100 Words - Competition Results

The recent "100 Words" competition, (prize: a ticket to Cybermummy or £100 in cash) finally came to a close.  The judges - Her MelnessMr London Street and myself - sifted through the 26 entries and drew up a shortlist of 10 finalists which was published on Monday.


Entrants were asked to write a letter of exactly 100 words (excluding salutation and sign-off) to anyone or anything, covering any subject.  

Radio Head

The voice in my head boomed "YOU ARE ON THE BBC.  DO NOT SWEAR.  ENGAGE BRAIN-TO-MOUTH FILTER NOW".  Sally waved her hand to let us know that she was about to introduce the show and suddenly, there I was, saying a "Good Morning" to the whole of Lancashire... and beyond, thanks to the wonders of the BBC iPlayer.

When in doubt... dance

With my clumsiness and lack of co-ordination - I can fall off a flat shoe - it is amazing that I have any rhythm and panache for dance.

As a young girl I studied ballet, tap and modern dance at the local dance school.  The words "step, ball, change on the diagonal" still sends a shiver down my spine.  The room upstairs at the YMCA had a wall of mirrors, an upright piano, a row of plastic seats and windows overlooking the park with the brightly decorated wall.  The pianist was the dance teacher's mother and occasionally leapt up from the piano to show us a step sequence, frustrated that we couldn't grasp it quickly.  She taught my mother.  She always wore a swishy skirt and her feet were encased in the greek-style dance shoe.  Her daughter, our regular teacher, wore plain tracksuit bottoms a plain t-shirt and footwear appropriate to the dance class.

I loved every aspect of my dancing time; the learning, the discipline, the practice, the exams, the shows, the uniform - a red leotard or catsuit.  My only regret is never going en pointe in ballet.  Dance is the only subject I was ever an "Honours" student in and I always regretted not continuing.

Until about three years ago.

I spent approximately 20 years half-copying dances that all the pop groups did (I was amazing.  Stop it with the ::eye roll::  The curtains were shut, don't worry) and couldn't pass a decent bit of parquet floor without banging out a timestep.  I enrolled in an aerobic class at the local leisure centre with the idea of losing a bit of weight and centering my core... or something.

Aerobics is hard work.  Intense.  I'd forgotten that bit.  As the sweat dripped down my brow I paused to pick up my towel and caught sight of another class in the next room.  Ladies Tap.

For the next couple of weeks I continued with my torture Aerobics class, looking longingly at the class next door.  On the third week I turned up for Aerobics but the teacher didn't.  Fate?  I like to think so.  It gave me an excuse to go and enquire next door.  Plus I was already 'watching' a pair of tap shoes on eBay.  I had also 'Stumbled'* a quote by Terri Guillemets:
"Stifling an urge to dance is bad for your health - it rusts your spirit and your hips."

I am not really the right shape or fitness for tap dancing.  My boobs are way bigger than they were twenty years ago and it's almost as energetic as aerobics but it is one of the best decisions I ever made.  Dance is the one thing that I don't share with any other member of my family and I feel gives me an edge.  But not one that I'm going to fall off.



*See the website StumbleUpon for more details on how to find random websites.

100 Words - The Confessional


I have one of those faces that make people strike up conversation in queues; the bus stop, the post office.  I have found out about marital problems, wayward children, planned holidays.  Everything. 

Here I sort of remain anonymous and it feels much the same.  I can tell you anything and I know you’re listening.   So here is my confession for this week…

When I go to the hole-in-the-wall to request a balance or withdraw money I sneak a look at the receipt the previous person has left behind to see how much money they have or how overdrawn they are.

Turkey is for life, not just for Christmas.


Sponsored Post
bernard matthews farms logo

I think that turkey gets a bit of a bad rap at times - especially as it is quite low in fat - and it seems that Bernard Matthews Farms agrees with me.  They have teamed up with Marco Pierre White to promote more inventive ways of using turkey in family meals.

Join The Co-operative Revolution


Sponsored Post
Co-operative
Every year The Co-operative supports thousands of initiatives both in the UK and the developing world, helping people to change the world around them.  The Co-operative Group launched a TV commercial on 7th March which told the story of the Rochdale Pioneers who were the firs successful co-operative, way back in 1844.  This revolution is still going strong.

Fine-tuning the Filofax

The best thing about using a Filofax is that it can develop and change with you.  You become as one; complementing each other.  Literally, in some cases.  I have been known to write love letters to myself in mine on occasion.

I've been using three filofaxes recently and you may remember I waved a sad goodbye to the fourth earlier this year.  He (yes, male, he was brown) is now living a much happier life over in Manchester.  I've since been using my Yellow Hearts (Personal) to organise my Open University study, my Personal Chameleon in Spring Green as my writing journal and my Black A5 Metropol as my everyday work/home diary.

But it's not working out *sad face* and I have been trying to think how to resolve this.

Me, Myself and I

My blog is all about me, me, me.  It totally amazes me that people want to read about me... and enjoy it!

Many people don't "get" blogging - as noted on the Bounty forum last week - and no matter how much us bloggers stand here and try to explain it, someone will always brand you a freak.

Blogging is cathartic.  It's therapy.

100 Words - Junk and Disorderly

We no longer have much junk here, apart from one drawer in the kitchen.   Anything that we don’t need or use any more is immediately listed on eBay, including the “I-must-have-that-but-I-don’t-really-need-it” items that we bought from there in the first place.  Amazon has a permanently and regularly updated list of the books that live in a plastic box in my Study.  I am no longer a member of Freecycle as it appears to be full of scroungers looking to supplement their business-masquerading-as-private eBay accounts.  I am mourning the loss of The Spring Clean but quite like having a tidy-ish house.


If you would like to suggest a prompt for my 100 Words post on a Sunday then please email me
"100 Words" idea stolen from Mr London Street

Days of Wine and Roses.

Today the roses, tomorrow the wine!

Flowers always seem to brighten a room up, don't they?  Especially when they are PINK!

Not so long ago, Interflora sent me a bunch of flowers because I am very special *ahem*

The Interflora fairy has struck again - an early Mother's Day present - on the proviso that I "pay it forward" - a concept that I absolutely love.  I have to nominate another "special" person... but I don't think they mean my kind of special.

My nomination goes to a blogger who lives too far away for a quick squeeze so I hope a bunch of flowers cheers her up.  When she's on Twitter she's bright and cheerful and downright funny so it breaks my heart to read about the "bad days" (triggered by her disability) on her blog.

Interflora, you're just brilliant!






Big thanks to Easthams Secret Garden who created my bouquet again.
This year, Mother's Day in the UK is on 3rd April. 

Featured

Today, I am featured in our local paper - the Lancashire Telegraph ( << click the link to read the article online).  It's a lovely article and very reminiscent of my life.  But you all read the blog so you already know that.

If you're here because you've read the article then a massive "HELLO" to you.  Grab a brew, get comfy and have a good old read.  You can leave comments at the end of any blog post (if you use the "guest" feature you only need your email address to be able to leave a comment and this is not displayed) - I encourage opinion and discussion.

What may happen if Disability Living Allowance is cut. Emma's story.

daily mirror article march 14th 2011
Click the image to be taken to
the article on the Daily Mirror website
Emma is someone I know through a parenting forum.  Recently she has been worried about the changes to Disability Living Allowance that are to be implemented by the current Government.  Emma and her husband were interviewed and photographed by the Daily Mirror for their "Save Our Services" feature.  The full-length feature can be seen in the image to the right.  Yes, that's it.  In full.

Emma was, quite rightly, concerned that the whole story was not being told so I have offered her my blog for the day to explain in more detail.  It is an emotional and heartfelt piece but also it reminds us that the generalisation of situations means that whole families will suffer in the long run.



100 Words - Friendship


Some people have an issue with the fact that I call Annie a “best friend”, especially when I tell them that I have actually only met her twice in real life and we can go weeks without texting or even acknowledging each other on Facebook.

But when my phone bleeped earlier with the text “Are you busy today…” I almost squealed with delight.  I haven’t seen Annie since May 2009 and so much has changed in both our lives since then.

Today’s two-hour catch-up wasn’t nearly long enough but at least I had the chance to give her a hug.



"100 Words" idea stolen from Mr London Street
In March, you are only 100 words away from a chance to win a ticket to Cybermummy 2011 or £100 cash!  See here for more details

Japan, the Earthquake and Tsunami : The Power Of Social Media

On Friday, I jumped into my car to drive into work as normal.  I turned the radio on and tuned into the 8am news.  The headlining story was the shocking news about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  My first thought turned to Carole and her family.  I only know Carole through a variety of internet connections but I consider her a friend.  She lives in Japan (has done for a few years now) but is ready to move back to Europe quite soon.  The news reports were spewing out too much information to take in but as soon as I got into work I tweeted:

TwatRelief

I was very sad today when I read about #twitrelief.  Basically, you can bid on eBay for a celebrity to follow you on Twitter and, for the highest bidder, they will become a "friend with benefits" for a short time.  They will follow you, retweet you and mention you for a whole 90 days.  All proceeds to Comic Relief, naturally (yes, I've included the Comic Relief links because I'm nice like that.  If you want to bid that's entirely up to you.).

Whoopie-fucking-do!

I think I may have turned into the "Citizen Smith" of Twitter for half an hour - Power to the Tweeters or something -  because, for me, this actually take away the ethos behind twitter; the conversation and marketing platform that it has become.

100 Words - Breezy Like Sunday Morning

As I opened the curtains, the sun streamed in, highlighting the paw prints on the outside of the window, the finger prints on the inside of the window and the dust on the sill. It isn’t exactly “shorts and t-shirt weather” but it’s nice to be able to have the back door open and see the dog sprawled out in a patch of sunshine that reaches the furthest corner of our yard. The fresh breeze wafting through the house gives an impression of Spring and it's times like this when I wish for a garden.


I must wash that window…





"100 Words" idea stolen from Mr London Street
In March, you are only 100 words away from a chance to win a ticket to Cybermummy 2011 or £100 cash!  See here for more details

The One Where I Bake Ginger Cake

When your 11 year old asks you to go out and buy ingredients to make cakes, make sure he is going to be around to actually help out and not bugger off to town all afternoon and then arrange to stop over at a friend's house at night.  Dear Reader, without supervision, I decided to carry on regardless and make the ginger cake anyway.  I hear some of you quaking already...

Faceless Facebook Friends


I’m not sure what I am more shocked about:

a.  Two girls (both aged 15) set up a Facebook profile in a false name (“Jaydon Rothwell”), befriend one of their own friends via the profile and then fake the suicide of  “Jaydon”, leading to a tribute page (on Facebook) being set up or
b.  Messages of condolence being posted to the tribute page from complete strangers who had never (or could never have) known “Jaydon”

Original Source: Lancashire Telegraph