Posted in blogging, reading

Self-care: more than making time to wash


So…in the name of self care not just being about making sure that you don’t smell like Satan’s gusset* , I’m going to doing the Coffee (tea) and Good Book reading challenge for 2017. I looked at doing it last year, but obviously that went a little ‘boobies aloft’.

If I plan it properly, I’ll actually do it (all that project management training has to come in handy somewhere) so here are my choices for the coming year.

  1. Author under 30 – One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – Ken Kesey
  2. Book turned into a TV Show – Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
  3. Author that has your initials – Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  4. Set in a place you want to go on holiday (I refuse to say vacation, I’m British, dammit) – Singular Rebellion – Saiichi Maruya
  5. Reread a favourite – The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Attwood
  6. A play – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J.K.Rowling
  7. True Crime – Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – John Berendt
  8. A love story – Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  9. 2017 Release – Difficult Women – Roxane Gay
  10. Cosy mystery – Mud, Muck and Dead Things – Ann Granger
  11. Red Cover – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
  12. A genre you rarely read – Shut up Legs! My wild ride on and off the bike – Jens Voigt
  13. A book older than you – The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
  14. A book about food – The One Hundred Foot Journey – Richard Morais
  15. Audio book – Don’t Suck, Don’t Die – Kristin Hersh
  16. Book recommended by a parent or mentor – False Memory – Dean Koontz
  17. Won an award in 2016 – The Invention of Russia – Arkady Ostrovsky
  18. Popular Fairy Tale – The Ugly Duckling – Hans Christian Anderson
  19. Two authors – Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch – Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
  20. Book written under a pen name – Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith
*have a shower
Posted in blogging, Burnout, guilt, Random, the feels


Generally my dreams are a load of tripe: for example, the one about trying to catch pigs in a flooded field whilst carrying a washing machine. Whilst being chased by anthromorphic articulated lorries*. This was a particular stand out in my catalogue of anxiety-ridden sleep time brain vomitings.

Last night I had an epiphany. Does anyone else have dreams that come in a series? Hopefully not just me – but if it is just me, please send me the number of a good therapist.

However, I digress. Occasionally I get to have a season finale, and so it was last night. I have been dreaming about binning off lectures, skiving off tutorials and failing to hand work in for years. Hilariously, once I actually graduated, I dreamt that I had started a new degree and I was repeating the pattern. BA (Hons) Media Communications to be exact.

Last night I graduated from the fictional degree, and got a Third – and then had the realisation that a) I had a degree already so it didn’t matter all that much and b) had a much better grade. And oddly enough, woke up feeling pretty good about myself.

Brain, I could have done with this a few years ago, you twat.

*Though any inference you might hazard to make about the fact that I was married to my first husband at the time is purely coincidental.
Posted in blogging, Burnout, parenthood

Guess who’s back? Back again

Howdy Duffer Lovers, time to stick my head over the parapet once more.

I know things have been quiet but things have been changing (mostly for the better) here at Duffer Towers, and it’s safe to say that I’ve/We’ve been hella busy.


  • Christening
  • Moved house (Finally!!! It has a garden!!! And space!!)
  • Changed contracts at work to one that works a lot better for me. Where I don’t feel like telling the customer to “go forth and be fruitful”.
  • Went to see Belly in London.
  • Got a diagnosis for the lad so we can support him at school and he’s starting Reception next week.
  • Lots of back pain. But also discovered the highly functional, and highly uncomfortable delights of sports massage and things are a lot better.
  • Rented out the old place.
  • Refurbishing bits and bats to furnish the place as it’s amazing how much stuff you need when you’ve been living in a mortgaged cupboard for 10 years. Like a TV stand.
  • And I was out of action for 3-ish weeks with chicken pox. No fun if you’re north of 40.

The thing is, when you’ve burnt out before, you have to be aware that there are aspects of your life that you may need to set to one side for a while, so that you can attend to the business of living as your energy is a finite resource.

Back with the programme now though. Yeeehaaaa! x


Posted in blogging

Auditory Deficiencies: 12 Auditory Processing Deficiencies to Recognize in Your Child

I’ve linked to this as I try to make sense of a few things…..

This article provides helpful information about auditory deficiencies and how to recognize them in your child. If you find yourself constantly repeating directions and instructions for your child, you may think they have a hearing issue. However, what they may experience is a breakdown in their auditory system or auditory deficiencies that affect approximately… Read More

Source: Auditory Deficiencies: 12 Auditory Processing Deficiencies to Recognize in Your Child – Integrated Learning Strategies

Posted in blogging, body image, fitness, ouch

New blog

One of the things that I tend to bang on about a lot is body image.

So I’ve decided to do something about mine and take up a challenge for 8-ish weeks and I’ll be blogging about it here The 40 Ouch 8 Week Challenge. Weird that, not that the title isn’t a giveaway.

At the moment, it seems to be me whining about the parlous state of my core muscles…

Posted in blogging, body image, SpecialK30

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Special K “How I’ve changed” challenge)

This is a new one for me, but those nice people at BritMums pointed me at the chance of free cereal, and I thought “Cool! Food!. People who say that I am motivated by my stomach are talking *nonsense…
*the truth

The new 3 grain Special K is actually really nice, not that I expected it to taste like wood shavings sprinkled with wee, but by comparison to the old variety, I definitely prefer the new one. The flavour is nuttier and rounder. I also think it was a bit more satisfying. I know I wasn’t lasciviously ogling the digestives before 11am. To put that into context, because I have a 16 month old who gets up at the dawn of crack I eat early most of the time, then wonder why I’m ready to season my own left arm by 9.30am. I think that qualifies as two thumbs approval from me. And not just because it was a freebie.

Initially I thought “Yeah, writing about “#SpecialK30 How I’ve changed” will be a doodle”. After all, I was 11-going-on-12 30 years ago, I’m going to have changed a bit obviously. What became apparent the more I thought about it was that, yes, there have been changes – like puberty (which is a biggy) but it’s not like I’ve changed beyond all recognition. It’s evolution, not the radical change that I’d imagined.
Believe it or not, the only photo I could find of myself from 1983 I was wearing a mask (and in fairness, I didn’t have time to harass my relatives to find another) but here’s one age 10 that will give you an idea of the material we’re dealing with.
Not unattractive, but not in the least girly, and a bit haphazard…note the *jaunty* collars and the pink “Nashers” – NHS Specs….nuff said.  Duran Duran,  Ultravox, The Police, horses, trampolining and reading rocked my world. I was hopeless at the “being feminine” stuff and in fairness, I probably still am. I now know which bits work for me, and how to accommodate for the things I would rather keep hidden.
Age 40+ and…
…the smile is the same, the light in my eyes in the same.

 It’s just that I’ve got better specs, have discovered straighteners and boobs (having developed some), but you’ll notice there’s still a strange cowlick carry one trying to assert itself. The bands have moved on, and horses and trampolining have been replaced by other stuff but fundamentally things aren’t as different as I imagined they’d be at the time. I wasn’t going to do kids or marriage for starters. Uh oh. That said, best of all, I’m less self conscious which works a bit like someone taking a heavy weight from my chest.

I think the question is more “what have I learned?” rather than “how have I changed?”.
So what have I learned?
  1. Despite the fact I’m probably twice the weight I was at that age (I was 2nd shortest in my class and very active), I now *know* what I look like, and with not-epic amounts of TLC I can make myself look quite respectable. I thought my edges were significantly different to what they actually were.
  2. I now trust my body. After all, I’ve done some awesome things with it.
  3. That if a bloke likes the same bands as you, it just means that they like the same bands as you. They are not your soul mate, unless of course they actually are…see next point but one.
  4. If you are having misgivings about marrying someone, best to acknowledge that to yourself *before* you get married….#justsaying
  5. However sometimes Mr “Old Flame”was the right one all along, step forward Mr D x
  6. Depression is something you can fight.
  7. Do the study you were meant to do, rather than ballsing it up and having to do it later, it’s much easier.
  8. Be nice to yourself.
Getting older, choosing to be happy, doing some stuff that scares you like becoming a parent or throwing yourself down a mountain…it’s what changing is all about.

Plus I must be growing up, I’ve completed a deadline 90 minutes before it was due to be handed in…see point 7….. 😀