Facebook Friends 💗

On Facebook last night, I came across this:

Now, I would say that this is pretty risky. You’ve got to have serious iron bollocks to put something like this up. Which is probably why the person who posted it invited us to turn it around and to describe ourselves in one word, as they felt it is important to take time to think about our own attributes – a great sentiment. The trouble is, I was sitting there and all I could think of was: knackered, shattered, catatonic, pissed. Other people had written really lovely words about themselves: caring, loyal, kind..and the more I read these, the more negative my word became: irritable, unhelpful, telling the kids to make their own bloody tea (I know that technically this is more than one word, but I didn’t care).

Some posts on Facebook, I just don’t get. Like the one that does the rounds where people ask friends to share the post into their own page and comment with a word to show they’ve read it – or something like that! Why?! For a start, apparently only 12% of your Facebook friends see your posts. So I would say that it’s very dodgy ground writing someone off for not replying to one specifically. Yes, by all means write a friend off who has sex with your husband, or posts a picture of you naked from their Hen night in Lanzagrotty 20 years ago on Instagram, but not because of a poxy Facebook post.

I’ll leave you with a card that I have blu tacked to my kitchen door – because it says it all really!


Ps…please like this post and share it on your news feed and when you’ve done that, please comment on it with a word that best describes your feelings when you read it, so that I know that you really read it and didn’t just say that you read it, my friend 😜

Live it, love it!

We have just finished the penultimate day of our Taekwon-do camp. In plain English this translates as: we’re almost there! I love our camps, I love the kids, I love our brilliant team, I love it when I can sit on the sofa with a glass of leftover wine from the weekend and reflect on the camp so far.

70 children – no problem! Now, this may sound weird to parents who struggle with about 2, but trust me – generally we see their best sides. At pick up, me: your girls are so lovely, always smiling and they get on so well. Do they ever argue? Kids’ mother (with a look on her face): all the time! The hard truth is, that kids are brilliant when their parents feck off. The parents turn up at pick up time and you can track the kids’ little backs, complete with backpacks, to the door, turning into little shits again as they go. Parents actually look suspicious when I tell them how great their child has been all day: he’s always looking after the little ones and loves to sweep up after lunch. They look down at their child, as if they are looking at an alien and are not sure whether to say: well done sweetheart, or: you little bugger! You never do the bloody clearing up at home. You treat me like your sodding slave and beat up your little brother constantly.

During camp the children do various, absolutely brilliantly imaginative craft activities, thanks to two of our brilliantly imaginative team (not me). One of the activities this week was making mermaid’s basket, as we have an underwater theme, and filling them with four chocolates in the shape of shells (these camps aren’t just all about kicking and punching you know!) One of the children told a team leader: I like white chocolate, dark chocolate and chocolate! Hmmm, that’s pretty comprehensive!


One of our wonderfully creative helpers, hiding in the inflatable treasure chest

Yesterday, a camper came armed with a cake for the team. It was very gratefully devoured and during the day I mentioned this to all the children and said that any cakes they would like to bring in, would be gratefully received. At 4.30am this morning, I woke up in a cold sweat, with visions of 70 cakes walking into camp and wondering how we would deal with all the Tupperware. (I sadly didn’t need to worry!)


Number 1 friend showing worrying ‘cake obsessive’ behaviour during camp

So, tomorrow will bring to an end another wonderful camp: wonderful because the children are, truly wonderful little people: learning how to work as a team, how to be kind, how to be sociable and how to sweep up. Wonderful because our team of helpers, from teenagers upwards, are attentive and creative and selfless, and wonderful because every morning I am greeted by one or other of the team with a lovely smile and a: would you like a hot infusion? These days, I just have to get my kicks where I can – even if it is just someone else making me a cuppa!

Smile for the helfie (selfies are so Kim)

I just have to have a word about selfies. Firstly, that ‘helfie’. I mean, I am a bad flyer. If there is a weeny bit of turbulence, I panic. If there is turbulence and we have to put our seatbelts on, I have to do my breathing exercises I learnt in my NCT classes. If there was a man claiming to be wearing a bomb, I can’t say what I would do, but I can tell you for absolute bloody certain, it would not involve taking a photo. Our narcissistic selfie obsessed society has finally gone awol.

I was first introduced to selfies by my step daughter. I honestly could not get my head around her obsession to take photos of herself. I’ll be honest, I found it weird. Oh, how naive I was. I now have four more girls who are constantly taking selfies and what’s worse, they are dragging me down with them! Let’s take a selfie mum, they chirp, proceeding to vie for the best position, leaving me in the dud light. When I then dare to suggest it’s a good photo of us, they demand that I delete it immediately.


Every time I turn on my bloody phone, I am faced with another photo of one daughter or another who had hijacked it and taken a selfie pulling a silly face. Why can’t you make nice faces, I plead with them. Why do you have to look like idiots? But the real idiots are the people who take selfies while being chased by bulls or with black bears. There is even a term: selfie walkers, people who climb mountains in shorts and end up having to be rescued at great expense and danger to others – but thank god they have the photo to prove it!


On close inspection of the helfie (hijack selfie) even I can see that the suicide vest looks a bit Blue Peter and I love the fact that, in the face of adversity, Ben Innes is still sucking his stomach in.


So, I leave you with some selfie tips, from a PhD student, who analysed 2 million selfies on the Internet (and that was just Kim Kardashian’s). Because we are all about to be swept away in the wave of the selfie revolution: ride that wave baby, ride that wave!


you can now get your dirty paws on a flying selfie stick, if that blows your hair back. The Roam-e apparently looks like an electric toothbrush with helicopter blades and it will follow you around for 20 minutes before it needs recharging…please don’t anyone tell Kim…

Nipples and String Vests

MHM Boob eyes

Listening to Radio 4’s Weekend Woman’s Hour earlier, a lady came on talking about the ladies who knitted socks and underwear for the soldiers in World War One. Literally millions of pairs of socks were knitted. It was a really interesting interview. She mentioned that sometimes, when the soldiers received their socks, they were so badly knitted that they unpicked them and re knitted them themselves! Near the end of the interview she was speaking about the time she spends in nursing homes. She takes in various items of World War One memorabilia and leads a reminiscing session. What a brilliant idea! We all need a prompt to converse sometimes: awkward cocktail parties (like I go to those all the time), weddings when you are an ex-girlfriend of the groom, so the bride has sat you next to the social retard and so on. Just pop an item out of your clutch bag, let’s say a lipstick and talk about it.

Anyway, the interviewer asked for the best story the lady had heard from someone about a string vest and it prompted a boob story. Every woman over the age of 18 has a boob story. I have a boob story – more of that later. Apparently, this very old lady in the nursing home had almost fallen off her chair telling her boob story: it was about her mother, who used to always wear a hand knitted string vest under her clothes. This particular chilly morning, the milkman rang the doorbell to be paid. She popped her dressing gown on over her string vest, answered the door and chatted a while. As she walked back down the corridor having shut the front door, she caught sight of herself in the mirror and noticed to her horror, that her dressing gown had slipped open, revealing her string vest and her chilly, pert nipples each poking through a hole. The milkman hadn’t said a word.

This reminded me of my own boob story, that took place in Bournemouth when daughter 4 was but 3 months old. I was on holiday with my sister in a caravan with 5 kids under 5 – one of those holidays that you go on, when you have no money but you have to get away or you will commit murder. Luckily, I had the foresight to pack a bottle of gin – we got through it. The final photo of the holiday was of my sister, standing outside the caravan in the pissing rain, miming pulling a noose around her neck. In fact, the boob story was the highlight of the holiday. We had one day of sunshine and decided to make the most of it by heading to the beach, where a fairly pleasant and uneventful time was had by all. For lunch we decided to do a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet. The problem being, that five kids under 5 eat their egg fried rice in a jiffy, so we left them all playing in the disabled toilet, where we could (almost) keep an eye on them, while we ate ours. We then headed off to the park, where there was a very enthusiastic children’s entertainer doing a free show in a large tent. We went and watched. At this point my sister abandoned me, with the excuse of needing to buy something in town. The entertainer had whacked on the disco music and was encouraging everyone to dance. I thought, why the bloody hell not, I’ve got nothing else to do, so I joined in with gusto: Agadoo, the Conga, all the old favourites. ‘The mum’s are having fun today’ the entertainer cheerfully boomed out over the PA system, catching my eye and giving me a wink. Eventually, I dragged the kids away. There was no sign of my sister, so we walked through the park, packed with people, struggling with a pram and four little sprogs, to track her down. At this point my flip flop broke, so by the time I saw her approaching me in the distance, I was walking in bare feet. When she got to us, I could see that she was pulling a weird face and I was about to explain why I had nothing on my feet, when she pointed to my chest. ‘Why is your tit hanging out?’ She asked me, as if I might have been doing it on purpose. I looked down and was absolutely horrified to see that my right boob had completely freed itself from my top. No wonder the entertainer was being so enthusiastic, I thought to myself.

That night, my sister and I laughed. We laughed so much that we almost fell off our seat and boy, did we need a laugh. There’s really nothing better than a good boob story – what’s yours?

Dear Teenagers…(my reply)

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Happy Days

This morning was the start of a day off. The sun was streaming through the window and the dogs had given us a lie in. If I hadn’t have been desperate for a piss, I could have described the scene as perfect. Partner sits up in bed: I reckon we’ll need to start saving for a new car, is his first utterance of the morning. Oh happy days. I mean, I know that both wing mirrors are smashed, that the power steering is fucked, that one of the sliding doors doesn’t open and if it is accidentally opened by an unknowing passenger, it requires a screwdriver to shut it again. I am also aware that the other door lacks lubrication and it requires more than Elton John has in his bedside table to make any difference. However, really? Do we need to be thinking about this on our day off?

We go downstairs for breakfast and pop a couple of croissants into the oven – bought specially as a treat for our day off. That oven stinks, partner commented. I think we should give that a clean today. Oh my god, you are having a giraffe, I think to myself. This day off just gets better and better. Oh, and we need to make holes in the membrane under the stones where the dogs piss, so that it doesn’t smell, he goes on. Well, I reply. Why don’t you stay at home and try to mend the car door that sort of works, prick holes in the garden and clean the oven, while I take myself off for a lovely walk in the sunshine and treat myself to a pub lunch. We can do the walk, partner answers, but I spent our spare cash on a tub of grease, some Mr Muscle and a garden fork, so we’ll have to take sandwiches.

Yes, happy days…


Partner, wielding a pitchfork on our day off, in Crocs

Body Confusion

Jennifer Aniston is 47, in case you were wondering, and the secret to staying in shape is, according to her: keeping your body confused (as well as: getting up at 4.30am, drinking hot water and lemon plus other healthy shit, hooking up with your personal trainer and exercising for the rest of the day). But, as all that is completely unrealistic, I am just going to focus on the best bit: keep your body confused. Yes, Jennifer my love, this is exactly my mantra.

I am 45 years old and am a guru at confusing my body. Mild-ish abuse at uni, popped out a baby then another then another, which meant fat, slightly less fat X 3, then thin in order to reach a fighting weight of under 52 kilos (haha – funny to think I cracked that one, but I did have pre-school mum’s coming up to me saying they were worried), then popped out another sprog. Since then I’ve confused it with summer body/winter body and alcohol only at a weekend…oh no it’s Wednesday and I’ve had a glass of wine – confusion!!

So, according to the Aniston way, I am perfectly on course to crack on to 50, confused but happy. I won’t be doing the early starts or the all day exercise routine, but I will merrily confuse the hell out of this baby until she collapses in a heap, gasping for air and saying: I did it!

Hic!-ory, dickory, dock!

MHM Hickory Dickory Dock

We change…


Sourdough and Sandals

Back home from camping and we had sensibly organised a shower rota during the journey home. With 5 girls to shower plus partner, a rota was the only fair way to go. We weren’t sure what to expect in terms of storm damage and in fact, there was none. Fat cat was waiting for us and everything was as we had left it.

Looking in the fridge, we were down to a jar of pesto. As I was stirring it into the pasta for lunch, I remembered reading about how middle class pesto is. It made me grin. How funny that food has its own class system. Yesterday, I was googling the company: Rocket Post and as I was scrolling down my google search, I came across this letter written in the Guardian: My wife and one of my kids think that rocket just tastes like a slightly stronger lettuce but I and the other kids think that it’s the vilest, bitterest, most astringent evil ever given salad-leaf form. Is she just more middle-class than the rest of us (even though I make my own sourdough bread and wear sandals in winter)?

Sourdough bread and rocket join the heady heights of the middle class food system. From where, presumably they can sneer down at chips and burgers – unless the burgers are made of lamb and infused with fresh rosemary – and look up to beluga caviar with envy, scoffed by the green welly and tweed brigade, as they quaff their champagne.

I seem to remember a similar class system for baby foods, when I was weaning mine – at 16 weeks max as it was back then, I can’t imagine having to wait 6 months. Baby Organix – how middle class. Mini breadsticks and rice cakes. I expect it’s a similar story now? Put the hand held blender on the baby shower list. Watch out babies, there’s a middle class allergy coming to get you. Yes, the food class system starts early. I wonder what the royals wean their babies on? One of my baby friends produced neat little Tupperware pots filled with homemade delights whenever we were out. I would plonk my jar of HIPP (organic) carrot and lamb shite onto the table, that stained everything orange – the stain of shame.

Anyway, I had dispatched partner off to Waitrose to replenish our supplies with middle class foodstuffs, such as free coffee and instead he returned brandishing a Lindt bunny, wrapped in gold foil with a bell around its neck. Happy Easter, he said as he handed it over. Bollocks, I thought. I’ve been with you all over Easter and got fuck all. This is a scam. I received it with thanks and a dubious look on my face.

After teaching last night I felt I deserved to break into that bunny with a cup of tea. It was gone. I knew it, I said to partner. You bought that bunny for yourself and you’ve eaten it! He looked sheepish. He’d been rumbled. But all I could find to eat was edamame beans and quinoa and I wouldn’t know where to start with making something out of those two things, he protested. I checked his feet: no sandals and I forgave him.

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