Sunday, 23 November 2014

Did I ever mention I was on the telly.... BBC Breakfast Star...

Would it be wrong to put this in place of my wedding photo? 
If you know me, (unless you've been living under a stone), there's no way you can't know I WAS ON THE TELLY!  Not, like, any telly, I was on NATIONAL telly, BBC BREAKFAST telly! 

So how did it come about; of course it had to be a result of my ridiculous twitter. My A BBC producer was mooching round Twitter looking for a mum's experience of maternity care (to note I've nothing but praise for NHS maternity care despite my 'OMG the hospital's closed and I'm in labour').  

It happened on a normal day...
So, I got a phone call from her, we had a chat, I was on the top deck of a bus, the kids had been mithering for a go on a bus, I did say quite loudly to our Liz "Sorry kids, I'm just on the phone to the BBC".  I talked her through what happened to me, in a very talky, easy way.  She said great, can you come on the show tomorrow.   I agreed, no problem (thinking it was radio and I'd call in).  Then I realised that she said "Don't wear red it clashes with the sofa".  My second realisation come a moment after 'OMG I'm going to be on the telly and my colour needs doing'  SHOCK HORROR roots on the telly!  

So I hopped off bus, got chips for tea, headed home, en route telling ten or so people to look out for me on the telly!  It was a quick turnaround at home, as I had a PA "do" thing to attend.  It was a bit of a drinky social do at the PA event, so I quite quickly got tipsy (to help with the nerves you know...), and, well, I can only apologise to the room full of one hundred very professional PAs of Manchester; it's a good thing my job at Uni is pretty secure, as I'd never work in this town again! 

Coping with the nerves, hard living in the spot light, priory for me next!
The funny thing was, I told every single person in my breathing zone that I was due to be on the telly at 8:10, when in fact I was top of the bill (well that's how I see it) at 7:10.  Unfortunately, at 8:10 when I'm guessing a lot of my friends, family and very professional PAs tuned in, the item being discussed was obesity in the UK and the risk of having a big girth leading to diabetes (of course a very serious issue... but come on my girth's not that big, and if one person made a connection I'll be cross). 

Media City (very early in morning)
So 'my' driver arrived very early to have me taken to Media City.  It was all very smart, I was greeted at the studio by a very enthusiastic "media" person; it was great, I was rushed into make up, where I begged them to do ANYTHING to cover my roots (they must have had a wig handy surely?), the make up lady was great and said "Look Holly Willougby has serious roots a lot of the time, you look fine".  #Obv I took that as she likened me to Holly W and was made up.  They sat me in the green room, offered me coffee and brekkie, to which I declined (was ropey with nerves and hangover).  

Next I'm being wired up, I actually think that was the best bit!  A producer went through my story, and sort of said, you've a nice way of letting it tell itself, just repeat it as you told me.  

Dum dum dum, I'm in the studio, bolted on the sofa, I was there five mins (not on camera), as they went to weather and read news items, I just got more and more nervous!  But I had an epiphany.... I had to control my nerves, because there's a chance I'll talk really, really fast, become scouser and sound like my fellow native, old Margi Clarke... so, with that, I decided I wasn't going to be nervous; and blow me it worked - I truly wasn't nervous.  I just chatted to Charlie like he was an old friend, when they cut back to me after the second bit to say "thank you", I took that as a cue to give advice and extend my five minutes "What I would say to pregnant women in my situation is to do this, this and this".... 

Media Star (very early in the morning)
They didn't seem to mind, and appeared to quite like me and said thanks, and that I was great (of course I was).  Charlie and Steph (my colleagues) tweeted me as much later that day.  The initial BBC producer said she would defo use me again if anything topical came about... I didn't really believe her, but was dead chuffed with my experience and left it at that.

Well, they only did bloody ring me; and if you think I was bad the first time, this time they wanted my DAUGHTER on too..... me and my girl on the telly... it was like a dream come true!  Bless, Liz was full of giddy excitement about the whole thing, and they made such a lovely fuss of her, the driver winked at me and said to her "Oh I can't wait to get home and tell my wife who I had in my car today".   Jim Davidson was on the same show, very surreal to be in the green room with him, having Lizzy mither me about getting on the next level of candy crush and my pal ringing me to finalize our picnic later that day.  Amazingly when I'm in the greenroom/make up around famous people I don't turn into a div', I save that for my friends/family/colleagues! 

So, since then, it seems they do like me, they called twice more, boo, the first time I was on holiday, they wouldn't skype me in from Bideford, and last week I was out of town in Milton Keynes, I can't help but wonder they must have budget for helicopters?  

Anyhow, I do love it, I'm destined to be a telly star.... Emma-Lou BBC Breakfast Parenting Anchor... it sounds lovely... perhaps you might want to start a campaign... tweet the BBC!  #GetEmmaLouBackOnTheSofa.... yes?

xx Emma-Lou 

PS Lesson learnt re colour/roots, even if one of my BFs is getting married I won't be saving it again, you never know when my public might come calling...

In typical mummy fashion, in the middle of my PA event and Telly slot, I had to whip up a costume for flippin' school, not a bad effort! 

Remember the camera adds 10lbs, in real life I'm skinny!
Debut Part 1 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Ho ho ho... Dear FC... I wish you were real!

So I've a girl of nearly 9, on the whole she's a lovely girl, very pleasant natured, a wonderful big sister to her troublesome younger brother (he's a horror!).  Without bias she really is no trouble.  

So for Christmas, she still believes in Father Christmas; it's real sweet, I think this is the last year we can string it out.  Last year we made a bit of an error and she was right on it... "Mummy it's funny how Father Christmas uses the same wrapping paper as us"... I pulled it round and came back "Well the elves must of taken advantage of the 3 for 2 at M&S too". 

So, the trouble this year is, we're a bit skint, and are 'trying' to do it with economy in mind!  So we asked our darling girl for details of her Christmas list, and a list is what we got: 

  • iPad 
  • Nintendo 3DS 
  • Tamagotchi 3DS Game 
  • Animal Crossing 3DS Game 
  • Light up pillow (no idea) 
  • Letter Writing Set 
  • Zoomer Zuppie Roxy (no idea) 
  • Spirograph 3D 
  • Umbella "the one I saw in H&M" (no idea)

In years before now we've managed the expectation, and have been able to mould her wants and desires if you like, but now at nearly nine, bless she considers what her friends are getting and has it all worked out.   I talked about this with a pal this week and she simply said "You know what, Christmas; when you're little is about getting what you want".... but what if you can't afford Apple?  Oh my what to do; I think I'll have to go up against my husband and splash out....  I'd hate for her to think that perhaps she hasn't been a good enough girl, and FC has got her cheapo tablet as a result. 

On the other side our lad, only wants a Postman Pat train; a bargain at £14.99 from B&M! At three your pleasures are simple (and inexpensive).  So there's a thought, we'll save £££ on Willow.... his turn will come when he wants an Xbox 360 and Raleigh bikes.... 

Seriously though, the pressure's on for parents... our girl isn't spoilt (despite her list) and doesn't ask for too much.  She won't be getting everything on this list, certainty not, we'll sub some of it out to Nanna and Grandad and co (HINT HINT HINT... Uncle Steven is possibly good for the iPad... come on you're her favourite).  

In every other way; the magic of Christmas is alive and kicking in our house.... (but likely we'll be on bread and water for the rest of the year).   

xx Emma-Lou 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Nativity 3, Save the Children, National Christmas Jumper Day

Well check me out, a serious blogger these days (not really... as if!), a review from moi!

So Lizzy, her mate and me donned our Christmas Jumpers and went to the FILM PREMIERE of 'Nativity 3', some might call it an advanced screening... pah me and the girls got off on saying "attending a film premiere darling".

We were lucky to score the tickets, mostly because we've been on count down for the release of Nativity 3 and as a family economising/saving for Christmas; a freebie day out was right up our street!  So the only stipulation was, we needed to wear our Christmas jumpers.  As if this is hardship, poor Mr C was rudely awoken by me mithering him to get up in the loft for the Christmas box...

So on with our Christmas jumpers, we looked simply beautiful, mine I realise is a bit silly, with the snowman's carrot nose potruding out! But I can carry it off....

Trying to look cool!

We arrived to face paints, elf hats, letters to Santa desk.  Willow wasn't with me so I wrote and posted a letter on his behalf:

"Dear Santa,

On behalf of my three year old son.  He is sincerely sorry he punched you in the beard once (it was a misunderstanding), he keeps his temper (mostly) in check these days.  Please can he have a postman pat train!

Thank you, Emma-Louise for Hell Boy" 

Take that FC!

My favourite activity of the morning was the Nativity 3 photo booth!  Loved it, I think it would only promote the film if they used it on the side of a bus (just an idea).  Mind you, I equally loved the freebie popcorn, Thomas Tucker, fruits of the forest flavour, never enjoyed popcorn so much. 

So the film.  Well I haven't actually seen Nativity 1 or 2, but on the back of this will defo look them out.  It was silly Christmas fun.  Mr Poppy was ace, the children were brilliant, Martin Clunes and Catherine Tate very good.  My favourite was Flash Dancer Extraordinnaire Brendan Finch, his styling was bang on, I'm not kidding this is a look I'd go for...   What I did enjoy most was the sing-along musical interludes... if 'Dude where's my Donkey' isn't in the running for Christmas Number 1, there's no justice (sod off X Factor winner!).

So, my Christmas Jumper has had an airing, without question, I'll be honouring National Christmas Jumper Day on 12th December, in fact, I might change it to, National Christmas Jumper Week...

I'm going to hound my friends, family and colleagues to do the same, and raise pennies for the Save the Children Campaign...  I'll state it here, for those who get involved, I'll reward you with Christmas baked goods (my cranberry white chocolate cookies are legendary).  x

xx Emma-Lou 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Facebook, is it real...

I've been thinking about this blog for ages.  It's not meant to be controversial!  

Cute children, and mine, mine, mine!

So; is Facebook, Twitter, Instragram and the others I don't know of (remember I'm 34), are they really real?  

First off, I love FB and Twitter, I share lots of my life on FB and have a right old snoop.  I've met some lovely people on FB.  Twitter is silly fun, and I have some real laughs tweeting.  Keith Chegwin is my fave. 

So, FB, it's not so much reflective on what's really going on behind closed doors, is it?  Like, I knew a woman who was having a bit of marital woe (in fact she couldn't stand her husband guts and was ready for leaving him!).  Well on FB it was all "My darling husband has done the washing up, what a lucky wifey I am"... thinking on it, was she just being funny (he was a gobshite)?  Just kidding, behind the scenes, the marriage was on the rocks, but to her FB public it was all hearts and flowers and declarations of love.  Another one, somebody was really struggling financially, looking back through their FB, you'd believe they'd just won the pools "how's that happened I just spent £300 in Ikea"

This is illustrated by my FB 10 years celebration thingy, so looking at my last year, you'd think I'd had the best year of my life.  Full of days out basking in the sun, picnics and happy happy happy.  In real life my mum died, we were burgled (robbing b*s), and other stuff... but you'd never know.  Suppose it's my decision not to post negative stuff going on, but people looking in aren't getting the full picture.  It did remind me though that the year had been filled with nice times too and that I have really cute children.  On the day of my mum's funeral, I updated my picture to one of me and mum together, was touched that everybody in my real life who knew, give it a 'like'.  So it sort of offered a gentle support. 

Perhaps my video was real, one of the poignant photos was of my car radio, set to 'gadio', I'd posted a silly about Mikey using my car.  That is I suppose, how I use FB, to share a little funny, I try not to moan too much, I show off when I've made a really good cake, and it goes without saying, my kids are so cute, it'd be a crying shame not to share their photos. 

You can't live without this sort of hilarious humour in your life right? 

The FB meanies, you'll find these on any slimming groups. If I'm honest, I do find the controversial comments from the more upfront posters entertaining...  typical would be a woman who will post a picture of herself wearing a skimpy dress, she's pleased with herself, she's usually lost a few stone.  The nasty comments can be, insulting to her appearance, even insulting to the choice of wallpaper behind, one funny one I remember "tidy your house up, tramp!". 

The FB baby group.  I'm in a very lovely smaller group.  The women I've met (my blogs whole readership I'd say), are lovely, they've truly helped me through tricky times.  And I love and care for them as friends.  We meet outside of FB in actual real life sometimes and it's great.  The bounty group we devolved from went a bit tits up; arguments were a-plenty, so it's nice a few of us have kept an interest in each other.  Breakaway Mummies big shout out (get me, "sisters"!). 

The FB cryptic poster.  Now I snookered myself the other day, the time-hop thingy, I posted 4 years ago on Tuesday "grrr something's got right up my nose"; can't recall what it was.... So I am guilty of it.  But some of them, because I'm naturally a nosy cow, do get my goat... "well that's it I've had enough", the comments below "hugs", then the poster will comment "DM'd you luv"... come on.... full disclosure please!!!

I've caught up with people of old, and for that it's great.  For keeping updated of my family not living nearby, it's great.  I feel happy to see my nephew getting his football presentation, I feel included. 

Not so nice, I was friends with a woman once, I saw her loads on my newsfeed, I commented on her kids, she liked the odd pic of mine.  Well, I saw her in Liverpool and she ignored me.... I don't think she recognised me in true form.  

Some people who you don't think go on FB a lot, well they know it all, and remind you of dates, things you've done, try and catch you, but don't even so much as wish you a FB happy birthday!  That'll be them lurkers!

Being un-friended hurts!  But I have un-friended people when photos have appeared on my newsfeed, and I've had no clue who/what they're about?  So if interaction isn't there, and I don't know you so well, I may have un-friended you, I'm sorry. I was friends with a woman I met on a two day course, she was nice enough, two years went by, no interaction.  I un-friended her, next day I bumped into her on campus! #Awkward

It prob isn't real to large degrees, but it's a nice forum for sharing and showing off, used properly (i.e. never take offence with anything you see posted) it's great.

One thing is clear though, I spend far to much time on FB  and I probably couldn't live without it in my life, perhaps I should knock it off for a bit.... give it a miss for a weekend... nah!  

xx Emma-Lou 
and obv... you've got to mention a good old car selfie

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Disturbances in the night....

Well it could have been one of many things... 

3am... I hear strange noises in the house, a certain atmosphere creeps up the stairs...  

I nudge Mr C... nothing... looks like I'm going to face the burglars single-handed... 

Worse than burglars.... I creep down and am face-to-face with a sadistic, barbaric scene; a scene from my worst nightmares; a scene, From Hell. 

Mr Jimmy (big white pussy-cat), poised for action, tail as bushy as anything... poor black mouse (black?  could it have been a rat?!), whizzing round coffee table, Jimmy biding his time, enjoying the fear!  

I scream, turn into a big girl, and squeal, Mr C (bless him) spends a good half-hour trying to rescue the mousey, but to be honest, he's a bit scared of Jimmy... 

Anyhow, he traps the mouse in the vestibule and flicks out the front-door using a dustpan... 

All calm again, well actually not, Jimmy took the hump, and isn't speaking to any of us!  

xx Emma-Lou 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Why I love The Great British Bake Off #GBBO


Well, obviously, the first things to spring to mind are; a) it’s bloody brilliant and the best thing on telly by far (even better than Downton*) and b) it’s about cake!

So, I do love it, I love the tent, I love Mary (I actually sometimes, late at night, worry about her mortality), I love Mel and Sue, I love the contestants, I love the cooking equipment, everything absolutely everything.  To note, I did used to love Paul, I’m coming back round… he’s slowly getting back into my good books (I do love his soft scouse accent mind).

What’s great about it; it’s like real life, sometimes your cakes just don’t rise, and you have to slap on a bit of unplanned butter cream to patch it up.  All the mishaps I’ve seen have taken place in my very own kitchen, such as:  cakes falling out of oven, forgetting to add sugar, angrily throwing cakes in bin (and then having to nip to the 24 hour Tesco for more ingredients to re-do birthday cake).   Like I say; sometimes, they just don’t work out.

The bakes, a lot of the time, look homemade, and you think “you know what, I could make a roulade like that at home”.  Could you be inspired to make an ‘assiette of rhubarb’ from MasterChef (I’m sure some posho’s do... make yourself known)?

As if you'd make this for your pudding?

The contestants are real people, some of them even tweet me; Howard from last series is my fave, and is very interactive with his public.  Chetna from this series, tweeted that my daughter was cute.  Do they, I wonder, become celebrities after, or go back to their usual lives, but, like, get taken advantage of at every opportunity to whip up a batch of cupcakes for charity?  I love it when real life intervenes for them and they’re having to wing it, because they’ve had no time for practice that week.  I love their look of horror faced with a tricky ‘technical bake’.  

It’s a real family treat to settle down and tune in; we have ‘bake off treats’ and everything, usually a family bag of Revels (homemade, of course)…

They don't usually last through the signature bake!

Mel and Sue, their enthusiasm for the show is great to watch.  And their silly humour sometimes makes no sense, but it makes me laugh.

Queen Mary of Berry….what a woman, keeps Paul in check, always ready with a compliment when it’s gone truly wrong (“well the lemon taste is beautifully coming through” when the cake in question is half an inch high and the cream icing has curdled).  And always, she has the perfect manicure.

One final thing… soggy bottoms….

xx Emma-Lou

Thanks to Tom, for giving me the posho name for a fancy desert ‘assiette of rhubarb’ (as if I'd know that).

*Downton has gone down the pan, we don’t bother anymore, but when it was good it was very very good.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Something #Fishy... a funny snippet

You lucky lot, two blogs from me in so many days!  

So, en route home from Bideford (in the worst traffic EVER); we've only set off 10 mins or so, when I start to sniff out a dreadful whiff. 

Suspect No 1:  Mikey has instead of putting a kitchen rubbish bag into the outside bin, he's stuck it in the boot when loading the suitcases, he told me hadn't; but I didn't believe him! We stopped at some drive-by toilet (I've never seen such a thing), pull the boot apart, and true to his word, there isn't a rubbish bag in the car! 

Suspect No 2:  Liz's feet, bless her, I upset her by insisting that she's never in her whole life dried her toes and feet properly and as consequent they stink! She did get upset (I am sorry about that), and insisted I find a pair of socks (in a moving car) to a mask the smell.  After a while I realise the smell is coming from the front of car, so could rule out poor old Lizzy. 

Suspect No 3:  So it's coming from the front of the car, clearly and obviously I don't smell, so I start covertly leaning over to give Mr C a whiff, it didn't appear to be him.... 

Funny throughout the whole 'who smells' investigation, I didn't suspect Willow, who actually does smell bad a lot of the time!  His bad smells are individual to him I suppose I know and recognise them! 

So, after an hour or so, I tuck into the lunch bag looking for sweeties to quieten the kids, as I unzip the bag the fishy smell turns my stomach, 5 little seashells, found on Instow beach the previous day are the culprit... I was for throwing them out the window, but Liz wanted to keep hold of them (God only knows why, they're sat now on the kitchen window sill, they'll be there for a year or two, before I get fed up of all this 'sentimental' rubbish and chuck them out).  So we double wrap them in Liz's socks, and hide them in the dashboard, the smell does go a bit. 

On getting home, I soaked the shells in a bit of demestos, and you never guess what... one of the shells, about the size of a bigger walnut, out pops a black fish, dead I might add.  

Ahh the fishy smell was actually a fish!  

All rather dull, but it gave me a laugh, and at least the 'who smells' suspicion killed some of the six hour journey back to Manchester. 

xx Emma-Lou x

Friday, 5 September 2014

Back to School #Overwhelmed

Well first week back and as usual my September New Academic Year Resolution is to keep on top of the correspondence... 

Well I had a mare this morning, and I'm not drama-ing up for comic effect. Right so bearing in mind, I've to be at work at 9am, I have to drop off at morning club, and then head miles away to the not so local nanna's to drop off the lad (in good traffic it should be an hour round trip, in the many years of doing this trip... there's NEVER been a good morning for traffic).  

So the school correspondence was plentiful!  First a couple of signatures in the old link book, signing up for adhering to golden rules, thing is I couldn't find the page listing the golden rules, you've got to read the small print, I might be like signing up for keeping punctual (they'd have me there!), I flicked a bit couldn't find the right page so had to sign blind!  

Dinner money, a massive £85.50 for the term... our cheque book - (of course) missing, was certain to keep it in the dresser in the kitchen to avoid these morning time search-fests, found it in my bedside cabinet... (I know EIGHTY FIVE quid.....!). 

Another signature.... PTA film night, tricky... this required £3.50 in correct change... I nicked £2.50 from husbands suit jacket added a pound.  Dug out a tiny envelope, married up the permission slip. 

Clubs, we had to indicate what we'd like (the forms then to follow).... so we're interested in, gardening club, choir and 'the big comedy club'... now the 'the big comedy club' costs a tenner a time... so I'm discouraging, while Liz is bemoaning "but I really want to go" (she even tried "you promised last term"), thing is I already pay for after school club on the same day... I'm not made of money.  So trying to manage the girls expectations... and not finding gardening club listed..... 

All sorted YES, pleased with myself, I sweep paperwork up and the blinkin' coins fall out the envelope, on hands and knees, shouting at Liz "For goodness sake can you not fill up your own water bottle".  I cellotape the envelope down (a lot)!

To school, I wouldn't trust her to keep hold of the precious paperwork till she goes in, I direct her to 'Mrs Laguda's letterbox'... guess what she waves at me, she's missing the PTA envelope... she 'thinks' it's in the footwell of the car... 

Phew.. so I'm winning on this score, wave her off.

I get to Carrington Spur, then realise the son hasn't got a coat... FFS I can't drop off at MIL without a coat... she'd ring the social..... grrrr......

Hometime, we have two more forms... one for choir, the other for 'the drama shed'... this is new, this needs a cheque and another form.... arghhh..... look at them, loads of dates all over them, I'll have to mark them somewhere...

The scary thing is, I'll have two of them at school from next week... I need a PA, any takers, I can only pay in mint imperials... 

I reckon after the morning we had, we deserved our after school treat of sticky toffee pudding and pinot grigio. 

xx Emma-Lou

Friday, 30 May 2014

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to...

So I've had my birthday... I am now the grand old age of 34... there's a nasty rumour starting the rounds at work.. that I'm 37, and have been hiding my real age for years!  Swines, I'm happy to bring in my birth certificate...

So I was born in 1980, I've got the CD, you know the one you get in a greeting card... music stars of the day include... Blondie, Eddy Grant, Kate Bush, Spandau Ballett, and Dennis Waterman (I could be so good for you.... brilliant yes?).   Other news, Gandhi wins the Indian election, USA pull out of the Moscow Olympics, John Lennon murdered outside his New York apartment... these events are like dead old... so I suppose I must be!
Evidence of my actual age!
I'm not too bothered though, my hairdresser made me smile the other day (after telling me I should keep my hair long now... as a shorter style would age me!), she goes "my mother is always harking on that she's glad she knows what she knows"... I always hark on the same.. am I now likened to my very young hairdressers mothers generation!  Ah well... I'm glad I'm a wisened old cynic.. there's nothing naive about me these day, back in the day.. I believed ANYTHING...

There are many benefits of knocking on... you don't have to comply to fashion, or listen to Radio 1, or fit into a particular scene...  I've spent many a horrific night in the Crazy House (Liverpool), listening to god awful music... but pretending to love it!  I can listen to whatever I like, I'm proud to enjoy Elaine Page do her musicals show on Sunday (Radio 2).  My music taste is all over the place and my collection, glancing up at my shelf of CDs (see I am old... I don't buy music digitally...) of those recently added to my iPhone (honestly not doctored, I've not hidden anything truly shite!)... see not to bad eh?  (although those with a keen eye might spot 'Ultimate Dirty Dancing').  I tweeted the other day on this, my musical tastes are truly my own.. and if I want to belt out Cheryl Cole... then I will without fear of reproach... you've gotta fight, fight, fight, fight for this love!

Maybe I might of hidden one or two.. the Ray Quinn Swingy CD?
Thing is, the problem I suppose, I sort of think I'm really trendy and young... and I know that when Lizzy gets to her teenage years.. I'll step it up and try and 'get down' with the kids and try and pal up to her and her mates.  She already rolls her eyes at me, can't see her letting me come along to Mojo's with her on a Saturday night, she might let me pick her up (I'm one of those mum's... I'll be picking up at 2 o'clock in the morning).

My recent love of a 'little port', another testimony of my advancing years (I got a bottle of sherry for my birthday... I was made up!).  I actively avoid places that are 'too loud'.  I can't hear myself think in Kro (Oxford Road) and once diverted a whole staff do' to a different venue "because honestly you can't hold a decent conversation in there".  Another thing I do now I'm confidently bolshy, I'm never happy where I'm sat in restaurants... to the horror of my husband...  I usually ask to move "I'm not paying to sit in a draft".

Vouchers and coupons, now I'm older and not bothered to hold the queue up at Sainsburys, I'll spend a good five minutes digging out my nectar card.  I like to knit (badly and have never actually finished a scarf.. it's ongoing... but I do have the most amazing knitting bag), do jigsaws, watch re-runs of 'Sex in the City', play scrabble, the list of ridiculous past times goes on!

I'm not too bad, I can hold my own with the youth of today... I still buy the odd thing in Topshop... it's not like I've completely given up the goose and got an account at Bonmarche.... I do groan when I get up from sitting though, with an old aged creek.... now my knees are bad (really just an excuse to avoid running!).

Happy to be getting older, I LOVE BIRTHDAY's, I (rightly and appropriately) always get spoilt rotten!

Here we are on my birthday, Saturday night in town, cocktail bar.. getting pissed... don't feel my age at all!

xx Emma-Lou

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Cats, aren't they meant to be low-maintenance, no trouble at all?

How do I feel about my pussy cats? 

Mostly they're hard work!  The kitty we had previously was a person really in feline form, Mosey was as fat as could be and liked sitting on newspapers and mithering for food! When my beloved Mosey died, I wasn't prepared for the grief and I didn't realise how dearly I loved him (the night he died I cancelled going to see a Take That tribute act... I was really upset).  

Perhaps that's why I hold back from the two we have now, the surly, aggressive, Jimmy, and the nervous, over-grooming Betty.  Rescued from the RSPCA, we got them from kittens, who by account had been badly treated, had a bit of a rough start in life. Jimmy is a killing machine, number one bird assassin! He's better lately, but we've had gifts of tiny birds, bigger pigeons and many, many mice... grim!  The corpses I can cope with... it's when the poor things aren't quite dead... and my conscience has to ask questions of euthanasia (once I spent half-hour best considering how to finish off a mouse humanely, luckily the mouse expired before I approached with a spade!)

They truly aren't low-maintenance though!  This the other night, sorry it's a bit gross.  I woke up to nasty smell, I'm convinced the smell actually woke me, can you be woken by a smell? Anyway, the first culprit was Willow, so I went to him and give him a sniff, I got ten ways of him telling me to 'sod off', nowty and sleepily 'bye, bye' 'see you later' 'night night' 'bed time' 'no more', but the smell wasn't coming from him (for a change)!  

I went to bathroom to check the toilet and drains, nothing.  But the smell was dreadful, it was like death! I got back into bed, gave husband a prod 'can you smell that dreadful smell', he grunted something or other.. and I went back to sleep but kept waking up to the putrid smell.

Well in the morning, on the stairs was a big pooh left behind by one of the cats... this isn't usual, cats don't pooh all over the house... or do they?  I was fuming... but actually I was relived to find the pooh.. I wondered if I was going nasally mad!  

This was an isolated incident, but the dead animals, Betty looking like a waif and stray whose got mange... they seem like hard work.  But we do love them, Betty went missing for weeks, and I was beside myself, traipsing the streets, pinning posters to lampposts (to note I didn't offer reward). I suppose it's more my fault that I step in their wet-cat-food bowls in bare feet!  

Meow!  xx Emma-Lou 

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Friday Frolics with Work Buds

Trying to blog more, so hand in hand with this comes even more trivia, sorry about that! 

So last night, after a box of wine down in the staff kitchen, we headed to: 

Friday Food Fight at Upper Campfield Market

Was a bloody long walk from Oxford Rd, my horrible work colleagues, were like, "it's only round the corner" "a left after the Palace clock"... I practically sobered up with all that walking and fresh air. 

But it was the worth the excursion, just up by Spinningfields, opp Hilton Hotel.  

Can only recommend, and would defo go along before it closes at the end of May.  There are loads of different food stands, most of them cost around £5-£6, I read somewhere that the portions are tiny, but I didn't think so, one or two of the different dishes would just be right. You'd be pushed to find something you didn't fancy, the sweet potato chips were tasty tasty, as was the pulled pork and jerk chicken.  I didn't have pudding of my own, but scaved a bit from nearby plates (friends... I'm not some sort of vagrant), will save room next time for cake.. the slices of cake I noticed were massive (enough for two if you're not the greedy type... I wouldn't share a piece if I were being honest though).  

Tunes were great, the benches and squashing up made it sort of feel like a school disco, but in a good way. Get there as near to 5:30pm as you can, gets busy (nicely crowded I'd say).

Tram home, bit of a swayie walk from stop, must of still been peckish as I stopped at the Atlantic Fish Bar for my favourite, a couple of potato scallops "don't be stingy with the salt and vinegar".  

But all present and correct as I got in, all belongings accounted for, front door locked securely, kids checked on, little email (not looked at my sent items, lord knows what I've been sending), I didn't take my eye make-up off, so not a complete score-card!  

Rough this morning... BUT I did still my bit for community and country, Parkrun Marshal, all yellow-visored up!  Ah was nice, but the exessive clapping made my brain rock inside my head.  Did make me feel warm and fuzzy when I got the odd shout 'thanks Marshal', sad act me...

PTA supporting duties this afternoon (see I do my bit for that), kids treasure hunt round Chorlton, not sure when I'm to fit in the big food shop.  Chances are I might get the kids a happy meal and phone for a take away... Chinese or Indian... 

Have a good weekend, xx Emma-Lou 

Info on Friday Food Fight: 

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Blogging mum shortlisted for award (StaffNet - The University of Manchester)

The blogging Goddess that is Kerrie... my inspiration!  She's got to get to that award ceremony... I'm fairly sure she's already eyed up a dress!  I'm lucky to know Kerrie in real life, she's a great colleague and we have a riot at work (when we're not like running the University).

Blogging mum shortlisted for award (StaffNet - The University of Manchester)

What's in it for me... if we all vote, she's promised baked goods.... and songs at Team Brief...


Silly Musings....

My role, PA to these two

1. As soon as I turn on either the hoover (seldom) or hair-dryer, my daughter starts a conversation with me... I indicate I can't hear her, she mithers it's important, I switch off appliances... it's utter trivia 'you know Mia at school, she has a lovely new head-band'.... 

2. When I've left my two upstairs unattended for more than five minutes, they've flooded the bathroom... splisp splash splosh.... the price you pay for five minutes peace (as long as water isn't leaking through ceiling...). 

3. Before the kids, I must of like swept up three times in my life... honestly these days a broom is permanently attached to my arm in our house.  I'm not kidding, once I considered taking a dustpan and brush to our local cafe, as the looks they gave me when Willow attacked a teacake the time before. 

4.  When you're running late for a party... the sellotape and scissors are nowhere to be found... 

5. It is impossible to work the catch up/box set bit on BT Vision, when you have a child crying and British Gas on the phone trying to arrange an appt.  It throws me... that said, if the telly is off when my daughter goes to school it stays off all day, shamefully I can't switch it on.  (Don't despair we can download the daily dose of Ben and Holly to a laptop.)  

6.  Working is great, pure unadulterated cups of coffee bliss.  You can pretty much have one whenever you want. The poor stay at home mums... you've got to pity them... they leave their brews out of reach, then forget about them when sorting washing. 

7.  Baby wipes you either have 64 half packets knocking round or not a single one in the house! 

8.  I'm thinking of entering this one in for a World Record, I can do full make up (inc. day and eye cream) in three red lights along princess parkway... although once a rozzer did knock on my window and give me dirty look (made me smudge my mascara). 

9.  Some of the worse moments of my life have been spent in soft play centres, low points include, splitting my jeans climbing into the ball pool and my female offspring vomming in the curly slide. 

10.  I don't get on with online food shopping, it takes me three times as long (prob as I get distracted on FB), also I actually like the virtual element of heading to Sainsbury's, it's like a little trip out away from my family, I take ages, hours.  Same reason I go to the gym, once I missed gym entry by a minute... I thought blow it, I'm out now, and sat in my car texting for 50 minutes!

Saying all this, I love the busy busy rush rush of juggling the kids, work, house, husband, cats, friends (this is not order of priority btw...!).  I realise within the circles I fall in, my gorgeous baby group, colleagues, friends, school mummies in the playground, we're all busy, we're all cutting corners, struggling to find the cheque book at ten to nine to pay for the bloody Viking trip.  It's okay to send your daughter in with a cardi on from the ironing pile (good shake will right that) or distracting your toddler with five episodes of back to back Peppa Pig and bourbon biscuits isn't really neglect (is it?). 

Nobody in the world ever has an
empty clothes maiden right? 

It's real life and it's loads of fun. 

Cue, lets' fall about laughing.  xx Emma-Lou

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Easter Treats.... I feel right tight...

Easter treats, well my poor kids haven't got so much.  I don't usually buy them a pressie, or an outfit... and they only get ONE egg. Usually a nice one... I worry though that they might feel like they're missing out?  

I'll do them a little hunt (treats bought for a couple of quid from Aldi), and they get their personalised Thornton's eggs (on offer two for a tenner).  I didn't realise that some kids get like a Samsung Galaxy instead of an Easter Egg (!).  In fact, I might leave them out a little gift, so they don't feel bad when their friends get a Wii... I'd ordered on Amazon Prime 'Grease' on DVD for Lizzy (three dabs) to watch over the school holidays.  For the male offspring, I threw in my trolley a little echo-type microphone, I thought it might encourage his language (£1.50)... so I could give these as Easter offerings...  

Easter clothes?  It might be a regional thing, but my kids don't get kitted out.  Easter usually coincides with a change of seasonal wardrobe and a realisation that my kids have grown out of EVERYTHING and we need to spend up on summer bits at H&M, so they have new things, but not a specific outfit with new trainers. 

I'm not all religious and want my kids only to see that side of it, any faith I have is all over the place, but Jesus is in the air here... Lizzy informed me this week that we get Easter eggs to symbolise the stones outside Jesus' cave....  

Perhaps I'm just tight.... I'll give it some thought for next year, as mine are little now, as they get bigger and start realising what such-a-body gets, I wouldn't want them to feel left out. 

I did buy myself an Easter treat though... three bottles of Prosecco for £12 (at Asda). 

Happy Easter! 

xx Emma-Lou 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

"Too busy" for blog.... boo hoo... I'm getting over myself now mind!

Well I know you’ve been chomping at the bit for the next instalment of my wonderful here blog!  Just not getting round to it… I meant to write a real fabulous piece this evening, but I kid you not, working out how to re-size my big head has taken a while… pic monkey and me aren’t getting on.  My work mate, and fellow blogger (hark at me), WifeMumStudentBum, said it was dead easy, she’s given me like a million tips as to how to get my blog ‘out there’… wonder about it all really.  But I do like writing, as I see it, extended silly FB statuses! 

So, plan is to get my banner organised so my head isn’t giant sized… in real life my forehead is usual size (I’d say), I’ve turned the pages purple too it seems, not so easy on the eye, so I’ll give that some attention (going to commission WifeBumStudentBum to pimp my page in ideal blogger style… it’s not like she’s got anything else on!).

Then you’re in for it, I’m going to bore you all rigid with my silly musings.  Watch this space… next blog ‘Living with dyed black feet!’….

xx Emma-Lou 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Too skinny/fat... bore off..

So my second post, I was planning on keeping my ranting ones back for a bit, let you all think I was easy-going and dead nice… however, bee in my bonnet …

To point out two things, I’m definitely not the women’s libber type, no way will I be burning my bra, in fact my view on the sexes is likely dated back at times to the 1950s.  If I were to go on a date (unlikely I’m an old married), but if I were asked to pay half… I’d be fuming!  So that cleared up.

Also, I don’t majorly know (or care) a lot about Angelina Jolie, only that last year she underwent an elective double mastectomy, the way in which she handled the subsequent media, with such dignity, information and humility was impressive.  Surely she can only be applauded?  Also, she adopts like loads of kids and is married to someone gorgeous.

I glimpsed this on my FB today! 

So grrr.. why as women do we judge each other in such a way (and it is women who do it).  Angelina on this pic, is looking very skinny, the strapline says, she’s down to 6 and half stone!  Why is that relevant?  All over the world women and girls will be comparing themselves to this 6 and half stone frame.  My guess is that she’s dropped weight owing to stress and possibly recovery from major surgery (this is my musing… I don’t know!).   

I lost a few pounds last year, I was trying a bit but mostly it was due to stress I was going through.  For all my moaning, I’ve never been really big, after pregnancy, I probably went up to a size 14, then slimmed down naturally to my usual, tallish size 12.  At first I got a few comments “you look great “, “what’s your secret”.  I admit, I did enjoy this and I felt better, exercise is easier when I’m lighter, I felt less bloated, I did have a skip in my step.  But after a bit (and I wasn’t like skeletal), the comments got a bit sneery “Emma-Lou you need to eat some cakes”, one particular “Your legs look skinny skinny, how are they keeping you up” (I like my pins so I took this as a low blow).    I just felt it was all a bit mean and judgy… 

[To report after my Christmas mince pie challenge, I’m back to my ‘could do with a pound or two coming off weight but I’m not that bothered until holiday season’.]  

The rest of thread featured a few negative comments “you look awful eat some pies”, “too skinny, bad images for girls to see”.   I just think… please as women lets be kinder to each other, let’s not have our weight be the focus on any attention given to us… surely we should on this pic be perving off Brad anyhow…

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Intro... dum dum dum...

So my actual first life post...

I'm Emma-Louise, hyphenated... (and I'm a tiny bit funny about it even if I say I'm not), 33 years of age, sometimes I get sore about being in my thirties, but mostly I wouldn't want to be younger (like hell I would... spots and uncertainty).  Hometown is Liverpool, lived in the rougher end, no place like home and all that... but I can't see myself ever moving back.  I do love Liverpool though and am very proud of my scouse accent, which after all these years away is becoming less and less (although strangers still detect my Liverpool roots, so it's there a bit, someone recently asked me if I was from Newcastle mind!). Visiting Liverpool is great, there's no place better on earth than Sevvie Park! 

These days we live in Chorlton, Manchester.  Those familiar with Manchester, please don't judge me for my M21 Chorlton postcode.  I'm not sustainable or that, I do try not to use carrier bags or leave lights on (but I do use my tumble dryer to excess and drive to the very local Morrisons).   And shock horror... I NEVER SHOP IN UNICORN!  

Two children... Our daughter Lizzy, aged 7 (nearly 8) is giddy as ever a girl could be, truly a lovely child and she NEVER stops talking! And, because of her loveliness we indulge her with our time and attention and are lax with the discipline... she really cannot take a telling off... Mostly though, she is a pleasure to knock around with. 

Our boy child, Willow, aged 3 is a monster!  My gorgeous son can do no wrong as he has the sweetest of hearts, and really is amazing.  I will admit he can be perhaps the tiniest bit cantankerous... but I guess he'd have to pick up some traits from Mikey, it can't all be sweetness and light.  

Husband - Michael, QS (not quite sure what this entails and after 10+ years of marriage it's clear I'm not that interested), City Fan, Wednesday-team cricketer, hero.  

Two cats, Jimmy - big white and fluffy, named Jimmy after Jimmy White (no reason except it gave us a laugh at the time).  Betty, a nervous wreck of a cat, skinny as anything and looks like she has mange (over grooms because of the nerves.... could be the children).

I work (steal a living) at the University as a PA (jumped up secretary), some days I work harder than others... not really sure so much about my career but it fits around the children and working in the public sector they don't throw a wobbler when the kids get chicken pox!

I like knitting (new to it, 4months and still no real length to my scarf).  Reading (just started the most amazing online book club... I'll come back to that), I try and gym two-three times a week (bloody hate it to be honest, but it gets me out the house and helps with stress), I like to run, I'm not quick but I can run a while, just started with Parkrun and hope to keep that up.  I love getting out with me pals, very collective bunch some with kids, some without, some academic types, some thick, some from old and I've made a lovely set at the school gates.  Like staying in cuddling and eating nice food, we're massive fans of the dine in M&S tenner meal.  Love shoes and dresses and handbags and make up and cocktail rings and all things dressing up and glam.  Alongside Michael, Morrissey is the love of my life (in fact I'd ditch Michael in a second if Mozzer gave me the glad eye).  

I spend too much time on Twitter (please follow me there) and FB, but hey ho, I was worried about this recently and a pal said it's the electronic age/the way forward, so with this advice I'm embracing the world of online communication and won't be ashamed of checking in my status every five minutes (I've been typing this a while... the FB community might think I've died).   I drink too much wine (for this I blame my friends), I can't just have one... (again I blame my friends) and do show off a bit when I'm pissed (again I blame my friends, they egg me on).   Port too, I love a port.

Not sure how often or in what thread I intend to blog... I'm sure it'll be pure genius and give you lots to chew over... could be ridiculous trivia (my FB recently was filled with actual woe as my Dyson had bust).

But I hope to keep at it.  

xx Emma-Lou