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)