Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Officially Christmas

24th December 2004

In my fabric cell I'm returning things to my hospital bag when my mobile rings.  I gingerly try to retrieve it before disturbing the other women on the ward.  I move with the ease of a woman who's just been sawn in half.  The scar on my stomach throbs and shock has stopped my legs from working properly.

In the clear plastic cot by my bed is my little pink bundle with masses of black hair - my nan was right, heartburn did mean a hairy baby.

My phone located I see it's my sister and when I answer it she says to me 'Can you hear it?'  At her end she turns the music up in her kitchen & I hear Jona Lewis singing his famous Christmas song.  'Can you hear it?' she repeats. 'Yes' I reply, 'it's Christmas'.  'Had you heard it before?' my big sister asks.  'No' I replied 'I thought Christmas had been cancelled this year'.  'No it hasn't' she sobbed 'and you've given us all the best present'.

For as long as I can remember Jona Lewie has meant it's Christmas.  The least Christmassy of Christmas songs about troops in the trenches in WWI it just resonates with me. 

I remember my nan making us all get down on the floor to do the 'Oops upside your head' dance to it

I remember the desaturated 80s video

I remember being with my mate Phil driving home from university for Christmas & playing on the radio. 

'It's officially Christmas' I declare once I have heard it.

I didn't know that my sister felt the same about it until a few years ago but it's a tradition now.  We text each other to say 'Radio 2 now, Jona Lewie'.  I got a text from her yesterday telling me that she's heard half of it now so it's a fraction Christmas.

Listening to it on CD is OK (as I am doing right now), but an impromptu broadcast makes it official.

It's Christmas

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Blog Swap 2012

Amongst the madness that is December I have had some very special moments.  Last night was fish, chips & fizz at my sister's house with my Mum & sisters (& kids) celebrating what would have been my parents 46th wedding anniversary.  My sister's husband is working away for the next 4 months, my other sister's husband was working late & Mr D of course is in a different county.  But despite the missing men we had a lovely evening.  It's been such a long time with it being just us.  Having just got a car for me at the weekend, my first EVER, I offered to go with my sister to collect the food.  We then realized it was the first time ever I had driven her which for some reason was a hysterical prospect I'm nearly 40 for god's sake!).

Another gem amid work, home, frantic making/buying/ignoring the wrapping of presents, attempting to write Christmas cards,  nativity's etc etc I received an amazing parcel from the lovely Miss Tea as part of the Christmas Blog Swap arranged by lovely Lakota at Faith Hope & Charity Shopping



I love doing these blog swaps.  I was trying to explain to my sister what they are last night.  It's such a nice way to get to know other bloggers & it's fun (& a little nerve wracking to see if you've got it right yourself).  I always find it incredible how strangers seem to get me more (sometimes more than people that know me do).  So lucky me, wrapped in gorgeous paper I unwrapped...




 Thank you Miss Tea, what an amazing parcel.  Yours went in the post this week, I hope you like it! x

Monday, 10 December 2012

He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake...

I've been a bit quiet lately, which really is not like me.  

Life is hectic at the moment what with work, kids, singleparenthood (in the week) let alone Christmas.  My smallest girl has been testing me (to say the least) over the past fortnightI'm not sure if it's the change in our circumstances or just the time of year (I  call it endoftermitis as behavior always seemed to deteriorate as holidays loomed - it was like their way of saying enough already, I'm tired!).

Anyhoo her behavior has been shockingShouting, screaming, pinching, name calling.  I have tried to point out that Father Christmas IS watching and how tragic it would be if at this late stage of the year she was to accidentally slip onto the naughty list.  As we point out every year Daddy once knew of someone who ended up on the naughty list and got nothing.  How sad.
I'm not convinced this approach is working with my girl.  She's grumpy & the thought of no presents seems to add fuel to the fire.

So I resorted to using the Portable North Pole.  I know, I know I'm coming late to the party but how great is it?!

 So by adding in just a few details & uploading a picture my girls got messages from Santa (watched separately obviously as my eagle eyed girls would surely notice that they are pretty much the same)It seemed to sprinkle a bit more magic into the air.  Having Father Christmas tell you that you are on the good list but you have to try a bit harder (for girl 2) may just help to sway things over the next few weeks (fingers crossed).

Obviously my smallest girl watched it & immediately asked 'Was that real?' (to which the immediate response was 'Of course').  

My bigger girl who is almost 8 & rapidly approaching the time where she'll no longer believe (she's already told me of people in her class who don't, whereby she incredulously replied 'Do you really think your Mum & Dad could afford the expensive things Father Christmas brings?!').  The seeds of doubt are definitely there though.  Whilst talking about what we'll be leaving out on Christmas Eve (shortbread in this house as Father Christmas doesn't like Mince Pies - Mrs Christmas does though)

Biggest girl - I think we should leave 2 bits out this year
Me - Really?
Biggest girl - Yes one for Mrs Christmas too

Love her.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

My life drama Part 2

So last time on my life drama Mr D had a job, overheard that he was going to be pushed out of said job and then left his job.

So here's what's been happening in the intervening 4 months....

It's strange having someone around all the time when you've been used to them working really long hours, it definitely takes a bit of readjusting.

Mr D took some time to de-stress, god knows he needed it after the year he's had.  He eBayed a lot of stuff that has been clogging up the room we laughably refer to as our 3rd bedroom/the office (this is a room I do not go in & if I'm honest I'd rather the door was kept shut.  Have you ever seen the episode of Friends with Monica's messy cupboard?  Well it's that for Mr D in room shape).  What I find amazing is the amount of stuff that has left our house & yet the office still looks like a shit pit.  

Having wound down we set about spending some quality time together as a family with Daddy doing some of the school runs (but not as much cooking/cleaning as he had initially suggested he would do).  

Mr D then started to train for 'glorified hill walk' of trekking to Everest Base camp with his Dad & brother.  This is something he had committed to last year when he was employed & working for a company who matched donations to a charity of your choice.  Obviously in the intervening months he didn't have a job/company to donate vast amounts of money to charity.  (to this day he will not tell me exactly how much it cost & I'm guessing it's best I don't know.  Although I reserve the right to book 2 & 1/2 weeks away on my own without the children at some point in the future). Anyway amazing thing they achieved & a great thing to be able to share the experience.

So he's back now & he's been looking for work but there hasn't been much about.  But we got some kind of good news this week as he has a job offer - hurrah, but it's in Warwickshire and we live in London - boo.  So the plan is that he is going to take it and live away during the week, coming home for weekends.  Married single parenthood looms again for the foreseeable future.  

I know long term that we will have to find a better solution but with children in school, me working & a house here such a drastic move for all of us right now just doesn't seem practical.  What if this job doesn't work out?  To uproot us all at a drop of a hat for nothing would be totally impractical.  I am under no illusion that this is going to be easy for any of us (although I am daydreaming of us living on jacket potatoes during the week & watching TOWIE without 'Oh we're not watching THIS are we?!'), but we've got to give it a go for now 

Mr D & I had a long distance relationship when we first got together so part of me is thinking 'Oh this again'.  I know he is worried about the strain of being apart but I know we are strong.  We've been together for 16 years, married for 10.  We can do this.  For now.

Who knows where I'll be living this time next year?

All will be revealed in the next instalment of my life drama

Friday, 5 October 2012

In honour of national poetry day, a poem that I wrote


Foot in sock
Hand in glove
You in me

Mis-matched socks
Disposable gloves
Not meant to be

I wrote this during a poetry block in my writing group.  I know it's hardly Sylvia Plath but it's me


Mr D has asked me to point out that this is NOT about him.  As I keep pointing out to him not everything is about HIM.  May I also add that I'm not entirely sure that this is about anyone in particular!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Mix Tape from the past

We are in the midst of a massive clear out at our house.  With a huge life change we have decided to de-clutter & streamline operations at DOMADQ headquarters (with varying degrees of success).  Having 'done' a boot sale & with Mr D frantically eBaying all the things that 'will be worth money one day', well with currently a part time income to bolster us that day has come!

Mid clear up I found this in our bin & fished it out

"What's this?" I ask Mr D
"Oh it's just a mix tape someone made for me" he replied
"Was that someone a girl?" I asked nonchalantly
"Yes.  It was Nicky/Vicky/Becky/Wendy ??" (ex girlfriends always seem to end with y) replied Mr D who is not great as remembering names.

A little window into the past, I couldn't help but look at it a bit closer.  There's a note inside from the girl in question (unsigned so I still don't know if it's Nicky or Vicky or Becky or Wendy who compiled it) in which she explains her track listings

Side 1
1. Everytime you go away
2. If you were here tonight
3. Stay with me till dawn (I wish you could all the time)
4. The Flame (Our first slow dance)
5. Why can't I wake up with you (yes what can't I?)
6. I see your smile (listen to the words)
7. For you
8. Right here waiting (the start of the song talks about oceans apart - sometimes it feels you are that far away)
9. Be with you
10. Love of mine (listen to the words)
11. Stay (Can I? please!)

Side 2
1. Hold on to the nights (cos we don't get many)
2. Crazy for you
3. Hold me now (Should be hold me all the time)
4. Have you ever need someone so bad? (the answer to that question is yes - you)
5. Hard habbit to break
6. All through the night
7. The way you make me feel (all over)
8. Miss you like crazy (especially when your away)
9. Room in your heart (Hopefully someday)
10. The last kiss (Sunday nights always the last)

I found it quite endearing & a little sad.  A glimpse of a girl who obviously felt more for a boy (my boy) than he did for her.

Chatting to him it's obvious that he was completely oblivious to exactly how she felt at the time (aren't men hilarious, you could be hitting them over the head with a sign saying I LOVE YOU and they wouldn't necessarily get it), and that he was fairly ambivilent to their long distance relationship (he was away at college returning home only at weekends).

I've never been jealous about past girl friends because that is where they live, in the past. They are simply stops on Mr D's map before he found his way to me. (Although having said that I have never met an ex of his, maybe I'd feel different if I was confronted with ghosts of girlfriends past).

It's also strange to think that several years later he & I embarked on a long distance relationship (he being in Scotland & me in London). We didn't see each other any where as frequently as every weekend but held it together for a year & a half before ending up in the same city together. And 16 years on from when we met we're still together. 

Part of me thinks I could have been that girl.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Being a married lone parent

So today was national Go Home on Time Day whereby workers were encouraged to work their contracted hours only, organised as part of National Work-Life Week. 

A UK survey of 1,500 employees has found six out of ten people regularly work late, with around half blaming the culture of their firm.
One in ten also admitted that their work/life balance has become so bad that they never find the time to sit down with their families during the week.

This is all very familiar to me.  Before Mr DOMADQ was pushed jumped from his job back in June that was what our family life was like.  He would leave the house at 6.30am and not return until very late, often after 10pm thus meaning he wouldn't see our children at all in the week.  He was also expected at 'crunch' times to work at least 1 day over the weekend and as projects neared completion both days of the weekend. 

And what reward would he get for this?  No time off in lieu (maybe a few days off in a slump between projects but nothing like the hours he had given to his multi billion dollared employer), no over time pay at all (don't be so silly). And certainly no appreciation. There was no empathy regarding what life their employees were missing out on beyond the office walls.  Perception was key and so if you happened to be observed 'sneeking out' on time then it certainly didn't look good for you even if you'd done your work within the allotted hours.

Naturally the government 48 hour working week directive should protect workers in this regard but it's just a one line fix in a contract and employers simply get you to opt out of it.

Obviously not seeing my husband was detrimental to our home life.  Me & Mr D would be ships that passed in the night as I would vaguely wave in his direction as he left in the morning & would be slumped in a heap when he returned home.  For the children they didn't see their Daddy and effectively I became a single parent for months on end.  I would have to deal with everything single handed and diffused the 'I miss Daddy!' tears.  My social life shrivelled away.  Weekends were the worst as everyone is off doing things as a family and it always highlighted how lonely I felt. 

I am not alone in this.  I have many friends who have spouses who work very long nights or have to pull all nighters in the office.  You can't make plans to do anything for you as you cannot guarantee that they'll be back at a reasonable hour.  Another friend's husband is away on business trips for increasing periods of time. 

Whilst Mr D is looking for work we are seriously considering positions in other parts of the country whereby he would have to live away in the week and visit home on the weekends, as it seems unlikely that we would uproot the family for a short term contract.

Times are hard, the recession has people on edge.  Employers seem to expect more than their pound of flesh and care very little about what leftovers are sent back home.

With Mr D currently out of work it's fairly daunting at the moment but I guess my silver lining is that we are currently getting to spend a lot of time together and that is something we as a family are extremely grateful about.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Breaking down

I love this song.  I can listen to it over and over again.

The drums seem almost tribal.  They draw me in from the very beginning.    The slightly out of tune synthesiser reminds me of the Human League.  There is something so familiar about this tune, listening to it I feel like I'm home.  And then Flo starts to sing and it's like she can see into my soul.  Such a beautiful mix of anthemic uplifting music and bitter sweet lyrics.

All alone it was always there you see
And even on my own
It was always standing next to me
I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?

This emotional blackness I understand, I recognise it.  It is there in the wings, sitting in your peripheral vision waiting to swoop in.

I would never class myself as having had depression but like many people I have had spells under a cloud

Even the Flumps have had those kind of days

During my teens I had black days (yes of course it comes with the territory of adolescence), but I could never articulate my feelings even when I reached my 20's.  Problems were kept to myself, swallowed down and then at some point things would implode.  I'd cry for days, words of explanation would form on my lips but would never make it out of my mouth.  I'd curl up, wanting to disappear.  I'm still not the greatest at articulating my feelings and worries but therapy did help and gave me the vocabulary to talk about things.

When I listen to 'Breaking Down' I know what Florence Welsh is feeling, I know.  The song makes me want to cry and smile at the same time.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Diary of a youngish drama queen

Hoorah, hooray it's official I am not old.  I may be nudging 40 but that isn't middle aged or even past middle aged according to a survey you're not middle aged until your 55.  Of course Mr DOMADQ scoffed "Does that mean you're meant to live until you're 110 then?!"  But he's missing the point, middle aged is a state of mind.  I generally don't feel old (despite being told on a regular basis that "we are no longer young").

OK, OK there are days where I do feel older, like my back aches or I'm just knackered; long gone are the days where I could pull an all nighter & still get up for lectures the next morning, but generally I still feel about 22 in my head and I intend to stay that way for a long time.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Happy Birthday to me

So, went out last night (birthday eve celebrations). I stayed out late, drank, laughed loudly.  I now feel my age not my shoe size. 

Marvellous Mr D who was greatly amused by my stoating about when I got in just before 1am (I made it passed midnight!) brought me tea in bed.  Small girls greatly over excited bounded in just before 7am with homemade cards, flowers & a necklace.  All my cards & presents were opened.  My hangover looming I ejected everyone from the bedroom & went back to bed for 3 hours.

Have surfaced again.  Mr D dutifully popped down to the shop & purchased Irn Bru & Nurofen and the ingredients for a fry up for brunch. 

Am meeting a friend later for coffee & cake.  Dinner out tonight with Mr D.

Today's shaping up quite nicely. 


Friday, 31 August 2012

Teetering on the edge of my 30s

Come tomorrow I'll be entering my final year of my 30's.  Yep the big FOUR 0 is looming on the horizon.  I know, I know it's only a number but bugger me I'm feeling kind of old.  Where the bloomin heck did my 30's go I wonder? 

Thinking about it I suppose the majority of them fell into the black hole that is parenthood...

I loved turning 30, I felt like my confidence grew.  Once I was 30 I didn't mind sitting alone in a cafe, no longer 'Billy No Mates' just someone enjoying some time alone (I enjoy it even more now I have children, it's such a luxury to sit in peace drinking coffee whilst it's still hot!).  I wonder what the next decade will bring?

But 40 sounds so grown up and I'm just not ready to be a grown up yet. I want to go out dancing, drink, laugh loudly. I want to stay out till late and act my shoe size not my age. I want to please myself and feel free. At least until morning.

I have to make this year count.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


What do you think of my new look blog? (I'd had it with those dandilions)

Zats me in the corner

I heard REM on the radio earlier, it took me straight back to a in holiday in Spain with my friends when I was 17.  Time machine music had me back in the club Azul watching a local guy singing along at the top of his voice, not understanding the words he was singing.  I can never hear it without singing along in my head 'Zats me in the corner, zats me in the spot light...'

Ordering beer with the only Spanish I knew (Dos Heineken pour favor) and dancing, really dancing.  Realising that you could see my white bra through my black top (classy eh?) under the ultraviolet light & dying of embarrassment.

Happy days.  I love this song, it makes me smile.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


At present in my writing group we are doing a block on life writing.  This is fairly enjoyable, although can be hard as you're digging deep and last week it was like therapy.  I ended up in tears in the middle of my favourite cafe revealing quite personal thoughts and feelings.  I suppose it can only be good.  Things have to come out. It's just so strange talking about who my readers might be and what style to write it in.  It's just me.  My life.  My shit. Am beginning to doubt that anyone would want to read my stuff. 
Pushing negativity aside, the concept of anyone reading what I have to say is fairly alien to me.  But then again the stats on this blog suggest it's been viewed well over 4000 times (& that definitely isn't just me), so I guess someone is interested in what I have to say.
Just need to stop doubting myself and just write.  

Friday, 24 August 2012

And so I'm back....

 from Scotland.  And life has been getting in the way of my blogging which is a bit annoying, but what with school holidays, work and husband at home hogging the laptop putting things on Ebay trying to get rid of a lot of tat we have in the house.  I am not the tidiest person in the world but my word that man is such a horder!  Keep thinking we'll end up in a documentary on Channel 5 having to squeeze through corridors made from boxes (in actually fact our 3rd bedroom is like that already).  We're going to do a bootsale next week.  Wish me luck.

So first things first I am happy to announce that the winner  of my blogiversary giveaway is the lovely Lakota from Faith Hope & Charity Shopping.
Well done you, the parcel will be winging it's way to you as soon as I can get organised.

So how are you?  I'm good, these holidays have gone quick haven't they?  We spent 2 weeks away at my in laws including several nights camping - more on that another time) at the start and the rest of the time has flown by in a whirr.  I have loads to write about but after a manic week at work my brain is fried and so will have to write later.  But I will say I have had an interesting few weeks.  I've met some amazing people who have inspired me in my writing and my life really.  I've started writing my book. (eek) Which at the moment is more life writing than anything but I think it's going to do me some good.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Hoilday, Celebrate.

Tomorrow I will be embarking on a lengthy train journey to the other end of the British Isles.  Luckily we are all going (at one point it looked as if I'd be travelling with 2 girls alone), so that is the silver lining in the whole Mr D not currently being employed saga. 

We're off to see my in laws & I'm looking forward to it as it is most probably the closest thing to a holiday I will have this year.  My girls are so excited at the prospect at seeing their grandparents, uncles, auntie & cousins. 

With that in mind you'd think I'd have arranged for my blog giveaway to end on a different date! (Sorry those who did enter as the name out of the hat will have to wait until my return - I would do it now but I haven't finished packing yet!)  So please forgive me for my poor organisational skills.  And think of me, ladened down with DS', magazines, colouring, Secret Seven books, travel Guess Who and enough snacks to feed an army for when my smallest girl bellows HUNGRY at me at regular intervals (shortly followed by WATER).

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

My Life Drama

This past few weeks have been as they say, a bit of an emotional roller coaster. 

A few months ago Mr DOMADQ overheard a conversation at his work about him and how they were plotting to try & get him to leave.  This naturally caused a great deal of stress and anxiety to us both.  He did his best to turn things around but things became untenable and he went off sick with stress.

After several weeks off he returned to find that he had been shifted sideways into a lesser role.  'We know how this goes from here' we said, we have watched them do this to other people time and time again, paying over the odds for a minion they simply either encourage people to move on or 'manage them out'.  Knowing fully well this was likely to happen he took the nettle by the horns (or some such mixed metaphor) and highlighted the situation to HR.  Angling  for redundancy, praying that they wouldn't just invite him to leave.

His 1st meeting about this was mid last week and by Friday they had drawn up a compromise agreement.  Negotiations continued on Monday morning & but the afternoon he was a free man.  Although he didn't walk away with quite as much as we would have liked, he walked away with some cash & his dignity.  I cannot say what company he worked for here for fear of reprisals (he won't get the cash in his account until the end of next week) and I can't use the words I would like to describe what a bunch of bullies and unpleasant people who make up the management at that place.  It is a toxic environment. 

Insisting people work late nights and weekends with no overtime or time in lieu is not the best working practice.  A belief that the workers are all to blame for any misgiving and that they should all be glad to work there, that the company is top of it's game - not really what I call great management skills.  Feedback such as 'It's all shit' really isn't very helpful.  The company is the top of it's field but it's treatment of staff is reknown for being terrible.

I am a great believer in karma and I believe that these people will get what's coming to them.

And so, what now?  Mr D obviously wants a break as he is well and truly burntout.  And then what? He wants to try and do something for us rather than others.  I have to have faith in him, I know he can achieve anything he sets his mind to (chips & beans - private joke).  But the thought of it scares me shitless.  I feel like I have just made a leap and I'm not entirely sure the bungee cord is tied on.  Are we going to bounce or end up in a mess on the concrete? 

Tune in to the next chapter of my life drama to find out...

Monday, 16 July 2012

Blue Jeans

The other week I bought some old annuals from a charity shop.  Blue Jeans 1988 & 1989 (I would have been 15 & 16 respectively when these were published). I'm not sure if I was actually reading Blue Jeans then. I know I used to read Just17 when I was about 13 much to my mother's dismay ('But you're NOT 17!') I might have more on to 19 magazine or even More by then.

Hilarious to look at old fashions and pop stars.  It's amazing how normal looking a lot of the 'heart throbs' were in the 80's, a pre Photoshop age.  It's refreshing.

Nick Berry makes me think of a friend of mine, we used to listen to 'Every Loser Wins' in her bedroom.

'We nearly made it...'

There is an article about 'Great Fashion Mistakes Of Our Time' which sneers previous fashions

And then follows it with these without any irony

Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt anyone?
(the net skirt is also a winner)
Like she just stepped out of a salon

The Brosette look was the height of fashion

It's funny looking back at a really much more innocent time, tips on about what makes a 'Good Friend' & a 'Not Very Good Friend' made me smile, the concept of frenemies in 1989. 

And call me naive but it had never occurred to me why Blue Jeans was called Blue Jeans until I saw this...

surely not just a modern term?

How did that get through?  'And the winner of the BJ awards goes to...'

 This article was my absolute favourite though

PS I just listened to this for the first time in about 20 years - this went to No 1?!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

50 Shades of shit

Ooh Mr Grey so manly and masterful!

I read the 50 Shades trilogy and am left wondering why.  Why is this book selling so much?  Obviously I read all three as I am a bit of a completest and obviously have a thing for dodgy trilogies.   

I read it as research (yeah of course I did).  In the short story I wrote for a competition I wrote myself into a corner and had to write a sex scene.  It was excruciating for me & my tutor.  Both a bit embarrassed to mull over the nitty gritty of it.  So I thought it might be useful to read it.

So obviously sex sells. We all know that but OMG this is so badly executed what is all the fuss about?

There is a lot of sex in these books.  A LOT.  I am not a prude by any means.  But I think there is a lot. Someone I know was "shocked" and thought it was "so wrong".  Er, it's fairly tame really they are consenting adults but there's just quite a lot of it.  It is meant to be about a BDSM relationship but it's really bondage-lite. 

The characters are 2 dimensional and the writing is so repetitive.  It seems that EL James hits on a phrase per novel and then flogs it to death (pun intended).  FFS the number times Ana's breath 'hitched' in the 1st one, I was beginning to suspect she was an undiagnosed asthmatic.  And Grey who kept raking his fingers through his hair (nits perhaps?)

The plots were wafer thin.  In actual fact in the 2nd & 3rd books there are certain events that do liven things up a bit but they just get resolved too quickly.  They peak too early (yes that was intended too)

this has a more interesting story arc

Someone I know said that her husband said that every wife should read it, and maybe there is something in that.  It works to some extent.  It is titillating but really, come on, don't women want a bit more?

There must be other erotic novels that are much better written than this so I'm going to have keep researching...

Laters Baby

ps remember to enter my giveaway or you'll be severely punished

Monday, 9 July 2012

Weird donations to the school fair

So it was the school fair last Saturday.  Being on the PTA it is one of our jobs to try and cajole donations out of people for such events.  We're classed as a "deprived area" and many of the kids at school are on free school dinners. 

Times are hard, for everyone.  This year it seemed particularly hard to get anyone unconnected with the PTA to donate.  We have a 'Mufti Day' (it was called an Own Clothes Day in my day) where the children don't wear uniform but either donate something or donate £1 to go into the coffers but some people don't want to do even that.

On Friday we had to sort things in preparation for the next day & sift through the donations.  This is always an interesting task.  Some previous donations have included:

A dried up paint set
Unwashed clothes
Tin of soup
Coloured in colouring book
Half used toiletries
and generally a load of old tat

The Fancy Goods Tombola I always feel is a bit of an oxymoron.  One mans fancy is certainly another's a bit shit.  We started to include a brick a brack stall now as some of the tat donations can certainly be classed as that. 

The stall that always does well for donations is the book stall.  Whilst setting up on Saturday me & a friend spotted a gem.  At first I thought the cover art was a bit unsuitable but then I read the desciption at the bottom. 

My friend ferreted the book away (she has been reading it - for research purposes only - and apparently it is fair worse than I could imagine.  The one bit she read out to me detailed a man luring children into his house). The headmistress eyes popped out on stalks Tex Avery style when she saw it.  Then the Treasurer then found a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover which she then bought as she 'did her dissertation on it'. Yeah, of course she did. 

But it does make me wonder WTF?  Who on earth around here thinks this is suitable to donate to the school.  Yes we need whatever people can give but come on, that's just wrong.  What next?  An influx of 50 Shades of Grey* for the Christmas Fair?

* having read all of the 50 Shades book I feel a blog post coming on...
By the way, don't forget to enter my blogiversary giveaway...

Train strain

I have been trying to sort out transport for myself & my girls for a trip in the school holidays.  I will be travelling alone with them.  I looked into flights and OK yes I am booking late but jeez, 400 odd quid for flights to Glasgow?  Are the seats gold plated?

Righto so am now looking into the train option.  Sleeper would be ideal (although the thought of sleeping in an overpriced cupboard does make me start to hyperventilate, the adventure of it plus not having to entertain my gorgeous girls for 5 hours is appealing).  Despite having a Friends & Family discount card it is still ridiculously high in price.  Mostly because you pay for your tickets (and I only have to pay for myself & Girl 1 as Girl 2 is under 5) and then you have to pay again for the sleeper cupboard berth, which in effect more than doubles the cost.  Ah, because, I am told my the nice Scottish man on the phone, children HAVE to go in the berth's as they might disturb other passengers.  Teenagers, being more responsible (?), can go in the carriage but not children.  In my head I know this makes sense but I still feel aggrieved as I feel I am being penalised for even attempting to travel with kids!

just because they give me a crap eye mask and disposable toothbrush does not make the additional £120 cost worthwhile

OK, so back to the regular train option.  No, it'll be alright, I'll just pack DS/Leapster/colouring/books/snacks (Girl 2 is always hungry) etc etc etc.  Yes this is better £90ish, but what is this? Because I am not paying for a seat for child 2 I cannot reserve her one?  Surely there must be a way to do this?  Have just looked on the rail enquiries website and no, I can't.  Well that's just bloody great.  And they advise

As with any ticket, if seat reservations are available on your chosen service you will be able to reserve your child a seat for the journey. Seat or sleeper berth reservations are not available for accompanying children who are travelling free of charge. If you wish to reserve a seat or sleeper berth for your child under five - or to ensure that they do not need to give up their seat during their journey - a child discounted ticket may be purchased and a reservation made.

You have got to be kidding me. This surely is very unfair.  Obviously I don't want my child to have to stand for this journey and so may have to pay for a 4 year old.  I feel like I am being punished for

a) having children
b) even thinking about inflicting them on the public

My girls are fairly spirited but ultimately very well behaved (although I reserve the right to change my mind after a 5 hour train journey with them with possibly one of them standing!) why is there an assumption that children behave worse than any adult?  I have experienced adults who are much much worse (hog space, eat stinky food, talk loudly on mobiles, put feet on seats & drinking to name a few misdemeanours).  This just does not seem fair.

What do you think, am I being unreasonable?

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Blogiversary bumper giveaway booty

Happy Blogiversary to me.......

Well it's a bit late but I am ALWAYS late with birthdays so why should this be any different. (I forget the birthday of one of my sister's husbands every year - it's like a family tradition now)

Anyway here's to me.  To attempting to do my thing and put something out there.  I know I'm not that great at doing it regularly but here's hoping I manage to crowbar in some more writing time in the coming year.

To celebrate this I've decided to do a giveaway.  It's a bit eccletic (like most things about me) but hopefully will be a nice package for someone.

funky nail varnish

sock monkey
mini lip gloss

So earrings, nail varnish, mini lip glosses, a sock monkey.  I will also throw in a book so you can keep your own drama queen diary and some chocolate (always have to have chocolate)

So if you want to enter my giveaway all you have to do is follow this blog and please leave a comment below telling me your most Drama Queenie moment & make sure you include a way for me to contact you. 

You can also gain an additional entry by tweeting "I've entered a Drama Queen giveaway @ I'll just die if I don't win!" (remember to copy me in so that I know)

Giveaway will close on 28th July and a winner will be picked at random.  I look forward to reading your comments.

Please enter xx

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

What's this song about?

My biggest girl is obsessed with the meanings of song lyrics and is always asking what songs are about.  This can be fairly tricky depending what's on heavy rotation on Radio 2.  Currently it's Stooshe 'Blackheart' which I love (thankfully they've moved on from Amy McDonald) but this morning she asked me what it is about....

I kind of love the song but Mr DOMADQ keep harrumphing that it is wholly inappropriate. 'She's fallen for a monster! and she's telling her mother he's the best she's ever HAD' .  I keep trying to explain that it's a metaphor.  He's just someone who's unsuitable, a bad boy.  'But she says MONSTER' Mr D exclaims.  Obviously my other half has never fallen for someone he shouldn't have fallen in love with (to paraphrase another song).

So when my gorgeous girl asked this morning about Stooshe this morning we had the following conversation

Me -  The girl is in love with someone who isn't kind to her.  That happens sometimes and boys can make you cry
Biggest girl - 'Did that happen to you?
Me - 'Yes it did, a long, long time ago'
Biggest Girl - 'Who was it?' 
Me -  'Oh, just a boy who I've forgotten now'
Biggest Girl - 'So you met Daddy and forgot the boy's name?'
Me - 'Yeah, something like that.  Sometimes people do make you cry but what you have to remember is that you are worth more than that and move on'

Always, always turn it into a lesson!

Even if they are really singing about a monster & boasting to their mother about his sexual prowess I do love this song.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Reinventing myself

I have been pondering the art of reinvention.  Madonna is the expert of course.

 Love loved her and am kind of irritated by her now in equal measures. I mean really how embarrassing must it have been for Lordes et al when she flashed her bossom the other week - talk about embarrassing mother.  It made me think of Shirley McCleans character in Postcards from the Edge. 

Yes Madonna you look great and your breasts are magnificient for a 54 year olds but put them away love.

There are few times in life where you are free to reinvent yourself. I've never been one for cone bras or bosom flashing but when I went to university I reinvented myself. I became the kind of person that wore hats.

I know, I know hardly Madonna but you get what I mean. In life you don't really get many chances to make a change. I was always a bit nervous about having the piss taken out of me then (I am less so now) but with that fresh slate I just became the girl with the hats.

I don't wear hats so much these days (but I still love them).  I more the mum who wear birks and no make up.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Early night tonight

I can't begin to tell you how tired I am today.

Candle burnt at both ends and in the middle this weekend.

Saturday was the school fair & being on the PTA (I know, I need
my head read) I was there all bloody day, including nearly 4 hours of applying glitter tattoos and fielding random questions from children. Also some bright spark decided that I should man the Lolly Tree as well as the glitter tats (and also award many hundred lollies as prizes from another stall which was a pain in the arse as kids kept on thrusting their winning tokens under my nose whilst I was wrangling with a massive queue). And how come people don't say thank you anymore? I think I could count on my fingers the ones that did.
But it's all in a good cause, and hopefully we raised lots of money for the school

Anyway 8 hours day, knackered & covered in glitter I arrive home, Mr DOMADQ greets me with a 'Did you have fun?' I think I nearly took his head off (probably unfairly). 'Fun?' I screeched 'Fun? I've not been at the bloody pub!'
All I wanted to do was collapse in a heap with a huge glass of wine but we had tickets fo the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy so after scrubbing glitter from my face, neck, arms I drove Mr D with a running commentary on my driving (it's like a fecking awful satnav setting) to the theatre. It was good really good. The cast of the radio show performing just that with 2 blokes in the background doing the foley. But I was so exhausted I nodded off a couple of times.

My social life is feast or famine so obviously we went out again last night. Comedy Store Players at Regents Park Open Air Theatre. I love it there. An oasis in the centre of town. It's magical with fairy lights and wine. Having hit every red traffic light on the way there we arrived literally 30 seconds before the performance started. Feeling the strain from the weekend I tucked into my wine a bit too heartily and got quite squiffy. At one point I was even brave enough to shout out a suggestion (type of film "TWILIGHT!" - Mr D hissed 'Shhhush! How much have you had to drink?' at me). A really great night, with great friends which left me with an aching face from laughing so much. I crept back into the house, stage whispering to my friend who was babysitting 'I've had a bit too much to drink...'.

This morning I was hanging. But with a brisk walk to work, a can of coke and my gorgeous boss who kept me hydrated all day I am feeling a bit more human, but fairly old today. I can't do this anymore, I am middle(ish) aged. Think I need an early night.

When looking for photos of tired eyes I found this, yoga for the eyes, am considering giving it a go!

NB don't google match sticks & eyes, it's just yucky

(I think I may have another blog post to come on the school fair re: strange book donations and The Great Tombola Disaster of 2012)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Pondering a giveaway

With my blogiversary looming and with over 3000 views (which surely can't all be me & my mum) I have been toying with the idea of a giveaway.  Ah, but what to giveaway I wonder? 

Being that this isn't a genre blog in particular ie not thrifting nor crafting, cooking or fashion what on earth could a drama queen giveaway?  While I'm pondering it would be great to get some feedback on what makes a good giveaway.  Answers on a postcard (or in the box below) xx

Friday, 1 June 2012


Just heard 'Parachute' by Cheryl Cole on the radio & it made me smile.  Mostly because it reminded me that my smallest girl always insisted the lyric was 'Baby if I've got you I don't need a pair of shoes...'! 

I think in her head she's imagining Ms Cole getting a piggy back from said man.  It made me think of other song lyrics which have been misheard & sung at the top of your voice. 

My bigger girl always thought this was 'I like you so much better when you make it'

When she realised she went 'Oh. That's rude'.  Maybe a little but it's a great song.

My sister used to swear that Bonnie Tyler sang about a 'Hard Egg nothing but a hard egg'

and the other day I thought Elton John was singing 'she's got electric boobs'.  I suppose boots does make more sense.  I don't he's really a boob man.

Is it time to get my ears syringed?

Although the best (worst?) person for diction is probably Diane Vickers.  This is an old one but makes me laugh a lot

(I got it on Ebay)

Have you ever misheard any lyrics?