Saturday, 31 December 2016

My 2016. A hard political year and my changing views on social media.

I have to say, despite its bad press, that 2016 has actually been kind to me personally. I have had some fabulous times with family and friends, I still love my flat, I finally left the job I had been doing for over 10 years and didn’t like, and started a fantastic job, which I love. My health and weight is not totally sorted, but I am working on it. Finally, I have realised that I can be totally happy without a man in my life, and this is a good feeling. When I do meet someone suitable I know that they will have to be someone who can enhance my life.

Sadly this year has seen many deaths, not just celebrity deaths, though there has been so many of those, but deaths closer to home. Many of my friends have lost people this year and my heart goes out to them. It must be very hard when life goes on around you but you feel like your life has been irreparably altered in a bad way.

We have all noticed the huge numbers of people in the public eye who have died this year and I am not sure if it is a lot worse than normal or if social media has just broadcast these deaths in such a way that it seems more real, more tragic, more part of our lives? Maybe it is a combination of both? In a time where news is spread online, especially by social media, it may seem like life is worse because we know so much so quickly, so vividly and in so much detail, however, this year has been relentless.

We have also seen some ridiculous political mistakes in 2016. Firstly we saw the stupidity and nastiness which accompanied Brexit; a country divided by a referendum. We then went on to witness mass insanity as Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. A vile, racist, misogynist who openly promoted sexual assault! (My personal opinion.) I dread to think where politics will go in 2017, we can only wait and hope. We have seen the war in Syria escalate and millions of people dying, being injured, losing their whole lives and everything they lived for.

The saddest thing I have seen this year is the video of a professor from Aleppo basically saying goodbye to the world. As far as he was concerned the world had abandoned his country and his people and massacre was imminent. This professor was using, what seemed to be, a mobile phone to record and broadcast his message. This showed me that he once had a job as a professor, he had a mobile phone, and he was just like we are. What is there to stop this happening in Britain, in our lifetime? (It seems unimaginable, but maybe it did to the professor from Aleppo?) We need clever, strong, articulate, decisive people leading our country. We need people who are there for all people of all classes. I can’t imagine who would be like this, I can’t think of who would be able to do the job, but I do hope there is someone who will step up.

Sadly social media has played a part in the way people look at life. I certainly have spent far too much time on it in the past and, am ashamed to say, changed my Facebook profile picture to a sad one after a relationship ended. I would never do that now, but cringe that I ever did.

Don’t get me wrong, social media has a place in our modern lives, especially in keeping people connected who live in different countries. It is good for highlighting issues and making people laugh, but it must not be the ONLY way that people interact. There is nothing as good as sitting having a cup of coffee or a meal with friends and talking face to face.

I personally have taken off most of the pages and groups I followed on Facebook, deleted many people and am trying to put less on there. I had got into the bad habit (don’t ask me how it started) of putting on FB who I had coffee with, who I went walking with, which night out I had been to, who had come round for dinner or coffee and this was boring me, so it must have been boring others. I have stopped doing this after a discussion with a friend who had really studied the effects of social media on teenagers. It really made me think about things that I had been pondering for a while.

I do have to say that one thing that needs to stop on social media is making people feel guilty enough to “like” or share things. Liking a post will, sadly, not stop someone having a disability or cancer. No one should beg for likes because they are old or ill or want sympathy. No one has a need to show how fast a post can travel round the’s been done to death. Lastly, be careful what you share on social media. If the police put a lost child/ person post I will happily share it, however, a personal post may not be what it seems. Someone may not be allowed to see a child for valid reasons and they could track them down through social media if a picture was shared. If you know the person who put the original post and know it is genuine, that is not a problem. The same goes for potential criminals, share police posts only, what if it is someone with a vicious vendetta rather than a genuine post.

There is a fantastic piece online from a man called Simon Sinek. It is called Simon Sinek Explains the Millennial Paradox.  He discusses the younger generation, what they expect in life, their upbringing and how technology affects them. It is really worth going on to You Tube to watch. I only saw it a few days ago but it has made me think even more.

I think my message for 2017 is to think before you do anything, think of the impact on other people, the planet, and life in general. Be sensible but also have fun; be responsible but also be happy. Live your life to the full while still considering how it will impact those around you.

Happy New Year

Friday, 23 December 2016

Season's greetings

To the lovely people who read my blog: 

Whether you celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense, celebrate your own kind of tradition, or just enjoy spending time with family and friends;

  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

What's In The Jar?

What’s in the jar?  These were the words I commented when seeing a picture, on a selling site, of an unlabelled jar of yellow gloop. Now common sense says it is honey, the caption said it was honey......I am not so sure.

 I saw the offending article by accident, on Facebook market or whatever they call it. This was purely accidental as I pressed the wrong button and, for some inexplicable reason, this site has its own Facebook button! This prompted me to look for other weird items on the aforementioned site........there were quite a few.

Firstly, £5 notes. Why are the new £5 notes being put up for sale for stupid amounts of money? Are people that greedy and desperate to make money that they will try to sell the new £5 notes? I am sure someone will want them but will they really want to pay so much? The first handful may have been worth something but I do feel it has got out of hand.

What makes people try to sell a grimy old sofa? A good condition sofa I can understand, a grimy dated looking sofa.......I don’t think they will make much money.  Quite a few worn leather sofas appear to be up for sale and a lot of corner sofas...... maybe families want to sit separately again. What made anyone buy a silver sparkly sofa I cannot imagine; but they are now selling it.

The same goes for shabby clothes. Some of the things I have seen would be turned down by the rag man. Just because you want to get rid of some old tat does not mean that anyone wants it. Just because you, at some time, decided a shiny, luminous tracksuit was a good idea, does not mean anyone else will. Also, modelling the item is not always the best idea because if it looks bad on you, it won’t sell. Presumably if it looked good on you it would not be for sale.

Sweet and diet products seem to be sold under the miscellaneous section, I personally think they should go under the “wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole” section along with the urine stained mattresses and the pressure sore cushion. The white thigh high boots with dubious streaks can also go in this category.

There are some things that seem unlikely and far too good to be true. Who would sell an unopened Samsung Galaxy Edge for £1? Or, at the other end of the scale, ask £400 for an Iphone 5S when the 7 has been released? 

To be honest if you are selling something for literally a few pounds, why not be generous and give it to a charity shop? Is it really worth all the hassle to sell it and will anyone decide to make the effort to go to your house to collect it?

What's in the jar???

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Rock it Billy........and his two mates of course.

The amazing Billy 2 Mates blew the sky apart above O’Neill’s pub in Woking on Friday night with a fantastic rock set. 

Proving one hundred percent, that live musicians still rock, were Billy Irvine on lead guitar and vocals, Vic Cox on bass and vocals and Daryl Patto on drums.

In an extremely professional, energetic performance, Billy 2 Mates blasted out music from The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Oasis, Jimi Hendrix, Paulo Nutini, The Killers, Blur, Stevie Wonder, The Stereophonics,  Royal Blood and more. The crowd in O’Neill’s were on their feet and filled the dance floor rapidly as the infectious, enthusiastic sound from these three accomplished musicians belted out across the pub in an electric performance that would rival, if not knock out quite a lot of the so called performers we see in the charts these days.

The powerful, foot tapping beat, accomplished rock guitars and brilliant rapport with the audience helped this effortless performance go from being a band playing in the pub on a Friday night to a total, full on, gig experience.

A lot can be said for a band that gels so well and performs so passionately with obvious technical skill. In an age where people want a quick fix to stardom it is refreshing to see a group of guys who perform because they love what they do and they do it so well.

Billy is an old school mate and I can say that he has a lot more than 2 mates. Whether it is family, friends or the old school gang, everyone who came to watch the band perform had a blast. I totally recommend this fabulous band to any music lover.

For anyone who does not get the musical reference in the title please go onto You Tube and look up the song Rock It Billy  by singer T Graham Brown.

Billy 2 Mates in action ( apologies for the photography)

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Our Consumer Driven Society

Over consumption of goods is something that we are all guilty of on some level. Whether it is food, books, music, clothes, hobbies or larger items, most people have something they overspend on or accumulate too much of.

I have always considered myself fairly minimalist except for my books and Filofax collection and even they are neatly contained. However, I have noticed that the Filofax/planners are a little bit of an obsession and wonder about clearing some out. Most of them have been given, bought with birthday money or second hand. Now don’t get me wrong I use my planners, each one has a different use (diary, addresses, financial, blog, etc) but I do have to stop myself buying unnecessarily.

Dresses, specifically second-hand dresses, are now becoming a little bit of a problem because you feel so self righteous buying a good dress for between £4 and £6 and want to buy every brilliant one you see. Luckily I am good at telling myself that I don’t need them all and that I can only wear one at a time.

I have never liked having too many things around me and the things I have must be well organised. The ideal of minimalism is something that is part of me. When I downsized from a 3 bedroom to a 1 bedroom place last year, I gave things away. The more space you have the more you seem to accumulate. I could have sold things but giving them away felt better. I actually felt physically lighter for having given things away and for owning less.

It is easy to sort out the things you own and get rid of what you don’t need. I regularly go through my books and see if there is one or two that I can get rid of. A few months ago I gave away a planner and I am always happy to put something in a charity bag when they are put through my door. Sometimes you do need to reevaluate what you own because your priorities and needs may have changed. Over a few years I managed to amass a sizeable bag of ribbon. It was only when I was getting some out recently to use on a present, that I decided that I had too much and had a clear out. It was not wasted as I passed it on to someone else but I felt better for doing it.

Sitting with a box, a drawer or a pile of belongings and sorting through them is quite therapeutic. Some things make you think and prompt you to do activities you have forgotten about and there are other things you realise you will never need again. Yes, if you dispose of something there is a chance that you may regret it, however, you can’t keep everything all the time and you need to consider the likelihood of never needing it again being far more likely.

Everyone has their Achilles heel and I have mentioned that mine are books and planners, but this does not mean you can’t be sensible. Really ladies, will you ever need all 20 black dresses? There must be some you can give to charity? Men, do you think you need 6 boxes of nuts and bolt and similar toolbox debris?  The first step to a more uncluttered life is to think about what you really need. If you have a hoarder's nature then take it really slow. Maybe do the one in, one out method until you feel more comfortable with disposing of things.

My current dilemma is that I feel I have too many clothes. I can’t wear all of them due to weight gain but am in the process of losing weight so am holding off  a little longer before having a clear out. I did weed out a few bits when a charity bag came through the door but I am also giving myself a clear out deadline. Just this week I put 25 items of clothing aside for the next charity bag. If I haven’t started dropping the pounds by a certain date then I have to start clearing out. Goals make de-cluttering so much easier.

I have read, with great interest, many articles about minimalism and am happy that I do a lot of the little things that come up in these articles. It’s the small things that you do daily that keep your life organised. For example, I have always dealt with my post as soon as I get it. The envelopes and anything else which I don’t need gets recycled and the post itself is dealt with, filed etc. That is one less job to do at a later date.

One very important way of having less clutter in your life is not coveting what other people have. It’s fine to see something and want it but when it gets to having things to keep up with other people, then that is destructive. You may not need the things someone else has and you may waste money that you can’t afford and still get no joy out of what you have bought. Be selective in what you buy and make considered decisions rather than buying on impulse. We have all bought something on a whim and regretted it and been mentally kicking ourselves for ages, but we should learn from that the next time.

I have rather a lot on my Amazon wish list right now. Some of the things are potential presents for up and coming birthdays and some things I want. If I still want them when I have birthday money or want to treat myself, then I will buy something. If not, it stays on the list or gets deleted. Sadly it is too easy to buy things with a few clicks of the mouse and a credit card so impulse buying is actually easier these days.

We need to consider what we are buying and the impact it will make financially, in regard to being clutter and even environmentally. If you have something you can use but still replace it for no real reason, then you could just be creating more waste. Always try to give things to charity if you don’t want them as someone else may have a use for it and it isn’t filling up the overfilled landfill sites.

Physical consumption is not a replacement for happiness, yet we hear the phrase “retail therapy” far too often.  The world of advertising has taught us that if we have had a hard day then we need to treat ourselves and that the only way to be content is through owning something or having a treat. (I have done this many times with chocolate.) I am quite happy, for example, with reading a book from the library, buying it second hand or buying it new. There is often more pleasure in buying a book in a charity shop as it is more about the book and the pleasure of reading it rather than owning it. Yes, I keep some books but they are ones I will re-read.

Owning a £300 handbag is an extravagance and I would be happier knowing I had bought a bag for £5 in a second hand shop. Labels and status symbols have no effect on me. I like the Filofax planners but am happy to have one second-hand or buy a Paperchase planner. I have never seen the purpose in buying branded clothes. Yes, quality is better but it is not better because it has an expensive price tag. The quality is in how the garment is made, not that it was made by the latest designer

If you find that your home is messy and cluttered and you have far more things than you will ever need, then you probably need to start de-cluttering. You will be surprised how lighter and happier you are when you are not surrounded by too many possessions. If you own a huge amount of stuff then start small as it will be an overwhelming task. Only you can decide how much something means to you and whether you want to keep it. You may realise that you like something but know someone who would have more use for it. You will find that giving things away is very rewarding and a lot easier to do than you think.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Update 12.10.2016

A big fat apology for the lack of posts recently. I have changed jobs and been really busy. I am working on a new piece and will get my head down and get on with it. My new job is fantastic and fewer hours but still full time so I win all round.
Somehow I have managed to fill the extra hours with meeting friends for coffee, extra reading and catching up with everything. This is week 3 of my new job so I must get my head down and get writing. See you soon lovely people. :-)

Monday, 12 September 2016

Brush Demon.......let the paint flow.

Hidden away in the depths of Somerset is a small company which paints war gaming miniatures and box art for war gaming products.

Brush Demon is a fabulous company with very high standards and a meticulous eye for detail. The founder member of the company, 28 year old Ben MacIntyre spends long hours at the painting table as well as sharing his passion with others while teaching at occasional painting workshops. Client meetings, marketing and training take up the rest of his time.

Brush Demon was born in the summer of 2014 after Ben had been painting as a hobby and as a job for other companies for over ten years. (Including a stint working in the industry leading company Games Workshop during and after his college years.) He decided to start his own company to paint miniatures as there was a demand for painted figures of a high standard for both the manufacturers of these products and their end users. Not everyone has the time or ability to achieve the level of painting they require at the games table.

Brush Demon offers multiple levels of painting standard depending on what the client requires. A man who uses his figures regularly at the gaming table will not need the top standard of painting which a company who sells the product will request, however the lowest standard that Brush Demon produces is still far superior to that of the average person painting his/her collection as a hobby.
The painting levels are as follows:

Tabletop level: “A simple yet effective paint job allowing you to get great looking armies on the tabletop in a quick and cost effective way.”
Collector’s level: “High quality paint jobs equally suited to life on the gaming table or in the display cabinet.”
Showcase level: “The best of the best. These take pride of place in your cabinet and only come out for special occasions.”

The beginning stages

I recently visited Ben in the Brush Demon painting studio and saw the meticulous detail that was involved in painting a figure. As well as a huge collection of paints and painting paraphernalia there are two big bookcases full of reference material which has been collected over the years. No detail is too small and Ben works with the client to ensure that they get exactly what they want.

The Brush Demon studio.

Brush Demon takes on commissions from individual clients and bigger companies too. They also have worked on product ranges associated with a variety of film, TV and computer games licences. There are numerous magazines and books worldwide in which work from Brush Demon has been published including popular magazines such as White Dwarf and also many pieces of box art also featuring their work.

A recent feature in White Dwarf magazine....... always good to be featured in print.
Having witnessed some painting in the Brush Demon painting studio, I can say that the painstaking attention to detail is amazing. The techniques used to create the layers of paint are so fine but add colour, definition, shading and detail that create a precise and realistic figure. (OK, some are more fantasy than realism but they are still painted beautifully.) As well as the usual smaller models, Brush Demon also takes on larger commissions and regularly paints large sets of models too. The patience and care needed to paint miniatures to such an exacting standard takes hours of preparation and dedication. Whatever the challenge Brush Demon will take on the challenge and “let the paint flow”

Just a small selection of Brush Demon work.

There is not much time for recreational painting when you do it for a living but recently  Ben put down his business paintbrush to paint a piece for The Age of Sigmar open day at Warhammer World. Ben's piece in the duel category won him a Bronze Golden Demon. Fabulous result!

The winning model and the bronze golden demon statue.

Brush Demon has a fabulous website

Brush Demon Facebook page is also easily accessible and there is a link from the website.

You could also follow Brush Demon on Instagram.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Rosie Project....a book review

Anyone who knows me will be well aware of my love of books and the fact that I am a prolific reader. However, despite this, I have never written a book review. Well, maybe at school but not out of choice. I think I am always moving on so fast to the next book that I don’t get round to reviewing the last one. In a way I am a chain reader, I do not feel comfortable if I don’t have a book which I am currently reading. Anyway, I have decided to do a book review and see how it goes.

I have recently read a fantastic book called The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison. I don’t often go for the romantic comedy genre but I am glad I did this time.

It is a fabulously funny, thought provoking and interesting look at a socially inept man who is trying to find a wife. His OCD/Aspergers/Autistic type symptoms are easily identifiable from the beginning and the fact that the character, Don, is a scientist makes his life all the more ordered. You cannot help but like this character from the start and anyone who is a fan of Big Bang Theory will love his Sheldon type qualities. As with the Sheldon character, his OCD type characteristics make him more appealing as a character. The fact that he is totally unaware socially but is highly intelligent shows a kind of person who centres their life on what is important to them rather than what is important to other people.

The idea that Don Tillman is looking for a wife using a scientifically based questionnaire, based on rather specific criteria, comes across as a nerdy, scientific thing, but could just be seen as a more rigid, personalised version of dating agencies.  The only difference is that Don is asking questions which are important to him rather than generalised questions. He knows what he wants and asks for it. 

This highly intelligent geneticist has, however, totally forgotten to factor in the human factor. When he meets Rosie he does not really consider her as candidate for The Wife Project (his project for finding a wife) as she is so different from what he thinks he needs. Spending time with her is much nicer than he imagined it would be and we, the reader can see the attraction early on. Slight changes in his very rigid routine are the first sign that he has feelings for Rosie. The Father Project (A project Don is working on, for Rosie) seemed to be Don’s way of maintaining some kind of relationship with Rosie as well as, presumably, interesting his scientific side. The deeper they go into the Father Project, the more Don’s strict routine gets disrupted and he does not seem to be overly bothered. At first he starts to compensate and then just appears to let a few things go so that he can do the many things that the Father Project requires. It is fantastic to see the character grow and come out of his shell and improve himself as he embarks on this adventure.

His friendship with Gene and Claudia shows that, despite his lack of social skills, Don can have close friends. He does verge on being over familiar with them: for example, walking into the bedroom to borrow one of Gene’s shirts instead of asking, but I like the friendship between them. His experience with friends is mainly down to an interesting association with Daphne, an old lady he takes under his wing. He shows a remarkable tender side making a huge effort to provide her with extra "birthdays" as her Alzheimer’s set in.

As well as the fascinating character of Don Tillman, the book also has many other interesting people in it. Rosie, of course, is a complex woman with her own ideas who falls for the slightly quirky geneticist and his strange ways. Gene and Claudia have their own small world in the book mainly revolving around their open relationship and connections with Don.  Dave, Phil and the Dean of the university all play a part as do various other characters.

I am not going to give any more of the plot away as I think this is well worth the read and would be suitable for men or women. I do identify in part with the ordered and particular way Don does things and I do rather like the premise that anyone can find love. As this book is a few years old there is already a follow up, The Rosie Effect........ I have to read this!

What's new

Yes, I am behind with posts again. I do however have four in the pipeline right now. Two are half written, one is in the planning stages and one is an idea.

Despite being very busy at the moment I will try and get these all sorted as soon as possible. :-)

I have been told that it is not always easy to find things on my blog so below are a few tips:

  • ·        Search via Google as I use a Google blog site.

  • ·        If you are only viewing my blog via a phone or tablet then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on view web version.

  • ·        Check out the featured post. This is new and I will regularly change the post in that section of the blog.

  • ·        The posts with the highest stats are automatically loaded to the popular posts section of the blog page.

Enjoy xxx

Sunday, 17 July 2016

My thoughts on Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go..... What is it? Why children and adults so obsessed so quickly are and what on earth do they actually find?

On the surface a game that gets children out and about seems like a good idea as they will be getting exercise and using their geography skills to find places. Sadly it seems you have to be at a certain place at a time which may not be convenient for an adult to go with you and not entirely conducive to safety.

 Unfortunately GPS and Google maps means that children are not using their map reading skills at all....... they don't need to. Good idea in general Pokémon people but more thought and planning was needed.

Why are adults so obsessed??? Some played the original games, watched it on TV and collected the toys but really people, calm the hysteria, you are supposed to be grownups. Now put the electronic devices down, go back to work and forget about the weird creatures. (No, not Brian at the next desk, we knows he's weird but you have to interact with him)

Finally can anyone tell me what people are ACTUALLY looking for? When you get to where you are going is there a picture, a sticker, a cuddly animal, a man in a suit or does your screen just light up and you have found another one??? To be honest a man in a suit is scary on many levels. Who would be in the suit, do you have to take him home, how many giant Pokémon can you hide before someone notices? What do you feed one?

To be honest a game that people can play together is good and I know you can have teams, but I can’t see it ending well. Sending children out in the night to parks seems a rather short sighted idea with many complications. In this world as we are today, sadly people will fight against each other. (It has apparently already happened.)

Maybe we could have a new game. It's called "find the politician". We need to scour the country to find decent men and women to be politicians. If we find one we gain a better NHS, a higher paid fire service or poverty free families. OK, it's a long term game and you may have to wait for your “prize”, but it seems far more rewarding than finding weird dragon like creatures in the park. Sadly the decent politician is a creature more elusive than a Pokémon in Central Park.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Consuming my brain

When you get caught in an eating binge the whole world closes in around you. The only thing that matters is eating what is filling your mind. Stopping is not an option, being sensible and pulling yourself back does enter your head. The whole world is that cake or those biscuits or that pile of chocolate and consuming it. If you can wait long enough to make a coffee and sit down with a book then you feel like you have achieved so much. More often than not most of it gets consumed in the kitchen while waiting for the kettle to boil.

Sadly after the first few mouthfuls the taste is lost to the speed and need to consume. The more you eat the sicker and more bloated you feel. Deep down you know you should stop and occasionally you do. If you do stop the pull to go back and finish it wins and you go back to complete whatever mammoth thing you chose as your “treat.” Of course it is not a treat because it makes you feel bad. You feel sick, bloated, hot, angry and low.

Once you start to consume the food that you have chosen to indulge yourself with you turn into a single minded machine with a purpose to devour all of it until it has gone. There is no taste anymore just the desire to finish the food and hide the evidence. (Even when there is no one to hide it from.)

The best you can hope to in this situation is to come to your senses and to throw the rest away and get it out into the bin where it is out of reach and hidden away. Sometimes this happens and other times you eat it all and hide the wrapping in the bin, out of sight and unknown.

If someone tells you not to buy the food in the first place then they have no idea what goes on in your mind. The following is what you go through in your head in the shop:

·        It will be a treat.
·        I will make it last and have a little every day.
·        I will be strong this time and not eat it all in one go.
·        I shouldn’t put it on my credit card but it’s the last time.
·        As I am going to make it last I can buy the more economical, larger size.
·        I will be ok I can still get into that dress, slim for that night out, get the guy or look good for the new job because I am on a new eating plan from tomorrow.

You really should be shouting the following at yourself:

·        Don’t do it, you will eat it all and make yourself feel ill.
·        Don’t be stupid, you have no willpower so it won’t be a treat.
·        Don’t buy more, you will eat it all.
·        Don’t put it on the credit card, you then pay interest on your binge financially as well as emotionally and health wise.
·        You won’t get in that dress, you will feel bad for the first day of that new job, you will feel too ill to go out and no man will want a woman with a bad attitude to her health and eating. (it’s not an attractive trait)

I have tried sheer willpower, hypnotism with a hypnotist, using the Paul McKenna book, CD and app, books, websites and a therapist (which you only get on the NHS when you are showing bulimic tendencies) and incentives.
I know that following something like Slimming World or Weight Watchers is expensive and restrictive and, to be honest, the non-sugar part of my diet is generally healthy. I am also very bad at being told how or what to eat.
To be honest, sometimes nothing works, no can say anything that helps and you know you are the only person who can sort yourself out. It is your mind, your issue and you have to focus and sort it out. Of course that is easier said than done.

I have, however, conquered it before and will do again. Every piece of sugary food I don’t eat is one step closer to stopping. Each cake, bar of chocolate or packet of biscuits I put back on the shelf is a triumph. When I can have just one thing and walk away I do feel amazing. Watch this space.

NO, not that space, it’ full of sugar!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Bloglovin link

Hi lovely people.  If you use Bloglovin I am now linked to their site and you can go there from the link above.

New post coming soon :-)  xxx

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The Perks, Perils and Pitfalls of Being Petite

Ok not petite, I am short, let’s not sugar coat it with French words. I am 5 foot exactly, therefore I am short, under tall, vertically challenged or whatever phrase you like to use. There is no point in pretending that I am a giant Amazon woman as I really don’t think I could pull it off.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually mind being short most of the time; as the saying goes “the best things come in small packages.” There are, sadly things that are harder when you don’t have legs like a racehorse and arms like a gorilla.
Reaching things is a major issue to us little folk and can be quite an annoyance on a day to day basis. At home I have a couple of steps for reaching things in high cupboards, opening windows and cleaning those annoying areas far above the ground. In shops, however I have to rely on helpful shop assistants and the kindness of strangers. I think the world of retail forgets that not all human beings are built like Mr Tall with the arms of Mr Tickle. For example, I was in a clothes shop recently and some of the clothes were so far beyond my reach that I felt like I was a Lilliputian who had strayed into the land of the giants. To be honest all clothes shops think that everyone has the measurements of a supermodel. (But more about that later.)
Supermarkets can be tricky because the one thing you want is on a shelf so high that you would need oxygen if you do reach it and they really frown upon customers scaling the shelves like a deranged chimp in order to get that last packet of chocolate chip cookies that you can’t reach but must have. If you actually dare to ask a member of staff most of them will give you that look that could freeze the flames of hell and they then will grudgingly find a set of steps, put on their oxygen mask and retrieve the essential item for you. I find it is a better bet to approach a tall, male customer and do the helpless female act. (So much easier to pull off when you are short) They always forget that most of us smaller ladies are feisty hellcats and do their knight in shining armour routine.
I have to mention what I call Kermit the frog syndrome. This is when you sit in a chair which is too tall and your legs are dangling in an unattractive manner. Equally annoying is when you sit back in a chair and your feet don’t touch the ground.
So, back to the clothes dilemma. As I previously mentioned the clothes shops, designers and manufacturers all seem to think that all women are tall and slim. If anyone is short and a little bit round they are really not the ideal person to be showcasing the clothes that are usually in fashion. I will say that there are good ranges of petite clothes in some stores but you often have to order them in and they are never a generous cut width wise. Some clothes just don’t look as good when scaled down.  I think we need more short, fat clothes designers as they would understand the needs of the average small shopper. Sadly we are not all elfin as well as being little. I am a 12-14 and I struggle so I do feel for those ladies in the larger sizes who are also knee high to a grasshopper.
Of course there are plus points to being of short stature. Firstly men can be easily fooled into thinking that you are delicate and incapable when you are really gutsy and independent and more than capable of doing anything (apart from reaching high things). I suppose, deep down all woman occasionally want a protective man.
Secondly, ducking and diving though crowds is so much easier when you are small. You can get through a group of people with only a few “Excuse mes” and “oops, sorrys” as you squeeze past.
Obviously being smaller means that you don’t have to bend down so far to pick things up. (Wash out your minds, what did you think I was going to say!!!)  You never have to bend to get through low doorways or under overhanging branches and you always have plenty of leg room in cars, trains and other forms of transport.
So too summarise being a petite woman there are pluses and minuses and, of course, insults and leprechaun jokes, but to be totally honest, I think I would rather be five foot tall than a long legged, Amazon.

Does this tree make me look big?

Land of the giants.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Where did you get that hat??

I have always had an inability to place a hat on my head without looking totally daft. I regularly see people sporting all kinds of hats and looking completely fabulous, sadly I am not one of them.

As soon as I put on any kind of headgear I know I am headed for that look where I could very easily look like I have been allowed to dress myself despite an inability to do so. My look screams “escaped from the asylum and grabbed someone else's hat on the way out”

Now this is really not an exaggeration as anyone who has been unlucky enough to be in my hat wearing presence will tell you. Yes, I do have a tendency to pull a daft face as soon as I put a hat on but I don’t think it would make the slightest bit of difference if I didn’t.

I have actually asked the opinion of the man working in the hat department of M&S in regard to whether a hat suited me. His face said it all while he continued to make polite platitudes until I explained that I needed an honest opinion and would not be offended. He then very politely pointed out the flaws in each hat I tried on.

There are friends of mine who look fabulous in woolly hats, others who suit the baker boy style and some who seem to be able to pull of any kind of headgear. You see women all the time with all manner of things perched on their heads who look glamorous and confident and totally fabulous.

Where some look kooky and cool in a woolly hat, I just look like the girl in the advert for the Blair Witch project crossed with Benny from Crossroads. Woolly hats also tend to plaster my hair to my head in an attractive “just been caught in a deluge” kind of way.

Of course I have tried other kinds of hat but every style I try, whether it is baker boy, baseball or straw hat, they always look wrong like I have borrowed someone else’s hat. As for wearing a fascinator, well the something dropped on your head look is just not cool. I have not got the style to pull off the jaunty side of the head look so it looks like I am wearing a hat for a doll instead of a fascinator.

I wonder if an Australian cork hat swag man style would suit me then I realise that I would probably be the first person ever to take out an eye or get a fat lip from a swinging cork from a piece of headgear and this would really not enhance my image in the slightest.

So I know I can't get away with a bonnet, ( too horrific) a turban, ( too high) a sombrero, ( too wide) a stetson,  ( still too wide) a crown, ( too common) a tiara ( too fussy) or a bandanna. ( I am just not cool enough).

To be honest I have come to the conclusion that the only style of hat I could get away with would be the SAS/ bank robber style balaclava with the eye holes. These ski masks totally hide the identity of the wearer so I could walk round anonymously and everyone would be oblivious to the fact that it would be me. Sorted for next winter out for me on the news after my inevitable capture by armed police. J