It could only happen to me!

So, there I was headed for my interview, walking thru Tescos in Beverley in my best interview wear looking every inch the professional go-getter. That was until my foot caught the mat in the entrance and I spectacularly fell full length in the style of a rugby player scoring a try. I scraped both my hands and knees and, oh the shame, my bloody chin. Thankfully I didn’t rip my tights to complete the look. This was 15 mins before my interview! But I managed to fob off about 16 first aiders who were desperate to practice their skills and the store manager who was desperate to avoid litigation and was somehow able to make it on time – albeit battered and bruised and desperately embarrassed. But the angels must have enjoyed the show because -I GOT THE JOB!!

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STFU Jamie Oliver

Now I’ve never been a fan of Jamie Oliver. All that cheeky “Cockernee” malarkey never won me over, I always saw him as a posh Home Counties boy playing at being “Street”.

But my dislike is rapidly turning into something stronger now with the nonsense he’s spouting at the moment in order to appear controversial/promote his latest TV programme and book.

The multi-millionaire says he “finds it hard to talk about modern day food poverty”. Well, I find it hard to talk about Quantam Physics – because I know absolutely bugger all about it!! So, rather than make myself look a complete idiot, I keep my trap shut.

Instead of bleating on about how a Sicilian street cleaner can make Ambrosia from a bag of horse shit “etc, why not do something constructive and donate some of your vast fortune to the alarming number of food banks opening up in the UK? Or pledge that you will donate all of the unused food from your restaurants to a homeless shelter?

Ive just checked a supermarket site and I can get the required items of Mr Oliver’s street cleaning friend for £5.30 (mussels, cherry tomatoes, spaghetti) but I’m damned sure that if I were in food poverty I’d want more than 3 ingredients for a fiver, I’d want as much filling, cheap food as I could fit in my basket to feed my family and I wouldn’t give two hoots about it being organic or sustainable as long as my kids didn’t go hungry.

And I don’t know about you but those three ingredients on their own would resemble a bland mush if I attempted to cobble together a meal from them – I’d sooner buy a Pukka Pie!!

Oh, and I do know what I’m talking about here. When I was in my late teens/early twenties I lived in a flat on a very low wage, every single penny I had needed to be stretched as much as possible. I remember taking the stalks off mushroom before I put them to be weighed and I ate so much ox liver I can’t even look at the stuff anymore without feeling murderous!

There are plenty of people far more qualified to speak about this subject such as the inspirational Jack Monroe – author of the frankly amazing website http://agirlcalledjack.com/. She can talk the talk because she has lived it, her website was born out of the desperation of a mother trying to feed her child, not because she had some new tat to promote or because she wanted to get her name in the papers.

I know which one I’d rather listen to – and it’s not that presumptuous Cockernee twat…

Insomnia I hate you!

Insomnia is a bitch. Strangely, the new irritant in town seems to affect most of my female friends yet its not something I’ve ever heard the men in my life complain of.

It is now 03:59 and I have not been to sleep yet. Husband, Child and Dog (all males) are slumbering noisily – the cacophony of their snoring is strangely comforting to me.

I am wide awake but so tired I feel physically sick, my neck is aching, my eyes are stinging and my body is crying out for sleep yet sleep is eluding me.

It’s a horrible state to be in, it’s not like those times where you want to be awake all night so you don’t miss a single second of the experience you’re having – such as those long-ago nights of passion with no sleep and going to work deliciously tired but inexplicably able to function.

I have spent the last 3 hours worrying about the state I will be in tomorrow. Friday will basically be a write-off, I will have about as much energy as a saggy old cloth cat and will be rendered incapable of anything other than basic mum/wife/dog mum stuff.

Husband, Child and Dog will be refreshed and rowdy in about 6 hours time. I will be a shouty, irritable harridan, dampening their day before it even starts.

This blog entry is rubbish I know, rambling and badly written but writing is the last vessel in my arsenal, I’m hoping I will bore myself to sleep. Sorry if I’ve bored you too, I promise to be at my sparkly best the next time you pop over here!

Lost in Translation

Morning All!

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend and are full of beans for the week ahead!

Monday morning blues?

Oh diddums, fear not though because Beebee is here to save the day!

Here are some photos I took in the main restaurant on our recent holiday which made me chuckle:

This should actually say Hunter’s Pork!

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These mushrooms were sautéed not attacked!

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I think he looks quite good for his age!!

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Hmmm, won’t bother thanks!

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I also came across “Bad Garlic” and “Chicken in Your Sauce”!

I think the translator suffered from Google syndrome!!

It Pays To Moan!

Just a little follow on from my Supermarket Weep.

It don’t know how but someone from said supermarket must have read my blog because their Head Office got in touch with me!

The upshot is they are sending me a voucher to make up for the appalling service!

I always said my writing would make me money one day!

Supermarket Weep

Doing my weekly shop at the supermarket is never going to make it into my Top Ten Cool Things To Do on a Sunday list.

Oh no, it’s up there on my God I Really Hate Having To Do This list – along with cleaning my car and breathing the same air as Katie Price.

It’s never pleasant but today’s experience surpassed the usual humdrum drudgery.

I thought I’d liven up my life a little, live in the fast lane y’know, so I opted to go to Morrisons instead of Tescos – wake up reader, it gets better I promise.

I got all my usual gubbins, did my usual trick of picking up six ready meals before suffering Mother’s Guilt and putting them back and buying vegetables instead, laughed at the label declaring

    Buy 2 for £1.50!! Usual Price 70p

As I reached the checkout I had a little frisson of excitement when I realised there was no queue (yes, I know I should get a life, I’m working on it ok?) but my soul plummeted when I saw the mass of seething resentment and apathy sat glaring at me from the till.

“Are you open?” I asked in a friendly voice with a smile.

“Yeh” replied the Checkout Girl of the Year with so much malice you’d have thought I’d insulted her mother or kicked her cat – or vice versa.

I loaded my goods onto the belt while Atilla the Glum sat and filed her nails (yes,really).

Did she start sending my items through and [gasp] pack them whilst I was still loading them on? Did she ask me if I’d like any help? Did she buggery. The lazy little witch was determined that every single item was going to be on that belt before a single manicured finger of hers was going to pick up and start doing what she is paid to do.

She then proceeded to sling the items at me with more speed than her slovenly demeanour looked capable of. Just one problem, no bags….

I politely asked for some carrier bags and she threw two at me, even though she’d just watched me load a full trolley onto the belt.

Do the supermarkets send their checkout operators on a Greenpeace training course? Because I swear nowadays they think they are the guardians of our planet and polar bears the world over are going to tell their cubs all about how this trusty band saved them from global warming.

“I’ll need more than that,” said I through gritted teeth whereupon Damienne insolently threw about 15 more at me.

Obviously she didn’t ask if I wanted help to pack – not that I wanted her to, she looked the kind of slattern who would put tins in the same bag as bread rolls. She also tutted when I was trying to find the right card to pay with. Being the mother of a pre-teen boy, I don’t even have to leave the house to get that kind of treatment, let alone have to pay for the privilege!

Yes, I handed over £86.20 to her employers, which I would rather have spent on shoes, who will then pay her. For what? Hating her job? For being rude and disrespectful?

Why do we put up with this? It’s ridiculous but we do! Rather than cause a fuss we gamely go against all of our instincts and keep that upper lip stiff. We are a nation of enablers, we enable these snotty teenage no marks to treat us with scorn because they think they are worth more than a job on a supermarket checkout! If you don’t like it, luv, either don’t bloody do it or pretend to like it as the rest of do day in day out. It’s called life!

So I walked away seething quietly – at least I resisted the urge to send her to her room!

Another One Bites The Dust

And another one’s gone, and another one’s gone…….

What am I talking about?

Years…..

Today I kissed goodbye to 47 and 50 now seems to be hurtling towards me faster than a WAG at a handbag sale..

How do I feel about it? Well I’m not dancing in the aisles but I don’t feel too bad.

Today has confirmed to me how lucky I am. I have my health (most of the time), yes I’m a bit chunkier as the years go by but I still scrub up alright – I like to think I’d make it into the snog or marry rather than the avoid category – and I am relatively wrinkle-free thanks to my Grandma’s fantastic genes!

But what I realised today is that I have the most amazing family and friends around me, I really do.

It’s not about the presents I received although they were beyond fab; the most important thing is all of the wishes and love I’ve received today in cards, calls, messages and texts which have combined to make a metaphorical big fluffy jumper which wraps around me making me feel safe and warm.

One advantage of getting older is the wisdom that comes with it and I know now more than ever that you can have all the money in the world but without love you are as poor as a church mouse.

Blimey, that Tia Maria coffee must have gone to my head, I’m sounding almost sentimental!

Don’t worry, I’ll be back to the cynical old hag you’re used to by sunrise.

Oh, and here’s a “selfie” for you to laugh at, seeing as though its my birthday!

Xxx

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Time to Change

I made a pledge yesterday on the Time to Change website that I would talk about my own experience in the hope of getting rid of the stigma attached to mental illness. So here goes…..

I have suffered from depression and General Anxiety Disorder for most of my adult life. I am on daily medication and will be for the foreseeable future. There, I’ve said it.

Are you shocked? Didn’t you know? Surely a clever, outgoing, confident person like me can’t suffer from “that”. Well, it’s true. Most of the time it’s well-managed between my doctor and me and i am lucky to be able to live a very normal life, but sometimes, as it is at the moment, it overtakes me and becomes a life-limiting, debilitating, evil witch of a disease.

I think of my illness as a big, scary, ugly dragon that is hell bent on taking everything I love away from me. Most of the time I’m lucky because the dragon is way out of sight, not even in this country but I know she’s there (yes, the dragon is a she as she has the vindictive, ruinous power that only a woman possesses). Sometimes, she comes into my country, my county, my village and the nearer she is my behaviour and feelings change and my coping mechanisms have to be adjusted to deal with the threat.

The biggest problem comes when she is at my door, as she is now. I am thus rendered incapable of even basic tasks. Showering and dressing, for instance, are a daily hurdle I have to overcome. I have just about enough energy to sit on my sofa silently as my body seems to shut down. My mind is overcome with negative, pessimistic thoughts. I don’t want to talk, walk, cook or smile -and laughing and dancing seem like alien behaviours to me.

But I have to force myself to live my daily life as a working mother, a wife, a daughter, friend, sister etc. I have to struggle to maintain that precious reality and its the hardest thing I ever have to do when I’m feeling this way. You may as well ask me to climb Everest because that is the scale of things to me, having a normal, everyday life is sometimes like scaling the highest mountain in the world. But the only thing that beats the dragon is my normality, getting on with life.

And then there’s the guilt, the evil bedfellow. Oh the guilt is a particularly horrible thing because that makes things 10 times worse. The self-hatred that follows the guilt is all-consuming and, if it wasn’t for the love I have for my family and friends, it would be the thing that finally finished me.

What do I have to be depressed about? I have a husband who loves me, a child who is more precious to me than life itself, a lovely house, I go on fantastic holidays and we have an above average household income…. the guilt taunts me and makes me feel so ashamed.

But that’s the thing, you see, mental illness doesn’t just happen to the unfortunates of our society, it doesn’t just happen to weak people, it doesn’t matter what you’ve got or who you are. Why would your serotonin give a damn about a nice car or a good job? If I won the lottery tomorrow my depression wouldn’t disappear.

I am lucky to have support around me but even my nearest and dearest struggle to understand my illness. One of my sisters absolutely refuses to believe it exists, and she works in the medical profession!

My husband struggles, bless him. He has a very logical mind – things are black or white (grey is just ridiculous because it can’t decide if it’s one or the other!) so even though he does his very best to understand what’s happening, it’s really hard for him because there isn’t a manual for dealing with a wife who is transformed from the confident, capable woman who loves life to a sluggish, unhappy, unpredictable zombie. But he also doesn’t understand how much his logical interpretation of my illness when he’s talking me down saves me, it somehow makes it less scary and more easy to deal with, or how much I love him for sticking by me when lesser men would have run away screaming!

So, at the moment my life is really hard, it’s a daily, no make that hourly, battle full of blackness and tears. I try so hard to take one day at a time but my anxiety fights against that as my mind is constantly in disaster-planning mode and my brain constantly whirrs like a helicopter blade. I have only been out of the house once in the last 5 days. My writing helps, I can find the real me buried inside the darkness when I write.

But I will keep fighting and keep trying. That bitch of a dragon is not going to beat me, day by day I will get stronger and more positive and she can sod off back to wherever she comes from.

Maybe one day she will stay there forever?

STOP PRESS – Edible Airline Food!

Well I’m back from my Mexican adventure with plenty of tales to tell but first of all I need to reassure you that yes, you read the title correctly; I am indeed praising airline food!

Airline food, in my experience, is usually an abomination. It looks and tastes like school dinners from the 1970s. The old adage often heard “Chicken or Beef” was laughable as I could have been eating raccoon or cotton wool and I wouldn’t have been able to tell!

Well, as far as Thomas Cook Airways is concerned, things have changed drastically and it’s all down to one man:

Step forward James Martin, celebrity chef and hopefully the next Mr Bee…….

Now I have to admit that I certainly wouldn’t kick James out of bed for eating biscuits, if you know what I mean, but he has now been elevated to God-like status after my culinary experience during my flight to Mexico.

The food looked and tasted as it should! The chicken was tender and succulent, the vegetables nicely al dente, the flavours of the cheesecake were easily discernible and the compote accompanying the cheese and biscuits was just heavenly.

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Well done Thomas Cook for treating your passengers like human beings and realising that one shouldn’t have to sit in Upper Class to be given edible food. It was my first flight with your airline but definitely not my last.

Oh and James, I’ve a packet of Digestives with your name on it……

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