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Showing posts from July, 2008


I nearly changed the title of this post to 'BLOGGERS RAGE', as l had just written the whole thing and went to save it and must have pressed the wrong button, cos it all disappeared before my very eyes. What l was trying to impart was my disastrous afternoon in the changing room of one of our local department stores. I won't call them fitting rooms, as I wouldn't want to mislead you beacause that would imply, to my mind anyway, that the garments was actually BLOODY FIT ME!!

The thing of it is I am 50 next week and l am meeting up with 18 female friends and family for a meal on Monday evening. As there aren't any plans here for any celebrations, as far as l know, (my expectations for birthdays and anniversaries are apparently absurdly higher than others'). So l decided l would make the best of it and celebrate, because if l don't then this lurking dark heavy cloud that is 50 might just suck me up and wring me out to dry.

In the spirit of the 'glass half ful…


I have been enthralled and have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, ‘Can any mother hear me?’ by Jenna Bailey.I was introduced to it through a excerpt and review in the Readers and Book groups magazine ‘newbooksmag’ .

The book tells the story of a group of women in the 1930's who by chance came together and corresponded through a secret shared magazine. These women united for various personal reasons, but they shared the lonely, isolated existence of all housewives and mothers in the society of their time . They all felt a need to share and exchange their worries and concerns, feeling and needs.
Sound familiar so far?

Every two weeks a new magazine was compiled and posted to each woman, who in turn read it and wrote her comments upon it.

This poignant, informative and humorous compilation of a series of letters, experiences and as l see it, cries for help and recognition by other likeminded 'stay at home' mums, helped them to maintain their sanity.

It occured to me that the w…

Time to smell the roses...

I'm taking time to smell the roses! Literally speaking of course! It's the first day, of my run of 19 days off, then 6 days back at work, followed by a further 9 days off. Lucky me.
Today has been a mix of running around and trying to sit in the garden for more than 15 minutes at a time. I have spent most of the morning with my son at hospital with the Orthodontist and most of the afternoon hanging around waiting for my car to be serviced. Excited for me aren't you? I love the simplicity of these daisies, they are uncomplicated and so pretty. I'm not sure what this yellow flower is, as it was given to me soon after we moved in. Just a bunch of roots in a carrier bag, they've been fed, watered and nutured and this opened yesterday to reveal itself. A member of the daisy family I ponder and wonder! The purple and white double petunia was a lovely surprise also, as it hasn't done what it said on the label, its sort of multi layered and all frilly, and it remnds me of…

A bowl of contentment!

I've had an uncomfortable humid few days at work, with only one day to go before I start a run of 19 days off, followed shortly after by a further 10 days off, l can bear it.

So to come home (cycling uphill no less) tonight and to be able to sit in our sunny garden, all newly mown (by me last night) I decided I couldn't face cooking. I sent the kids up the road to choose themselves some chinese or pizza meal and l sat and chilled, well I sweat buckets actually, but you know what l mean.

I then mustered the energy from somewhere and picked myself some strawberries from my daily swelling of growth on my strawberry plants. Slathered in double cream (the strawberries not me) l was suitably relaxed, calm and for a brief moment or ten, absolutely content.


What flower are you!!

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

apparently..."Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."I'm sitting at work, it is very quiet (hot and sticky too!) and l'm checking out all my blogger pals' recent posts and found this on Soliloquy's blog. Fun and frisky quiz!

100 things...second thoughts!

I have just read this blog post and I decided it should not be ignored, so I have removed my post also. Random jottings of a book & opera lover

She writes; "I read an article the other day in a daily newspaper about a woman who was horrified to find that details she had posted on Facebook had turned up on a sex site and she had lots of very weird people contacting her. While I thoroughly enjoyed the 100 Things About Me (who wouldn't enjoy talking about themselves...) I had slight misgivings while putting them together and then this morning I received an email from a fellow blogger who pointed out to me the dangers of all this information on the blog, and said that it would be very easy to track me down and identify me. She cited a friend who had her identity pinched in this way which was used to get a new passport and benefits book.

While not wishing to sound paranoid about all this, I have therefore decided to take the posts off the site. I have printed them out and also a…

Mamma Mia! Oh my!

Oh! my heart is still skipping, it was just soo good, so enjoyable, so Greek!

It brought it all back, very evocative it was of the sun, the sea, the scenery, and the sparkles it really does sparkle like that Greece (it was supposed to be Greece wasn't it), those great fun songs, and La Streep at almost 60 was fabulous!
Pierce, god bless the chest on that man, SIGH!! It may have been an extraordinarily long hot flush, but l came out feeling quite hot and bothered to say the least! HE was gorgeous, though he sung a bit dodge-ily with an Irish lilt he couldn't disguise, bloody great feel good film.
I have criticized the films they show here in Carlisle, as usually very safe, very mainstream, either all cartoons, grunge or teen films, or gung-ho gore flicks, nothing 'literary' or 'deep and meaningful' here. Usually the audience rarely laughs when I laugh, (what is that about?) and never have l attended a film outside of London where the audiences cheer or applaud. W…

Let's talk or not!

Last night l read a post by 'Adventures of the Reluctant Housewife' entitled, 'Is it them, or is it me?' She was talking about the fact that she often gets strange looks and responses to her friendliness and l just felt that l had to post in support of my fellow blogger.

l'm a southerner (l'm from Kent) and l live in the most northern town in the north west of England (Carlisle) and l too get weird looks and silences. They seems to last moments that feel like cold steel hours, ALL of the time. Please be reassured that you are not alone!

So, we can assume your voice fits in (mine doesn't) and that you're not an alien (I'm assuming not) and that don't speak in an inordinately loud or shrill manner? Let's assume it's a given that when this happens you aren't still in your pj's ; your toothbrush isn't sticking out of your er ... pocket; you haven't got a damp patch of sick or have an overlooked soggy rusk hanging from your shou…

Home Alone!

I have put the kids on the train, their first train journey alone but together if you get my drift! They are staying with their Dad in Manchester so they can see 'Dark Knight' tomorrow evening, the day before their mates. This is VERY important to my 13 yr old son, who is a walking wikipedia on all things to do with films and DR Who. This matters to him only a little less than playing his guitar with his band.

I have now until thursday afternoon to myself! Although l am working on Thursday, the rest of the time is FREE for ME!! weeeeee!!!

So what am l spending this quality me time doing? Well, so far l have driven to the gym; it was closed. I have spoken to two insurance companies, phoned the bank and then SKY to get the digibox reset. All the programmes l set to record to watch tonight and tomorrow night have FAILED! I have changed the sheets (please don't yawn, you are riveted aren't you!) and l am debating whether to mow the lawn now or tomorrow, as it looks like rain…

The Art of receiving an email or letter!

Which is better to receive a letter or an email?

Have we lost the art of writing?

Are we wasting too much time online, writing unnecessary emails (not to mention blogs, I said not to mention...) and less time with pen and paper writing a meaningful letter?

I often hear older family members and friends talking about this generation losing the Art of the Letter writing. So when I opened a hand written small white envelope yesterday morning, (not a brown envelope or a generic 'to the householder missive' or one with cheap pen inside,) it made me think how I used to really enjoy receiving letters.

I used to go through my own little ritual when this rare commodity arrived on my doormat. This would involve placing the letter unopened on the kitchen table, then I would go about making a cuppa. Prolonging the time until I opened the little treasure, by boiling the kettle, heating the pot and then again for luck. Spending time ruminating about the length, the tone and the content of the le…

Authorblog - a question?

The question is: Do you have an item of clothing that you haven't worn for more than a year?

Well strange you should ask me that, as I'm the owner of an online vintage Boutique or two!!

If you asked my husband that, he would roll his eyes, guffaw or just scream, l'm the bane of his life. I also have my own collection of antique and vintage bags, as well as the stock for the sites, my own website and an Etsy site. Before we moved in November, from a large isolated country farmhouse to urban bungalow-billy land, my bags were displayed in old glass cabinets and were my pride and joy,(after the kids obviously, it is obvious isn't it?). Now it is all sequestered around the house, in secure boxes, under beds, in greenhouses and garages, the house attic and in cupboards and wardrobes in all bedrooms, this is not to mention the vintage clothing ... arghhhh!!!

... and as for my own clothing, I know l have pieces that l havent worn in over a year, cos l always buy a suitable xmas…


The kids have broken up from school and today is the first day of their hols and they are still sleeping soundly, its eleven am. This is the first year that I am working during the hols, but I have taken most of it off and I will only be at work for about 10 days in total, so I am pleased about that, though I am not sure that they are!

In summers past, we have been very busy with varoius activities, camping, trips out or in, film days, with young kids and six weeks spread before you, you gotta have a plan! As the weather here is usually poor at best, with overcast skies and intemittent showers. At worst the rain comes down like razor blades and lies in wet lakes for weeks. When the kids go back to scool its then the sun comes out agian and we have an Indian summer, when no one is off work/school to appreciate it. I can tell you the weather in Cumbria on any given day changes in a hearbeat. I've known, bright sunshine and blue skies, then within half an hour, wind and hail the size …


I'm so stressed, I cannot really believe it is me, but I almost always am these days.

So okay, I've had a busy week of evacuation exercises, work pattern changes, strikes and picket lines and busy, busy times on a busy reception, busy... do I really need to say busy again? My current routine, which as I've mentioned before involves juggling work, home, kids, animals during the week, whilst hubby works away. Not to mention the housework and the zillion other claims, which admittedly I put upon myself! This is something a world of other mums do and probably better than I. It isn't anything new, rare or indeed different. We women do joke that we can multi task, but actually I do hold up my hands and say that I do multi task but none of it do I do particularly well ... and it's all getting a wee bit tedious, actually.

Twenty years ago, we lived 'down south', we were you could say 'DINKY', double income no kids yet. Married for 6 years, together for 13 and…

What's with the inches v pounds?

Bloody hell! It really is true! I never would have believed it, if l hadn't seen it for myself! Holy crap. I can put on weight and get thin! DOH!

Here's the gig, I had gained some weight over the last 10 years. I can't blame the gain on giving up smoking cos l did that in '90. I can't blame pregnancy and babies cos I did that in '91 and '94. It obviously wasn't the breast feeding, cos l did that from '91 through to '96, please don't groan so loudly, l heard that! LOL! SO I guess it the Galaxy and bigger portions.
Two years ago wanting to approach my 50's healtier and thinnier, I decided to take my self in hand, (if you'll pardon the expression) and l gently dropped 3olbs, down from a voluptuous size 18/20 to a curvy size 14. So bit by bit I chucked out ALL the old clothes and as I shrunk down over 6 months I replaced old sizes with new.

After 12 months I bought MORE clothes and shoes (yes, if you drop that much your FEET get smaller to…

Reasons to value women over 50!

I found this on the net and thought it appropriate and funny enough to share! (though I can't say I'm this confident!)

"As I grow in age, I value women who are over 50 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 50 will not lay next to you in bed and ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 50 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it's usually something more interesting.

A woman over 50 knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of 50 give a darn what you might think about her or what she's doing.

Women over 50 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.

Older women a…

There is no such thing as a day off!

So this is my weekend off (from my p/t day job) and so what do I do? Do I do some drawing? Do I get the watercolours out? Start reading a new book (I have plenty ready and waiting patiently for me, in that category of 'I will read that soon.' ) ah! I hear a collective sigh and I just know you are smiling wisely. No I have been sewing, I've cooked a roast dinner, run six loads of washing through the machine and hung them out, made a lemon merinque pie, mowed two lawns, nipped to the tip and the supermarket and finished the top I mentioned yesterday, and that was just today!

After I spent the day with my daughter, (yes again, quality time) we designed, and l do use the term loosely, and we sewed on sequins, trimmings and bits and bobs onto a black vest top. As I mentioned yesterday we had been into River Island and she had pointed out said vest, 'I really, really like that mum!', hence the promise that l could do that and so I had committed to make her one similar! Hu…


How many MENOPAUSAL women does it take to change a light bulb ?

One! ONLY ONE!!!! And do you know WHY? Because no one else in this house knows HOW to change a light bulb! They don't even know that the bulb is BURNED OUT!! They would sit in the dark for THREE DAYS before they figured it out. And, once they figured it out, they wouldn't be able to find the f# &%! ** light bulbs despite the fact that they've been in the SAME CABINET for the past 17 YEARS! But if they did, by some miracle of God, actually find them, 2 DAYS LATER, the chair they dragged to stand on to change the STUPID light bulb would STILL BE IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!! AND UNDERNEATH IT WOULD BE THE WRAPPER THE FREAKING LIGHT BULBS CAME IN!!! BECAUSE NO ONE EVER PICKS UP OR CARRIES OUT THE GARBAGE!!!! IT'S A WONDER WE HAVEN'T ALL SUFFOCATED FROM THE PILES OF GARBAGE THAT ARE A FOOT DEEP THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE!! IT WOULD TAKE AN ARMY TO CLEAN THIS PLACE! AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHO CHAN…

I am a grumpy old woman!

Well l guess it official! I am a grumpy 'old' woman. Yesterday morning my daughter and I went into town to run some errands, drop of a few CV's for various work for her and to try to find something for me to wear for my 50th meal out with some friends.

Everywhere I went I was met with stoney faces, sirly replies and general unhelpfulness and disinterest. Knowing my daughter would 'tell me like it is', l asked if I was being arsey or having attitude, she said not.

So I can only assume:
a) they don't like southern accents, I have lived in the North for nearly 13 years but, I know this can feel like its a crime sometimes here. I do sound southern. In post offices, my voice seems to travel the length of the queue and even the postmaster can hear me before he sees me. I try and tone it down, but it is ME!
or b) They ALL have PMT or were born with a disposition not suited to retail.
Why must I be the accomodating one? I know to fit in....blend in not stand out. Mmmm...I …

Like I don't have enough to do!

Why do we do it? Why do we say yes when we mean no!? Why do we take on new projects or assume another role? Does it mean l'm too needy and so l want to be liked and please people sooo much that I will stuff my day to overflowing, until l reach that point where l say ENOUGH!!

Why do l do this often enough, that every six months or so I have sit down with a pen and paper and list my roles, jobs, projects and then I shave the list so I can breathe?

One of my 'roles' is as a part time Museum & Gallery assisitant on a 25 hour week, which is worked over a complicated eight week shift pattern, which changes over three seasons and that only the Ancient Bablylonians or Egyptians would understand!

I juggle this job around the family, which includes two teenage kids, one 13 year old boy and a 16 year old girl (I thank you for your sympathetic groans!) and a 12 year black lab called Pippa. My husband works away most weekdays and comes home for weekends, although as I type, we are in…

SOLACE TO MY EARS! (and waist)

I caught this snippet on the BBC website last night, the article is celebrating a 2001 exhibition at London's British Museum, 'Cleopatra unveiled'.

'Yet recent reports in a British newspaper suggested that Cleopatra was fat and frumpy, with a large hooked nose, bad teeth, sharp eyes, and a thick fat-folded neck.'

Peter Higgs, curator of the Museum's Greek and Roman Department explains,

"These statues carved in the Egyptian style, show this wonderful curvaceous body, but, if you look at the face, it's not what we call beautiful by modern standards, although she may have been considered beautiful at the time."

PAH!! only a man would say that!! I think she still looks pretty darn fine!


Did l really call this blog 'Fat, frumpy & fifty?' Yes, I did and why? Well because I was thinking of a suitable title for this blog, one that summed up my 'NOW' and rightly or wrongly that's how I feel NOW. l remembered my mum using the phrase often to describe herself and other women of a certain age. And low and behold I realise that now includes me!

Am I fat, frumpy & fifty? I guess l'm overweight a tad or two, but then who isn't? Am I frumpy? truthfully? yeah on a BAD day or when l'm just slouching around the house and garden, no makeup, just jeans and a tee. AM I fifty? Ah, now here we come to it, the crux of the matter.

I will reach this monumental state next month. Sigh! I'm all a twitter and I can hardly stop thinking about it!

However, l have decided not to sit and squirm and squeeze this offending spot on my immediate horizon, I have decided that this will be a great year, the year I start to put myself a little more ahead in the…