Tuesday, 13 January 2015

14 Considerations on 'Calling in Sick'

Happy New Year to All!  A bit slack on the blogging front, sorry to the two or three people who follow me!  Christmas is a busy time, loads of fun with the kids, so much on, good times to be had, but all very time-consuming!  

So, I've a little undistracted time on my hands... no I haven't killed my children or been made redundant... I'm off sick!  Boo... you can comment sympathetic posts please, or think of me in your prayers (amen).  I've been harbouring germs since before Christmas and been on and off warding it off with pills (Mr. Lemsip needs a knighthood if you ask me). 

So my symptoms are massive hooter, congestion, headache, moaning, taste gone off, snotty, moaning, horizontal positioning tricky (unblancing the snot a real danger I believe!), sniffing, and general feeling like death... come on, you know how dramatic I am... 

I've sinusitis, could be touch and go, but with the correct treatment (sympathy, nasal exfoilation and antibiotics), a full recovery is likely.  

So I things to consider when being off sick: 

1.  Loose Women is crap.

2.  Lying in bed during daylight hours shows up your surfaces to be very dusty, I've made a mental note when my health is restored to do something about that (but will likely forget). 

3.  Netflix in bed is great, however, you can't really break the back of the joint boxsets you watch, it'd be mean to go ahead on jointly ventured programmes... wouldn't it?   Funny yesterday I dozed off watching 'Call the midwife', and woke up with laptop on the pillow showing a baby just coming out... that was a shock! 

4.  Wondering if I were to die of my ailments how soon would anybody notice, also I'd be devastated to have cause of death reported as a "fatal overdose of sudafed".  Could one of my friends please spread rumours it was a cocktail of booze and hardcore party drugs.

5.  Wearing socks is necessary all the time, not sure why, they make me feel better (got to be cosy when ill). 

6.  Persistence when you finally get through to your GP surgery should be rewarded!  Lines open at 8am, I got through at 8:23, I'd rung 54 times. I'm tempted on ringing again tomorrow, I'd disconnect when I get through, just seeing if I could better my attempt, you know, just for kicks!  

7.  Waiting room paranoia at the surgery, looking round, thinking who might be the sickest, and avoiding babies handing you things they've sucked with their snotty sick faces, my health is already in a fragile condition thank you very much. 

8.  How long convalescing in bed before you start to worry about bedsores? 

9. Sheer horror and panic madly checking YOU ARE ALLOWED to drink on your antibiotics (nowhere does is state on the very long information sheet that alocohol is to be avoided, it's just a myth). 

10.  The house without children and noise could be a sanctuary.  Also eating pieces of toast without the kids scaving a bit is quite blissful. 

11.  The cats are confused as hell by your unusual hours of being in the house, and want feeding all time.  

12.  You could get on top of the ironing... (as if). 

13.  You worry about posting too much on FB in case it gets back to work, that you're well enough for silly social media. 

14.  5 o'clock soon comes round.... (and frantic familylife descends). 

So, on my sickbed, I've enjoyed the little rest and break from the norm, I'm likely back to work tomorrow, on anti-biotics, better there, there's nobody moan to at home, and that sympathy is vital to my recovery. 

Emma-Lou xx

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Did I ever mention I was on the telly.... BBC Breakfast Star...

Would it be wrong to put this in place of my wedding photo? 
If you know me, (unless you've been living under a stone), there's no way you can't know I WAS ON THE TELLY!  Not, like, any telly, I was on NATIONAL telly, BBC BREAKFAST telly! 

So how did it come about; of course it had to be a result of my ridiculous twitter. My A BBC producer was mooching round Twitter looking for a mum's experience of maternity care (to note I've nothing but praise for NHS maternity care despite my 'OMG the hospital's closed and I'm in labour').  

It happened on a normal day...
So, I got a phone call from her, we had a chat, I was on the top deck of a bus, the kids had been mithering for a go on a bus, I did say quite loudly to our Liz "Sorry kids, I'm just on the phone to the BBC".  I talked her through what happened to me, in a very talky, easy way.  She said great, can you come on the show tomorrow.   I agreed, no problem (thinking it was radio and I'd call in).  Then I realised that she said "Don't wear red it clashes with sofa".  My second realisation come a moment after 'OMG I'm going to be on the telly and my colour needs doing'  SHOCK HORROR roots on the telly!  

So I hopped off bus, got chips for tea, headed home, en route telling ten or so people to look out for me on the telly!  It was a quick turnaround at home, as I had a PA "do" thing to attend.  It was a bit of a drinky social do at the PA event, so I quite quickly got tipsy (to help with the nerves you know...), and, well, I can only apologise to the room full of one hundred very professional PAs of Manchester; it's a good thing my job at Uni is pretty secure, as I'd never work in this town again! 

Coping with the nerves, hard living in the spot light, priory for me next!
The funny thing was, I told every single person in my breathing zone that I was due to be on the telly at 8:10, when in fact I was top of the bill (well that's how I see it) at 7:10.  Unfortunately, at 8:10 when I'm guessing a lot of my friends, family and very professional PAs tuned in, the item being discussed was obesity in the UK and the risk of having a big girth leading to diabetes (of course a very serious issue... but come on my girth's not that big, and if one person made a connection I'll be cross). 

Media City (very early in morning)
So 'my' driver arrived very early to have me taken to Media City.  It was all very smart, I was greeted at the studio by a very enthusiastic "media" person; it was great, I was rushed into make up, where I begged them to do ANYTHING to cover my roots (they must have had a wig handy surely?), the make up lady was great and said "Look Holly Willougby has serious roots a lot of the time, you look fine".  #Obv I took that as she likened me to Holly W and was made up.  They sat me in the green room, offered me coffee and brekkie, to which I declined (was ropey with nerves and hangover).  

Next I'm being wired up, I actually think that was the best bit!  A producer went through my story, and sort of said, you've a nice way of letting it tell itself, just repeat as you told me.  

Dum dum, I'm in the studio, bolted on the sofa, I was there five mins (not on camera), as they went to weather and read news items, I just got more and more nervous!  But I had an epiphany.... I had to control my nerves, because there's a chance I'll talk really, really fast, become scouser and sound like my fellow native, old Margi Clarke... so, with that, I decided I wasn't going to be nervous; and blow me it worked - I truly wasn't nervous.  I just chatted to Charlie like he was an old friend, when they cut back to me after the second bit to say "thank you", I took that as a cue to give advice and extend my five minutes "What I would say to pregnant women in my situation is to do this, this and this".... 

Media Star (very early in the morning)
They didn't seem to mind, and appeared to quite like me and said thanks, and that I was great (of course I was).  Charlie and Steph (my colleagues) tweeted me as much later that day.  The initial BBC producer said she would defo use me again if anything topical came about... I didn't really believe her, but was dead chuffed with my experience and left it at that.

Well, they only did bloody ring me; and if you think I was bad the first time, this time they wanted my DAUGHTER on too..... me and my girl on the telly... it was like a dream come true!  Bless, Liz was full of giddy excitement about the whole thing, and they made such a lovely fuss of her, the driver winked at me and said to her "Oh I can't wait to get home and tell my wife who I had in my car today".   Jim Davidson was on the same show, very surreal to be in the green room with him, having Lizzy mither me about getting on the next level of candy crush and my pal ringing me to finalize our picnic later that day.  Amazingly when I'm in the greenroom/make up around famous people I don't turn into a div', I save that for my friends/family/colleagues! 

So, since then, it seems they do like me, they called twice more, boo, the first time I was on holiday, they wouldn't skype me in from Bideford, and last week I was out of town in Milton Keynes, I can't help but wonder they must have budget for helicopters?  

Anyhow, I do love it, I'm destined to be a telly star.... Emma-Lou BBC Breakfast Parenting Anchor... it sounds lovely... perhaps you might want to start a campaign... tweet the BBC!  #GetEmmaLouBackOnTheSofa.... yes?

xx Emma-Lou 

PS Lesson learnt re colour/roots, even if one of my BFs is getting married I won't be saving it again, you never know when my public might come calling...

In typical mummy fashion, in the middle of my PA event and Telly slot, I had to whip up a costume for flippin' school, not a bad effort! 
Remember the camera adds 10lbs, in real life I'm skinny!
Debut Part 1 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Ho ho ho... Dear FC... I wish you were real!

So I've a girl of nearly 9, on the whole she's a lovely girl, very pleasant natured, a wonderful big sister to her troublesome younger brother (he's a horror!).  Without bias she really is no trouble.  

So for Christmas, she still believes in Father Christmas; it's real sweet, I think this is the last year we can string it out.  Last year we made a bit of an error and she was right on it... "Mummy it's funny how Father Christmas uses the same wrapping paper as us"... I pulled it round and came back "Well the elves must of taken advantage of the 3 for 2 at M&S too". 

So, the trouble this year is, we're a bit skint, and are 'trying' to do it with economy in mind!  So we asked our darling girl for details of her Christmas list, and a list is what we got: 

  • iPad 
  • Nintendo 3DS 
  • Tamagotchi 3DS Game 
  • Animal Crossing 3DS Game 
  • Light up pillow (no idea) 
  • Letter Writing Set 
  • Zoomer Zuppie Roxy (no idea) 
  • Spirograph 3D 
  • Umbella "the one I saw in H&M" (no idea)

In years before now we've managed the expectation, and have been able to mould her wants and desires if you like, but now at nearly nine, bless she considers what her friends are getting and has it all worked out.   I talked about this with a pal this week and she simply said "You know what, Christmas; when you're little is about getting what you want".... but what if you can't afford Apple?  Oh my what to do; I think I'll have to go up against my husband and splash out....  I'd hate for her to think that perhaps she hasn't been a good enough girl, and FC has got her cheapo tablet as a result. 

On the other side our lad, only wants a Postman Pat train; a bargain at £14.99 from B&M! At three your pleasures are simple (and inexpensive).  So there's a thought, we'll save £££ on Willow.... his turn will come when he wants an Xbox 360 and Raleigh bikes.... 

Seriously though, the pressure's on for parents... our girl isn't spoilt (despite her list) and doesn't ask for too much.  She won't be getting everything on this list, certainty not, we'll sub some of it out to Nanna and Grandad and co (HINT HINT HINT... Uncle Steven is possibly good for the iPad... come on you're her favourite).  

In every other way; the magic of Christmas is alive and kicking in our house.... (but likely we'll be on bread and water for the rest of the year).   

xx Emma-Lou 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Nativity 3, Save the Children, National Christmas Jumper Day

Well check me out, a serious blogger these days (not really... as if!), a review from moi!

So Lizzy, her mate and me donned our Christmas Jumpers and went to the FILM PREMIERE of 'Nativity 3', some might call it an advanced screening... pah me and the girls got off on saying "attending a film premiere darling".

We were lucky to score the tickets, mostly because we've been on count down for the release of Nativity 3 and as a family economising/saving for Christmas; a freebie day out was right up our street!  So the only stipulation was, we needed to wear our Christmas jumpers.  As if this is hardship, poor Mr C was rudely awoken by me mithering him to get up in the loft for the Christmas box...

So on with our Christmas jumpers, we looked simply beautiful, mine I realise is a bit silly, with the snowman's carrot nose potruding out! But I can carry it off....

Trying to look cool!

We arrived to face paints, elf hats, letters to Santa desk.  Willow wasn't with me so I wrote and posted a letter on his behalf:

"Dear Santa,

On behalf of my three year old son.  He is sincerely sorry he punched you in the beard once (it was a misunderstanding), he keeps his temper (mostly) in check these days.  Please can he have a postman pat train!

Thank you, Emma-Louise for Hell Boy" 

Take that FC!

My favourite activity of the morning was the Nativity 3 photo booth!  Loved it, I think it would only promote the film if they used it on the side of a bus (just an idea).  Mind you, I equally loved the freebie popcorn, Thomas Tucker, fruits of the forest flavour, never enjoyed popcorn so much. 

So the film.  Well I haven't actually seen Nativity 1 or 2, but on the back of this will defo look them out.  It was silly Christmas fun.  Mr Poppy was ace, the children were brilliant, Martin Clunes and Catherine Tate very good.  My favourite was Flash Dancer Extraordinnaire Brendan Finch, his styling was bang on, I'm not kidding this is a look I'd go for...   What I did enjoy most was the sing-along musical interludes... if 'Dude where's my Donkey' isn't in the running for Christmas Number 1, there's no justice (sod off X Factor winner!).

So, my Christmas Jumper has had an airing, without question, I'll be honouring National Christmas Jumper Day on 12th December, in fact, I might change it to, National Christmas Jumper Week...

I'm going to hound my friends, family and colleagues to do the same, and raise pennies for the Save the Children Campaign...  I'll state it here, for those who get involved, I'll reward you with Christmas baked goods (my cranberry white chocolate cookies are legendary).  x

xx Emma-Lou 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Facebook, is it real...

I've been thinking about this blog for ages.  It's not meant to be controversial!  

Cute children, and mine, mine, mine!

So; is Facebook, Twitter, Instragram and the others I don't know of (remember I'm 34), are they really real?  

First off, I love FB and Twitter, I share lots of my life on FB and have a right old snoop.  I've met some lovely people on FB.  Twitter is silly fun, and I have some real laughs tweeting.  Keith Chegwin is my fave. 

So, FB, it's not so much reflective on what's really going on behind closed doors, is it?  Like, I knew a woman who was having a bit of marital woe (in fact she couldn't stand her husband guts and was ready for leaving him!).  Well on FB it was all "My darling husband has done the washing up, what a lucky wifey I am"... thinking on it, was she just being funny (he was a gobshite)?  Just kidding, behind the scenes, the marriage was on the rocks, but to her FB public it was all hearts and flowers and declarations of love.  Another one, somebody was really struggling financially, looking back through their FB, you'd believe they'd just won the pools "how's that happened I just spent £300 in Ikea"

This is illustrated by my FB 10 years celebration thingy, so looking at my last year, you'd think I'd had the best year of my life.  Full of days out basking in the sun, picnics and happy happy happy.  In real life my mum died, we were burgled (robbing b*s), and other stuff... but you'd never know.  Suppose it's my decision not to post negative stuff going on, but people looking in aren't getting the full picture.  It did remind me though that the year had been filled with nice times too and that I have really cute children.  On the day of my mum's funeral, I updated my picture to one of me and mum together, was touched that everybody in my real life who knew, give it a 'like'.  So it sort of offered a gentle support. 

Perhaps my video was real, one of the poignant photos was of my car radio, set to 'gadio', I'd posted a silly about Mikey using my car.  That is I suppose, how I use FB, to share a little funny, I try not to moan too much, I show off when I've made a really good cake, and it goes without saying, my kids are so cute, it'd be a crying shame not to share their photos. 

You can't live without this sort of hilarious humour in your life right? 

The FB meanies, you'll find these on any slimming groups. If I'm honest, I do find the controversial comments from the more upfront posters entertaining...  typical would be a woman who will post a picture of herself wearing a skimpy dress, she's pleased with herself, she's usually lost a few stone.  The nasty comments can be, insulting to her appearance, even insulting to the choice of wallpaper behind, one funny one I remember "tidy your house up, tramp!". 

The FB baby group.  I'm in a very lovely smaller group.  The women I've met (my blogs whole readership I'd say), are lovely, they've truly helped me through tricky times.  And I love and care for them as friends.  We meet outside of FB in actual real life sometimes and it's great.  The bounty group we devolved from went a bit tits up; arguments were a-plenty, so it's nice a few of us have kept an interest in each other.  Breakaway Mummies big shout out (get me, "sisters"!). 

The FB cryptic poster.  Now I snookered myself the other day, the time-hop thingy, I posted 4 years ago on Tuesday "grrr something's got right up my nose"; can't recall what it was.... So I am guilty of it.  But some of them, because I'm naturally a nosy cow, do get my goat... "well that's it I've had enough", the comments below "hugs", then the poster will comment "DM'd you luv"... come on.... full disclosure please!!!

I've caught up with people of old, and for that it's great.  For keeping updated of my family not living nearby, it's great.  I feel happy to see my nephew getting his football presentation, I feel included. 

Not so nice, I was friends with a woman once, I saw her loads on my newsfeed, I commented on her kids, she liked the odd pic of mine.  Well, I saw her in Liverpool and she ignored me.... I don't think she recognised me in true form.  

Some people who you don't think go on FB a lot, well they know it all, and remind you of dates, things you've done, try and catch you, but don't even so much as wish you a FB happy birthday!  That'll be them lurkers!

Being un-friended hurts!  But I have un-friended people when photos have appeared on my newsfeed, and I've had no clue who/what they're about?  So if interaction isn't there, and I don't know you so well, I may have un-friended you, I'm sorry. I was friends with a woman I met on a two day course, she was nice enough, two years went by, no interaction.  I un-friended her, next day I bumped into her on campus! #Awkward

It prob isn't real to large degrees, but it's a nice forum for sharing and showing off, used properly (i.e. never take offence with anything you see posted) it's great.

One thing is clear though, I spend far to much time on FB  and I probably couldn't live without it in my life, perhaps I should knock it off for a bit.... give it a miss for a weekend... nah!  

xx Emma-Lou 
and obv... you've got to mention a good old car selfie

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Disturbances in the night....

Well it could have been one of many things... 

3am... I hear strange noises in the house, a certain atmosphere creeps up the stairs...  

I nudge Mr C... nothing... looks like I'm going to face the burglars single-handed... 

Worse than burglars.... I creep down and am face-to-face with a sadistic, barbaric scene; a scene from my worst nightmares; a scene, From Hell. 

Mr Jimmy (big white pussy-cat), poised for action, tail as bushy as anything... poor black mouse (black?  could it have been a rat?!), whizzing round coffee table, Jimmy biding his time, enjoying the fear!  

I scream, turn into a big girl, and squeal, Mr C (bless him) spends a good half-hour trying to rescue the mousey, but to be honest, he's a bit scared of Jimmy... 

Anyhow, he traps the mouse in the vestibule and flicks out the front-door using a dustpan... 

All calm again, well actually not, Jimmy took the hump, and isn't speaking to any of us!  

xx Emma-Lou 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Why I love The Great British Bake Off #GBBO


Well, obviously, the first things to spring to mind are; a) it’s bloody brilliant and the best thing on telly by far (even better than Downton*) and b) it’s about cake!

So, I do love it, I love the tent, I love Mary (I actually sometimes, late at night, worry about her mortality), I love Mel and Sue, I love the contestants, I love the cooking equipment, everything absolutely everything.  To note, I did used to love Paul, I’m coming back round… he’s slowly getting back into my good books (I do love his soft scouse accent mind).

What’s great about it; it’s like real life, sometimes your cakes just don’t rise, and you have to slap on a bit of unplanned butter cream to patch it up.  All the mishaps I’ve seen have taken place in my very own kitchen, such as:  cakes falling out of oven, forgetting to add sugar, angrily throwing cakes in bin (and then having to nip to the 24 hour Tesco for more ingredients to re-do birthday cake).   Like I say; sometimes, they just don’t work out.

The bakes, a lot of the time, look homemade, and you think “you know what, I could make a roulade like that at home”.  Could you be inspired to make an ‘assiette of rhubarb’ from MasterChef (I’m sure some posho’s do... make yourself known)?

As if you'd make this for your pudding?

The contestants are real people, some of them even tweet me; Howard from last series is my fave, and is very interactive with his public.  Chetna from this series, tweeted that my daughter was cute.  Do they, I wonder, become celebrities after, or go back to their usual lives, but, like, get taken advantage of at every opportunity to whip up a batch of cupcakes for charity?  I love it when real life intervenes for them and they’re having to wing it, because they’ve had no time for practice that week.  I love their look of horror faced with a tricky ‘technical bake’.  

It’s a real family treat to settle down and tune in; we have ‘bake off treats’ and everything, usually a family bag of Revels (homemade, of course)…

They don't usually last through the signature bake!

Mel and Sue, their enthusiasm for the show is great to watch.  And their silly humour sometimes makes no sense, but it makes me laugh.

Queen Mary of Berry….what a woman, keeps Paul in check, always ready with a compliment when it’s gone truly wrong (“well the lemon taste is beautifully coming through” when the cake in question is half an inch high and the cream icing has curdled).  And always, she has the perfect manicure.

One final thing… soggy bottoms….

xx Emma-Lou

Thanks to Tom, for giving me the posho name for a fancy desert ‘assiette of rhubarb’ (as if I'd know that).

*Downton has gone down the pan, we don’t bother anymore, but when it was good it was very very good.