Friday, October 29, 2010

Starting again, again

It seems to be the case that every few months I write this post. Perhaps I could just repaste what I have previously written?
But I am starting WeightWatchers again. I should say, I have NO DOUBT in my mind that WeightWatchers works. Sometimes I just don't. I get lazy, fed up and daunted by the mammoth task ahead of me. I genuinely feel very jealous of people who just have a wee half stone or stone to lose. Do they not know how EASY that would be??? (Of course I know it is NEVER easy but I like to make excuses to be annoyed with other people more fortunate that me).

The ongoing saga of my dodgy health continues. We are now at a stage where we do not know if it is vertigo, migraine, low blood pressure, stress, depression or something Very Bad Indeed. I am a pin cushion. I also rattle when I walk. But instead of comfort eating myself out of my worry I decided this week, after a particularly nasty fainting/ losing strength/ nausea episode to actually take better care of myself - properly.
I've bought fancy trainers (the ones which tone your bum while you walk - and I can tell you after my first outing in them my bum aches like the bejaysus) and a pair of jogging bottoms. I have eaten a big pile of soup. I have had my first "new me" weigh in (eeek, the months off WW have not been kind) and I have booked myself a weekend in Glasgow with my VBF. I am, and this is a big one, also going to cut back on my wine consumption.

So, as the saying goes, once more into the breach dear friends.

Ever heard of McDonalds, Rooney?

On Tuesday of this week my journalistic colleague Eamonn McCann asked, in his column, ‘How come Cheryl Cole is a millionaire?’.
Now whether or not Ms Cole has the musical talent to deserve her fortune is debatable. Her songs are at best catchy - but not timeless. Her performance skills are hit and miss. There has been much furore over the fact she mimed her way through her performance on Sunday night’s X Factor - but in fairness to the girl she did have to put in a dance routine that would have most of us mere mortals calling for the cardiac ambulance.
But what she does have is the likeability factor. Her interview with Piers Morgan on Saturday night showed her to be very much still a normal girl at heart - heartbroken by the break up of her marriage, shell-shocked at her recent near death experience and sorry for any mistakes she may have made in the past (although the lamping a waitress in the toilets of a nightclub incident was brushed over).
She has that enviable quality of being exceptionally beautiful, stylish and wealthy and yet still being the kind of person who you think would be a good laugh to go out for a drink with or have a good gossip with.
Despite her fame and fortune and her position as Simon Cowell’s right hand woman she seems nicely grounded. Sure that might not mean she deserves her mammoth pay packet - certainly no more than any other nice and friendly worker in any job in the world - but I don’t begrudge her it either.
I can’t however say the same for the arrogant little eejit that is Wayne Rooney. I don’t pretend to know anything about football. I care even less. I will tolerate a certain level of discussion on the subject given the fact I have a six year old son who is becoming increasingly obsessed with the game.
I did, however, follow the saga of Wayne Rooney and his indiscretions with a call girl over recent months. I followed how Coleen took him back and how he wandered about very shamed faced knowing that he had just shown the world what a pathetic little cretin he really was.
I really didn’t think I could like him less and then, last week, he took things one step further - throwing his toys out of the pram and posturing about he how deserved loads of money.
I have said it before and I will say it again. It is only a game. These men may be skilled, yes, but they are skilled only at kicking a football around - something that my six year old can do. My son doesn’t deserve the world handed to him on a plate because of it and nor does Wayne Rooney - especially when he displays such utter arrogance and lack of empathy for anyone living in the real world.
Rooney signed a £50 million deal with Manchester United and will stay with the club for the next five years. To celebrate he and Coleen jetted off to Dubai where they are spending some of his fortune drinking champagne at £36 a glass and eating chicken nuggets and chips for £25 a portion. Someone should tell him about McDonalds. A Happy Meal with chicken nuggets and chips costs around two quid and they even throw in a free toy. It would certainly suit his spoiled, childish personality.
According to the Daily Mail, £50 million a year equates to a pay packet of £28,571 a day. I’d hazard a guess that the majority of Derry families survive on that income, or less, a year.
His hourly wage is £1,190. Shame football doesn’t operate on a clocking in and clocking out basis. How many hours a week does Rooney actually spend on a football pitch, I wonder?
When you think of this megabucks deal in conjunction with last week’s comprehensive spending review, it is all the more galling.
Over the next four years thousands of us will lose out. Families will lose their benefits or have them slashed. Thousands of people will lose their jobs - thousands of hard working, skilled and talented people who provide vital services will find themselves at the dole queue. The Arts will take a hammering. Health services will be diminished. Capital spend on key projects such as the improvement of schools and hospitals will be put on hold. Taxes will rise.
And all the while Wayne Rooney sits in Dubai ordering his fancy chips and nuggets and drinking cocktails at £17 each. He needs a dose of the real world, and fast.
Perhaps, however, the tide is already turning. He didn’t win himself any fans last week. Indeed those who were perhaps most loyal to him threw their hands up in disgust. Protestors gathered at his multi-million pound pad when he revealed that money, not loyalty to the club, was what was driving him.
Hopefully football fans have long memories and one day they will help teach Rooney a very important lesson - life owes you nothing and even less if you act the maggot.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm trying to finish the blasted book

I still have a good 25000 words to write - finding the time is proving really difficult as mammyhood seems to have taken over my life entirely.
The boy has activities almost every day of the week - I feel like a taxi driver. The girl is very demanding - in a lovely toddler-ish way, but demanding all the same and my house seems to have some sort of "mess it all up" poltergheist living in the rafters who throws things around as soon as I turn my back.
I am a wreck - a tired, bloated, grumpy wreck. My inner Ouiser is back... I cannot keep my cool.
I long for an hour (or week) away in a quiet, peaceful hotel room with just my laptop and the work in progress to get the fecker done.
This is where it gets tough and only I can deal with it unfortunately. The mad mammy is about to get madder!

Monday, October 18, 2010

And as for the X-Factor - I want Matt to win

My baby's baby

I have caved recently and bought my baby a baby of her own. No doubt there are "pink stinks" campaigners out there who would have me hung, drawn and quartered for caving in to gender stereotypes but I care not.
When I was wee I loved my baby dolls and after almost seven years of Bob the Builder, Ben 10 and Star Wars I was very much looking forward to reliving my own childhood years so when the baby yelped with delight at the sight of baby dolls in the local toy shop I didn't need to be persuaded too strongly.

The problem is, I think I may have developed a problem. Along with the doll I have bought several outfits, a baby blanket and those wee dolly nappies. I should stress that my daughter wouldn't care if she was just dragging around a naked dolly with its arms hanging off but me, well I'm a little more particular about my fake grandchildren.

I'm already delirious at the thought that, when she is big enough (my baby, not the fake baby - I know th fake baby won't grow) I can buy accessories for me her to play with - the likes of tiny playpens, car seats, slings, and those magical bottles which fake empty when you turn them upside down has me jumping with joy.

And no this doesn't mean I'm broody before any one gets smart. I'm just enjoying the wonderfulness of being the mammy of a little girl after years of boyness.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

And another from the book launch...

Along with the news the book has entered the Irish charts at number 18 here is a picture of me and my two at the launch..
And the reviews are starting!

BookShelf bloggers have said: "The books is absolutely a laugh out loud story of disaster after disaster...I cant wait to get hold of another of Claire Allan's books and will be certainly watching for more titles "

Monday, October 11, 2010

So we had a launch...

And loads of people came.
And I read and it was very lovely indeed.

The first pic is of me reading from the book and the second is of my family at the launch, from sitting are mum and me, standing are my brother Peter, my dad, my sister Emma and my sister Lisa to whom the book is dedicated.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

What a week

I ca never be trusted to drive anywhere outside of my comfort zone. I proved that last week when I set off for Eason HQ to film for TV3.
Google maps directed us to Ballymun. The people of Ballymun looked at us like we were thickos from the North. So we spent 45 minutes driving around Dublin airport, Swords, Claremont and other such places and eventually found our location (after I'd turned the air blue on more than one occasion in the car).
So we filmed in TV3 and then drove onto Poolbeg towers in Baldoyle (didn't get lost but only because I was following my editor as she drove) and we had lunch in a wee cafe just around the corner.
Big fat eejit that I am, I managed to get lost on the way back to Poolbeg and my editor was just setting out search party mode when I found my way back.
This was not the glam author life I had been promised!

I did not, however, get lost on the way to my first ever book launch which took place in the Central Library in Derry last Thursday. Loads of people showed up - including people I didn't actually know, which was brilliant. I made a speech, as did the boy, and the I drank about 76* cosmopolitans and sang some motown classics.

On Saturday I saw 'It's Got to be Perfect' in Eason, looking gorge on the shelves and now I'm getting the slow drip of friends' reviews coming in. So far it's been a thumbs up, but then they would say that, wouldn't they?

I'l keep you posted as to how it goes.

*not really
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