Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tackfest Tuesday

I was going to call this Melancholy Monday but I realised that the moment of Monday had already passed and I would have been making a complete and utter buck eejit of myself.

Instead therefore I've decided to dedicate Tuesdays- probably one of the most overrated days of the week in my humble opinion- to those guilty pleasures which make life more meaningful to us women.

This week, let's talk about cheesy songs that you put on when you want a good cry and need something to stimulate the tears...

Let me share my blub songs of the moment. 'Last Request' by Paolo Nutini just makes me think of those times in a relationship when you know it's over or think it's over and all you want to do is hold on to it so very tightly...

*sigh* I'm welling up just thinking about it.

Slow down, lie down

Remember it's just you and me

Don't sell out, bow out

Remember how this used to be

I just want you to know something, is that alright?

Baby let's get closer, tonight

Grant my last request and just let me hold you,

don't shrug your shoulders

Lay down beside me

Sure I can accept that we're going nowhere

But one last time let's go there

Lay down beside me

The only problem with Paolo Nutini is that he is 19 and as such probably knows feck all about love. I mean when I was 19, love was an unrequited affair which involved me sobbing over Mariah Carey records and 'Lights Out' on Cool FM. What the feck would I have known about holding people and laying down beside them?

That said in all the history of sad and emotional songs, there is only one guaranteed to make me cry harder- and it's fecking George Michael

Turn down the lights

Turn down the bed

Turn down these voices inside my head
Lay down with me

Tell me no liesJ

ust hold me close, don't patronize
Don't patronize me
Cause I can't make you love me

if you don't

You can't make your heart feel

something it won't

Here in the dark

in these final hours

I will lay down my heart

And I'll feel the power

but you won't

No, you won't

Cause I can't make you love me

if you don't.

It's all enough to prompt an ugly cry and an over indulgence in the Galaxy stakes.

Monday, October 30, 2006

SCD- Week 4...no need for comment

It was an okay show....the Fox Trot doesn't really do it for me...

but, *sigh* Ray...

Ray makes it all worthwhile . His Paso Doble was so very masterful.

The Seven Dwarves of the Apocalypse

In the spirit of trying to jazz up this blog, I should in fact post a picture of me and how truly awful I look today.

I have spent the last three days in bed with the flu (which initially I thought was a hangover thanks to a v. good night on the town with Erin) but which soon revealed itself to be the flu from hell.

I've been achey, sweaty, shivery, snotty, wheezy, queasy and weepy all weekend (How's that for an alternative seven dwarves? The Seven Dwarves of the Apocalypse...yep, that is what I shall call them)

However in the spirit of trying not to scare any readers I have off for ever more I will instead just post a picture of the non apocalyptic Sneezy.

Now, I don't like being sick. I'm not a good patient. I get even more whiney than usual and I demand sympathy from everyone- even those I've only parked next too or seen from across the street. I've also been unable to make it to work, which is unfortunate, as I know have guilt to add my list of symptoms.

The one good thing to come from this whole misadventure is that I dreamt the start of book number three (Provisionally titled 'Jumping in Puddles') the other night....but I have to make sure that doesn't put me off finishing book number 2.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My right to sit on the sofa

It's week three of Strictly Come Dancing and the battle lines have been drawn.

Himself, who watches relatively no TV, has developed an obsession with the X Factor, while I'm still entranced by the glitter and shoes of everyone's favourite dancing programme.

Sadly he claimed ownership of the sofa first last Sarturday night and I was left to stand in the kitchen to watch SCD- while cooking the dinner, washing the dishes, sorting out the washing etc etc (A woman's work is never done).

I saw mere glimpses of the tangos (or is it tangoes?) and jives. I saw that Jan was awful. I saw that Louisa was indeed wonderful, butI'm not sure about her over-made up look.

I was shocked, nay horrified, to see Spoony kicked out especially when Georgina and Jan both made complete arses of themselves.

That said I didn't really like Ola, she was too stretchy and made me feel wholly inadequate.

This week I will endeavour to get my bum on the sofa first to see thefull thing in comfort. I must try explaining to himself that I need to watch it.

After all if I don't get to see it regularly, how on earth am I going to be ready in time to compete in 2009?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

That's what little girls are made of

I have a confession to make.
I'm broody, very broody.
I never thought it would be possible to be broody after already having one very active, very loving and very wonderful little boy but if anything I'm more broody now than I ever was before I had the boy one.
However, my broodiness has a specific edge now. I want a pink one. I want a daughter who plays with dolls and tea sets. Much as I enjoy playing with the boy-face, there is only so much enthusiasm I can muster for Scoop, Muck and Dizzy etc.
To be honest Joseph's favourite toy of the moment, Thomas the Tank Engine, leaves me cold. He isn't fun. You can't pretend to feed him, or dress him or sing him lullabies.
I think most women feel similarly, that while we love our boys, there is a need to share so much of our own existance with a darling little girl.
I think the broodiness, the desire for a pink one, has been spurred by my writing 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' in which my Main Character Aoife, gives birth to the edible Maggie (a name I now like, even though I've always hated it). The female dynamics between the four main characters in the book (Aoife, Anna, Beth and Maggie) is so warm that I want that myself.
I wonder if Santa will bring me a pink one for Christmas?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bros are the boogie

I must admit to having an addiction to the Blog of Keris Stainton (who I consider a kind of friend as we email occasionally, which means when she is famous I will point and her books and say: "I've emailed her AND she emailed me back")
Anyway, while reading over her past entries I came across her hilariously funny 100 things about me section.
Way deep down, near the bottom, she references the fact she *kind of* stalked Matt Goss from Bros during her teenage years. This has elevated her to some kind of goddess stature in my estimation because she actually got to meet the man I lusted after throughout my teenage years.
How I longed to run my fingers through his blonde buzz-cutted hair and across his waxed and smooth chest.
On occasion I would adopt a London accent because, you know, I could (sort of) and pretend I was from Lewisham whence from he hails.
It was a truly naff London accent and I'm not very proud of my geeky teenage behaviour.
That said, if I were to meet Matt Goss today on the street and if he asked me back to his for a bit of dirty lovin', I so would. (For oldtimes' sake, of course).Anyway, many thanks to Kezza for this blast from the past.

Oooh, do you think if in 2009, he might be on Strictly Come Dancing too???

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mammy Dearest

THIS TIME last week I was off work for a week's holiday and
experiencing just exactly how the other half live.

By the other half, I am of course referring to those mammies who don't have to drag themselves and their wains out of bed at 7.30 each morning to ensure they arrive in work somewhere in the vague vicinity of 9am.
To use the lingo, they are Stay At Home Mums (SAHMs) and by my reckoning they've got a pretty good deal going.
Yes, I'm all for work (not least because without it I would be
destitute and living out of a doorway in Ferryquay Street), but there is something quite enjoyable about being a full-time bonafide mammy.
Usually I'm a pretty stressed out mother, having that moment of guilt each morning when I leave Joseph off with the childminder and feeling that mixture of joy and dread when I see him again in the evening.
(I'm delighted to see him, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I'm so tired, so caught up in what needs to be done around the house that I can't fully enjoy him).
To have the time to be there for him is a novelty I still quite enjoy and our week together was like something out of a "How to be a Happy Family" guide book. The wee man and myself used the time to get creative in the kitchen. First of all we decided to bake cookies. However, having quickly ascertained that every ingredient in my baking cupboard was past it's sell by date, we opted to make salt dough instead.
Sure, my kitchen looked like an explosion in a cocaine factory by the time we were done but we had such a giggle mixing the flour, salt and water and cutting moon shapes out of the rolled out dough.
By the next day I'd been organised enough to go to Tesco and restock the cupboard so we got to make cookies for real. Yes, I'm pretty sure Joseph ate most of the chocolate chips before they went in the cookie mix, but again as we iced our decorations I felt deeply contented.
The same feelings flooded over me when we played together at Parent and Toddler Group and Jo Jingles. When the Jo Jingles lady (the lovely Doreen) commented on Joseph's impeccable manners, I was proud as punch- even though I know his manners are probably more down to my aunt Stella who minds him for me rather than my own sense of decorum.
Outside of such quality time with my son, being a Stay At Home Mammy for a week meant that another unheard of phenomenon occurred Chez Moi.
Our house was both clean AND tidy. At the same time. And there wasn't even a blue moon in the sky nor sight of a flying pig overhead.

Spit spot
I had the time, and energy to keep everything spit spot and ship shape and I did feel exceptionally smug about the whole thing. As I stood, hands in the sink washing the dishes, watching 'Loose Women' I decided this was indeed was life was all about. Yep, you could keep your tailored work wear and business lunches- this was miles better.
Of course, I was living in a blissed out bubble. It wasn't all perfect. My attempts at potty training bordered on the disastrous. (I'll not go into detail, suffice to say at one stage every cushion cover on my two sofas was whirring around in the machine while I Febreezed anything that sat still for more than two seconds).
Our trip for a walk along the beach ended in near disaster when Joseph decided that, forget about the sub zero temperatures, a dip in the water (fully clothed) would be a great idea.
And I found that come the evenings I was too tired to apply any mental energy to anything. Where usually I come home from work needing some writing or reading time to wind down, I found that last week when Joseph finally succumbed in to sleep (after a new bedtime routine
involving three readings of a Fimble Book, some lullaby singing, and a who's who of children's TV as part of our 'God Blesses') I wanted to follow suit immediately. I became totally incapable of forming a coherent sentence after 8pm.
Despite these minor hiccups it was a fabulous week and despite my tiredness and the general melting of my brain, I was rewarded with more cuddles than you can shake a stick at it and a million declarations of 'I love you mammy'.
So it was with a slightly heavy heart that I returned to the world of work on Monday morning. Thankfully Joseph seemed none the wiser and skipped into Stella's house with a smile on his face. In fact as we sat to play on the floor he turned to me with a cheeky grin and said:
"Mammy, you go to the Derry Journal now." It was more an order than a statement of fact and I of course did what I was told.
But I'll admit I've already started thinking about my next week off and what adventures the two of us can get up too. Papier Mache Christmas decorations anyone?

And the judges scores are...

Do you think if I ask someone, really, really, really nicely they will let me go on Strictly Come Dancing in a coupla years?(You know, when I'm skinny and fit and don't sweat quite so much.)

My dream has now evolved from that of being the nation's favourite writer to being the nation's favourite writer AND Strictly Come Dancing Champion 2009. I can just about see me getting to grips with the quick step and as for the mambo, I've got that baby down pat already.
I fantasize about the costumes, the hair, the make up, the shoes (My God, the shoes, they whip me into a frenzy- especially the gold ones.) I have imagined my inspirational chat to camera already."Yes, who would have thought it? Me? Dance champion of the world, when just three short years ago I was sat at my desk in work dreaming about this very moment and now," *pause for sniff* "it's a reality."

Whaddya think?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Getting abreast of the matter

C'MON LADIES, don't be shy. Let's get it all out in the open and talk about our boobs.

Of course there are 101 things you can call them. Technically, I suppose they are breasts. Most often in Derry (if we are being polite) we call them boobs, but whether you refer to yours as whazzers, bazoongas, doobies or fun-bags, the truth is all of ladies have them and it's about time we started treating them with a little respect.
From our early teens (give or take depending on Mother Nature) our boobs become lifelong companions and define many of us as women.
Every teenage girl or woman will be able to recall her own rite of passage experience where she was taken up the town by her mother or other suitable female relative to buy her first bra.
I still remember my own as if it were yesterday. I was 12 when my mammy took me to Dunnes and bought a very practical and respectable looking white bra. There were no lacy starter teen bras in my day. Nope, my first bra was itchy as hell which served only to make my more self conscious of my journey into womanhood.
However that was nothing compared to the moment of cringing embarrassment when we ran into my aunt and her friend after leaving Dunnes and my mother announced they could now call me Dolly Parton.
As I journeyed through my teenage years I became fond of my boobs, and my bras and managed to get a couple of nice lacy numbers from time to time.
Developing the attitude of 'If you've got it flaunt it', I liked to dress to low cut tops on nights out because let's face it, no one was going to be overly impressed with my thunder thighs and boulder butt. These bad boys were as good as it was going to get.
Into adulthood, well the relationship has at times been fraught. Pregnancy was not a pleasant experience for my bossoms. First they grew, and then they grew, and then they grew some more. By the end of the nine months I was wearing an E cup and feeling the strain. As I made the choice to bottle feed and not breast feed I had endure the added 'joy' of stuffing my bra with cabbage fresh from the fridge until the swelling went away. (The smell was delightful).
And, of course, when the swelling did go away I was left with breasts which require a degree of industrial support to keep them from hitting my knees. Of course, I'm still fond of them. My son indeed loves them and uses them as his personal comforter sticking his hand down my top whenever he is tired.
By this stage I realise you are probably reading this and thinking to yourself "Yer wan at the 'Journal' has finally lost the plot. Imagine talking about your boobs in a family paper." or screaming "Too much information" at the page- but it's about time we got our boobs out in the open (metaphorically speaking).
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Cancer Research 1000 women in Northern Ireland will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Think about that for a while. That could be your mammy, your sister, your auntie, the wee woman who sold you your 'Journal' this morning or indeed, to coin a phrase, it could be you.
The good news is that more and more women are surviving breast cancer. The Women of Hope, who released their calendar this week are prime examples of this, but as with all cancers early detection is vital.
So we need to stop being embarrassed by our boobs and realise that as well as filling our bras, attracting the opposite sex and feeding our babies they are a part of us which require a certain degree of care and attention. We can't just ignore them and hope they behave themselves.
Yes, we might feel a little stupid standing groping ourselves to carry out the monthly checks. Some of us might even be scared in case we find a lump- and let's face it, boobs can be lumpy things- most of us will have had a scare at some stage. In the majority of cases abnormalities turn out to be nothing to worry about, however it's not worth taking a risk with your boobs or your life.
So when you are done reading this column this week get your boobs out and give them a good feel. It might just save your life.
(I would however recommend you go home first. A breast check in the work tearoom might not go down the best, not matter how liberal your employer.)

A simple check
Follow the five point code:

* know what is normal for you
* look at and feel your breasts
* know what changes to look for
* report any changes without delay
* go for breast screening if you are 50 or over

Check your breasts in a way that's comfortable for you, perhaps in the bath or shower.
Changes to look out for:
* changes in the size, shape or feel of your breasts
* a new lump or thickening in one breast or armpit
* puckering, dimpling or redness of the skin
* changes in the position of the nipple or nipple discharge
* new pain or discomfort that is only on one side.

There may be many reasons for the change other than breast cancer. But report anything unusual to your doctor straight away.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tag, you are it!

Thanks to Keris I bring you another me me


Name: Claire
Birthdate: June 21
Birthplace: Derry, N. Ireland
Current Location:Our family room in self same house
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Newly blonde thanks to luffly hairdressers today
Height: 5'9"
Righty or Lefty: Righty
Zodiac Sign: Gemini (which Keris describes as bubbly, bright, witty, intelligent and charming - all true!)


Your heritage: There's a wee bit o' Scotland in my blood.
The shoes you wore today: Black heeled boots, tres uncomfortable
Your weakness: Chocolate in all it's forms (except the white stuff...Devil's shite)
Your fears: That anything would happen to the J-man, that I'll never feel good enough
Your perfect pizza: ham and mushroom with zero calories
Goal you would like to achieve: To be a published author


Your most overused phrase: "Feck that for a game of soldiers"
Your first waking thoughts: Please- more sleep- please
Your best physical feature: My eyes, so they say...or the freckle on my foot. I'm fond of it.
Your most missed memory: Time spent with loved ones who are no longer here


Pepsi or Coke: Neither. Diet Coke
McDonald's or Burger King: McDonalds, esp when pregnant. Then I'm fecking mad for it.
Single or group dates: Date? What's a date?
Adidas or Nike: Adidas. Nicks actually. Three for a pound, or something equally cheap.
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Neither. Tetley's does me fine.
Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate. Duh.
Cappuccino or coffee: I am the only person in the world who does not drink coffee in any form.


Smoke: Never.
Cuss: A lot. Too much in fact.
Sing: Badly, very badly.
Take a shower everyday: Nope, every two days is my average
Do you think you have been in love: Definitely
Want to go to college: Been there
Want to get married: Done that.
Believe in yourself: Not one bit/
Get motion sickness: My god yes, prone to random vomits.
Think you are attractive: No.
Think you are a health freak: Freak? Yes. Health- not so much.
Get along with your parent(s): Very much so, yes. Love them entirely.
Like thunderstorms: Yes, they are thrilling.
Play an instrument: No, apart from a mean triangle at Jo Jingles.

In the past month have you...
Drank alcohol: Yes.
Smoked: No.
Done a drug: No.
Made Out: Only with my husband
Gone on a date: No.
Gone to the mall?: No.
Eaten an entire box of Oreos?: No
Eaten sushi:no.
Been on stage: No.
Been dumped: No.
Gone skating: No.
Made homemade cookies: Yup, Halloween ones.
Gone skinny-dipping: Never done that. Probably never will.
Dyed your hair: Yep, this very morning.
Stolen anything: No.


Have you ever...
Played a game that required removal of clothing: No.
If so, was it mixed company: -
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Yes, had the broken bone to prove it.
Been caught doing something: Yes but let's not go there.
Been called a tease: Don't think so ..
Gotten beaten up: By my sister (not lately)
Changed who you were to fit in: God, who hasn't done that?


Age you hope to be married: I was 24
Numbers and Names of Children: Joseph aged 2
Describe your Dream Wedding: i had it.
How do you want to die: In my sleep. aged 123
What do you want to be when you grow up: An adult, preferably.
What country would you most like to visit: The Seychelles


Number of drugs taken illegally: Took a drag of a spliff (man) once.
Number of people I could trust with my life: One, I think.
Number of CDs that I own: Not very many.
Number of piercings: Just my ears, the once.
Number of tattoos: None. But one day ...
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper?:Every week for the last seven years.
Number of scars on my body: Three- cut knee as a child, long scar on my heel from bike accident, episiotomy scar.
Number of things in my past that I regret: God loads, but no point dwelling on the past.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Month 32- God Bless Slugsy

Dear Joseph,

We have reached a critical point in our relationship. While you continue to delight me I'm starting to find this parenthood melarky hard work.

By 32 months we would have hoped to have sorted the whole "pooping in your pants" thing (not one of your finest social habits) and persuaded you to give up your nappies for proper big boy pants.

Alas, it's not to be. You seem to resist the potty training whole heartedly and while it's really up to you if you want to walk around smelling like pee the rest of your life, it is frustrating for me as your mother because I know you know how to use the potty. You do it when we least expect- you just like to tease me.

We are also trying to break your addiction to your dummy. We've managed for the most part to hide them from you during the day and keep them only for bed time but we are being thwarted at every turn by people who perhaps don't have as much patience for your whingey phases as we do.

Part of me of course thinks you look so much the baby with your dummy in your mouth and your nappy on that I myself am resistant to change. I don't know when I'll get round to adding to our family, and it pains me to think that I don't have a little baby anymore.

Which brings me on to my next topic- this is kind of inspired by Dooce's ramblings this month and also a thread on Damsels about new babies.

When you were ickle I loved you and I cared for you, but I wasn't in love with you. I was caught up in my own world where I was unwell, tired, depressed and I wished away so many of your early weeks and months. I'd love to hold you now, as a newborn, and shower you with kisses for hours instead of forcing us into a routine.

I hope that I've made it up to you now. That you know I love you with all my heart and soul and would die for you in an instant (although preferably it won't ever come to that). They say a woman discovers the true meaning of guilt when she becomes a mother and its probably not far from the truth. Just know I'll spend the rest of my life making it up to you and I promise there won't be one moment, ever again, when you will feel anything but cherished entirely.

And to end on a more positive note, as we say our prayers each evening we've added in a God Bless section this month. I was delighted when after naming all our family members you added 'God Bless Slugsy' at the end.

Love you loads,


Monday, October 02, 2006

Signed, Sealed, Delivered- a snippet

Okay, here's a select snippet from the new book.
Copyright me and all that.

I love you too honey. Five words. Six syllables. I can’t remember the last time someone told me they loved me and meant it.
Jake said it a couple of times. Quite often he would say it in a whiney voice when he wanted something- like a blow job. “But baby, I love you,” he would say, puppy dog eyes, pouting lips, big fat erection. They say men don’t love girls that ‘put out’ but I figured if I did enough of what he wanted he would say the words some day without that whiny voice.
I heard him talking one night after a gig. God it had been an amazing night. He was on fire. The place was electric. He’d sung all my favourite songs and even dedicated my all time favourite ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ to me.
I was drunk on life- on Bacardi Breezers and love and Beth and I had long since kicked off our shoes to throw some funky moves on the dance floor. By Christ we thought we were hilarious. At the end of every dance we did our ‘jazz hands’ and fell into each other’s arms laughing so hard I worried I would pee my pants. How I wish now for the bladder control I had then. I don’t think I ever enjoyed a night as much.
When the gig ended and Jake had bounded over to me- his over inflated ego adding a certain spring to his step. We had snogged- a full on tongues and everything drunken fumble right there in front over everyone as if we didn’t give a damn who was watching or who might shout ‘Get a room’.
We sat together drinking, Beth, Daniel, Jake and me. The rest of the band were there too of course and the usual smattering of groupies but I had nothing to fear from them. We were draped over each other- wearing each other and our passion like a badge of honour and it felt amazing.
A short time later, stumbling back from the toilets I saw him locked in a conversation with a tall blonde supermodel type. Creeping up behind him, longing to wrap my arms around his waist and pull him close to me in another full on embrace I heard what he was saying.
“Eefs is just a mate, seriously. Yeah, we mess about but she’s a mate. Just like you’re a mate, and Beth’s a mate. Seriously.”
I didn’t want to make a scene. Jake didn’t like it when I acted mean and moody, so I took his hand, kissed his cheek and pretended I hadn’t heard. After all, love grew from friendships. And he did say he loved me, sometimes. In fact he said it later that night- when he wanted that blow job.

Ding dong merrily on high

AS IF the arrival of October wasn't depressing enough, here's a thought to make you choke on your turnover this fine Autumn morning- it's only 83 fun-filled days until Christmas.

The shops have already started to fill their shelves with festive treats and I dare say it won't be too long until they are festooned in all their dazzling decorations to tempt the throngs of shoppers through their doors.
The reason I mention the approach of the big day is that this year, despite my disdain for the early arrival of the festive season in our shops, is the year I have promised myself I'm going to be super organised about the whole affair.
I have promised that come December I won't be staring at my meagre pay packet and trying to eek out the money for presents for everyone because I've not bothered my behind to plan things properly.
As a parent on Santa duty, I realise that stretching my December wages between the usual house-hold expenses, presents for everyone in the family and my Santa responsibilities could well be impossible.
The wee man is fast approaching three years of age and has an increasing awareness that Christmas equals toys and that he gets to make up a wish list all of his own. (So far his list consists of a real life Helicopter- you know, like the one that airlifted Richard Hammond to Hospital- and a freaky walking Barbie Horse.)
We are not intending to spoil him- and I'm pretty sure he won't be getting the helicopter or indeed the Barbie horse- but I want to make this a year to remember especially as I'm guessing it will the be the first time he really gets the concept of Santa.
I'm rather embarrassed to admit we have footage from the wee man's first Christmas of this doe-eyed baby staring at the lights of the Christmas tree while we, as sad first time parents, acted out our 'Has Santa been?' routine. Joseph was of course oblivious and the real magic of Christmas wasn't really there.
Regular readers of this column will know that last year, just as Joseph was starting to get the whole Santa thing, we decided to do our familial duty and spent the holidays with the in-laws in England.

Festive magic
It was lovely, but it wasn't the same as waking up in your own bed on Christmas morning and switching on the lights of your very own Christmas tree. So this year, with a toddler who is already getting ridiculously excited at the prospect of all the toys that will be heaped upon him, I'm relishing the thought of spending the big at home and injecting some of the magic into it that all nearly three year olds deserve.
But that is going to take some planning. I'm desperate to make sure I don't become one of those parents who batters the life out of another poor sod as we fight over the last 'must have' of the year in Smiths as the shutters roll down on Christmas Eve.
I'm sourcing the best books, toys and art material for this year already. I was even tempted to buy in a selection box or two at the weekend. The only thing that stopped me was the knowledge that I would no doubt get an attack of the munchies between now and December and the selection boxes would get raided. (Yes, it has happened in the past.)
Of course there is a serious note to all this too. Each year the less organised of us find ourselves relying on credit cards and the Credit Union to make it through the month of December.
The credit hangover inevitably lasts on until January and February which is never pleasant. After all the first couple of months of the year are tough enough, all dark and cold with no Christmas to look forward to, add to that a fat credit card bill and you have a recipe for Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Much as I hate the early arrival of Christmas in the shops it does at least remind me to start budgeting for the big day now and not later. I find I can no longer ignore it and even find myself singing along with the cheesy played out Christmas classics of yesteryear. Christmas shopping this early can actually be quite a calming experience. You can saunter around at your leisure breathing in the Cinnamon scent of candles and cooing over the delicate decorations for sale.
I don't get those people who purposely leave it all to the last minute and fight for the last tatty Poinsettia on a market stall or a lavender soap set with those evil bath cubes which never dissolve so that you end up with a bruised rear upon climbing into the bath.
Likewise, I can't be doing with those souls who are so financially astute they do all their Christmas shopping in the January sales and have it all wrapped from Valentine's Day. These are the folks who delight in spending the Autumn months boasting about their achievements and buying fancy shoes while your hard earned cash is being doled out on toy prams, sock sets and bottles of over-priced perfume.
Yes, I think it is time to give in to the inevitable and get shopping. Just keep me away from the selection boxes.

Shameless plug for BAFAB!

As requested by the lovely and exceptionally talented (and agented) Keris here is a plug for Buy a Friend a Book month!

This week on Trashionista: BAFAB will be fab!

Diane Shipley and Keris Stainton, co-editors of Trashionista, the book news and reviews site whose motto proclaims, “We read books like they’re going out of fashion!” are excited to announce Trashionista’s participation in this October’s Buy a Friend a Book Week (BAFAB).
From October 1-5 2006 on www.trashionista.com, you’ll find exclusive guest blogs from best-selling chick-lit authors (stop by to find out who!), interviews, and seven (and counting…) book giveaways. Plus, find out what books we’d buy for our friends, and why!
It goes without saying (doesn’t it?!) that of course you’ll also find all of the usual great Trashionista content: book reviews (focusing on women’s fiction, chick-lit and memoir) and book news (focusing on anything hot or controversial in the book world in general) all delivered with intelligence and a sense of fun. Please stop by from October 1-5 for BAFAB week, Trashionista style- and help make it a week to remember!

More about Trashionista:
Trashionista gets to grips with the wonderful world of female fiction. We take an unbiased look at beach reads, bestsellers, new releases and old favourites -and we actually read the books before writing about them. At Trashionista we don't believe that 'chick lit' is a dirty word - but if a book is trash, we'll let you know!

To contact the editors email editor@trashionista.comM
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