Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Conversations with the Boyfriend: A surprising knowledge

On Gender Stereotyping

Watching Match of the Day

Me: “Oh look it’s Steven Fletcher.”

The Boyfriend: Stunned expression. “How the bloody hell do you know that?”

Me: “Well he used to play for Wolves didn’t he, and then Sunderland bought him when Wolves were relegated.”

The Boyfriend: “Yeah.”

Long pause.

“Do you know who that is?”

Me: “Yes that’s Martin O’Neill isn’t it?

The Boyfriend: “Do you know who he used to manage?”

Me: “Yeah – the Villa.”

The Boyfriend: “Where did that come from?”

Me: “I have no idea, but that is the end of the guessing game. Thank you.”

On Wishes.

Me: “Ok, so you’re meant to hold onto the wishbone and make a wish.”

The Boyfriend: “Ok.”

He closes his eyes.

Me: “I know you’re going to open your eyes, look at me, and say, ‘oh it didn’t work.”

He opens his eyes.

The Boyfriend: “It’s like you know me.”

Sunday, 18 November 2012

In Good Company

Every time I go back to my home town of Wolverhampton, I look forward to seeing the school girls. These are friends whom I have known since the age of 11, and together we lived through pre-ghd hairstyles, dreadful boyfriends, and several years of PE in ‘navy pants.’ 

Nowadays it seems as natural to discuss the bank’s base rate as it does the best place to get your foundation. Anyway, you know you’re getting on when one of you says:

“Look at that girl without a coat.

For the record she also didn’t seem to be sporting much of a skirt.

Does she not realise it’s November?

Longing look at bare arms.

Remember when we didn't wear coats?”

Much hilarity was enjoyed. In fact, we almost certainly ruined the Friday night dinner of several couples with our raucous behaviour.

I thought I’d share my highlights.

On Parking.

Friend 1: “You know I’m a bit worried about my car.”

Friend 2: “Why’s that?”

Friend 1: “Well I parked it somewhere that said ‘clamping in operation.’"

Friend 2: “why did you do that?”

Friend 1: “ well I was driving to my work’s car park, but then someone else’s work car park was nearer, so I just dumped it there.”

Friend 2: “Right.”

Friend 1: “Yes and the sign said clamping was in operation – but what kind of clamper works on a Friday night? It’ll be fine.”

Friend 2: “This sounds worryingly like the time you parked in the bay reserved for charging an electric car in Birmingham.”

Friend 1: Laughs “Oh god”

Friend 2: “Yes you had 2 lovely tickets for that one.”

Friend 1: “You know I remember that I couldn’t believe my luck getting such a good parking spot. I’d been driving for ages and it was so convenient.”

Friend 2: “Wasn’t there a sign?”

Friend 2: “Turns out yes. And a big, well, flashing plug. I thought how handy it was to have an emergency i-phone charger in the carpark.”

I am pleased to report that the evening passed without a clamping or ticketing incident.

On being born in the 1990s.

Friend 1: “My ex has got a new girlfriend.”

Friend 2: “Oh no, I’m sorry love.”

Friend 1: “No, it’s fine. Well, it’s not fine, but I wrote a poem about it today.”

Friend 2: “A poem?”

Friend 1: “Yes.”

Friend 2: “Dare I ask, what about?”

Friend 1: “Well her twitter name game me a clue about her date of birth.”

Friend 2: “You’re stalking her on twitter?”

Friend 1: “Not stalking no. Researching.”

Friend 2: “Oh that’s alright then.”

Friend 1: “I know. Anyway. Turns out, she’s young.”

Friend 2: “Uhuh.”

Friend 1: “Yes, so the title is ‘Born in the 90s.”

Friend 2: “Have you ever thought you might have missed your calling as a feminist beat poet?”

Friend 1: “Now you mention it….”

So if you were in Made in Thai in Wolverhampton on Friday night, that was what we were all laughing at.

And if you weren't, you can read about what happened on one of our previous meet ups here.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Shhh, I'm writing

I must apologise for the radio silence. You see, I've been a bit busy.

Somewhere on my list of ‘things to do in life’ it said Write a novel. This was something I had always dreamed of doing. Whether or not the thing ever got published, I saw it as a ‘must do,’ up there with owning a campervan and finding the time to make a patchwork quilt.

But it was a distant and far off whim, what with a full time job and seemingly full time housework standing firmly in my way.

Well, that was until my arm was twisted to participate in a little known movement called Nanowrimo. Although it’s not little known to the 200,000 or so participants who right this moment are typing, plotting, setting the scene and killing off their heroines. You see, Nanowrimo challenges you to write a 50k word novel in the month of November. And I’m a fully signed up member. 

National Novel Writing Month is well underway; in fact terrifyingly we’re almost half way through.

I didn't give nearly enough time to plotting, keep having to remind myself what I've called various characters and am easily distracted by twitter, but I’m writing, and although I am behind the target, my current word count sits at over 8,000.

Will I finish in time? I’m not sure – but I’m certainly going to give it a bash. According to the Nanowrimo website I need to write 2,175 words a day to hit the 50,000, so if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a plot twist to pen.

And maybe in December I’ll get started on that quilt.

Monday, 1 October 2012

On Romance: Conversations with the Boyfriend


Watching Match of the day, relaxing.

The Boyfriend: You know, I’d give up Champ for you. 
*please note Champ is Championship Manager, a football computer game.

Me: Bloody hell, that’s big.

Long pause

The Boyfriend: Actually, I may have been a bit hasty there.

Me: What? So you wouldn’t give up Champ for me?

The Boyfriend: No. But I’d say that I would.

Long pause

Me: Thanks.



Watching tv dieting show, relaxing

Man on tv show to lady dieting: So your current weight is 31 stone.

The Boyfriend: Rach you’re no-where near that. 

For more Conversations with The Boyfriend click here

Monday, 17 September 2012

Hunting for supper

I love it when a simple walk turns into adventure. And food adventure is my favourite kind. So imagine my delight when, on a wander along the Water of Leith, I see blackberries growing in the shrubbery. Am I about to forage? I think I am.
Wild Blackberries in the shrubbery
The Boyfriend was on hand to throw himself head-first into the task. Not content with the blackberries growing right by the path, he insisted on scaling the bank. And on my taking his picture. Typical. 

Action shot
A bit of effort and a few thorny cuts (the Boyfriend told me to 'man up' at every thorny yelp) and we had a small bag full of ripe blackberries.

Urban foraging
Just the perfect ingredient for a crumble, wouldn't you say?

So a bit of sugar, butter and flour, the addition of an apple and a squeeze of lemon later, and we had ourselves a crumble. And all the sweeter it tasted for having harvested the fruit ourselves down by the river.

Blackberry crumble and cream
And as we finished the last morsels, I suddenly wondered if I hadn't got ahead of myself in all this foraging excitement. Were wild blackberries even edible? Oh crap. 

Next time I'll be googling first, but you'll be glad to know, we've survived.

For more information about foraging wild blackberries, here's a handy link. Found moments after I'd licked the bowl clean.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Technology fail

I have suffered a great loss. My 8 month old iPhone died. Apparently a leaking bottle of gin and an iPhone mixeth not.

It made an unpleasing electrical buzzing sound and even time spent in a bowl of rice (is this some kind of urban myth?) did not revive it. Neither did sealing it in an airtight container with silica gel. Nor a stint in the airing cupboard.

Ironically I was unable to google other options.

Thus I’m on the emergency phone. A Samsung slide-screen. Who needs 3G, internet connection or apps? I’ve got Bluetooth. 

It’s liberating being unable to check your emails immediately on waking. You do not miss the stiff thumb one gets from smart-phone-scrolling. And I can’t remember how to text by pressing letters, which is doing wonders for my phone bill.

Anyway, the release of the iPhone 5 means that my (broken) phone has been rendered obsolete.  So I might stick just with my ten year old Samsung.

After all, it doesn’t have an expensive intel core-processor that’s teetotal.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

2050: not a moment too soon

I have become someone who only blogs about housework. Forgive me.

But god, when did cleaning start taking up such a high percentage of my life? Barely an evening goes by where something does not require hovered or cleaned or anti-bacteria-ed. The Boyfriend lives in blissful ignorance of the home the woodlice are making under our radiator, or the darkening rim in the bath, or the fact the oven needs cleaning.

It must be a happy world he inhabits.

A world where dirty washing reappears cleaned in wardrobes, the toilet magically smells of pine, and you have no interaction whatsoever with a toilet brush.

Let me be clear, The Boyfriend certainly does not think that cleaning is woman’s work, rather he does not see the mess. And when I point it out, usually with bottle of bleach in hand, a crazed expression on my face, and my voice a full octave above the usual pitch that I am,

 ‘fed up, sick of cleaning, is this really what you think I want to do in an evening? Yes I do feel put upon? Oh my god is that MOULD, this house is a TIP, how can you not see the crumbs everywhere? How have you got the new bin dirty?’ 

… He is usually quick to grab the hoover in a show of solidarity.

But I know that I am not alone. Worse still, change is hard to come by, and a study from Oxford University has found that men are unlikely to be doing an equal share of the vacuuming, dusting and washing up much before 2050. 2050. I’ll have retired. That is if retiring is still a concept in 40 years.

But he does try.

The Boyfriend: “I checked the laundry to see if it could be put away, but it seems to be getting damper.”

Me: “No love. That’ll be because that’s a new load.”

The Boyfriend: “ah.”

2050 you say? It’ll be here sooner than we think.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Am I a dreamer

I saw this wonderful sign today and it got me thinking. 

Am I dreaming or taking action? 

Which of these people are you?

Monday, 30 July 2012

F**k the Po-lice

It’s fair to say that housework is the bane of my life. I hate everything about it. I hate that dust gathers at every opportunity, that crumbs appear on freshly hovered carpets (although for this I blame The Boyfriend) and that skirting-boards require any attention whatsoever. I wish I could be one of those people who has a clean home that is ready for visitors at a moment’s notice.

But I’m not. I resent every loathsome minute I have to spend cleaning.

And now it’s gone and gotten worse.

Woodlice have taken residence. They march in, in their droves, taking cover under furniture, rugs and afore mentioned skirting.

As if this isn’t horrific enough, this weekend the following incident occurred.

I was hovering them up, kneeling on the sofa, stretching elegantly over the back, hoover attachment in hand.

And then.

God, what a funny smell.

Jees is that burning?

Holy crap the hoover is smoking.

Oh god, it smells electrical.

*Sees sparks*

Oh, that’ll be my plugged in laptop cable being chewed up by the angry looking smoking hoover.

*Moves at PACE to power supplies and narrowly avoids electrical fire.*

What does this incident tell me? That hovering is dangerous? That woodlice and laptops do not mix? That I really am that stupid?  I do not have time to answer. I have people coming round and a house full of woodlice. Yes, I forgot to mention that during its ‘meltdown’ the hoover spat out all of the woodlice I had spent the previous hour exterminating.

I must get to work.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Be a heroine

One of my writing heroines has died. Nora Ephron, New Yorker, screen writer and general wit died a week ago, aged 71.

As a blogger, I have been considering Nora’s famous piece of advice, “When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you. When you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh.’

Nora had a knack of turning her life experiences into witty insightful entertainment. After being cheated on and left (in a very undignified manner) by her husband, she turned the entire episode into a hit book and film. She said, “I knew the moment my marriage ended that someday it might make a book – if I could just stop crying. One of things I’m proudest of is that I managed convert an event that seemed to me hideously tragic at the time to a comedy – and if that’s not fiction, I don’t know what is."

Here was a woman who lived by her own philosophy, “Above all, be the heroine of your own life, not the victim.”

Thanks Nora for your wit and words. I’ll end with the lists that closed what would become your final book, but right now I’ve got to run – I’ve got a bikini to slip into.

"Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're thirty-four."   ~ Nora Ephron.

What I won't miss
Dry skin
Bad dinners like the one we went to last night
Technology in general
My closet
Washing my hair
Illness everywhere
Polls that show that 32 percent of the American people believe in creationism
Fox TV
The collapse of the dollar
Bar mitzvahs
Dead flowers
The sound of the vacuum cleaner
E-mail. I know I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.
Small print
Panels on Women in Film
Taking off makeup every night

What I will miss

My kids
The concept of waffles
A walk in the park
The idea of a walk in the park
The park
Shakespeare in the Park
The bed
Reading in bed
The view out the window
Twinkle lights
Dinner at home just the two of us
Dinner with friends
Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives
Next year in Istanbul
Pride and Prejudice
The Christmas tree
Thanksgiving dinner
One for the table
The dogwood
Taking a bath
Coming over the bridge to Manhattan

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Musing on meat and burglars: Conversations with The Boyfriend

Missing Meat.

The Boyfriend: (on spotting sausages in the fridge) So it’s over then?

Me: What’s over?

The Boyfriend:  No meat week.

Me: excuse me?

The Boyfriend: Yeah – I’ve been craving a bacon sandwich all week, and I've realised it’s because we’ve had vegetarian food all week.

Me: Come on, that lentil curry was lovely.

The Boyfriend: Oh of course. Just not as lovely as say – a chicken curry.

Me: Love, you had black pudding yesterday.

The Boyfriend: So I did.


If I had a hammer.

Lounging in the bedroom, front door bangs with the wind.

Me: Oh, don’t worry it’s just the burglars.

The Boyfriend: Well if it is, I've got protection.

Me: What?

The Boyfriend: Yeh, the other night I thought I heard someone breaking in, so I got a hammer – it’s under the bed.

Me: Right.

The Boyfriend: I’ll show you. (reaches under bed and produces hammer.)

The Boyfriend:  But don’t worry – I put some tacs down there too – so if ever anything happens and I have to use it, we can just say that I’d been hanging pictures.

Me: That’s alright then.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The things we do

 I have signed up for boot camp. This is wholeheartedly out of character for 3 main reasons.

1.       I do not like being told what to do.
2.       I do not like being shouted at.
3.       I do not agree with group punishment.

And group punishment this is. We assemble in a local park. White van men yell helpful encouragement such as ‘left-right-left right’ through their windows as they drive past. We run, squat, lunge and burpee – all hideously painful torture techniques designed to make women realise that the perfect body is definitely not worth this level of effort.

We leap up and down. I watch women’s bottoms wobble furiously and jump higher. Because it is damp, we are inadvertently ‘bringing up the worms’ in a kind of mad exercise worm -dance.

We must now ‘drop and give him 20.’ I am horrified that I am paying good money to be given this kind of instruction, but not quite as horrified as when I find I have my hands and face in wormy wet grass.

I am now rolling around in mud. Actually rolling - as I do a press up, and then flail around on the ground until repeating. My hoodie has grass stains on the elbows. I am inhaling grass and wondering if we have any Vanish stain remover left under the sink.

Oh shit, I’m going to be sick.

That would be really embarrassing. Luckily someone has already thrown up by the tree. But she is hard-core and has now resumed the jumping squat. I would have to go home, and never return.

I am not sick.

I do not like burpees. No-one has ever looked back on their life and thought ‘I wish I’d done more burpees.’ I think wars might have started over enforced burpees.

And then it is over. I limp home – damp, yet victorious.

I walk in the flat and am so hungry that I eat an entire lump of cheese straight out the fridge. I have walked wet muddy grass all over the carpet and created a damp patch from my large wet bottom on the sofa.

If only I had energy left to clean.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Email is evil

Last week I attended a talk by Tom Chatfied, on ‘How to Thrive in the Digital Age.’ It was part of an event by the School of Life. You should check it out – I’ve put the web address at the bottom – but for now, back to the point, this talk by Tom Chatfield.

One of Tom’s throwaway comments was, ‘I’m not saying email is evil – although I could make a pretty good case for it.”

And it’s got me thinking.

Email. Bloody email. Let me check my email. Email me. Did you get my email? The sender of my email wants a read receipt to prove I read it. This email has a red flag and has been deemed urgent. Your inbox is almost full. 

Have you ever asked yourself: what does email want? This might sound like a silly question; email - after all  - is not a thinking sentient being with needs or wants? Or is it?

The conclusion I have reached is quite simple: EMAIL WANTS YOU TO SEND MORE EMAIL.

Reply. Copy everyone in. Forward. Blind copy. (naughty) Reply to the reply. Empty your inbox – only to fill up everyone else’s. Why phone? It takes five seconds to accomplish in an e-mail something that takes minutes on the phone. Shun conversing – who needs words like hello and goodbye or to have to pretend to have some semblance of interest in the person on the other end of the line?

No me neither.

Suggest a lunch date? I’ll need an email to confirm that invitation. Thank you very much.

I have 112 unanswered e-mail messages. Every time I start to reply to one a new e-mail icon bobs up and down and I’m compelled to check whether anything good or interesting has arrived. It hasn’t. 

I replace conversation with smiley faces which express my emotions in dots and brackets. I accidentally send a smiley face to a colleague. I fail to respond to a red flag.

Sorry, but Rachel is offline and will not be responding to her emails. She has concluded they are evil.


The School of Life have a website

I’m sure they also have an email address, but you’ll have to find that out for yourself.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Injured in action

I've sustained an injury.

If I told you that I’d sustained this on my first training run you wouldn’t believe me. You’d think I was making it up for a witty ‘silly old me’ blog post. The problem is that I’m not making it up.

I’ve done something to my foot. This does not sound too serious until you realise that the walking process relies heavily on really being able to put your full weight on your foot. If you do not do this, your knee develops an injury too.

By proxy I've hurt my knee.

And it was going so well. I ran 1.8 miles according to my Nike app. I say ‘ran’, I mean I survived. Ok, so I had to sit on a bench by the river for a couple of minutes after a mile, and yes I was somewhat thwarted by a stitch in my right side. And fine, I walked a bit. BUT, it was my first run and as I felt the bottom wobbling was under control, I had deemed it a success.

I should have known the next day I would be unable to walk, let alone run. 

This is not my first exercise related injury. I have a weak ankle after a mountaineering sprain. A dodgy knee from a previous attempt to run places. And I’ve never quite recovered psychologically after falling off a cliff whilst abseiling.

I should probably just stay at home. Safe and sound.

For now I’ll hobble off to see someone who knows what’s wrong with it, and will eat cake and curse the day I ever considered self-improvement.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Do not disturb

I’m an introvert in disguise. To those who know me this may come as a surprise. I like to chat, laugh loudly and appear, to all extents and purposes, to be a sociable being.

But it’s not true. It’s a facade. No, at the core, I’m utterly anti-social.

I need time to retreat, recuperate, restore the energies I am constantly depleting. I am always charging around, doing something – at work, with friends, and all the points in between.

And every now and then I crack. I flee. I swoon dramatically and announce in a manner not dissimilar from Greto Garbo, “I want to be alone.” I need to barricade myself in the house – every door, window, curtain shut against the outside world – and press myself into the farthest corner of the sofa. Me and my book. Perhaps some alone time with the Wire box-set.

I love social interaction. Really, I do. But for me it’s the quality, not the quantity of social interactions that really matters. And, however weird it seems to you extroverts out there,  I really do enjoy my own company.

 Besides, you're never alone with twitter.

So enough of your jibber-jabber. I need rest,  recuperation and peace and blooming quiet.

Maybe I won’t close my doors on the world quite yet — but although I’d love to stay and chat, I’m afraid there’s a book at home that isn’t going to read itself.

Monday, 30 April 2012

A little holiday magic

I have just returned from a week’s holidaying.  I went to France where it rained and, owing to taking food with us, we ate Tesco cheese and drank Spanish wine. Philistines, I know.

The rainy days got The Boyfriend and me reminiscing about one particular holiday of note.

Our holiday in the Caravan of no Comfort.

Times had been tight. It was a Sun £9.50 holiday. You know the one where you collect the tokens. I remember the paperwork arriving. There were several upgrade options available. My then housemate, 'Big Dave', talked me out of parting with any more money.

“Rach it’s a con. You’ve bought the cheap holiday and now they’re trying to tempt you into spending money. (He read the paperwork) Look – it’s double the price. Don’t do it.”

I have still not forgiven him for this advice. 

The caravans that are given to the people who have collected the Sun tokens are not the ones you see in the brochures. No, they are the ones that were decorated (and last cleaned) in 1971.

A week’s rain on the roof of a caravan is relatively annoying. Especially when the bed is so hard you cannot sleep. And so narrow you cannot turn over for fear of going clean through the caravan wall.

The sofas were so narrow you could not sit on them.

The kitchen was so small that The Boyfriend almost set it on fire whilst cooking. Who knew kitchen roll was so flammable? Luckily it flew with ease out of the very small window. (Regular readers - yes, this is the same one that likes to torch pork chops during the night – I really should learn.)

The only thing on this holiday that was not small was the vast amusement arcade where hundreds of winking, bleeping, slot machines competed with the psychedelic carpet for our attention.

But don’t worry, all was not lost.

Seeing an illusionist fail to make his assistant re-appear at the Cabaret show made it all worth it.  All £9.50's worth.

PS. I know you’ll be delighted to hear that the Sun’s token holidays are still available. The bad news is that they’ve gone up in price. 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Navy Pants: A conversation with a school friend

Hannah: I saw on your blog that you’re going to run a half marathon - well done you. I wish I could do something like that.

Me: Gee thanks, but you totally could too. Come on, do it with us. (Have already become running evangelist and bore when unable to run one mile.)

Hannah: No really, couldn’t do it. Not a runner. Can’t run fast enough. In fact, run at half the speed of Usain Bolt. (Seems very specific quip)

Me: What?

Hannah: Yes, I remember when I ran the 100 metres at school in 1996. It took me 18 seconds. Usain can run it in 9.

Me: Doesn’t seem that slow to me.

Hannah: Well that was when I was 12. I'm not sure could maintain that speed now. Anyway -you would say that – you ran it in 14.

Me: 14? (Wonder how I have forgotten this fact and mourn missed opportunity of athletics career.)

Hannah: Yes, 14 seconds. I remember thinking how fast you were. I also remember you doing the long-jump and falling face down into the sand.

Me: Oh. (Imaginary athletics career comes to abrupt end.)

Hannah: Do you remember the navy pants?

Me: Yes. I have still not recovered.

(Navy pants were the gym briefs our school forced us to wear for athletics. Our all girls school field shared a fence with the local comp. Our lunch breaks fell at different times, which meant our athletic attempts were often witnessed by large crowds of the neighbouring school. Who heckled. The school told us it was character building.) 

Hannah: Ah, it was character building.

Me: If you say so.

Hannah: You know this half marathon, you’re running it with Nat aren’t you?

Me: Yes.

Hannah: Oh, it’s just that I can remember her in athletics too. Yes, I remember her doing the 800 metres and throwing up at the end of it.

Me: Great. (we’re both going to die and will never make it.)

Hannah: You know, you could always run it in navy pants. 

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Fair weather jogger

I have agreed to do something unthinkable.

I have signed up for a half marathon. This really is remarkably out of character, and the only reason I am writing about it is to ensure that I don’t shamelessly bail out. 

Dear reader, please do not think I am becoming one of ‘those’ people. You know the ones – they wax lyrical about how wonderful running makes them feel and use words like ‘free’ and ‘rush’ and ‘relaxed. I feel none of the above. I feel only sweaty, red in the face, and closer to death than I’d ordinarily like.

No I am not one of those people. I rarely feel the need to push myself, experience any kind of burn or commit to punishing schedules. In fact, now I am wondering how I can get out it - I do have an old knee injury come to think of it.

In January a friend announced that he was going to run the Great North Run this September. He has just emigrated to Australia. I wonder if I will go to similar lengths to avoid my ordeal?

Surprisingly this will not be my first race. A few years ago I ran a 10k. Well I say ran, jogged is a far more representative verb. Anyway, at the end of the run (no doubt due to endorphins and hysteria) I felt like I could have kept going. Please remember that it is very easy to say that you could have kept going once you are wrapped in tin foil and sipping lucozade. It is on this hunch, 3 years ago, that I ‘could have plodded on a little further’, that I have signed up to run 13 blooming miles.

This is a disaster.  
I will be humiliated as my bottom wobbles in my joggers. I will become a running bore who is only able to talk about ‘distance tracking’. I will probably have to do a little more than download the Nike Plus app and buy a new running bra. But that can wait until tomorrow, I've made a start at least.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

On Nagging

“You don’t know what you are letting yourself in for,” The Boyfriend’s mother told me when he moved in.

She was right. I didn't.

The Boyfriend produces a vast quantity of crumbs. To the point where I have begun to wonder if maybe he is a loaf of bread.

He keeps leaving windows unlocked – posing a serious risk of burglary. The other night he set the smoke alarm off at 3am due to a pork related incident.

I do not ask questions. But instead huff back to bed when I discover there is not, thankfully, a fire.

He tells me the following day that he thinks he ‘got off lightly for that one.’

Because to comment on being awoken at 3am, by the smoke alarm, owing to unattended grilled pork could only be the act of a NAGGING WOMAN, couldn’t it? 

Women get most of the bad press when it comes to rowing. Men, if we are to stereotype, occasionally explode in fury. Women are more frequently annoyed by so-called minutiae. We are ‘apparently’ the ones who niggle and poke and prod and berate all day… We are the ones, in short, who nag.

So why do we nag? Well, frankly it’s because we can see, in blinding clarity, the consequences of your actions. If you leave the window open and we are burgled, we will not be insured and will have to replace all our stuff. This is upsetting, expensive and completely avoidable.

So is burning down the house.

So Boyfriend, the next time I advance at you with a list of complaints, I am not trying to moan, nag or otherwise berate.

Rather I am trying to keep us alive.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some crumbs to tidy up. We don’t want rats now do we...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

On approaching adulthood

“I believe that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.”
                                                                                                               Margaret Atwood

This quote is written on a card on my desk. It was a gift from a friend who often hears me utter the phrase, ‘When I grow up..”

Well, in a worrying turn of events, I fear that I may, without me having even noticed, grown up.

Let us examine the evidence.

  1. I live with a boy
  2. I pay bills like ‘rent’ ‘council tax’ and ‘electricity.’
  3. I have a dedicated ring-binder that contains the paperwork related to the above.
  4. I have a real professional job where I am required to wear smart clothing and keep my hair neat.
  5. I listen to radio 2.

be happy
On Life
Which leads me to the important question – what do I want to be when I grow up? I’ve included this image before, but I love it so much and it seemed relevant to include it again. Happy. I want to be happy. 

Someone who knows first hand about helping people to find out what this means to them is Michelle Woodhall, who likes to dance, has an excellent fringe and whose business is all about helping people discover the life they want to live.

She’s a life planner, which is different to a life coach or a councillor, “I support my clients to work out what their dreams are in a gentle and effective way. Rather than focusing on goals, I work to uncover passions and dreams and then find ways to incorporate the things that would make them happy into their life.”

She tells me that most people know deep down ‘what they want from life’ but most are putting it off until they retire.  

UNTIL THEY RETIRE. So, the way things are going, by the time I reach retirement they’ll be no such concept, and even if there is, there’s far too much of a risk I won’t get there – what with all the red meat and good living.

No, I’m definitely not prepared to wait that long, and the way I’m getting on with the office printer, I probably won’t last the week.

So what do I want life to be like when I’m a grown up?

I’d like:

More time outside
The chance to write more
To live near the beach
To see friends and family more often
To travel more
To live in a cottage with wooden floors and a brightly coloured front door

Perhaps with Michelle’s help, I can make it happen. You’ll just have to watch this space.

If you’d like to explore your dreams, feel stuck or fancy doing something different, you should check out Michelle’s website here.