All change….

What the ???? Now I’m actually online, I can’t remember what I was going to write here! I think that’s more than a little reflective of my life at the moment!!

So, things I want to blog about but don’t have time / the words for …..

1. Veet have really naffed me off with their waxing lyrical about women and the need to not be manly. Jog on. Seriously. Idiots. I’m as much of a woman as ever, whether my legs are hairy or not. And that also applies for other parts of my body. So much so, that I took a picture of my hairy leg in the bath. I’ll add it here when I get around to it. I know, you’re welcome.

2. I am going to overhaul this personal blog. Why? Because it’s been reflective of where I’ve been for a while – well, a few years – being subsumed and disappearing slowly, and replaced with middle aged, middle class mummy ness and associated cliches and aspirations. What a crock of shite! Seriously!! I’m a bird. I’ve bought myself some cool trainers with sequins that I’d have bought when I was 20. And am going to get back to my music. And actually think about planning that bit of travelling that I still want to do. The boys can go skiing. And I’m going to get back to adventures in visiting cities and countries I’ve not discovered yet! I know, I sound like I’m having a mid life crisis. But it’s been brewing for a while, so you’ll have to bear with me….

Change is a good thing, right?

Did you miss me?

It’s ok, you didn’t even notice I was gone, did you? I’ve actually been really poorly. Like properly, in bed, unable to go anywhere poorly. I was up and about quicker after my c section than this one. Pneumonia. It’s a word that makes everyone scared. Including me. But essentially, it’s an infection in a lung, or both lungs. It’s a sausage to spot and a sausage to treat if you want to stay out of hospital.

A friend said to me that she really felt that I gave into it – I posted some self pitying statuses on FB and whimpered a fair bit. And I don’t do that. I’m not saying that I am always positive and perky. But I really did just say “I’m poorly”. “I feel so poorly, that I don’t know what to do with myself.” And it’s been a really interesting thing for me. Because I don’t like to look vulnerable online.

But actually, what’s the point of being online, if you’re only going to show the positives of your life? It’s not very authentic, is it? I’m not suggesting that I should list every time I debate and cajole my children into putting their shoes on for schools, or when I bicker with Lovely Bloke, or when I turn up at the school gate having not cleaned my teeth, or remembered to put a bra under my hooded top, or when … or when …

The list goes on forever. Life is not a competition to post the most positive things online, or the opposite – to be woe is me. I strive using #100HappyDays and other similar things, to look for the positives – because I think it’s self perpetuating and because I think it’s important to look for the good at every opportunity. Surely this is one of the most important things we can teach our children. Don’t you think?

A random blog post

In an effort to make my mac run a bit quicker – ie: to not fall over – I’ve started tidying up my desktop. I found this text. And was going to bin it, but I must have felt compelled to write it for a reason, so instead, I’m sharing it now… It looks like I wrote it around 12 months ago….

Every so often I get the a moment where I just want to take a photo, a snapshot, to commit something to memory. And right now is one of those times. I’m sat in a soft play centre – aka parents living hell. And I’m on my own, watching the boys playing together. They aren’t playing with anyone else, just each other. They are hot and sweaty – hair matted to their heads, flinging themselves around each other, bumping, jumping and climbing on and around each other.

It’s proper play. They aren’t on laptops, or our phones. They aren’t watching tv. And I’m here, watching it happen. A friend said to me today that I should call a friend to have a catch up and meet up here, but actually this has been just perfect. I’ve read two loooooong docs for a top secret project Weston Communications will be starting for the NHS in June, been to the toilet three times, watched from a distance whilst E has been to the boys toilet on his own and we’ve each had a piece of oreo’s cookie cake accompanied by the pied de resistance of playbarns – a jug of dilute….

I’m so pleaed that I’ve done this. That I’ve sat here and watched the boys, observed them and been as present as I can be, whilst not being physically attached to them doing an actual hands on game. Mind you, Lovely Bloke has been very good at that for the rest of the week. E has learnt to play draughts and has beaten me twice.

W has played endless games of connect 4, Marble run and “that donkey game where its bum goes up in the air” (Buckaroo).

We’ve been to stay with my parents at their caravan and E has got so much confidence from the bike they got him, that it’s had to come home and used every day since! Good job we packed light – we weren’t banking on bringing another two bikes home with us.

Grandma, you are not the best in the world….

So I’m sat there, being all mushy with my mum and the boys, talking about why my Mummy is the best Mummy and Grandma in the world. Thanking her for doing the school run, swimming, play dates, parties, washing, cleaning, cooking and even ironing (she hates ironing). She’s done everything for me, whilst I’ve been unwell. And I’m full of gratitude for it. So I ask the boys if they want to tell her anything. And William, age 5, comes out with this corker.

Screen shot 2014-03-07 at 17.55.08There’s not much else I can say to that, is there?

Michelin Winter Tyres – bear with me….

Now as you know, I’m into cars. I know this isn’t for everyone, but please bear with me. When Mumsnet gave me the opportunity to go and drive them, in Austria, I said yes! I have come home with even more knowledge of tyres, how they are made and what goes into their design. So much so, I reckon I could do a pub quiz on it.

The short version is, that in Winter, you need Winter tyres on you car – anything less than 7 or 8 degrees in temperature calls for Winter tyres. That’s from around October to March. These tyres aren’t even publicly available yet. But they will be come this winter. In the Summer, the regular tyres are better. So things to think about are where you will put your tyres when you’re not using them and who, how and where you will get your tyres changed Along with the cost of having a second set of tyres. And trust me, if you’re concerned about car safety, car seat safety and keeping your precious babies safe like I am, you’ll soon work out a way to do it. Why? Because when you see the effects of the differences in stopping differences, you’ll really understand it.

This video shows it really clearly…

I was taken on an expenses paid trip to Innsbruck, Austria, by Michelin, who are partnering with Mumsnet to get the word out there about tyres and the safety benefits for families.

Things I have Not Done Whilst Being Unwell

I am not saying that any of this has happened to me in the last 3 weeks. It would be too embarrassing for words, for me to know you Online or In Real Life and I would never be able to look at you again. So for the record. None Of This Has Happened To Me. None Of It At All.

  • I have not had a hacking cough that has left me wetting myself so much that I have had to resort to wearing Tena Lady thicker than maternity pads.
  • I have not had coughing fits whilst trying to go out of the house that have left me on my knees in the street looking like, well, I don’t know what.
  • I have not cried because I’ve run out of toilet roll to spit my produce of my cough onto, when the next roll was 30 cms away and within reach.
  • I have not looked at my Dr and literally tilted my head to the side to see if it makes my blurred vision any better.
  • I have not pulled muscles that I didn’t know I had from coughing and then wandered aimlessly around the house trying to remember the name of “Deep Heat” and failed, and cried over it.
  • I have not cried because I am so jealous of my children sleeping and snoring in my bed, because I was not sat on the sofa, getting angrier and angrier that I was not sleeping myself.
  • I have not farted loudly, coughed at the same time, made use of Tena lady and wondered if I’d hit the jackpot and actually Followed Through. I have not done that. Repeatedly. I have not considered wearing my children’s old nappies in case it actually happened to me.
  • I have not asked Lovely Bloke “what’s that noise?” to be told it was me, and my wheezing whilst trying to breathe. I have not taken so many asprin that I don’t know my own breathing any more.
  • I have not considered being an affiliate for dissolvable aspirin. Or dreamt of straplines on how I could sell it.
  • I have not begged to my Practise Nurse for antibiotics. To be refused and told it’s viral. To then cry in the car afterwards.
  • I have not developed a system of assessing gross stuff that I have coughed up in my mouth – does it actually need spitting out or, well, I’ll leave that bit up to your imagination. Because it’s not happening for me right now. So I don’t know how to describe it.
  • I have not breathed a huge sigh of relief (I’d like to be able to do that, to be fair) at the GP saying this morning that there is a rattle in my lung and that I may need IV antibiotics. I have not thanked God for this potential pneumonia assessment, because it might mean that I’ve not lost my marbles and / or are over reacting at all. I have not done this.
  • I have not considered emailing LoveFilm to ask for an extension on Grey’s Anatomy being live online because I’m watching so much of it.
  • Nor have I lived some alternate life through watching nine seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in an asprin induced haze for 3 weeks. I wish I had. I haven’t been with the programme enough to do that!

God, there is so much more that I have not done. I am so proud to have conducted myself with Decorum, Grace and Not Cried One Bit at being this unwell. I have not Been A Bad Patient. I have not felt sorry for myself. I have been patient with this illness and I have not taken it as a sign from the Universe that I should not buy another Lottery Ticket Ever Again.

Because that would be silly. Wouldn’t it?

Has February finished yet?

I have to say, February hasn’t been the best month for me. Why? Because, including today, I’ve been unwell for 18 days of it. It’s pants. I felt rubbish beforehand – tired and run down and now, well, I was just pleased to go out of the house for a short while yesterday. All it is, is a virus, but good grief – the coughing, the headaches, the inability to sleep, stand up straight and the pain in my stomach, coupled with pulled muscles from retching and well, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Yuk, yuk and a bit more yuk.

Elliott’s 7th Birthday passed me by in a haze, as has half term – my mum came to stay and literally did 24/7 with them – I’m very grateful. And she looked after me as well – there was a fairly surreal 3am chat where we were sat up discusssing life and the meaning of the universe.

And yes, I did go and do the Michelin trip. I’ll write about it properly another time. But yes, I went, I saw, I drove and I learned a fair bit more than I was banking on – and not just about tyres. Will write about it properly when I feel better.

I just wanted to say in true Monty Python style, that I’m not dead yet. Not far off ;) But I’m not dead yet. And I’m looking forward to continuing to feel better, and getting back on the wagon with life in general, as well as my work.

The one where I get excited about tyres….

It’s like this. Michelin Tyres asked Mumsnet to find someone uber cool, chic and who is also a car fanatic, to go and get on a private plane with them, to go somewhere cold to have a driving adventure. Step forward me – I think my email asking to be picked might have been titled “PICK ME, PICK ME “. Ahem. I have very little idea of what’s going to happen over the next few days. But I know I’m going to be learning about driving in snow and ice and need to take warm clothing.

I’m trying to play it cool. And failing. I’m really, really excited!! Chauffeured and pampered, luxury travel and an adventure that’s going to be something that is all about me – me, and a bit more me. I was just discussing last week with Tanya Barrow, how hard it is to remember who you are sometimes – what it is that makes me a person – everything is very much defined by children, work and even in part by being married and being a grown up with a house, cars and saving money. It’s all a long way away from the funky bird that I was 10 years ago and I am very grateful for my life. But part of me thinks that I want to get my groove back – so this adventure is perfect. It’s about me and my interests – driving and being independent. I know I’m reading too much into it, and that it’s really about tyres, but for me, it’s a ticket to some time out from being a mum and agency owner. I don’t need time off from being a wife though! I wish Lovely Bloke could come with me as we both love cars and all things driving related….

Of course, I’m also going to go and look at it from an agency perspective. I couldn’t not do!  To date, I have always given opportunities to my team and the clients we work with, so it’s good to be doing this as a ‘recipient’ and see everything from the other side!

Anyway, I’ve got to go and pack my bag for tomorrow – it’s a 4.30am start! I’ve got a Bibetta moda tote to take with me, so I’m looking forward to road testing it. I’m intending to travel relatively light, so if I get chance, I’ll take a pic and add it here. That might be a bit of positive thinking though ;)

PS. Do you know what question I’ve been most asked about this – are you insured? What do they think? That I’m going to get over excited and race or something??? !!