A hope

I really don’t feel that we’ve got a hope. I use the noun specifically because this entity is, I think, severely lacking right now. We must still cling on fervently to the verb: we must hope, but when I open my eyes and turn on my ears, a hope can be hard to find.

‘Be kind’ we tell our children, whilst silently praying that they will find the right group of friends to see them comfortably through their school years, without loneliness or dread. ‘Be kind’ we tell them, whilst silently praying that they are not a bully. Then I scroll through my Facebook feed, feeds on forums that are only for mums. They are exclusive in this way, partly because we are all of the same ilk; we are going through the same shit on a daily basis and if not the same then very, very similar. This means that we are easily able to empathise and to offer advice…or so you’d think. Yet frequently I read these feeds and I don’t feel we’ve got a hope. Mums judging other mums. So brutally and so publicly you could be mistaken for thinking that they are modern day gladiators: fighting in a very public arena and vying for the moral high ground. We would be disgusted if this were our children, yet this is how people are and this is how our children learn. We haven’t got a hope.

When Donald Trump was elected President of the USA, like many (many, many) I felt that we didn’t have a hope. As a female, all the talk of the way he treats women added to this feeling. Then there’s his first week in office. It’s too depressing to write it out again here, but you know it anyway, because like me you have no doubt read and watched in disbelief. His narcissism must render him deaf, dumb and blind and his advisors, stupid. We haven’t got a hope, I thought over and over again and then I saw the photo of the six men bearing witness to the signature being drawn on an executive order that will affect millions of women’s access to abortion, and another hope was gone.

We haven’t got a hope when our Prime Minister won’t publicly take a stand against him. We haven’t got a hope when all Muslims are treated with suspicion, when walls are being put up, rather than torn down. We haven’t got a hope.

Yet despite all this, now is one of those times in history when we absolutely must not give up hope. Because to do this would surely be giving in – playing right in to the hands of those who call the shots.

Where we haven’t got a hope, we must find one and then we must fight for it and protest and remain open minded and fair. We must do this for our children, or we haven’t got a hope.


Listen up ladies!

Listen up ladies! I’m here to give you a heads up on our bods. Coming out of Christmas into a Caribbean holiday (emphasis on the: ‘rib’ in these parts, although they were very much not on show) was a stress, I won’t lie. Eating shed loads of brie and Quality streets and thinking, ‘fuck it, it’s Christmas’ is all very well for those of you who catapulted yourselves brazenly and wholeheartedly, albeit with trepidation, into dry January (suckers!) But for those of us who were buggering off to search out the Winter sun, we had to have a body strategy and this very strategy will work for us all in July and August too. So pull up a chair, pour yourself a gin and listen up ladies! I know that the summer is a long way away and that some of you have skiing holidays to get through first (salopettes hide a multitude of sins you lucky bastards) but this information is Botox for the ordinary gal.

Firstly, pack wisely. Don’t underestimate the importance of packing. I poured myself a huge glass of wine and sloped off upstairs, where I proceeded to try on a shit load of bikinis, shorts and t shirts in the depths of winter. It felt strange, but I am reaping the benefits now. For a hot holiday you need at least 3 bikinis that all inter-relate AND you need to put them on in the privacy of your bedroom and sit with your legs apart. Check out your minge. I don’t wax because I am too much of a bloody wimp. I would rather go three rounds in the ring fighting a Russian girl than have my pubes waxed off. So I have to rely solely on the power of the razor. Which is fine, but you have to double check in every position. Modern bikinis, or at least any cheap crap you purchase from Primark, will not be generous in the girth. The last thing you want is to be on your sun-lounger, having already spent bloody ages getting sun creamed up, only to lean over for a change of position to grab your cocktail and catch sight of your minge, poking out from the Primarni 2 quid bikini bottoms. You will stare at it in disbelief, muttering, ‘bastard hair’ under your breath for several minutes and wishing you had been more attentive with your preparations back in blighty.

Secondly, get a vest top that you can wear over your bikini, that shows off your cleavage and hides your love handles. Obviously, you have to bite the bullet and sunbathe in your bikini, but after a while you will actually get sick of the sight of yourself. Cue your little vest top that accentuates your assets and hides the flab. And ladies, please don’t stress too much over the flab. Just say to yourself: I have given birth to some awesome human beings! Yes, they are little shits much of the time, but my belly has housed them and they are worth it. (Keep repeating this, until you believe it).

Invest in a decent pair of sun glasses. I mean, Posh Spice knew what she was doing when she first introduced us to the oversized glasses. You can look like a bag of shit and then those large glasses transform you into someone who is ok to get on board a tour bus.

Buy a floaty thing to put on when you have had enough of sucking in. It covers up everything, whilst looking, ‘ethnic’ which basically means that you are blending into the surroundings.

Just boss it. Feel confident and amazing. You are on holiday and if you can’t boss it now, when can you?

…and only allow photos of yourself to be taken at a distance




That’s St Lucia, baby!

I was chatting to daughter 1 about partner and I’s cheeky little trip to St Lucia. “I wonder what will happen in St Lucia?” I said. “You might come back pregnant, she replied.

Oh, the teenage brain! Actually, now I’m here, I may just not want to come back at all. Holidays really are so important, aren’t they? Whether it’s a caravan in the pissing rain in Wales, or an island in the Caribbean. Life is all about living for the next change of scene. Of course St Lucia would win over Wales, but to be honest, Wales is usually more my price range and so when St Lucia fell in to our laps, thanks to a lovely friend offering us use of his villa, we just felt that we couldn’t say , ‘no’.

This meant getting on a plane and facing my fear of flying. So I tanked myself up on gin and wine and snoozed along to my hypnotherapy recording, that takes me to a place that I feel safe. Funnily enough, I wasn’t thinking about the house I had left with Granny B in charge, where two girls had mocks and there was a week of train strikes. No, my safe place was hot and sunny and there wasn’t a kid or a train in sight.

There are, however, plenty of stray dog, horses and goats wandering around St Lucia, so my maternal instincts were still able to be amply satisfied. St Lucia is not your polished, 5 * island – thank goodness. It is still real and the cruise ships that sail in and out, have to conform to the island and happily, not the other way around. I adore its rustic nature. Driving through the shanty town out of the airport, immediately gave me the buzz that I feel in Asia. The dead dog in the road was sad, but unsurprising and the road wound along the coast and then through the rain forest, before bringing us to the posh end of the island, known as the Cap Estate. We had to have the obligatory laugh at an advert we saw en route. The drink is called: Climax and the strap line read: ‘have you climaxed yet?’ Accompanied by a picture of a happy couple. As if to top this, we saw a truck belonging to a haulage firm called: Rocker’s. With a name like that you’d need to be confident you could live up to it. I reckon they were, as in large letters under their name all along the side of the lorry was written: ‘We haul what our competitor talk, shit.’ That’s St Lucia, baby!

As I was unpacking, I did wonder why I had brought so many pants with me for an 8 day holiday. I haven’t wasted precious time counting, but safe to say that I reckon I could piss myself twice a day for a month and still be ok. As partner unpacked he noticed that his lip salve stated on the packaging that it was fine for nipples. Always good to know, but not something I’ve ever had to give a thought, as I’m rather a prude deep down. On top of that, I wouldn’t want to give Malcolm, our host, reason to throw us out of his villa. Even everything tucked in to a bikini 2 weeks after the Christmas binge could be a step too far. I’m spending so much time sucking in this holiday, I may at some point spontaneously invert.

The great thing about having Malcolm around, apart from his gorgeous looks and electric personality, is that he can take us straight to the best bits of the island. The guys on the beach who generally want you to sell your grandmother to buy some piece of tat made from beach debris, appear to be his long lost mates. A deserted beach last night for a rum punch sun downer, just hit the holiday spot. It’s the beach where Amy Winehouse used to hang out and I can certainly see why. I have realised that rum punch is going to be the death of me this holiday, as it tastes no different to a strawberry fruit shoot and has a similar effect as giving about 5 of those to your 4 year old.  When daughter 1 was a baby, I always remember a friend of mine who already had a toddler, saying to me: whatever you do, never, ever give her a strawberry flavour fruit shoot. Then some bastard of a mother gave her one at a party and the rest of my day was wasted as I chased a delirious child around in circles, whilst 9 months pregnant. The thing is, they ply you with the punch on every tourist trip you go on in St Lucia, like the pirate ship sunset tour we are going on tonight. I think I’ll be ok as long as I keep going on it without more than an hour’s break at any point for the next 7 days. I am slightly concerned about the crash at the end and should apologise now to my children, as they may come home from school next Wednesday actually wanting to speak to me for a change and could find me lying with a bag of peas on my forehead muttering something about a bloke dressed as a pirate making me do it.

Amy Winehouse’s favourite beach: Cas en Bas, Cotton Bay


Ffs have some fun!

Ok, I can’t hold it in any longer. I’ve even started a blog with, ‘ok’. I have had enough already of, ‘I’m going dry in January’, ‘the diet starts tomorrow’ and oh, the Instagram quotes: ‘Be prepared each day to confront your own self-sabotage’ is just one of many that is gracing my feed and starting to get my goat. What is it with January that it does this to people? Of course it’s the Port, the Quality Streets and Stilton’s fault, but if there’s any time ever that you want to happily get a drink down your neck then it’s January. It’s back to work, it’s facing the school run, it’s train strikes, grey days and it’s no chance of a legitimate reason to drink champagne until Valentine’s Day. It’s seriously not the time to go dry. Besides, we all know that when we deprive ourselves of something we crave it. Come February after dry January you’ll be necking it back like a Scottish alcoholic (no offence, but I’m a quarter Scottish and jeez they like a drink).


I mean, why? What’s the point? Sure, cut back. Eat a bit healthier and for fuck’s sake ditch the cheese, but there is no reason to go all sanctimonious and say: “I’m doing dry January.” You’ll only piss people off and be miserable. God knows, life is hard enough. You at least deserve a break at the weekend.

While I’m at it: New Year’s Resolutions? I’ve tried to make them in the past and lost that bit of paper I wrote them on within a week. Have goals. Get excited. Fail to reach them. Set new goals. Get excited. Win some and lose some…so it goes on. New Year’s Resolutions suck because by their very prestigious title they are setting themselves up for failure. No. You just want to quietly plan yourself a few ideas, voice them to a select few and go about making them happen…for god’s sake don’t label them as: New Year’s Resolutions!


I say: fuck it! Have fun in January, be that slogging it out on a treadmill, hitting your 10k target, learning how to knit, or eating kale. But don’t lose sight of the fun. New goals, new beginnings, for some people worries and uncertainty. So fun must be made. Amongst all the shit, the dry and the diet, for fuck’s sake have some fun.

This is just for the celebrities