You will wake in the night

You will pretend everything is fine

You are warm and cosy

The world can’t be crashing really

The pain hits

Solar plexus

No chance of sleep now

Wake up

Do the routines when don’t feel capable of doing so

Stress

Shouting

Pushing away

Coming together

Clinging to each other and hope

Panic

Relief

Fears

Hopes

Dashed

Need to make a plan

Not in a fit state to do so

Embarrassment

Envy

Guilt

Lashing out

Rollercoaster ride

And that all-encompassing feeling that you don’t deserve this

And exhaustion

Yesterday, I wrote one of my whine whine woe is me type posts.

All that happened was that my family decided it was OK to mark my birthday later in the day.  Today of all days I should remember that I am blessed to have a family and to be in their lives.

So here is a reflection on my amazing birthday yesterday.

I woke up and Google wished me a happy birthday with a picture of cakes and cupcakes.

I had a birthday message from the founder of BritMums in my inbox.

I was surrounded by my healthy and loving family.  They did not do what I wanted in the way that I wanted.  Sometimes I need to grow up a bit and recognise that I am not a princess.  My mum and dad treated me as if I was.  I cannot expect that from everyone and should value the fact that I had it once.

When I had my meltdown on my blog and on Twitter, plenty of people wished me happy birthday and used amazing words like gorgeous, beautiful and inspirational about me.

They could have said “Get over yourself you moody fat frump” but they didn’t.

I think my mood started to shift with a blog comment from Sally from Tots100.  It was the right mix of firm and realistic words with kindness behind them too.  She even gave me a bit of an action plan as to how to take control and make the day better.

So I took my birthday money found in the birthday card from my brother and headed for the charity shop leaving my husband to look after the children.

I should say my husband had now delivered a very soppy card and a onesie which is what I had mentioned wanting  a few weeks ago.  I have never had one and it seemed like something fun to have.  To be honest, I have most of the things I want in my life materially so this went down well although I continued my grump for a while just for pride’s sake.

For about £15 I purchased a cuddly toy, a Christmas jumper, a beautiful top, some books and a few stocking fillers for the children.

I then headed to the baker’s shop for treats.

By the time I got home, there was a birthday card again of the soppy variety from the children and a cake in progress.  My husband made the cake and was pacing the kitchen as if expecting a baby!

I smiled as the card-writing went on in secret and yet with a mother’s eyes so very obvious to me.

Then the gathering of everyone so they could turn of lights and bring in the cake for me to blow the candle out and make a wish.  The usual wish of course.

As this is the first cake my husband has made in the 16 years we have been together, it was very good.  Light and tasty with a little hint of orange.

My husband then made me a special dinner with my favourite lamb and good vegetables.

Puddings and a cheeseboard were also provided but I chose to have these today instead.

Today I have felt far more positive.

I also think it might be worth adding a P.S. to some of my blog posts “This post was written under the influence of PMT”

As Sally reminded me yesterday, all birthdays are special.  It reminded me of Oprah saying recently on telly how you dishonour those who did not get to your age by not enjoying your birthday.

I guess this post is by way of an apology and a thank you.

 

 

It is no secret that I love most things to do with the Eighties.

However, it is a decade which divides opinion – some believe that it was the time when the UK became a more modern, forward-looking country while others feel that it had brought nothing but misery for millions of ordinary people. However, on the whole,  I think the 1980’s brought us plenty of great things, whether they were tech innovations, iconic TV shows or great bands.

Here are 10 of the best:

Digital watches

Although they weren’t the most important development, they were certainly among the coolest. Mainly produced by Casio, these watches were seen as surprisingly fashionable, even those that had a calculator!  I remember thinking they were the ultimate in style and admiring anyone who wore one.

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Aussie soaps

I used to watch the Sullivans with my mum.  My brother told me about Neighbours so I started to watch that fascinated by all things Kylie and Jason..  I added  Home and Away to my essential viewing list.  Apparently, they used to bring in more viewers than Corrie and Eastenders.

Rubik’s Cubes

Who can forget the joy and complexity of the Rubik’s cube.  I loved the bright colours and tried to work it out as if my life depended on it.  They were hard to crack, but if you managed to finish it (without cheating), you would feel as if you had cracked the Enigma code or something similarly important!  I could manage a side if I recall correctly but check out this article on how to complete the Rubik’s Cube.

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Amazing TV cars

The 1980’s was a grim time for cars on the road. However, on TV, iconic vehicles such as the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard, the A-Team Van and KIT, the talking car from Knightrider, were all cool as!  Even I had a thing about the car although never got women’s thing about the man who drove it.

Otherworldly kids’ TV

I loved Swap Shop.  It was television for us children and it felt as though you could get involved.  This was very exciting back then before the days of social media. ALF, the friendly alien with the long snout, was one of many fun characters to grace the screen. Other great 80’s kids’  shows include Going Live and Transformers, which was revived as a successful film franchise.

Arcade games

The likes of Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong gave 80’s children hours of fun in arcades. The only problem was that in order to get the high score, you had to beg your parents for extra pocket money!  I never really got into these things but I do remember students at college loving them too.

The NES and Sega Master System

Both consoles meant a big upgrade from the Commodore 64, providing better graphics and new titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog. The Game Boy also deserves a mention, especially for making gaming on the go loads of fun.

Novelty PEZ dispensers

Coming with heads of Star Wars, Disney and comic book characters, these dispensers were as fun as they were collectible. As for the sweets themselves, they weren’t a patch on Refreshers or Love Hearts but you could share them.

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The Walkman

One of the best inventions of the past few decades, the Sony Walkman made journeys a little more bearable, unless of course your cassette tapes got scrambled.   I actually miss trying to sort out scrambled casette tapes which is proof positive of just how much I loved the Eighties.  Walkmans helped to pave the way for MP3 players and iPods, not to mention CD players before then.  I have 2 unsued Walkman found amongst my mother’s things.  Dad told me she never used them but wanted to be down with the kids.

BMX bikes

The successor to the Raleigh Chopper, these inventive bikes represented the stuff of dreams for adventurous kids who wanted one ever since they featured in E.T. Their popularity kept going well into the following decade, even if they were hard to master straight away.

So what are your memories of the Eighties and what items represent that decade for you?

Friday 13th – my original birthday and my birthday today.

Says it all you might think.

Original birthday – an unwanted baby already destined for children’s homes and “farming out” as a school peer once described my adoption.

Then lots of lovely birthdays with my adoptive Mum and Dad.  I was with them just in time for my 1st birthday and I imagine they went totally over the top because they saw me as very special.

An amazing 18th – a tape mixed by the DJ brother of a good friend.  Wish I could find her on social networks.  I would like to know that life treated her well.  A big pink teddy bear, a pub crawl and an Ode to Kate written by another friend’s sister.  Happy times.

A brilliant 21st in that wonderful place that is Trinity Hall, Cambridge University.  A place that wanted me and accepted me in all senses of the word.  Posh drinks party followed by a sweaty bop.  A sign on my door saying “Cambridge students head to the best party ever” from my lovely friend Chris.  I miss him.  Back to my room in the early hours.  Waking up the next day to find my dress dropped on the floor where I must have crashed at some point.  Midnight blue and encrusted with jewels and a bustle on the back.  Those were the days. My school friend H came along for it.  We don’t see each other any more.   A wok from the boy I adored which I kept for years and years.  Gold and silver balloons put up by my friend.  Pink champagne crate delivered to college from my brother.

The real 21st back home with my friend Rachel going round charity jobs and giggling in that way that you do when you are young and daft and life seems full of hope.

A joint birthday with my landlord in my early twenties drinking Castlemaine 4x and listening to Queen into the early hours of the morning.  Happy Birthday Ian wherever you are.

Waking up in my mid-twenties with my then boyfriend and him delivering one present after another from the drawer under the bed.  Seeing me as a woman – jewels and the like.  It turned out he was a cheat but he did romance well.

Birthdays in recent years with my Dad coming in and singing.  A present that would be just right because he would have actively found out what I would like best of all.  Miss you Dad – you knew how to love.

Today –  a wife and mother.  No cards or presents from my husband or children.  No singing, no cake, no nothing.  A tearful birthday.

I hope you can see from some of the former birthdays that I once did matter.

I wish I still did.

And yes, I know I should be a big brave girl and accept things more but right now I feel undervalued and mildly miffed (understatement)

Happy Birthday to Me!  It’s a dirty job but someone has to give me a nice day and it looks like that is down to me.

 

 

As a mum to a 9 year old daughter, I am so pleased she in hanging on to childhood and not wanting to grow up too quickly.  I like to think this means that we have got the balance right between encouraging her to be more independent but also to enjoy the magic of childhood.

It is a funny age to buy for at Christmas.  She is more choosy about what toys she would like to have.  She is more interested in her appearance and her want her to enjoy that whilst not becoming stressed or obsessive about it.

I was delighted to be sent some Minnie Mouse Must Haves to inform this post.

I really like the Minnie Mouse Must Haves Collection.  It is stocked exclusively in Boots so easy enough to obtain for most of us.  I love the products and the styling in particular with that vintage feel and the iconic Minnie Mouse ears.

Minnie’s Must Haves Polka Dot Pamper Bag

Available at Boots, RRP £14.00 (suitable for 10-12 years)
Time to get perfectly pampered with these polka dot print pressie ideas. This stylish, on trend toiletry bag, complete with a trio of shower gel, shower crème and body butter, will add a little fun into any tween’s pamper routine!

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Minnie’s Must Haves Minnie’s Minis

Available at Boots, RRP £10.00 (suitable for 10-12 years)

It’s Minnie Minis! A selection of must have mini bath and body treats, with a cute Minnie Mouse twist. The set includes bubble bath, shower gel, body butter, body polisher, and body spritz, all in a keepsake box complete with Minnie ears. It’s ideal for storing everything that a young girl needs, long after the toiletries have disappeared.

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Minnie’s Must Haves Fashion Nail Art
Available at Boots, RRP £10.00 (suitable for 10-12 years)

 This gorgeous selection of on-trend nail treats will leave nails looking colourful and perfectly polished. The set includes three nail polishes, a nail art pen, nail sticker sheet, emery board and toe separators, perfect for bedroom pampering.

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Minnie’s Must Haves Lip Balm Trio
Available at Boots, RRP £6.00
(suitable for 10-12 years)

This set of three chic lip balms in iconic Minnie Mouse designs are the perfect stocking filler for young fashionistas. Keep your lips super soft wherever you go with strawberry, cherry and vanilla fragrances, packaged in this cute gift pack.

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