Monday, 30 January 2012

Blog Theft

I don't tend to rant (too often) on my blog but I'm making an exception tonight because I'm pretty peeved.
A Google Alert landed in my mail and when I clicked on the link I was quite taken aback by what I saw.

Last week I re posted what is easily the most open and emotional thing I have ever written on my blog. I did so because everywhere I look (including in the mirror) I see people struggling with the weight of the world and sometimes a shred of hope is all you need to get back on track.

Below is a screen grab from the source of today's Google Alert, PlayPennies. They have reproduced my post on their site without my permission. 

To add insult to injury they did add the following at the end of my post.

"Are you the owner of the blog above? Click HERE for our resource page for “PlayPennies loves” badges and banners."

I don't want to come across as rude, or ungrateful for not graciously accepting the honour of 'Blogger of the Week' but it really isn't cool to lift someone else's copy and then try to palm them off with a badge that gives a back link to your site.
Not cool at all and given the nature of my blogpost, it's actually pretty distasteful. 

People from PlayPennies, please remove my content from your commercial site and can I suggest that you actually attempt to make contact with your lucky bloggers of the week in future?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Black Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...

January feels sad. 
Everywhere I look people are struggling with black moods and depression and I know better than anyone just how hard it is function in the dark.
My past is no secret, the post below has sat on my blog for quite some time but following a few conversations I've had with people this week it felt right to revisit it.
If you are struggling, I hope that it gives to the strength to carry on.

Mine is not a standard birth story but it is one that I have been trying to write for the last seventeen years, unable to know where to begin.
For the people who know me now, as a wife, mother and successful business woman my words may be even harder to take in but after seventeen years of procrastinating here is the story of my birth.

The morning of Thursday 5th May 1994 began like every other day except that was the day I was going to die.

I had suffered in silence (mostly) with an illness so sever that it was about to erase me and at the same time leave an innocent little boy without a mum.

Of course with hindsight, I know that I'd been suffering from sever post natal depression for the three and a half years since I gave birth to my son when I was little more than a child myself.

I'd travelled a long, dark and unhappy path in those three and a half years. Littered with excessive excess and fraught emotions. Living on tinned tomatoes and toast so that I could buy nappies and baby food.
But it was too much for me. 
Even though I was in constant contact with my family I was living on a fragile deserted island and I couldn’t take anymore.

That Thursday morning I dropped my boy at my sister’s house explaining that I had a few errands to run. I kissed him, held him and willed him to be strong.
I drove my fathers car into the city and parked it where I knew it would be easily found and made my way to the top of the car park.
The fine rain had turned into that horrible wet drizzle and the street below me was mostly void of shoppers. I stood there looking, thinking, crying. I was so angry with myself, with the world, with all of the people who could have helped me, that should have made me better.
I felt weak, useless, pathetic, a nothing.

One side of my head was screaming JUMP, JUMP, JUMP but I was scared. Really scared, really, really scared.
I realised that I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have it in me. I was so useless that I couldn’t even do this, the one thing that could make it all go away. I couldn't even end it.

And so I jumped.

The irony is that I didn’t manage to end it, I even messed that up. 
I've since been told that I'm the only person ever to survive jumping the 75ft from the top of that multi-storey car park

I was conscious and able to give next of kin details to the paramedics that came to save me and then things get a little fuzzy. I remember the pain and a strange floaty feeling as I looked down seeing myself lying on a trolley, as the electricity shocked me back to life.

Then it was a week later. I'd spent twenty hours in theatre as three surgeons tried to put me back together again. 
My leg injuries were explained to me by a doctor;
“Imagine if you hit a Crunchie bar with a hammer,” he said. “That's what you have done to your feet.”
I was numb.
Then came the spinal surgeon – totally lacking in bedside manner.
“Well young lady, what a totally selfish and stupid thing to do. You do realise that with your injuries, you will never walk again.”
I was devastated.

Irony number 2...
I was a dancer. I'd been dancing all my life. I danced through school and on to post sixteen dance training. I won a coveted place in the National Youth Dance Company. I was a dancer – full stop. It defined me. It made me me.

So here I was. In hospital and not only wasn’t I dead but I was now facing life in a wheelchair too.
For the medically interested, I smashed both of my feet into a million pieces and my right ankle too. I landed so perfectly that my spine did its primary job as a shock absorber and crushed four of my vertebrae in the process. (All those hours of ballet training kicked in and I landed in a perfect plie. 
Of course I should have been dead. But I wasn’t. It took me a long time to come to terms with what I'd done to myself but it simply wasn’t my day to go. 
I'd been given another shot at things and although my progress has been slow and painful I had to decide to make a better life for my boy and me.

Over the years journalist friends have tried to coax my story into print but my fear of being judged and condemned for what I did has always kept my silence.
In truth, I've been selfish by keeping my story because do you know what?

I can walk. I can cycle, I can swim, I can work, I got married, I had babies (3 of them!), I have a business, I have friends, I have love and more than anything I have hope.

My recovery has been long and painful. I have screamed and cried and I live with the ongoing pain of my injuries and the pain of not being able to dance every single day. But if I did have the ability to go back to that morning, I would take the very same route.

I know now that I was given a chance that day to right all of my wrongs.
Sure this is a condensed speed blog version of my story but in its brevity or entirety the result is the same. A personal triumph over adversity – my rebirth.
If you know anyone who is suffering from PND or any kind of depression, please, please try and reach out to them. They would never admit it but they could really do with your time and attention. And if you think that you have PND, please, please, please tell someone how you are feeling. It may just save your life.

Thursday, 19 January 2012


It's been a really long time since I joined in with The Gallery. Life and work just kind of got in the way of my favourite Wednesday pursuit but I really couldn't resist this weeks eye theme.

Two beautiful eyes from my two beautiful girls. Their depth and beauty takes my breath away, I wish I had eyes like theirs... I could gaze into them forever more.  



Do visit the other blogs from this weeks Gallery and do comment on the blogs that you visit - people do like a bit of interaction!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Monday, 16 January 2012

New Baby Alert

There's a new baby in the house and we are all totally in love!
For those of you who know my eldest daughter Biba, you will know how crazy she is about bunnies. Crazy probably isn't the right word, obsessed maybe? 
Her room is full of rabbits. Soft toys, drawings, pictures, ornaments and when she grows up she wants to work at Rabbit, the award winning social media agency.

She has been begging and pleading for me to buy her a real rabbit for about 8 years and thus far I have stood firm.
Until yesterday when I totally crumbled after seeing this little fella in the adoption centre in Pets At Home...

He was returned to the store because he'd been fighting with his brother.
We had a very long family discussion in store and it was agreed that we would give him a good home. Biba cried and when Yan asked her why, she said it was because she had never been so happy in her whole life. Gulp.

So off home we went, discussing names excitedly. Mr Snuggles, Mr Bunny, Sonny, Clive, Dave, Carl, Stu and Ricky all went by the wayside before the girls settled on Sunday - 'because that was the day we took him home.'

The girls have 'Jack n Jill' rooms with a shared bathroom and that was to be Sunday's new home. They set up his cage and Biba nearly burst out crying for the second time when she saw what was written on the side of his water bottle!!!

Fate, she decided and I have to admit I may have had a bit of a moment too!

Well that was the last I saw of the girls all evening. They totally cleared out their bathroom to make a safe environment for Sunday to hop around in took out their computers to make a list of things rabbits like to eat and things that they should never give him.
Luckily he likes to be handled and loves snuggling up with the girls. 
They even ventured downstairs with him. The dog went into her scaredy cat mode, started shaking and hid in her bed and the cats didn't even notice that Biba had a rabbit sitting on her knee - so all is good!

Here he is having a little hop around (sorry if you were the person calling my work phone this morning, I know I should have been in my office but I couldn't help myself!).

Friday, 13 January 2012

XBox More Than Games : You Tube

Did you realise that one of the fab new features of Xbox Live is that you can now watch You Tube through it?
You don't actually realise what a big deal that is till you give it a go. No more sitting uncomfortably at your computer, now you can full on sit back in your comfy clothes to catch up on your latest You Tube faves.
My children love it, maybe too much because now they fight over who gets to choose what they watch. The girls like to catch up with episodes of their favourite shows, like Tracy Beaker Returns, or Disney's Sonny with a Chance. Sonny likes to sit for hours watching other peoples uploads of his favourite Xbox games (I don't understand why either but that is another post altogether).
Me, well I dare say I spend way to much time watching stupid kitty vids (like I have the time) or my current favourite is this one that I stumbled across on my mobile phone after Betty had been using it...

A rare and beautiful find!

If you don't already have an Xbox Live Gold membership you can get 3 months for half price by using the code:  M3mmyT1ps

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Call for Bloggers With Small Babies

Do you have a newborn baby or are you due to have one soon?
I'm on the hunt for some fresh, exciting bloggers with newborn babies to work with on a client project over the next couple of months.

If you'd like to be considered please leave your details below (even if you think I already have them) and I'll be in touch soon.

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