All That Glitters Is Not Gold

When my children were younger they burst forth from their classroom at the end of the day, waving indeterminable scribbles and tatty bits of paper with random items stuck to them. In fact, I’m sure that teachers save up the worst contents of their recycle bins just so they can have a giggle at our expense when we attempt to enthuse over our loved one’s latest creation,. Over the years, I became hugely experienced in the discovering what each scrawl or construction was supposed to be, learning from, but also channelling, the late, great Joyce Grenfell’s questioning technique:

Now then, children. Shall we talk about this picture? Tell Mummy what you can see. My favourite part is this blue bit. Of course I can see what it is but I want you to tell me all about it…

Of course the pictures deserved praise – I have to retain my Supermum title somehow – and I’m hugely adept at deciphering what my ‘talented’ children created, but here is my confession. There is no special plastic ‘memory box’ in which the artwork is stored or a coloured perspex display board because each precious picture went in the bin a few days after it was brought home.

Craft sessions with the rugrats are all well and good – and I’m a dab hand at cutting a star into half a potato – but the fruits of their labour serve no real purpose. School glue is renown for not actually doing its job very well therefore, essential parts of the creation disintegrate or drop off and the sparkly stuff gets everywhere! Glitter flavoured mash for tea? Of course, darling. And, whilst I’m at it, who’s bright idea was it to stick uncooked pasta onto an A4 piece of paper? There’s a great conversation in Victoria Wood’s ‘dinnerladies‘ that parents in my shoes will love:

Dolly: (reading Tony’s get well card) What does that say?
Twinkle: Love Twinkle.
Dolly: We had to practice handwriting when I was at school! The little boy next door can only write his name in macaroni! How’s he going to move on to joined up writing?
Bren: He’ll have to have a pencil case big enough to hold spaghetti

And, you know what? There’s no respite. Twenty years later my grandchildren are presenting me with handiwork that is covered in just as much glitter, pasta paint and glue. Craft… timeless, huh? 

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Things I Learnt In April

*hangs head in shame* I toyed with the idea of publishing this post before I went away but it was technically still April and there was a chance I still might learn something new. Then I returned from holiday and I've been snowed under with Can't-Be-Arsed-ness since Friday. Anyway, not one to let you down, here's all the stuff I learnt in April with a little bit of "What I Learnt In Magaluf" included too. I'm now off to write out "I SHALL NOT BE LATE AGAIN" 100 times...

What I Learnt In April - eBay message
Honesty wins the day! We sold an old compressor on eBay - we had no idea if it worked or not and we were totally honest in the description. We received a fair price for it and an old chap came to collect it.  We received a lovely email from him and he sounded chuffed to bits with his purchase and enjoyed a bit of tinkering!

I don't need knee surgery.  Yet.  I've been diagnosed with arthritis of the knee and probably shouldn't be running.  Cycling or swimming as an alternative form of exercise were mentioned but I can't blow my Whistle Of Power in a swimming pool and I haven't ridden a bike since I had a paper round! I've got a four month period of pain management and now that I'm not running further than four miles in one go, I'm finding that I'm getting very little pain. I have resigned myself to the fact that I'll probably never run another 10K or that half-marathon I had my heart set on but I love my GroupRun Blackburn running family community and truly believe that fate has had a hand in making a decision for me. And now I'm never going to mention my knee injury again.  Brownies Honour.

I didn't win the National Stationery Week Blogger of the Year award. But my good friend Adam from DeskOfAdam did which I'm really pleased about.  If you're not already you can follow him on YouTube / Twitter / Instagram.

Some brands can really shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to marketing.  A while ago I contacted a stationery brand to see if we could collaborate and was met with a wall of silence.  That's fair enough because I know some brands have their own criteria for contacting partners or ambassadors and I don't have the biggest blog when it comes to stationery.  Anyway, this same brand interacted on a video of mine on YouTube that demonstrated one of their competitior's products with a blatant "come and see our product" comment, including their price. I've since challenged them about it and I'm not sure they can see any wrong in what they've done (their private messages don't provide any apology) but they did remove their comment - but not before I took a screengrab of it though..

If you challenge a journalist about their views you find out that they very often say certain things just because they are asked to be an 'antagonist'.  Therefore, I had a very interesting Twitter conversation with Giles Coren after his 'lycra wearing elephants' comments during the Little Stoke parkrun fiasco. He more or less admitted that he says what he believes the listener doesn't want to hear which may (or may not) make the interview more interesting. This makes me sad and a little mystified.

It's over 25 years since Madonna's Blonde Ambition Tour (I KNOW!! I'm Vogue-ing right now) and six of her seven backing dancers have come together to make their own documentary called 'Strike A Pose' which I really need to see! This BBC feature about it is an excellent read.

Here is my video of the month. I saw it shared on Facebook and, after a bit of digging, found out that it was about three years old.  I'm not sure many people realise that Miley Cyrus can actually sing really really well and this is one of my most favourite songs in the world

We recently went to Majorca for a much-earned holiday so here's the "Seven Things I Learnt In Magaluf" section

  • There's always one gobshite in a party, regardless of the theme of the holiday (stag/hen/birthday)
  • Matching t-shirts for the aforementioned group are a must
  • Some blokes still think it's a good idea to verbally abuse a women and then think they are going to get a shag for their efforts
  • I have one of those bus queue faces that now attracts all the foreigners who want to know what my views on Brexit are
  • I read a lot more on holiday than I do at home
  • I always come back from holiday wanting to write this book I have in my head... this wears off about three hours after landing on British soil
  • If you raise your own children correctly they respect your (their) house and don't hold 'the party to end all parties' when you go away and leave them to their own devices (or they tidy up extremely well)

I think that's it for this month.  I totally encourage you to follow me on Snapchat (username: nickieohara - original, huh?) because I think I've found my groove over there and I've posted a few new videos on YouTube which include some time lapses from the holiday (watch out Casey Neistat) and the odd "Today In 1 Minute" not-a-daily-vlog type thing I do. I'm off for a lie down.

Snapchat - nickieohara

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