Evan-Manning

You can also donate to the Histiocytosis Research Fund too, in his memory.

Evan was a happy & brave little boy & every phonecall I've had with my best friend I heard about his ups & downs. He had been through so much, including chemotherapy & a bone marrow transplant.

Evan was four when he died.

Hopefully by raising money for research of the disease it might mean that others won't have to go through what Evan & his loved ones have been & are going through.


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Drunk & Happy

Good news everyone!

I went out last night & not only do I not have a headache but I think I may still be slightly drunk! Hurrah!

The bad news is that I got so drunk that I inadvertantly chucked my purse, containing my iPhone down the loo - AFTER I'd gone - & not only has my phone now gone bloody bonkers but my purse isn't really in a usable state. Unless the grunge thing is coming back in any time soon. Toilet stench anyone? No? Just me?

I made a bit of an impulse purchase yesterday.


Yes, beautiful & a bargain at £19.99 from TK Maxx (my spiritual home).

So I was certainly feeling ready for a night of good music & crap dancing. All except it was very, er, challenging just getting DOWN THE HILL to the bar. Clearly I hadn't quite thought everything through enough.

By some miracle (because God saves his miracles for drunk girls in stupid shoes, clearly) I did not fall over all evening, which was pretty much a win all round.

As an extra added bonus I got IDed going into the first bar, which always makes for a flattering start to a night (unless you don't have your ID with you, then you're cursing the bastard who asked) & later when some bloke tried to chat me up & had me pegged at 21. I'll take that.

I told him I was married & had two kids.

Little bit awkward.

Not least because I'm not actually married & so while cursing my stupid lie of an answer spent the rest of the conversation covering up my left hand.

So, apart from the iPhone incident (nothing short of an actual disaster) it was a fairly good night & I didn't even start crying like I often have recently when I'm pissed.

Now, dear readers, I'm off back to bed. If I never return because of iPhone cold turkey - tell people I died drunk & happy.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Eyes Have It

Whilst going through all the pictures on my hard drive (and get royally distracted instead of organising things as I should have been) I was staggered as to how much Baby Girl looks like her big sister used to look as a baby. My eldest has big dimples whereas littlest has big chubby cheeks & they have different noses so in life they don't often look very alike - but there are glimpses. On looking back through these photos the resemblance just leapt out of the page. I think it's mainly in those big owly eyes - but judge for yourself..

 I can't quite believe my eyes with these two - Eldest as a baby on the left. If I hadn't have known better I'd have said they were both pics of Baby Girl!


Next up - Eldest as a baby left again & then the two of them together. So cute! Eldest still looks like herself here though too.


Then we have Eldest left & Baby Girl right, maybe not in the eyes in these!


& smiles all round







My Gorgeous Girlies. Both perfect, now & always.

Groovy Mums

I am honoured to announce that this week I shall be hosting the Groovy Mums blog hop!

Usually hosted by it's marvellous mastermind Kate over at Kate on Thin Ice today she has asked me to take the reins & set some challenges (which are optional as always - you can do as many or as few as you like, or none or all!). All I can say is that she is clearly madder than I thought but I'll do my best to do her proud & get you all grooving - or at least a little shimmy.

If you are new to the concept of Groovy Mums (#groovymums), if you think you could do with a bit of a boost or are simply a mum wanting to meet some other wonderful mums then please have a mooch here & see what you think!

Otherwise, never one to mess around (AHEM) I shall get straight down to business. This weeks challenges are:

1. Body - Your Sunshine Rituals

Summer, apparently, is here! Or at least, we're having a few days of sun & then it'll all be over. As we all know it's so important to cover up, but often we will put off smearing the lotion on if we can help it & then end up a lovely shade of lobster. As well as urging you to be safe in this window of summer we're having I would love to hear about how you've been spoiling your skin, your hair & your nails. I like nothing more than soaking myself in some aloe-vera lotion after a long sunny day & knowing it's doing my skin a world of good as well as feeling fabulously indulgent. What are your rituals? How do you keep safe & indulge? If you don't indulge then do! Treat your self & your skin & keep it feeling great too!

2. Mind - That Niggling Feeling

Quite often in life there is always something that we need to do but that we keep putting off. If you are anything like me there will be about 23 of these things at any given time. This week I quite simply want to encourage you to tick one of these silly little things off your list & feel the satisfaction that comes with the knowledge that there is one less thing to do! For now...!

3. Spirit - Memories & Legacy

With the untimely death of two musical legends this week - Donna Summer & Robin Gibb - I've been hearing the phrases 'their spirit shall live on in their work' & 'thier legacy is their music' a lot recently. This has got me to thinking about what kind of legacy I'll be leaving my girls. The legacy I want to leave them is memories & stories. A knowledge of our family & what we are about. As a child I remember my grandfather telling me stories about his life in the Navy & being fascinated. Granted, perhaps some of my favourite rememberances aren't suitable for 4 years old ears but sharing is power - it gives such an insight. Memories, for me, also remind me of what happiness is. How would you like your spirit to live on? What stories would you like to share with your children that you haven't all ready? How do you want your children to remember you? Why not share a favourite memory with us? What else would you like to be your legacy?

4. Special Days - Diamonds & Rings

They say in times of 'economic downturn' it is important for the people to keep morale up & to have events which lift people's spirits. We are certainly doing that this summer with the Diamond Jubilee & indeed the Olympics. Whether you are positively enthusiatic or just plain nonplussed about these giant events, why not have a think about what kinds of events lift your spirits. Could you get involved in some activities nearer to home? Are you taking part in any of the national celebrations this summer? Could you throw a tea party? Could you have a rave? What event, big or small, could you get involved with that would boost morale in your area?

5. A Big Question - Do You Do Enough?


As a mother (& occassionally a not so groovy one) I am constantly plagued by one, consuming feeling - I'm not doing enough. Of course, it is natural as a parent to want to do as best by our children as we can, but, honestly do we really think we are doing enough? Or are we doing too much? How can we tell that what we are doing is right? I'm not sure I have the answers but I'd love to hear you discuss...


So there are my challenges! I hope you enjoy & please do link up below & share too. Here's wishing you the best of luck & a groovy week ahead!





Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Parenting & Compromise

Recently, I've been grappling with the issue of compromise in many aspects of my life.

The aspect that I have found compromise the most tricky is parenting.

Having spent the majority of my eldest daughter's life as a single parent &, though my daughter hardly sees her father, sharing a general view of what is acceptable & what is not for our daughter's upbringing has made me feel confident that I have got it right. She's always been generally well behaved, happy & smart & I have been proud of the job that I have done.

I suited single parent-dom because I was doing exactly what I believed was right by her & had no one interfering. I would say that I was always firm but fair. Or at least I'd hope so.

If she had done something good then she would be rewarded & if she'd done wrong then she would be punished accordingly. Though naturally I don't like to see her upset I had no qualms about withdrawing privileges, sitting her in the naughty corner for as long as necessary or even smacking hands & very rarely bums should it be appropriate. I have to say I hate the bum-smacking but I would only ever do it when absolutely necessary - &, more to the point, it worked. I don't believe that children should be seen & not heard or anything like that but I do believe that they should respect their elders & recognise when they can be playful or cheeky & when they need to do as they are told.

Other rules I had as a single parent were things such as only being allowed chocolate or sweets as a treat & certainly not on a daily basis. No noisy toys was a big rule - partly to do with my sanity, but mainly because I believe that toys that do everything for a child don't actually inspire imagination or creativity, in fact research has proven this. Wooden toys have always been a favourite with us as they are so durable & inspiring to a young mind. We didn't have a TV so she would watch things on iPlayer as a treat from time to time (but she's never been the type to want to sit in front of the TV all day every day anyway) & this did us just fine.
I want the best for her, that goes without saying & I think that children should learn to value what they have so I always bought her good quality & - though we were not on a high income, so I bought things to last - usually fairly expensive clothes & playthings etc. We ate mainly organic food, because this is part of my lifestyle & she would eat what I ate - salad, risotto, curry etc. - & things like beans on toast would be a treat.

Now, things are very different.

I still feel as though I uphold the 'firm but fair' parenting style. I am a little less patient than I used to be & for that I feel guilty but other than that I still think she is on the whole well behaved. But since moving in with my other half & now that we have a daughter together things have got a little more tricky. I have had to compromise on some things, but on the whole I feel that my wishes for the girls get lost.

My partner's family are incredibly generous, kind & loving people. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful set of in-laws but on the whole it seems we are very different. Christmas & birthdays (& generally any other excuse to give something) are occasions where gifts are given in a huge abundance, the likes of which I have never encountered & I feel very overwhelmed by it all. I'm not a huge gift giver - I believe in giving thoughtful & meaningful gifts where possible & would spend more money on something that the recepient wouldn't usually get rather than on a lot of everyday things that aren't really going to last.

Since moving in together my eldest daughter's toy collection has tripled, at least & her clothes collection has never been so far departed from what I would choose for her. What is more, her room is stuffed full of things 18 months ago she would never have known about, let alone would I have allowed her to have. I hate to sound so ungrateful but all this stuff is stuff that frankly I don't want her to have - stuff that I don't believe children need - but what can I do?

It seems like such a huge waste to be giving it away or selling it not to mention just plain rude but I feel as though my ideals are suffocating under a mountain of stuff. How far do I 'compromise' before it actually becomes just giving in?

Not only does this all go against how I believe my daughters should be raised but it goes against what her father & his family believes. Though my partener's family treat my eldest the same as they would our youngest daughter, should they have any hold over how I raise my eldest daughter anyway, as they aren't actually related? & though she doesn't see her father often & he doesn't actually contribute does that mean that he has no say?

The question of my youngest daughter is slightly different, but then there is the question of whether me treating my daughters differently because they have different fathers isjustified by the situation.

It is a minefield, to say the least.

The long & short of it is that, without meaning to sound rude or ungrateful - I certainly am grateful for everything my in-laws have done for us & for them being so kind & helpful & warm towards us (& I'm sure they must think that I could do some things differently or better, though they never say as much) - I am not raising my children the way I want to raise them.

I feel lost & I feel trapped.

I feel as though my opinions don't count.

& that's not fair.. is it?

Or is that compromise?


Monday, 14 May 2012

Elation



When I was pregnant with my second baby I felt so detached from the whole process; so differently from my first glorious, glowing pregnancy that I worried so often that I would still feel no connection to the baby when he or she was placed on my chest for the first time. I couldn't comprehend just how I would be able to love another living creature as much as I loved my daughter. I couldn't imagine feeling that completeness of emotion be shared between two.

Now, as I sit, as I so often do - or at least as often as I get the opportunity - with my youngest daughter clasped firmly to my chest, her head resting against my cheek & her face full of innocence, laced with curiosity, yet somehow looking on with the dignified silence of someone with immeasurable wisdom - I wonder why that should be? - I feel, still, complete. I do not feel as though my love has been shared or stretched, I feel as though it has simply grown, yet all the while nothing has been taken from me. In fact I feel as though more has been given to me. 'Love' does not sum up what I feel for her & for her elder sister. 'Love' doesn't even touch upon it.

Elation.

Her fine flash of downy auburn hair against my cheek is the softest sensation I have ever felt & when I move my face to bury my mouth & nose into her scalp her scent is one so delicious & complex - one that tells me she is made of me. It is different to that of my eldest daughter in a thousand ways yet somehow the same.

As I hold her, in whichever position she is pressed against me it feels as though she fits. I was made to carry her & she was made to be held by me, first inside & now out.

Everything about both my daughters is love. I feel incredibly humbled by the love they have for me as well as the feelings that encompass me when I have them near to me & the anxieties I feel when I don't.

It is not enough to say that they are my world, but I cannot describe it any other way.

They are my world, & everything more.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Never Mind the Balilaikas...

Sat in our favourite coffee shop in York - Coffee Culture check them out! - talking to a close friend about personal rubbish & surely annoying the poor folk who could overhear our - my - whining, we got onto the subject of classical music somehow. Don't ask me how we got from bitching about dickheads from our past & maturely swearing about life infront of the 5 month old to classical music because I haven't the foggiest, but somehow the topic came about. When I started rattling on about piano lessons in my childhood, she was baffled as to how, in 8 years she hadn't realised that I played.

I had just assumed she knew, but clearly it'd never come up in conversation before now. It's not something that I do talk about much, especially as I gave it up just before taking my Grade Six exam, so I'm not particularly skilled, but I assumed that all my close friends would know that kind of stuff about me. It's part of me!

I don't listen to a massive amount of  classical music but it's certainly something I enjoy in private from time to time & something which I think it is important for my children to grow up knowing about. Just today we were watching the BBC Young Musician of the Year finals & I was explaining to my daughter that the girl was playing a cello & when she replied "Oh. Well at Grandpases I have a balilaika. It's triangle shaped." I  was rather impressed she'd remembered what it was called! Obviously something must be going in & it's because she enjoys music & plonking away on the piano & strangely enough her little balilaika. Anyway, I digress. Back to my friend & my revalation...

Maybe her outlook of me will completely change. Or maybe not.

But seriously, isn't it weird. I know all there is to know about me & the people closest to me know all my secrets yet sometimes the obvious things get lost & that feels like a massive chunk of me has been missing from her perception of me for the past 8 years.

What do you guys do in secret? What are your passions & talents? I'd love to know, because I think it gives a massive insight into the kind of people we all really are.


Friday, 11 May 2012

Babies Cry



This morning was my morning for a lie in. The Man has a day off today & so it was his job to get up with the noisy baby one. We're having a bit of 'peace & quiet' (a purely relative term) as Eldest is at my Mother in Law's for a few days.

As I laid in bed about 8am, drifting in & out of sleep because I could hear the baby girl crying downstairs as the Man prepared her bottles I was suddenly woken by a BANG BANG on the wall.

Did the neighbours just bang on the wall?


No, they wouldn't have. Would they?

This was followed by muffled voices. A woman in an annoyed tone & a man's voice in what sounded like a reasoning tone.

Oh my god, they did bang on the wall.


They must think I neglect my baby.

Granted, given all the depression bullshit, I have trouble getting to sleep on an evening & so some mornings baby girl will have been crying for 15-20 minutes as I wake.

Shit. How do I explain this to them? I'm not a child abuser, I'm just tired.


& besides, she's been ill for the past few days.


Good lord I must explain this to them at once! I mean, they don't have kids.. what if they can't have kids & they get woken up every morning by our baby crying? Are the walls that thin? What if they've recently lost a baby? What if they hate kids & we're here bugging them with our reproductive prowess? What if it's been building up & up & up & they just can't take it any more...?


God, are we inconsiderate knobheads?

As I mulled this over, thinking of writing them a letter or going round to explain or apologise & getting increasingly upset I realised I should probably go & tell the Man. He always knows what to do.

I told him what had happened & what I was worrying about & at once he dispelled all my anxieties in a simple statement.

"Well, even if that is so.. it's not our fault. Babies cry."

Oh yeah. Babies do cry. Quite loudly sometimes. & as for depression, that's not my fault either.

Oh.

& then I got to thinking...

Maybe they were wound up & tired, or maybe they do have problems or maybe they are just first class twats. But whatever the situation, they didn't give the amount of thought or worry I gave to them when they banged on the wall this morning. They probably didn't think: 'Well, what if she's depressed? or what if the baby is ill? or what if the baby just cries on a morning because it's a baby?'

I should have just friggin' well banged back & not given a toss, but then maybe that would make me like them.

So my baby cries.

She's happy, healthy, loved & cared for, but she cries & sometimes I'm tired.

So you can just about bloody well sod off.

Inconsiderate knobheads.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

PND: How Can You Help?


This week I was asked to do a guest post for the Wriggly Rascals team! I was delighted they'd asked & so here it is:



When I unexpectedly fell pregnant with my second child a lot began to change for me. Not only did we have to find a new house, & did I have to give up the job I loved, but I faced a struggle worse than any I’d experienced throughout my life: depression.

For the most part I felt as though I couldn’t cope with everyday life; that I was worthless & pathetic for being unable to keep on top of simple day-to-day tasks; that my children would be better off without me & that I deserved none of the good in my life. 

Please read on over at Wriggly Rascals, who I've done this guest post for!


You can also help a Mum in need by taking a quick survey, right here


About Wriggly Rascals
Wriggly Rascals was set up by Shona Motherwell, a frustrated mum of twins Mhairi and Archie to get mums together to share pregnancy, baby and toddler advice via quick surveys to get the facts about what other mums do. Our mums pass on loads of great tips to mums who have asked for help. If you would like some advice, get in touch at www.wrigglyrascals.com
They really are doing wonderful things, please take the time to see for yourself!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Sausage Rolls & Small Domestic Fires

Yesterday, our baby girl did her first roll from back to front! Amazing! & all the excitement before 9am. That is unheard of in our house, mainly because I'm not usually coherent before 10am.

I thought we had peaked in the excitement stakes & was all ready to sit back & enjoy a day of blissful boringness, maybe pop to the shops if it didn't rain but unbeknownst to me, as I stepped out of the shower & came down to the smell of burning all was about to get a little frenzied.

After a slight panic that one child had perhaps set the other alight I checked on both. One safely tucked up in her cot & one enthralled in a game of 'not setting anything on fire'. I assumed the smell was coming from outside. I continued getting dressed & then stuck my head out of the window just to check. Nope. No burning. It was stronger now inside & smelled plasticy.

It was coming from under the stairs where we store shit & kindling & the such & where the fuse box is.

Oh dear.

It was the fuse box. It was MELTING.

I turned off the switches in a panic with a broom handle - I remember all those dodgy safety videos from school, where a bloke is mowing his lawn & the wire to the mower all at once & that kid eagerly trying to retreive his kite from a pylon (ignoring all the DANGER OF DEATH signs), don't fuck with electricity! - & got the stuff together to take the girls out of the house. As we left the house it started chucking it down. At least it was the right weather for the house burning down. I couldn't reach my OH (who had the landlords number) & as I got soggier & chillier the only thought that crossed my mind was, what every responsible & mature adult would have thought in this situation: FML.

A mocha & a muffin from Starbucks later & the situation wasn't as soggy as it had been 30 minutes earlier. The OH had come home from work & we'd found the number for the electrician (though landlords are still blissfully ignorant that their dodgy wiring nearly burned down their house).

All in all this just makes me glad that we are moving this July. Though it's not ideal, hopefully I shan't have to panic for too long about the same thing happening again.

And, at the rate she's going today, if there are any more problems, baby girl will be rolling out of danger like a speeding sausage-roll. She can't half go...

...most of the time, anyway!


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Wedding Institute

A few weeks ago I found out I'd won a competition. This  is rare. This is basically unheard of, so I jumped for joy upon reading "Congratulations Chloe! You have won...".

I couldn't remember what I had entered this month & I didn't recognise the name so as I read on "...tickets to the Wedding Institute at Saltburn-on-the-Sea" courtesy of Under the Vintage Veil (a simply gorgeous company). Oh! This'll be a funny one to explain to the other half! & as much as I get all girly about weddings I don't want him getting the wrong impression!

To be entirely honest I was a bit baffled as to why on earth I had entered this competition in the first place. Hmm. Oh yes! My lovely friend is getting married. I hoped she could come!

She could & though I was a little apprehensive at the idea off spending the afternoon in a hall full of potential bridezillas, we both braved it.

& not a big green wedding-dress-clad monster in sight! & what is more, there was so much cake. I have to say, everybody we talked to was genuinely lovely & obviously very talented. My particular favourite was the immense Victoria Sponge cake & the

My partner in crime thoroughly enjoyed all there was to offer & was buried under an avalanche of inspirational ideas & I've basically got my own wedding planned too (shoot me).

Here are some of my favourite bits from the day!

~*~













  
~*~

Despite the torrents of rain outside, it was a bright & sparkly affair. We loved every second of it!


Monday, 30 April 2012

May Blossom


This morning has been a stressful one, but - what I am about to say is excruciatingly British, a thousand apologies - the sun has been out & I've been so grateful for a break from the misery of the rain!

Not only is it sunny, but the blossom is blooming & evoking childhood memories of May, & simultaneously creating memories in my daughter's childhood.



She also made a friend! 
"Oh Mummy, I wish  I could have a cat..."


Saturday, 28 April 2012

O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are!

I am searching for something.

You could say I am searching for someone.

I am searching for a companion.

I want a bloody cat.

I so want a kitty.

Won't someone bring me a pretty kitty?

Speaking of pussies...

I was innocently checking my stats earlier today & I looked over the search keywords. Well. I didn't think my blog to be all that filthy or basically downright rude but people who have been led here by the power of the search engine may beg to differ, though I can imagine they'd probably be rather bloody disappointed.

Amongst others, here are my top 4:

  • "am wearing two bras"
  • naked pea
  • naked bedmates
  • chanes mum.s pussy
Okay, I can understand the first three, from past posts (though why the hell anyone would be searching for these phrases I haven't the foggiest!) but the fourth?! WHAT!? The bad grammar is baffling in itself but what on earth it has to do with my blog I'll never know! Certain to say that they would have been severely disappointed on reaching the twattering on of some mental woman & not a pussy in sight!

Chin up!

Groovy Mums,

As you all know, I try to take part in the Groovy Mums blog hop over at Kate On Thin Ice's place.
As you all know also, I'm a bit rubbish at all this 'organisational skills' stuff (ahem, lazy, ahem) but from time to time I find the will to live, love & blog & give it a stab!

Kate sets us challenges, which are optional. Here are this weeks & how I've got on:


1. Body – What new ways can you find to take exercise?  Check out what is offered at your local leisure centres and community venues.  Is there something you could do at home to increase your fitness?

Running hasn't been going so well. You probably know by now that I'm running the Great North Run this year for Mind. I'm doing this because I suffer from mental health issues & Mind are a charity doing a lot of good for people in similar situations & their loved ones too. Please take a look at my page & if you like what you see then please sponsor me, just a pound is more than fine!
I love swimming & I go when I can, but with the girls to look after all the time it can be a bit tricky even working out time to go for a run, never mind to bob down to the pool & do all that wet-swimwear-stuck-to-bits-it-shouldn't-be-stuck-to palava!

2. Mind – It is Depression Awareness Week.  Have you experienced depression?  Do you know how to spot the signs of depression in your loved ones and others?  Check out http://blackdogtribe.com for information and support with mental health issues.  They are also asking for your stories.

If you think that you or a loved one are suffering then you should follow the link for Mind, above, & also check out the Black Dog Tribe (link also above). They're a bit bloody good, & offer support for all. Also, Ruby Wax heads it, so it's got to be good! If I have the time & energy then perhaps I will go & submit my story to them.

3. Blogging – Did you know http://britmums.com publish round-ups of good posts on certain issues such a food, politics, special needs, green issues, health and more?  Why not promote your posts to the editors of these round-ups and raise your profile?


No Kate, I did not know that! I should probably get on it!

4. Special Days – This week saw us marking St George’s Day.  Is there a dragon that you need to tackle in your life?

Dragons, Ogres, Trolls & the bloody oven needs cleaning too.

5. Charity Connections- Get shopping online and hundreds of retailers will give a percentage of what you spend to a charity of your choice.  Click here http://www.give.as/kateonthinice  and register for free for Give As You Live with your name and email address.  Do it today!  You don’t have to spend any money now but it means when you do shop online you can ensure some of the money goes to a good cause.  Why wouldn’t you?  When you click, you will see poppies because I am personally raising money for the Royal British Legion but you can register here and then when you shop, you can select a charity of your choice.

Done! Do it too. Do it...

6. The Big Question – What has the last year brought you? Are you happy with it?

Holy crap, that's a very big question.

This last year has brought me, in no particular order:
  • A Baby (surprise!)...
  • & with that a very joyous day.
  • A new home, & it's not all bad.
  • Extreme exaserbation of a mental health problem.
  • Dark days, the likes of which I've never experienced before.
  • Good days, which are so much more appreciated thanks to all of the above.
  • Huge change & upheaval, some good, some not so good.
  • A lot of new blogger friends  & a few 'real life' ones too.
  • Confirmation that I am fairly good at some things I enjoy, such as writing.
  • A new health mission & goal to run a half marathon.
  • 57 bibs.
  • Better skin.
  • Terrible hair.
  • A penchant for pedicures & facials (which I cannot afford, for sure)
Am I happy with it?

I have learned, this year, that happiness is not a destination, it is not something you should strive to arrive at. I'm not just going to suddenly wake up & realise that I'm happy & sadness will never touch me again. That would be dull. But I've realised that despite all the awful feeling that I've experienced this past year, happiness is something that will always come back around & hopefully one day in the not so distant future I'll find a nice balance & be able to get on with it all, just taking the good with the bad & taming those beasts depression & anxienty.

I'll tell you what this year hasn't brought me though...

These:








But, fear not world, for it is not too late...

Why not just have a little look-see...

I'm a size seven, by the way.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Just a Minute, How Old Are You?



Some of my more vivid recollections from childhood seem to involve sitting in the passenger seats of cars, specifically cars belonging to my Mum, Grandpa & Dad. & what do you do in the car on long journeys when you're a small child?

Well, you listen to Radio 4 of course.

This is a habit I have never wanted to break.

As I am only 23 (desperately clinging on to that, though I probably don't look or sound it anymore!), most of my peers are still in the Radio 1 stage. Some of them have reached Radio 2. Some of those other crazy bastards are all out there with their Capital & Galaxy (I think they may be the same thing) & all that wank & tits, but me, despite how I may sound (as far as I can tell, typical R4 listeners don't often say 'wank' or 'tits' & certainly not in the same sentence) & though I went through this progression from teen R1 years, I seemed to progress (or regress) rather quickly back to good old R4.

My other half writes a blog called Comfort In Sound, which is the name of an album by Feeder, his favourite band, & he often blogs about music there. For me, however, comfort in sound is listening to the cheer of the audience followed by the energetic tones of Nicholas Parsons on Just a Minute & when the theme song for the Archers plays I can't help but grin. I rarely watch TV (I didn't have one when I lived alone & would have it that way again if I could) & though I have the Radio on Absolute or XFM from time to time - & pretend my taste is eclectic & not just weird - it will always come back to the comfort of R4.

My love for it seems to have grown as I have had the children & I feel it keeps my brain in ticking over amongst the babble & repetitive screeching & whinging of children.

God bless you R4. Sorry for bringing the tone down with the 'wank' & 'tits' though.

PS: On a more serious note - you should really check out The Listening Project. Interesting, true & often very moving.
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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Where Has The Time Gone & Where Are We Going With This?

The girls are growing up so fast.



I started this blog as a record of our family life, but I've come to realise that really, I just prattle on about all my problems here & they rarely get a look in.

For this, I feel guilty. Look, I'm even doing it now!

So I find myself wondering, just what am I going to do about it?

What I'd like to do about it, ultimately, is to set up two different blogs, both self hosted but one will be a continuation of all the pissing & moaning I've been doing here plus a few other exciting bits & bobs, like recipes & maybe even getting Pea Green Pantry's Food as Therapy bloghop back on the go & the other will be carved out in a little secret corner of blogness & will be devoted to my beautiful, beautiful girls & their progress. For them to read & browse photos when they get a little older & to see exactly how much we cherished them, without any swearing.

I'm not really a 'Mummy' blogger, because I'm not just a Mum, I'm a woman first & foremost, but those girls are far too precious to me not to have a space made especially for them.

I do love them so.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Hibernation Schniberschnation...

So I thought it might be time to go into hibernation while I plot to take over the world with a new, fancy-pants self-hosted blog. Then I realised that there were things I wanted to blog about in the meantime & coudln't quite bring myself not to do the writing.

As soon as I made the decision to lay low I was asked to do a guest post on post-natal depression by the lovely Shona at Wriggly Rascals & of course I accepted & then I got nominated for the MAD Blogs Blog of the Year. Of course, there is not much chance of me making the shortlist but it was a big surprise to see my blog address on that list as I was noseying my way through it! It was nice to have a surge of adrenaline that brought a smile to me face for once!

I have to say, both these occurences have really perked me up & though I don't believe in any of this 'it was a sign' wanky wank, it really did make me think.

I bloody love blogging & here in just the first year of my blogging life, as it were, I've made new accquantances, online friends & even met some bloggers in real life. My laptop has opened the door to Web-Narnia & frankly, I don't know where I'd be without Twitter & all the blogging spectaculars!

So cheers, whoever nominated me (yep, you, that one lone weird person in the corner) & cheers to all you bloggerifics (whatever that means).

You really have helped me through all this crap. You're a bit bloody good, you lot.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Gingerly, gingerly...

After an amazing & long day yesterday at BlogCampUK & the opportunity to take in some great advice & learn so many things about bloggin which I was utterly blind to I've been given a lot to think about.

As the result of about 17 coffees after 4hrs sleep & 7+ hours of travel I finally cracked at 1am when I couldn't sleep & had one of my more spectacular meltdowns (even if I do say so myself).

Giant, scary social & strange situations these days seem to take me back to childhood days of social awkwardness (even though I hear thats, like, soooo in at the moment). I hate myself for being this crazy nervous idiot but I just don't know what the frigg to do about it. After much crying & woe I decided it might be time to go into hibernation. I'm not one for half-arsed anything but that's what I've been doing - half-arsed blogging. I don't want my blog to have half an arse - I don't want it to be some kind of dropout loser of a blog & so it is having a think about what it really wants to do with it's life & getting a new wardrobe in the meantime. Not unlike me, I suppose.

Laters!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Run, Chloe, Run!

Well, I haven't blogged in quite some time. I'm not sure why & I haven't the energy to think about it too hard. I'm guessing it was just one of those dips in the grand scheme of blogging. I'm sure you will all have survived the drought but, don't worry, I'm back to quench you. Get you wet, if you will.

What do you mean you won't?

Anyway, all my magnetism aside, I'm just here to tell you that yes, I am still running. But no, of course it's not going to sodding plan. Have you read my blog? Laziness prevails.

After some problems which I assure you you do not want to hear about, I got back into running last week. I was starting steadily, just doing a mile or so every other day (& was frigging knackered!) & then taking this up to 2 miles. Then, a bloody insane lovely friend decided we sould go for a run together. We did & ended up running 4.75 miles. I felt amazing & horrendous all at once, but I'm going to continue my roll by doing 4 miles this evening. It's daft, because before I was pregnant I could run a good 5-6 miles & really love it, without feeling as though I was going to die. Alas, those days are gone & so hard work is all I can do. So I'm buggered really. This is me we're talking about.

I'll let you know how my run goes & whether Mind will actually be getting all that sponsor money or not. Something tells me I'll be crawling over that damn finishing line in September, but miracles can happen!

In the mean time I would be massively grateful if you would chuck a quid my way for sponsorship. Please don't think 'Oh, well what difference does a pound make?' because i can tell you it makes an enormous amount of difference to me! & please don't think 'I'll do it later.' becuase if you are anything like me, you probably will forget. You're a busy, popular person, you're in demand! I know you are, so take a minute & follow the link below, & donate a quid or so!

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChloeSkinnerMind

You're bloody lovely, you are!  

Saturday, 14 April 2012

How Bad Do We Really Have It?

I'm listening to a radio programme about women in Uzbekistan who are sterilised against their will & often without knowing, or lied to about why they should be sterilised.

All because the government decide so, as a 'solution' to control the growing population.

They are often made to have c-sections in order that they are limited to the number of children they can have in future, in order that the doctors, who are given a weekly quota of women they must sterilise, can remove a woman's uterus or tie her tubes. Women & families live in fear & often in pain.

It makes me realise just how good we have it, despite whatever we go through, it puts a lot in perspective.

Just imagine what these women go through, & then look at what we have.

 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Money, Power & Love.

They say that money is power, but is this true in our relationships?

I don't work. I stay home & look after the children. My other half goes to work 5 days a week & he too pays the rent & bills most months. He offers us security & in turn I [very occasionally] do a bit of dusting & cook nightly. Oh, & raise the children. I do contribute where I can but on the whole I feel powerless. I really do. I'm rarely sane.

We are in a loving relationship, we are happy, so why does the financial security that my partner provides for us cause me such emotional insecurity?

Is this my personal issue, or do lots of stay at home parents feel this way? He gives up the money he would usually spend on DVDs or whatever else it is 20 something men buy, as well as some of his social freedom. He's given up relaxing evenings for hectic bedtimes. I was all ready used to hectic bedtimes & no money to spare for myself, but I have given up my independence, the freedom to think only of myself & my children &, thinking about it, have changed my entire life. I don't get to interact with adults every day. My brain turns to mush. I think that we both give a lot, but I feel as though I have lost a lot more. Control & sanity being the two main casualties.

Can I change this?

If I have a job, & so money, will this be power?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Things I haven't done today

Things I have not done today:

  • Worn underwear
  • Got dressed
  • Brushed my hair
  • Showered
  • Changed my top once I spilled coffee down it
  • Been outside (thank christ, that'd have been embarassing considering all of the above) except to get the washing in as rain threatened to re-soak it (hope the neighbours didn't see)
  • Had an intelligent/coherent thought
  • Folded the laundry which happens to be in a pile the size of a small hill (you think I'm exaggerating...)
  • Talked to anyone except my OH, briefly, a small child & a baby
  • Solved world hunger
  • Solved my own child's disproportionate hunger for biscuits (though not for lack of either of us trying)
  • Solved the mystery of how, despite strict rules, Jim the baby (dolly) always ends up face down on the living room floor - frightening me half to death thinking he is the actual baby - when he should be tucked up in bed with Eldest, his keeper & bestower of strange name.


It's been a shocker today peeps. Tomorrow, I have biscuits to bake. Smelly/insane people should probably not bake biscuits, so let's hope it's a better one.


Kitchen Vim & Vigour: A Lack Of.

Dear Amazing Bloggers & Readers,

I need your help.

I have a lovely foody blog which is still a bit of a newborn - beautiful, if a little bit wrinkly, but rather underdeveloped - but I just can't seem to get back into the swing of things & I'm struggling to nurture it. There's been a lot on but now I'm devoid of all enthusiasm & vigour. I'm supposed to be chronicling my adventures in the kitchen but to tell you the whole truth, I've been eating crappily & with no zeal. The kitchen is also literally falling apart. We rent & so there's not much we can do about it. It makes me sad. When will my energy return?

Has anyone any tips?

Would anyone just like to feed me & be done with it?

Would anyone buy me a house with a beautiful kitchen?

Or just a beautiful kitchen?

Or just a load of money?

Help!

Sincerely,

Sad, Desperate & Poor Non-Cook.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Adventures in Peas & Meatballs

The children are tucked up but the sun is yet to set. I find myself in limbo - waiting for darkness in order to feel cosy & have my desire to curl up & do nothing justified. I've cooked a rather unimaginative but satisfying dinner - meatballs, plain & peas. Nothing else whatsoever - & as I sit down to eat, on the sofa, one leg tucked beneath my bottom, a mug of hot chocolate sits on a side table, conspicuously out of reach & waiting patiently for me to finish my meal. Hallo, H.C. I see you. Tasty.

I take look down at my meal, by now I'm half way through & enjoying it's simplicity adequately. I look down at the rather large meatball, & pause before biting half of it away. I am left with half a meatball staring at me with a strangely large green stem poking out of it. I contemplate for a while what this stalk could be. I'm sure it's meant to be there, but I briefly acknowledge that it may be rogue. I think about going to fish the packet from the bin to peruse the ingredients, but where's the fun in that?

I delicately remove the stem from its captor & attempt to taste it. If it's rogue, it could possibly kill me, or at east taste a bit naff. I'm living life on the edge. Hmm. What is it? Mint? In a beef meatball? No. Basil? Can't tell. After a tense moment it is gone. Flavourless. I will never know of it's origins, purposes or journey to the meatball. Ah, the mysteries of life.

I finish my meal. Goodbye peas.

I walk slowly toward the mug of warm chocolate drink. I sit, laptop atop lap & mug in hand. The D key is sticky. It's probably food of some sort, but I cannot recall what it would be. I think back to my adventurousness while dining & with a devilish flick of my left index finger I scratch the unknown sticky stuff & taste it. Flavourless. Hmm.

The risks I take. Today I have been truly bold & daring. Bow down as you will, cowards.

I haven't blogged in a while...

Just sat down to eat an orange & write a blogpost & the baby girl has awoken.

I swear she knows just when my arse touches the sofa.

This is the story of my life!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Plans

It was about 4am & halfway home that my previous good cheer began to wear out. We had been celebrating my 23rd birthday in York & I believe it was more than fair to say that a good night had been had by all. In the taxi that was hurtling along in the misty darkness was my other half who was by this point in a full blown drunken stupor, as well as his good friend & my oldest friend who were politely chatting away in a light fog of alcohol, with me interjecting from the front seat from time to time.

After a little while the conversation turned to work, education & travelling. I resolved to face forward & slowed my interjections. As I listened to tales on each subject I realised that I hadn't anything of value or relevance to contribute to this conversation whatsoever. Not a fucking sausage. As I racked my brain & listened on I wondered why I felt so sad about it all. I have a beautiful family, I'm not unintelligent, so why did I feel so put out?

When I left school at 16 my plan was to get 4 A levels & on to a decent university. Entirely achievable.

When I was 18 I dropped out of college, completing only 3 AS levels at C/D grades. Though not bad grades in the scheme of things, I knew damn well that I could have done far better & that is what clinched the decision to jump ship for me. It was in ill thought out & lazy choice I had made, but all the same not the end of the world. When I found out I was pregnant 6 months later, however, that really did change things. In short, life got serious & full on & since then there has not been much room for what I need or want. As I was finally getting somewhere with my life it was all pulled from beneath me again, the business I managed was being sold in desparation, but, again it wasn't the end of the world. There were other jobs. About a month after all this, a week before my 22nd birthday, I found out that I was pregnant again. Things got full on & serious once more. Now I have two beautiful girls, a comfortable house, a partner who keeps us all secure & a mental illness. I have never been happier, yet I have never been sadder.

To say that my life has not gone according to plan is an understatement, & that is what gets me. That was why, in that taxi I had tears in my eyes & self-loathing at my core.

I often feel as though people assume I'm not intelligent because of what my life entails. People never seem to take the time to find out, to delve a little deeper. Though this often contributes to a lot of my despair, I of course realise that it's not rational to live life worrying because of other people's shortsightedness. It just doesn't help, is all.

You may be thinking that I should be thankful for having what many others don't - a beautiful healthy family & security & yes, I certainly am more than thankful & never do I want to appear ungrateful for that but what causes all these problems I have is the knowledge that I could have so much more, if only I'd have done things in a more logical order. I was reckless & made some bad decisions, but don't for one second think that I regard a teenage & unplanned pregnancy as a bad decision - just as a tough one. The achievement of raising a family coming from nothing is not something that I wish to diminish. I am very proud of myself for what I have done for my girls, however it is simply an entirely different ball park to academic & professional achievement & the experience of taking in the world.

If I'd have done thing the 'right' way around I'd have certainly done better by my children, offered them much more security & a better example - if of course the 'right' way would have allowed for children & a family - but I suppose that my job now is to give them an example & hope that it's the second best one that I can offer. I find it hard not to dwell on the past, though of course I know it will only hinder me going forward if I do. I'm just not over it yet. I am however, making solid plans & semi-selfish decisions now, that will benefit me in the long run, but hopefully benefit my girls too. The thing is getting it right. I need to be sure that what I choose to do will absolutely be achievable & that I will see it through with conviction.

I'm going back to be a student. I want a degree. That decision is made, however I am yet to work out what I'll study. I'm on the right road, anyway. I think.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Holiday!

Okay, so it was 'happy birthday to me' yesterday & the celebrations (drunkenness) will be taking place this weekend. I'm currently experiencing a bit of a numb patch in my brainwaves - whatever that means - & so I've decided that the best thing to do is to enjoy my weekend & take a week off blogging.

In summary - I'm taking a week off blogging, see you all next week, sometime.

Loves.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Drowning, Not Waving?

Tomorrow I am 23. With two children in tow, I am wading a little out of depth for my age. I have spent most of my adult life being told how wise I am for my years but feeling hopelessly young & often naive. I have learned a lot in the past four years or so. I have been through a hell of a lot, yet looking back, the things I have endured that seem the most hellish didn't seem to have too much of an immediate affect on me. It is only with a little more added on top that I begin to realise how these experiences have changed me, for the better & for the worse. Anxiety, depression & all the rest I don't think would ever have been so severe without some exaserbating factors & aggrevating people that have crossed my path & yet I think that without these experiences I would be no better off. They allow me context in which to take everything else which has followed. Things could always be worse & will certainly get better.

Love is something which baffles me & I often wonder if it is real. I've thought I've felt it on many occasions but with each end & restart I'm unsure. The conclusion I make is that romantic love changes & differs from that which has gone before & to take each experience with caution & open-mindedness.

As I look back I laugh at how naive I have been, at how my imagination & assumptions have often contributed to my lack of good judgement on certain characters. I have been guilty of elaborating on someones personality & only after some time realising what I have done. I wonder what I will think of myself with hindsight in years to come. These days I approach with a little more caution but I think that it will always be a ritual that I am bound to repeat. No doubt in the years to come I will be looking back on my 23 year old self & still be laughing at the naivety of me.

People move in strange ways & life is a constant learning curve, but I hope that one day I will be waving, rather than drowning in this ocean of my own creation.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Groovy Mums, Not So Groovy.

This week I am finally getting my bum in gear & joining in with Kate on Thin Ice's blog hop.

I've totally been slacking recently & though I've had good weeks, this last week hasn't been great & has sort of reached an awful crescendo over the past few days.

But, there is no use in being miserable. Onwards & upwards & all that crap. Having said that I'm sat heere at 11.45am in my pyjamas, despite having been up since 8.00am. All is not fixed or well.

Anyway.

This week Kate put an idea out there that bloggers should get together to do a cheeky calendar for a good cause. She is looking for models as well as a photographer, venue & many more roles, so if you have any suggestionos or would like to get involved then please get in touch with her at kateonthinice@gmail.com.

Well, I most certainly am in & shall be offering my modelling services if I can! Groovy eh?

Kate has also asked us to think about whether we can use our time more effectively. I'm sure I could, but at the moment, I struggle to think past the end of the day, let alone the rest of the week. I'm finding it hard but we have things in place like a chalk board that is a great visual reminder of what needs doing for the day & the week.

The next thing she writes is 'What gives you light in your life?'. For me, light comes from friends who are there for me, no matter what & from my other half & of course my girls. I'm lucky to have something so special to live for, even if I do forget this from time to time.

As for the blogging part of the challenges - will you nominate me for a BritMums Brilliance in Blogging award? I was reluctant to put myself out there at first, & so decided not to, but now I think well, why not? I'd love it if you did! Just click the button to the right hand side!

I'm skipping special days, as I'm very busy before Easter & my birthday is to come in less than a week. That's extra-special!

The Big Question. Why do I put up with it? I'm not sure how to interpret that, but I don't think that I have to put up with a lot. If you read my previous two posts you'll see that when I have a problem or feel that there is something wrong in my relationship I will maybe over-react & then settle on a reasonable explanation after I've talked it out with my OH. As for putting up with other things, such as mental illness & all that shite, I put up with it for my girls & the love they & my partner offer me. Otherwise I'd be flat out of here, one way or another.


Fundraising...How?!

As you all know, in September I plan on running  the Great North Run for Mind. To do this Ineed at least £300 of sponsorship. Turns out this is all a little bit tricky!

What I'd like to know is how have you raised money for a cause in the past?

I'm thinking bake sales & putting some stuff on eBay, but have you got any more creative or plain ingenious ideas?

If you would like to sponsor me or see more about why I'm doing the run then please see my fundraising page.

Thamks all, look forward to hearing your suggestions!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Last Night

Looking back on last nights pitch black darkness post, I think it's fair to say I was slightly over-reacting. The thing that I forgot to take into consideration is that my partner is not the type to go into some strip club for his own satisfaction at any given time. Though the whole industry does not sit well with me he is not hugely buying into this & so I can cope with that. After all, he writes blog posts about how wonderful I am while mostly I just air my insecurities on my blog. I think that says a lot.

Last night was not a good one. I've been doing well, but last night I was well & truly going out of my mind. It was the kind of night that saw me rendered incapable of switching off that ever-anxious mind of mine.

Two thirty came as I was losing it in the bathroom, tearing through the medicine basket, & lining up what was there, just to see. Not much, as it happened. It's so stupid when I think back. So bloody stupid but when I'm there I'm blind to anything else. Trapped in my claustrophobic black box. Three o'clock came & saw me pull myself together slightly, only to fall apart again fifteen minutes later. I text a friend describing my piteous state & she was there. I am very, very lucky to have someone there for me when I need. Very lucky indeed, & once again I calmed.

Three forty five. I needed to get out of the house. I left & walked up the street & back. The stillness & darkness was comforting & the crisp, clear air that allowed me a panoramic view of the blue-black, star sprinkled sky was refreshing. I wasn't in the least bit tired & so I gazed into the unfathomable, for as long as I dare, before I spotted a figure at the end of the street. I was nervous & so I made my way back into the four walls & felt instantly confined. Chamomile tea. A little writing. Back to bed.

Four thirty & I cried & cried & cried. My partner woke but didn't know what to do, in half a stupour. I don't know what to do on these nights either, so he must feel even more helpless. I cried & I talked but I didn't talk about the medicine basket stuff. I felt such an idiot. That stuff doesn't make any sense when you say it out loud. It's really scary too.

Today, well, I've stopped crying I think. I told him about the scary stuff. Today is the hangover. Tomorrow is starting yet again.

Empowerment & Getting Naked: Bedmates?

What is it that I don't like about strip clubs?

Last night my partner went on a stag do. Of course, they went to the strippers. I knew this would happen, I laid down my rules & he had permission, yet why, now do I have this awful uneasy feeling eating away at me?

What is it? 

Why are there no male strip clubs? Why don't women feel that they need to seek out this form of 'entertainment' to such an extent as men do? When I think of all the sorts of riske entertainment for women, all that pops into my head is stuff like the Chippendales & male strippers on hen dos with lots of drunk women shrieking & giggling like school-girls, taking it as a great laugh & a hoot & not thinking much more of it, but when the roles are reversed, when it's blokes going to so called 'Gentlemen's clubs' & so on I think of ego & chauvinism. Men don't hoot & giggle, men leer & lick their lips...Don't they?

This is the image I have engrained in my mind but I'm not sure it's entirely like that. I would like to find out & you know what, I think one day soon I may do that. I would like to see if their is any truth behind the notion that these girls find stripping empowering, or do they only find this empowering because society has taught them that?

But back to my question - is it this that bothers me? Men & women are very different creatures indeed, that is for sure. I'd say that I'm quite a sexual person, more so than quite a lot of my friends, at least. I can be excruciatingly shy in a room full of people, but between the sheets (or wherever else) I have usually found I'm fairly confident once I get into my stride, as it were. Anyway, no more detail or else you all who don't wish to know will start bleeding from the eyes. My point is that I have always felt secure because I have always felt I have most control & confidence over the sexual aspect of a relationship. I am by no means beautiful or sexy in the conventional top-shelf magazine sense, yet never has this held me back. I think the reason that I feel least secure about my man striding into a strip club & getting an eyeful of a room full of magazine-beautiful & -sexy women in all their glory is because by choosing to walk right in there he is not only accepting society's warped view of what 'a woman should be' (whether he realises it or not) but wolfing it down like the very different creature that he is. Simultaneously, he is removing an enormous chunk of the control I hold & allowing me to fall back into the clutches of my insecurities. 

But what about me? Why should there be no other aspect of life in which I can feel empowered? Now I'm certainly not suggesting that a woman should not have empowerment through sex - hell, sex is more than enjoyable & should be for both parties - but what I am saying is that of course that shouldn't be my sole source of satisfaction, & because - at the moment - I am so insecure about magazine-perfect women taking the control from me then I have done exactly the same as my partner & accepted society's view of 'what a woman should be'. If it is true that strippers only do their job because they are accepting our society's harsh terms, rather than questioning them (I said if, remember, I am yet to find this out first hand) then am I not just a stripper with a more specific & non-paying audience? Hell, if I'm going to feel these insecurities, I'd at least like to get a bit of cash for my troubles.

It's a vicious fucking circle (not a vicious fucking-circle, that's an entirely different blog post).

I don't know what to do or think. I'm working mostly on assumptions, deductions & what I've seen in the media. Anxiety doesn't help matters either. Can anyone enlighten me here?
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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Of Single Days Gone By

Perfect. Everything about his personality is what I would wish for in any friend, & any potential bed-mate. He’s intelligent & talks in a tone edged with wisdom. He is clearly a thinker. Though what is it that doesn’t sit quite right when he tells me with enthusiasm: “Oh, absolutely! You’re so right there – nobody else can make you happy, it’s down to the individual!”?
I struggle to tell whether his zeal comes from finding someone who shares his opinion on self-fulfilment, or whether he is aiming to flatter me.

“You seem as though you have it all figured out.” he says, with just a hint of awe that softly jabs the pit of my stomach. I feel embarrassed. I do have it figured out, don’t I? 

On paper, he is perfect. He ticks all the boxes. So why, oh why, can’t I appreciate how pleasant our evening has been; how refreshing it is to speak with someone who is on the same wavelength? He clearly is, yet I constantly have this underlying feeling that something is missing. He puts me at ease, yet I think that ease is exactly the problem. He does not challenge me. I feel no stir of apprehension. There is no niggle of doubt that this person may prove me wrong. He would simply concur & discuss the point further, as though it were fact.

I’d like to explore. I’d love for someone to have a point of view that was new & exciting. Sure, you have to share opinions & views on some things – there must be common ground – but wouldn’t it be wonderful for someone to come along & say “Well Chlo, what about this…” & completely blow my mind, or even divulge something that would get me a little riled – just a little though.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Ugly Proof

Did I mention that I'm running thirteen sodding miles for Mind in September? Yup, I'm doing the Great North Run & guess what.. You can sponsor me! Please sponsor me...PLEASE! Just click to see my fundraising page or click to see my reasons for running!

I'll be keeping a log of my training. Today OH kindly showed me how to strech beforehand (I had previously just been doing the stretches we learned from school) but I'm convinced he was just trying to make me look like a douche.

The previous run I went for was a 3 mile run about a week & a half ago which took me 31 minutes. I was dying by the time I got home! Today's run was a simple 2 mile run, round a new route. It took me 24 minutes, which means I'm worse! Onwards, onwards & no slacking I guess is the answer! Damn!

Just to prove I have actually run, take a look at the colour in those cheeks, sexy!