When bloggers come together

On 16 October I am joining hundreds of thousands, even millions of fellow bloggers to take action against inequality. The gap between the super-rich and everyone else is widening, so this day will be an exchanging of ideas on wealth re-distribution to make the world a better and fairer place.

Do you fancy joining us? If so register here – http://blogactionday.org/

Right, I better start getting my thinking cap on.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

The birthplace of British politics?

Thanks to the HMRC (my favourite Government department), I have a bit more time on my hands. This has been quickly swallowed up by a couple of part-time jobs a bit above minimum wage (and 16 hours a week as a minimum in order to receive help with childcare costs – another freak HMRC rule).

For four years I have attended events run by my daughter’s school pta, but have never been able to help due to work and time constraints. So having found myself in the privileged position of ‘lady of leisure’, I have volunteered my time. A few emails and a couple of meetings later and I now have a committee role.

I am very glad to help but feel that I am on the precipice of the deep and dark hole that is ‘Mummy Politics’. I have delved in it before at my daughter’s pre-school and I still bear the scars. You would think that there would be nothing remotely controversial about organising some social and fundraising events for a school? In fact, once involved it is vey difficult to stay in this serene situation because doing anything ‘voluntary’ requires energy, patience, more patience and very very thick skin.

I know of one Mum who resigned from the PTA because she couldnt stand the politics……she remains a parish councillor though.

In fact move over Ed Miliband and David Cameron, if they want to find out more about point-scoring in the run-up to an election campaign they only have to venture into a playground at drop-off time to see the homeland and birthplace of politics.

And I have just said yes to organising the fireworks night (I have issues with saying ‘no’…as expressed in a previous blog hence why I get myself into situations that are very often worth blogging about).

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Speedy quotes

I have another bad case of writers block, fuelled partially, by a bit too much rose – not excessive but maybe a tad more than would be deemed suitable for a Sunday evening.

For inspiration I scanned through various social media accounts and came across Paul Walker’s charity ‘Reach Out Worldwide’ and their countdown to Fast & Furious 7 hitting cinemas next year. Since PW died, I have noticed fellow petrolheads have paid tribute to the car star through one of the lines from the first movie ‘Dude, I almost had you’, stickered across the rear of their car.

That got me thinking about other cool quotes on speed and here are some of my favourites:

“When in doubt, flat out” – Colin McRae

“It is useless to put on your brakes when you are upside down” – Paul Newman

“Racing is life, anything before or after is just waiting” – Steve McQueen

“You should never feel comfortable, there is something wrong if you are” – Damon Hill

“The more precisely I drive, the more I enjoy myself” – Michael Schumacher

“In motorsport we work in the grey areas a lot, you are trying to find the holes in the rule book” – Danica Patrick

“What’s behind you doesn’t matter” -Enzo Ferrari

“Speed has never killed – suddenly becoming stationary, that’s what gets you” – Jeremy Clarkson

“Winning is everything, the only ones who remember when you came second are your wife or your dog” – Damon Hill

And this one from Bill Nighy “I speed up past mirrors” -I can relate a lot to that one.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Thou shalt not trespass…….much

My apologies for last night’s missed post – I had writer’s block and simply couldn’t get past it, so £1 in the pot to Unicef.

I am generally a rule breaker. There are quite a few of us out there, the ones who question before they obey. I didnt stand a chance when you look at my parents. My dad didnt last very long in the Navy. He went awol twice and ended up in military prison a couple of times. As a joke Mum sent him a nail file and a bit of string while he was inside.

My Mum is almost as bad. She is the first to go the wrong way round a supermarket car park to jump traffic and get a space. Perhaps her finest hour was when she discovered catholicism to get a discount on fees for my attendance at a catholic school. I then proceeded to drive the nuns mad over my 5 year tenure by dying my hair, wearing my skirts too short and talking in class (all of which are standard in most secondary schools, but convents are a tad stricter).

Today my good old rule breaking attitude came back with a vengeance when I rode past a ‘private property’ sign. When i bumped into the grumpy gamekeeper I feigned ignorance and pretended to make my way back (as it turned out I had to turn back anyway as there were a load of pigs at the end of the drive and the horse I was riding is scared ****less of pigs. For some reason they dont want you trespassing because it ‘disturbs’ the pheasants. But if you have a gun, that must be a different matter?

Perhaps my worst trespass on a horse was on MOD land. Its OK when the red flag isnt up – it was up on that day and for some idiotic reason I chose to ignore it………KABOOM! ………….So I turned back for home.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

What do you say to a grieving mother?

It is hard to comprehend the sudden loss of a child,

While seconds stretch like a chasm between then and now,

There is no respite in time, no minute that pauses for breath in grief,

Which reflects on the face of motherhood, exhausted by those days that should have been.

Nothing overrides fate, no sibling, no distraction. Diversion is empty,

While there is life all around there is hope that weighs like a rock in already heavy hearts,

Memories must be kept alive, that is where loved ones are safe,

Grief is a shadow, its purpose constant, even in the darkest place.

A mother’s grief silences everything, the whole world shifts on its axis. Everything changes except the one thing that a parent wants most of all in this life.

I met with a beautiful Mother today who lost a beautiful three year old daughter.

This post is dedicated to her amazing family and their story. Once you have read the story, visit their Justgiving page to find out more about their little girl’s legacy.

Thanks for reading.

A new man in my life

A friend of mine who has two marriages behind her, with a child from each husband was once told by her father, ‘if you ever feel the urge again (i.e  another relationship with a man), buy a horse.

Now, I dont have the money to buy a horse but I am fortunate enough to have friends willing to let me exercise their horses. Today I had my first ride (for a couple of years at least) on a new horse, an extremely big (17.2hh plus) chestnut gelding. After having fun out in the Autumn sunshine this morning, I am excited to say I have a new man in my life. Named ‘Finn’, this new ‘man’ differs from my husband in the following ways:

– He is taller, stronger and something else (well thats just wrong, but you know what I mean)
– He listens to me and responds instantly
– He is easy to please providing I have a packet of polos
– He doesnt nag, moan about the cost of carrots or want to get a new mode of transport every 5 minutes
– It is a simple and very satisfying relationship – he gets fed and in return I get fun.

There are a thousand other reasons why horses are often a better  option than a relationship which can be found i  the book ‘keep calm for ladies’. In fact that is the biggest benefit riding – i am calm on a horse………except when I get a phone call from hubby, then I get a reminder of all the things I should be doing rather than riding.

This blog is for Unicef..

Thanks for reading.

Clouds and silver linings

OK a bit perturbed by some grizzly findings earlier.

First I went to feed the fish to find one flat and glass-eyed and very dead at the bottom of the bowl. Meanwhile the other one just swam around in increasingly putrid waters. I quickly cleaned the bowl out and changed the water but didnt have the heart to just discard the dead fish in the bin. I remember when I was about eight my rabbit died and my Mum told me that it had gone to apet cemetery. An hour later I put some rubbish in the outside bin and found dead ‘Starsky’ lookin at me on top of all the rubbish. I was mortified. Mum had simply discarded him ready to be crushed in the back of a bin lorry – that was in fact her equivalen pet cemetery. From then on I took whatever Mum said with a pinch of salt. I am also incapable of putting dead pets, no matter how small in the bin. There are slugs bigger than our dead fish but no ‘Princess’ (yes thats the name my daughter christened the fish with …… although the other one is also called Princess). These fish are Silver Clouds so they are miniscule, yet you couldnt have chosen two different fish if you had tried. One ‘Princess’ was hyper active and aggressive, tormenting the other one constantly, while the other fish was very laid back. This became more apparent when taking them out to change the water, one would have a fit and try and jump out of the net, while the other would lie very still until back in the water again.  I actually preferred the chilled out one, but that was the one that died. So now the hyper one is swishing round the bowl either hunting round for its friend or its memory. The dead one is wrapped up in kitchen towel outside, waiting for the right moment for me to tell my daughter. Maybe I will wait until she has noticed only one is in the bowl….

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Like mother like bitch (the doggy kind so not swearing)

The relationship I have with my 8 year old (nearly 9) daughter is very similar to relations between my 2 Jack Russells who also happen to be mother and daughter.

Sometimes they are very happy to be snuggled up in their bed, occasionally giving each other a sideways glance but overall enjoying each other’s presence. At other times they are at each other’s  throats (literally) and occasionally draw blood.  while these are severe examples in the dog world, it is only slightly diluted in the human (we havent actually drawn blood yet).

Today was an inset day, so daughter was with me while we met up with friends, went shopping, swimming etc. Twice today she was rude  to me in front of my friends. I tried to ignore it because I didn’t want to make a scene but inside I was stewing. It is hard to remain the grown-up in these situations, when all you really want to do is have a go at them in a fit of temper because you feel let down by their behaviour.

However they say children’s behaviour is just a mirror held up to your own. Which makes it all the more disappointing when they behave badly.

Of course a lot is to do with hormones and thats true whether you have 2 legs and a handbag or four legs and a tail. Combine young and old hormones together and you need o cordone off the area.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Old Stags rule

My Dad wants to go on a stag do in the run-up to his wedding on Valentine’s day next year. He has already appointed my husband as best man. While hubby is honoured to be in this respected role he is quietly pooping himself because a) he hates public speaking (I wrote his groom’s speech when we got married) and b) he doesnt particularly relish the idea of spending a day and possibly a night with a load of 60 plus men getting hammered.

But as a son-in-law he knows he needs to be supportive and do whats right for the old man.

So, what do you do on an old man’s stag do?

Karting was an option, but ruled out because of a few dodgy knees in the group. A visit to a strip club not good for weak hearts and marital relations.

For some reason, my Dad fancies going to Guernsey. But what do you do in January apart from freeze?

I definitely think there is space in the market for dedicated excursions for old stags.

I just need to find something that will remind them of what it was like to be young but within the parameters of old age…..

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Runway to school

School run fashion is a serious business.

I know Mums that make a special effort to look good at school in the morning. Its almost like a fashion parade. One Mum had a full face of make-up that wouldnt have looked amiss at a nightclub. She had clearly given a lot of thought to her clothing, layering the latest biker style jacket with coloured jeans and ankle boots…….and this was just for ‘meet the teacher’ morning.

Another Mum wears a completely different style every day. It might be the ‘Madonna does exercise’ look before bootcamp one day, featuring a black baseball cap, white long sleeved sports top and a ‘skort’. The next it will be a long black coat teamed with matching beret. Another day, the 60s ‘Mad Men’ look, with quirky glasses, brogues and turn-ups. In fact I quite like this complete change in fashion, it makes a refreshing change from jeans and a top, no make-up and hair scraped off the face, like most Mums on a weekday morning struggling to get the children out of the house.

This Mum has three children too, so how she fits in styling with breakfasts and getting ready for school, is a marvel and I say good on her, if she has the time and thats her thing then why not?

Sometimes its easy to scoff at Mums who take pride in their appearance. But for some Mums thats all they have got to retain their identity in amongst the daily routines of school runs, cooking, housework and other typical ‘housewife’ duties.

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.