One Year On

28th July 2009

I can't really celebrate the first anniversary/birthday of Typecast because I have been blogging here since August 2003.  Last year I made some positive moves towards realising a bit of a dream for me - to write and for people (other than myself) to read it.  I also had some life stories that I wanted to write for cathartic purposes initially but I hoped that they would help someone, somewhere.  In what respect, I am not sure - probably to show people that when it feels like your world is imploding there is always something on the other side.

Ye olde blog was dusted off and I started writing.  The first piece was the story of how I became a Nana at the sprightly age of 36 which is as a good as it gets for some time... I inwardly cringe at some of the posts I wrote last year.  Some 250 posts later, here we are, a year down the line.  I've had some work published, I have a merry band of readers and followers, I have infiltrated a growing community of parent bloggers, I have had the opportunity to test a number of styles of writing, I have re-designed my blog on about four occasions (I think I'm happy with the design... for now) and I have been asked to write for an number of other blogs and publications.  I'm heading in the right direction.

I have also decided that after I have finished the current module in my Open University degree I am going to take a few months off studying and concentrate on writing more seriously.  I have a couple of ideas that I would like to expand on and never seem to have the time to do it. 

So, thanks for joining me during the first twelve months... here's to the next twelve *blows party whistle and rings a bell*

The Naughty Step

This is my naughty step and it is not a metaphorical one... this is really the bottom step of my staircase.  There haven't been many 'time-out' moments on these stairs in recent years but I'm sure that the grandchildren will rectify that in the very near future.  I'll let you admire the new carpet for a few moments and then I'll crack on.  OK? Let's get down to business.
 Now, I have a "Room 101" list as long as my arm but topping it recently is AIRBRUSHING.
For years now pictures in the media have been "touched up" to ensure perfection in the glossy pages of magazines and flawless images in advertising campaigns.  At first, the public were probably unaware how much alteration was taking place until computer programmes such as Photoshop or Picasa were easily accessible and we could touch up our own pictures.  Similarly, as more and more celebrities were used for advertising purposes, it was easier to see that the person we saw in the "paparazzi" shots was nothing like the one we saw adorning the pages of our magazines.

Recently, people like Britney Spears and Demi Moore have shown tried to prove how much they dislike the airbrushing process and there was also a campaign held by Dove to demonstrate how much airbrushing can change the original features of the model and there was also the acompanying parody...

I would also like it to be noted that when the selection panel of programmes such as America/Britain's Next Top Model choose their obligatory "plus-sized model" (UK size 14/16 at the most) they bang on about promoting a positive image to your average young lady and how not everyone is a size 6 or 8.  Yet they can never understand why the model becomes distraught when the sample clothes from a designer don't fit during a casting... and THEN they berate them for losing weight *throws hands up in air in despair*

When I set out on our family holiday I am very concious about the way that I look.  Over the past couple of years my body shape and size has changed drastically.  I was very aware of how I look in a bikini/swimming costume and how certain types of clothes hang on my body.  I learn one thing when I'm away; no-one else gives a shit, so why should I (probably another good reason for not exchanging names and addresses)?  Women and men of all shapes and sizes strut about the hotel and the resort in less clothing than I normally wear in bed and no-one bats an eyelid.  One part of me wants to *high-five* them all and shout "RESPECT" and another part of me wants them to put it away because it wasn't kind on the eyeballs.  But this is me with the hang-ups and it's me that has to deal with it.  Isn't it funny how I never gave any of this a second thought before I became uncomfortable with my own image?

Fellow blogger, Rosie Scribble has written a great piece about airbrushing and I commented how I believe that I have provided my own daughter with the right information and messages in the past and that she never seems to have been paranoid about her body shape.  What really depresses me is when young role-models such as Hollyoaks actress, Jennifer Metcalfe, spend £2000 on liposuction on an already perfect body even after women like Denise Hendry have lost their life through botched cosmetic surgery procedures.

So, AIRBRUSHING - take yourself to the naughty step and stay there until further notice!

Why I told no-one my real name on holiday

AKA: What happened in Benidorm stays in Benidorm

For the first time ever on a family holiday I didn't swap full names and addresses with any of our fellow holidaymakers.  Oh you meanie I hear you grumble but let me explain.  I now know that I have full editing power over the photos that are posted on Facebook *insert evil and knowing laugh here*  

Cancer - Your Story : Assume The Position

Editors note:  This is Zena's story and is the eighth in the "Cancer - Your Story" series.  Zena and myself met on a parenting forum a few years ago and immediately had a connection.  The lung condition that Zena talks about is similar to the one that my mum had and I know exactly how she feels when she is frustrated with that.  I could not believe how cruel life could be when I heard what happened next...

If you are interested in sharing your story please click on the link and contact me.

Related Links:
Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt - Pink Sherbert Photography


Today's post is from "Cherry Blossom".  Cherry Blossom is a regular eavesdropper on the conversation of stranger, hence her interest in the Bugged project.  This story was based on an overheard conversation.  The opening paragraph is 100% factual and the rest is pure fantasy.  This is the first time that CB has had her work 'published' so would be grateful for any feedback.  Over to Cherry Blossom...

Little Pigs Have Big Ears

Today's post is from Catherine.  I know Catherine from a parenting forum (where I also put a plea for guest posts) but we also live fairly close to each other in Lancashire and have met for lunch on one occasion.  Catherine is a fantastic writer with a bit of an evil streak (just ask her about the story of the plumber who was late...).  Over to Catherine...

Soldier, Soldier

Today's post is from Alex.  Oh the power of Twitter... Prior to my urgent request for guest blog posts whilst I'm off on my jollies I had never 'spoken' to Alex.  However, thanks to a ReTweet of my request link, he offered a guest blog post after experiencing the benefits of a weeks-worth of guest posting over at his own blog - RAF Airman.  Yes, you read that right... a real-life soldier leapt to my rescue!! You can also catch Alex on Twitter as @RAFairman.  Over to Alex...

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

Today's post is from Paula whom I know firstly from Twitter (she tweets as @PaulaMaher) and the #FridayTwiz (I think we originally discovered each other through the #followfriday recommendations) and secondly from her blog - Dipping My Toe In I've posted this today as I think it links in really well to Jenny's post from earlier.  Over to Paula...

Private(s) Naming Ceremony

Today's post is from Jenny who is one of my fellow "parent bloggers".  Jenny is a fairly new mum and appears to be planning ahead.  You can find Jenny on her blog at Mummy Mishaps or on Twitter as @JennyPaulin.  This is the first of two posts today (Paula's will be posted later) as I think they link in great together.  Over to Jenny...

Is This Progress?

Today's post is from Julia.  Myself and Julia hover on the precipice of "Mummy Blogging" - we are indeed mothers, but our children are older now, we like to think we are wiser and, of course, we are here to share our wisdom.  Julia has this in spades - she is a retired (but not retiring) headteacher  who blogs over at "What Will Julia Do Next" where she shares tales of her life as a headteacher and life now (she also tweets as @JfB57 Over to Julia...

Silence Isn't Golden - It's Wet

Today's post is from Craig.  I "met" Craig online many years ago on a website/forum called 80s Nostalgia.  He has since attempted to gain control of the world via various online projects - his current one being Giggl - and has more than one Twitter account - (personal) @anothercraig and (the fairly egotistical and very funny project) @MoreFamousThan.  Over to Craig...

Painted Lady

Today's post is from Carole.  Her tattoos are AMAZING and I am very jealous.  As she tells the story of her tattoos, have a look a the picture of the tattoo that incorporates her daughters name.  Just WOW!!  Carole is an chaotic ex-pat, currently living in Japan but is hoping to move back to Europe in the near future.  She blogs about her time in Japan over at Japanory and also works for the Fairies by running their personalised gift shop website called Dear Fairies.  She is also available for freelance writing work.  Over to Carole...

Road Rage

Today's post is from Steve.  Our acquaintance is an odd story.  As you will see from my sidebar, there is a link to the Bad Mother's Club. Steve's daughter and wife both frequent the forum there and he dropped in one night when we were having a bit of a music session (YouTube links a-plenty).  Steve often reads my blog and sends little critiques over by email - it's always great to hear honest opinions from my readers.  Steve doesn't have a blog and professes not to write either - I think this "first attempt" at flash fiction is pretty darn good, to be honest.  Over to Steve...

Craft Time - Gift Bags

Today's post is from Maggy.  I saw one of Maggy's craft vlog's on her website a while back and loved it.  I've persuaded her to share it again here so that we can all make these gift bags.  All you need is an old magazine or comic and a glue stick!  If you have any questions then you can find Maggy on Twitter at @RedTedArt.  Over to Maggy...

Cancer - Your Story : My Grandad, The Real Hero

Editors note:  This has been sent in by 'Modern Dilemma'  and is the seventh in a series that I have called "Cancer - Your Story".  If you are interested in sharing your story please click on the link and contact me.

Related Links:
@ModernDilemma (Twitter)
This story originally appeared on MD's blog in March 2010

Cancer Research UK -
Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt - Pink Sherbert Photography


My first guest post is from Bill - also known as @ShoutyDad and has a blog of the same name.  Bill is a parent blogger but recently I seem to have discussed nothing but his inability to install Disqus on his blog (he blames everything but himself).  However, he also assures me that he has five children, ranging in age from 2 to 22, he can occasionally remember their names, unless he is cross and then he just shouts random names at the wrong child - and then they laugh at him.  I have chosen to start the holiday guest posts with this one because of relevance to my absence (although I'm not quite the virgin traveller).  Over to Bill...

Happy Birthday?

I came home yesterday with a carrier bag.  Inside that carrier bag was some wrapping paper and a birthday card for my husband (for today) from the boys and one from me.  The one from the boys was your bog-standard card, blue in colour, very safe... the one from me was great.  It had a picture of a golden labrador on the front, sniffing at some knickers on a washing line, with the caption: SNIFFER DOG REX THOUGHT HE COULD SMELL SOME CRACK

Holiday Guest Posts

I'm off on my jollies to Spain tomorrow (hooray!!).  Because I love my blog very much and appreciate the readership that I've built up, I requested some guest posts so that you had something to read each day.  I never expected the response that I've received.  I've had posts from people from all walks of life, using every subject matter that you can think of.  I am astounded by the generosity from the community that I am a proud to be a part of.   There are also two "Cancer - Your Story" posts due - you can see those on the schedule too.


Toast.  It is the dogs-bollocks of all snacks.  Quick, easy, handy, amazing.  My bread of choice this week is brown bread (with unsalted Lurpak) but there are so many alternatives, including my home-made raisin bread *dribble

Jog On (Part 2)

Do you remember the blog post I wrote where I was going to attempt running to keep fit using the Couch To 5K method?  Well, I did two-and-a-half weeks worth of the plan and increased my time to 17.5 minutes (yay me *small pat on the back*) however, each time I ran I had excruciating pains in my shins, tight calf muscles for the following day and cramps in my right foot.

Saving IS Fun, I Promise - Guest Post

Today, I have a guest post from Tamsin Oxford, one of the team of writers at Playpennies - a UK Parenting website with top tips, money saving posts and great snippets of news.  In return I have written a little piece for them on Healthy Lunch Boxes on a Budget which you may find useful for picnics over the summer holiday or when the new school term starts in September.  So, over to Tamsin who, I'm sure, will have some handy hints to help us save some pennies over the next few months...