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.




Saturday, 6 September 2014

Something #Fishy... a funny snippet

You lucky lot, two blogs from me in so many days!  

So, en route home from Bideford (in the worst traffic EVER); we've only set off 10 mins or so, when I start to sniff out a dreadful whiff. 

Suspect No 1:  Mikey has instead of putting a kitchen rubbish bag into the outside bin, he's stuck it in the boot when loading the suitcases, he told me hadn't; but I didn't believe him! We stopped at some drive-by toilet (I've never seen such a thing), pull the boot apart, and true to his word, there isn't a rubbish bag in the car! 

Suspect No 2:  Liz's feet, bless her, I upset her by insisting that she's never in her whole life dried her toes and feet properly and as consequent they stink! She did get upset (I am sorry about that), and insisted I find a pair of socks (in a moving car) to a mask the smell.  After a while I realise the smell is coming from the front of car, so could rule out poor old Lizzy. 

Suspect No 3:  So it's coming from the front of the car, clearly and obviously I don't smell, so I start covertly leaning over to give Mr C a whiff, it didn't appear to be him.... 

Funny throughout the whole 'who smells' investigation, I didn't suspect Willow, who actually does smell bad a lot of the time!  His bad smells are individual to him I suppose I know and recognise them! 

So, after an hour or so, I tuck into the lunch bag looking for sweeties to quieten the kids, as I unzip the bag the fishy smell turns my stomach, 5 little seashells, found on Instow beach the previous day are the culprit... I was for throwing them out the window, but Liz wanted to keep hold of them (God only knows why, they're sat now on the kitchen window sill, they'll be there for a year or two, before I get fed up of all this 'sentimental' rubbish and chuck them out).  So we double wrap them in Liz's socks, and hide them in the dashboard, the smell does go a bit. 

On getting home, I soaked the shells in a bit of demestos, and you never guess what... one of the shells, about the size of a bigger walnut, out pops a black fish, dead I might add.  

Ahh the fishy smell was actually a fish!  

All rather dull, but it gave me a laugh, and at least the 'who smells' suspicion killed some of the six hour journey back to Manchester. 

xx Emma-Lou x


Friday, 5 September 2014

Back to School #Overwhelmed

Well first week back and as usual my September New Academic Year Resolution is to keep on top of the correspondence... 

Well I had a mare this morning, and I'm not drama-ing up for comic effect. Right so bearing in mind, I've to be at work at 9am, I have to drop off at morning club, and then head miles away to the not so local nanna's to drop off the lad (in good traffic it should be an hour round trip, in the many years of doing this trip... there's NEVER been a good morning for traffic).  

So the school correspondence was plentiful!  First a couple of signatures in the old link book, signing up for adhering to golden rules, thing is I couldn't find the page listing the golden rules, you've got to read the small print, I might be like signing up for keeping punctual (they'd have me there!), I flicked a bit couldn't find the right page so had to sign blind!  

Dinner money, a massive £85.50 for the term... our cheque book - (of course) missing, was certain to keep it in the dresser in the kitchen to avoid these morning time search-fests, found it in my bedside cabinet... (I know EIGHTY FIVE quid.....!). 

Another signature.... PTA film night, tricky... this required £3.50 in correct change... I nicked £2.50 from husbands suit jacket added a pound.  Dug out a tiny envelope, married up the permission slip. 

Clubs, we had to indicate what we'd like (the forms then to follow).... so we're interested in, gardening club, choir and 'the big comedy club'... now the 'the big comedy club' costs a tenner a time... so I'm discouraging, while Liz is bemoaning "but I really want to go" (she even tried "you promised last term"), thing is I already pay for after school club on the same day... I'm not made of money.  So trying to manage the girls expectations... and not finding gardening club listed..... 

All sorted YES, pleased with myself, I sweep paperwork up and the blinkin' coins fall out the envelope, on hands and knees, shouting at Liz "For goodness sake can you not fill up your own water bottle".  I cellotape the envelope down (a lot)!

To school, I wouldn't trust her to keep hold of the precious paperwork till she goes in, I direct her to 'Mrs Laguda's letterbox'... guess what she waves at me, she's missing the PTA envelope... she 'thinks' it's in the footwell of the car... 


Phew.. so I'm winning on this score, wave her off.


I get to Carrington Spur, then realise the son hasn't got a coat... FFS I can't drop off at MIL without a coat... she'd ring the social..... grrrr......

Hometime, we have two more forms... one for choir, the other for 'the drama shed'... this is new, this needs a cheque and another form.... arghhh..... look at them, loads of dates all over them, I'll have to mark them somewhere...




The scary thing is, I'll have two of them at school from next week... I need a PA, any takers, I can only pay in mint imperials... 


I reckon after the morning we had, we deserved our after school treat of sticky toffee pudding and pinot grigio. 




xx Emma-Lou


Friday, 30 May 2014

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to...

So I've had my birthday... I am now the grand old age of 34... there's a nasty rumour starting the rounds at work.. that I'm 37, and have been hiding my real age for years!  Swines, I'm happy to bring in my birth certificate...

So I was born in 1980, I've got the CD, you know the one you get in a greeting card... music stars of the day include... Blondie, Eddy Grant, Kate Bush, Spandau Ballett, and Dennis Waterman (I could be so good for you.... brilliant yes?).   Other news, Gandhi wins the Indian election, USA pull out of the Moscow Olympics, John Lennon murdered outside his New York apartment... these events are like dead old... so I suppose I must be!
Evidence of my actual age!
I'm not too bothered though, my hairdresser made me smile the other day (after telling me I should keep my hair long now... as a shorter style would age me!), she goes "my mother is always harking on that she's glad she knows what she knows"... I always hark on the same.. am I now likened to my very young hairdressers mothers generation!  Ah well... I'm glad I'm a wisened old cynic.. there's nothing naive about me these day, back in the day.. I believed ANYTHING...

There are many benefits of knocking on... you don't have to comply to fashion, or listen to Radio 1, or fit into a particular scene...  I've spent many a horrific night in the Crazy House (Liverpool), listening to god awful music... but pretending to love it!  I can listen to whatever I like, I'm proud to enjoy Elaine Page do her musicals show on Sunday (Radio 2).  My music taste is all over the place and my collection, glancing up at my shelf of CDs (see I am old... I don't buy music digitally...) of those recently added to my iPhone (honestly not doctored, I've not hidden anything truly shite!)... see not to bad eh?  (although those with a keen eye might spot 'Ultimate Dirty Dancing').  I tweeted the other day on this, my musical tastes are truly my own.. and if I want to belt out Cheryl Cole... then I will without fear of reproach... you've gotta fight, fight, fight, fight for this love!

Maybe I might of hidden one or two.. the Ray Quinn Swingy CD?
Thing is, the problem I suppose, I sort of think I'm really trendy and young... and I know that when Lizzy gets to her teenage years.. I'll step it up and try and 'get down' with the kids and try and pal up to her and her mates.  She already rolls her eyes at me, can't see her letting me come along to Mojo's with her on a Saturday night, she might let me pick her up (I'm one of those mum's... I'll be picking up at 2 o'clock in the morning).

My recent love of a 'little port', another testimony of my advancing years (I got a bottle of sherry for my birthday... I was made up!).  I actively avoid places that are 'too loud'.  I can't hear myself think in Kro (Oxford Road) and once diverted a whole staff do' to a different venue "because honestly you can't hold a decent conversation in there".  Another thing I do now I'm confidently bolshy, I'm never happy where I'm sat in restaurants... to the horror of my husband...  I usually ask to move "I'm not paying to sit in a draft".

Vouchers and coupons, now I'm older and not bothered to hold the queue up at Sainsburys, I'll spend a good five minutes digging out my nectar card.  I like to knit (badly and have never actually finished a scarf.. it's ongoing... but I do have the most amazing knitting bag), do jigsaws, watch re-runs of 'Sex in the City', play scrabble, the list of ridiculous past times goes on!

I'm not too bad, I can hold my own with the youth of today... I still buy the odd thing in Topshop... it's not like I've completely given up the goose and got an account at Bonmarche.... I do groan when I get up from sitting though, with an old aged creek.... now my knees are bad (really just an excuse to avoid running!).

Happy to be getting older, I LOVE BIRTHDAY's, I (rightly and appropriately) always get spoilt rotten!

Here we are on my birthday, Saturday night in town, cocktail bar.. getting pissed... don't feel my age at all!

xx Emma-Lou

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Cats, aren't they meant to be low-maintenance, no trouble at all?

How do I feel about my pussy cats? 


Mostly they're hard work!  The kitty we had previously was a person really in feline form, Mosey was as fat as could be and liked sitting on newspapers and mithering for food! When my beloved Mosey died, I wasn't prepared for the grief and I didn't realise how dearly I loved him (the night he died I cancelled going to see a Take That tribute act... I was really upset).  

Perhaps that's why I hold back from the two we have now, the surly, aggressive, Jimmy, and the nervous, over-grooming Betty.  Rescued from the RSPCA, we got them from kittens, who by account had been badly treated, had a bit of a rough start in life. Jimmy is a killing machine, number one bird assassin! He's better lately, but we've had gifts of tiny birds, bigger pigeons and many, many mice... grim!  The corpses I can cope with... it's when the poor things aren't quite dead... and my conscience has to ask questions of euthanasia (once I spent half-hour best considering how to finish off a mouse humanely, luckily the mouse expired before I approached with a spade!)

They truly aren't low-maintenance though!  This the other night, sorry it's a bit gross.  I woke up to nasty smell, I'm convinced the smell actually woke me, can you be woken by a smell? Anyway, the first culprit was Willow, so I went to him and give him a sniff, I got ten ways of him telling me to 'sod off', nowty and sleepily 'bye, bye' 'see you later' 'night night' 'bed time' 'no more', but the smell wasn't coming from him (for a change)!  

I went to bathroom to check the toilet and drains, nothing.  But the smell was dreadful, it was like death! I got back into bed, gave husband a prod 'can you smell that dreadful smell', he grunted something or other.. and I went back to sleep but kept waking up to the putrid smell.

Well in the morning, on the stairs was a big pooh left behind by one of the cats... this isn't usual, cats don't pooh all over the house... or do they?  I was fuming... but actually I was relived to find the pooh.. I wondered if I was going nasally mad!  

This was an isolated incident, but the dead animals, Betty looking like a waif and stray whose got mange... they seem like hard work.  But we do love them, Betty went missing for weeks, and I was beside myself, traipsing the streets, pinning posters to lampposts (to note I didn't offer reward). I suppose it's more my fault that I step in their wet-cat-food bowls in bare feet!  

Meow!  xx Emma-Lou