Monthly Archives: January 2018

An evening at HOME Manchester

Poor unfortunates who have read my blog a while will know I am a huge fan of the solo date . Also that a while back I resolved to spend my child free time in a more productive way than sitting in an empty house whining about how it wasn’t the same without the kids when they were with daddy/grandparents. Best resolution I ever made and I’ve had so much fun since – remember the Edinburgh epiphany?

Anyway,last week I went on one of my little nights out for one. I went to a brand new place – HOME Manchester and had such a great time I had to tell you all about it.

Before I start I will just say , I bought all tickets etc myself. I’m telling you about this merely to share the love and recommend somewhere fab….
I’ll also say ,as I do with books I am not a reviewer….if I love a show I’m generally too giddy about it to write a balanced piece ,I just want to share!! I’m sure you can Google for proper reviews though!

Despite being a theatre loving girl who has lived in Manchester for a decade somehow or other this venue has passed me by (not a clue how!)

I’d read about the PUSH festival going on at HOME and after looking on the website saw there was a huge choice of plays and theatre shows over the past couple weeks I was spoilt for choice of what to see. The best kind of conundrum I think!

I chose two plays that were on the same night. 

The first show I saw was Narcissist in the Mirror with Rosie Fleeshman. A one woman show that was so cleverly written and directed and so utterly up my street covering aspirations and dodgy dates , questionable relationships and so much relevant subject manner I couldn’t have chosen better. 

An articulate monologue capturing self examination Rosie had the audience in the palm of her hand throughout. There was much laughter and relatable appreciation alongside intimate,vulnerable emotion . It’s a shame I caught the last night as I’d have rounded up friends and come back to show them how good it was.  I don’t know when or if it’ll be performed again but the Twitter account is here if you fancy keeping your eye out.

I had an hour between shows then so headed to the restaurant bar for a glass of wine with my book. The staff were lovely and the surroundings really cosy. I didn’t eat as I’d shovelled a load of nachos down my neck pre theatre. Having perused the menu afterwards though I’ll definitely try pre theatre dinner next time.

The second show I saw was [insert slogan here] by YESYESNONO theatre. This was a whole different show and feel. Accompanied by video and music , a simple concept of thought provoking poetic monologues interspersed with audience participation was delivered. It was unexpectedly touching and a little raw. A fantastically immersive show that you leave pondering past  memories and people. 

So you see this was a fabulous solo date!! So much so I’ve already made plans for a second visit and having looked at the spring/summer calendar I can see HOME Manchester becoming a firm favourite.



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          Mummy in a Tutu






JakiJellz


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Aaarrgghh…what is with the phone related anxiety??

I love my phone , I do!! Probably a bit too much . I wrote only last week here about how I think I could make  a few changes in my life in order to use my phone less.

My phone is my blog , it’s amazing articles fab people share on Twitter that I never would have seen otherwise. It’s chatting on Twitter about Bake Off and Strictly with folk I’ve never met but share common interests with. 

My phone is Facebook , it’s keeping connected with people who are as busy as I am and don’t always have time to catch up with personally! It’s bickering with my siblings whilst we find ourselves so unbelievably hilarious it probably should be a bit embarrassing.

My phone is my teenagers sending memes and articles they think will amuse me ,and they do. My phone is even for texts (yeah I still text! i am that old!) 

A ‘Good Morning’

A ‘How’s your day been ‘

A ‘saw this and thought of you’

A ‘good luck’

It’s a way of letting people know I’m thinking of them and that they are me too!

Do you know what my phone is not for though?

It’s certainly,absolutely not for phone calls.

No way. 

(unless it’s my sister)

I like to think on a day to day basis I am on top of many of my anxiety wobbles. On the whole I can deal with people , even strangers. I can walk into a room full of people I don’t know without feeling as though I’m going to faint or get those horrid stomach cramps or feel my face begin to go numb. It’s taken a long time to get here and I’ll fall backwards from time to time but I can do it. 

The phone though??? Making phonecalls , even answering phone calls just make me want to find a nice black hole somewhere to hide in! I can’t stand it.

It’s irrational I know that , I have never come to harm because of calling someone up but nothing strikes anxiety into my bones like the thought of having to call a stranger. 

Having to make a dentist or doctors appointment takes hours of psyching myself up . Then when I do build myself up to do it and I’m asked to repeat myself (I live away from ‘home’ and my accent can be tricky on the phone for some reason) then I’m all put in a spin and decide it’s best I never speak again.

Calling a venue to enquire after details of an event is unbearable . I will always always email if that is an option.

Seeing errors on bills has me weighing up whether it’s worth just losing the money so as I don’t have to speak to someone.

Phonecalls are my kryptonite , my Achilles heel,my weak link. 

They’re the thing that when I’m proud of how far I’ve come with my anxiety, how much better I feel ,how much progress I’ve made sniggers at me from the sidelines.

“yeah you think you’re over me ???How abouts you call up that night class you fancy doing now you’re all social then?? – loser!”

It’s really frustrating and irritating that this thing , which should be a tiny nothing is still the thing that has my tummy churning and breathing off kilter and heart racing.

Maybe I need to just bite the bullet , spend the whole day doing all the phonecalls I need to make as some kind of  anti aversion therapy. …those of us who do suffer from anxiety though are so aware that doing things that provoke anxiety are often about as easy as flying to the moon!!

I will overcome this one , as I’ve overcome so many other anxiety triggers. I just don’t know how yet is all!!


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We’re all stories in the end….

Today would have been my dad’s birthday. I’ll probably talk about him more than usual to the kids today. Tell stories of when their auntie and I were little , re-tell some of his terrible jokes.

I wrote a post here a few years back now about how my parents are fairytale like to my children. This can be a lovely thing. Over years I guess and with each telling stories are embellished,not wholly accurate details are added and stories and tales we tell about my parents probably aren’t an absolute true reflection of events.

This picture here I remember that day ,my brother and his wife had brought us Easter eggs , the one in my hand was a buttons one and I remember my mam saying how we had too much chocolate and we had to just have a bit . I remember the feel of that bloody awful sofa and itchy cardigan.

I think that’s probably the comfort of time passing ,the pain of grief lessens and chatting about people no longer here keeps their memory alive and in our thoughts.

That said , sometimes even time can play little tricks on your mind. Last week I was at the shops and I noticed some Christmas stock in the sale. It was sets of kids crockery : a plate , bowl and mug that when you stacked up made up a snowman. I had a total nostalgia flashback of a similar set I had as a kid. An immediate thought flickered into my head “I’ll have to ask my mam about that” 

Where the hell did that come from??My mum died nearly 19 years ago!!!

Maybe that’s what the story telling does? Keeps them in mind to the point odd things like that happen.
Freaked me out a little bit I can tell you.

All these thoughts of the stories we tell got me thinking.

I wonder what my children will tell about me in years to come. To their partners,their children,their grandchildren??

What memories will they share of their childhood?
Scary thought!!

I can imagine one of them trying to cajole THEIR child into their uniform for school against a protest of whinges and telling them to think themselves lucky as once their mum took them to school on inset day!

Or cooking dinner for their family recounting the time I made pie but forgot to put greaseproof paper under the baking beads resulting in a baking bead encrusted pie base….yum!!

Will our board game Friday’s get a mention??

The fact I make the best chilli known to man?!

Which days out will be remembered?

Which bits of birthday and Christmas traditions we have now will be passed on to take place in their own homes 20 years from now?

The thing is , as modern parents, there is so much pressure to be #makingmemories of us #livingourbestlife full of #preciousfamilytime and being oh so permanently #blessed . I’ve a feeling though that all our contrived memory making won’t quite pan out (annoyingly) It’ll be the little details ,the almost missed moments that are remembered and taken to heart by the little ones . The disasters and blooper reels of our family lives that are reminisced and laughed about.

There are probably events and memories that my parents would have expected to be high up in things to tell the kids about that I never have.

I barely remember any specific presents I got for Christmas (bar my Big Yellow Teapot – that was awesome!)What I do remember though is that on Christmas Day we used to pile into our parents bed and drink tea before going downstairs to open presents , my dad taking fairy steps to drive us nuts with anticipation.

I’ve no huge memories of days out but I do remember the day we all walked all the way to Hornsea (and back) my sister and I whining and wailing all the way home – I tell that story a lot! 

I don’t remember my poor mam cooking tea day in day out so much as I do my dad’s Sunday Dinner , on the table for us when we got in from our grandma’s ,eating it with the rugby on the radio in the background. 

Really I guess when we’re no longer around all we are are the stories other people tell about us . To me that feels quite powerful. 

To quote The Doctor (anywhere I can shoehorn in a Doctor Who reference the better but it’s actually apt here) 

“We’re all stories in the end .

Let’s make it a good one eh?”


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A brief whinge about January….

January, you suck.
Christmas was great – everyone knows there are no rules at Christmas. 
Chocolate for breakfast? Go ahead. 
Baileys before noon? Ah it’s Christmas!
Consuming twice your body weight in cheese ? No judgement here!

Then it begins….back to school seemed to come ridiculously early this year and all of a sudden you have to go back to normal life. Getting dressed and having to communicate with adult humans and everything! That glimpse of the sloth life you always craved was teased to you in a pj -athon festive period before being cruelly snatched right out of your grasp by the utter arse that is January! 

You’ve got to cook proper dinners again rather than just allow the children to fridge raid their way through 9 different joints of meat paired up with pasta salad and crusty bread and all the cheese! 

You’ve got to parent AND adult (often simultaneously what the hell?),its just a soul destroying time for all concerned.

When I rule the world the first two weeks of January will just be a write off. By law you’ll be required to get cosy on a sofa or bed with all the blankets and soft plush cushions and just stay that way with books and chocolate. 

It’ll be a simpler world…

On top of all the aforementioned woes there’s also the fact it’s cold and dark. There is little more torturous to my soul than having to motivate 4 children to get up and clean and ready for school whilst it’s still dark outside! Crap I can barely motivate myself – 3 teenagers and a duvet loving 9 yr old and I , my friends , am screwed.

The other annoying thing about January is the pressure to be better. Well to be fitter , to be healthier , to be thinner. Of course these are admirable being healthier in particular. No one ever resolves to be nicer though do they ? To be kinder? To be more compassionate or helpful? . No one I’ve heard anyway,maybe it’s the company I keep?

I gave up resolutions a few years back now. They just used to make me feel like a failure so I stopped. What makes me feel even more of a failure in January though is that the rest of the world is pulling on their gym kit and I can’t even find my dressing gown belt *

I don’t think my cosy book fortnight plan will likely take off when I am leader of the free world – though it’s a lot less batshit crazy than the kind of thing the current leader of the free world is coming out with so maybe worth a shot after all.

January you make me sadder , you make me colder , you make me lazier . 

I’m simply just not a fan ….so hurry up be done and let February show its face. That way I can lock horns with my nemesis and old foe Valentine’s Day…..this year I will triumph with a solo dinner date , a slushy movie and not a soft toy or garish love heart in sight!!
* small girl had used it to tie her feet to her bed in a one woman protest at not wanting to get dressed…like mother….


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Book Inspired Blog Post – It Started With A Tweet -Digital Detox

I love books , everyone who knows me knows that. So I really,really love chatting about them. I’m not a great reviewer though because if I REALLY love a book I get too giddy and want to dissect it thoroughly, the spoiler free review would evade me . I’m often inspired by books though so I thought I could include these kind of posts in the blog in 2018.

 If you follow me on social media you’ll have seen me raving about the first book I’ve read this year. It Started with a Tweet by Anna Bell.

It was the perfect post Christmas wind down book. Truly loveable characters, a bit of romance and lots of talk of the beautiful Cumbrian countryside. Works for me.

Without giving too much away ,our girl Daisy mistakenly sends a dodgy tweet and promptly loses her job. Daisy is cajoled into a digital detox by her sister who takes her to a rundown cottage in a remote village in Cumbria with no phone signal , social media or WiFi and the book tells of how she copes. 

It got me thinking about my own reliance on my phone , which is definitely quite strong. I’m someone who has to respond immediately to notifications. That ding from my phone will distract me from anything else I should be concentrating on. 

Now I’m not going to put my phone down a well (book reference) , I’m not going to swear off social media . HOWEVER I do think a mini detox would do me good. So I’ve identified ways I can use a mini digital detox for the greater good.

1) No scrolling in bed

This is an awful habit of mine.

I decide to get an early night , go to bed and read for a little while then turn out the light…..and then just check Facebook….and a little peek at Twitter….then see an article or blog post I need to read and before I know it it’s midnight. The early night is lost and I’m too alert and sleep suffers.

I’m going to try to break this habit. The articles tweets and posts will still be tin the morning!

2) Phone away whilst reading or watching TV

Whether I’m reading,catching up with Netflix or watching a film I’ve come to realise I’m never fully immersed or present in what I am doing. Only takes a bleep off the phone to distract me. 

This is not good for me. I’d like to think I’m a relatively intelligent woman with a good attention span so why can’t I just sit and watch a whole movie without distraction?

So that’s plan number 2. Phone away and on silent when watching TV or films or reading .

3) Write more letters and notes

In the book Daisy exchanges notes with Jack ,a man in the village as they have no other way to communicate. I absolutely love the thought of this! I am a letter writer , always have been. There’s just something about pretty paper , a special pen and handwriting that I adore. 

So immersed in communicating with people via a like on FB or an Instagram double tap am I that I realise right now that I  haven’t written a letter in over a year.
So number 3 – I will write a letter a week.

Obviously these are tiny little touches ,not hard changes to make but I think it’ll be interesting to see how I do! 

I will of course blog my findings , chat about it on FB , share on Twitter and Instagram as it happens …..ah come on I didn’t say I was going to totally change my ways did I ??

The #minidigitaldetox begins here…



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2017 – The year the ice queen thawed so much she almost melted!!!!

I know , I know I’ve bored everyone with my 2017 was great going on. Personally for me it was a game changer. I found myself content with who I am, comfier in my own skin and quite inspired!

I wrote a blog post  a few years back about I identified with Elsa from Frozen ( it’s here poss worth a giggle) She obviously has a better wardrobe than me though. She had her ice palace and snowy bouncer to keep people away. Me , I had a self built metaphorical wall built 10 ft high around myself with big KEEP OUT signs plastered all over it. (I apologise in advance for how much I’ll use the wall analogy but that’s just how it is in my head )

I’ve been called cold quite a bit in my life. I know I’ve demonstrated being a little unfeeling and harsh at times.In reality I was just numb and turned off feelings to get me through tough times. It was a very unhealthy coping mechanism I know now, but it worked to get me through at the time.

Last year though , that KEEP OUT wall fell, hopefully never to be seen again.

I think the reasons were threefold

1) years of therapy

2)This blog , writing about the feelings I can’t vocalise means I do at least deal with them

3) The main one : good people

I’m incredibly lucky to have my sister , you all know how she’s my most favourite human . The woman is so good at advice and she doesn’t even realise she’s given it!!! Even during the wall years there was always a little catflap open for her to get in!!!

Over the past couple years though I have had people come into my life and ever so very,very gently with their kindness and patience and consistency take down that wall brick by brick. Not in like a wrecking ball (sorry Miley) smashing it quickly and brutally but more removing each brick one by one quietly and calmly so you don’t even notice until the wall is no more (sorry I did warn about the wall)

When you’ve been emotionally abused you often ignore kindness and acts of friendship and love. As always I can only tell my story, but I find acts of love and kindness overwhelming.

I don’t trust them.

I didn’t feel worthy of them for so long,I just assumed anything positive said about me was a lie.

You see in previous toxic relationships grand gestures had been thrust upon me . Affection was bestowed so intensely then used as a weapon withdrawn completely and cruelly as punishment. I didn’t want to put myself in that vulnerable position again.

I guess this is why my sister is so vital. I know she loves me and wants the best for me without question. I trust that about her and everyone needs that.

So it’s easy to put compliments down as insincere, you can disbelieve nice words, that’s easy …. Only sometimes people enter your life who don’t just take the ice queen at face value and leave her be.

For someone who has been emotionally abused THESE people are vital , the healers. Consistency is key – you can ignore compliments and kind gestures initially but when they are consistent and as low key as you need then eventually you begin to believe them. That’s when you let people in…..(wall alert) you’ll begin to pull down that bloody wall yourself because you want those people in. It’s a truly special thing and I’m grateful to have enjoyed that in 2017.

That ice queen is gone , hopefully for good. The woman who couldn’t have stood a hug is now a cuddle fan , she’s a bit slushy on the quiet , her cold little heart beats warmly.

It can be a lot to take letting these emotions in . I’ve become a bit of a cry baby and I feel in 4D …. I’m still a learner with these emotion type things but I’m getting there and I’m enjoying it!!!



 

JakiJellz

 





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Dear Blog…..

Dear Blog,

Just a quick note with a few promises from me to you for 2018. I know I didn’t give you the attention you deserved towards the end of the year. In fact it’s fair to say that you were totally abandoned. Sorry about that. I also know that you are a bit clumsy and haphazard,that’s my fault you see I’m a bit clumsy and haphazard myself at times.There’s no structure to when and how often I post , no scheduling,no real plan.

My blog is basically me just droning on when I feel like I have something to say. It works for me , but my little blog you deserve better. Soooo in 2018 I promise that I will……

1) I will finally go self hosted

I started the process of this LAST May. I read every blog I could find about how to do it. I researched hosts , I even signed up and paid for a service I didn’t use for 6 months… because when it came to it I totally bottled it!

Not , you see, that I think my words are as precious as diamonds I was afraid to lose or anything like that. It was more I had that “who do you think you are?!” feeling. Like by going self hosted I thought I was a ‘proper’ blogger now – not just some odd girl who can write stuff she can’t verbalise!

Anyway this year I shall do it!!!

2) I will write at least once a week

If you read much of my blog you’ll know some weeks I can bang out 3 or 4 posts yet others I recycle old one’s in quite a lazy fashion – no more.

3) I will begin the series I’ve been planning for months 

I want to write a series highlighting fab , inspirational women. Not ones that make you feel like a total underachiever though. Just ordinary women who are doing something great .

I’m really excited about this one!!!

So I’m sorry for the abandonment my little blog. I’ll be much more attentive in 2018. Now I’ve written it all down I have to stick to it right?? 
Love Kelly xxx