Thursday, November 30, 2006
It was probably because there was no two year old sticking the heel of his foot into my neck or clambering over me at three in the morning declaring that it was time to play, but needless to say by the time the morning came around I had matchsticks propping open my eyes and my mood had deteriorated from happily tipsy the night before to grumpily hungover the morning after.We decided to wander around the Belfast shops to try and inject some festive spirit in my sagging heart, but when the elastic went at the top of my (new and much loved, not to mention expensive) brown suede knee length boots my humour dipped even more- and that was before I clambered on the bus for the journey home to find the heating set to 'tropical heatwave' the whole way to Derry- something which I can assure you does not rest easy with a growing hangover.
Then in my madness, accompanied by a sense of crippling maternal guilt at having dared to leave my boy over night, I decided it would be wise to take him, and his four year old cousin to the madhouse that is McDonalds, at tea time, three weeks before Christmas.The prospect of some "chicky uggies" as Joseph decided to call chicken nuggets (at the top of his voice at the top of the queue) sent both Joseph and Abby into a dizzy fit of over-excitement and as I tried to eat my (hangover cure) tea, I felt my blood pressure rise to the point where I could feel a vein throbbing in my neck.
It was then time to take the wee man home and by this stage, overfed on one of those Mix 'n' Muddles things (ice-cream, Smarties and chocolate sauce for the uninitiated) he was on the mental side of hyper so there were tears before bedtime- both for him and me- before he eventually fell into an exhausted sleep and I took to my bed early with a good book and the heating set to high.
"Don't talk to me for the rest of the night," I told himself, sashaying up the stairs in a dramatic stylee: "I want to be alone."
So I crawled under the covers, in fresh pjs, and allowed myself to sink into my soft pillows and I flicked on the TV just to see if there was anything worth watching.
It was then I stumbled across 'The Secret Millionaire' on Channel 4.
If you want feel good TV, something to lift you from the doldrums and make you forget about what a crappy day you've had then you couldn't go far wrong with this programme.
On Wednesday night's programme 25 year old multi-millionaire Ben Way spent 10 days in what has become known as London's 'Murder Mile' undercover.
He volunteered at a local youth club, got to know the community and find out the aspirations and dreams of some of the most disadvantaged young people in the area.By the end of his 10 days, he would be tasked with choosing several projects or people to give a portion of his fortune too.
At first I was a little cynical, as Ben (who looked all of about 12 and as if he had some 'chicky uggies' for tea himself) wandered about decided what he deemed to be worthy or not of receiving "his money".
However my attitude to the whole thing had changed as the programme ended, just as it seems Ben's had. He decided to invest in the youth club he had been volunteering in- a place where the youth leader had not drawn a wage in two years- and also to give money to an aspiring fashion designer. In addition, he paid for a community leader to get married to his partner of 27 years- something they could never have afforded to do themselves.
What impressed me most however was that as well as his money (£40,000 in total of it) he decided he was so impressed with the people of the 'Murder Mile' that he has decided also to donate his time.
As often as work allows, he comes back to the youth club and helps inspire and encourage the young people. As for the fashion designer, Ben himself is pounding the streets finding outlets to sell the hip new street designs.
As the money was handed out, I realised that perhaps for the first time all day I had a huge cheesy grin on my face. These acts of kindness had lifted me out of my grumpy lull and had left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
Even though I wasn't in an executive suite at the Europa on Wednesday night, and was in fact just back in my plain old non-executive bed, I slept like a lamb and when, as invariably happens, a wee foot lodged itself in the small of my back at 3am, and the owner of said foot clambered all over me declaring "My own mammy", I didn't mind one bit. I just rolled over, cuddled him closer and told him I loved him. And the cheesy grin stayed firmly on my face all night.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
HAVING RECENTLY become the not so proud owner of a new (read that as 10 years old) Corsa, I have been reliving my youthful horrendous taste in music due to the fact that I now rely on an olde worlde cassette player for my in-car entertainment.
I admit I was pretty spoiled with our last car (which himself has now claimed as his own). It had a fancy(ish) CD player which allowed me to listen to all the cool tunes of the day while driving to and from work.
There was nothing better than getting behind the steering wheel, switching on the engine and listening to the sexy sounds of James Morrison as I drove over the new bridge on my way home. (Admittedly more often than not, if the wee man was in the car with me, James Morrison would be replaced by 'The Wheels on the Bus'- which was not quite as relaxing).
But when the Corsa came into my ownership, things changed and I had to abandon Mr. Morrison and my other CDs including my newly purchased and much loved Paolo Nutini CD.After several weeks of relying on Radio One for company (Great in the morning with Chris Moyles, kind of rubbish in the afternoon with Scott Mills) I decided to hunt out my old tapes from the top of the wardrobe to see if there was anything actually worth listening to again.
Instead of finding the cutting edge of late 80s and early 90s tunes I uncovered a veritable music collection of shame. In my haul I found two Bros tapes, a Celine Dion album, an offering from Mariah Carey, Garth Brook's Greatest Hits (everyone had this one? Didn't they?) and Lionel Ritchie's 'Back to Front' collection.I had two choices as I saw it. I could hide the tapes back in their darkened hidey hole and hope they never saw the light of day again or I could listen to them and see if they retained any of the appeal that attracted me to them in the first place.I opted for the second option and as the strains of the Celine Dion power ballad 'Think Twice' flooded through my car I was suddenly transported back 12 years to my room in the Halls of Residence at Jordanstown where I would play this song over and over again marvelling at the power of the emotion behind it.
Yes, I suppose I always knew Celine Dion had a pretty annoying voice but it didn't matter back then. Not when I was 18 and full of weird notions about love and slow dances.
Mariah Carey's 'Music Box' brought back equally embarrassing memories- mostly about being madly in love with a class mate who then went on to break my heart, and as for Garth Brooks- it will forever be associated with four hour bus runs to Dublin to spend the weekend with my then boyfriend (now my husband). Of course 'If Tomorrow Never Comes' will always be sung the way I heard it at a street party in Rosemount as 'If My Giro Never Comes'.
No one can fail to smile when listening to Lionel Ritchie. Songs like 'Dancing on the Ceiling' and 'Still' are real guilty pleasures. I know I probably shouldn't like them, but I can't help but enjoy a wee warble along. And if I'm honest, cheesy and all as it is, 'Hello' still brings a wee tear to my cynical eyes. I mean, in the video the blind girl was able to sculpt his face from clay even though she had never seen him.
It was enough to warm the coldest heart.I have to admit that much as I'm supposed to be a sensible, grown up and sophisticated lady of the noughties, reliving my musical youth was quite enjoyable.The songs haven't improved withthe years, but it was nice to experience them again and find that I still remembered all the words.
I mean these are all songs from back in the days when you would sit by your tape player in the evenings, stopping the tape every few seconds so you could write down the words and commit the lyrics to memory. (Please, it wasn't just me, was it?)Most of the songs were of the nature that they could only really properly be enjoyed when in a house or car on your own so that you can sing as loudly and out of tune-ly as possible.
Of course having tapes when you are used to the convenience of CDs is a pain in the bum. You can't just automatically hit the back button to hear the song again or skip past the dodgier tunes like 'The Thunder Rolls' on the Garth Brooks' album.
You have guess when to hit the stop button and if you miss your spot, then you have to rewind a wee bit again. All that said, it was a nice to take a trip down musical memory lane.
But I'm glad- very, very glad- that no cars out there have record players fitted because if you think my tape selection is bad, you should see the quality of my vinyl.
If 'Ice, Ice Baby' by Vanilla Ice doesn't turn you off, then there is always 'Mona' by Craig McLochlainn, aka Henry from Neighbours. Somehow I don't think those musical classics will ever see the light of day again.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I should perhaps explain further. In my late teenage years while at university there were two major things in my life which prompted me to listen to the music.
It never happened.
Baby think twice for the sake of our love, for the memory
Monday, November 20, 2006
Need more proof?
Yes, he was a gentleman but no he cannot dance and he had to go. But with the shock of Emma in the bottom two this week, we can only wonder who is next?
Friday, November 17, 2006
That said, I'm not sure the message is getting through. The majority of my friends still crave to be no bigger than a 12 and perhaps a 10 if at all possible.
And that is exactly why campaigns such as the Dove one, which particularly works to target younger women and teenage girls, are so important. When I watched the Evolution ad, I felt a little better about myself. It made me realise just how fake the industry portrayal of beauty is.I realised that with the help of a make up artist, hairdresser and photoshop I too could look stunning. I could forget all my efforts and WeightWatchers and simply digitally shave several inches (or feet as the case may be) off my outline and look like a real glamour puss.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
If you get the chance pick up the December issue of Practical Parenting and read Keris' article 'It Wasn't Meant to be Like This'. You might just see my ugly mug staring back out at you.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Many thanks to my lovely friend Vicki for sharing it with me.
I've commented before on how much of a good idea I think the Dove Self Esteem fund is.
Let's teach the next generation of women just how bloody gorgeous they are.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Yes, I have a cold and am a delightful shade of green. I've been sneezing and wheezing since sun up and even now that it's dark I'm still coughing and spluttering.
Let me paint you a picture. It is 8.40pm. I am wearing my oversized pink pyjama bottoms with a tunic style top which looks akin to maternity wear. I am not pregnant- I am just fat.
On my feet are two of the meanest looking fluffy pink slippers you will ever see and I am wearing an oversized lilac fleece dressing gown from my pregnancy days which has long lost its belt. My hair looks as though I have stuck my finger in an electrical outlet and I've taken off my make up so that my nose glows brightly- guiding lost Derry wans up the Foyle and safely home.
I have lathered on some green hemp cream from the Body Shop to ease the dry skin around my face and there are approximately 655 used tissues lying across my desk.
In addition, I keep making snorting, sneezing phlegmy noises.
Sexy? I'm a fecking babe!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
I am terribly sorry for corrupting your innocent wee mind.
Let's discuss language and it's appropriate uses. I am a new driver- that means that much like you, I am still learning the finer points of interaction. You are learning to interact with the world around you, I am learning not to kill other drivers or indeed be killed myself.
There are times, I admit, when swear words spout forth from my usually quite eloquent tongue. This does not permit you to copy them, least of all because much as I try to be quite stern about it, I generally find myself lapsing into fits of embarrassed and childish giggles.
Yesterday, as I drove over a speed bump a little too fast, you interjected with: "That was a f*ck sake bump, wasn't it mammy?"
You can imagine my shock! I nearly crashed the f*cking car.
So I suppose what I'm saying is that this month while you've still not wanted to use your potty, you are coming on in leaps and bounds in your verbal skills. Your Auntie Emma has commented that she now has proper little conversations with you and I agree, you do like to talk.
I'm frequently woken at 3am now to hear about your adventures and I swear, if you weren't so damned cute you would have been put up for adoption now.
But you have a way, in almost everything you do, of making me smile and making me proud. Even if it does involve expletives.
Love you always,
Thursday, November 02, 2006
There wasn't a scary king of nuts, a poker or a Wellworths bag to be seen. That said, I suppose Hallowe'en has had to change and move on.