Pet Peeves

Well, everybody loves a good moan, so this blog should be extremely easy to write. However, I could waffle on for some time, so let’s give it a little bit of structure. 10 is always the magic number when it comes to blogging, but that may be over-kill when it comes to my moaning. So I’m going for 5.

1. Noisy eaters. I’ll start with this one as this is something that particularly irritates me, and I’m not sure why. I reckon it may be something to do with this:

Misophonia, dubbed as a selective sound sensitivity syndrome, comes with a handful of “trigger sounds.” The noises could come from eating, breathing loudly, or whistling. Sometimes, a sound as trivial as a foot tapping or a person yawning is enough to leave you irritated or even angered.”

I definitely suffer from this!

2. Ignorance. I get super annoyed by ignorance and stupidity. People who make ridiculous, bigoted, or just stupid comments. People who have no common sense. People who act in certain ways because they believe it makes them look good, when in fact they just look, well, ridiculous! Many ignorant people have no real social skills outside of their own like-minded peer group, and can be quite rude and uncouth in their mannerisms when dealing with strangers. Yet they are quick to overreact if somebody reflects this back on them. Can’t stand that kind of behaviour.

3. Waiting. I absolutely hate waiting. I guess this makes me quite an impatient person, although I can be patient in certain areas. I really don’t like to wait for things to happen though. Say, for example, I’ve arranged to go out at a certain time, or to meet someone at a certain time. I don’t want to wait around. I want it to happen NOW, or I’d rather just stay at home. I generally get into work at least 20-30 minutes early, not because I love my job and can’t wait to start my day. But because I couldn’t stay at home knowing that I had to leave soon anyway. Why wait? I might as well get started as soon as I’m ready! 

4. Damp weather. I love the rain, I really do, especially those rainforest-like downpours when it comes down in sheets. I love watching it, mainly from the comfort of my window. Drizzle, however, I can do without, or any kind of dampness in the air. The reason being, my hair. Although I don’t suffer from a full-on Afro like Monica in Friends, my hair just does not like damp weather. It is very weather sensitive, I like to say as I put my hood up at the slightest hint of rain. I’d love to be the kind of girl who has long mermaid waves that can withstand the wet and still look styled. But I don’t. My hair looks crap in damp weather, and therefore I hate it.

5. Pestering pets. The only reason being, as I’m sat, trying to finish this blog, my cat keeps miaowing to go out (in the pouring rain, I might add) and five minutes later, he’s back on the windowsill, wanting to come back in. He has been out and back in FIVE TIMES since I settled down on the couch fifty minutes ago. Grrrr.. if only I wasn’t such a soft touch that I keep getting up to pander to his whims! Oops! 

What’s in my handbag?

Now, I wonder how many of you are truly interested in what’s in my handbag. 

Personally, I rarely, if ever, wonder what a person keeps in their handbag, but I know that many are more curious about such things. A woman’s handbag is a sacred place to some. For example, my son’s father, who I was with for six years, refused to go anywhere near mine. If I asked him to pass me something from my bag, he would start to visibly sweat and end up almost throwing the bag at me rather than reach inside it. Very strange! Must have been some kind of phobia!

My handbag, by all accounts, is rather boring. It is one of those massive, beach-bag type affairs with tassels. I spotted it in the window as I was passing my local Peacocks last year, just before my holiday to Crete. I had been looking for something a little more roomy as my petite pink Dune bag, whilst very lovely, was just too small, and I was growing tired of attempting to cram everything into it every day. I wanted something I could rummage around in and still have room for extras, and my Peacocks bag is ideal for that. In fact, there are times when it is too big and I have to fish around for ages trying to find something, which is a little irritating. But anyway, I digress..

It is big, and grey, and tassly, and I can easily fit a bottle of wine in it. Not that I carry wine round on a daily basis, but it saves me the 5p carrier bag charge when I nip to the Spar for a bottle of cab sauv. And it was perfect for my carry-on during the flight to Crete.

I now use it as my everyday bag, and it’s contents are a little less exotic than my holiday gear. So, let’s examine..

1. Make-up bag. Now I’m not one of those girls that are particularly adept at, or even actually that interested in, make-up. But I do like to look presentable, and unfortunately make-up is probably the only way that will happen. My make-up bag consists of liquid eyeliner, mascara, kohl, eyebrow pencil x 2, concealer, a small brush, tweezers, and a mirror. I don’t wear foundation and am clueless about contouring, so it’s all about “emphasising the eyes”. On a normal day, I don’t wear kohl, which has a tendency to smudge, so don’t check on my face throughout the day. So I don’t actually need to carry make-up around, but I do. Just in case.

2. Brush. I am a little bit obsessed with my hair, and it has to be perfectly straight and frizz-free. It is also very fine, and if I didn’t brush it regularly, it would end up stringy and lank. I’m a lot better than I used to be, when I would stress over the slightest kink or imperfection. Now I’m a little more relaxed, but I always carry my brush, just in case, along with my next item..

3. John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Agent. A handy cream that smoothes down any frizzy spots. Couldn’t live without it these days!

4. Purse. Obviously. Although I could do with a new one. I’ve had my current purse for a fair few years now, but it’s still in one piece so a replacement isn’t top of my shopping list. It’s a red Jane Norman affair that I bought in the sale a long time ago, but as I said, it’s still in one piece and can still reasonably execute the job it was purchased for, which is to hold money and cards.

5. Nail file. As I write this, I realise how utterly pointless a lot of this stuff is, as I very rarely use any of them. However, I like to think ahead, and I am definitely convinced that if I didn’t carry this stuff, I would desperately need it at some point and curse myself for not carrying it. Anyway, my nail file is pretty cool, a plastic one in its own case by All For Eve at Tesco. My cat is strangely addicted to mauling it, so I tend to file my nails when he isn’t around!

6. A pair of contact lenses. Just in case I have trouble with the ones I’m wearing and need to swap them. I’m blind as a bat so, if I don’t have my glasses, these are kind of essential.

7. A pack of playing cards. I have no idea.

8. A spare car key. Again, just in case.

9. Body Shop Brazil nut lip balm. I suffer from constantly dry lips, and own about a million different lip balms. Oddly enough, I don’t remember ever having finished one, but I tend to regularly buy new ones if I haven’t got one on me. So I keep a balm in my bag now.

10. An empty I ❤️ Cyprus lighter. Bought in Cyprus back in 2015 and discarded to the bottom of my bag when it ran out of gas.

11. A 50ml tub of Garnier Skin Naturals Intensive Moisturising Cream. I also suffer from very dry skin and like to carry moisturiser. 

12. An ASDA receipt. For red wine and a pen, purchased yesterday and priced at £11.98. Shopping for essentials (well, the wine anyway!)

And that is all I have in my bag at this moment in time, as I cleared a lot of rubbish out last week. 😊

Mum Stuff

Well, after raving about the weather earlier this week on the first day of summer, it has been dull, grey, and very rainy ever since. Typical!

I’m glad it held off though, as it was Sport’s Day on Wednesday at my son Ryan’s school. For the first time in as long as I can remember, they did not have to re-schedule due to bad weather. It was a scorcher! 

Poor Ryan had a bout of nerves that morning and woke claiming to have a painful leg, so therefore wouldn’t be able to take part. Upon further investigation, I discovered he had a small cut on the back of his knee, which would hardly impede his activities. So, off to school he went with his PE kit.

He was probably glad that I didn’t give in to his moaning, as he had a brilliant day. He got a first, second, and third, and came ninth out of 300 children in the overall score board. An amazing result, made all the more special as it is his last year at primary school, and probably the first Sport’s Day that he has made any real effort in. Like me, he isn’t comfortable performing to a crowd of strangers, and much prefers to fade into the background. But I think winning in his first competition gave him a massive boost in confidence, and also fired up his competitive streak. I was a very proud mum!

On Thursday, we visited Ryan’s high school, which he will be attending in September. I like this particular school very much, not only because it is a short walk away from home, but also because it is a small, tight-knit school with a ‘family atmosphere’, and I feel that this will be beneficial to Ryan and his innate shyness. Starting at a new school is always going to be daunting, to any child, and I am obviously very protective of my boy. I’d like his transition from primary to high school to be as easy as possible. 

I remember my own first day at high school as being very nerve-wracking, and not a particularly nice day. Things have changed a lot since then though, and I was pleasantly surprised when Ryan was given the option to choose two primary school friends to be in his new form. This, along with mentoring and a friendly approach, amongst other things, shows how much the education system has come on since my awkward and not particularly happy days at school. 

I don’t really want my little boy to grow up, but it will inevitably happen. I want him to be happy with the choices he makes, as well as the choices that are made for him. And after Thursday, I am hopeful that his high school days will be as enjoyable as his primary school days have been. 😊

Summer is here!

Summer is here! At long last, and we have really been feeling it here in the UK over the past few days. In fact, we are so unused to these temperatures and the unforgiving sun that people are beginning to complain and wish it was winter again!! I kid you not. 

That’s the problem with us Brits. We complain when it’s too hot, we complain when it’s too cold. We complain when it is raining or just grey and overcast, otherwise known as a “meh” day. We are very hard to please.

We do love the idea of summer,  even though we don’t generally see much of it. Summer has been on occasion the rainiest season over here, which is a bit rubbish considering the kids are off school for numerous weeks and need entertaining. Plus, us adults are eagerly anticipating dusting the barbecue off and getting drunk whilst chewing on charcoaled meat in the sun.

Granted, we have had plenty of opportunity for that this past week. I just hope it lasts a little bit longer than usual, as I’ve been updating my Summer board on Pinterest and it’s really put me in the mood.

Happy Summer!

My Earliest Memory

I have a number of early memories, but they are mainly in fragments that are hardly worth mentioning – losing a jelly eating competition at my grandad’s Conservative Club’s party, and getting bucked off a small grey pony during my first ever riding lesson. Only snatches of memories, not full length features.

However, there have been places over the years that I have visited and left a piece of my heart in, and these places have created the best memories. Memories that will stay with me forever, and in only a good way. I do still hanker after those places, and dream of them often, of better days when life was so much easier.

When I was a kid, my dad’s parents owned a chalet in Abersoch, North Wales. It was an upmarket affair, four-bedrooms with an en-suite in my grandparents’ room and a jacuzzi bath in the main bathroom. It was situated on the beach front and I remember falling asleep to the sound of the tide kissing the shore just yards away.

I was entranced by the sea and spent hours just staring out onto St. Tudwal’s bay, armed with the binoculars my Grandad kept by the door. I was fascinated by the islands in the bay, one which was home to a small building and a herd of red deer, and other with its lighthouse that blinked late at night. For a time, we had a speedboat and my dad would take us out to speed around the islands and visit the seals on Seal Rock. They were as fascinated with us and we often saw their little heads bobbing in the waves as they ventured closer.

My brother and I were obsessed with dreaming up stories about smugglers and pirates, having devoured Enid Blyton stories and watched The Goonies far too many times. We set off on expeditions to climb Llanbedrog headland, at one end of The Warren beach, and discovered old buildings amongst the rocks. We were convinced there was buried treasure somewhere, or a galleon hidden in a secluded cave. But One Eyed Willy had probably given North Wales a miss in favour of more exotic locations!

We spent every school holiday there, my brother and I, and I remember days filled with beach walks, exploring, rolling down sand dunes, and building sand castles. I taught myself to swim in the sea in Abersoch, and spent many an hour pony-trekking along the beach, cantering through the shallows and hacking along the winding lanes. My favourite riding school put on 2-hour hacks which ended up on the beach outside our chalet, a long stretch of clean sand leading from Abersoch village up to Llanbedrog headland. Here, my Nana would watch and wave from our patio, and I felt like my heart would burst with happiness.

It was all so idyllic. We were privileged children there in Abersoch, without a care in the world, but we took it all for granted, as the young so frequently do. We didn’t realise how lucky we were. I wish we had, because I certainly would have treasured it more at the time, instead of relying on nostalgia.

Back in 2012, I revisited Abersoch with my son, my mother, and my nephew; my first time back since I was 16. We couldn’t afford to stay on The Warren but rented a caravan up on Sarn Bach, a car drive away. We explored areas of the Lleyn Peninsula that I had never known existed, cloistered away as we had been at The Warren. We did manage to spend a few hours on The Warren one day, but it wasn’t the same. Everything had changed since those golden days of our childhood – the supermarket had downscaled, the onsite club had been refurbished. The beach cafe, all concrete steps and ice cream signs, was no longer in use, and had been replaced by a cramped wooden building. And the beach was empty. It was the height of the summer holidays, yet there was hardly a soul in sight.

It just wasn’t the same, which I feel quite sad about. I would love to go back though, and try again. I’m sure I can resurrect that feeling of being at my second home, if I was given more time.

I think I may have to win the lottery first though. I googled chalets to let recently and came across my perfect holiday home to rent – E18. Our old chalet was at E21, three doors down. It seemed like fate! Until I looked at the price.

Not on a part time payroll administrators wage, unfortunately. *sigh*

Single and Unwilling to Mingle

I’m single. 

Yes, that’s right. I am single. No, I’m not dating. No, I’m not on Tinder, or, or Plenty of Fish, desperate to find the man of my dreams. No, I don’t flirt with my co-workers or ask my friends to set me up on blind dates. 

I am single, and I love it.

Okay, maybe that’s kind of strange in this day and age. Everybody seems to be with somebody. Many couples aren’t even happy, putting up with dishonesty and lying and cheating because they don’t want to be alone. Or there are the singletons who jump from relationship to relationship, or just from bed to bed, craving intimacy yet unwilling to commit. I just don’t understand any of it. I don’t want to settle. I want a perfect love, with somebody who I can trust and who thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread, as besotted with me as I am with them.

Unfortunately, I know this isn’t something I am going to find anytime soon. It is difficult enough just to find somebody to trust these days. The perfect love is an illusion to people like me, and continues to elude me. I’m not willing to settle for second best. And as I don’t believe in casual sex, I will remain single and celibate.

I haven’t given up on love easily, I hasten to add. It is the result of a lifetime of bad choices and lying bastards. I have been in love (I think!), I have been completely besotted, I have imagined I found a soulmate. And what have I received in return? I have been lied to, deceived, cheated on, and taken for a fool. I have had my heart trodden on and torn apart with little or no regret. I have been used and abused and rejected too many times to count.

It hasn’t been a nice experience. After much soul-searching, I decided that the fault must lie with me. I have made the worst of decisions. I have taken my heart and soul and willingly handed them on a platter to the wrong people, on more than one occasion. I have been pathetic, over-tolerant, blinkered, and I have probably deserved everything I got, just for being me.

But there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough. When you receive the wake up call that you sorely needed. When one too many bad decisions opens your eyes to how stupid you have been. I have constantly chosen the wrong men, given up my control far too soon, trusted people I barely knew to treat me with the respect I felt I deserved. 

The problem was, I had never learned to respect myself. My first boyfriend had cheated on me and eventually left me for his ex, which had broken my heart from the off. This coloured every relationship I attempted to embark on after that. I set myself up for the fall time and time again, chasing the unobtainable and then pushing them away, knowing that they would eventually leave.

And leave they did.

So now, I offer my heart to nobody. It remains, cold and impenetrable, behind a wall of granite that I have yet to meet a man brave enough to scale. 

Am I happy? Right now, yes I am. I have my son, I have my family, my pets, my job, my writing. In all honesty, I have no time for anything or anybody else. For now, I am resolutely single. And I love it.

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

Now, this should be quite easy because, let’s face it, there is A LOT that you don’t know about me. After all, you didn’t even know what I looked like until I had a brave moment earlier this week and uploaded a selfie instead of a generic picture to my profile.

So, to give you a better idea of who it is behind this blog, I have put together 10 interesting facts about myself. Well, I say interesting… I’ll let you be the judge of that.

1.  I am desperate to get fit but just don’t have the motivation to exercise. Throughout my younger years, I was a ‘skinny-minny’. I ate what I wanted, I occasionally shopped in the kids section of New Look, and I avoided the gym like the plague. Once I hit 37 though, my figure began to fill out and things began to wobble. Now, at 40, I am unhappy with those wobbly bits, and I know I need to tone up. I just can’t be bothered!

2.   My favourite day of the week is Friday. Hence the name of my blog. I seem to spend the majority of my week wishing it was Friday, which is a little bit sad really, but I just love the weekends so much. I am trying to appreciate my weekdays a little more as I can’t continue wishing my life away. But Fridays will always be my fave.

3.   I am neither a cat or a dog person. I love them both equally. I own two cats and have been thinking about getting a dog for a while. In fact, I’m not too sure why I’m dragging my feet. Cats are such relaxing pets to have around. They are not particularly high maintenance, yet expect to be treated like the king/queen of their domain, but you can tell when they love you. You can see it in their eyes and their actions around you. Dogs, on the other hand, adore you and make it totally obvious in their bounding, panting, enthusiastic way. As Josh Billing, aka Henry Wheeler Shaw, said, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” As somebody who has always had a troubled relationship with “love”, and a deep mistrust of those who proclaim it, a dog is something I definitely need in my life.

4.   I hate to be late. In fact, I can probably count on my hands the amount of times I’ve been late in my 40 years of life. I would much rather be very early than even a few minutes late, and I can’t even explain why. 

5.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be a vampire. I’m not too sure why. I didn’t have a great desire to drink blood or anything, but it just looked really cool. The being immortal and having superhuman strength bit. Also, being able to fly. Growing up, I was addicted to anything horror-related, and had my mum record any late-night scary movies so I could watch them after school. Hammer horrors were a particular favourite – you couldn’t beat Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, hunted down by Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing. And then I discovered The Lost Boys. Vampires = cool.

6.  I am a proud owner of a Resting Bitch Face. In my younger years, I was often ridiculed for looking constantly miserable, and I did not understand why. Because I wasn’t miserable, or “in a mood”, but people commenting on the fact that I looked like I was, very often put me in one! Nowadays, I embrace my RBF. After all, it is a recognised affliction, and I no longer care if strangers think I am stuck-up or aloof. Get to know me first and you will see that I definitely am not stuck-up. In fact, I’m probably one of the most down to earth people you could meet! 

7.  I swear more than I should. And that doesn’t mean that I have a poor vocabulary. In fact, I have an extremely varied vocabulary, but there are very few words that are as versatile and eloquent as “fuck”. Just saying.

8.  I am an empath. This makes me extremely sensitive to atmosphere and emotions, so much so that I have to spend a lot of time alone to recharge my batteries. It also makes me a fantastic listener, and for a while I seriously considered becoming a counsellor. 

9.  I would love to be a coffee drinker. In reality, I’m not a big fan and prefer to drink tea. Or wine. Depends on the time of day. 😊

10.  I have a secret crush on Jonathan Ross. It’s a purely intellectual thing – I really like his sense of humour! 

My Biggest Dream

For much of my life, I have always dreamt of being a published writer. When I was a kid, I constantly had a pony story on the go, scribbling away in an exercise book with tales of girls whose ultimate dream was to own a horse of their own, and who had their wish granted. I guess it was a way of acting out my own fantasies.

These tales were left unfinished though, because my biggest enemy and greatest critic has always been myself. I could toil away passionately in my exercise book for a good week, filling hundreds of pages, yet the following week I would re-read and hate it all. And then the editing would begin, until I had lost all enthusiasm. And the budding bestseller was no more.

I still yearn to really make a go of a writing career, but the stresses and strains of real life get in the way far too frequently these days. I rarely feel the passion that I used to, when my potential book would constantly be on my mind, and I would scribble down ideas on scraps of paper while I was in work. Life wasn’t the easiest during my twenties and early thirties, and I eventually became disillusioned. There was no time to write stories – I was struggling to get through real life as it was.

These days, I no longer feel like I have a voice that people would want to hear. I no longer have that story within me, itching to get out, and this saddens me because writing is what I want to do.

So what has changed?

My biggest dream is no longer to write. Yes, my burning ambition is to become a writer. But my biggest dream is to be happy, to get my sense of passion and romance back, and to believe in life. I want to feel that stardust in my soul again, when my creativity spilled out in an unconstrained tumble of words and ideas.

My biggest dream is to get *Me* back.