Archive | January 2013

A non-smoker…me? When did this happen….?

What defines a person as a “non-smoker”? I’m not referring to someone who has never smoked or even to a “social smoker”; I mean a regular smoker who isn’t smoking anymore……

I was never what some may call a heavy smoker, but I had a habit; a routine and yes I did depend on it in moments of stress. I enjoy(ed) smoking, I have done since the age of (dare I admit) 14 years of age, much to the disappointment of my parents, younger sister, Granddad.

Despite stopping at various points in my life, I have always started again. Yes, each and every time I have fooled myself, ” I can always stop again tomorrow”, but that tomorrow never came; well it did but I ignored it. I ignored it and continued with the mantra, “take me as you find me or leave where I am”….basically if you didn’t like me smoking, then it was your problem not mine.

But recently, smoking has become such an unsociable, expensive habit more so than anything else and quite predictably I promised myself that come New Year I would STOP SMOKING….I used the cowards technique however and did not tell anyone of my resolution. Why? Because if I didn’t tell anyone about it, then I didn’t really have to actually do it and I would not be under any pressure. So no surprise then when I continued smoking….nothing had changed.

Until 11 (nearly 12) days ago….I fell ill with the flu (please refer to my “Time flys” post for further details) – flu then developed into to bronchitis….so as you can imagine the very last thing I wanted to do was go outside to my garden (my house is non-smoking!)  in my 2 day old Pjs and puff  away with my lungs feeling as if they simply weren’t working anymore; so I didn’t. I am still not smoking, despite being back to health.

So, does that make me a real non-smoker? Am I still in the tricky two week period? How much longer until I can say “I don’t smoke.”

I’ll be honest, I do think about having cigarettes A LOT, but realise that, for me, it’s not so much about the lack of nicotine, but the change to my routine. I am very happy though and secretly very proud of myself. I have had opportunities to sneak the odd cigarette, but I haven’t. My eldest daughter is also proud of me and that is spurring me on to continue on this path.

So I suppose, I take it a day at a time….

Wish me luck..



Environment or upbringing?

It’s happening more and more – I catch myself sounding like my Mum and my Nanna. I use the phrases I grew up hearing, on my kids.

I mean it’s not such a bad thing is it? Growing up when I did (during the 80’s) things were very different for the “Youth of Today”…..I played outside in the street with my roller skates (something which I had to wait for until my birthday came around); I played outside in the garden making mudcakes, doing a spot of “gardening” for my Nanna; I played in the lounge, turned the coffee table on its side and made a tent to play in; I was “allowed” to use my Mums old typewriter ( I sat, feeling very important, infront of the wonderful mystical contraption that my Mum would use at work, I had my cassette – yes thats right I said CASSETTE – player next to me happily playing a Muppet Babies story, while I would sit there and pretend to be a very very important hotshot office worker, type, type, type, ding!) Oh I loved doing that!!!

I went through my childhood hearing the usual common phrases….

“Put your coat on; you won’t feel the benefit when you go out.” – ?? Right well I NEVER understood that one…..

“If I go in your room and find …..insert an object of your choice here……then it’s going in the bin” How? oh my god, how did my Mum ALWAYS manage to find whatever “it” was within seconds of entering my room???

You know the type of thing Parents go on about, I don’t need to reel off anymore surely..?!

Well….now I find myself saying the SAME THINGS to my 9 year old, and when I say them I hear my Mum. I cringe and wince. Did I really say that? Did I really use that tone of voice? Oh my goodness, does this happen to every woman/mother? Do we naturally start morphing into our Parents? Or is it a subconscious parenting effort…? I mean, I turned out ok didn’t I?

Although, I must admit there are some things I grew up hearing my Nanna say, as a matter of course day-to-day, which I will NEVER say……or write for that matter! In this day and age, it would be deemed very un-PC, bordering on racism. But I know when Nanna used these expressions/phrases, she was not being racist; it was probably just her repeating things she grew up hearing and in the end they had lost their meanings.

So, my question/observation is……somewhere in that dark, weird cavern otherwise known as “my brain”, my subconscious stops me from repeating my Nannas expressions, but allows me to re-use, over and over again, the phrases my Mum would use on me.

Is that a result of the environment I am in? (people today are either too wiling to insult others without any fear of punishment or you are just completely unable to be honest and/or offer criticism in case of recriminations).

Or is my upbringing? Do I feel that actually my Mum did a pretty good job with me, and therefore I am copying her parenting skills??

“Mum, in fifty years, how old will you be?”…..oh my god!!!


It didn’t really sink in what had just been asked of me by then 8 year old daughter, until probably a day or so after she asked the very innocent question, as stated above. Please don’t make me write it again….Oh really, humph, ok then: “Mum, in fifty years, how old will you be?”

“Easy peasy,” was my answer, “I will be 82”.


Right so now you know you can work out how old I actually am, but that’s not my problem. It was when the realisation hit me; that I was actually getting older; getting nearer the 40 mark; I am no longer in my twenties (despite what I tell I myself); I am now properly in my thirties.

When I was younger, someone in their thirties seemed like a real grown-up – I’m sure they did to you too.

So when did I become one of those “grown-ups”? Am I truly a “grown-up”? I don’t feel like one. I don’t think I look like one…do I? Does the “grown-up” Fairy pay you a visit while you sleep?

Now I’ll be honest the Husband is older than me, by a few years I grant you, but he is in no way ancient (despite the fact his work colleagues call him “Dad”) – He’s lovely and I love him with all my heart (I know mushy stuff!). But in all honesty, our slight age difference has not helped me and my mental inability to accept that I am aging……I used to, not now, always feel immature and out of place. But like I said, used to. I don’t feel like this anymore….is that because I am growing up?

I never envisaged I would get to my thirties. I could never imagine what they would be like and in all honesty, they don’t feel much different from my twenties. Ok so I have 3 children, 2 step-children, one Husband, 3 cats, etc, etc – but that doesn’t change the fact that in my head (which is sometimes a very odd place to be) I am still 21 years with my whole life ahead of me.

And maybe it is because I am getting older that I can say the next line and truly appreciate it, but the years are just flying by!

Time flys….or does when I want to throw my alarm across the room

So, finally after 10 days of having a big black imaginary X (erected during a period of illness advising people to STAY AWAY.) across our front door, that time has come; to return the kids to school.

Most mums/dads will agree that actually while during family illness; (one child after the next, very kindly staggering their spreading of germs, until eventually the parents fall foul of the dreaded flu), that being able to legitimately switch off the alarm ,whether it be an actual alarm clock or that wonderful function on your mobile, is pure bliss.

It removes that “one more thing to think about” syndrome. It allows the family to wallow in self pity, two/three day old PJs, and not have get up. In fact the only thing, apart from a child needing you, that consciousness is required for, is that phone call to the respective school, advising of absense………and yet despite being a fully grown adult (I think, I mean I have a Husband and kids and everything!!) I always still get made to feel like they do not believe me…..I fumble to find the right words and description of the illness which is preventing my offspring from attending class and therefore spreading more germs.

But once I have made that call and satisfied (I hope) the school office manager; relief takes over and I can recommence the moaning, sweating, coughing and bumbling about looking shockingly unattractive in peace. I can veg on the sofa with one of the many children who are ill, snuggling under a blanket, playing verbal “my symptoms are worse than yours” tennis with Husband from one sofa to another. It is, dare I admit it, quite nice actually.

It’s a time when you can all come together, all plans are cancelled , visitors are advised to stay away; you can slob around in jogging bottoms without the worry of makeup or hair looking good because you know that you wont be seeing anyone.

However, after seven or so days, you realise (thanks to the Husbands boss harassing him day after day after day for his return to “that place”, and the fact that your kitchen cupboards are in desperate need of being replenished) that eventually you and your loved ones have to reenter the world of the living……this means that the most hated item in the house has to be reset/switched on…….the ALARM!!!!

And if it wasn’t for the fact that I use that alarm function on my very-expensive-very-clever-and-too-flashy-for-stay-at-home-mum-husband-would-shout-lots-if-it-got-broken moblie phone…..time would have flown, across my bedroom at immense speed into the wall when that irritating noise went off this morning!

And so we’re back, to health (well as much as can be expected) and that period of illness, A.K.A. family slobbing time is o.v.e.r……..until next time!

A morning of rice pudding making…..

Isn’t it lovely when the youngest falls asleep for a loooong nap, it allows to me to catch up on reading a magazine with a cuppa and make a batch of rice pudding.

I discovered that rice pudding making is actually quite easy when my middle child was weaning, thanks to Annabel Karmel and her fabulous books on easy weaning recipes.

The whole clan enjoy eating it, and I have absolutely no problem with my kids eating a “pudding” for dinner, very occasionally…..Ok so I’ll put my hands up and confess, once in a blue moon I give my kids (2 girls and 1 boy – 9, 3 & 1) my rice pudding for dinner. But there’s nothing wrong with that, right? I mean I made it, I know what’s in it, it’s made with whole milk so plenty of calcium and is lovely and filling  – which is what every mum wants before bedtime. And they enjoy eating it. Like I said it doesn’t happen every day, or even every week…..but it will tonight. !!

So now I don’t have to worry about what to give the brood for dinner, it means I have some spare “thinking” time….hmmmm another cuppa maybe…