You’re the One

I’d like to take a moment this afternoon to thank the various people who by being mean, evil and downright rude have steered me on the course to becoming a better person. You’d think I’d want to start by accentuating the positives, but it occurred to me on the walk home from the Gym that’s not how I work. Those who care and support me do so not because I ask them to, but instead remain due to their own love, respect and brilliance… and often a combination of all three. I don’t have any say in that at all, when all is said and done, the choice is theirs. These people mercifully also understand what I am: brittle, often difficult and unfathomable. I’d like to be none of these things, if I’m honest, but that’s a conversation for another blog.

The haters (who will hate, as is accepted practice on the Internets and beyond) for any number of reasons. Maybe you used to be ‘friends’ but something changed. Perhaps you don’t agree on a contentious topic. It could be as simple as failing to accept that everyone is entitled to an opinion… and then the list goes on, and on, and we’re moving away from the basic issue. This morning a truth was accepted: I like to be confrontational sometimes as an exercise in entertainment. There, I said it, and this has happened over the years with people who, for whatever reason, have decided that I’m their role model, or heroine or maybe simply an object of desire. Because I know I’m none of these things and just a person, I really should know better, but often using humour and contention to make a point can be useful. That’s how a lot of comedy works, after all.

The problem comes, of course, when the person you upset/embarrassed ‘in public’ with your rebuttal or opinion decides you’re now worthy of destroying.


I’ve been through quite a bit on that front in the last couple of years, I realised yesterday by going back through my ‘records.’ Whether it’s the sock Twitter account to sit and fire shit from a distance, or the bitter whispers via third party messages (because you blocked them on Twitter) there are many ways to think you will destroy your enemies by making noise. Ironically a lot of this ire springs from the incredibly mistaken belief by some that I’m some kind of influencer. If I legitimately held that title I’d do my damndest never to upset anyone and probably never speak as a result, because when you know how much trouble your outlook and attitude is capable of causing, the best lesson ever learnt is to keep quiet. Self loathing is all well and good, but I have now concluded that if I really want to be happy, I have to start with myself first.

Some people have absolutely no problem with loving themselves. In fact, if I’m honest, a fair proportion of the noise I deal with on any given day is from those who don’t care about anything except themselves in the equation. Turning their hatred and stupidity therefore into something worthwhile and useful seems not only like the right thing to do, but almost a prerequisite, appropriate antidote to negativity. Those of you who think I’m confident and happy should be reminded that crippling anxiety and self doubt are never far away in my head, and there is consideration of every single thing that is said and posted, whereas in the past I’ll be honest and admit I cared far less. I was in essence, the exact same people I now star at as Haters. I’m sure as fuck never going back to that place ever again for as long as I live.

You only get to attain balance by knowing how far each side of your scales will tip.


Without the Haters however, you don’t get a chance to consider your flaws. Even if the tirade of shit that random fuckwit spewed from the sock account was utter garbage, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it. You don’t simply ignore the person who fucked off, you can ask why it happened, and if you believe that it was as a result of something you did, then maybe that is a point to reassess. The problem comes when your scales tip too far into introversion and uncertainty, and in SHOCK NEWS after almost 50 years I’m still crap at doing that whole ‘stop worrying, just get on‘ thing that’s supposed to happen. It is easy to see why famous people never read reviews of their stuff because honestly, I’d go throw myself off a cliff over how some people feel their ‘opinion’ matters than actually treating fellow human beings with respect.

When all is said and done, a complex set of variables have combined to allow me to become a better human being. As there is a phenomenal amount of work left to do, I would anticipate spending another 50 years trying to get my head around the details. To those of you who tried to fuck me up along the way? Nice try, twats, but all you did was make me better and stronger. Fell free to continue to hate, but if you stopped and learnt to love yourself?

Who knows what might be possible.



I caved, and weighed myself this morning. I’ve put on half a pound. I know all the speeches about weight in my sleep now, I’m just hoping that this will be the start of the great leap forwards. All I can do is sit tight and not waver. Having taken the honey out of my diet yesterday, there was an unexpected late day response with what I’m well aware was a low blood sugar migraine. Ironically I got all of the lights and none of the pain until much later, and even when the headache came, it was far less traumatic than expected. I’d not still be treading this route were it not for the fact that I woke this morning after a full and largely uninterrupted night’s sleep and felt absolutely fantastic.

Really, this is the best I have felt for quite some while.


I feel so good that I threw away the writing plan for the morning and have been re-branding websites. I’ll spend this afternoon getting back up to date with projects and the housework. Then tomorrow it will be early Gym and a real push to try and start working on my trunk, which is where all the fat is now residing. I’m actually looking forward to it too, none of the trepidation or concern I’ve had in previous weeks. I am having trouble with my grip, which a friend suggests could be over-training, but I want to check that poor circulation during cold weather isn’t a contributing factor. My arms are now pretty much fat free, legs rapidly getting that way and I can both see and feel the fat breaking down in the tops of my legs.

This was always going to be a long journey, and more than ever I am determined to complete it.


Thanks for sticking with me, guys. I appreciate the support and understanding more than you will ever know.



Once upon a time, I used to be a graphic designer.


I wasn’t great, but I knew what I liked and I was SUPERB at copying other layouts and designs. I used to design t-shirts too, and one of the bags that will be going out to the Charity Shop this week is full of my efforts. None of them are relevant or important now, but at the time my world revolved around this form of ‘art’ and I realised recently I miss it. Therefore, I’ve been poking around the Internets for graphics programmes to tinker with.


Right now, I am pounding the hell out of canva.com for no other reason that someone else does all the hard work and I just shamelessly lift the results. Yeah, I know how not big or clever this is, but half the problem I possess right now is the time to do all the heavy lifting. This site puts everything in the right place and I just fuck about with it, and frankly that suits me absolutely fine. I have all the pictures needed to make these things unique and special, and it will add a much needed breath of fresh air to my sites. This also gives me the advantage of looking as if I’m paying someone to do all this shit for me.

That’s the bonus that keeps on giving.


It also means that while I’m struggling with diet changes and the remains of yesterday’s headache, I can do something productive to boot.



At 6.45 am this morning I dropped the bottom of (I think) the toothpaste onto the bathroom floor. Reaching down to get it, I forgot I’d left the medicine cabinet open, and as I came up the corner of it impacted my skull with some force, enough to draw blood. I have a nascent fear of head injuries, and of losing mental faculties. In fact, of everything that frightens me most in this world, these two things are pretty much at the top of the list. I’m also supremely clumsy, which has never helped my cause.

This means being doomed to spend the day with a headache and second guessing everything that happens. Because I’m unfocused and slow, because I forgot the right word for something and used another one, I’m gonna die from head trauma. Forget yesterday that I left my Bluetooth headphones and both wedding ring and another ring that my Husband bought as a gift in a coat on the back of the chair in the Gym, only realising about six hours later that they’d been left (I took the rings off to weight train.) Hooray for decent people who hand stuff in, or I’d have lost two of the most important things I own via gross stupidity. Reminder, brain: I didn’t have a head injury yesterday. I just possessed brain fog and fatigue.


My daughter says I’m being too hard on myself and she’s probably right. I can’t do everything as fast as I want. Even if the World moves at a greater speed, I’m still pretty much as I am. That doesn’t change instantly, but I am trying my best, though I could cut myself a break from time to time. My son will hate me for not doing just that this morning, but I have a responsibility to try and push him at least sometimes. I become conscious at moments like this that I find this so hard to be ‘tough’ because nobody ever gave me the training when I was young. However much I’d love to blame someone else for the shortcomings in my life, that’s simply not practical any more. I can’t give up, and neither should he.

I’ve been there and I never want to go back.

Today would be easy to just ignore and sleep off, to pretend I can do it later. Assuming I don’t have a slow bleed on my brain (I’ll never forget that episode of CSI, cheers TV for making me think/worry) if this were my last day on the planet, I think I’d like to believe I did my best in it, and every day previously. That’s the key difference between the ‘old’ me and now: the temptation to just give up and do it later is being gradually eroded by the real belief that I may not have time left to do so. I have no idea how long my internal timer has left, so I really should make the best of every single moment I am provided with.


I realise this outlook is probably causing problems as well as solving them, but right now I feel that I’ve reached a significant crossroads. Living life well matters far more than it has ever done before, and that isn’t just for myself. I don’t want to control anyone else either, simply try and help direct if the other person wants the help. Right now, I sense my son doesn’t want to be responsible, and I really don’t blame him one bit. I know that feeling only too well, and remember the undue amount of stress that came with studying for Exams. The fact I still have that anxiety dream after all these years? I get the problem.

I also understand how people can use other people’s anxieties to reflect back both to and from themselves. When you need somebody else to understand why you feel the way you do, so they can grasp that these are emotions you are feeling or have felt. When you need to share an experience in the hope it will allow others to be more sympathetic. Mostly, when you reach out for help, what you crave most is often not what you get, and there is often the desire for people to wrap you in a blanket and just make all the bad stuff vanish. These are the real issues when you try and work out how best to deal with anyone suffering from a mental illness. Everyone is different, making specific approaches really difficult unless you can identify the root cause of the problem.


A big stumbling block, it seems to me, is that telling the world everything has now become as important for some people as their own well-being, perhaps in some cases more so. When I say something on Social media, it is simply my reaction to my life. It isn’t a mantra, or carte blanche affirmation of what is right. The problem comes of course when someone disagrees, and then you’re dealing with having to firefight or consider consequences that you weren’t anticipating because you don’t know the person reading your words well enough. Every thing I say in public has a consequence, I know this. That means, effectively, from now on if I post about an issue with either of my children I run the risk of someone deciding I am a bad parent because I don’t understand how ‘kids’ today communicate.

This is where I stop my own bus, pull out the keys, leave the rest of you inside and vanish into the woods next to the carriageway, never to be seen again. You see, when I say that if you want to be ill a phone doesn’t get used, I don’t mean I’m stifling expression or cries for help. If physical well-being matters, then you learn to prioritise that over WhatsApp or Twitter. Using group chat to tell mates you won’t be in for school does not have the same impact as being silent. In fact, for some, that will indicate a bigger issue and alert parents/carers much faster than the person who has to tell everyone how sick they are to begin with. No, parenting is not an exact science, and I’d be a foolish woman to ignore my son. When I finally got here after a frantic bout of pre-school texting, I’m confident I made the right call.


I also understand only too well the crippling anxiety that comes in situations such as this. Several people have accused me of lying about this over the years, said to my face that I can have no idea of such things because I’m able to stand up for myself and talk about what has happened to me without consequence. Oh there are fucking consequences, let me assure you. The main one is that if I continue to allow fear and anger dictate my actions, I am effectively worthless as a human being. I’m not expecting you to agree with me, and I’m sure as fuck not telling you to do the same. I just know what I require to survive. I’ll also do my damnedest not to project this to my kids wherever possible.

Life, like it or not, is a series of decisions you more than often get wrong.

What today teaches me is that this is the last time I discuss my kids in public. I will admit that people who ‘use’ their kids as additions to further their own pretensions of glory make me worry for the long term sanctity of the family unit going forward. However, that’s just me. This morning, I realised something more important: if it takes a blow to the head to remind you of how important it is to listen and consider everything before acting, I need to be hit with things regularly. Please don’t judge me using your criteria as a basis. In fact, I’d really rather like it if you didn’t judge me at all and found something better to do with your time.

Don’t let the hypocritical door hit you on the way out.


Moving On Up

My supervised eating is going very well. It has been three days since my last chocolate. I did indulge in meringue, fruit and cream last night but the bowl was small and my daughter made it so I felt obliged to consume at least some. However I did offset this with an 800 calorie walk in the day. This morning I was physically wiped after a Gym session, everything was hard work and I only managed six seconds of hanging before my arms gave out. I am a mess. But I am being really good at being a mess, so you know, that’s progress.

Now I need to do something about the disaster area that is diary and writing tasks.


This week’s not going to get to me. I said that yesterday, and I mean it. I will push through this and not let stupid drag me down and take last week’s To Do list and further sublimate the contents until I get to my aim. I have a week’s worth of healthy snacks on standby. I have three deadlines to hit by Wednesday. Really, what could possibly go wrong?



It will be okay.

It will be.



The last days of good weather are on their way out. It won’t be long before GMT is back. Most importantly, in a week I’ll be on a train, coming back from Paris. Late on Friday night, my husband spilt the beans on a surprise both he and the kids had planned: a trip on Eurostar, to our favourite restaurant in the shadow of Notre Dame. I’ve wanted to do the trip from St Pancras since forever, and to have all this arranged (plus a night at a hotel) was something I really wasn’t expecting. In fact it took a full fifteen minutes of guesswork to finally arrive at the conclusion. I haven’t stopped smiling about this ever since.

Good things like this never happen to me.


Walking this afternoon, it occurred to me just how lucky I am. There’s no point in getting stressed that 50 is coming: I can’t avoid it, ageing is inevitable and inescapable. On my walk I travel past a bungalow that has been converted into a ‘chemical procedures’ surgery: liposuction, botox, minor cosmetic surgery all under one roof. I understand why many woman pursue these things, that the notion of beauty is as subjective as just about everything else, that these procedures matter. Feeling whole, complete and satisfied with yourself is something many people just never have the chance to experience, and when there are so many factors at play…? Is it any wonder so many of us never find a sense of satisfaction.

Happiness, I am beginning to grasp, is as much about you allowing it to happen than it is having ‘things’ or ‘people’ involved. Being able to give yourself up to a feeling of contentment is often a pretty big ask, when everything else gets in the way. That’s why I have nothing but respect for those who are able to prioritise what matters above what others consider important. It’s probably why I’m drawn to mavericks and brilliance, because those who are capable of rising above the conventional to live life on their own terms deserve nothing but respect. It might seem obvious to some of you but for me? A lot of this is still revelation. You people really don’t know how lucky you are.


Simple things are beginning to matter far more than ever before.

Maybe that’s the future for me moving forward.


Since You Went Away

I wonder if this is worth saying. Then I know that I can’t ignore how I feel, so I’ll say it anyway.

I watch quite closely who comes and goes from my social media timelines, as a barometer for whether I am doing a decent job of providing entertainment. Occasionally, someone will leave, and I’ll be 100% confident I know why. Of course, the way to find out for sure would be to go and ask them… but sometimes, there’s the realisation that I don’t want to know. You assume that certain people will tell you when they have an issue (and when they’re someone you got on well with, that often happens) but when others simply click unfollow? There’s this moment of concern, if that person is someone who you respect or care about. When it’s a person you REALLY like but with whom you have no connection? There is the sad and quite correct realisation that however much you thought there was in common, this person’s on their own path. You can’t change what they are and frankly, you’d be foolish to try.

Mostly, they got fed up with your noise.


I can remember a particular, quite vocal follower in my early days complaining that I was ‘the only person’ in their feed and they simply didn’t want that. I get that this happens, but I also understand that often, I am the immovable force to many other people’s irresistible object. When you hold mirrors up to the world and yourself, it is often impossible to avoid reflections to other shiny surfaces. I know, that if I met certain people in the Real World, we’d never get on. However, if you decide to stop listening to me, I feel it’s actually rude to keep standing and listening. In effect, it’s the virtual equivalent in my mind of someone turning their back to you and continuing to talk. By the action of ‘not listening’ the entire dynamic of the ‘relationship’ changes.

However, that’s only true if you consider this network as an extension of your friendship circle, and as I have discussed before I’ve now begun to grasp that this isn’t the way things should work. You don’t use social media as an extended friends network, even though that happens in my sight almost 24/7. Yes, you can be good friends with lots of people, and when you are there will be an automatic desire to transcend the virtual anyway. You’ll go and find the people outside of social media, communicate with them, meet them ‘for real’ and make it a relationship you began online but now has become soothing stronger. You may feel loss at the departure of people without warning, but if your sorrow is one sided it is the moment to grasp that you were the one who invested too much, and that as a result it is just time to move on.


My bigger problem is that I’m an emotional dinosaur. This happens so much, because I continue to invest unrealistic emotional significance in people who do not care as much about me. I am the one to blame in these relationships, and nobody else. Hopefully if I write this down enough times, I’ll finally be able to stop being this person and evolve into something stronger.

Maybe if I could stop feeling everything it would just make life simpler.