Sunday, 27 February 2011

Silent Sunday......Time

Silent Sunday


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Seventeen Years

I like to think that I show you the true me here in this space and I know that I share stuff here that I wouldn’t talk about with anyone apart from my closest friends. I’m still cautious though. I keep these high walls built up around me that have been there for many years.  Occasionally you’ll see a chink of the ‘me’ that I keep hidden away but it’s quite rare. Don’t be offended lovelies.....I keep that ‘me’ hidden from everyone even the people that I love.

My Dad is a subject that I broach VERY rarely. Again this is something that I don’t talk about here.....I don’t talk about him ever. I did write a post about him last year but it was so painful that I was reluctant to do it again. I was looking through some new blogs today when I stumbled across Lori. Her husband committed suicide in January and she’s been writing very honestly about her feelings since then. Reading through her blog it struck me how very similar my feelings were to hers but she’s speaking out and trying to help people and I’m not. I don’t even tell people that my Dad committed suicide as though it’s a bad reflection on me. I guess it’s all about rejection.

I can’t believe that it has been 17 years since he died.  Although the pain is still there it’s obviously nowhere near as raw as it was then but mainly because I have completely shut it out. I have spent the last 17 years hating my Dad. And I mean hating him with a passion. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that before. I don’t think anyone has ever asked.  They just assumed that I did miss him.

I hate him for doing it, for leaving us, for ruining my late teens and early 20’s, for making me hate him for 17 years, for tearing my family apart, for having to visit him in the chapel of rest, for the devastation that followed us around for years,  for ruining my 18th birthday plans by having to deal with a funeral instead of planning the best party ever, for breaking my Grandma’s heart, for not being here for the birth of my daughter, for making me cry rivers of tears even now as I type this.

It’s a very rare occasion that I make it to the cemetery because going would mean that I gave a fuck and for many years I was determined not to. He showed no care or thought for us when he killed himself so why should I care now he’s not here. I’m sure that many of you (if you’ve made reading it this far) think that I’m being completely irrational and you know what I probably am but I will never, ever forgive him for doing it. I understand now that he was ill and I knew that he was very unhappy at the time but that won’t ever make it ok for me.

Recently though I think I’ve started to let it go. On Christmas Eve I was at (yet) another funeral and went to see my Dad, Grandma & Grandad who are all buried next to each other. For the first time in a long time I admitted to myself that I missed my Dad. Then broke down and cried for the rest of the day. Maybe it was a cathartic healing....I’m not sure. I know that I had a very emotional Christmas and my family thought I was on the edge of a breakdown! Since then though, I feel that I’ve thawed a little so maybe I have had a breakthrough in admitting that I miss him. I’ve started talking to Chick about him just by bringing stuff up in conversation. I’ve even managed to look at some photos of him and my Mum together and I didn’t feel hate just sadness.

As regards to the rest of it I’m not sure how to go about beginning to let the walls down. Will it happen naturally when someone amazing comes along that is worth me letting in? I’m not sure but I do know that it will probably never be easy and letting men in won’t ever come naturally. I don’t want to be dealing with these issues for the rest of my life but it will always be a part of who I am and what makes me the fucked up girl I am today. I am determined though that it won’t make me bitter or rule my life any more. 

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

eyePad Review and Dodo Pad 50% off discount code!!!

As you know I'm being sponsored by the lovely people over at Dodo Pad to go to CyberMummy. A few weeks ago they sent me their newest product, the very cool eyePad:


The eyePad is a funky little notepad that is similar to a very popular mobile phone!!! It's a great size to have in your handbag or on the telephone table for note taking. I would love to say that I keep it in my handbag and use it for scribbling stuff down but I managed to keep hold of it for the grand total of 10 seconds before Chick stole it away from me!! She has pretended that it's her mobile, filled most of the pages with doodles and told everyone how great it is! I think I'm going to have to buy in bulk and put them in her party bags in November as it definitely has the cool factor.

Do you fancy buying one for yourself?? Well the Dodelightful people at Lord Dodo HQ have agreed that you, my lovely readers, can have 50% off their products* until 5pm on Friday, 25th February. You just need to enter the code AP10 at checkout!!! Happy Shopping!!! The best thing is that they ship all over the world so all of my readers can get involved and bag a bargain :-)

*A couple of products are excluded from this offer as are sale items. Disclosure - As stated Lord Dodo sent me an eyePad and are also sponsoring me to go to CyberMummy.

Monday, 21 February 2011

London & The Baby Show

Chick and I are both night owls so when we had to get up at the crack of dawn on Friday to catch the train to London we were both really cheerful!!!! We don't get the train very often mainly because it's just so damn expensive but we'd been invited to a blogging event (which I tell you all about next week) and I thought it may be nicer than driving. It appears though that Chick gets really travel sick on the train so we probably won't be doing it again!!!


Once in London we had time to grab a quick breakfast at Kings Cross before heading to the lovely house where the blogging event was held.......around the corner from where George Michael lives no less!!! Waiting at the tube station was our very own taxi driver, dressed in what appeared to be cashmere and looking like a model...yum!!

So we did the event and when we left there was a whole fleet of what looked like chauffeur driven cars (but were actually taxis) waiting to spirit us all away to the baby show, each with our name in it. Now I've never been chauffeur driven before (what with being poor and everything) but oh my goodness what a way to travel. If ever I win the lottery the first thing I will do is hire a chauffeur!!! We got to share our car with the lovely Claire from 20 Something Mum, who is absolutely hilarious!!! I think that we certainly entertained our driver with tales of the blogging world!!!

Off to the Baby Show we went. I've never been to one before and I have to say that it was mainly under whelming but I think that's most probably because that phase of my life is most certainly over!!! The most exciting part of the Baby Show was being given a press pass for the event:


When I was getting all of our stuff together the night before, I had looked on the website to see what having a press pass involved. Basically the info said that we had our own room with refreshments laid out and a list of timings when we could meet any celebrities that may be around!!! That all sounds pretty impressive right? 

Erm.....yeah! Not so much as it turns out! It was all true and there was a room that was just for us but it was about the size of a broom cupboard and there were sandwiches and stuff but I thought it would have looked kind of rude for me to dive in and there wasn't a celebrity to be seen!!!  The press people were lovely and friendly though and they did let all of us dump our stuff there whilst we were wondering around. I think that I was expecting far too much :-)

I got to meet some of the Companies that I've worked with and have done giveaways with previously and got to hang out with some of my blogging girlies: Jen, Carol, Vic and this is me and Emma from Me, the Man and Baby:


As usual I tortured Chick and made her pose for pictures.....looks like she hates it!!!:


If you are pregnant or have young babies then I'm sure that you would love the Baby Show. All of the big guns were there but amongst them were some smaller stalls. Some selling tat but also some fabulous products.  The product that Chick and I both liked best were the Happy Hopperz bouncers. They are space hoppers but shaped as cows, dogs, reindeers and horses! We love them and are hoping to be able to write a proper review of them at some point:


Once we were all done with the baby show Chick and I had a few minutes outside running around like lunatics and posing for pictures:


We just had time for a quick stop at our favourite park before heading back on the train. It's a park that we discovered quite by accident last year and is about the same size as our garden but it's location is awesome. It's on the corner of a really busy road that leads to Tower Bridge and is opposite the Tower of London. I love that Chick can run around and get rid of some energy whilst I watch London rush past. It's quite a tranquil and green corner of the City even though it's on such a busy road and I love to watch the Tourists and the workers go about their business whilst thinking that I've still never actually been round the Tower of London and also marvelling at the new Shard building which is going to be quite a sight when it's finished!!!

With that thought in mind and after a great day we head back to our own little square of Leicestershire.

*Disclosure - I haven't been sponsored to mention Happy Hopperz or the Baby Show. Chick and I were however given free tickets to the Baby Show courtesy of Biss Lancaster who also paid our train fare.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Gallery......Togetherness



Togetherness

When I was about Fifteen I read a book by Danielle Steele called 'Message from Nam'. It really opened my eyes, not only to war, but also to how different life might be in another Country. As a result it had been on my 'Bucket List' for a long time! Ten years later at the age of 25 I finally booked a trip to Saigon and my dream was coming true.

Before I left I needed to get various shots and I don't remember which one I was at the Doctor for but one of their routine questions was 'Could you be pregnant?' As per normal answer I gave a resounding no and got my shot but...... the nurse had planted a seed in my mind that went round and round with me thinking 'Bugger! when did I last have a period?' and so began my rollercoaster journey of togetherness!!!

This is the picture of the very first time I saw my daughter and also when my mind lurched from 'I'm pregnant' to 'Oh shit, I'm having a baby and it looks like an alien'!!!!!


This is me meeting my daughter for the first time:


And all the wonderful years since:

Oxford

Scotland

Nottinghamshire

Festivals

Australia

Leicestershire 

Togetherness xxx

For the rest of the Togetherness entries check out Tara's blog.
Please pop over and visit Tara at Sticky Fingers to view all the other entries!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Why cleaning is bad for you!

All of you that know me in 'real life' or that have been readers for a while will know that housework is always way down at the bottom of my priority list. The house has two states of cleanliness: messy and really messy and that's about as good as it gets. The lounge gets a  tidy every Thursday before Chick's Dad comes and I generally just fire fight with the rest of the house.

At the weekend, I decided that this state of affairs could no longer continue and that we really needed to throw some stuff away and pick up the floordrobes! To encourage Chick to be enthusiastic I thought that I would do my room too and every so often went in and helped her decided what to keep/charity shop/throw away! She can't reach the top one of her toy shelfs as it's too high so she asked me to come and help.

I was holding the boxes on the shelf and adding more to the pile. I asked Chick to pass me something off the floor and looked down to indicate to her what I wanted when the whole lot gave way. Her Barbie Glitterizer wardrobe hit me on the head and COVERED me in Glitter! I'm sure that it would have been very amusing if the rest of the shelf hadn't landed on one of my fingers which then broke!!! My finger, not the shelf...........

Imagine if you will what I looked like standing amongst the debris of the the toys, covered in glitter....even in my eyes and trying very hard not to swear whilst clutching my clearly broken finger!!! Lol!!!! I'm now in bandage and struggling to type:


On the upside I now have an excuse never to do housework again as it's far too dangerous ;-)

Monday, 14 February 2011

Love is...................

............Getting a handmade Valentine card from your daughter:


Saving the Justin Beiber tickets for Valentine's Day so that she can get something in the mail:


Getting a Valentine card from a Secret Admirer!! However Chick is convinced it's from my Mum....Lol! Not sure whether to be offended or not!!


Tucking her up in bed with a Valentine Teddy that you bought specially for her because she was sad that she didn't get a card:


Happy Valentine's Day with love from us both!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Fishy Feet

The sun actually shone in our little corner of Leicestershire today. It not only shone but it was warm and the sky was a lovely shade of baby blue. In fact, it was so warm that Chick and I sat outside to eat lunch albeit wearing coats:


I cannot wait for Spring to arrive properly. I miss the sunshine!

Now I don't know if you've heard of a new craze that's been sweeping across the UK for a while.......It involves placing your feet into a tank of Garra Rufa fish and they nibble away at all the dead skin on your feet leaving them soft and lovely! Personally I can think of nothing worse and am too much of a wuss to even consider putting my feet into a tank of anything!!!

A new shop with these tanks in opened up in our Town recently and I've been and watched the girls from work have it done but only so I can join in with the coffee and cakes afterwards! Chick has said since it opened that she would like to try it but I wasn't sure she's be old enough. Anyways turns out she is so we went today!!! She had no worries about putting her feet straight in:


How long are my girls legs??? Holy cow she looks so tall and gangly, bless her!!! This is an action shot of her feet being nibbled:


Chick said that it felt really ticklish but she liked it so much that she wants to go back again! She still hasn't managed to convince me to give it a go though ;-)

Thursday, 10 February 2011

What would your kids say?

There is a programme that Chick watches on CBBC called 'Gimme me a Break'. The basic premise of the programme is that the kids get to follow the clues and choose a holiday somewhere. The Children then set all the rules, pack the suitcases and choose what the Parents are and are not allowed to do.

Tonight I was sitting watching it with Chick and asked her what she would do if she was in charge. First off she said that she wouldn't be bothered where we went as long as it was together and with Sarah and The Punk. I asked her what her rules would be and was somewhat surprised by the result:

1) No picture taking....not a single shot!!!

2) The ability to eat chips whenever she wants without me asking her when she last had them or if she's eaten chocolate today!!!

3) For me to do what she wants immediately not tell her 'in a minute' or 'wait five minutes' or 'let me just finish this'!

The funniest thing was that she said all this whilst imitating me! 

The first one I would probably give her happily as towards the end of every holiday she stops co-operating with the picture taking, moaning that 'you must have enough by now'!!!

The second one just makes me laugh and think that I must be doing a good job her if all she can come up with is eating chips although I may have to let her indulge a little more often!

The third one worries me a bit more. I'm aware that I do this as I'm sure most Parents do but didn't realise it was such a problem for her. Ironically enough this is the one thing that drives me crazy about Chick too! I wonder where she learnt it from...................

A valuable lesson there for me though to try and be more immediate with my little Chick!!!

This is us on holiday last year!!!


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

National Doodle Day

This Friday, 11th February is National Doodle Day! Until I got my first Dodo-Acad pad I had no idea that such a day even existed but it does and what's more there are some cool prizes including an iPad! There are two categories...the first is for under 17's and the second for over 17's. The winners get to have their doodles published in a future edition of the Dodo Pad and/or the Acad Pad and the winners will receive a diary displaying their masterpiece!!!


To enter you can download a doodle space from Lord Dodo (as above) and send your doodles along with a donation to the address shown on the entry form. All funds raised from Nation Doodle Day go to Epilepsy Action which I'm sure you'll agree is a fine charity. Some celebs are also getting involved including Fearne Cotton, Cherie Blair and Joanna Lumley! You can check out their entries here and also vote for your favourite. The person leading the votes at the moment is Matt Baker with this doodle:


So, what are you waiting for? Grab your pencils and pens and start doodling. Closing date for entries is Friday, 4th March. 

Happy Doodling!!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

How Much?? Car insurance and daylight robbery!!!

Over the weekend I received two delightful letters neither of which were bills but both were explaining a hike in my usual outgoings. The first one was from my Electric company telling me that my average bill will go up by at least 10% this year. I had a fleeting thought of 'Gosh, they obviously didn't make that many billions last year'!

The second letter was from my car insurance Company and I didn't bother opening it as I presumed it my usual renewal notice and I just needed to sign it! I've been with them now for about 5 years and it's dropped a little each year so I figure I'm on to a good thing. Imagine my utter shock today when I finally got around to looking at it and they are increasing my insurance premium by 50%!!! 50%....holy cow.....did I have an accident that I'd forgotten I'd claimed for? Did they find out about my constantly reversing into lamp posts and decide I was a higher risk than they originally thought?

No worries I thought....they obviously confused me with a terrible driver, so I'll give them a ring and they'll sort it out for me. The conversation went like this:

Me: Explained as above

Girl: No there is no problem. Insurance premiums have just increased

Me: Pardon? They can't have just increased for no reason!

Girl: I think you'll find they've increased at all Companies.

Me: Ok, fine. Can you please tell me how I cancel my policy.

Girl: I'll put you through to renewals.

Me: ????? (muttering WTF! under my breath!)

----------------------------------

Boy: Hello Miss Brooks. How can I help

Me: I'd like to cancel my policy please as I'm not happy with the premium.

Boy: Let me just run through it with you.....checks details, blah, blah, blah. No it's definitely increased by 50%.

Me: Could you please tell me why?

Boy: Well, all of the insurance Companies need to recover some money as so many people crashed in the snow!

Me: What? I didn't crash in the snow and I'm not prepared to pay for people that did!

Boy: Have you had quotes form anywhere else?

Me: Not yet but give me 5 minutes!

Replaces receiver!!!!


Guess what I'm going to be doing tonight???!