Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Flamingo's, Fifty, Fifties, Fun Party Time

I know a lot of women my age are a bit funny about their age. Not me, I am loving life and being alive. There have been so many things thrown at me over the last few years, which could have meant that I might not have been here, but I am, and most of the time I am really well. So I want to celebrate that.

So, as I turned 50 on the 20th of this month, I decided I wanted to celebrate with a big party for my friends and family.

As I was 50, I decided I would have a 1950's theme, this meant that my daughters and I got to have dresses made by the wonderful Couture Company in Digbeth, Birmingham.

Going and having fittings, choosing material etc was a fabulous way to spend time with my girls and look how great they looked. They looked so grown up.

My beautiful girls, in their handmade 1950's dresses
I didn't look so bad myself...
Loved my beehive x

I planned this party for over a year, so I was thrilled it was finally here.

I had it in the same place we had our wedding reception (I got married on my birthday 16 years ago), and had a flamingo theme for the tables, it seemed appropriate and kind of kitsch. The cake had this theme too and looked amazing.

Flamingo Cake!

 And I had a photo booth, which produced some great pictures - here are a few...

 via GIPHY

My family and friends seemed to enjoy it, there was eating, drinking and dancing, so all in all, I think it was a success, (It is so hard to know when you are hosting something).

Everyone got a party bag, adults got to have a nice evening in; with a gin and tonic, and a scented candle, the kids got a Marvel themed toy, bubbles, chocolates. They all got one of my home made map pin wheels.

For me it was all a bit of a blur of hello's, goodbyes, party bags, photo booths, dancing, drinking and then finally getting home with my nephews in tow thinking I would stay up and have a drink with them, but actually, just going to bed, exhausted but happy.

The next day I got to open my gifts, which were amazing (thanks folks). One of the best was Gus, my new kitten, but also my I Love You Mojo from my husband was pretty special.


Now it is all done, and I have had time to reflect, it was a pretty hectic weekend but an absolutely lovely one and it was so nice to catch up with so many of my friends and family.

So, thank you to all those who came to my party and made it as special as it was.

If you want to see more from the party, my nephew Tom did a Vlog, which you can watch here.

Monday, 16 October 2017

What's on your Playlist?

I'm 50 on Friday and I'm having a party on Saturday to celebrate.

Currently, I'm trying to put together the ultimate playlist for the party. I didn't realise quite how tricky this was before I started.

My problem is, I have 50 years worth of music going through my head, and picking the right songs for when people are eating, drinking and hopefully dancing is proving challenging.

There are certain tracks that have to be on my playlist, no matter what.

These tracks are my all time favourites.

The Killers - Mr Brightside
Muse - Feeling Good
Josh Wink - A Higher State of Consciousness
Garbage - Cherry Lips

But I also like a bit of Stormzy, Wiley, Tinie Tempah and Macklemore


I have a Ratpack 1950's theme so there has to be some Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin (to name but a few) and definitely some Elvis.

Gah. I did this to myself. Even as I type this I am listening to Iggy Azalea to see if she can 'Change Your Life'. 

I have 9 hours to fill, I currently have over 14 hours worth of music and I'm still adding songs, last night I realised I can't live with out 'Fix Up Look Sharp' by Dizzie Rascal, yesterday it was Bang Bang with Jessie J etc, and 'Cake by the Ocean' by DNCE. 

I wake up thinking about music and go to sleep doing the same.

So I am having to go through the list to decide if it the track is filler or killer.

Why can't I have everything? My guests will just have to stay all night and most of the next day to listen to all the music.

Problem solved. Yay.

What would you put on your playlist?

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Grey Cat that Wouldn't

This is Millie, my grey cat that won't.
Once upon a time there was a grey cat.

She was a jumpy cat, she'd not had the best start in life, so when she first came to live with her people she didn't trust them.

She hid under a bookcase for a week.

She was very frightened.

But the people coaxed her out with food, little treats, and soft voices.

As time went on she began to trust her people. They fed her, she was warm, she had her own bed.

She liked their strokes and their love.

And things settled down and she had a happy life.

But then something happened. A mangy cat visited.

He threw his stinky scent everywhere and ate all of her food.

Her people didn't like that, so they changed her cat door to one that beeped.

The mangy cat didn't like that,  and couldn't get in.

But the grey cat was afraid of the beep.

She didn't want to come in through her door any more.

At first it didn't matter, her people had their back door open all the time as the weather was warm.

But then it got colder.

Grey cat didn't want to stay in the house any more.

There was no way out except through the beepy door.

Her people would open their door and call her in. But then they would close their door.

This frightened grey cat,  she was trapped.

But she wanted food.

Grey cat stayed close and her people offered her treats again to try to encourage her back in and to feel safe again.

But grey cat didn't like the beep.

Grey cat didn't trust her people.

Grey cat didn't want to come in.

Grey cat would rather stay outside in the cold than come back into the warm, safe house.

Because of a beep.

Her people didn't know what to do.

Her people were very sad.

But grey cat just wouldn't

Come in.


If any one has any suggestions to help with this problem, please let me know, I really want my cat to come in and it's getting too cold to keep the back door open all the time.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Saturday Nights Alright for Drinking

My drink of choice...

Last night I went out with my husband and a couple of friends. We had a curry and went for a few drinks down the pub.

Not unusual for a Saturday night, I hear you say. This is VERY unusual.

Since I have had children (over 14 years ago) my husband and I have struggled to find baby sitters. My husbands parents and sister live in Ireland and my brother and his wife live over 60 miles away (My Mum has passed away and my Dad is in a home with dementia).

On very special occasions we have managed to get a baby sitter but it is always a struggle as most of our friends have young children as well.

So what changed last night? We left the kids with our friends kids at their house. My eldest is nearly 15 and their eldest is 14.

We finally feel they are old enough to be left alone and be responsible for themselves and look after the two younger children.

We still didn't stay out really late, we were back at the house by 10pm, but oh my God it was lovely.

Although, I am used to the pace of sofa drinking which is quite a slow affair, not this round after round malarkey. Suffice to say, I got a bit drunk.

After my friends and the kids had all gone to bed, I spent the last part of the evening crying at my husband, (please see my previous post here, this crying thing has to stop!) as my cat wasn't a lap cat any more and didn't come in enough - utterly ridiculous - whilst trying to make friends with our friends cat.

Our friends cat, Precious, who didn't want to be friends with me last night.

Surprisingly, our friends cat didn't want to be friends with the drunk crying woman...Gah.

Despite the last part of the evening, the night was a great success, our kids didn't fight or blow anything up or run with knives whilst climbing a ladder. Brilliant. So we will be able to do this again.

Next time, however, I will pace myself a little more and try to be slightly less tearful at the end of the evening.

Cheers to all the future Saturday nights - Yay!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Adventures in depression

After being on anti-depressants for many many years I have finally, very slowly, weaned myself off them.

It has taken 10 months in total to reduce my dosage, reducing them by one pill a month and going slower if I had a wobble.

I have been anti-depressant free for a month.

How do I feel?

I feel everything, after years of taking a mood inhibitor/stabiliser, I suddenly have different moods.

I have to remind myself it is OK to be sad, people get sad, it is OK to cry more than I have in years and years, it is OK to have rage and anger and lots and lots of feelings.

Sometimes it is really overwhelming, I'm just not used to feeling this much.

I cry at the news, I cry when I laugh, I cry because the cat won't come in through the cat flap because it's now got a beep (We installed a new cat flap which works with her chip, but it beeps, so she won't use it - she is flighty).

When I took the anti-depressants, I knew things were emotional, but they just didn't make me cry. Now I am a crying machine.

My depression was mild in comparison to many people, I have never been sectioned or stayed in a mental health facility. Instead I took the pills, I occasionally had counselling (like when I was diagnosed with CML*) and generally got on with life.

My first adventure into depression was when I was 19, I'd gone to University in London, moving from a small village in Shropshire.

I moved out of the halls of residence after the first term as it made me feel trapped, and got a flat with a friend.

She had her own emotional issues (that I was unaware of until we moved in together) and I spent my time in that flat looking after her, working various part time jobs, having a crappy relationship, and travelling to and from college (it tool 3 buses to get from our flat to Uni - bad planning on our part).

Eventually, it took it's toll, I was doing very badly in one of the two subjects that made up my degree and had to keep re-writing essays which effectively doubled my workload, oh and my grandmother passed away.

My introduction to life away from home was revelatory, scary, exciting and stressful. It got too much, I had run out of money and was suffering from tonsillitis. I walked to the phone box (yes I am that old) and used my last 10p to phone my Mum, after that I don't really remember anything of the next two weeks.

My doctor said I had a nervous breakdown, because that's what they called it then.

I don't remember being offered any counselling or medication, I was just left to it. I went back to Uni a month later and carried on. Just scraping through my first year.

After that, I became aware that I seemed to be more emotionally affected than others, my sadness was dark, scary and bottomless, but I kept it at bay until the last 6 months of Uni.

Eventually, it became too much again, a relationship gone bad, a pregnancy that shouldn't have happened (my partner at the time had, had Hodgkin's disease and was supposed to be shooting blanks) a termination, just before I was supposed to do my finals, a lack of support - I went to Catholic college administered by Nuns. This time I was given one of the many versions Prozac, I was 21. I passed my Degree, not as well as I hoped but considering everything I was happy with the result.

Life carried on, I eventually came off the Prozac, but then had an extremely challenging relationship. I managed to stay off the Prozac for the 4 years of the relationship and the following two years where this person persecuted my new partner and I. I only felt free of him when we moved to a new house and he couldn't find us. It was at this point I fell to pieces again, I had stayed strong for so long.

This time I was given more Prozac and counselling, the counselling lasted 6 weeks and didn't really suit me. Since then, I've taken Prozac, it's been 16 years.

I have tried to come off the Prozac on a number of occasions throughout this time, but life happened, and I didn't.

So it is hardly surprising that I am now like a newborn with lots of emotions I haven't used for ages bubbling inside me.

Prozac has kept me functioning and living a relatively normal life for the majority of my adult life, I am grateful to it.

But my husband knows the signs, he knows when I need to go back to the doctor, he is keeping a watchful eye on me.

I remain optimistic and hopeful that I can stay off the Prozac.

I am older and wiser with an arsenal of coping techniques. This time I am going to win, I am not going to let my mind spiral out of control, I have the power to keep it in check.

Come on life, you can throw what you like at me but I will not be beaten.

*Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia


Sunday, 1 October 2017

20 things I learnt in 50 years

I am going to be 50 in 19 days. 50 how on earth did that happen?

In my head I am somewhere around 18.

Now I am nearly 50, I am obviously very wise and sensible.

Err no.

But I've learnt some stuff, here are some of my best pearls of wisdom, just for you.

  1. In any successful relationship there is compromise 
  2. Things are never quite so bad in the morning
  3. Be a parent not a friend to your kids and they will become your friends
  4. You can never say I love you enough
  5. Treat each meeting with a friend as if it was the last time you'll see them
  6. Treat all people as you expect to be treated
  7. Naps are good
  8. Don't be swayed by ridiculous trends
  9. Your mind plays tricks on you
  10. You can cope with more than you think you can
  11. Children know everything that goes on in the home, so don't hide things from them
  12. Your children can be incredibly funny, if you let them
  13. A family that laughs together, stays together
  14. Music is a gift from the Gods*
  15. A good book/film can open up other worlds, if you let it
  16. A little bit of everything does you good
  17. Don't knock it till you try it (I try to live by this but there are certain things that doesn't apply to for me i.e parachuting, bunjee jumping and anything else of a similar nature**. And eating the face of animals and or the inside of their bones)
  18. With haircuts - it will always grow back
  19. With tattoo's - sometimes it doesn't quite work out like you want, but it doesn't matter because once it's on you it's part of you
  20. With boyfriends/girlfriends - never go back for a second chance, you split up for a reason

 *I don't believe in Gods but you get the idea
**I'm not an adrenalin junkie 

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