Today is the first morning here we haven’t put the heating on. It’s cold! But it’s okay.
We’ve done loads as ever, rushing around like mad and getting to loads of new places. We also seem to have eaten a vast quantity of chips.
One big progression, we decided not to take the flexibath (which still gets a lot of use at home despite H being so tall) and she’s started taking showers! This may have involved a Moshi Monsters tattoo bribe or two….
We also managed to completely miss the army firing range right next to the site! Which I find kind of funny, how can you miss something like that?! It’s like someone letting off fireworks.
It is lovely and quiet and we’re getting sleep which is what we all need.
I’m also happy I bought some internet as it works in our caravan which it didn’t last tme (though was free and unlimited) – good job as my Everything Everywhere (to be rechristened not very much in most places) reception is rubbish.
Twitter ID: @MumFriendlyJo (less chatty stuff) @schmindieblogs (chatty stuff) – though having said that I’m always getting them mixed up. I also occasionally post using @dadfriendly but only as I’ve not had a chance to build the site yet (so that points to Mum Friendly)
Height: 5 foot 10 though according to my sister I’m shrinking
Hair: Brown and Grey
Eyes: Four when there’s computers around
Is this your first blogging conference?
Second, I’m including BlogCamp London as my first.
Are you attending both days?
What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2013?
I’ve got four bloggers (Rachel, Sonya, Lucy and Lynn) staying here on the Friday night, so I think I’m most looking forward to heading there on Saturday and meeting with other bloggers locally (Hannah and Beka) so we’re all in one big group where we all know each other. If you’re heading up from the Croydon/Sutton area and want to meet at Clapham Junction or Waterloo just shout.
What are you wearing?
Probably a Uniqlo t-shirt and some jeans.
What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2013?
Confidence, ideas, progression, friends. I’m shy, though you wouldn’t think so, as I don’t shut up. Inside I’m shaking but outside I’m overtalking, usually telling myself to shut up.
Tell us one thing about you that not everyone knows
I am one of those people who have been on Top of the Pops and been tapped on the shoulder and asked to stand in a certain place to be moved even further into the background (I can only assume it must be down to my natural beauty clashing with Jayne Middlemiss or Kate Thornton – I can’t remember who the presenter was). You can see me dance when Cast play ‘Beat Mama’ which fortunately seems to have disappeared from YouTube.
Tomorrow we’re going on holiday. We actually don’t get there until Monday, and while that would sound (to anyone who didn’t know us) like we were going to Australia, we’re not.
We’re heading back to Devon Cliffs as we liked it so much last year – and although we went in mid-June last year the weather sounds quite similar – rainy! Although we did a day trip to Lyme Regis and Pecorama and got blazing hot sun at the latter, rain at the former.
The forecast is rain and cloud, but that’s okay. We have plenty to do, some of which will be the following :
Bristol – a walk around the woods near Ashton Court (if the weather is good)
Pizza at Beerd (recommendation from Rachel there)
Wookey Hole (I haven’t been since around 1983 or 84 so remember nothing and found Sonya’s review so I know it’ll be good for us all – and they take Love2Shop vouchers for your entry fee!)
A day in Torquay (I’ve never been, we want to go to Babbacombe Model Village as well as some other sights around there. I’m also liking the idea of the shopping centre they recommend with quirky shops in it)
Bicton Botanical Gardens (as they’re near Devon Cliffs and we didn’t go last year)
Castle Drogo (I’ve read an article or seen a tv programme about them upgrading the roof and missed out on it last year)
The Devon County Show (we’re meeting with Rachel and co)
EUROVISION! (non-negociable, fortunately we’re at Rachel’s house by then and she wants to as well)
Stonehenge (on the way home as it’s free if you’re National Trust members)
The Vyne near Basingstoke (if we’re not too late, as a last stop before the last bit of the journey home)
We’re also having one day to use the facilities at Devon Cliffs as we’ve not bothered in our last two Haven stays – so we’re going to swim, have a game of something, dine in their pub and bar areas, build sandcastles (if it isn’t raining although I’m willing even if it is) and go to a kids disco. H has a Moshi Monsters glittery t-shirt for the disco dancing which of course means she’ll be too shy and will cry because she didn’t do it once we get home, probably.
So the self-enforced no-internet time. I have a better phone and can pick up my gmail, but I purposely don’t check my Zen email on it. The Apple gadgets all do that so I figure I can get to places with free internet such as the pub and bar areas of the site. I get around 200 gmail emails a day. Gulp. This won’t be as strict as my 24 hours without as we’ll need internet for directions and opening hours information, but it’s going to be drastically reduced.
I actually can’t wait. No internet! No work emails! (although there’s nobody covering my work while I’m off but I’m not thinking about that right now) It’s going to be great. I can’t wait. I just wish we had better weather, though I’m hoping this will mean we get to do loads of stuff. Right now I’d better start packing… we’ve written a few lists and I’m purposely packing light this year. Only essentials – and waterproofs… anything else we can buy from the Spar on-site as it’s cheap. Sorted!
Ahh my girl, the person I miss the most all day and long to be back with her every night, missing her terribly while I’m at work.
That’s the same little girl who makes me laugh too much, especially when I shouldn’t. Discipline and me need a bit of work, though she’ll never face the kinds of punishment I did (I was often slippered or smacked)
Yesterday at soft play H made friends with two new children, as well as her best friend M. They played chinese whispers, and my friend (in her infinite wisdom) chose H to start.
H whispered to M, who whispered to the other child and on it goes. The final child whispers back to H and we say “ohh! Ho ho! Tell us what she said then!!”
H replies, with deadly straight face “the same thing”
I ask her what that was
“I can’t tell you mummy, it’s a secret”
Eventually I manage to get the information from her. All H’s pals in their little den now know that “mummy has a smelly bum” apparently. No wonder they were laughing at me… good job I can take it..
Later on we had some friends over and I drew the chalk road in our back yard to play ‘roads’ while we still have three scooters. On the road there’s a line to stop when you declare what light the traffic light is, and on the other side there’s a zebra crossing so if someone waits to cross you must stop to let them over the road. I had to laugh – H got SO frustrated (and it was really funny) as her friend J crossed over the zebra crossing about twenty times non-stop with a huge smile on his face – while H got angrier and angrier, more and more frustrated with what was happening, telling tales to me as “he wasn’t playing by the rules” – she’s a stickler for the rules is my girl.
Having said that, she waited to cross the ‘road’ and stepped out in front of him before he had time to stop. She looked really upset after they’d bumped into each other, proper tears streaming down her face. Proper tears of sadness.
I cuddled her and asked her the crucial question, was she crying about J bumping into her because it hurt, or was she crying because he broke the rules? Of course, it was the latter. Like I said, she’s a stickler for the rules is my girl….
Today at work I was stood next to one of the skinny girls. She doesn’t think she’s skinny (either?) and someone commented “wow! You’re disappearing!”
Granted, I sit at my desk all day and don’t stand up as often as I should, but still.
I thought she was talking to the other girl – I grinned and nodded at her, then realised she was in fact talking about ME.
That was quite a nice thing to hear. I’ve had it quite a lot. It’s weird. I’m not used to people being nice to me. I don’t know what to say back! I shyly say “thank you” and inwardly think “but I’m still me… I really am not any different”.
I have to say, at first it felt good to lose all the weight, and seeing people’s surprised faces when they hadn’t seen me for months (my sister’s one was a picture) – and I’m enjoying buying clothes where I’m no longer an XL and more a M or L (depending on what it is). But it’s weird. It’s something I can’t get my head around.
I know it probably looked a bit braggy me going on about my weight loss over on Mum Friendly, but it was part of the campaign and to show it worked – for me – and I was back in control of things. I’ve let it lapse a bit, though we’re so active these days I’m sure I’m walking it off. This is the other side of it, the ‘no pressure to write anything but I am anyway’ side. It was such a personal thing to do and to share, and I know I never go into any great depth, I have to keep some of myself for me and not tell the world everything. The one thing which has remained constant is my weight – and that’s over two months.
I almost feel like there’s two of me. There’s the me I write about who did well losing weight and came out the other side and is keeping it off, and there’s the me who doesn’t believe it actually happened and how come the fat girl is wearing thin girl clothes and don’t be ridiculous I can’t be a 14, their labels must be generous or I look ridiculous from the back so I should bury myself in larger clothes.
See, that’s probably the difficult bit. You can lose the weight, get the haircut, buy the clothes and it all helps, but I can’t do anything to get a new personality. I’ll always be the one who gets talked over (and I’m as guilty as the next person of doing it and I apologise) and I don’t have it in me to shout back or tell people to listen, I’ll always be the insignificant one, but you know, I can live with that. It’s not my number one priority – me. If someone could just bop me on the head and tell me to stop being an idiot that would be great, but I’m not sure it’s a permanent fix. If someone could bop the people who do that on the head at the same time that would be appreciated too.
One thing the psychic reading told me last week was I don’t spend enough time with Shaun – just the two of us, a date night. We had a lovely day while H was at nursery on my birthday and enjoyed each others company. We wandered around the village, in the local shops and had nothing to rush around for, and it was great. All our spare time is eaten up with family time or meeting friends, and our ‘us’ time is non-existent (apart from films or tv nights at home). I’m not complaining, but I know we have to start thinking about getting out more and doing more things. Our first one in a year and a half will be our tenth wedding anniversary when we go to see The Breeders play. It’ll be our first gig together in almost four years.
That sounds crazy considering it was music which brought us together in the first place – had Kristin Hersh not sorted out that Throwing Muses gig in San Francisco, and had we not all persuaded Shaun to travel from Australia then we’d never have met twelve years ago. Thursday May 24th was the night we got together. Thursday June 19th was the day we got married. I was born on a Thursday too.
Thursday. Makes me think of this song by Morphine. This year I really will start to sort myself out.
It’s obvious, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to think of. As you may or may not know, I have been getting more and more annoyed at kids in band t-shirts when you know full well they haven’t a clue what they’re wearing.
H has the ‘What Would Joe Strummer Do?’ t-shirt from Nippaz With Attitude which a few friends flagged with me, going on my rules. They have a point, but considering Joe Strummer didn’t release an album called that (or at least if he did I’m not aware of it) complete with graphics like that (I’d say I’m fairly safe here), then it counts. Funny nods to the music your parents like that you may have heard are borderline acceptable – like the Colic Youth shirt they do – they’re funny and aren’t to be taken too seriously.
This is my adequate solution. You see, having worked in music for so long now, H has to listen to music I like alongside ones she does. So far she’s liked some things (particularly an Echo and the Bunnymen drumbeat) and hasn’t disliked a lot. We’re easing her in gently so she doesn’t get too angry, and we’re set to do a fair bit of driving soon so we’ll be choosing songs we all like.
Having worked in music means I know some of the bands – which in turn means H knows them too, and their children – and two immediately spring to mind. H has heard their music and liked it, and can’t get her head around the fact they’re singing on YouTube – step forward Emma from Lush and of course Rachel from Mojave 3, Slowdive and her own fabulous solo album. H isn’t at the stage of singing any of their songs yet, but I’m looking forward very soon to the time she’ll wear a ‘Split’ or ‘Souvlaki’ t-shirt and will know the music as well as knowing one of the people behind the music.
Now THAT feels right. Rachel’s solo album has a lovely sleeve – she has the picture on her wall and I love it. I think a t-shirt based on that would be GREAT!
and I’m rubbish, I don’t get time to comment anywhere else as I keep going out, leaving me virtually no internet ‘me’ time. At all.
Sunday – I don’t think we did much, we can’t remember. I got two pictures of H though.
Monday – back to work, and nothing of note.
Tuesday – Work again, though I was extremely excited as the reissue of ‘Last Splash’ by The Breeders came in stock, and there was my thank you in black and white. It feels proper now. Nearly time to see them live! Pilates was in the evening, then off to Hannah’s house of Caterpillar Tales where I’ve set her up as self hosted (we’ve just got to transfer a lot of large images over then it’s done!)
Wednesday – a glorious sunny day, no playgroup in the morning, we lazed around before meeting up with friends for soft play, then H’s swimming lesson which ended in tears (she slipped over), before we walked home through the park.
Thursday – back to work, I had a meeting in Shoreditch which I was really annoyed to find had been placed in Zone 1 so they can make some money from those of us with 2-5 travelcards (it used to be Zone 2) – though taking the Overground from Clapham Junction was good and quick. Later on Karen and I went to the Moshi Monsters 5th Birthday Party at their HQ which was LOADS of fun and also where I had the psychic reading.
Friday – tired. Work. Home. H had her first night without a pull-up which went okay. We’re letting her decide what she wants to do, and last night she wanted a pull up again so we’ll see how it goes. For some reason this prevented me from sleeping properly. I’m a weirdo.
Saturday – a blogger event at Blackwood Forest for Forest Holidays – I fell in love with the place and would love to stay there. I just checked and a weekend before Christmas would be £480… tempting. The cabins were really warm with under-floor heating which is what appeals the most… now to look for deals…
Last night we went to the Moshi Monsters 5th Birthday Party where I queued for a psychic reading. The lady in question has been on tv and has various celebrity clients, and it’s something I’ve had an interest in for a while now but kind of wanted to disprove as I don’t know how I believe it; a bit like, I want to believe in ghosts but until I see one I can’t believe in them? Does that make sense?
So last night I had a reading. I’m in a good place right now. A Very good place. The reading took 25 minutes and I found it really positive. H is an ‘old soul’ – I think I already knew that.
At one point the lady mentioned H’s full name – I said “hang on, I didn’t say her name, how did you know?” she told me she just knew. Talk of the spirits around me and so on, and I had to ask at the end about my dad. Again, positive and things which I’ve never talked about came up, and I’ve come away feeling much more at peace about things. Things that she can’t have known.
I also mentioned what Shaun and I are doing on our anniversary next month, and she said “oh wonderful” and pretended to know the band we were going to see – I did say “you don’t really know them!!” (as they’re not mainstream) and she admitted she didn’t – but I could tell she was just saying it… she says I’ve a good energy and I felt really comfortable around her too.
So yes, without revealing a thing, it was a pretty incredibly experience. One I’d like to do again. My tarot cards were read and again all positive. She picked up on the rubbish last year and a half we’ve had and how things have picked up massively this year too. I guess that could be general, but it is also true.
Today I found out there’s a huge chance H’s first two weeks of school will be half days. This is mainly to get her used to it, and get used to being with her new friends, but still. It gets worse though… one friend has had her initial days in – a week of mornings, then a week of mornings with lunch, then finally a full week of full days.
I can understand why they do it – it’s a big step. BUT. What are us parents meant to do? I work half an hour away (on a good day, it’s more like 45) and will hopefully change my hours to suit school in September. But will work let me work hardly any hours to accommodate this? See, I’m very much of the thought that why should my work have to accommodate this? Why should school offer this? H has been at nursery (and the preschool room) from 7.30 until 5.30 every day since she’s been nine months. She’s used to it – and it won’t be a huge upheaval (unless she’s not in the same class as her friends)…
One mum asked about it and was told there’d be a list of suggested child minders who would cover the schools – which makes me feel a bit like banging my head on a desk – why take her out of her current nursery if they can’t start her in the same way she’s used to?
I know school is different, and I’ve also found out that they start later as they do home visits (oh wow…!) – but this potentially means our last getaway before school starts can happen in term time which is good, as I want to do something, and wanted it to be quiet.
There’s such a lot going on, and we’re on the four-month countdown – H turning four, starting school, me potentially going back to five days a week work (rather than four), there’s such a lot to think about. I envy people who can work from home right now.
Of course, as we’ve not yet had an offer from H’s school I’ve no idea what we’ll be told. Maybe she will just start full-time straight away. I’ll take it all back and breathe a huge sigh of relief if so…