I had a pleasant evening last night and fell asleep on the sofa. When I woke up towards 11pm, I was in a foul mood. Nothing had changed apart from how I was feeling.

An argument with Him Indoors ensused. I had an idea that I was pre-menstrual but when in the grip, it makes far more sense to rant at the world and its husband in general. When I am like this, I am very insecure but instead of seeking reassurance, I lash out with wild accusations based on nowt or nowt much. This does not make for marital harmony.

I am less patient with the children and animals too. To be honest, I just want everyone out of my face. I remember how with good female friends when students we used to curl up on sofas and eat chocolate at these times whilst watching nonsese on the telly. Men just don’t join in like that, do they?

This morning, I felt like wallowing but managed to write my #groovingmums post. I can’t be bothered with people when feeling vaguely yucky but not enough to be ill. There is also that lacklustre feeling and a lack of motivation to do owt really.

I did not go out with my Dad as I normally do and enjoyed some me time. I laughed at myself a bit on Twitter and on the blog. Therapeutic stuff. Then I thought I would do something constructive and look up PMT on the internet. Most pissed off to be told it affects people aged 20-40 years. Bloody Hell! I am even too old for PMT. Menopause and hip replacements here I come. Oh, the deep joy of being a woman!

Dad came in asking why charities ask for money at Christmas as if it were my own personal fault they do so. “You know about charities” says he. Yes, I worked for charities but only a tiny minority of them and they are a very diverse bunch. He had his view and was not to be moved. I had to really concentrate hard not to snap. “They should ask for money from businesses”. Tried to argue that yes they do and companies do offer support but that did not fit in with his world view. I hate clashing with Dad so retreated back to my cuppa and the sofa.

I hate pre-menstrual tension and I hate our society does not work round the real lives of women. Why can’t we all have a few days in a posh hotel paid for by the state when we are feeling this way? Why can’t working women have proper flexible working so they can fit in little inconveniences like PMT? Why don’t they cover things like pre-menstrual tension, post-natal depression and the realities of women’s lives in our education system?

Now in any other circumstance, having a good rant like this would lift the black clouds but PMT does not work like that. Come on virtual friends, hand me some cyber chocolate and take me away from it all.

Who were my 5 high school crushes?

Go back to my very first celebrity crush and mention Orinoco from the Wombles. Yes really and I actually was very tempted to buy a cuddly Orinico in a charity shop recently. I googled him and apparently he was a shirker who liked food and sleep. What does that say about me I wonder?

In desperation, I asked my best friend from high school. Nope, she could not recall any particular crushes on my part. She tried to help with suggestions such as Tom Cruise. I have never liked Tom Cruise at all. I remember a male friend’s mum asking whether I thought he looked like Tom Cruise and she was offended when I said no. I meant it as a compliment. I seem to remember my friend from high school having a thing about Terence Trent D’Arby.

There were people that fascinated me such as Boy George and his friend Marilyn. I did not fancy them as such though.

Right, as I am shirking from the task in Orinoco like fashion, here we go.

1. Nick Berry – He was in Eastenders and then in Heartbeat. I used to sit in a tortured state whilst watching Eastenders with my mum as every time he came on the screen, my face would burn up. He used to lean over the bar of the Vic and I could hear my heart practically leaping out of my chest. Didn’t he end up with the older Gillian Taylforth at some point? I seem to remember thinking the whole idea of that quite nauseating.

2. Peter Howitt or rather Joey Boswell. Here is how he is described on the internet. A 1980s epitome of cool, with big hair and a leather jacket, he acknowledges people with “greetings”, and drives to the dole office in a Jag. That description nails it really as I loved the Eighties and remain firmly stuck in that decade. I still love big hair, leather jackets and suddenly have worked out why my car of choice is a jag. Joey had a girlfriend called Roxy and I remember wanting to change my name to Roxy.

3. Derek Thompson who played Charlie Fairhead in Casualty. I can remember confessing this one to a fellow lodger in the early nineties and she thought it was the funniest thing she ever heard. She fancied Ash and she kept going round the house shrieking, “Charlie? Charlie!” in disbelief.

4. Michael Landon who played Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prarie. I am not sure when Little House was made but I watched in always including in my High School period so it counts for me. Who would not want a bloke like Charles Ingalls with all that manly strength, love for his family and ability to respond to whatever life threw at him.

5. Michael Hutchence from INXS. Do I really need to explain that one? I think this was the only real teenage crush where I gave in to a huge poster on my bedroom wall. Beautiful and naughty, a sort of Australian version of Joey Boswell lol.

I got over Nick Berry.

I never got over the Eighties, leather, big hair, jaguars and the wish to be called Roxy.

I never found a doctor as nice as Charlie.

In many ways, I married Charles Ingalls although he laughed the other day and said I just graduated from Orinoco to Great Uncle Bulgaria.

I could still get seriously worked up about Michael Hutchence.

It is 7 weeks since I wrote a blog post about how mums might want to join a blog hop about getting a sense of self back. Since then, ordinary mums have joined in and bravely shared their personal journeys of revival, their quest for the “me” in the business of life and their strategies for how to get through those difficult days.

Here is where I currently am in this journey.

1. I have pre-menstrual tension so it is taking every iota of my commitment to #groovingmums to do this post. However, I feel it is really important to focus on how we are changing even on the days where we are struggling a bit. I hate it when I read that mums did not feel able to participate in #groovingmums because they feel there is some standard to be met in terms of great strides made or feeling good. This is real life and we can sometimes help each other most on the worst days.

2. I have now lost just short of 1 and a half stones in just 7 weeks. Isn’t that a coincidence, not? I started the healthy eating plan as I started #groovingmums and I put a lot of the success down to the support of my fellow groovers. You make a huge difference to how I feel about myself and what I think I might be capable of. Yesterday, I was over the moon having lost another 5 pounds but today the PMT is making me feel hopeless, like I will never shift all the weight and so on.

3. I love #groovingmums but again, due to PMT, I am feeling a bit at odds with aspects of it. I hate it when it feels like I have opened a can of worms for mums that is causing them discomfort. I am pleased that people are honest in their posts but I really don’t want to make things harder for people. That was never the intention of this blog hop, quite the opposite in fact. I also don’t know how many ways I can say that individuals can take this journey in their own way, post or not as the case may be, use the badge or not as the case may be and so on. Hey, ladies, I am on your side.

4. I feel a bit scared right now about what this journey might lead to. I keep balking at buying a size 16 top because it is probably 10 years since I was that size. Isn’t that silly? PMT is also making me question attending the very events that I am normally shouting about how excited I am about.

5. Time for some positivity, Kate! I did not exactly dance at a recent event but I did sort of move and shuffle a bit. When my son asked for a spiderman cake, instead of giving into the panic, I rose to the challenge. I am getting out and about more than I was. I get to start my voluntary work at long last on Friday. I have agreed to my Dad’s offer to buy me tickets for the “We Will Rock You” Musical. I love theatre and it is one of those joys that I have denied myself in recent years.

OK, every week, I suggest some challenges that mums might want to take up.

1. What Are The Groundrules? – I know this might not please everyone but I think it would be helpful for me to have a page on the blog that describes #groovingmums so I don’t have to rehash it every week. I also think it would be useful to have some groundrules. I an not talking hugely rigid things but think there are things that it might be helpful to set the scene about how we want #groovingmums to operate. So, your first challenge is to email me your thought and ideas on this to mums-the-word@live.com

2. Embrace the Spirit – This will mean different things to different people so respond in a way that makes sense to you. It might involve revisiting a place of worship, taking part in a religious festival, meditating, looking at which goddess you most identify why or whatever makes sense to you.

3. Body Fun – Do something to your body that you would not normally do. Paint your toe-nails, wear lipstick, colour your hair, wear make-up to take it off for a day if you usually wear it, play around and experiment.

Please do try to share the comment love with other #groovingmums who are all being brave however big or small the steps they are taking. Usual reminder that to see what we are up to on Twitter and other social networks use the hashtag #groovingmums.

If you want to see what sort of mums are taking part so far, check out my post from yesterday which lists some of our mums and links to their stories.

Newbies are always welcome and I am usually a much cheerier soul that today.

If anyone has concerns or questions or to send the link to your relevant blog post, just email me on mums-the-word@live.com

What does it feel like losing a sibling to adoption?

Last week, I promised to acknowledge National Adoption Week with posts from various perspectives on the issue. I have a few more to share and here is one. It was written last year. Too often, we forget the impact on the wider family members of adoption.

“I don’t cry very often.

For various reasons, I have learned not to show my feelings and to bottle things up. I like to appear hard. Don’t let them in and they can’t hurt you. I am not going to trust people with my feelings and be abused again.

They took my little brother and sister away. I know they had to go and they are better off in their adopted family. But I love them and I don’t get why I can’t see them when I would never harm them in any way. I need them and I bet they need me too.

I cried today when my social worker brought me some news about them. Could not stop, curled up in a foetal position, sobbing.

I miss them so much.”

This post is dedicated to 3 amazing women who know who they are.

Treacle Tart Recipe

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

200g DS-gluten free Shortcrust Pastry

Filling

300g golden syrup

25g butter

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

200g breadcrumbs made from a DS-gluten free White Sliced Loaf

1 medium sized egg yolk

Method

1. Knead the pastry on a work surface lightly dusted with gluten free flour for a full 2 minutes until smooth.

2. Roll the pastry out and use to line an 18cm/7 inch round pastry container or foil container. Trim away any excess pastry and set aside.

3. Prepare the filling. Place the golden syrup, butter, lemon zest and rind into a medium size covered bowl in the microwave. Microwave on full power for 30 seconds or until the butter has melted.

4. Stir ingredients together and add the breadcrumbs and egg yolk. Stir to combine and spoon into the pastry case.

5. Rest the container onto a preheated baking sheet and cook until the pastry is golden and the topping is just beginning to brown.

6. If necessary, cover topping with foil for the last 10 minutes to allow the base to cook without further browning the top.

7. Serve warm or cold with custard, pouring cream or ice cream.