Coping without social media 

social media coping without

I’m back again, after my self-enforced social media vacuum – no social media for Lent.   This was a big deal for a once Facebook-obsessed meme-monster.  Lent is a good 6 weeks, not a piffling few days. A good time, then, for inner, personal reflection rather than outward “look what I’m doing now!” exhibition.   Or even, “look what I’m thinking now!” scaremongering (more of this, below).

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – my otherwise constant daily and hourly (and minutely?) companions were duly deleted from my iPhone.   I welcomed the break, having experienced the weight of negative feelings which I was increasingly linking to my use of social media.  A break would help me to assess what was happening, how I use social media now and how I could perhaps get a more positive experience from it in the future.

It’s quite timely that I write this blog post today (although I’ve been jotting down some feelings throughout the Lent period), when the image I’m seeing a great deal on social media just today is this:

Crush the saboteurs I don’t read the Daily Mail, which is arguably the point! The front cover today has become a meme, ‘gone viral’. Luckily, with my newly developed social media ‘emotional resistance regime’, I can choose not to dwell on the demonic May poster and resulting comments and opinion.  But before I delve into the outcomes of my time in the wilderness, I’ll take a look at the reasons why I decided it was all getting a bit too much.

Reasons for leaving

  • Negativity, or even downright apocalyptic drama on social media

I’ve never been more switched on politically than right now.  We’re living in one of the most tumultuous political and social eras in recent history and no-one knows what’s going to happen.  What do you do when you’re uncertain about the future and happen to also live in a time when information is immediate? Some people might choose to switch off. If you’re like me, you might Google ten times a day and fervently scroll through Facebook and Twitter feeds. Someone out there must know what’s going to happen?

I personally became swept up in the drama of Brexit and Trump. The more I looked for information or reassurance, the more horrified and demoralised I became at the often vicious and aggressive commentary happening on social media.  At one low point, I found myself navigating to the Fox News Facebook page and reading comments to news posts – I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing this unless you’re particularly emotionally resistant to extreme racism, trolling and division!  My own actions were akin to forcing myself to look at the world’s worst slasher movie out of morbid curiosity, but the effect was to come away feeling slightly more downhearted.

  • ‘Notification anxiety’

I don’t know if anyone else has this feeling. It’s probably on the OCD scale, like I must know where all remote controls to TV and streaming devices are at all times and they must also be neatly lined up on the coffee table.  Similarly, if there are red notifications in the top right hand corner of my Facebook or Twitter app on the iPhone, I can’t stand it.  I have to clear them off or it niggles me.  Oh to be free of the niggle for 6 weeks…bliss.

  • Distraction from the most important things…

Obviously, a combination of notification and world affair anxiety was distracting me from the single most important thing in my life – my 2 beautiful daughters, aged 6 and 4.  Increasingly, I’d find I was looking a phone instead of responding to questions, or just not paying attention to what they’re telling me about their day.  I’m the one that complains of how they say “I can’t remember!” when asked about their day at school.  So why was I incessantly looking at social media when they try to talk to me?

  • Boredom

I think my final reason for taking a break was plain boredom and tiredness.  Too much of the same thing.  The same people, the same groups, the same kinds of photos, the same negativity I was increasingly being drawn to. My thumb was also getting sore from scrolling (is there a name for this? ‘Scroller’s thumb’ maybe!? ).  Added to this, it was the end of a rainy, dark February.

How did it go?  I’ve been assessing myself through the 6 week period, taking note of what I missed, if anything, and how I felt.

The positives of no social media

  • Less anxiety and more relaxation!

I was obviously ready for this as peace came quickly.  For the first 1 1/2 days, I did feel at times a little lost, akin to the feeling where you think you’ve forgotten something – a letter you were meant to post maybe, or a task or reminder you’ve forgotten to act upon.  After the first day or two, this feeling disappeared.  I did, over the course of the 6 weeks, miss a few things which I’ve set out below.  But these feelings were few and scarce.  I certainly wasn’t pining for any social media at all.

  • More time spent on other activities

… and of course this means I had more time for arguably more positive pursuits!  I have certainly listened to my children more and enjoyed observing their expressions, the way they speak and move.  We’ve done more cooking and baking than ever before in such a period of time.  They even helped me make Mary Berry’s self-saucing lemon pudding – quite technical for a 6 and 4-year-old.   I’ve also read a lot more – both fiction and non-fiction, online, via my kindle, and even – shocker – in print. I’ve also had far more time to cross off to do list items, which included some major changes in our household.

I have to admit that the urge to fiddle on the phone didn’t get the better of me entirely.  My ASOS shopping app got a fair battering, as did the Met Weather app, weirdly.   I did avoid news apps however, for obvious reasons, my thinking being that if WW3 is about to start, surely someone will just tell me?

At one point, I got addicted to reading answers to questions on Quora, until my husband reminded me that, technically, this is also social media.  However, look up ‘mysteries’ on there if you’re looking for a wacky read.

What did I miss?

This is important as it reflects how I’m going to be using social media differently going forward and my new ‘emotional resistance regime’.

  • Twitter

I missed Twitter, but for one reason only –  connectivity with my local community.  Is my yoga class on, this evening? What events are happening in the local area this weekend? When is that new bar opening?  There are a couple of local Facebook groups that I perhaps missed a little for a similar reason; however these do also tend to get bogged down with negative comments, for example “oh that’s just what we need – another wanky bar in the area”.  So I conclude Twitter is best for local community information.  

And that’s basically it.  I didn’t miss Facebook at all, or Instagram or Pinterest.  However it did give me time to think about how I might use these apps differently.

My reflection took me back to the emergence of social media and how we could connect more easily and immediately than ever before.  This is still valid, but these connections can be used more positively.  What do I need them for?  What’s important to me and how can I use them for the betterment of myself rather than to feed negative emotion?

It’s a work in progress, but my main points are this:

  • I’ve switched off notifications.
  • I’ll look at Facebook, but once a day. There are key friends and groups I’ll navigate to.  I can’t avoid the memes and news stories of the day, but I won’t be drawn into reading more about them, particularly the commentary.
  • I have lists set up on my Twitter account, one of which is for local community groups and accounts of local interest. This is the one I’ll browse, and again maybe once a day.  I do have a separate account for work (I work in cancer care) – it’s informative  and helpful to look at this feed so I’ll glance at this, too.
  • No Fox News or the like, on either Facebook or Twitter!
  • I have also defriended a few people (obvious Trump supporters – I’m not apologising for that, either. I just don’t want to read their sh*t. Not so bothered about Brexit supporters as long as I feel they had reasoned arguments rather than a snap response to divisive issues.)
  • Instagram, Pinterest. Well, I’ve recently, given my age (40, no less) become interested in gardening and household improvement, for which these apps can be useful.  My new regime includes taking a look at these apps perhaps more frequently, but to research practical issues that are positive for my family.

It’s a basic ethos: social media can be positive, but only if I utilise it as positively as I can.  In addition, less is more and I need to put the phone down.

My new outlook on social media comes at a testing time, with a snap general election on the way on June 8th!  I’m aware of the negativity that’s begun already, but I think one day in to the announcement, I’ve done a decent job of not dragging myself down with it.  A more relaxed and refreshed me, with a less sore thumb!


Me time: Volair Spa, Knowsley

It’s hard to find time to relax as a parent of young children.  Even those times when you do have a few moments to yourself, you can find that your mind goes into overdrive with a mental list of tasks you ought to be either doing or thinking about.

As Mum to nearly-6 and 4 year old girls, I was delighted to be invited to the Volair Spa in Knowlsey this week for a pampering spa day.  A whole day just for me? Doing lovely, relaxing things? Unheard of!

Volair Spa Knowsley
I set out to Knowsley this Tuesday with my fellow blogger HodgePodgeDays anticipating some serious Zen time and we got just that – and more. 

The spa is set within a multi-million pound leisure complex so we had a nosey around there first as we approached the spa. There’s a huge swimming pool for example, coffee shop and welcoming sculpture and art work.

In the spa, we were greeted by the lovely Hayley and her team, who I must thank as they looked after our every need all day.  Hayley showed us to the spa’s relaxation room which was so inviting- full of cosy chairs, squishy beanbags, fleecy throws with dimmed lighting and chill out music.  Every spa should have one of these. 

We had a welcome drink (I chose a fiery rhubarb and ginger tea) and pastries and Hayley explained that our group would be split into two, experiencing the thermal suite and cleansing/facial interactive demonstrations in turn.

Volair Spa Knowsley
HodgePodge and I experienced the thermal spa first, which consists of jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.  But first, a member of Hayley’s team gave us some beautiful-smelling body scrubs to try.  These were by Lycon and I tried the lavender and chamomile scent which made my skin feel so soft and exfoliated – great to do before a sauna/steam.  

As you can see from the above, we spent a lot of time in the jacuzzi! The thermal area is really nice, with beds you can also relax on as you move from room to room, detoxifying.

Volair  Spa  Knowsley
We had to shift ourselves out of the tub however and move to our buffet lunch, followed by the demonstrations.

Here Hayley talked us through how to cleanse and take off makeup effectively – with a real handy hints and using AromaWorks products.  We tried their cleanser, toner and facial oil range.  I do like to use a facial oil on some evenings of the week as I find my skin can get quite dry.  The AromaWorks oils smelt gorgeous, with lots of essential oils to treat the skin.  

Hayley explained that it’s best to cleanse twice, particularly in the evening as the first cleanse will loosen the grime and pollution of the day and the second will then take away any final traces and allow any oils to penetrate the skin. Also, using a wet cotton pad to apply toner means you will use less product each time.  Finally, tapping the skin lightly with your fingertips as you apply moisturiser will ensure the cream is applied evenly and also help the circulation, helping the moisturiser to sink in. 

Our group then watched Hodgepodge have a CrystalClear microdermabrasion facial.  Fascinating! This used an electric tool which gently exfoliated the skin using very fine crystals.  The result was very good- take a look at HodgePodge’s site to see the results.

We felt really looked after at Volair Spa.  I’d certainly go back there (already booked in, in fact).  It’s a lovely, small spa with a personal feel to it.  If you’re in the area and have time for a pamper- give it a go.

Disclosure: We were invited to Volair Spa, Knowsley free of charge.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Reflections on turning 39

*NB I’ve been working on this post for well over a month and appear to have had a mental block about actually finishing off…wonder what that says??

It’s become customary for me to write a few reflections on my birthday these past few years, for example upon turning 37 and 38.  Unfortunately, I keep getting older which is rather alarming.  It’s a peculiar thing that although ageing is a fact of life, it becomes harder to accept as we get older.  Ok, I’m not that old, but sometimes it bloody well feels like it.  At other times, I feel like I’m 15 again (check out my hen party review for examples of sheer abandon and brazen stupidity).

Previously, my reflective birthday posts have been positive.  I’m more mature, experiencing life more fully than ever before as a mother of two, I know myself better than ever and so on.  But this year, I turned 39 and its felt a little different.

Shit!!! I’m 39!!! How did that happen?? I’m now in the last year of my 30s! I am actually middle aged!

We hear a lot about how ’50 is the new 30’; those aged upwards of 40 and beyond seem to live a much more varied and active life than it appeared they did when I was younger (note the ‘younger’ rather than ‘young’!).  People start whole new careers, hobbies, have amazing holiday adventures.  Why wouldn’t they – the average life expectancy of a woman is now 83 years (79 for men) and is expected to climb to 87 by 2030.  In 1976, when I was born, it was 75.9 years.  Whether they live those years in good health is another matter (factors such as smoking, alcohol, eating a healthy diet, exercise all play a part in this – clearly my body is a temple and I practice all forms of health giving behaviours on a regular basis) but essentially – we reach middle age today and realise we have a whole new life to live again.

Facts are facts, however: my body is changing, I have more wrinkles, I’m more prone to annoying little ‘twinges’ here and there and I have to work harder at particular forms of exercise than I did when I was younger. My husband would tell you about my whinging over the past week or so about a sore shoulder and neck – the result of years of carrying small children around and a heavy bag on one shoulder.

Turning 39 has been part of a journey of acceptance, probably over the past year; acceptance of my own mortality.  Ultimately, although this all seems a bit negative, it’s been uplifting. Honest!

birth trees
My two daughters standing near to their birth trees. I wonder what they’ll be doing at age 39?
So, wrinkles and ageing joints aside what are the positives? I think that having been through this period of reflection, I realise that hey – I’m here! I’m healthy and well, as are my family, and it’s time to embrace this and get on with it, day by day. I know what to do, to keep myself in reasonable shape (eat well, stupid! do more exercise, stupid! actually do some of those mindfulness sessions you downloaded, stupid!) and I should get on with this, too rather than sit reading ‘healthy living’ magazines gathering ideas and talking about them.

There are the obvious benefits that come from being more settled. I’m luckily enough to have a husband (no more dating websites!!! woo!) and two gorgeous little girls (no more preggers for me – joy!). I know what I’m good at and what I’m a bit shit at. I can legitimately turn down nights out as I’m ‘too tired’. I actually wanted to do this many times when I was younger – how much more enjoyable is it to languish on the sofa, glass of wine to hand, watching a film than stand in a packed bar making your voice hoarse in an effort to be heard?

I realise I’m less fearful, less uncertain of what the future holds and this is truly empowering.  I’m looking forward to watching my girls develop and grow to achieve their potential – but I’m also looking forward to achieving more of my own.


How to fit a week’s worth of activities into one day

This probably seems like a silly title; who wants to fit a week’s worth of activities into one day?  Me, seemingly.  I’ve been finding it very difficult to unwind recently.  I’m always doing stuff – my life is a timetable of events and activity from washing and meal planning to remembering birthday parties and putting the school library book in the book bag on time.  It’s fun because I have two beautiful daughters; I’m doing this for them and I’m blessed to be able to spend this time with them. But it’s a mad and chaotic type of fun.

I was wondering why I was feeling like this one day recently, and that evening I happened to be at a friend’s house.  She asked me how my day had been so I reeled off what I’d done, after which she said “wow, that’s like a week’s worth of activity in one day!”

This is how that day went:

– Get up, get everyone ready and breakfasted for the school run.

– Do the school run.

– Take the littlest one, not yet of school age, with you for a coffee with a friend (phew- a sit down!).

– Finish coffee, take littlest one to her playgroup.

– Leave the playgroup to collect 4 1/2 year old from school at lunchtime.

– Remember with a slight panic that you need to go shopping and have left yourself very little time to do this in your schedule.  Decide to go shopping that minute, before lunch.

– Go shopping, two children in tow.

– Go home for lunch.

– Panic that it’s actually sunny and the children ought to be outdoors.

– Make a picnic lunch for them to eat in the garden.

– Panic that it’s a ‘good drying day’ and you need to get the washing on the line.

– Put washing on line and put more washing in the washer.

– Panic about an email you sent at work the other day.

– Check work emails.

– Get stuff together to take 4 1/2 year old for her swimming lesson.

– Take them both to the lesson. Sit watching, holding onto 2 1/2 year old while 4 1/2 year old swims.

– Bring them home.

– Make tea for them.

– Bring washing in off the line.

– Get the children in the bath.

– Put the washing away.

– Husband returns home; disappear to bath, shut the door firmly in everyone’s face and put earplugs in.

I did actually bore myself rather a lot writing that list.  I almost gave up in the middle to start writing about egg painting (another story).

We had a good time together that day, but it’s not surprising that after such exhaustive activity (I think I used the word ‘panic’ three times there?) my brain finds it difficult to switch off, regardless of earplugs and firm door-shutting.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that I’m looking for ways to become ‘calm parent’ rather than ‘frazzled parent’.  Do I put myself under too much pressure to have everything ‘just so’?

I’ve been reflecting recently on ways to wind down and I’ll be writing another post about this shortly.  In the meantime, here’s a photo of my escape room: every night, around 7:30pm you’ll find me in here.


bathroom roll top bath purple lighting
The sodding toddler step still made it into my haven of tranquility, didn’t it?!


The Primal Kitchen Paleo Bars (review)

The Primal Kitchen (review)I’m always looking for healthy snacks to eat when I’m out and about, both for myself and my children, aged 2 and 4. That’s not always easy, as they tend yell for cheese strings, biscuits and chocolate.

We love cereal bars, but more often than not they tend to have a higher refined sugar content than I’d like. I also often grab one in the morning – when I’m getting the girls ready for school and then setting off to work, I rarely get the chance to eat a decent breakfast. Quite a few varieties of cereal bar contain chocolate? I mean really – I don’t fancy having chocolate for breakfast!

I was intrigued to try The Primal Kitchen Paleo Bars. I didn’t have a clue what a Paleo bar is, but according to their website, it’s all about the Paleo lifestyle – that is food that tastes good but with real food ingredients and no added junk. Food we were ‘born to eat’.

The Primal Kitchen was founded by nutritionist Suzie Walker. She makes bars that don’t use dried fruit that contains vegetable oils, sugar or sulphites as is apparently commonly found in other snack products (alongside chocolate!). Each bar is made with 4-5 Real Food ingredients, is hand made and cold pressed rather than heated. They are also gluten, grain, refined sugar, soya, dairy, GMO and vegetable oil free.
Both my husband and I tried the Almond and Cashew, Brazil Nut and Cherry and Hazelnut and Cocoa varieties. We both really enjoyed them! I’ve tried many health food bars previously and think they can taste bland, but the Paleo bars are really tasty.

Plus, they retail at around £1.49 each which I think is reasonable – it’s certainly on a par with a certain brand of children’s bars that I’ve been buying a lot of recently. I think I could add a few of these to my weekly shop – as they taste so good and are healthy I find them good value.

My girls didn’t get a look in at trying these as we snaffled the lot, but I think they would enjoy them as an occasional snack (not too much – teeth issues and fruit sugars and all that!).

I also think these would give a good energy boost before exercise, should I be a champion marathon runner (actually I have been doing a lot of Ashtanga Yoga recently and try not to eat dinner until after the class, so one of these would be perfect).

Try them if you’re looking for a healthy snack – we enjoyed them.

Disclaimer: I received some Primal Kitchen Paleo Bars in return for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

10 things that make winter better than summer

A couple of weeks ago we resigned ourselves to putting the clocks back on a Saturday evening, bracing ourselves for the long, dark nights ahead – plus quite a few mornings of being woken early by young children who are still on British Summertime in their heads and rejoice in bounding into the bedroom like wildebeest gone 5:30am.

But is winter really so bad?  For some it is.  According to mental health charity MIND, up to 10% of us suffer from the debilitating effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, such as fatigue, anxiety and depression and linked by researchers to lack of light during the winter months.

Luckily we don’t all suffer enough for this to affect our quality of life, but most of us will experience feeling low at some point as summer ends and winter begins.

Last week, I was discussing with a close friend how we both really enjoy winter and feel that we’re in the minority. I began to list out the reasons why I feel I love winter. Ok, so most of them involve having an excuse to wrap myself up warm, switch all the lights on and generally be quite lazy, but they still demonstrate the unique quality of winter in allowing me to rediscover things about myself that I don’t really experience in spring and summer.

1. Being cosy in bed and hearing the wind and rain bashing the windows.  Add in a great horror film on the TV and I’m in winter heaven.   The feeling of being warm, safe and protected from the elements is so comforting. Maybe one day Mr Expression will allow me to go even further and purchase the much-coveted electric blanket…
Leaf collecting in Autumn2. Leaf collecting. Okay this is an autumn one but it’s been so cold on and off it’s practically winter in autumn anyway. Sort of.  My little ones love going to the park and will spend a good half an hour hysterically throwing leaves up into the air and cackling.  Leaf craft is also another winner – sticking the leaves onto paper, drawing round them, tracing the veins with pencil.
3. Bonfire night.  Last year, I wrote about a great bonfire night we attended nearby. Bonfire night is a fab family event which involves wrapping up, watching a huge, blazing bonfire and the best fireworks display you can find. Add toffee apples, candy floss and BBQ sausages for ultimate family excitement.
4. Christmas. We did so many things last Christmas and New Year that I can’t wait to see what this season brings. I’ve already purchased some new decorations and started my geeky ‘Ultimate Christmas Planning Spreadsheet’ and I’m looking forward to making new decorations with my two girls. Christmas is a family event which develops its own ‘life’ each year with trials and tribulations along the way – I love the whole experience.
5. Generally having an excuse to be lazy and drive everywhere.  Speaks for itself really.  I mean, no point walking with the pram if it’s windy and rainy is there?  This is where my tiny Yaris comes into its own – a Mary Poppins-esque car that at times has been known to contain a double buggy, many, many shopping bags, two small children and myself.
6. Feeling really cold…and then feeling really warm again. The contrast is just amazing.  Going for a walk to the shop in the freezing cold weather, feeling your face turning red with the cold and your fingers practically hurting inside your gloves…then coming inside again.  It’s like a free Swedish sauna – just no torturous ice bucket.
7. Snow and its endless opportunities for child (and grown up) entertainment.  Snow produces such unrestrained glee for everyone.  Building a snowman, throwing snow balls, making footprints in the snow, feeling snowflakes on your face – it’s just fun!
8. Sponge puddings.  I do love a mean sponge pudding with custard and it just doesn’t feel right to eat them during summertime (although you may occasionally find me scoffing a spotted dick on a night in on my own in front of a good horror film, even at the height of summer).  My favourites are: jam roly poly (actually a suet pudding I guess), spotted dick and treacle sponge.
9. An excuse to lie in bed at about 8pm.  If it’s cold, what better excuse than to get in bed at 8pm complaining that you can no longer move as your toes don’t work, and instructing your husband/partner/better half to fetch you dinner (and maybe even wine) in bed?  It’s an excuse to slow down and do nothing.
10. Making pies and stews. After all, we need to carb up in winter, burning off all that energy by taking the car everywhere and lying in bed…ahem.  Today I saw a great recipe for a meat and potato pie which I intend to use for favours impress husband with.  It was actually called a Humongous Meat and Potato Pie. I’ve also already given the slow cooker an airing and made a couple of beef stews.

So winter isn’t so bad, surely? I intend to wrap up, make a few stews, eat pudding and enjoy some family time.

Stuff I have to remember these days

Stuff I have to remember We all have things we need to remember. Whether it’s work, family life or hobbies, we have ways of organising ourselves – task lists, notebooks, reminders, family planners. I have my own methods of (attempting to) organise myself and my family, but recently I’ve noticed that the amount of tasks I have to remember has gone stratospheric with the result that my brain is saying “Nope! That’s too much! I’m not remembering that for you, so forget it and go and have a long bath!”.

I’m not sure why – maybe it’s because my eldest recently started school or maybe my brain can’t cope with anymore organising after wedding planning. Or maybe my ability to retain information has seriously depleted after years of sleep deprivation! It’s as though my mind has a certain task list capacity that runs out, leaving a trail of ‘failed to completes’ in its wake.

I felt the need to document the sort of ‘stuff’ I need to remember on a weekly basis. I was going to attempt to categorise them – but sod that, here’s an example list in all its glory (n.b. it should be noted I sat staring staring at the screen with a sense of forboding for a whole 4 minutes before attempting this. Also, this does not include my work task list, which I keep at work using Outlook! Finally, it should also be noted you may need a large glass of wine after glancing at this list):

  • Get bag ready for childminder: remember snacks, drinks, writing in log book, spare outfit for eldest for after school pickup and some fruit.
  • Get bag ready for school: remember to include water bottle, any homework slips or forms required.
  • Ask childminder to sign me up for a parents evening slot, as I won’t be there to do it myself.
  • Buy cake for playgroup for littlest one’s birthday.
  • Ensure plenty of clean and dry school uniform is on hand.
  • Remember to check spare clothes bag at school.
  • Get own bag ready for work; get my lunch ready.
  • Ensure school has enough eczema cream, asthma medication on hand.
  • Ensure childminder has enough of the same.
  • Do weekly inventory of eczema treatments and decide if need to order more from GP.
  • Ensure enough special nighttime eczema vests are washed and dry.
  • Order more from GP if necessary.
  • Create shopping list/do shopping.
  • Create ‘mop up shopping list’ and do mop up shop (for things I can’t buy in Aldi haha!).
  • Reserve panto tickets.
  • Buy school disco tickets.
  • Wrap birthday presents.
  • Buy birthday cards.
  • Organise/pay for swimming class.
  • Write thank you cards; remember to post them.
  • Think about Christmas presents and start a spreadsheet.
  • Post passport form.
  • Research new vacuum cleaner.
  • Ring about littlest one’s two year check as I can’t make it.
  • Clear out toy cupboards to make way for new birthday/Christmas toys.
  • Buy new bath towels and mats.
  • Organise own hair appointment.
  • Finally…think about blog and write some decent blog posts!

Er…why do I get the impression there’s lots of things I’ve forgotten already, despite consulting my lists?!

So, my usual failsafe planning methods, which consist of a variety of lists kept on the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone coupled with calendar reminders, aren’t working. What’s the conclusion? Delegate more? Easy to say but husband has his own stuff to remember. Buy a book about memory improvement? Take on less stuff for myself (boring!).

Or maybe just muddle along…after all, this is family life, right? The tasks get overhelming, but the feelings of reward when you do get to have that longed for bath and you sit back reflecting on what you’ve achieved are worth it.

But if you have some tips on organisation, please feel free to share!

On the realisation I’m an ‘oldie’

Black tomatoesWhen I was but a young whippersnapper, my best mate and I used to refer to our parents as ‘the olds’. In fact, thinking about it, we used to call anyone over the age of 30 an ‘oldie’. These creatures tended to have certain characteristics only found amongst their own kind.

Imagine my horror on the realisation that I am now deeply entrenched in oldie-ness.

Here’s the evidence:

  • I am 38
  • I now listen to radio 4 every morning and just realised it’s years since Chris Moyles was even on Radio 1
  • I religiously cling film every leftover foodstuff before it travels from kitchen worktop to fridge
  • I say “I CAN’T HEAR MYSELF THINK!” several times a day
  • I say “AND DON’T THINK I DON’T MEAN IT!” several times a day
  • I get excited about going to Aldi, particularly the Special Buys
  • I get excited about things like a new ‘easy food chopper’
  • I get excited about my new kitchen radio a kind friend recently bought me every time I switch it on (I may also partake in ‘Mum-dancing’ around the kitchen table)
  • I take photos of my amazing black tomatoes I lovingly cultivated (have a look at this photo at your pleasure)
  • I get very, very angry at the slugs that keep eating my black tomatoes
  • I think it’s a ‘palava’ to go out at night (I still manage it occasionally – but I do wear a coat)
  • I have realised that everything in River Island is ‘unsuitable for a lady of my age’

And so oldie Expression and Confession will shortly take herself off to bed, probably wishing an electric blanket was one of those Aldi Special Buys…

What are your oldie traits? I bet they’re something else.