New Year…New me?

Image result for new years resolution meme

New name, new blog, still no idea where I am going with this, or what I am trying to achieve. The fact is, I enjoy writing stories. I don’t even care if people read them. Well I do a little bit. That is why you will find me repeatedly posting them on social media until at least one person acknowledges my musings. I find it therapeutic and an opportunity to do something other than over thinking and over analysing every conversation I have ever had in the last 10 years, whilst rocking back and forth on my sofa 🙂 .  For Christmas my brother got me a bloggers journal to inspire me to write again. However, I don’t know where to start. I looked through my previous blogs for inspiration, to see if there was a theme or a common thread I could latch onto. There isn’t.  Instead I found a random mix of stories and no method to the madness. Just me and my verbal diarrhoea in written form. A documentation of the unordered nonsense in my head. So in an attempt to create more order in my life and therefore my blogs, past Claire set 6 New Year’s Resolutions for future Claire to follow. As we are at 21st January it felt a good time to evaluate how they are going. Is it really New Year, New Me? As you will see some are further along than others. I wouldn’t want to achieve everything in the first month!

Resolution 1 – Write more

Today I got an email from WordPress to say I joined 5 years ago. Looking at my stats, (the number of blogs I have written, not my hip, thigh and waist measurements) I have blogged 3.6 times a year on average. The statistics don’t really reflect how much I bang on about writing. I have probably Tweeted, Instagrammed and Facebooked more about how I want to blog than actually blogged. Therefore I wanted to write this one down in an effort to follow through with it. The problem is, whilst I find writing quite therapeutic I also find it quite exposing. In all honesty, it makes me feel a little bit sick as I click the publish button. You have to be pretty open to the possibility that you are going to be judged when you write anything. Given that my blog is about my life or my thoughts, I am letting people judge my personality. What if people hate me? What if people think I am rubbish? What if people think I am weird? Don’t get me wrong I am weird. I am pretty judgemental, pretty outspoken, pretty sarcastic, and I can give it. I just can’t take it.

I used to write diary’s all the time when I was younger. A little pink diary with a key lock that you could unpick with a hair grip. It didn’t contain anything major, just the usual ‘Today I caught the bus to St Helens with £5 and bought some hair grips, a Woolworth’s pick ‘n’ mix  a bottle of white musk, and a happy meal at McDonald’s and still had change for a Take That pencil’  before moving onto the typical pre-teen hormonal angst. ‘I fancy Peter at school but he fancies Lucy.’ It was so cringy I found them a few years ago and ripped them all up and threw them away.

In a few years time I might look back on these blogs and want to delete them from existence. However, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t write them in the first place. I mean as adults we’ve all  deleted our Myspace accounts? Can you even remember who your top 8 friends were? I am pretty sure at least 2 of mine are now in Jail!

If you don’t take risks you don’t achieve anything. I need to stop thinking and start writing. So that’s what I am doing here, right now! Only 2.5 more blogs after this one to reach my average yearly target. 🙂

Resolution 2 – Do more exercise

This one was pretty easy for me. I go to the gym anyway. However, this year I have set myself the target of actually participating in classes rather than just turning up. Don’t get me wrong I don’t sit in the corner with a cake. I am also not one of those girls that straightens their hair and puts on make up before the gym. I don’t take selfies (mainly because I look like a cross between a smurf and Elmo) and I don’t leave my purse on machines so that men come running after me to give it me back. (I once watched a girl in a gym do that for 45 minutes. She didn’t even use a machine!!)What I mean is, I should try harder in class instead of going through the motions. 1 squat, 1 press up and 3 lunges in an hour isn’t going to cut it this year.

I know what I need to do to up my exercise quota. I follow a lot of fitness people on Instagram. I save their videos to do later. I have bought kettlebells and bands. I watch Obese a year to save my life. I buy endless supplies of gym kit. I post motivating messages on my friends posts encouraging them to keep going.  Except I do all this whilst dipping a KitKat in Nutella, with my kettlebells acting as door stops. My gym kit obsession is akin to Kleptomania. I don’t steal it, but kleptomania is classified in psychiatry as an impulse control disorder and I can’t control myself in Sports Direct.

Despite my attempts to go to the gym, after 2 sets of antibiotics, I missed last week on account of spending most of it in bed. Further on 18th January I became the first person in the history of the world to cancel their gym membership. This was purely tactical as work gets busier I need to rethink where my gym is so I can go more often. Therefore whilst this isn’t really happening at the moment, it is in process!

Resolution 3 – Diet

For this I didn’t mean go on a diet. Although that should have been a requirement for 2018. This was more about varying what I eat. Currently my diet consists of tuna and cucumber sandwiches for lunch from Tesco and hot or cold fajitas. There is no in between. I am a very fussy eater. In China I lived off a diet of chips for 10 days. For me it is about texture. I can just about eat mince but I couldn’t eat a meatball. I can eat shredded duck but couldn’t eat a duck breast. I like tomato sauce but I don’t like tomatoes. I do not eat vegetables because I don’t like them. I like my food simple and I like what I like. I don’t cook, I burn. So, in honour of this resolution I attempted to push the boat out. 2 weeks ago I made a roast beef dinner for the first time ever and made my lunch for 3 days in a row. However last night I had fajita’s and finished them off for lunch today. As you can see, swings and roundbouts, but I am making postive changes.

I think this will be the biggest challenge of all the resolutions, yet will be the one that is most rewarding. For example, giving up tuna and cucumber sandwiches for lunch will also mean I will have to buy a pen and paper. Currently my car insurance quote is written on the back of a sandwich pack, so I will have to look at alternative methods for recording important information.

Fail to prepare, prepare to Fail will be my new mantra. I am so lazy when it comes to food. Sunday will be prep day so that I have no excuses in the week. However, it is a week before payday so there isn’t much money knocking about for supermarket shopping. Let’s be honest the only reason I am partaking in dry January is because I can’t afford the wine. I’ll pick this one up again next weekend.

Resolution 4 – Say no to things I don’t want to do

This is pretty simple. I spend my life doing things I don’t want to do. I feel obliged or coerced into doing things when I would actually rather do something else. So far I haven’t left the house since Wednesday so I am probably going to have to tweak this one.

Resolution 5 – Travel more in a non-work capacity

This one might prove more difficult. Given I have to travel once a month with work, travelling outside of that will need to be planned meticulously. That’s a job for February onwards.

Resolution 6 – Stop being so sweary

This one won’t give more order to my life, but it will make it seem like I have. I try not to swear but 5 minutes into work and I am using Fuck like a comma. Sometimes you can only express how you feel through swearing. However I’ve started to use the big hitters, the see you next Tuesday’s and that is NOT good. Last week we had a talk on mindfulness. A 30 minute intro on how to change the way you react to things. I am going to try to implement some of these teachings into my every day. I am not sure how it is going to work out. The test will be when I am in the midst of a passive aggressive conversation and I stop for 5 breathes half way through to regain my thoughts. How do you do that without looking like a complete weirdo? I will keep you posted.

So they were my 6 resolutions to provide more order to my life. If it was a school report it would probably read, Claire has great ideas but needs to learn to apply herself more. Her head is in the clouds and in order to succeed she must do better. What are your New Years’ Resolutions? Did you make any? Have you broken them already? Let me know.



It’s a dogs life….


For those of you who don’t know through my many Instagram and Facebook posts, last week my Mum and Dad went on holiday. Big deal? I hear you say. So what? My parents go on holiday all the time, it’s hardly blog worthy. True story. Except for me, my Mum and Dad went on holiday for the first time in 13 years and left me to look after their world. The dog. Alfie. The dog that has hated me from its very core since the moment he was brought into our family home. During the week, I kept a daily diary of our wonderful time spent together. (By wonderful, I mean traumatic) Below you can read this diary and share in my weeks worth of joy…..

Day 1:
How hard can this be? All I’ve got to do is make sure he’s fed and watered. Maybe stroke him a couple of times a day and let him out for fresh air. Yes he hates me, but I’m his main source of food supply for the next 7 days so we are going to have to come to some sort of understanding.

We wave off my Mum and Dad, as he goes out into the garden. For the next few hours, we largely walk around avoiding each other. Circling our own designated areas, like elephants protecting their young from an impending attack.  It’s 6:00pm and I am starting to get peckish. Alfie sensing my hunger encroaches my circle as I open cupboards on the hunt for food. He suddenly wants to engage. I decide to cook chicken legs for tea and add some paprika and garlic to pimp them up! As I sit down to eat, Alfie is at my feet, looking, waiting, wanting my food. Sensing an opportunity to gain his trust I give him bits of chicken as I munch through my dinner. I’ve seen my mum do it, she is always feeding him bits of her tea. On a Sunday he gets his own plate of roast dinner. During the week he gets toast with jam for breakfast and a cup of tea. Using chicken to bribe the dog seems like a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Yet, why do I feel so weird? There’s something niggling at the back of my mind. Maybe its something I have seen on one of those stupid Vet programmes? Something about dogs and garlic? I can’t remember exactly. I google it. The first hit reads…’Onions. garlic and chives are poisonous to dogs‘. Shit I’ve poisoned the dog in the first 4 hours.

I frantically search google, desperately looking for the story that tells me it’s OK, he will be fine. It’s page 2 before I find the one I want. Imagine the panic. No one gets to page 2 on google. It reads,  ‘your dog will be fine if he accidentally eats garlic’ he would have to eat a lot of garlic to suffer in any way. Phew, I look at Alfie to give him a cheeky smile, we are going to be OK. Panic over. Except as I look at Alfie lying on the sofa, he’s on his back, legs up, gozzy eyed. Fuck is he asleep or is he dead? I give him a poke, he’s still breathing. I poke him again and he doesn’t move. Fuck Fuck Fuck. I take a picture to post on Facebook. That’s what you do isn’t it? Your child has a rash, you don’t take it to the doctors you post it on Facebook and ask your Facebook friends. A world full of budding doctors receptionists desperate to tell you what is wrong with them? So I post it on Facebook. I hope this is his normal position I joke?As I slowly die inside. Yes come the instant replies, followed by pictures of other dogs doing the same thing. The little sod has played me, I’m so mad at him. He turns his head a little twinkle in his eye. He knows he’s got me from here on in, I am his bitch. And just like that I let him stay in my bed just in case the garlic has done some real damage.

Day 2:
Content that we have both survived the night, I get on with my day. It’s Sunday and I have a lot of things to do. I leave Alfie at home with food and water and pop back intermittently between my run and shopping to check he is OK. I eventually get home for around 5ish. He doesn’t appear to have eaten or drank anything. It dawns on me that other than the garlic chicken he hasn’t eaten anything since my mum left? Is it because he has a dicky tummy? or is it because it is so hot? I sit and stare at him, trying to work it out. He’s giving me nothing. I don’t want him to sleep in my bed tonight. It is too hot upstairs and I accidentally kicked him twice in the night. I don’t want to be the one that makes that call to my mum on day 2. Sorry Mum, you know your dog, he’s broken 2 ribs and pooed garlic all over your white bedding. So I leave him in his bed in the Kitchen. I text my mum.

Everything fine here. Alfie is in his bed in the kitchen. Hope you are having a good time xx My mum replies Ok, though he might whine a bit. Just ignore him, hes testing the water to go to bed with you. My god it’s the story of my dating life!

Day 3:
I walk downstairs to see that Alfie still hasnt eaten anything. I don’t have too much time to worry about it as I have given myself approximately 9 minutes to get ready for work. I let him out and throw him a chew stick before running out of the door. As I get to work, I experience my first pang of mum guilt. I am officially a dog mum. It is the hottest day of the year and I have left him on his own. I didn’t even say hello. Did I shut the door properly? Did I leave him any water? Did I keep the curtains closed to keep the kitchen cooler? What if he boils to death? How is he going to survive on his own? The questions play on loop in my head throughout the day. I repeat them to anyone who will listen at work, desperate for reassurance. Of course when I return 10 hours later he is fine. Although he still hasn’t eaten. Relieved I rush out of the door to the gym promising to take him on a walk when I get back.

I get back from the gym exhausted but grab the lead and off we go on a  45 minute walk. I suspect it would have been a 25 minute walk had he not stopped to pee on every single recycle bin along the way. He isn’t even deterred by the bin thats a reusable bag, or when the owner stands and watches him do it in his driveway. I however, am mortified. As we run out of recycle bins, his attention turns to other people’s dog poo. I didn’t realise how embarrassing it is for your dog to sniff poo in public, until tonight. I even start to talk to Alfie to get him away ‘We don’t sniff other people’s dog poo do we Alfie’ cue haughty laughter and a nod to the other dog walkers. What’s with the we? I certainly don’t sniff poo. I am finally losing my marbles!

Day 4:
Alfie still hasn’t eaten anything since Sunday. Which I should be grateful for as his lack of eating means no poo or wee for me to pick up! He refused to go out this morning. He could barely move his little legs. I have over walked the dog. I make a note to myself to google ‘can a dog die from walking too much’ and head to work.

When I get back, Alfie is still lethargic. It’s been a long day at work, so we take a casual lay down on the sofa. We are getting more comfortable with the personal space issue as the days go on. I have left the back door open to let in some air, when I hear a noise…I turn my head to look, scared it’s going to be a dead person coming to get me! (It’s never a human person in these scenarios, my go to thought is, crap I hope that’s not a ghost)

What’s that Alfie? I say, because I’m now one of those people, that talks to their dog expecting a response. Obviously there is nothing other than an expectant look and a wag of the tail. So I get up and go into the kitchen, Alfie close behind. And there’s the noise again followed by a thud…it’s a bird, it’s flown in through the door and tried to leave by the window. But the window is shut. Dazed and confused it appears to have emptied its bowels all over the window ledge, Awesome.

Alfie spotting something to play with, goes after it. ALFIE? leave it, I shout. Which is apparently like a red rag to a bull when there is a confused bird in the midst. Alfie lunges at the bird. Sensing danger, the bird attempts to fly off and hits the window for a second time. ALFIE? I shout again, get away….He pounces at the bewildered bird. I meanwhile am trying to drag him back and waft the bird to safety. The bird, gets a second wind, Yes. It try’s it’s luck and flys towards another window across the room! Smack, straight into the window and on its back! Alfie has another pop! Alfie NO I scream, the bird gets up, dusts itself off, I try to grab Alfie. The bird goes for a third window, flys straight into it! What he fuck is wrong with this bird…?!I’m almost tempted to let Alfie have it for being so bloody stupid! The bird flaps in the space between the window and the tea cups that are hanging. I can’t find the key to the window. Even after all my dad’s window training, I can’t find it. Alfie is starting to get riled, he can’t reach the bird but he’s going to keep jumping until he can. I’m looking through cups, ornaments, and under things to find the key. The bird is getting desperate, I need to get it out before it decorates my mum’s Crockery. There it is I find it, Finally! now how do I get the bird out seen as though he doesn’t know an open window from a closed one. I grab a newspaper, I manage to keep Alfie to one side and open the window and shoe the bird out. The whole thing takes 5 minutes but I swear they were the longest 5 minutes of my life. Honestly, I don’t want to be a dog mum anymore.

Day 5:
I think the time has come to tell my mum the dog hasn’t eaten for 5 days. I have tried everything. I have pointed at his food. Mixed it up, took it away, swapped it round. Nothing. He just won’t eat. I started to feel sorry for him tonight so I gave him some digestive biscuits and some ready salted crisps. I text my mum to fill her in. She replies ‘Claire don’t worry, he will eat when he is hungry. It’s just the weather and he’s missing us. Whatever you do, don’t give him biscuits though, he stops eating so you feel sorry for him so he can have a biscuit’ OK mum, I reply.

The dog has mugged me off AGAIN!

Day 6:
I have never been so happy to see a patch of wee in all my life! His first wee in 6 days, I am so proud of him. I actually give him a hug. Then he ruins it 14 hours later with that very thing I celebrated.

Come on Alfie? I say you can come up to bed to watch some TV with me before we go to sleep. I open the back door to let him out first, but he’s not interested. He is obviously eager to catch the news. I go towards the hallway and he Usain Bolts it up the stairs. I enter the room 1 minute behind him to catch him leg cocked. He’s pee’d all over my bed, the duvet, the pillows the lot! I give him a look, What on earth have you done? I shout, obviously expecting an answer from a dog, who just 2 minutes ago refused to go outside to pee. He jumps off the bed and I go to pick him up to show him the wee stained bed! To put his nose in it and tell him he is a bad dog. But he plays dead! Like a 2-year-old having a tantrum when they don’t want to get out of the trolley at the supermarket, he goes stiff so I can’t pick him up! This dog is clever! I’ll give him that. I keep trying but he remains rigid. I put him down and he runs downstairs and gets in his bed! Alright for some I say to an empty room. If only I had the same luxury, but no, my bed is covered in piss.

So I ring my mum and explain the situation! I warned you that if you let him go upstairs first he would pee everywhere! Just what I needed at 11:00pm at night, a bed covered in piss and an I told you so lecture off my Mum. Great! Mum listen… he knew he had done wrong because he played dead and went downstairs! That’s probably because you shouted at him, he got scared and ran off! I didn’t shout at him mum, I just gave him a look! Yes well, I’ve seen your looks Claire, you’re quite the bitch no wonder he ran straight to his bed! Not sure how this night has ended in me being a bitch and the dog a poor wounded soldier, but here we are. Alfie wins again.

Day 7:
I am still refusing to speak to Alfie today. I feel like we had got to an understanding and he let me down. I’ve never been so disappointed in my life! He try’s to be nice to me but I’m not interested. I give him his chew stick and leave the house still madly fuming. For the first day ever I don’t experience mum guilt. But then I start to feel guilty that I don’t feel guilty. What if I’ve been mean to him and he decides to die today! How can I explain that to my mum? She will probably tell me he’s died from a broken heart , because I gave him the look. I am so over dog sitting. I get home, find he’s OK and  I give him ice cream for not feeling guilty for leaving him today. 1 day to go!

Day 8:
Alfie sits excitedly at the window, it’s almost like he knows they’re coming home! He has been sat there since 9:30am. They landed at 10am. I’m pretty much sat on him staring out the window waiting for freedom to come! Then my mum comes around the corner. There she is. Alfie’s gets in a tiz runs outside, back inside, chases his tail. Up down, in and out, barking as he waits. They can’t get here quick enough.

My mum comes into the house and we both stand by the door! Alfie jumping like a kangaroo. Alfieeee, my baby how are you? My dad follows using his baby voice. Alfie, are you ok? Did you miss us? Did you think we were dead? You thought we were dead didn’t you? You thought we were dead? Well we are back. I’m still stood at the door, arms open wide to say hello and I’ve been ignored for the dog! Normality has returned. Alfie has his parents back, and I have my freedom! Long live my freedom!


Home Alone


I haven’t written a blog for 2 years. Which can only mean I have had a relatively drama free life for the last 2 years. Or more likely I couldn’t be bothered to write about life’s trials and tribulations in a long drawn out post that required effort and spell check. Instead, in the interim, I’ve opted for elaborate Facebook statuses, twitter rants and Instagram posts to document my life. That was, until now…

You see, some things can be covered with status updates. Like the time I tried to reverse my car. Lifted my foot off the clutch too fast, shot backwards, jerked forwards and set off the horn as my breasts hit the steering wheel! Or the time I lost my car in a two storey car park. Or how I drove past the house I had lived in for 4 months, 3 times in one week because they had removed the To Let sign and I couldn’t remember where I lived. (Strangely they all appear to be car related – maybe that could be a new blog in itself). This time however, I feel a couple of paragraphs is necessary! My parents have gone on holiday abroad for the first time in 13 years and I have been left to dog sit!

To be honest, I don’t know which of these two elements to explore first. The fact that my mum and dad, who get a nose bleed leaving their postal code, have actually left the country? Or that they have left their favourite member of the family, with me, to look after. My mum and dad will not go anywhere for longer than 2 hours, because of the dog. Yet after 13 years they decided to hop on a plane, and leave the dog with me.  A dog that hates me that is. Actually hates me! I am the only member of the family he bites on the arm when I walk into the room. Apparently, hes just being friendly, a bite is a term of endearment don’t you know? Yes try telling that to Branislav Ivanovic. I’m pretty sure Luis Suarez bit his arm because he was being friendly too.  I am also the only member of the family that he has no interest in seeing. When most people walk into the room, he gets all excited and won’t leave them alone. When I walk into the room, he sees me, bites me and walks off in the opposite direction. Which makes this pairing rather interesting.

When my mum first mentioned me looking after the dog, it was so she could go away for the weekend. I could cope with that. In Friday out Sunday. We could both probably survive relatively unscathed. Then my yes to the weekend suddenly morphed into yes for the week. I was never asked, it was just assumed I would be OK to look after the house and the dog for the week. Not entirely sure who was going to look after my house in return but that’s by the by. So that was that. My mum and dad excitedly booked their holiday and I went into panic mode. I had to keep something else alive that wasn’t me.

Having not been on holiday for 13 years, I completely underestimated how little my mum and dad knew about the process of both booking a holiday and going to the airport. Which led to many amusing phone calls. Listen Claire I can’t put my flip flops in my hand luggage can I? Why not mum? I just thought you are not allowed to put shoes in your hand luggage these days. Then I heard my dad pipe up in the background, bloody hell Fiona, you’re not a suicide shoe bomber you can put your flip flops in your bloody bag. What do you think you can do with a pair of flip flops? Alright Mark I was just asking. Claire, can I put my phone charger in my hand luggage? Yes you can why? Well it’s just all wires and stuff your not allowed that are you…? Only if there connected to something dodgy Fiona.

Then we moved onto liquids…So I’ve bought some shower gel, shaving foam, sun cream, aftersun, deodorant and toothpaste. Ok? Do I need anything else? I don’t know Mum, what do you usually wash with? Oh right, I thought there were things that you weren’t allowed to take? No mum it’s just the sizes that you have to be careful with, but you’re taking them in your luggage so there are no restrictions. Oh right Ok. So I have put them all in a clear plastic bag. Why? because that’s what you have to do with liquids. No mum that’s  what you have to do with liquids in your hand luggage. So they don’t need to be in a plastic bag then? No Mum your fine. One other thing do I need to pack hangers? No mum it is not the third world. You’re going to a hotel in Spain not backpacking around Thailand.

I wasn’t meant to be seeing them on Saturday before they went away. I wanted to limit the amount of time I spent with the dog. However, the phone calls made me think I needed to check up on things. So I went over to go through their hand luggage and tell them what to do at the airport. My mum had listened to all of my advice. 10/10 on the hand luggage. Then it was my dad’s turn…

Your mum said I can’t take food through. Yes you can. See Fiona, I told you, get them sausage rolls in my bag. Then, one by one he lifted each item out of his newly bought rucksack that he had requested for Fathers Day. Book, phone charger, glasses case. Ok, what about your pockets? I said. I’ve just got my wallet. Ok, well you need to take that out of your pocket and put it in the tray. and whilst you’re at it you need to take off your watch and your trainers. Jeeze Claire, my watch and my shoes? What if my wallet gets nicked? Dad you’ll be fine. My god that’s a right faff, you must get really pissed off at the airport doing all this?…Funnily enough dad only when I get stuck behind people like you. We laughed. Then he stopped…What do I do with these? What are they? My teeth. God help me, and them. Airport Security had no idea what was coming.

Then we moved onto the house / dog instructions.

Dad: Claire do you know how to lock the windows?

Me: What do you mean?

Dad: Do you know how to close and lock the windows?

Me: erm yes…

Dad: How do you close the window then?

Me: Is this a trick question? Pull it to and put the handle down?

Dad: and how do you lock it?

Me: Turn the key?

Dad: yep just checking.

Honestly I think they forgot that not only am I 33 years of age, but I did live in this house until the age of 18. and again from the age of 28 – 31 until my mum unceremoniously kicked me out during a menopausal hot flush.

Then my mum piped up

Mum: You need to make sure the dog has plenty of water and food, ok?. You need to give him fresh food and water everyday.

Me:You are kidding? This is brand new information. I would never have thought of that on my own mum.

Mum: Very smart Claire. When you come home from work you have to say hello to him. You can’t just walk in and smile at him. You have to say hello Alfie and stroke his head. Then you need to sit down, let him get on your knee, rub his face against yours and then you can tell him to get down.

For the love of god. ..Now this is the bit I was going to struggle with. Firstly stroking him when I walk into the room , I value my fingers thank you very much. Secondly allow him to rub his face against yours…say what now? This does not sit well with my personal space issues. I won’t let a human near me, why would I let the dog rub is furry face against mine? I’ll try I said…

Then off they went to the airport, a long goodbye to the dog they feared they would never see again thanks to me. Leaving me and the dog to get to know each other one on one. Now I could go into detail on the dog sitting, but I have actually written a separate doggy diary on that coming soon. However to give you a bit of a taster, My mums final text last night was…he might whine a bit, just ignore him, hes testing the water to go to bed with you! *flashback* to my entire dating life…Wish me luck, I think I may need it…..


First World Problems


The other day, I went to a pub. It was a pub I had never been to before and I ordered a diet coke. We only do Pepsi, will that do? came the reply! Well I was mortified, no Pepsi was not OK, what kind of second rate establishment was this!? Pepsi?!A poor mans coke!how dare they not serve my drink of choice, boy was I going to tweet about this when I got home! However instead of tweeting, it got me thinking of the first world problems that we encounter on a daily basis? After talking to some friends I managed to cobble together a list of 42 and felt the need to share 🙂

  1. Mondays
  1. Slow Internet service
  1. Running a bath too hot that you can only sit in it for 3 minutes before you start sweating, get a heartbeat in your buttock and have to get out
  1. Instagram is down – how will you know what everyone has had for lunch?
  1. Tidying up and putting the remote control on top of the TV- having to get out of bed to switch on the TV
  1. Going to the gym in January and not being able to get on a machine due to the New Year’s Resolution brigade
  1. Paint your nails, still can’t participate in life an hour later! Quick dry? Bull shit!
  1. Realising your phone only has 1% battery, but your phone charger doesn’t stretch to your bed
  1. Getting so caught up in a box set, that you do not realise it’s the last one of the series until it’s finished and you’ve not had time to effectively prepare for it’s end
  1. Sitting down to watch a programme on On Demand, getting through all the adverts, then, when it comes on realising you have already watched the episode!
  1. Crossing the road and having to walk around the back of a car to get past, only for the car to drive off leaving you walking the long way around an empty space
  1. Attempt exercise by power walking to the train station, fully expecting a rest at every traffic light- green man EVERYTIME
  1. When abroad, going out for dinner and realising the restaurant does not have free WIFI! How will people know what a great time you’re having?
  1. Going to the gym and realising you’ve forgotten your headphones
  1. When you get up to watch This Morning and realise it’s Ruth and Eamon presenting
  1. Trying to remember your passwords when using an actual computer and not your phone!?
  1. Having to balance an iPad on your tray table in business class, because not all American Airlines planes have inbuilt screens in the back of their seats
  1. Having to delete photos on your phone to create space but not knowing which ones you may need to refer back to in the future?
  1. Having a shower in a hotel and having to peel the shower curtain of you every 2 minutes
  1. Your biscuit is too big to dip in your tea
  1. Too bored to sit in alone, too tired to go out and meet people
  1. Wanting to delete annoying people of Facebook, but then what would you screen shot and send to your friends?
  1. Sends a long humour filled text, gets a one word response!!
  1. Lost your phone? it’s on silent
  1. Saw something funny, walked past it before you could snapchat it
  1. Wake up think it’s Friday, realise it’s Wednesday
  1. Need to go to the shop…already taken off your bra
  1. Nipping back to your hotel room to go to the loo, find the maid cleaning your room
  1. Jump in an outdoor pool, realise it’s not heated
  1. Write an epic tweet, it’s 143 characters
  1. Spend hours doing your hair for a night out, the humidity kills it in 3 seconds flat
  1. Finding the cosy warm spot in your bed, need a wee
  1. You’ve eaten too much and now you feel uncomfortable 
  1. Forget you’re watching a recording, could have fast forwarded the adverts
  1. Forgot what you went upstairs for, remembered when you get down
  1. Spending months planning your viewing on the Glastonbury app! Phone dies 3hrs and 27minutes into Wednesday!!!!
  1. Only having 15seconds to decide if you want to watch the next episode on Netflix, too slow, lose another hour of life
  1. Taking a sneaky picture of the boy you fancy, realising your flash is on
  1. Post a funny status. Not one like.
  1. Your iPhone autocorrects haha to Hahahahahahahahahahah, and it wasn’t even funny
  1. Drink a mouth full of water, realise it’s sparkling
  1. Your local shop doesn’t sell taramasalata, realise you’re probably going to have to move

Go on tell me, what are your #firstworldproblems

Commuter Drams…


A long time ago, I wrote a blog about learning to drive. I was 28, it was about time I stopped falling asleep on trains and dribbling on windows! Driving was going to be the thing I was good it. I couldn’t wait for the summer – I was going to get in the car, roll the windows down, turn up the volume on my Usher Confessions CD and cruise the streets. The world would be my oyster. I had it all planned out. Yet fast forward to two years later and those dreams have failed to materialise. Yes I tried. I managed to squeeze in a whole 10 lessons, before I confused driving my dads’ car with driving a dodgem (Apparently smashing into a high kerb, avoiding a parked car and spinning 360 degrees to face the way I came is not considered a success outside the dodgem circuit! Who knew?) Surprisingly, I have never attempted to drive again which means I am still in commuter hell. Every day I am faced with drama, caused by incompetent train companies and annoying rail users. It makes me mad and full of unnecessary rage even before I have started my working day. How hard can it be to make a train run on time? The weather is not an excuse, we live in the UK it rains, it snows, leaves fall from trees, it happens every year. Deal with it. And don’t even get me started on Train revenue protection officers! I mean Train revenue protection officers? We all know that is a made up job title for over hyped, angry at the world, I hate my life, men and women, who search out arguments so that they feel they have achieved something with their day.

Just before Christmas, I had a run in with one of these so called Train Revenue Protection Officers (let’s call him Dave). I was late leaving work one evening due to the fact there was a bottle of Prosecco to be consumed and only 2 of us to drink it. I didn’t have time to get a ticket so I thought I would buy one on arrival at the station. However when I did, I was chased by Dave who shoulder barged me off course and called the police. Apparently buying a ticket post travel is worse than not buying a ticket at all. I was surrounded by 3 police officers who kept telling me to buy a ticket (erm… I have a ticket) and Dave who kept shouting at me. In my prosecco haze I was torn between crying and being incredibly sarcastic. However, unlike Dave the police had real life handcuffs so I caught myself before I said anything I could be arrested for. Dave took my address and I was sent on my merry way. Prosecco high ruined by a man that wanted to use his new notepad and pen. As you can guess Train Revenue Protection Officers are not my favourite people in the world. However, fellow commuters can be just as annoying.

How do people not know what is acceptable when travelling on a train? Surely there is unspoken train etiquette? I manage to adhere to it every day why can’t others? A simple list of silent, yet implicit rules for us all to abide by? No? Well, let me list them for you so there can be no doubt

  1. If you are not travelling to work, do not board a commuter train! Especially if you are going on holiday. No-one wants to see that. Some of us get this train every morning and you jumping on all smiles, taking our seats is annoying. Get another train, or better still take a taxi.
  2. I get this train every day, you get this train every day, and we see each other every day, DO NOT try and sit in the seat I sit in EVERY DAY. You will not win this battle, I have elbows and I am not afraid to use them.
  3. Do not engage in any form of activity that involves repetitive movement. Knitting, leg jostling, finger clicking. Quite frankly it’s annoying (and causes me anxiety).
  4. Don’t sit on the person next to you – this happens to me literally every day. If my hip was a seat trust me I would charge the extortionate rates that rail companies do for you to sit on it! Back off; remain within your seating square. If you don’t fit, stand. Simple.
  5. If there are 300 people standing so close that they are licking face, your bags do not need a seat. Move them.
  6. Wash – it’s not hard. Basic human etiquette teaches us to wash each day. If you don’t want to do it for yourself think of others? On the way home on Friday I was sat next to the smelliest family. In fact I couldn’t stop itching; I’m convinced they had fleas. I had to do some serious exfoliating when I got home. Grim
  7. If I am stood at the platform waiting for the train, don’t stand in front of me and take my space. I am not stood here train spotting. Don’t be so rude, some of us have been waiting patiently for ages.
  8. Don’t talk before 8am and if you do, don’t talk loud enough that I can hear you through my earphones. No one cares.
  9. Following on from point 5, don’t discuss your drama on the phone. ‘NOOO, he never….she didn’t, no way! Yes, yes she did. If you are going to insist on shouting gossip across the train the least you can do is put your phone on speaker phone so we can hear both sides of the story. Play fair.
  10. Don’t read my paper over my shoulder. You’re making me feel uncomfortable breathing down my ear. It’s a bloody free paper get your own.

It seems simple doesn’t it? 10 points born from common sense, yet every commuter seems to lose that when they step onto a train. We need to educate, we need to hand out leaflets so people know the rules. I am begging you all out there to spread this information. Make it go viral. Help me, help others. Don’t make me learn to drive again! My dad’s nerves can’t handle it. The car suspension can’t handle it. Let’s make commuter trains bearable, smell free and silent. And once we have done that we can work on taking down train revenue protection officers.

30 it’s all a big joke until it happens to you…


So it is coming up to a year since my last blog and I would like to say it’s because I have been far too busy to document the truly fabulous time I have had over the last year. However, in reality, there are only so many entries you can write that cover, girl meets (shit) boy. Girl’s mum thinks she’s a lesbian. Girl goes to watch boy band, before you end up crying into the fur of your cat wondering where it all went so wrong! Nevertheless, 8 days ago I turned 30, the big 3-0, the big 29+1 and I felt I needed to record this momentous occasion.

I would like to say I took turning 30 on the chin with good grace and humour. However, I would be lying, I went into meltdown. I became a nervous wreck.30 seemed so old, so final and the age where I totally expected to have my shit together. My 20 year old self was going to be so disappointed with the outcome. I remember as a 14year old going to my cousins 18th birthday and seeing all of the older girls drinking and dancing and vowing to myself that even though I never wanted to get married or have children, I was not going to go out drinking after the age of 26! It was far too old to be gracing the pubs and clubs in my black trousers and silver disc belt. I was going to be mature and demure and grow old gracefully! Fast forward 16 years and I spent the journey home from my 30th birthday celebrations, throwing up in the back of a taxi into a gold coloured gift bag! Hardly the straight laced, moralistic goody-goody image I had predicted for myself. Balls!

In the weeks leading up to my birthday I asked my mum to locate my birth certificate to check that there hadn’t been a mistake. I had booked tickets to One Direction as a birthday present to myself. I don’t like red wine and olives, something wasn’t adding up. I couldn’t possibly be 30. I demanded a recount. I fully expected to wake up on the day of my birthday like Tom Hanks in Big (not a man but a child in a grown up’s body) People expect more from you at 30. You can’t be flippant, blame mistakes on being in your 20’s, you have to stop looking like you borrowed your mum’s suits and look like you own them! I was not ready for this level of commitment to life. So I panicked, I moaned, I lay awake at night wondering whether there would be a seismic shift in life. Would this be automatic? Would it be a conscious shift? And more importantly would I still be able to attract no hoper 26 year old men with no morals and a fear of commitment? Shit just got real!

In all honesty as my mum and dad burst through my door at 630am on the morning of my birthday I felt no different and wondered what I had made a fuss about! I cursed at them for waking me up, I told them to turn the light off and I moaned that every gift had some reference to being 30. It was just like being 16 again. Brilliant. I had the MOST amazing day, I was centre of attention, I got to control the radio at work and I got loads of presents. What more could a girl want! I went to bed that evening full of cake, hope and excitement. I had this turning 30 malarkey nailed. Then I woke up…Wednesday 4th June, no singing, no banners, nobody rushing to hug me, no cake. I was just an average 30 year old on a morning in June that lived with her parents, and had nothing but a 30 year old balloon and teddy bear to keep warm at night! Now that sucked!

As the dread of 30 began to seep in once again, I sought solace in my friends who had already hit the milestone and asked for guidance. Some were less sympathetic than others, but between them and my 8 days of experience I managed to work out some pretty important things about turning 30 that will help me through my 30th year.

Lesson 1, 30 is hard and everyone knows it

People really make an effort to celebrate your 30th. I had never received so many messages, presents or hugs for any of my birthdays before. Everyone who I wanted to commiserate with turned up for my celebrations (minus a few people who had more than valid excuses) and everyone went out of their way to make sure I enjoyed myself. To those that think my breakdown was unnecessary, I am adamant all these people made the extra effort because they know how shit turning 30 is. Everybody knows it is hard – let’s stop pretending. Lesson: Having a breakdown about turning 30 is totally acceptable, everyone does it

Lesson 2 – It could be worse

People refer to it as your flirty 30’s which is perhaps the most depressing thing I have ever heard. Not only because I have been flirting with boys about my smelly feet since the dawn of time, so, turning 30 isn’t going to change my inappropriate chat. But because 30 sounds old and it makes me think of Paddy off Britain’s got talent flirting with Nico! So so so wrong! Well, that was until my friend said it could be worse – you could be in your nifty fifties – Lesson: There is always someone worse off than yourself.

Lesson 3 – If your 20 to 29 no-one wants to hear it

I had a couple of younger friends who thought it was hilarious to make jokes about death and being a cougar! Turns out when you turn 30 not so funny I started to panic! Lesson: Laugh it off and cut them out until they realise the seriousness of their claims

Lesson 4 – Hangovers get worse

I thought I had hit the pinnacle of hangover hell when I made the transition from 24 to 25. Hell no! Once you turn 30 you enter a whole world of pain that takes days to get over! I am on day 4 since my birthday night out and I still feel rough! I wish I had paid more attention to my 14 year old self and never left the house from 26 onwards. – Lesson: Be Drink aware

Lesson 5 – Never ever fly on a hangover

Largely connected to lesson 4, I learnt this the hard way on Sunday. Having got out of bed at 4pm – 1 hour before my pick up to the airport on Sunday I was not fully equipped to deal with the level of eloquence required to travel. My god taxi drivers can talk and getting through security is a ball ache. Especially when they ask you to take most of your clothes off whilst they search you (alcohol sweats mixed with a fear of projectile vomiting is not a good look) Oh and of course there was the 80 question survey followed by the plane crèche. I mean seriously they could not have got any more children on that flight. I thoroughly enjoyed the chorus of screaming children as it dominoed down the plane #saidnooneever Lesson: Hangovers get worse, never fly on one!

Lesson 6 – Biological clock and maternal instincts

Turns out it’s not just a ploy by men to get out of relationships, women do develop maternal instincts! I swear mine kicked in 4 days after 30 which has scared the living day lights out of me! I suddenly think babies are cute and want to hold them. I’ll keep you posted on how to shirk the maternal instincts as soon as I know how. I am not nor will I ever be comfortable with this new phase. – Lesson: Accept you might start to think babies are appealing (I was just sick in my mouth)

Lesson 7 – Trivial things become less important

When you turn 30 you stop stressing over the little stuff. Things that were once a big deal are no longer of a concern and you stop wasting your time on insignificant people. (mainly because you start to realise you are running out of time. JOKES) People do treat you differently and are more open to listening to your opinions. This is the thing I feared the most about turning 30, having to know what I am talking about. However, it turns out you become less concerned with what people think and become more comfortable in your own skin – so even if you don’t know what you’re talking about you are better at pretending you do. Awesome Lesson: Don’t sweat the small stuff, and the big stuff will sort itself out

Lesson 8 – It’s ok to like boy bands

Ok, so actually it’s not but I am putting this in to make myself feel better. Deal with it

Lesson 9 – it’s ok to fancy people younger than you

See lesson 8

Lesson 10 – perhaps the most important lesson of all

NO ONE HAS their shit together! So don’t panic about it. So what if you don’t have the husband, the 2.4 children, the dream house and the perfect job by 30. All this stuff is a myth. Just because that’s what society (Disney) told you 30 would be like! Its 2014, get over it. Plus anyone that does have that life doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing either. It is ok to feel like a duck out of water sometimes, to not have any idea what you are doing or what you want to do with your life! Live for YOUR moment not for the moment society shoe horns you in! People might look like they know what they are doing but no one knows the right or wrong way. Lesson: we are all just winging it.

So although I am not overly comfortable with turning 30, in fact you could say I am still in shock. I have learnt 10 very important lessons in the last 8 days. Some, more important than others but lessons all the same. I have come to the conclusion at 30 that the little stuff doesn’t matter anymore. It is ok to freak out that you are getting old because it happens to everyone. You don’t suddenly wake up one morning and feel 30 (although it is taking me longer to get out of bed in the morning) you can be 30 and still feel 22. More importantly you should not compare yourself to other people. It is your story and everybody’s journey is different. It’s not about what you know or who you know or what you possess at 30. In fact collecting memories is actually more important than collecting material items – which is pretty lucky considering I only own a spoon and a knife. Wow… my 20 year old self would be so impressed. 30 made me so wise!

Blazing Squad quote ‘see you at the crossroads crossroads crossroads’ unquote


For those of you that follow me on twitter or are lucky enough to enjoy my facebook statuses you will know that I was made redundant a couple of weeks ago. It came completely out of the blue without warning and as a result from Friday I will be joining the dole queue with the rest of society’s greats.

As with anything like this, it causes you to stop and take stock of your life and think about what you really want. Is event management what I want to be doing? After all, my degree is in Politics and History and I have a Masters in British Politics and Parliamentary Studies. It was not exactly in my grand plan to enter events (I was going to single handedly change the world through my love of confrontation), and it certainly wasn’t in my mothers. I remember her asking me one day

‘What is it you do? Do you just like book a room and make sandwiches for people, that’s an awful lot of money you’ve wasted on education to make sandwiches?’

Hmm…Yes I am a glorified sandwich maker. Nothing like a supportive conversation with your mother to make you feel good about what you do! But if I can’t even get my mother to understand what an event manager does what chance have I got with others? A few years ago I worked in-house as an event executive for a law firm. To say it was a challenge was an understatement. Most people didn’t really understand what an event was or what my role was. As a result the things I was asked to do ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime. My favourite ever request was when I was asked by a partner of the firm, if I could go to an event for him, collect a glass of champagne on his behalf and keep his seat warm until he arrived. As you can imagine I got a little bit mad that day but managed to keep my cool long enough to politely decline stating I had to organise an all singing all dancing networking event for 300 people on a budget of £3,000. Apparently if you look under the definition of event manager it means ‘glorified sandwich maker with seat warming capabilities’

Whenever I speak to anyone and tell them what I do for a living, their initial reaction is that sounds so glamorous, travelling the world and partying with celebrities. Except in reality it isn’t all diamonds and ice sculptures (clearly OK magazine has given people a warped view of event reality). The event can be in any hotel anywhere in the world, it does not make a difference. The likelihood of you leaving the event office (usually in a basement with no natural daylight) and seeing anything of the country is slim to none. A hotel / conference centre is the same wherever you go. Further, the run up to an event can be so stressful. You can find yourself working 17 hour days, surviving on pro – plus and your last nerve just to get through your emails never mind organising the actual logistics of an event. Sleep becomes a distant memory and I know of numerous event managers that sleep with a notepad by their bed for the inevitable middle of the night panic where you recall everything you still need to do. And god forbid you have any speakers at your event that you require power point presentations from. Even if you ask for those 3 weeks in advance the likelihood is you will receive them less than 2 hours prior to the event, in which time you have to get he AV company to load them up, make time for a speaker rehearsal, make changes, run through the order whilst conducting a pre-con with the hotel, trying to calm down your client who has usually gone into melt down at this point whilst, directing early arrivals to the nearest toilet/ cloakroom/ coffee station. Essentially you have to be good at spinning plates and being in 17 different places at once without breaking a sweat or losing your smile. Easy!

But what would I do if I didn’t do events? I really enjoyed Glastonbury and would do anything to repeat that. However, I think I would be making a definite life style choice if I was to sit in a park listening to music and drinking cider, and it probably wouldn’t be one that society would approve of.

I sometimes think I would like to be a writer for a magazine, but then I realise I am not articulate enough nor do I have the attention span to consider it a profession. Instead the odd foray into blogging when I am bored will have to satisfy that notion. Or maybe I should revisit the politics route? Yet that would mean moving to London on a pitiful salary and living with 17 polish people just to afford the rent on the outskirts of London and never leaving the house. As appealing as that sounds, I also think my ego would much prefer to be a big fish in a little pond as the other way round.

There is literally nothing else I would rather do than events. It is all I have ever known in my 10 year working life! As much as I moan and groan about it, there is nothing more exciting than seeing that original brief turn into an event, whether it is a board meeting for 20 to a conference for 300 or an awards ceremony for 900. To know that all the blood sweat and tears (sometimes literal) has been worthwhile and to see happy delegates and happy clients makes you instantly forget any problems you may have had in the lead up. I know I am not changing the world with what I do, I am not a doctor or a professor and my work does not make a difference to the majority of society but I enjoy it. I like meeting new people, hearing their stories, building relationships and taking those forward. I love to hate the long days the difficult clients and the ridiculous requests. And I love nothing more than being onsite and having to run on adrenaline, make snap decisions and react to any given situation (even if that situation is a roof collapsing on a delegate, true story) So as the saying goes as one door closes, another one opens. I just hope that another one opens into events so that I can continue to rack up the ridiculous stories for my memoires 🙂