What does Angel Delight remind you of?

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For me it sends me in a Tardis-like fashion to the Seventies when life was so very different.

Can you remember the days where parents let you play out and so long as you got back by the agreed time they did not stress about it? Health and safety standards in those days meant you could have life on a building site without anyone worrying too much. You could also play conkers without a public inquiry.

Do you recall when mums made one meal for the whole family and you all sat down and ate it together? Not only that but you would then spend the evening together rather than disappearing off to chain yourselves to a variety of different machines.

Are you dreaming of the days where if children had an accident at school, the teacher would not only apply first aid but also be allowed to give a cuddle?

Music was different then too with my favourites being the Wombles and Bay City Rollers.

I lived with my Mum and Dad and two brothers who to my absolute delight left home in the Seventies leaving effectively as an only child.

I had brilliant birthday parties where my Mum would lay on a huge spread including a home-make cake, sandwiches and vol-au-vents. In those days you did not take out a mortgage for such things. Most things were home-made and the venue was your house.

Looking back I miss a lot about the Seventies. The interior design of the day was frankly shocking but overall there was a sense of structure and safety.

One thing that is as good today as it was then is Angel Delight. My children were very excited to be introduced to tasty dessert particularly the new bubblegum flavour.

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In fact, we have tried out various recipe ideas as well as savouring milkshakes and the simple dessert itself. You can make smoothies, lollies, cheesecakes and trifles using Angel Delight. You can even try it as a topping or filling for cakes.

This one went down very well with all the family. Simply crush digestives and mix with melted butter. Add banana slices and banana flavoured Angel Delight.

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As a mum, I love Angel Delight because it is so quick and easy to make.

You can find out more here

This post is an entry for #AngelDelightMoments Linky Challenge although I am not eligible to win as I work for BritMums.

I received 2 packets of Angel Delight and a glass sundae dish and straw to facilitate the writing of this post.

This post was supposed to be written on Halloween but ill health kept me away from creative blogging. Better late than never and if anything, the whole Striking Mums concept says it is OK to take a break when we need to and to forgive ourselves if things don’t go entirely to plan.

So do you fancy playing Trick or Treat for Mums with me?

Here are this week’s questions to inspire you. You can answer one of them, all of them or none at all. The trick of Striking Mums is that it is your very flexible linky friend. So let’s first consider tricks for mums.

trick

Tricks

1. How do you outwit people or circumstances who prevent you getting the life you want?

2. What clever parenting tricks do you pull off regularly?

3. What is your top time-saving trick?

4. What is your top housework trick?

5. Have you ever carried out a practical joke? How did it go?

6. If there was a trick of the light what would you like to see?

7. Have you ever been tricked and how did that feel?

8. If you designed your own coat or arms what colours, images and words would you include in it?

Actually that is quite a lot of questions so I will post about treats next week but this week, I will pick my favourite post that is linked up and a little mystery treat will sent to you.

I would love to have your comments and if you blog in any way about yourself and how you are taking steps tiny or otherwise to change your life, please link up below. I will comment on every post, promote them on my social networks and include links in a round-up post next week.

Please use the hashtag #strikingmums on social networks.

Please grab the rather attractive Striking Mums badge in the sidebar and display on your blog.

Most of all, please visit the other people linking up to lend them your support.

I have set up a Facebook group for Striking Mums – you don’t have to be a blogger to join this. You do have to be a mum.

I have also set up a Pinterest board for Striking Mums

Have a lovely week and I look forward to hearing about your mums and your tricks.

They say in life you should get the answers right. It is more of an issue when you get the questions wrong! So take two of questions and answers set by the marvellous Sonya.What was the first record you ever bought?

I loved Ken Dodd and the Diddy Men’s album and the Wombles too when I was little. My first pop star crush was Orinoco!

The first tape I bought was Bob Marley. I got it in London from Our Price I think for £4.99. My mum always said it was actually hers and had similar habits about any records I had by Simply Red or Tina Turner.

What is your favourite biscuit?

There is no greater pleasure in life than licking the creamy bit in a bourbon.

Who would you most like to go out on the lash with and why?

That’s a difficult question. As we never have a babysitter, it would be nice to go to a pub and let my hair down with Him Indoors. I would love to walk into a pub and see all my old college friends there. There are bloggers I would like to see outside blogging conference territory.

Who is your blog crush?

I can’t pick just one so am leaving this one.

When are you happiest?

I like to be by the sea. Ideally I would like to live by the sea and also spend my dying moments looking out to sea.

I love it when snuggling up with my children learning and/or debating ideas.

I like the simplest of tea parties to celebrate whatever occasion is happening or I can invent.

I am happy when baking – there is something spiritual about it.

I am always happy when looking around charity shops spying quirky items.

I have happy times every time I am at the theatre which happens far too rarely.

I am happiest when I feel loved or accepted as I am. That is one of the reasons I miss my Dad so much.

What is your favourite word?

Passionate

Do you have a secret talent?

I asked Him Indoors and he said quickly and very deeply that I have the ability to say the right thing at the right time. I find that lovely so will go with that.

What book would you recommend to me?

My first best-selling novel

Now to tag some lovely bloggers with the following questions …

1. What work pattern suits you best – stay at home parent, part-time employee, full-time employee, freelancing/own business? And why?

2. What do you have on your bedside cabinet?

3. What do you collect?

4. Name a fictional character that you think you are like? From soap operas, books or plays.

5. What is your top housework tip?

6. If I paid for you to go to the theatre, what would you see?

7. Do you have a signature dish? What is it?

8. If you wrote a book, what would it be about?

9. Name the treat you would buy with each of these prize amounts

£1

£100

£1000

10. What is the thing you have great faith in?

Tagging

@AutismMumma

@usthreebythesea

@CupcakeMumma11

@LakesSingleMum

@TheBeezleyBuzz

@Dragonflypoppy

@mamayoutalk

@KimberleyJTyler

@PNDandMe

@Lookng4BlueSky

The phenomenal woman and blogger Sonya has tagged me to answer some questions.

I have been poorly sick over Half Term so decided to take this tag to get my blogging mojo back a little.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I did used to enjoy dressing up as a nurse and injecting people.
Any ambitions to join the medical profession changed when I started watching Crown Court on the telly. At that point, I liked the idea of dressing up weirdly and mouthing off with everyone instructed to listen to me. A barrister was the life for me or so I thought and I intended to specialise in defending criminal cases overturning injustices.

At university, I obtained my law degree but got cynical that it all seemed to be about making rich people richer and powerful people even more powerful. That and the treatment of women by the legal system made me leave ideas of joining the legal profession behind.

I have made very few grown-up choices and my life shows that really so now I am hoping to become a published writer when I grow up. I would also like to work in a shop and have a fantasy of owning a floristry business.

How many children did you imagine you would have – and how many have you got?

I used to have a clear image of myself with three tall boys and a willowy girl. I ended up with two sons and a daughter called Willow. I keep expecting the other tall guy to turn up at some point to make sense of it all.

A palm reader also told me I would have 3 children.

Who or what inspired you to start blogging?

I think most people know this story. As I went slowly insane and miserable with the demands of parenting and the blight of post-natal depression, my Mum suggested that I should write even if I just kept a diary. She said this at about 4am on Boxing Day fuelled by Bell’s whisky. A few weeks later she told me she was terminally ill so for me blogging is the greatest gift she gave me and is in a way her legacy.

What’s your favourite blog post you’ve written?

It is impossible to pick one. My best in my view are those where I share openly and honesty, showing the warts off to good effect. I also like the ones where I analyse things and show that I do have quite a fierce brain still. I also love trying to remind people that we have so far to go in women getting a fair deal still.

What is your greatest achievement?

Being the first person from my school to ever get into Oxbridge.

Choosing the harder life option of charity work over the Law. I did make a difference to people along the way.

Putting myself back together after a relationship breakdown where I became aware that I too could be fooled and get things very wrong.

Keeping on keeping on through relocations, redundancies, infidelities, depression and isolation.

Reaching out to help others.

Surprising myself sometimes by walking on fire and travelling overseas on my own.

I am despite being fat and it seems quite possibly diabetic hoping the best is yet to come.

What is your biggest regret?

Allowing fear of rejection to hold me back way too much leading to me not taking risks in personal relationships and therefore ending up at 45 fundamentally friendless at least in the real world.

Not looking after myself physically or emotionally.

What makes you laugh?

Lots of things – word play, ancedotes, some comedians and I also have quite a ribald and black comedy all of my own. My children saying funny things and pulling funny faces.

What makes you angry?

How we are not on the streets saying it is wrong that so many women are battered in their own homes, attacked when they have the audacity to go out and generally treated like the proverbial.

In my home, I get angry that some power that be has decided it is my role to do most of the housework however rough I might be feeling and that I am too often silenced leading to me disappearing a little.

Do you ever break the rules and which ones do you break?

I break rules that Him Indoors sets because I think some of them make no sense and also that I should get a choice in things. Things like me having a blanket downstairs or a duvet if I am feeling in need of extra comfort.

I once submitted a funding bid when a boss said not to. Noticeably when the bid succeeded he accepted the money and the credit!

I question authority naturally so there will be more examples I am sure.

What are your top three books?

I don’t read as much as I would like.

The Hobbit has a special place in my heart always.

A book about New Zealand and a lighthouse by Keri Hulme called The Bone People because it was such a one-off and because I half-imagined the main character was myself and because it was a gift from someone special.

There are lots of others and I will go for gold and say the Bible as I find it times of crisis, it usually has something good to say.

It turns out I have done this all wrong and answered the wrong questions so I guess that goes to show that I break the rules often inadvertently.

I will now write a post based on the questions I was really asked.

Cuddle Fairy

Last week’s Striking Mums post was about style but when I talk about labels this week I am not talking about designer ones. I am talking about the labels used about us by ourselves and others, the things that I said to identify us.

Like other mums, I carry the labels of woman, daughter and mum. For me sister is a bit complicated because officially I don’t have any but blood-wise I have at least three sisters. I guess that goes to show that adopted was always a big label for me marking me out as different from people at school and so on. Mum used to do her best to say it actually meant chosen but then and now I tended to focus on the fact that it must also mean rejected. Identity matters and I think adopted people often feel that keenly because by the time they become aware, one of their identities has already disappeared. Is that why I insisted on keeping my maiden name as part of my married name I wonder?

Perhaps you have a religious label. I am a Roman Catholic and have heard a few negative labels about that one in my time.

You become a pupil at some point carrying some sort of loyalty to your school and perhaps like me you go on to become a student. I went to Cambridge and there are huge assumptions made about people who carry the “Oxbridge” label. Apparently I should be highly intelligent, posh and rich – really?! At university, the label of our subject area was huge so that “lawyers” tended to stick together and one subject area’s student may well look down at students from another group. As a collegiate university, there were also labels attached according to which college you attended.

Entering the workplace, I joined the charity world so inevitably the do gooder label made its way into my world along with expectations of amateur work performance. Wrong again. Yes I did good and sometimes got paid for it too but I took pride in my wrk and delivered often with very limited human and financial resources.

You become a mum and the media will do its utmost to convince you that you are inadequate in some way or to set you up against other mums that are not exactly like you.

I remember my Mum defined people as well-to-do, rough or like us. I guess labels act as shorthand way of describing and assessing people at best. On the other hand, shouldn’t we be seizing the power and selecting our own labels?

In a lifetime, people will give you labels and some of them will change a lot.

I once was told I must be a vegetarian as I was so skinny. That was clearly a very long time ago and now I carry the fat or obese label and hate it.

People who get close to me will comment on how much I talk but if you don’t know me well that might surprise you as I will be the quiet one in a social setting if I am feeling unsure.

My mum’s friend always used to say how beautiful I was but nobody else has ever really thought so perhaps with the exception of my own children.

Other labels folks have used about me over the years include:

Sensitive
Moody
Cute
Uncivilized
Broad
Inspirational
Sweet
Sulky
Bright
Kind-hearted
Hard-working
Smelly

1. If I gave you a label and pinned it to you and you were allowed to put just 3 words on it, which would you choose?

2. What labels that others have used about you do you think are spot on?

3. Has having a particular label ever got you into trouble or held you back?

4. Does or did one of your labels mark you out as very different from others in your circles?

5. Which label are you particularly proud of?

labels

In the blogging world, I think labels can be dangerous too. On either a monthly or yearly basis, I see bloggers allowing their self-belief to be defined by a score, a nomination or an award. We are more than our blogs and we are more than any commendation for our blog that happens to come our way through whatever reason (sometimes hard work, sometimes a stroke of good luck and sometimes through a whole lot of self-promotion) Our blog labels like other ones may change over time. One day we may be a granny blogger and not a mummy blogger. I might suddenly develop a new interest, blog about it and become known for that instead of whatever I am known for today.

I guess that is a good way to conclude. If we don’t like our labels, we can change most of them. If we do like our labels, we should celebrate them.

I have more to say on this I think but for now I am going to close or this post will be too long.