Monday, 31 January 2011

Listography - 5 Most Annoying Kid's TV Programmes

Okay, okay, now I now this is complete overkill and I've now done 3 blog posts today. It's a record.  Not a record I'm proud of but hey, my husband is away on business and there's only so much cleaning, cooking and caring for my daughter I can do in one day right?  Also, I've been blogging exactly one whole month today *fanfare* so it's my bloggiversary!

Anyway, it's worth doing a third post as the lovely Kate from Kate Takes 5 has opened her fab Listography up and I haven't missed one yet since I've started blogging.  They are always such good fun and this weeks is no exception so I want to do it straight away.

So, here are the 5 most annoying children's TV programmes by yours truly:

1. Mighty Mites

Want to see a grown woman jumping around in a tight red jumpsuit?  Any males reading this who've not seen Mighty Mites may think that sounds rather good.  Think again men!  It's not what it sounds like. Sarah-Jane Honeywell (urgh) is the most annoyingly voiced and over-animated female ever. She actually looks quite good in the photo on the left, trust me - the photo has been greatly enhanced.  I feel bad ripping the woman to bits like this but surely she must know how irritating she is?  Not only that but I'm sure the same age group that watch this programme are responsible for her make-up too.  Add to the mix a really annoying orange puppet with a Geordie accent called 'Yo Jo Jo' who says "Can you feel the energy?" and you've got the worst kids programme ever.

2. Wonder Pets

I've only been unlucky enough to see this a couple of times but basically it's a trio of unlikely heroes (i.e. a turtle, a guinea pig and a duck - naturally!) who rescue other baby animals from trouble.  It doesn't sound too bad either BUT almost all of the dialogue in the show is sung.  It's truly awful.  The worst part being that Ming-Ming the duck always says how serious...oh sorry...'seerwios' everything is.  If you haven't been (un)lucky enough to experience this then be my guest and click here!  Do so at your own risk though, you'll never get it out of your head.

3. Big Cook Little Cook

I'm totally with Kate on this one - we call  this 'Big Cock Little Cock' too (obviously not in front of my daughter!).  They are SO annoying it's untrue and when they sing their tidy-up song I literally want to rip out my own ear drums and eyeballs and throw them at the television.  It wouldn't be so bad if they actually made anything edible but most of the time I'd rather eat something that was served up at the Marharaja's dinner in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  Eyeball soup anyone?

4. Yo Gabba Gabba

Another one I've only seen a couple of times.  I just don't get it.  At. All.  Firstly you have DJ Lance Rock with his ghettoblaster.  Someone please tell me his voice is dubbed right?  He opens up his stereo to reveal all these tiny weird characters.  The show just seems to jump from song to sketch, to children doing strange things.  I get that some of the subjects are teaching children about different things in life but it's still crazy.  Maybe it's just me but I'm convinced it's only children who like this.  Or adults on acid.

5.  Carrie & David's Pop Shop

It's not on air at the moment (hurrah!) but I had to add it onto the list as it's truly awful.  The acting, the singing, the 'passing things to the camera' thing they do.  Urgh! They really cannot act at all....added to the fact that they were always in the same clothes so they could use the different (awful) songs over and over again in the shows. Needless to say, when it was on air last year my daughter loved it!  Just incase you're missing it...this is the worst song ever... just look at Carries face.  *SLAP*


Music I Want My Children To Listen To

I've been promising the lovely Susanne over at Ghostwritermummy for a couple of weeks now that I would link up to her wonderful 'Music I Want My Children To Listen To' meme but I just haven't been able to fit it in.  I even made a badge for her but still hadn't gotten around to writing a post.  Fail.

I think it's because I used to be very much into my music but it seems nowadays all I get to listen to is 'Jack & Jill' or 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'.  However, now I've taken some time out to write it's actually nice to sit down and think about some normal adult music.

So, without further ado, I present to you my two choices.  The Strokes and The Shout Out Louds.  One very famous band and one not so famous.  It was a tough decision for me as deep-down I'm a big Depeche Mode fan (I'm an 80's gal) but I'm not quite sure I want my daughter to listen to some of their more darker stuff.  Maybe my next post I will dedicate to their happier times!

I love, love, LOVE The Strokes.  Every time one of their tunes gets plays on the radio in the car I immediately jump for the volume switch.  Whenever I hear their music I get all giddy and I'm immediately transported to watching them live.  I was lucky enough to get passes to their aftershow party in Manchester.  How I ever managed to actually share a barstool with the gorgeous Nick Valensi (any woman would kill for that mans cheek bones!) I will never know but I did - I'll have to dig out the photo! Much to the embarrassment of my husband who kept telling me to 'be cool' but I think he was secretly jealous that I got to talk to Nick and Albert Hammond Jr.  Yes, read it and weep Matt!

I was a late-comer to loving The Strokes *hangs head in shame* and it was my husband who really introduced me to them with their 3rd album 'First Impressions Of Earth'.  I know I'll probably be shot by the die-hard Strokes fans who will always proclaim that 'This Is It' will always be their greatest album.  Sorry!

I think First Impressions of Earth rocks completely and holds 3 of my favourite Strokes songs.   The first has to be, in my opinion, one of The Strokes' all time best songs 'You Only Live Once'.  The intro to this song never fails to send my heart racing.

Secondly you have the amazing 'Heart In A Cage' - yet another great intro to set your heart racing and then there's the lesser known 'Ask Me Anything' on the album. Completely different Strokes song - no rock, no guitars or deep bassline pretty much just Julian Casablancas and a mic.  Don't be a coconut!  Brilliant lyrics ha.  This is definitely a song you need to hear live - it will, quite literally, take your breath away.

My second choice - the Shout Out Louds.  Who?  I bet that's what you're saying.  If you know them (and like them), are now my new best friend!  I first discovered the Shout Out Louds, funnily enough, when I saw The Strokes live about 4 or 5 years ago.  My husband likes to claim that Bebban Stenborg flirted with him at the party but I think she was just being polite.  Anyway, they are from Sweden so not known so much over here but they still play gigs over here. Just before my daughter was born Matt and I went to see them again in Manchester on their own tour.  I am dying to see them live for a third time - they toured last year but we were away that date.  Gutted.

Their first album 'Howl Howl Gaff Gaff' is one of my favourites.  It's just blissfully great listening.  'The Comeback' which is the first track on the album is amazing.  Adam Olenius has this amazing edge to his voice that just makes me giddy (sense a giddiness pattern emerging here by any chance!). Another great track 'Please Please Please' will probably explain why I like this band and The Strokes.  However, my favourite track on the album has to be the last one, a little known track called 'My Friend And The Ink On His Fingers'.

So that's it.  I'm now off to dust down my iPod and fire up some amazing tunes with my daughter.  No doubt she'll want me to put Danny Kaye Sings Hans Christian Andersen on AGAIN.


B is for...Betty

DogfaceThis is Betty (aka Dogface).

She used to be my baby before my daughter came along.  She’s 15 now and I’ve had her since she was 2.  She had a horrible mixed-up life before I came to own her.  She was a funny old dog who had lots of issues – mainly aggression towards other dogs but sometimes towards people when she didn’t want to be stroked or fussed.  These issues settled down but never entirely went away.

I really thought we’d have to give her away to a family member when my daughter was born, especially as when I was pregnant and  uncovered my stomach she used to growl it.  But a funny thing happened…the more and more I watched her actions when I was pregnant, the more and more I noticed how she would sit and guard me when visitors were at the house. It was like she was protecting the precious cargo I was carrying and didn’t like me uncovering it.

When my daughter was born we made all the right moves to introduce them.  My husband took a baby sleep suit my daughter wore the first day she was born back to the house with him and let her sniff it. Then, when we came home the next day, he took Betty out for a walk whilst I carried my daughter into the house and took her on a tour of each room. After 20 minutes Betty was brought into the house which was clearly filled with that ‘new baby’ smell.  Everything was fine.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

My daughter will be 2 this March and Betty has never shown any aggression toward her. Infact, Betty goes out of her way to avoid my daughter (wise move, especially when she's got her crazy push-along wooden duck!).  I have noticed that Betty has aged so much in the last year.  She's stopped playing with toys completely and sleeps most of the time.  The other week she decided to relieve herself in the kitchen – my husband wasn’t impressed as he was seconds away from letting her out.  He ranted that he couldn’t believe she had done it blah blah blah.  I explained that she was the equivalent of about human 100 years old and that it was obviously because she couldn’t hold it in after she’d woken up suddenly.  Poor Betty.

It’s got me thinking about how much I love Betty and how much I’ll miss her when she’s gone.  I know people without pets may not understand how much joy and love a pet like this can bring to you but then if you're that person you are probably not reading this now.  If you are, thank you.  She’s given me so much joy over the past 13 years and despite all her weird habits (like not being able to put the windscreen wipers on in the car if she was with me because she’d try and attack them through the glass) she has a heart of gold.  She just didn’t have the best start in life.

It may be pathetic and soppy but this is my blog dedication to her as I don't think she's got long left :'(

Part of my A to Z posts
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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Dear So And So...

Dear So and So...

When I stumbled across this on Kat's blog - 3 bedroom bungalow - the other day I thought I'd start to take part in her Dear So and So linky.  It's quite therapeutic...


Dear Washing Basket

How come, even when I've emptied you out completely, as soon as I've turned my back you're full again.

Yours Washer Woman


Dear New Neighbours

If you drive your car over our front lawn one more time when getting out of your driveway I'll take some scissors to your pot plants.  Learn to drive!


Disgruntled Neighbours


Dear Cancer

Why don't you just f*** off and leave my lovely friends and family alone.


Hurting Lots


Dear Scientists

Please find a cure for cancer quickly.


Hurting Lots


Dear Hannah

My lovely friend, thank you for the wonderful Fish Finger Butty and Cider night you hosted at your house last night.  Sorry I wasn't on top form.

Love Heather xxxx


Dear Random Illness

I'd rather be not ill or properly ill than feel like I do at the moment.  Feeling completely exhausted all the time is not good.   Kindly vacate my body as you put a downer on my night last night.

Yours Ill Person


Dear Magners Cider

I'm sorry I didn't finish you all last night but blame Random Illness.

Yours Lightweight


Dear Twitter

Thanks for being there with new friends and old to cheer me up when I'm feeling blue.




Dear Blog Readers

I love you all, now go write some letters and link up!

Love Me x

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful...Week 4

I've just seen the lovely Michelle has put this weeks Reasons To Be Cheerful up so I need to join in as I've been in it from the first week and not missed one yet.   It's great to sit and think about what's good in life.  Also, I wanted to get that Memetastic award off the top of my blog as soon as possible!

So here are mine this week (there's an 'F' theme):

1. Freya (aka Mini Cheddar)

My daughter who is now really talking well and she makes me smile constantly with her little sentences.  She never shuts up but it's just so comical.  She's also helped me in the kitchen lots - I know that sounds crazy for a 22 month old but I have a feeling she'll give Nigella a run for her money when she gets older.

2. Friends

It's been a great week for catching up with friends.  I had a great Sunday morning natter with my best friend.  Last night I went to an old friends house - and lost track of time and didn't get home until gone midnight (I'm such a rebel!).  Today I met up with my new friend again and tomorrow night I'm seeing 3 of my closest friends for much cider drinking and fish finger butty eating.

3. Friday

It's Friday tomorrow and I have the day to myself as my parents have my daughter for the day.  Not only that, my husband who normally works from home is out most of the day.  I love having the house to myself sometimes (although I miss them both obviously).

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart

Join in the blog hop and cheer yourself up!

The Wonderful *cough* Memetastic Award

Okay, okay, I'm feeling more and more pressure to do this so here goes nothing...this is a very quick one though as I have cakes to bake and china to polish...being a domestic goddess is so very demanding.  Yeah right!

I was originally tagged last week by All For Aleyna and I've been putting it off and since Metal Mummy double tagged me today I thought I'd better get this in before some other bugger tags me.  Thanks guys *rolls eyes*

So, what the hell is this 'gorgeous' award?  Well it was started by Jillsmo and she made the following rules (I've copied and pasted directly from Jillsmo's blog as I'm lazy like that and crystal and china doesn't polish itself ya know):

1. You must proudly display the absolutely disgusting graphic that I have created for these purposes (put it in your post, you don't have to put it in your sidebar, I think that would seriously be asking too much). It's so bad that not only did I use COMIC SANS, but there's even a little fucking jumping, celebrating kitten down there at the bottom. It's horrifying! But its presence in your award celebration is crucial to the memetastic process we're creating here. If you need a higher resolution version... I totally have one!!

2. You must list 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Just make some shit up, we'll never know; one of them has to be true, though. Of course, nobody will ever know the difference, so we're just on the honor system here. I trust you. Except for the 4 that you lied about, you lying bastards! But don't go crazy trying to think of stuff, you'll see by the example I've set below that we're not really interested in quality here.

3. You must pass this award on to 5 bloggers that you either like or don't like or don't really have much of an opinion about. I don't care who you pick, and nobody needs to know why. I mean, you can give a reason if you want, but I don't really care.

4. If you fail to follow any of the above rules, I will fucking hunt your ass down and harass you incessantly until you either block me on Twitter or ban my IP address from visiting your blog. I don't know if you can actually do that last thing, but I will become so annoying to you that you will actually go out and hire an IT professional to train you on how to ban IP addresses just so that I'll leave you alone. I'm serious. I'm going to do these things.

5. This one isn't actually a rule, but once you do the above, please come back here and link up to the Memetastic Hop so that I can keep track of where this thing goes.

Right, so here are my 5 things.  Can you spot the odd one out?  Answers on a postcard to:  I couldn't really care less, PO Box 999, Someone beam me up now....(well, leave them below and maybe you'll win a prize...or maybe not)

1. When I was 14 I represented my county in the 100 metres at some Welsh sports event that I can't even remember the name of.  Shows how much I cared.

2. I have an irrational fear of cotton wool - which doesn't bode well when you have children.  For those first few weeks when my daughter was born and you're too terrified to use wipes I had to get my husband to change her as I can't touch the stuff.

3. When I was 31 I was driving in London on work business and someone crashed into me in an old green Mercedes - it just happened to be David Walliams.

4. I have quite a famous Uncle but I never talk about it (and never will) because I don't want people to know.  Besides, I don't see him anyway and I'm actually really embarrassed about it.

5. Despite being a size 10 I hate my body and don't like myself without clothes.  However, that didn't stop me getting so wasted one night on cider, when I was 28, that some guy I was seeing dared me to run down my own street completely naked.  And I did.

With that I'm getting rid of this award out of my 'pile of things to do' and passing it on to these suckers (sorry if you've been tagged before and I love you all obviously):

Inside The Wendy House
Anecdotes Of A Manic Mum
Bod For Tea
Choc Orange City Mum
Show & Tell

*swipes hands together* So glad to have rid of that one!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A is for...Attention

Those who know me know that I'm not one for attention-seeking (apart from when I have a few vodkas in me but that's another story).  I tend to sit back and take things in rather than speak up like others.  I'm like it in all aspects of my life - work, rest and play.  This is a saying that I face a constant battle with in my life:

"Better to keep your mouth shut and thought a fool than open it and remove the doubt"

It's a great saying but I wish it didn't hang over me so much, I wish I could shake it off.  I'm certainly not a fool so why should I feel this way?

I think it's because there are a few people in life who can't help but dominate proceedings and only thrive when they are the centre of attention.  They have the biggest voices and aren't afraid to use them.  There are also the people who other people can be a bit fearful of most of the time.  I'm one of those people, one who will just sit and say nothing but deep-down I'm wanting to be heard.  When I used to work I would be sat in a brainstorming meeting thinking of all these great ideas but very rarely plucked up the courage to put them out there.  Then someone else would eventually think of it, say it straight away and be called a hero.  Meanwhile I'm sat kicking myself.

There are the people who talk a lot, make a lot of jokes at the expense of other people. They are usually the people who feel better about themselves by being horrible about others.  Someone once said some really nasty things about friends of mine and I actually stood up to it.  I told this person in private that it made me feel uncomfortable. What happened?  They panicked (even though I said I would keep it quiet), decided to lie their way out of it and then brought it into a public forum.  So me speaking up came back to bite me on the ass as this person was louder and powerful compared to little old me.  What did I do?  Nothing, I didn't fight back, I turned away.

In addition to this there are some people who just crave attention, they 'like to be liked'. Yes it's nice to be liked but sometimes it can be a bit too much, a bit over-the-top...well that's how it feels to me sometimes.  Some people go out of their way to get their point across and you (well, me) can get pushed to one side. I often wonder if this is just something built into their personality or it's something that goes deeper, stems from a lack of confidence or they are lacking a certain part of their life constantly striving to get attention.  Maybe it's me?  Maybe I shouldn't be so shy, maybe I should try and shout louder and get heard more.

You also have the people who flit from friend to friend without hesitation.  Like some sort of car deal they trade their old friend in for a newer model when something more exciting comes along and can't help but shout about it.  I actually know someone like this, she has been through 5 'best friends' in 10 years.  Someone new comes on the scene and she casts off her old friend like a slightly-worn but still stunning outfit that she's thrown in the charity bag.

I wish I could be more assertive on occasion.  I certainly don't want to be the centre of attention but I'd like the confidence to be able to stand up and speak my mind sometimes. I wish I could stand up for myself more.  I wish I could be heard.  Saying that, even though I may not be loud and proud I am respectful and loyal.

I guess I'm just not built for attention.   For now I'll live with the quote above hanging around me like a bad smell, I'll be thought a fool but at least I'm a happy fool.

Part of my A to Z posts
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Photo credit top right: FloatingLemons

The Gallery - Children

Tara over at StickyFingers has given the prompt of 'Children' for this weeks Gallery.  I knew straight away which photo I was going to choose as it's a favourite of mine.

I took it at Pride Park (home of Derby County Football Club) last May when my daughter was about 14 months old.  She's with my Father-In-Law and my Grandad-In-Law (is that a term?).  To me, it shows children of all ages - one 14 months, one in his 60's and one in his 80's!

It's the pure joy and love on the faces of my daughters Grandad and Great Grandad and the youthfulness she brings to them both.  It's only a child that can make you look and feel like that.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Crappy New Year*

This comes as a result of a conversation with the ultra cool and lovely Wendy (Inside The Wendy House) on Twitter where we were joking about our fondness for a bit of ‘toilet humour’.  Wendy made a joke that we should start a blog hop and what she would call it and a couple of other lovely bloggers (Super Amazing Mum and Ghost Writer Mummy) joined in with some funny stories.  So, that was the birth of 'Toilet Tuesday'.

Inside The Wendy House

Join in the childish Toilet Tuesday (yes I know it's Monday still!) fun now on Wendys blog.

I think most people enjoy a bit of toilet humour (even if they don’t openly admit it), giggling like school children when someone ‘lets one go’ by accident.  When I was growing up one of my favourite programmes was The Young Ones, much to my mothers disgust, then as I got older I loved Bottom.  Says it all really.  

It’s surprising then to learn that was actually in a relationship for almost 7 years with a man who hated flatulence.  In those 7 years I actually only broke wind in front of him twice.   I still, to this day, wonder how I managed to get through all that time without breaking wind in his company.  It’s a wonder I didn’t become a victim of spontaneous human combustion!

The last time I did float an air biscuit in front of him I remember so vividly.  We were walking back home hand in hand in the early hours of the morning on New Years day after enjoying a party at a friend’s house when it started snowing.  There weren’t many people about as it was about 4am – yes, there once was a time when I could arrive home with the milkman – it was so beautiful.   Almost picture perfect, like something from a movie.  He stopped me and pulled me in close and told me how much he loved me.  Perfect I hear you say.  Well, it would have been if, when he kissed me and cuddled me, I hadn’t expelled a loud gassy noise from my derrière.  He dropped me like a hot brick and called me disgusting.  Of course this just made me laugh and the more indignant he got about it, the harder I laughed (and the amount of cider and vodka I’d consumed didn’t help).  We walked home the rest of the way in complete silence.  Happy...or should I say Crappy New Year!

* I would just like it noted that I only farted, I did not crap myself but 'crappy' was the best idea I had for a post title at the time of posting :-)

Listography – Things I Wish I Could Do.

Hurrah!  Kate Take 5 has her blog back this week!

Do you ever wish you could do something (apart from punch a celebrity – see earlier post!)?  Well, now’s your chance to tell everyone the 5 things you wish you could actually do.  Keep them as simple as you like or just go plain crazy, whatever floats your boat.  Then head over to Kate Takes 5 and join in the blog hop with all the other lovely bloggers.

Here are mine, in no particular order:

1. Sing and dance

I’m certainly no Madonna.  Think more Mr Blobby on acid and you’re on the right tracks.  I can’t sing and I can’t dance. Fact.  I really envy people who have a natural talent to perform.  I have a male friend who wowed us all with his vocals playing on the PlayStation Sing Star last year.  I got on it and it sounded like a cat being slowly strangled.  Still, at least my daughter likes my singing voice.  Poor child.

2. Play either the guitar or drums

This is a follow on from above.  Although, I can actually play the guitar.  I can play ‘There Was An Old Man Called Michael Finnegan”.  Impressed?  Thought not.  I learnt to play it in high school with a guitar my Grandparents brought back from Spain.   A member of our family writes his own songs, plays guitar and sings beautifully – check him out here.  He just does it as a hobby too.  I love his music and I would love to be able to be as talented as he is.

3. Speak Spanish

Ever since I spent a week in Barcelona with a guy who could speak Spanish I’ve been longing to learn the language.  That was about 9-10 years ago.  I’m sure I could have learnt 10 languages in that time.  I’m just rubbish at starting things then not carrying through with them.  I’ve bought a ‘Spanish’ book and downloaded an iPhone app but only got through the first few pages.  I told myself after I gave up Facebook last year that I’d use the time to learn the language.  I still haven’t.  Fail.

4. Ride a motorcycle

About 12-15 years ago I was motorbike crazy.  My ex had numerous motorbikes and every weekend we were leather clad astride some hot metal.  Yes, we were biking before you start thinking gimp masks and stuff – mucky pups.  We used to go to the World Super Bike championships at Donington Park every year cheering on the mighty Blackburn Bullet, Carl Fogarty.  I even took my CBT (compulsory bike training) and started to save to buy myself a bike.  2 years passed, my CBT went out of date and I did nothing about it.  Another fail.  See a pattern emerging here?

5. Be a great photographer

I’ve always had an underlying passion for photography and have been a member of Flickr for a number of years (must reactive my pro account!).  A few years ago I bought myself a Nikon DSLR and you couldn’t stop me photographing everything.  This went on for a few months and I got better and better.  Then I fell pregnant.  Suddenly my life became engrossed in birth and baby books and programmes and learning photography fell by the wayside.  I still take the odd nice shot now and again but not half as much as I used to.  I want to be skilled enough to get all the ISO and DOF right all the time but 99% of the time I shove my camera on ‘auto’ and hope for the best. 

So, what are your top 5?


Photo credit top: renjith krishnan


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful...Week 3

Well, considering I wasn't going to blog today this is my second post today.

Okay, so my name's Heather and I'm a Bloggerholic.

It's too tempting though as it's the lovely Michelle's 3rd week of her Reasons To Be Cheerful Blog Hop and we are trying to up the numbers week on week.  So once you've read this, hop on over to the other blogs and also post your own up!

My reasons to be cheerful/thankful this week are:

1. I met up with my new friend today who I talk about in this post.  I only met her for the first time last week and today she invited me to her house and it was lovely (her, not the house, although that was lovely too).  We didn't stop nattering for over 2 hours - she only lives a 5 minute drive from my house...dangerous!

2. We don't have to go anywhere this weekend.  Every two weeks we either go down to Nottingham to see the inlaws, or we meet halfway or they come here.  It's nice to see them but it eats into our 'family' time together just the three of us.  So this weekend it's just me, my husband and Mini Cheddar.  Bliss.

3. The next 3 weekends after this one I'm out every Friday night (why are nights out like bloody buses sometimes?).  Next week is a regular 'Fish Finger Butty (FFB) and Cider Night' with 3 of my closest friends.  The following week it's a night out with my best friend and a girl we both still love who we were in school with.  Then the final weekend it's a night out for hubby and I with another couple - dinner and drinks.  Fab!

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart

So, what are your reasons to be cheerful?  Why not join in the blog hop?

Listography - 5 Celebrities I'd Like To Punch

Usually hosted by Kate at Kate Takes 5, the Listography is being hosted by Hannah at Metal Mummy this week and it's a cracker.  List the 5 celebrities you'd most like to punch.Great!  Time for a bit of a rant as I have a small handful of celebrities who wind me up something rotten.  I'm not a violent person in the slightest but I'd love to give these lot a bit of a slap.

1. Cheryl Cole

What?  I hear you cry.  How can you include the 'Nations Sweetheart' as I hear her repeatedly called.  I used to think she was okay but my dislike for her has grown immensely over the past couple of years to the point where I couldn't bear to look at her or listen to her on X Factor this year.  I'm sorry but my little finger has more personality than her - and probably more talent.  She's  so up herself it's untrue, acts like Lady Muck.  Oh and she's so NOT worth it.

2. Carol McGiffin

Gah!  This woman is just vile.  She quite literally makes me squirm.  I've seen bits of Loose Women a couple times (I can't bear it for obvious reasons) but every time she's on she can't get through 5 minutes without mentioning sex or her bloke who's about 22 years her junior.  Fair play, I'd probably be pretty proud of that but she's irritating, looks dog rough and acts it.

3. Cat Deeley

In the good old days of SMTV with Ant & Dec I used to think she was good fun.  But since then she's turned into a whiney, conceited and false presenter.  She irritates me so much so I'm glad the USA seems to be stuck with her now.

4. Davina McCall

Another 'favourite' with the nation so sorry people! Another one I used to like.  When she first properly burst onto our screens for the cult show Street Mate I used to think she was fab.  In the early days of Big Brother she was good but now I watch her and I just cringe.  Is it just me or does she come across as presenting in a way that she's trying to act like she's drunk?  She's false and irritating, slurring some of her words, doing camera close-ups and generally being annoying.

5. Frankie Boyle

He wasn't going to go on my list but I couldn't have a whole list of women - that would make me look SO bad.  I actually went to one of his live stand-up gigs about 3-4 years ago and I used to love him on Mock The Week.  I know he's a 'shock' comic and you have to go into his comedy knowing he's going to make you feel uncomfortable about some of the things you may (or may not) laugh at but he seems to be feeding off this more and more.  His latest television program 'Tramadol Nights' was no exception.  We recorded it, watched the first two (watched the second one hoping it may get better) and then deleted the rest.  I simply want to punch him right now for his comments about Katie Price's Son Harvey.  That sunk to a new depth of low.  Don't get me wrong, I don't like Katie Price - infact she very nearly made this list but what he said was disgusting.  For that, right now I want to punch him.

Others that just missed out on the list: Victoria Beckham, Katie Price, Paris Hilton, Piers Morgan, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry.

Jeez, I have a lot of celebrity hate in me today.  I'm a nice person honest!


Who would be your top 5?  Join in the fun here!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Gallery - Mother Nature

This is my first week joining in Tara's (StickyFingers) fab Gallery. This week is entitled 'Mother Nature' and there are some amazing shots out there.  We are in the process of sorting out the office so my trusty Nikon is buried somewhere under a mountain of files, paper and computer bits.  So I'm using an old shot.  Plus it means I don't have to walk over to the local lake with a bag full of bread to tempt a duck over to snap on my phone...I'm so lazy ;-)

Without a majorly impressive zoom lens on my camera (mine was a 55-200mm) this was the best I could do.   This is a Bald Eagle landing on a tree by the side of Maligne Lake which is south of Jasper in the Canadian Rockies.  It was our last 'BIG' holiday before Mini Cheddar was born so it's special in many ways.

Just to put the zoom in perspective, this is the whole scene (you can just make out the eagle sitting on top of the tree on the right):

Looking back through my Canadian trip pictures I'm now thinking I'd like to sub Tallinn from my Places Listography

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

7 Random Things About Me

Now there's a meme/award flying around the blogging world and I was tagged by Michelle at Mummy From The Heart  and then again by Fran at Oh Mammy - I'm not quite sure if I should thank them for passing this on to me as I know have the hard task of revealing 7 things that you don't already know about me!  I've already revealed a few random things on my About Me page so this is really hard.  Then I am supposed to tag 15 more bloggers but everyone I really know has already been tagged so I'm hoping they hand the reigns to some more people.

Thank you (I think) to Michelle and Fran xx

Here goes nothing...

NOTE: The first one is a bit gross and horrible.

1. When I was 3 years old I climbed onto my parents bed and was jumping with a pen in my mouth, I fell off the bed, the pen snapped.  Mum & Dad checked me over and I was fine. A few days later my throat started to swell, Mum took me to the doctors to be told I had mumps.  This went on and on for a while and eventually I couldn't eat, I was really sick but the doctors kept insisting it was mumps.  Mum & Dad rushed me to hospital one night and I was taken straight in.  They said they needed to operate and just as they were about to this 'thing' in my throat burst and all this foul smelling green stuff came out.  The pen had caused a serious infection and the doctors at the hospital said I was lucky to be alive.

2. I had a poem I wrote about 'Crow' read out by Mike Reid and Keith Chegwin on Saturday Superstore in the early 1980's.

3. When I was 17, I lied to my parents and said I was staying 2 days at my friends house when really I went to Blackpool with my boyfriend.  I shudder now thinking how irresponsible that was and how I hope my daughter never does anything like that.

4. I have two nasty scars.  One right underneath my chin when I hit a kerb whilst riding full pelt on my bicycle when I was about 8 and the other one from having a mole removed from my lower back.

5. A 'Super Loo' door once opened on me whilst I was having a wee.  The toilet was on a really busy roundabout in the middle of Chester.  Thankfully (I think) I was a little too drunk to be really embarrassed.

6. In my 20's I thought it would be a good idea to get my belly button pierced.  My friend and I went to the pub first and had a couple of ciders for 'Dutch courage'. Unfortunately it was really hot and after I had it done there was no room to sit down as advised so I fainted on the floor.  I haven't worn a piercing in my belly button for about 5 years now.

7. I was once 'dared' to eat a Tequila Worm.  I hallucinated badly and I'll never ever touch one again.

Hmmmm the last 3 were very drink related.  In my defence they were all in my 20's and I'm 36 now ;-)

Looking forward to reading some more posts from my tagged blogging friends.  I'm listing the people I know from Michelles list so you can hop on over and check out their blogs *shares the blogging love*

I'm also going to tag a friend who I met via a birth club on a well known baby website:

Monday, 17 January 2011

Pink Or Blue – Which One Are You?

When I discovered I was pregnant back in July 2008, my husband and I were thrilled. We decided to keep it secret until we had the all clear at the 12-week scan – it was the hardest couple of months of my life but it was also lovely to be carrying such an amazing secret.

As soon as we announced the pregnancy, I was immediately hit with a question I hadn’t even thought of.  “Would you like a girl or boy?”.  I hadn’t even given it a thought, to me just carrying a healthy baby was all I cared about, the sex was just one of those things we’d wait until the birth to discover but have fun guessing along the way.  But then I heard those fateful words “Well, I hope it’s a girl, I never had a girl so it would be lovely for me”.  For you?  For You? Errr, excuse me, this is OUR baby, NOT yours!  I dismissed it.

However, as my pregnancy progressed I felt more and more pressure from a couple of members of our family to deliver them a baby girl.  I remember those words down the phone the morning of my 20-week scan “Have a word to him upstairs please, I want a girl”.  These words still make me so angry.  To the point where I actually started to think I would like a boy just to p**s them all off!  Harsh I know, but when your hormones are raging during pregnancy it can make you a tad crazy.

Our beautiful baby girl was born in March 2009 and she was perfect.  We were so happy.  I thought that would be the end of the whole ‘gender preference’ but no.  It still continues now.  I face regular battles over present buying, amongst other things, hearing the words “Well, I never had a girl so I haven’t experienced this or this so I want to do this, buy this blah blah blah”.

All the while I sit and suffer in silence.  I’ve tried to politely get my point across but it’s getting to a stage now I’m about to snap.  I’m not a ‘girly’ girl myself, indeed I’m no tomboy but I’m just not into the whole fluffy bunny fairy pink princess glittery stuff.  Obviously the girl obsession within the family means we are regularly showered with overly pink, frilly, fluffy hideous items that aren’t practical at all.  My husband and I want to have another baby sometime in the future and if we do have a boy he will have to make do with lots of pink hand-me-down toys because, rather than buying neutral, these family members are properly pink obsessed!  A member of that side of the family is pregnant at the moment  with her FIRST child and she actually said to me when she was trying to conceive “I don’t want a boy, I just want a girl.  All my friends have boys” and then she topped it by making a “Bleurgh” noise and screwing up her face in disgust.  I was horrified. 

So, the regular battles with the gender preference from the family will no doubt continue. Only yesterday I faced such hurdles, which is the catalyst for this post.

The thing is, I’m honestly not bothered in the slightest what sex our children are.  All that matters to me is they are healthy.  Surely that’s the real wish that any parent should have?  I read somewhere that some parents become so obsessed with wanting a particular sex that they suffer depression and bonding issues with the child.  There’s even a proper term for it - ‘gender disappointment'. Google it.  You’ll even discover one woman who has admitted that she would have terminated her little boy if she could have done so without anyone knowing.

A member of my family can’t have children and I have many friends who've experienced miscarriages at various stages of pregnancy but yet there are people who want to be so fussy as to choose the sex of their baby.  Maybe I’m extremely naïve but I just don’t understand it.  Maybe if we are lucky to be blessed with another child and we have another girl, maybe I’ll start to get the longing for a boy.  Who knows?

So, my question is, what are your thoughts?  Do you think it’s right, wrong or are you impartial?  Do you have a gender preference yourself?  Have you any experience of this that can help me?


Added to the BMB January Blog Hop.  Hop along and check out some great posts:

Friday, 14 January 2011

Twitter World - The Extended Friday Follow #ff

Ella from Notes From Home has invited people, as part of the Friday Club Carnival, to blog about Twitter today and talk about who they follow and why.

The thing is, for me, I have only recently gotten into using Twitter despite opening my account a while back.  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about but I just 'didn't get it' at first so I didn't use the account.

As someone who used to pretty much live and breathe Facebook it was a big step for me to deactivate my Facebook account but I did it back in September and I haven't looked back since.   It pushed me to jump on the Twitter train and I'm glad I did.  I find Facebook can be rather intrusive, whereas Twitter is quick.  It doesn't consume your life with long-winded status updates, hundreds of photo albums and wall posts.

The thing about Twitter is you need to get yourself out there and meet new people, you need to tweet, you need to answer peoples tweets but most of all I think you need to polite (e.g. thank people for following you, thank people who give you a shout out or retweet etc.)  All these little things go a long way.

If you haven't got a Twitter account I highly recommend it.  You can follow celebrities, find out all the latest gossip but most importantly meet new people and have a lot of laughs.

Here are just a small handful of people I've followed for a while (in no particular order) and why:

  • @shitmydadsays - A famous twitter feed started in 2009 by a young guy called Justin who tweets funny and random quotes his Dad says on various subjects.
  • @hotpatooties - Dawn Porter, journalist and presenter and all-round fabulous woman with a big heart who you would just love to be your best friend.  Her tweets can be so random and funny they make me giggle a lot and she's the person I most look forward to in my Twitter feed.  I've had a few small conversations with her on Twitter and she's lovely.  She follows me too *another proud face*
  • @flounderingsahm - I've been following Tina for a long while now and she was my initial inspiration for taking the plunge into the world of blogging. Like me, she's a SAHM but unlike me she is very up on her technology, I've gained a lot from reading her articles.
  • @lauraloveday - I think Laura started following me after we shared some banter over the last series of X Factor.  She's a lovely girl, very warm, friendly and very very quick-witted.
  • Finally, I would like to give a shout out to one of my best friends Claire, @clairepennphoto and her fab husband Tim, @mrparsley.  Claire has an amazing natural talent for photography and Tim has an amazing natural talent for witty remarks - he's the only reason I continued to watch X Factor.

Since I've started blogging (all of 2 weeks now) I've come to use Twitter more and more and have recently met some fantastic people online.  I'm just sorry I can't mention everyone but I'll be getting them all with a traditional #ff at some point in the near future.  I can be a bit picky about who I follow (oooh get me!) so EVERYONE in my follow list is definitely worth checking out :)

Here are the other entries in this Twitter Carnival:

Nova at Cherished By Me posts Tweet Tweet

Hayley at Simply Hayley posts Twitter :: Tips to stay safe!

Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family posts Twitterholics Anonymous….

Ghostwritermummy posts Twitter

Kelly from Domestic Goddesque posts The Twitterverse

Maggy at Red Ted Art posts Nothing To Do with Anything and Everything.

Ella at Notes From Home posts her Twitter for Beginners - 5 tips to getting started.

The Friday Club

Tweeties image (top) by Chris Wallace

Thursday, 13 January 2011

More Reasons To Be Cheerful

I'm joining in with Michelle's (Mummy From The Heartblog hop again this week - you can read about it on her blog here.

What 3 things have I got to be thankful for this week?

1. My Daughters Health

Swine Flu is a very emotive subject and has hit the press hard again this week due to the tragic death of little three year old, Lana Ameen on Boxing Day.  No underlying health problems and she died within 2 days.  Seeing her grieving mother on the news last night broke my heart and will haunt me for a long time.  It's certainly not something to be cheerful about and I'm shedding more tears typing this.  However, I'm thankful right now for my daughters health and also thankful I took the hard decision to get her vaccinated.  It was an agonising time for us to make that decision with so little known about the side effects but this tragedy really brings it home.

2. My New Mummy Blogger Friends

Deciding to write a blog was literally something I thought about doing just before New Year.  I think it was that lull in between Christmas and New Year when there's this kind of boredom that sets in - you're sick of all the crap films on TV and are so full of chocolate and sprouts (not a good mix!) that you feel like you're about to explode.  I've only been blogging for 2 weeks but joining BMB and meeting mummy bloggers on there and twitter has been great and the responses have been amazing.  Thank you to all of you.

3. My Husband

Matt means the world to me and I know I don't always show it.  He works hard to look after my daughter and I financially and he'll never know just how much I love him.  I know it sounds so corny but he's my rock, my best friend, my lover, my soul mate and my life.  I'm thankful every second of every day that we met and fell in love.

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy with a Heart

What are your reasons to be cheerful/thankful today?  Join in the blog hop!

Listography - Top 5 Places I've Visited

It's time for the Listography from Kate Takes 5 and this week it's the top 5 places you've visited.

I've been fortunate to visit some great places so it's really difficult to pick my 5 favourite but here goes (click on the place titles to get a taster) and these are in no particular order:

It was the one place my husband has always wanted to visit as he longed to see the Northern Lights so being the lovely wife I am (ahem) I secretly booked a 5 night trip for a 30th birthday surprise.  We went over New Year and stayed in the most lovely hotel. I'd already arranged with a local photographer and guide, Kjetil Skogli (who has since appeared on a program about the Northern Lights with Joanna Lumley) to take us up into the mountains outside the city and we were lucky enough to witness this:

Seeing the Northern Lights was an unforgettable experience, it was so magical is moved us both to tears. We also went husky sledding through the mountains and ate reindeer (don't tell your kids!)

We stayed on the islands of Oahu and Maui in Hawaii and they were both very different but I've picked out Waikiki for the very reason we had a beach front suite hotel room (well, it was out honeymoon) and the view was amazing.  We also had surfing lessons and to say you've surfed the waves of Wakiki Beach is something to be fairly proud of!  I was going to post a picture of me riding the waves but it's the most tiring thing I've ever done in my life so the photos are NOT flattering.  

America is close to my heart.  I've got relatives in a few different states and so far I've visited about 18 States.  We even did the ultimate road trip in 2005 traveling from Chicago to L.A. following Route 66 in a cabriolet!  We've been to Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, New York and Washington DC.  All great cities apart from Las Vegas and L.A. which weren't for me (but that's another story).  But my pick is Chicago.  It's not just because I have relatives there, I just love it because it has this busy but also relaxed atmosphere.  It's less 'in your face' than other places.  The skyline is amazing overlooking Lake Michigan you have Navy Pier and Millennium Park - it's fab!

This place just takes your breath away.  I will never forget sitting on a rooftop restaurant watching the sun set over the caldera.  This island is said to be the location of the lost island of Atlantis and I like to think it is :)  All the whitewashed churches and houses with blue domed rooftops are just absolutely stunning, they cling to the volcanic island edges surrounding the Aegean Sea. 

Thankfully we visited Tallinn before the 'budget airlines' bombarded it and it's cheap booze made it a surefire destination for the Brit Stag Party.  Tallinn's old city is a maze of cobbled streets which are filled with medieval houses and alleyways.  The people here were so friendly and the city was relaxed and picturesque.  I'm not sure if we visited again it would still be the same which is sad.

So, what would be in your top 5?

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Online Matters

I did something this morning that took a lot of courage for me considering something I went through last September.  I met up for a play date with someone I’d never even clapped eyes on before - not even a picture.  Not only that but we’d only exchanged a couple of emails and a few text messages so hadn’t really built up a cyber-friendship.

The thing is, I actually met my husband, Matt, online 7 years ago.  When I used to tell people about this they were amazed but over the past few years it’s more or less become the norm to meet friends, lovers and spouses online – hell, with the birth of ancestry websites people are even meeting family online!

I think the world wide web opens just that up to us – the world.  People now understand the power of the Internet for forming new relationships although there are a handful of people who are still sceptical of this.  They think meeting online people involves a bunch of saddos or perves.  Granted, there are a few of these but that’s just the same as there is in the ‘real’ world.

For me, joining an online dating website wasn’t a big deal, (I had been married at the age of 22 and divorced before 28) I was 29 and living alone with my dog Betty (aka Dogface).  Most of my friends were married or in long-term relationships and some had children.  I wasn’t desperate to be with someone but I was sick and tired of going out with single friends and meeting idiots.   I wanted some fun without being leered at, lager dribbled on me and paying for drink, club entrance fees and taxis.

I signed up to the site just after Christmas and I actually enjoyed sifting through the messages to remove all the weirdos.   It was the 25th of January when I noticed a guy who had added me to his ‘favourites’.  He ticked all the right boxes on his profile and his pictures looked good too.   We made contact via email and phone and on 31st January he drove up to Chester from Derby to see me. We moved in together 6 months later and the rest is history.

The point I’m getting at – in a rather long-winded way, as usual – is that online matters to me.  I will always embrace the opportunities and relationships that the Internet can offer me.  I almost lost that confidence last year due to someone I met online but I can’t deny what the Internet has given me.  It’s given me a core handful of close friends, a few good friends and acquaintances but more importantly it’s given me my life – my husband and now my daughter.

Three cheers for the Internet!

p.s. The meet with my now new friend was superb.  She’s lovely – as are all the people I’ve met online who I now call my friends…you know who you are :-)

Photo by: graur razvan ionut


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