Saturday, 30 January 2010

The one where the public made me feel like a blogging tweeting freak...

This week I led a Twitter workshop at a clients conference. The aim was simply to teach the basics of how to sign up, find some peeps to tweet with and then to let them loose.
I was prepared. I had slides and everything. 

They listened, asked sensible questions, asked not so sensible questions - but that was the point... right?

Then I lost them...

Someone asked how you can be sure that the people you are tweeting with aren't crazy axe murderers....

"Well...." I answered... "obviously there are a certain amount of nutters out there but I feel that personally I have found an amazing group of people, with whom I have become very good friends."


Then someone at the back piped up.... "What you have actually met them?"

"Oh, yes - lots of times, I 'speak' to them everyday and I had some of them come to stay over the holidays..."

Stoney silence...

I looked around and it was that point that I realised that the whole room thought that I was a total and utter freak.

The lesson to be learned here people is that the general population clearly pitch blogging and tweeting on the same scale as internet dating (not that there is anything wrong with that - before someone attacks me!).
Not surprisingly the workshop kind of wrapped itself up pretty quickly after that.

Was it me? Did I imagine their narrow minded response? 

I came away feeling a little odd. I questioned myself and my feelings but I'm confident that I've found a pretty amazing group of  friends online. Yes there are spats between bloggers - but we are all very opinionated and we do spend a lot of time talking to each other!

Have you had similar experiences when talking about your blogging or tweeting? 
Can you imagine what they would have said if I'd told them that all my buddies are turning into Blythe dolls? Straight jackets for sure!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Introducing Rosie of Scribble..

Firstly this is where I apologise to all of my readers and Twitter followers that have become Blythe obsessed since I started going on and on and on about her....Only in the last hour there have been two new additions to the sisterhood in @WivesDaughters who is complaining that first I turned her into a Stokke freak and now a Blythe freak too... 
And if you could rely on anyone to jump on the bandwagon well that would be @lolas_mum who is simply not content with laughing at my daily misfortunes..
I do have to say though - that if ever a Blythe looked like her owner (want to say dog but..) well hello - they really are twins.
So without getting side tracked even more - here she is... my beautiful new girl... 
Big Blythe respect to whoever can tell me which original Blythe she was before her customisation! 
I have named her Rosie of Scribble, after the original BMB Blythe babe @RosieScribble who is currently sporting blonde locks with pink glasses!
How ever will Liz @Livingwithkids and Karin @cafebebe cope with so many of us looking the same?!

In a show of solidarity to her 1972 roots, Rosie has commissioned her very own Stokke® Tripp Trapp® - and boy does it rock!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Memory Monday Meme

I know that I only posted like 5 mins ago... but that was a spur of the moment thing and my new Memory Monday meme has been waiting for the day that starts with..... M....

Yes this is a new meme and it is totally and utterly inspired by Tara at Sticky Fingers and her photo meme. I was tagged and paid attention to all of the other bloggers who had been tagged.... They all said that they had such a tough time choosing that one, extra special pic - I know I did. So I got to thinking.....what about a day of sharing? A day of memories.... be they words or pictures...
So for my first Memory Monday I'm taking you back to the 70's with a snippet of one of my favourite TV shows.
I know this is a totally UK - 70 to 75 birth date specific post but hell..... It's my meme and I'll cry if I want to... and I choose to share the best kids TV show of all time... The Pipkins....
I found this on You Tube - but it won't let me embed it... click the link - you won't be sorry...

But who can name the characters?
All I have to do now is get tagging, so @alphamummy, @amodernmother, @rosiescribble, @cafebebe and @livingwithkids do your worst!
If you have a Memory Monday post that you would like to share - pop me a link back in a comment.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

I Got the Shiny Happy People meme....

Which is of course ironic - since I am THE most grumpy person that I know. So firstly thanks to Nickie at Typecast for well... typecasting me and secondly to my pink haired soul sister Rosie Scribble for having too much time on her hands and coming up with the meme in the first place.
The rules are..
1. Name a song that makes you happy - a song you would listen to if you needed a sudden injection of happiness;
2. Post an image that makes you smile. It can be anything - a silly photo, an image taken from the internet, anything that puts a smile on your face (and isn't too rude!).
So... being such a miserable cow is not all Morrissey and Portishead you know.... I have thought, pondered and wracked my brain searching for a tune so cool and intelligent - that would blow you all away - but the cold honest truth is that High School Musical is where it's at in my stereo (and every one in the house) right now!
FunnyGirl loves this song and we have re-created Troy and Gabriella's roof top dalliance around my bedroom on many occasions. This simple interlude and the memory from it that is etched inside me will never stop lifting the darkness.

'High School Musical 3' Can I Have This Dance? @ Yahoo! Video">

And if you can't stand that - then it really has to be a spot of The Smiths. 
I challenge anyone to find a place that HSM and Morrissey are referenced in the same edit but here I go! Even though I cried myself to sleep every night through my sixteenth year listening to the extended 12" version of this master piece in it's full orchestrated misery, it now offers me great comfort and warmth.... enjoy!
And as for an image.....

A girl and her daddy and the sheer love that I captured in this kiss. How could this image fail to melt my heart. My FunnyGirl and her daddy... every time I look at this image I wish that that kiss was shared with me..
I tag @lolas_mum @ilovemonty @20somethingmum @That_Kat  and @swhittle

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Happy Birthday. xx

I know that I have written about the challenges of a working mum many times before but today has been hard for me but even harder for ModelGirl. You see - today is her birthday and instead of being tucked up at home with her I'm in Barcelona.
I feel awful. I'm tired, worn out from the three days of meetings and the three nights of socialising with my colleagues from around the world. I feel as though I have let her down by not being there for her even though she is celebrating today with her friends, with me tomorrow and at her party on Saturday.
Who ever said that being a mum was easy?

At least the Blythe outfit that i had made for her in America arrived in time!

Friday, 15 January 2010

eeek... I knew I would get tagged...

I knew it was going to land with me at some point so thank you to the lovely MissLeslieanne for landing me before I was fully prepared and thanks to Tara from StickyFingers for coming up with the fab phote meme. It's been a tough job choosing as I have sooo many pics. But this is one of my all time favourites.
I love, love, love this picture of FunnyGirl. Those big brown eyes. Doesn't she look like butter wouldn't melt?

If only.............
So in the spirit of passing the buck I would like to tag Susanna at A Modern Mother, Sally at Whosthemummy and Liz at Livingwithkids. Good luck ladies, I wait with eager anticipation to see your favourite photos.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

On missing some of the more subtle bits

This post has been inspired by the brilliant writing workshop brought to us by Josie at sleep is for the Weak. I've wanted to submit something for ages but you know how time gets the better of you?
I've chosen prompt 2 as my inspiration;
Tell me about something you miss - a sound, a taste, a touch... something sensual that evokes powerful emotion. - Inspired by Tara's beautiful post in which she laments over time moving too fast: "The one where I learn to appreciate the little things".

At the end of last year I 'came out' to lots of people who had no idea about my 'secret' by writing a truly personal post on my journey with post natal depression and whilst I have alway said that if I could turn back the clock, I would still do what I did - the reality is that I miss many things about my old life.
Now at 37, I am nearing the point of having lived half of my life dealing with the lasting legacy of my depression.
When the summer sun fades and the cold, dark nights set in my mood slips and I start to struggle. I struggle with the rain and the cold and the snow and the effects that the elements have on my patched up body. But I keep my head down and keep on going. After all - I did this to myself.

I miss dancing.
And without the ability to dance a huge part of me went away forever. I miss the feeling that surges through my very essence as the fusion of movement and music take me far, far away. The heat of stage lights. The comfort of daily class, my body moving instinctively from years of re-visiting the same exercises day after day after day. The smell of a sweaty studio and the excitement that it promises and of course the aches, blisters and bruises that run so deep that they are part and parcel of who you are.

I miss bending my knees.
Even as a dancer I had never before considered that you can't bend your knees if your ankle doesn't work - and why would I? It's just one of those things that you take for granted.
But it doesn't you know and that means that I can't jump, lift heavy objects without wrecking my back or dig.
To be honest, the digging thing was actually a recent revelation and as it was the first time I'd attempted to dig a hole in the last fifteen years I am cheating by saying I miss it. But believe me, it came as a stark shock and one that I was totally unprepared for as I attempted to bury my cat.

I miss shoes.
I mean I really, really miss shoes and the joy that (I think) they bring. I look longingly at magazines and taunt myself with thoughts of 'what it' and 'if only...'
I dream of sky high shoe boots and Burberry Prorsum sandals, of brogues and ballerina flats, of Laboutin and Jimmy Choo. Of the freedom to wear anything I want - or even nothing at all.
I stare into shop windows with the awe that I felt as a child being dragged past the sweet shop. Wanting but not getting.
Every clothing choice that I make, every single day begins with stupid evil shoes, as I weigh up just how long i am going to be able to walk without quietly retiring in pain.
And shopping..... Well it's a brave soul that chooses to shoe shop with me as I simmer and deflate in equal measures with every pair set before me.

ModelGirl and ModelGirl alone can brighten my mood with her quips of "Too high" or "Too flat", and I wonder how she, at the tender age of seven has skillfully mastered a potential match? When even after fifteen years of looking, I still manage to bring home the most inappropriate shoes at every given opportunity.

And before I go, I have to admit that I miss Cheese Snaps.
I went through a stage of being able to eat a whole six pack in one sitting even though they made my mouth so sore that I couldn't eat anything else for days.
Seriously though Walkers... what is it with the Tomato flavour? They just don't cut it.
An in an odd twist - that can only be found online.... whilst searching for an image of Cheese Snaps to illustrate my post, I chanced upon a Facebook group with over 3000 members all calling for their return!

Seems I'm not the only one to miss the more subtle bits.

* I've had a few Twitter messages today from people being unable to comment due to my site being down. is in transit but fear not! My blogspot address is still live and kicking....


I am having what is officially know as bad computer karma. Over the weekend my mac decided to lock me out saying that I was using the wrong password.
I had to re install OS X but then I was still locked out of my keychain password which meant that I had to delete all of my passwords.... yes mail, network etc and start again. It took me all night.
Then a lovely man from PageRank left a message for me on this months Tots 100 index advising me that my RSS feed and my blog were in fact not linked at all.
Totally obvious when you think about it. I have my blogger address and my custom url. So I have two sets of traffic but nothing to link the two.
So I decided to start tinkering around and as the hosting company that I bought my URL from are pretty pants (their email is always going down). I decided to transfer my domain and purchase some hosting. 
OMG, what a pain in the ass that is.....
Current outcome..... is down whilst the transfer takes place. Fine - I can deal with that.
but then......
I get the phone call that I have been waiting for since before Christmas regarding the presentations that I have to prepare for my meeting in Barcelona next week. I knew I would be told at the last minute - and guess what? I was.
Biggest mistake of the day was hitting upload template to blogger for a client page that I have been working on. As I was on the phone my mac didn't have my full attention and I failed to realise that i had in fact published the client blog right on top of mine........
Long and short of it is that I have managed to rescue my content (by taking the source code from a Google cashe). This gave me the front page and 7 most recent entries but nothing else......
So after a few tears and a fair bit of moaning I switched to a standard template and all of my content returned! Hurray.....
Now I have to re-work my layout... but its passed midnight, I have two meetings tomorrow,and  I have all of the work to do for Barcelona - by tomorrow...
So please bare with me..
and in a shocking twist of fate.... I have a back up the cats blog..... I mean what is that about??

Monday, 11 January 2010

How To Make Fried Rice

We are a family of fried rice lovers. It's a quid and easy meal that everyone eats. Perfect as a main meal or as an addition to curry. There's no right or wrong way to making the perfect fried rice but here's how we roll.

Cook your rice a couple of days before you plan to fry it. Fresh rice is too wet to cook and you simply end up with a pan of mush.

You can obviously use any veg, meat or fish in your fried rice and it's a great way of using up leftovers but we like to use frozen peas and sweetcorn and Spam.

You can add any meat or veg to your fried rice but our meat of choice is Spam. Before you turn your nose up, I implore you to try it. 

Spam in Fried Rice

Cut your Spam into small cubes, fry until browned in a splash of oil and set aside.

Add some water to your bowl of frozen veg and cook for a minute in the microwave. Drain and set aside.

Then crack a couple of eggs into a cup and beat as if you were making scrambled eggs, but don't add milk. 

Add a couple of teaspoons of oil into your wok and cook the egg lightly. Don't over cook. Turn the egg out onto a plate and set aside.

Add a dash of oil to your wok and heat it up.

Add your rice, keep stirring to stop it sticking or burning.

When it starts to change colour add your Spam, veg, a dash of Soy sauce and salt and pepper.

Next add your egg and give it all a good stir.

That's it, yummy fried rice.

Fried Rice

If you don't have cooked rice - fear not, there is a trick that you can use.
Cook your rice as per the pack instructions. When it's ready turn it out onto a baking tray and spread it out into a thin layer. Pop it into a hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes to dry it out a bit and then you are good to go.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

I dream of sleep...

Before I begin, I should say that this was never intended as a stand alone post but as I was merrily typing away in Tara Cain's comment box after reading about her own little madams sleep issues, I realised that I had in fact produced an essay on my own plight! So to spare all of her readers the agony of a page long comment - I thought that I would inflict it on you all instead... because you are supposed to be interested in what I have to say... right? (this is where you leave a comment to say...."I love reading about your life / loves / disasters / traumas etc.." do add or delete there as necessary.

Right... for you to fully understand what it is I am going on about I suggest that you read Tara's post here, but don't forget to come back!
Now I have the same problem as Tara but in reverse! FunnyGirl (now 6) has some weird kind of sleep 'issue' that the doctor said she would grow out of when she started full time school. She hasn't.... and not only has it continued but she now holds the enviable title of "Most reliable child to fall asleep during assembly".
At one point we were talking six assemblies in a row.It got so bad that they have to put her on the end of a row to catch her as she naps. And if that wasn't bad enough, she even fell asleep during their big Easter assembly..... in church!

She goes to bed early (always by 7pm, or earlier) but when she wakes it generally has a 5 in front of it. Yes FunnyGirl is not so funny - she is a true morning person. I on the other hand, am a night owl.

We have tried keeping her up later in the evening but there is no stopping her. When she wants to sleep - she sleeps. In fact you can be having a conversation with her, turn away for a minute and then she is sparko! One of ModelGirl and TotallySonny's favourite family tales is of the time that she fell asleep whilst having lunch at a pizza restaurant. I was wedged between the girls and turned to one side to help ModelGirl cut something on her plate, when I turned back a moment later there she was head first in her hot pizza, out like a light!
Six years of early mornings really do take their toll. We've tried all kinds of things - but nothing's worked. We gave her a Gro-Clock and a strict set of instructions on acceptable parental waking times. 
She thought this amusing and we realised for the first time that it wasn't her fault that she wakes early - as before Gro-Clock she hadn't been aware of what time it was. It was simply the time that her internal clock said GO FORTH AND WAKE THE WORLD in big bold capital letters with bells and whistles attached.

Then we decided on a damage limitation policy. We let her have a TV in her room. Yes I know TV is evil but so am I after five years of having to get up when I should quite frankly just be going to bed. Her TV only has DVD playing capabilities and she, being a child of the modern age could teach any adult how it all works with ease.
Only that didn't really work either because she liked to turn it up loud enough to not only wake us - but also everyone in the house next door (we are detached).
Next we tried an assigned box of toys but she was falling asleep before she got to choose which box she wanted and I always got it wrong.....
She recently turned six and is now in her second year at primary school. She's a bright, active child - who despite what our GP assured me has not grown out of falling asleep anywhere and everywhere or waking at are-you-kidding-me O'Clock.

I would love to know your thoughts on this. 
Do you think that it's better to get your kids off to bed early, and for them to wake early - but giving you an evening to yourself? or
To let them stay up later (giving you little or no, me / us time), so that you don't have to get up so early in the mornings?
I know that there isn't an answer for us, other than accepting that those random pre-dawn one to one, single child conversations can actually be all you need to get you through the day.
Thanks to Tara Cain for being the inspiration for this post... don't you know that pink hair is in?

Saturday, 2 January 2010

My 2010 mood board

I have been pulling together my review of the year post for the last couple of days.... but I'm still only at May! So when I saw this post from Rosie Scribble my Blythe sister, who had nicked the idea from Not Super Mum who nicked it from ThatGirl, I thought - what the hell.....
So please enjoy my personal mood board of inspiration for 2010.

From top left we have.... 
1. My hubby, the amazing Yan To - having just launched his first womenswear collection he will be showing at On/Off in Feb.
2. My new kitty Cheryl... she is a super oft Cornish Rex and my new baby! Did you know that she has her own kitty blog at TotallyKitty?
second line from left....
3. FunnyGirl.. the funniest kid in my life - she brings light and joy to every path she meets.
4. TotallySonny, my no2 son - a geeky scorpio blogger just like me!
5. No1 son.... now off at uni and who would have guessed that he would be planning a career in the media too?
third line from left
6. My new addiction, Blythe. The amazing doll who was originally produced for just one year in 1972 ( the year I was born). Alas she was ahead of her time. I love her style and in all honesty she's as photogenic as ModelGirl!
7. My no1 daughter - ModelGirl (in pic with me). She inspires me and challenges me in equal measure. I love her with all my heart after longing for a daughter for so many years.
8. The dress... I love this dress. My hubby made it for me and it makes me look and feel like a total princess.
fourth line from left
9. ModelGirl in her full modelling glory. She has the ability to be totally amazing.
10. TotallySonny was so excited by my blog that he started blogging himself. Amazing for an eight year old boy.
11. My beautiful custom Blythe once again... this one is for RosieScribble.
last line from left
12. My other new addiction... Big Eye Art. I have loads of pics and if you ever see any at car boot sales or thrift sales, please buy them for me! This is my fav... and why wouldn't it be? Those big sad eyes are so me!
13. My babies.... say no more. xx


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