Monthly Archives: April 2018

Not so family friendly..

Sometimes, usually if there’s some football on if truth be told I take the kids out for lunch to a pub not far from our house. The food is always nice, pretty cheap and cheerful and most importantly despite living in Manchester the staff who work there will always put the Hull City matches on for that poor sad family who come in their shirts, totally unashamedly!

I would call it a family friendly place. The kids menu is quite extensive, more than just the chicken nuggets or sausage choices a lot of places do. There’s a kids play area outside, and they have highchairs. This all gives me the impression they are welcoming families with open arms. The staff I’ve seen always have a word for any kids I’ve seen them bring in food to. It’s the perfect place to think “balls to it, I’m not cooking let’s go out”

Today only teen boy the younger and I were home so we decided to go for lunch. We were sat on a table between two other families. There was football on so I had lost my son to the beautiful game and all there is then left to do is people watch /be nosy. One table had 3 kids I’d guess all under 5 which I of course can relate to out for dinner with mum and dad. They were so well behaved, they were just doing the usual kid thing of messing about at the table waiting for their food impatient as kids are, but sat at the table not being crazy noisy or running about like mad things. I was getting all nostalgic thinking aaaaw remember when that would have been the teens and I when they were little and thinking how well behaved these little kids here were now. I kept catching the odd “shhh people are trying to eat” from mum and I remembered also being that person, over aware of not disturbing people. Then just as they were going to leave I overhead the mum tell the dad, through gritted teeth, we are never doing this again.

Then the nostalgia was replaced. With that horrid memory of being so panicky and worried that other people were judging me if the kids made the tiniest noise or messed about. That fear of being judged was huge, to the point I’d be so stressed I’d lose my appetite and just want to get out and go home. Just how the mum was in the pub today, despite the fact her kids were disturbing no-one.

At another table a mum with a couple of kids was meeting someone, possibly her mum who was berating her for letting the kids bring their Ipads. So she was there looking all guilty and I bet she didn’t enjoy her dinner with all the stress either.

It just made me think. What’s the point in family friendly pubs and restaurants if we can’t just give ourselves a bit of a break.

I have always taken the kids out to eat, and I think it’s a good skill for them to learn how to eat out nicely. It seems to have worked.

So maybe just give yourselves a break if you’re out at a family friendly place. Your kids aren’t running about tripping up waitresses or chucking pasta at the elderly gentleman sat on the next table. They’re just learning. You want to fetch the Ipads so you can eat in peace do so, you’re paying for the treat of not having to cook or wash up.

If the kids are getting unsettled and bored sat and waiting that’s just something they have to learn. No one is judging you.

More importantly though,if you’re one of the people tutting and shaking your head at families daring to leave their house (I once had a couple move because I sat down next to them with the kids – saying loudly “let’s move I’m not sitting with kids they’ll be noisy and messy” this was in Morrisons cafe by the way, we hadn’t stumbled into the Ritz) to eat, and then maybe just think. A giggling child or a dropped fork isn’t the end of the world and you are contributing towards us parents feeling unwelcome in even the most child friendly of places.

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She’s doing ‘finding herself’ chat again….

I always used to believe myself to be quite cool (as in chilly – I’ve never been the other kind of cool in my life!) and nonchalant about most things. Relationships I’ve been in I’ve always been half hearted about, the least bothered of the two. I was never going to be broken hearted or actually bothered if truth be told if they ended. I know this makes me sound heartless but those who’ve read my blog a while are aware all these relationships have been toxic in one way or another and I’ve stumbled into them almost by accident, no great thunderbolts of love.

I’ve never really obsessed about ‘stuff’ I’ve never (books aside) seen something, be that a dress or some shoes or furniture, and HAD to have it.

I think up until fairly recently my ambitions were dumped along with the placenta after the first born came along. I didn’t feel driven or have that huge need to achieve that was once there.

Probably as a result of toxic, abusive relationships all my desires and needs and wants were wrapped up in my frosty little heart and left on ice for another time when I was ready to feel again.

You’ll all been bored to death about my year of change and development in 2017 how that frosty little heart thawed. How I finally have ME back and how great that feels.

However do you know what I’ve discovered? Far from nonchalant turns out I’m actually a touch obsessive. I don’t love often but when I love I love hard and when I feel I feel passionately !!

Take The Greatest Showman.

It was on my radar a while as a movie I should probably see. I finally did and oh my!!! Fell head over heels! Proceeded to see it another 3 times have listened to nothing but the soundtrack for nigh on a week. Have been talking about it non stop telling everyone how they must see it.

(OK little pep talk now. If you haven’t seen this movie and you are at all a fan of experiencing pure joy with a side order of emotional tears…. See it.)

This blog here is another example. Probably the only hobby I’ve ever kept up. I love my little blog so much and I love the blogging community. I do put my heart and soul into some of my blog posts (admittedly some are just talking about my weird crushes) I think my blog certainly benefits from getting rid of my icy knickers and in her place embracing Little Miss Passionate.

There leads into another thing I put my heart into almost obsessively. The causes I care about I do so wholeheartedly. Equality, fighting for women’s rights and attempting to make voices heard. I know to some me and my soapbox are probably an irritant, but being able to care so passionately about something isn’t really something the girl with the frozen heart could have done.

Then we have people. You know my sister is my top human and to be honest regardless of the ice queening I’ve always had her tucked away in the warmer bit. I like to talk to her on the phone everyday, often more than once. I never run out of things to talk to her about. I want to know what she’s up to and what she’s had for her tea a la The Royle Family.

Few other people have snuck through of late though. I think I’m a better friend these days now I’ve shaken off the icicles. I do care about and love people I’m not related to after all… Weird eh?

Then there’s a particular man. I know who would have thought it eh? Turns out sometimes you make a list like this and sometimes the universe plays ball. Cosmic ordering at its finest? Again though, not something I could have done until I reached that warmer heart phase (thank goodness I put patient on that list!)

So there we are, and my bit of self awareness this week is that far from nonchalant and not really being bothered. Me, the actual me, once the BS is dropped does care a lot and to be honest has slightly obsessive tendencies.

I do apologise for all the egocentric posts of late, it’s just *twat phrase alert* ‘finding yourself’ takes ages and now that I’m finally getting there it makes me a bit giddy!!!

So thanks for listening!!

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10 things that drive me (probably irrationally)nuts …

I’m not an angry person , I very very rarely lose my temper.

I get angry about the big stuff.

Misogyny , poverty , people unnecessarily suffering. Bigotry and stupidity and hatred. Yes I can get worked up into a frenzy about those things , you guys know you’ve read the rants.

There are things though , daft little things , seemingly nothing things that really get to me because …well I’m a bit odd.

People yelling across the house at one another

Aaarrgghh , on this one I have turned into my mother . I use the line “if you want to talk to someone go into the same room as them” way more than I should , but obviously noone can hear me saying that because they’re yelling at each other from separate rooms of the house . Therefore I have to yell to tell everyone to stop yelling and move …..total headache.

That they’ve changed the HP sauce recipe

My comfort food when my world is a bit tough is (please don’t judge me I’m sure you’ve all got your own little food quirks) boiled rice with HP sauce. Its a combo I discovered accidentally as a kid but it’s delicious. It makes me feel better. It gives me comfort. Except they’ve changed the bloody recipe , it’s only a little tweak but I can tell the difference. My comfort food is spoilt and to make it worse I always forget so make it anyway and end up disappointed!!

Facebook pass it on and you’ll be a millionaire and live forever posts

I’m not going to am I ?? I’m 38 , bloody hell I was always the person who put at end to chain letters as a kid I’m not going to go back now.

Train company logic

We get to the train to school and back. During rush hour Northern Rail think 2 carriages will suffice. It will not , if I wanted to spend 10 minutes with my nose stuck in some guys armpit I’d seek it out as a pastime. Come 2pm though when only 3 people are on the train there are more carriages than The Hogwarts Express. No sense .

People who say Asdas , Primart or Mataland.

Please just don’t go to these shops and double please don’t talk about them unless you can manage to get the name right.

Boob tax

Ok so there may not be an official boob tax , but can you get a decent , pretty bra if you have big boobs without having to sell a kidney?You can not . The boobs came with the kids for goodness sakes and they cost enough to run! Give the boobs a break or I’ll stop wearing bra’s altogether and THEN you’ll all be sorry!!!

Getting my order wrong in restaurants

Eating out is a big treat for me . Food is my friend . However I have a few little quirks , and so when I ask for this dish but without mushrooms ,that’s what I want . When you’ve taken my order , written it down AND read it back to me then still fetch it with all the slimy little fungus mushrooms I’d previously expressed I most certainly didn’t want ….it actually makes me want to cry!!

Family tickets

Specifically 2 adults 2 children family tickets . Or even the more progressive 1 adult 3 children family tickets. Its still only 4 people. We have 5 . Just give us single parents with the tribe of kids a thought otherwise I have to stress myself with mental maths working out which combo of tickets will be the cheapest. The only other solution would be to choose which child had annoyed me the most that day and leave them peering through the theme park gates ,giving them a little wave from the top of the log flume and pushing an overpriced hot dog to them through the gates like those mums who protested Jamie Olivers school dinners.

Chatty call centre folk

I hate hate hate phone calls as it is . When they’re necessary though and I mean seriously necessary like the internet not working on my phone and I can’t get on social media serious. I bite the bullet and do it. All I want is my problem fixed . I don’t really care Wayne from O2 that it’s your birthday today or wanna fill you in on how my weekend is going. Just please fix my problem and say bye . Please , I’m sure you’re a great guy and just being friendly but I don’t use my phone for talking.

Misuse of :

Their/They’re/There

Too/to

Where/wear/were

I know I know I know , people dont like a grammar pedant. It just bothers me . Partly because it really bloody irritates me but also because it makes me judgy girl and she’s rubbish. Communication with my daughter’s father are tough enough as it is but one little “I won’t bring her home TO late ” has me cursing my vagina ever had that kind of person near it!

Disclaimer – any similar crime committed by me is a typo. Almost certainly. Probably.

So there we are the little things that drive me super nuts . Can’t tell you how therapeutic it was to write that!

Sooooo over to you , what daft little things get under your skin??

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Burnished Chaos
One Messy Mama

5 tips for dating someone with anxiety

When I’m anxious , it’s horrible for me . Noone wants to feel like their breathing is so uncontrollable they might just pass out . Noone enjoys that horrible feeling of a thousand thoughts , most of them negative whizzing around their brain at a dizzying pace. It’s a horrible debilitating condition .

Not just for me going through it either . When anxious the kids get irritable mum , the one who is so sensitive to noise sssshhh is out of her mouth way more often that it should be. Friends and people around me get distracted me , the one who is going to need telling again when she is feeling better exactly what you told me just now because I’m nodding and trying so hard to listen but I just can’t take it on board.

So then imagine dating me ?

Obviously when anxiety is nowhere to be found I am a delight!!All sparkling conversation and wit and charm……or something….

During an anxious period , not so much! I can’t be the only one , so if you’re dating someone who suffers with anxiety there might be some tips here for you. Obviously everyone is different and I can only speak for myself but here goes .

I will cancel on you

This is likely nothing to do with you.

When anxiety strikes people are tricky. Even people I really,really like are a struggle. Now if I’m dating you I really really really like you as not many get that far. So I’ll try really hard to just push through. Only added to the people phobia is that voice. The anxiety voice telling me he doesn’t want to go out with me anyway , why would he ? I’m dull I’m boring I’m just an anxious drain , in fact he’s probably only involved with me because he feels sorry for me.

Regular me knows all that to be anxiety fuelled nonsense. Anxiety ridden me knows FOR SURE that this is the truth.

So I’ll probably cancel. Get under my duvet and spend a few hours worrying about if you’ll ever want to see me again with me being such a pathetic flake.

Anxiety is exhausting.

Prepare yourself for contradiction

Again can only tell my story , but during an anxious bout I want to be left alone . I don’t want chat or touching or made to talk about how I feel. Except….ALL I want is company of someone I trust and touching and holding and reassuring words.

Goodness knows what chances another person has of getting it right when I have no clue myself.

Sometimes silence is key

When anxious I become so oversensitive to noise . People talking normally will really get to me as it feels too overwhelming. I’m already exhausted because as detailed above having 3 million thoughts a minute wears you out . So sometimes I’m going to just need to lay under a blanket with you , no words, no small talk just silence and knowing you’re there will calm me.

You may get dumped

In my case you’ll certainly get dumped. I’ll decide that there’s no point continuing with this . Tell you to go find someone ‘normal’. Even if I really like you , especially if I really like you . How on earth could I expect anyone to put up with this anxious mess on a regular basis?

Truth is , I’m just giving you an out . I know I can be hard work when anxiety strikes . Especially if I’ve not mentioned I’m feeling anxious and you just think I’m going off on one because I’ve gone off you. So I’d understand if you can’t deal. I’m really hoping you won’t take that out though , I’m hoping you’re going to ride this out with me . It takes a special kind of a person to do that though so if that’s not you best you do run for the hills.

Once you learn the cheat codes it’s so much easier

You know the old fashioned games consoles where if you knew the cheat codes you could get never ending lives or some bonus. Well it’s kind of the same with people.

My anxiety is pretty predictable , it creeps up gently , gives me a rough couple of days then fades again. My reaction to it is equally predictable. I get a bit needy , I look for constant reassurance . If you can recognise the signs that I’m having an anxious day and even better then know how to comfort me then we’ll be just fine. I was once having a particularly bad anxious day ,all self loathing and horrid so employing the ‘lets just finish this’ technique detailed above. The (correct) response from the (lucky?!) guy in question was to suggest a duvet and a nap , and if I still wanted to dump him later that’d be fine!! Mr Smarty Pants was obviously right to my surprise and when questioned how he knew I was just anxious answered “I just know your anxiety cheat codes by now”

Caring about someone with anxiety can be tough , as I for one struggle to verbalise my feelings and so therefore my behaviour can seem odd. Anxiety makes me irritable and full of doubt and self loathing . It makes me exhausted and lethargic and drains me of energy. It can make huge changes to my personality ,it makes me needy and I bloody hate feeling like that. I’m a strong independent woman not that one under a duvet asking for her hair played with.That must be a lot to deal with.

It takes someone special to be the reassuring voice without getting frustrated by the need for it .

Someone special to invest in knowing me well enough to know that stroking my hair and shhhhh ing me like a baby can help when an anxiety attack strikes.

To be patient and to care about me when I don’t much care about myself.

Anxiety is not a constant in my life though , I’m lucky these days it’s just a rare visitor. So if you can put up with the occasional rough day it’s so worth it for all the sparkling conversation and wit and charm I told you about at the beginning….and I make an awesome pie !!I’m a catch , honestly!!

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Affection withdrawal as an abuse tactic… conquered

I’ve waffled and whinged and whined in this blog a lot about my aversion to hugs and tactility. I’ve bored you all with my 2017 Eureka moment where finally the Ice Queen thawed and being touched no longer makes me wants to recoil in horror and turn into a statue.

What I’ve not really dealt with though is why I’m like I am .

It’s odd; life after abuse. You have so many lingering behaviours once you’ve left , even years on some habits stick (one of these days I’ll take my phone off silent mode) Some ideas still float about your head unquestioned ,until you realise that actually those ideas are not your own ideas ,they were a seed another person planted in your head so gently that you took them and everything that grew from them on as your own but they never ever were yours. Sometimes one day , everything clicks into place and you realise that your behaviour still mirrors that of that abused woman ,and then…well then you have the power to get rid of it .

I had a bit of a Eureka moment like that over this week. I know where my hatred of affection came from , I know why I’m like I am and now I do I can banish it for good.

When I met the man who abused me I was going through a tough time , I was vulnerable . I must have been a gift to him! Now I’ve never really been a hugger ,that I can’t say is down to anything other than I’m not naturally a tactile person. He came along though and showered me with affection. At that low point in my life I soaked it up. Cuddling , touching, all the affection and compliments and kind words and gestures wrapped me up completely. I liked it , I liked being the focus of all this love and I was flattered .

Over time emotional abuse became the norm . I was manipulated and coerced into behaving a certain way. He was charming and I am a people pleaser so it probably wasn’t that much hard work to get me to do as he wished. However on one occasion I resisted . I didn’t play along with his games . I stood my ground and didn’t give in . I can’t even remember what it was that was the issue now but that day he withdrew affection and kindness and compliments and they never returned. Those strokes of the arms as he passed me , the hand squeezes that I’d relied on ,am arm around me or a peck on the cheek all disappeared immediately along with compliments and encouraging words (even only now as I write this do I realise why I hate compliments too)

As I mentioned above I am a people pleaser by nature and I’d grown to like the affection he had lavished me with. He had already done enough ground work on my head to ensure that the affection withdrawal would have the desired affect. It did. Then you see I was always striving to get that back. I was doing anything he wanted to try and pull back the affection , only now I was so very grateful for the tiniest scrap of approval he only need offer the occasional hand on the shoulder or feeble words of praise to make me feel better. I was altering my behaviour and character to get this guy to go back to his love bombing of the beginning . I was absolute putty in his hand , easily moulded to be exactly what he wanted at any given time.

I think we’re joining dots now to find out why I then became the girl that hated hugs and affection and touching. I always knew it had to be a defensive thing and it absolutely was. In my mind I could never again give anyone that kind of power ,that hold over me . I couldn’t settle in to enjoy affection because I knew how horrific it was to have it removed.

Years away from toxic relationships , therapy and this blog though have been my trio of weaponry against the damage done mentally. They’re pretty solid too these days. I talked here last week about my need for patience and yes I do absolutely need that understanding and trust if I’m going to be close to people , physically and emotionally.

You know what though ? I’m going to have to disagree with the Doctor on this one now . You can trust a hug , I like hugs . I like hand holding and little kisses to the face and my hair stroked. Physical contact is a primal human need and I’d deprived myself of that for way too long .

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BlogOnX Introduce Yourself 

I’m looking forward to attending BlogOn this year for the second time. I like the introduce yourself linky and I like random questions so without further ado!!!

Share a recent photo of yourself

I should comment I was on my way out an 80s/90’s night and going for the 90s grunge look!!!

What’s your favourite pizza topping?

Hot shot!!You know ?pepperoni , peppers , jalapeños …yum!!!

You can have dinner with any three guests dead or alive- who do you choose and why?

Kylie ….this year marks my 30th year of being in love with her !!

Beyonce…just….no words necessary other than goddess

David Tennant because I am in love with him also and I’m sure he’d have fun dancing the night away with me and the girls!!

Up to now what would you consider being your biggest life achievement?

This is a tricky one , the children being older now I could say them but I am scared I’ll jinx it….so if it’s ok to get a but deep and meaningful , I’d say leaving a horrible relationship and running away to a whole new place and starting again.

If you woke up tomorrow as a character from any Disney film or book who would you be and why?

Elsa from Frozen. My ice queen tendencies are thawing , but c’mon Let it Go is one the best songs of all time !!

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Check my phone social media etc *blushes ashamedly*

If you won the lottery what would be the very first thing you would buy and why?

I’d arrange one massive holiday for all my favourite people!!!

What is your favourite quote from a movie?

“I like you very much , just as you are ”

From Bridget Jones . Sssshhh dont tell anyone though cos as mentioned above I’m meant to be an ice queen not a soft old romantic type!!

If you were a superhero what would your super power be?

Mind reading , without a doubt.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Nothing is ever made worse by talking about it.

I’m not great at talking about big important things and I struggle to verbally express myself and this is helpful.

Which emoji do you use the most?

😂

If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything what would it be?

Your life is going to be nowhere near as you’d planned ,but it’s ok. You’re way stronger than you ever could have thought. ….also you’re not fat.

What do you currently have set as the wallpaper on your phone?

My girlies!!!Twinning by choice!

If you could do anything in the world as a legitimate job what would you do?

Leading lady in a West End musical , obviously!

Where is your favourite place in the world?

York . The most beautiful, most romantic gorgeous gorgeous place

Can’t wait to see you all at BlogOn!!!

Small girl – we need you!

This Easter weekend has been a little different this year. Often the teens are away at grandparents that weekend and it’s often just small girl and I home.

This year was the opposite , 3 teens and I were home and NO small girl , who was chocolate egg -ing it up with daddy.

I’ve got to admit , I realised then we need her around to keep us on track. Without her to entertain and have fun with we all go a bit feral and very lazy. 

Good Friday usually marks the beginning of the Easter holidays. With small girl around we generally put Hop on (that film is so underrated ,we bloody love it !) grab the popcorn and begin the holidays!!!

This year , without small girl to oversee proceedings we went off plan. 

You know I’m from Hull??(what?no I don’t go on about it ALL the time!!!) Well Good Friday in Hull means one thing – rugby ! Specifically the Hull rugby derby. Hull v Hull!!!! Now to do this properly you really have to be there , but as we live near Manchester now heading to the pub to watch was the next best option , so off glorious first born and I went 

We had great fun watching the rugby (we won we won we won!!!)  Came home ate a ton of snacks none of which nutritious then watch a whole heap of trash TV. It was fab!!

Easter Saturday with small girl would usually involve a bake athon. She loves her baking and cooking and usually weeks before special Easter cupcake toppers are bought , bunny cookie cutters are sourced and baking happens !!

Now this year without her , no sweet treats were made . Eldest went out so it was just the 15 and 16 year old and I . Now I don’t want you to think that all I ever do is take my children to the pub….BUT there happened to be another sporting event and THE only activity teen boy the younger had expressed an interest in doing. He currently has a broken wrist so somewhat limited . Hull City were on Sky !! Excitedly we went off to watch our match. Until we got there. There was another match on at the same time and this one had a Manchester team playing! We didn’t stand a chance of getting to see our match. Ever the adaptable ones we decided to stay and have dinner . I am winning no Instagram awards for perfect Easter parenting here.

So we get to Easter Sunday. Small girl is our little Masterchef. Her roast dinners are just lovely and I am very envious this 10 year old Manc girl can make better Yorkshire puddings than her actual Yorkshire mother!!!

She’s not here though – anyone fancy roast dinner? i could make a pie? Casserole maybe ? Lamb?

A request for sausages goes up and is emphatically agreed all round . Sigh….

Small girl is back today . We need her . We just get way too slothlike while she’s away. I am looking forward to making our own chocolate eggs (although she did tell me my Hobbycraft moulds are unlikely to work as it means tempering?!?! chocolate which is tricky!) I am looking forward to crafts and watching Hop and sharing chocolate and she has even mentioned she quite fancies making roast beef!!!

Ah hurry home small girl, your family need you !!!