Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Useful Uses for Pets

I've been rather quiet lately on the blog but this is because I have been pursuing other artistic endeavours. At the end of last summer, my daughter and I decided to try our hand at making our own picture book to give as Christmas presents to the rellies. She came up with the title and it all sort of grew from there! The idea was to have humorous drawings (intentionally, not unintentionally, had I been the artist) with rhyming observations.

It was great fun to do and a nice way to spend an afternoon with your young one in the pursuit of something of mutual interest. The evening spent scanning the images was not so interesting but it resulted in our being able to upload everything onto a book-making website called blurb.com ... and now we're waiting excitedly for the first few copies to roll in. (When I say first few, this is because I only ordered three... paying for my own book feels rather disheartening rather than receiving the royalties from others popping out to buy it).

If you fancy seeing what you could do, or checking out what we did, you can preview the book for free at Blurb. I'd be happy to sign any copies! ;-) 

More anon!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A very private pregnancy

There is such a thing as privacy these days. Apparently. But you need to tell everyone about it, as Jess Ratty proved in this article in the Guardian.

Pregnant woman using a laptop
Did you tweet the first time you felt the baby kick? Photograph: Andreas Pollok/Getty

What I thought was rather ironic about this article was the fact that Ms Ratty (by nature as well as name?) thought that she was giving her unborn child Facebook anonymity but decided to tell readers from around the world. Granted, she's not giving hourly updates on her pregnancy but she's guaranteed a wider readership on the social networking site than on Facebook. Unless she has hundreds of thousands of followers. The nice pay cheque for writing the piece would have been a decent incentive too.

But Ms Ratty has raised a valuable point with regard privacy in pregnancy... and beyond. As soon as you have a bun in the oven everyone suddenly thinks you're public property. Forget Facebook - you have random people walking up to you in the street to ask if they can touch your bump. They ask about your due date. Do you know what you're having? What name will you give the child? Suddenly saying something about your pregnancy to a group of Facebook friends seems more normal than listening to a random person tell you you'll have a boy because of the way you are carrying or because your nose is a certain shape.

I must have looked fierce or smelt oddly or something because people generally kept away from me when I was pregnant. They'd ask how far gone I was but no one stroked my stomach, thankfully. Though a perverse side of me wondered why other people were pestered and I wasn't. Luck, I suppose.

The intrusiveness set in after I had given birth. These are some of the questions levelled at me:

1. 'Are you breastfeeding?'
Why - are you?

2. 'Why is your baby not wearing socks? Do you know what the temperature is outside?'
She's not wearing socks because she pulls them off the second they're put on her, and, yes, I do know it's five degrees out there.

3. Was it a natural birth?
No, I had her hanging upside down off a lamp post. Is that what you mean by natural? If you can ask such a personal question, surely you can ask me whether I had her vaginally or not. That's right - use the correct anatomical vocabulary.

4. When are you having your next?
First, you're assuming I'm having another. Second, do you really want me to inform you of the next time that I have unprotected sex? Because that IS what you're asking. There's not the possibility of an Immaculate Conception.

5. (Three years down the line) Why do you only have one? Surely you know how damaging being an only child is?
Look, I am an only child and I think I've done OK. And the reason why I haven't had more than one is... I'm infertile. (Queue tears on my part and a swift exit on theirs.)

Some people have thought me cruel to throw the infertility card at nosey-parkers but I don't see why. I do know women who struggled to conceive after their first child and the emotional torment they face when people asked these very personal questions. If someone has the gall to ask you why you haven't multiplied your brood after your first then they've got to roll with the punches. It's like when people pester me for either not drinking or only drinking a glass of wine. 'What's wrong with you?' I find 'I'm a recovering alcoholic' to be a useful reply in these circumstances.

Because it seems that people are happy enough to ask you questions that are extremely personal but they are not prepared for the embarrassment of an answer that doesn't fit with their idea of acceptable conversation.

Maybe a good way around is for women to have business-type cards with their Facebook account name on them so, when Joe Public accosts them in the street for the low-down, they can direct them to an appropriate social networking platform for the answer. Or maybe they should just get a big Tshirt with 'Mind your own business' blazened across their bump.


Friday, 18 November 2011

OMG! That IS my husband!

I was in Blackwell's in Oxford today, browsing the books, and came across this gem:

It was the first time that I became excited about this type of board book and I devoured it very quickly. You can check it out here.

The joke behind the book is, of course, that men never do anything remotely helpful around the house or with the children. It does bow to the stereotype that men suddenly become incompetent when faced with domestic duties. I am sure there are blokes out there like this but, as my previous post attests, I don't have this particular problem.

My husband was always happy to change the nappies and get up in the night, and was often awake long before I was. Doing the laundry? No problem. Before I have my eyes open on a Saturday morning, my husband trots down the stairs with a basketful of darks, enquiring 'Do you want a shower this morning?' before putting the load in (no, unfortunately he's not asking me to him in a romantic personal hygiene session; he's reminding me that the washing machine sends the shower up the creek).

Husband is also keen on cleaning. As soon as he's home in the evening, he's wiping counters down, washing lunchboxes out, sorting through the recycling bins. If I set a teaspoon down on the side after making a cup of tea, it is swiftly removed and the surface wiped before I can say 'sponge'. I sometimes wonder if he'd dress me in an antibacterial wipe if he could.

When I share this with my female friends, they sigh in envy and don't understand why I grumble. Well, I guess because I feel that my 'DH' is commenting on my (lack of) domestic skills. Even though I am liberated woman, I still feel that if my husband is driven to cleaning immediately upon his return that this is a comment on my slovenly ways. Talk about role reversal... who's the daddy - and the mummy - now?

Sometimes this insecurity has led to rows between us.

DH: 'Shall I cook the supper tonight?'

Me: 'It's only 5.45pm!'

DH: 'I know. I am just wondering if you'd like me to cook tonight?'

Me: 'No you're not. You're commenting on how lazy I am to have not started cooking by now.'

DH: 'Of course I'm not! I'm trying to be helpful! Why should you be the one who cooks all the time?'

Me: 'Because I'm the woman!'

And here's the crux. Even though, when I was growing up, I was determined not to be the stereotypical 1950s housewife, I feel my domain is threatened when my equally liberated husband comes home and offers to share the domestic tasks. And I am not alone. I have talked to other women who feel equally slighted when their well-meaning husbands come home and offer to take over. Here's how a typical exchange in our house might go:

Me: 'What - is the house not tidy enough for you?'

DH: 'It's just if I see something that needs doing, I do it.'

Me: 'Why can't you come home, grab a beer, and scratch your balls like other men do?'

My daughter and I occasionally try to persuade him that it's OK to relax when you step through the door. It's all rather Edwardian though, thanks to our DVD of Mary Poppins. My daughter grabs DH's slippers and dressing gown (through lack of smoking jacket, so DH has to sweat in fleece instead of languish in silk) and I hand him a glass of sherry. He smiles and perches on the sofa but I am sure his eyes are scanning the piles of books in danger of toppling over, the cushions scattered haphazardly on the futon.

It is difficult being a woman - and a man - these days. There are countless stories of women being pulled this way and that, expected to hold down a career as well as be a mother, a wife and superhumanly talented in some sort of art too. But the men are also cast adrift in a sea of confusion. They are the breadwinners - or are they? Should they offer to become househusbands so their wives can go out to work? Should they split the childcare evenly? Is scratching their balls and downing a beer acceptable these days?

I think what really drove it home for me was watching an exchange amongst families a couple of years back. The shattered mothers of the newborns were sat having a picnic, eyes glazed with sleep-deprivation, while the men chatted. The subject of their conversation? Breast-feeding.

Man 1: 'How long has Fliss been breastfeeding for?'

Man 2: 'Oh, for 9 months, since the birth. We don't want to move to formula if we can help it.'

Man 1: 'When do you think you will stop?'

Man 2: 'Well, statistics show that the longer a child breastfeeds, the greater their immunity against common colds so we are planning to wait until Titan reaches at least two years of age.'

See if you can spot at least TWO things wrong with this conversation.

The first? The use of the word 'we' when referring to breastfeeding. Does Man 2 slather cream onto cracked nipples? No. Does he have to suffer the embarrassment of straying breast pads? No. So where does the 'we' come in here? It's like the breasts have become some kind of joint venture - the property of both mother and father (and of course baby).

The second weird thing? That men are talking about breastfeeding and its benefits while the women zone out. Why are they doing this? What's wrong with football and Formula 1 (not Formula milk)?

It's becoming creepy. Women need to take their breasts back, and men need to find their cojones. There's too much oestrogen as it is in the water supply.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Now I know why it's called cross-stitch! Damn!

I am going to plagiarise myself here. A while back I created a blog called Little Ms Funshine in an attempt to write about the brighter side of life, to foster happiness and positivity. But basically I'm a bit of a grumpy bugger at heart so I didn't manage many entries. The good news on this (see, I am trying to find a silver lining) is that I can plunder a few of the posts and use them here. I hope you enjoy this gem...

Now I know why it's called cross stitch!
From http://walyou.com/img/cross-stitch-quilt-pacman-characters.jpg
Today is a more personal blog, coming from my own life. Hell, why not?

It all started with my mum and her upbringing. This was back in the 1940s, where a shorthand and typing course and knowledge in the domestic arts of cooking, sewing, knitting, etc were de rigeur. After all, she was told, she was going to meet a nice man who would marry her and look after her. Academic pursuits were not encouraged, despite her affinity with German and Latin, and languages in general, so she abandoned the idea of studying at university.

When she had me, in the bra-burning 1970s (she never burnt her bra but did go without one) she was determined to encourage my academic side so I could go out and get a good job and stand on my own two feet. I wouldn't be beholden to a man for security - financial or otherwise. So I read books, studied hard and got into Oxford University without lengthy sewing or cookery lessons (in fact, in school home economics, my attempts were often held up as what not to do). But I have no doubt that this freedom to concentrate on my studies was what got me a much-coveted place at the famous uni.

The only thing was ... at Oxford, the girls, apart from being much more intelligent than I was, could make clothes, bake cakes and probably were adept in the art of flower arranging to boot. I suddenly felt inferior. I couldn't even sew on a button. And I remember hiding a birthday cake I had baked for my boyfriend because I'd used the wrong type of sugar and it had come out looking like a flapjack. One of his female friends - graduated with a first too, so a really smart cookie - turned up with a magnificent layer cake that everyone cooed over, while my attempt was quietly and secretly stashed in the bin.

I'd go through these phases of guilt and anger over my status as an undomestic goddess but I never did anything about them. Living on my own helped me learn to cook and I can do OK (though I usually burn shop-bought desserts and my cakes never rise). My mum would occasionally pull my leg about my hopelessness with a needle but I'd say 'So why didn't you teach me?'

The final straw came when I had my daughter. When something needed mending she soon learnt that daddy was the sewer AND knitter in the family. Problem was she started telling the world this. Mothers smothered laughs when she said 'My daddy will fix this. He can sew. Mummy can't.' Again these were women who were fantastic in all areas so I had no excuse. I had to learn.

Two weekends ago my mum sat me down and taught me a running stitch. I did a few practices with it and it worked. I was delighted! She advised that I got one of those sewing magazines with freebies to keep on practising, using easy projects to experiment with. So I bought a copy of Cross Stitcher magazine, and brought it home enthusiastically to attempt to make a mini-mirror case.

I opened it up and saw to my horror that it had no detailed instructions on how to actually create this thing. And that a running stitch was only used in one small area. The rest required cross stitches, blanket stitches, French knots and backward stitches, none of which I knew how to do. And actually, I must admit, I didn't realise I was supposed to do all these different types until my husband examined the little birdie I'd desperately tried to stitch on the front and remarked 'So you decided not to use the cross stitch there then?'

'Cross stitch? Was I supposed to?'

'Er, yes. That's why it's called Cross Stitch magazine.'

So in my middle age, my brain is losing its ability too. Mon dieu.

All I can say is thank you to You Tube and other sources of video information. I managed to find short films on how to do the other stitches and have completed the project! OK, I have lots of holes in my fingers, a slightly frayed temper (cross stitcher - that's me!), and the end result looks like something my eight-year-old daughter would produce but it's done.

I feel happy. It's not validated me as a woman really but at least I have an idea how to mend a hem and my daughter is proud of me trying to learn something new. She doesn't have to be embarrassed when the teacher asks them to get their mums to help with sewing anymore. But maybe what she's also learning - in this third generation of women in my family - is that you can sew, knit and be your own woman. That's got to be a great message to carry.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Embarrassed? Moi?

I was out and about today in the chemist buying soap, deodorant, the usual stuff, and noticed the euphemisms for products that should endorse 'Embarrassing Bodies' on TV. I wondered why they didn't have an 'embarrassing aisle' that you could head to. It would be easier to locate the products you needed. And they could have environmentally friendly paper bags to put over your head, holes cut out for vision, so nobody would know who you were. Couldn't have plastic of course, not just for the sake of the environment but for safety reasons - asphixiated while looking for Athlete's Foot cream would be tragic.

According to this article in Glamour, the following are: 

The 10 Most Embarrassing Things to Buy at a Drugstore

Buying tampons from a male drugstore clerk used to embarrass me, but not so much anymore. Tampons are a fact of life. But, somehow, buying any of the following very personal and revealing items, could be a tad cringe-worthy...
Maxi pads (especially the super-duper, almost-a-diaper variety you have to wear after having a baby)
2. Anything "anti-fungal"
3. Wart medicine
4. Condoms and lubricant
5. Yeast infection medicine
6. Pregnancy tests (you know the clerk is looking at you like, "is she, or isn't she?")
7. Personal wipes (because you're announcing to the world that "toilet paper isn't enough to clean this business.")
8. Prescription-strength deodorant
9. Lice shampoo (set it on the counter and watch everyone around you take a big step back)
10. Anti-stink foot powder

I'm not sure I totally agree with this list. There are things on it that are mortifying - often classified under 'feminine hygiene' - but some aren't too bad. Condoms at least show you are attractive enough to have a sex life. That's good isn't it? Pregnancy test ... well, I wouldn't care unless it was the local chemist who knows me and would start staring at my belly every time I went in. Maxi pads - after you've had a baby you tend to lose any dignity in that area and so these things really don't cause much concern. I'd be cringing if I had to buy Tena Lady at my age because there's no excuse for not keeping up my Kegels.

Interestingly they haven't put things like constipation medicine. I remember, a week after giving birth, going to Boots to ask what I could take to speed things along pleasantly and painlessly. I muttered my problem in front of the Indian chemist who obviously didn't think constipation was a humiliating condition at all, and proceeded to discuss options at full volume.

- 'Have you tried okra, madame?'
- 'Er, no. Can't stand the stuff.'
- 'It is a traditional remedy in my culture. It is very good for constipation!'
- 'Oh.'
- 'Are you getting enough fibre? Lack of fibre is a main cause of constipation, you know!'

At this point, the queue forming behind me did take a visible step back, in unison. I felt my face flushing very red and I started to sweat.

- 'I do eat enough fibre. I just can't ... go'
- 'Well you must try some natural senna. It is very good for getting things moving again!'

I agreed hastily, shoved the packet in my bag and raced out of the shop... as a breast pad fell out at my feet. I've never asked for advice on personal matters again at a chemist although now I see they have special cubicles where you can divulge your problems in private.

You can of course buy things online and some chemists have a useful link to embarrassing problems. Great - except these problems tend to be acute and you need relief in hours, not days. And I am damned if I am going to pay express 24-hour delivery for a packet of Cystitis powder. Then there's the recommendations that come through via email. If the website is like Amazon, it might remember your purchase and then send you an email 'Selected especially for you from your favourites!' - with a list of anti-fungal medicines. Nice.

The other oddity is the naming of these things. Why, for example, do they put a twee sign for 'feminine hygiene' above a section including sanitary towels, tampons and 'feminine wipes' but they then call something for piles 'Anusol'? Where's the logic in that? And why are women meant to be wearing barely-there underwear and rollerblading in hotpants when they have their period - because if they wear the latest silky towel they will feel beautiful - when no one dares to suggest to haemorrhoid sufferers that they should go space-hopper racing?

Bodies and their products are funny things. Perhaps if we took the euphemisms away we'd all feel happier and less worried that one problem was worse than another. Until then, I'll send my husband out for the shopping...

Sunday, 30 October 2011


You know what children's birthday parties are like. Unless you are hosting one, you make your best excuse to not have to be there. The noise, the Teletubbies music, the chance to have an hour or two of peace and quiet mean that you'd be mad to stay.
I admit that today I was bordering on insanity as I stayed at a fifth birthday party because my daughter didn't know anyone there except the birthday girl and I agreed to lend her some moral support. Little did I know that I would be the one needing that support, and that my traitor of a daughter would withhold it. It's OK. I have years to plot my revenge.

Anyway, back to the party... Feeling redundant, I offered to help face paint as I'd never attempted this before in my life and an impatient queue of girls had been forming in front of another crazy mum who'd volunteered. However, when I sat down with an eager smile and a 'who's next?' I was met by stony silence. Seriously, it was like walking into one of those unfriendly western bars in films where the cowboys look at strangers through narrow eyes, like they're going to eat you for breakfast. I nervously suggested my daughter be my first victim client but she sniffed 'No, mummy. I want the other lady to do it.' Her reluctance sealed the doubts on the other children. No - they didn't want me to touch them. It was the other lady or no way lady. 

The humilation... I always get this. I admit that I am not an artistically talented person. Back at school my art teacher used to hold my work up as excellent examples of exactly what NOT to do ('Your pebbles look like potatoes planted on the beach', 'No, the sun does not have a happy, smiley face') and my daughter is always telling people that daddy sews and knits because mummy can't. Who is more embarrassed I wonder - my husband for being girly or me for not being feminine enough?

So I sat there feeling humiliated as the kids stubbornly sat in their queue and glared at me. I shrugged and accepted the host's offer of a glass of sparkling rose. Why the hell not? Deadens the embarrassment and complements my reputation as an Unskilled Mother. As I knocked back the plonk, I wondered - when did kids have such exacting standards? I remember being impressed when my grandfather burnt the end of a cork at a restaurant and, with the resulting charcoal, rubbed a Charlie Chaplin moustache under my nose. And it didn't take five hours to wash off afterwards.

This technique is probably a health and safety hazard these days. Danger of smoke inhalation from corks, possible risk of fire... Or maybe an allergic reaction to corks or charcoal. This seems most likely - at any party these days you'll be lucky if you can find a child who isn't lethally allergic to something. Shame that something isn't the party itself...

As I mulled this over, a wonderful child dressed as Snow White decided that I wasn't as freaky as everyone thought I was. OK, she hadn't been in the room when my own daughter had rejected me but I promise I didn't pay her to sit down and brave my artistic attempts. She came of her own free will. 

If anyone has ever tried face painting can attest, it's not as easy as one might expect. You have this brochure of children all with Oscar-winning designs on their faces. The little ones stab at a picture and your heart sinks as you realise that you need a Rembrandt-like ability for the result to look anything like they are hoping. There is even an official Face Painting Association whose job it is to improve standards of practitioners. Gulp. 

My first design was to be an angel, with the nose being the focal point (the angel's dress) and the head with a halo just between the eyebrows. The dress had to flow gracefully out along the cheeks in romantic wisps and silver glitter was to catch the light. 

The great thing about kids aged 5 or so is that they don't have huge and exacting aesthetic standards. My angels had eyes the size of buttons and fat, botox-like lips and the girls were rushing around squealing and saying 'That's so cooooool! Another advantage was that there were no mirrors to show the models the results. So as far as they knew I could have painted them like Rambo and they would have been delighted.

My daughter's jaw dropped visibly as she saw that mummy could paint something and she proudly started telling people that her mummy had done that. Still, she chose the other face painter and said condescendingly 'It's OK, mummy, we can buy a kit and you can paint my face at home another time.' Really? I think not. Because I am sometimes what you might call a vindictive and grudge-bearing mother. And, yes, we do exist. We're not all saints and forgivers.

My last client was a little girl, as scared as a rabbit, who wanted to be ... a rabbit. Marginally easier than an angel, the test of my skills lay in the ability to add buck teeth. Her mother seemed very pleased with the result, saying that this was the best face painting she'd ever had. She must have been to a few parties with half-trolleyed mums, unsteady hands and a propensity to scare children. At least I wasn't the worst (or best... whichever way you want to put it). It was fun but I don't think I will be made an honourary member of the Face Painting Association any time soon.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Changing Room Rage - it's all the rage!

In the days where there's a name for everything, I should have known there was a term for what I experience every time I stupidly try to try on a pair of jeans, as Sky News reported earlier this year http://news.sky.com/home/strange-news/article/15974183:

Most Women Suffer 'Changing Room Rage'

5:20pm UK, Sunday April 17, 2011

Three-quarters of women suffer from 'changing room rage' when they are shopping, according to a new study.

Woman shopping
Women often become frustrated when clothes shopping

I hasten to add that the woman above is not me. She looks far too relaxed. If that is a woman who is feeling frustrated with her retail experience then I guess I must be in some sort of hellish opposite to Zen. Perhaps she's on her phone to her retail therapist asking why she's looking at a mish-mash of pyjamas. Let's give the article a chance: 

Cramped, cluttered and exposed fitting rooms can make trying on clothes such a traumatic experience that it manifests itself in feelings of anger, disappointment and bouts of bad temper. The condition - dubbed CRR - can cometimes lead to shoppers snapping at retail assistants, storming out of stores and even losing self-confidence, according to the study of more than 1,200 women for isme.com.

Around 75% of shoppers questioned said they had stopped trying on clothes due to the state of changing rooms and half said they waited to try clothes on at home. 'If the shopping experience itself is negative, the whole event can be utterly destructive.' Adult behaviour psychologist Susan Quilliam
I only wish that my frustration and rage could be attributed to bad curtains and cluttered fitting rooms. What planet are these women being surveyed on? Or are they being dishonest? I mean, yes, it's bloody annoying when a door that you shut behind you takes up such an enormous amount of space in the changing room that you can't get yourself in without standing on the tiny chair or bench that they put in there for relatives or girlfriends to perch on. But it's what happens after the door shuts and the clothes come out which is what gets me swearing like a trooper.
Recently this has been because I've been trying - and failing miserably - to find a pair of jeans that will fit me correctly. Or even closely - I'm not fussy. As I have reached middle age I have seen the unwelcome appearance of the muffin top everyone talks about in magazines (usually women who look like they have never eaten a muffin in their life). How do you fit this into jeans nowadays? The low-waisted types cut in under the muffin top, making your body look like it's having a major baking disaster. Higher-waisted styles encompass the bulge but instead of muffin top, you get a cupcake base. Tasty? I fear not.
And this all depends on whether I can get the blasted jeans up my calves in the first place. I did lots of sports when I was younger (failing joints now make this tricky) and I find that designers must expect women to have drainpipe legs. So I steer clear of the skinny, ultra-skinny, fitted, and straight legs and try bootleg and boyfriend styles. These, if I can get them past my thighs (the next level of problematic cushioning) are normally cut close to the crotch making me feel like I am walking like a sidewinder. And the bit at the back gapes.
By this point, no amount of flattering lighting or plush curtains can assuage my despair and rage. Who makes jeans? Men? The same men who might the fitting room doors too big so you have to squash yourself against a wall and kick the door shut with your foot to get inside? The same design is evident on ladies' loo cubicles. Perhaps this is a ploy to get us all to hurry up.
Back to the article.
Adult behaviour psychologist Susan Quilliam said: "Beautiful clothes will always make a woman feel more beautiful and therefore more positive about her appearance, more confident in herself and more optimistic in general. But if the shopping experience itself is negative, the whole event can be utterly destructive. Instead of boosting our self-esteem, it saps it; instead of making us feel good about ourselves and our lives, it brings up frustration, irritation and anger."
The thing is, I don't really care about the state of the changing room. As Susan Quilliam points out - it's the beautiful clothes that make women feel beautiful. Do we want posh surroundings that only make us feel even more ashamed in our ill-fitting clothes? Like a lick of a very dark, moreish cake that is then taken away from us because we're too fat to indulge in it? Temptation and then denial - so cruel.
The worst changing room I went into was one in town where it looked like a prison cell from a war zone. Walls kicked in, paint scuffed, graffiti on the wall. I could only look better than my surroundings, surely? The jeans in there fit me the best out of all I had previously tried on. Maybe they put their money into designing clothes for us muffineers rather than into plush changing rooms.
Even though I didn't buy the jeans, I walked out of there feeling happier that they at least sat where they were supposed to. No walking like a scarecrow, robot or sidewinder either. Since then I have decided to stick at what I wear best and avoid denim like the plague. Though I expect in another six months or so I will have a go - glutton for punishment that I am. And then I can storm out the shop, ranting about fashions that don't celebrate the way women were meant to be built. Ruben's women didn't wear jeans, did they? Yes, OK, they didn't wear much else but if they can do without denim then so can I. Lycra leggings it is...

In the beginning

This is my first post, so bear with, as the lovely Miranda Hart says. I'm just trying to get something down on cyberspace? HTML? (I still think paper sounds much better) so I can start blogging.

I've had lots of ideas but at the moment when it comes to seeing them committed to, er, screen, they look odd. I guess it's strange for me to see the words that I speak to other people in their stark reality. Maybe it's because I fear they look less funny than they are.

This post, for example, is becoming turgidly dull. So I will end by saying that my aim in these blogs is to find something humorous in the sometimes mundane. Thoughts, musings, comedy in situations that might otherwise be cringeworthy (and I have enough of those, believe me). I hope I can make you laugh or at least entertain you. Perhaps you will just rejoice that your life isn't as bad/crazy/bizarre as mine.