Here’s the thing. I am 40 next week. This week is officially the last week of my 30s. My 30s are over…
I swear it was only a minute ago, not a decade ago that I was in the garden of my house, smoking, whilst watching my then home become party house as it slowly filled up with people, all there to celebrate my 30th.
But it isn’t a minute that has passed, it’s a decade. A decade that has been totally the opposite to anything I could have ever imagined.
There has been highs and lows, of course. I feel like a different person going into my 40s – things have happened, good and bad. Jobs, loves, relationships beginning and ending, loss of friends, family and babies have all played a part in my 30s – but lots to celebrate as well. I became an auntie to five beautiful children during my 30s and a mummy to one baby angel, I traveled to Australia and Asia alone, I made the move into press work, and i am still in it and I still love it. I have worked for some amazing organisations, written work that I am proud of, led on national news stories, fought an illness than dominated the second half of my 30s, fought it I hope with the grace that I saw others fight their own battles.
I have had amazing belly laughs, I have been a size 22, and my (current, phew) size 14, and everything in between. I have been blonde, brunette and even at one stage a bit bald due to horrible medication. I have lived in 5 flats, been reunited with old friends, experienced some devastating lows and some incredible highs. Laughed my way through four years living with my best mate J. Daisy and Tim from spaced had nothing on us.
My thirties have been knackering, exciting, lonely, crowded, skint, rich, happy, sad and everything in between.
I think my 40s have big boots to fill. I am ready to get my 40s on, but I go in to them with no expectations, other than to be well, stay well – and well, grow old totally disgracefully.
Baby Fever. It’s everywhere. Indeed, we have a new little Prince Charming in our lives, with the arrival of Prince George of Cambridge. I have to admit, I cant be the only girl who fell a little in love with Wills as he held his new baby boy on the steps of the hospital, his beautiful Princess stood beside him.
I’m not bitter – honestly, I’m sure it’s a different ball game at 3am when the baby just will not stop crying – at that time, I’m pretty sure Kate and Wills feel just like any other new parents, asking what they are/are not doing… and why baby just wont stop crying.
Relationship charity OnePlusOne have today launched a guide to help parents keep their relationship strong when two become three. It’s hard, everything changes and shifts on it’s head a little.
This new advice guide is being issued as a result of OnePlusOne/ICM research, which found that two-fifths (42%) of parents who are no longer with the parent of their first child separated during pregnancy or before the child reached three-years-old. The research also revealed that new parents cite ‘lack of sleep’ as having the biggest negative effect on their relationship since having a baby.
In the first section of the guide – Don’t let baby tears tear you apart – OnePlusOne takes a look at why we are hard-wired to respond to the sound of a crying baby in the way that we do ). The guide also offers practical advice for parents on how best to cope.
In the second section, Jan Mitcheson, relationship expert at OnePlusOne and a former health visitor, gives some tips to help parents to hold it together while coping with a crying baby.
In the final section, parents from around the country give their top tips.
So, if if you are a new parent, head over to the OnePlusOne website – they have loads of amazing information on keeping your relationship strong and dealing with the changes becoming mum and dad can bring… there is advice there for everyone – even you Will and Kate (who are of course, totally reading this..)
It was a couple of weeks ago, whilst at my zumba class, that I noticed a sign advertising a local choir.
Excitedly I took a leaflet, stuffing it in my bag before being put through my zumba paces (fairy elephant anyone?)
The leaflet wasn’t for me, but for my flatmate and drinking partner L – she loves that sort of shit.
‘L loves this shit’ I think, excitedly pulling the leaflet out of my bag when I got home, to share the news that I had found her, (probably the busiest girl in the entertainment industry) a new hobby, and that she was to join our local choir.
She agreed it was a good idea. ‘I LOVE THIS SHIT’ she yelled, with me yelling back ‘I KNOW! I KNOW! YOU LOVE THIS SHIT!’
L being L though, she obviously had to do her research, and the choir on our doorstep wasn’t quite up her Glee club street. Which is how, on a Wednesday night in June I somehow came be standing next to my flatmate at a choir in the middle of central London, A choir that sings pop songs.
‘I don’t understand why I’m involved’ I grumpily tell her on our way in to the church where it is being held ‘I picked up that leaflet for you and this isn’t even the bloody local choir’.
‘Yeah but you love this shit’ she says, smiling, ‘and I could hardly come on my own could I? where’s the fun in that?’
She has a point. There is no I in We, or something.
So, here we are, we are at choir. A choir with a difference, a choir that sings current songs and performs them across London. I mean, I LOVE GLEE, surely it will just be like that? We will take a song and make it our own. I can do this. Of course I can do this.
Upon arrival we get asked if we are middle ones, or middle twos, or bottoms. I am about to tell the perky signing in lady that I’m the youngest, before I realise she is talking vocal range, not sibling order.
L and I decide we are middle twos, which is somewhere in the middle of one and top – so off we go and sit in the pews like good girls. Perfect location, because I think the only thing saving us now is God.
Right on cue, from the front of the stage arrives the choir teacher. She doesn’t look like any choir teacher I have ever seen. She looks like she should be in The Saturdays, or auditioning for The Voice. She’s very happy, very sing-song, very Glee, and we haven’t even started singing yet. She ‘welcommmmmmessssssss us alllllll to choir’…. Before making us do some hilarious warm up song involving two little pigs ‘I hope they’re not singing about us’ i whisper to L, giggling to myself. We then go through the songs of the evening. – Spice Gals, Lumineers, The Saturdays. Amazing.
Although it seemed it wasn’t quite the sing-song we had hoped for. Choir is serious business. At one point I even passed L a note, saying ‘it’s very serious’ before L pointed out that I better ‘rub off the writing as we have to hand the song sheets back’.
We oooed and ahhed for a bit, getting our range correct (professional singer at work) and then something really odd started to happen. Everyone sounded BRILLIANT! And I was part of that, I was a MIDDLE TWO!
There was one schoolgirl moment when the choir teacher told the bottoms to ‘go lower, go down for me’ – I giggled, and I got glared at by a serious middle one singer. That’ll teach me for having a filthy mind.
Other than that it was an hour and half of singing pop tunes in a beautiful setting, in a lovely old church with wonderful stained glass windows.
Choir flew by, with much sarcasm from me and a lot of ‘sssssh’ from L – as we left the building my flatmate ordered me, under her breath to ‘say nothing until we were out of earshot’ – she knows what I’m like.
To be fair, I don’t think I am cut out for choir, I think I’m too naughty. I would be a nightmare, laughing and being sarcastic whilst the others rolled their eyes at me, but it was an hour and half of embarrassing but glorious fun, and a lesson well learned by me, that lesson being never suggest a new hobby to my flatmate EVER AGAIN, and to keep my middle two vocal range strictly to the shower.
It’s three months today since my mate Lisa lynch died.
I really wanted to write something. In fact, this is the third draft of this blog, with one much deeper heartfelt version being for my and the eyes just a few other people only, but I wanted to mark today, three months since my lovely mate Lisa left us and writing a blog seemed the right thing to do. We all know how Lisa loved a blog post..
Grief is an odd thing, because even when a person dies, the immediacy of it all acts as a barrier between the loss of the person and the reality. There are so many things to do that although you know the person you loved has gone, they still feel more present than they ever did.
For me, Lisa passing was one of the most horrible things that had ever happened to me, because she was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. A friend from the moment we met each other, I loved her dearly. We just ‘got it’ and didn’t buy into the rest of the crap that surrounded our mutual tangle with our health.
Like I said, it’s three months today since Lisa died, and now I can truly say that I am in a fog of grief. I know not as foggy as her husband, who is also such a fantastic friend, or her family, who have become such, but a deep sadness has arrived and it seems to have settled. The business of buying a dress for the funeral, writing some suitable words for the card, feeling relieved Lis is no longer suffering, all of that has been replaced, and all that has replaced it is the fact that I miss my friend. I miss her and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. That’s the reality.
But what, really, does it mean to ‘miss’ someone? I mean, we can mourn for what we had and remember the good times, but the ‘missing of someone’ is exactly that. I miss her from the things I wish she was here for. I miss her when the sun shines, because summer and Lisa go hand in hand, I miss her when I hear a song she would love. I miss her when I need a shoulder to cry on and to be reminded of the ridiculousness of it all. I miss her when I sit and plan my 40th birthday, a mere few months away, a party we sat and discussed together and said we would wear crowns and dance like idiots to rap music. I am sad for the things she will miss, her family, festivals, sunshine.
Don’t get me wrong, I know people get sick, I know people die. I mean, in the last few months alone I have seen some amazing young women lose their lives due to cancer. I am not so deluded to think that it doesn’t happen, but for me it just shouldn’t be happening, but on a purely selfish ‘I want her here’ level, it shouldn’t have happened to Lisa Lynch.
‘Er, Lorna, what are you talking about, what’s so special about me?’
I’m pretty sure if she was here she would be saying something similar, but knowing her like I do, I also know she would understand my need to share just how much I miss her and wish I could call her. I know that if it was me that had died, Lisa would be feeling exactly the same as I feel now. I also know that as much as I wish for her to still be with us, none of us who loved her wanted her to go through so much pain anymore. What we wanted was a miracle to happen and for Lisa to be better.
I said this recently to my dear friend of mine, a lady who is in her 80s but remains as sparky and funny as ever. She mentioned I seemed low and I told her how I was feeling.
‘I just wanted a miracle to happen’ I said to her, stirring my tea and not looking up, knowing if I did, I would cry.
To which she replied ‘maybe Lisa was the miracle’.
I don’t think there is any maybe about it. I think whilst I was praying for a miracle it was happening, right there, in front of me all along. Lisa was making miracles happen, calling her own shots, doing it her way. Being here to see her nephew, seeing his smile, going on holidays with P and her family, taking part in the Marsden March, attending the Olympics, throwing the most EPIC jubilee party even when she clearly wasn’t feeling well. Coming over to East London to visit me when I was poorly, even when things were far from good for her. All these little glimmers added up to one very beautiful miracle that was Lis. Just a normal lovely girl who I was so blessed to know, someone I know loved me back, despite my flaws and despite my tendency to border on the ridiculous.
So, as I sit here, three months on since Lisa died, thinking about how I miss her, panicking that Lisa isn’t here to check my grammar for me before I hit send, I feel grateful for all the things she didn’t miss, and that, somehow, makes me feel a whole lot better, which shows me she isn’t really gone at all, because that’s what Lisa did. She made me feel better, and quite simply, she still does and she always, always will.
I have been thinking quite a lot lately about a relationship I’m in.
This relationship gives me pleasure, nurtures my emotions, keeps me company, but also leaves me full of regret and self loathing. To be honest, I’ve had enough. I want out. It’s time to dump.
However, this relationship isn’t that easy to get rid of. I can’t simply throw out the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ line. You see, this isn’t a confessional for a love affair with a married man, but the relationship I have with food. Yep, food, the thing we all need to sustain us. I sometimes feel like I am being held against the wall, a little line of calorie laden hooligans holding me hostage.
My poor relationship with food is text book and I’m pretty sure a female thing. Now, as I approach 40 I realise it is time to free myself from the chains of the destructive relationship I have with emotional eating, my weight and my default reaction and subsequent regret when the resolve to eat healthily suddenly becomes, quite frankly, a calorie laden sod-it I’ve started so I will finish after show party. Food 1 Lorna 0, we lather, we rinse, we repeat. The regret arrives. The relationship becomes more destructive than ever before. The hips get bigger, the denial gets deeper.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been successes in this relationship, we have indeed had good times. Seriously, we are so good together, I mean, you should see us at dinner parties, barbecues, weddings. People simply wouldn’t believe the things that go on between us though, behind closed doors, not always, but sometimes, things are rocky.
It has to be said, there have been times when food didn’t occupy my thoughts, lately I have dropped a couple of stone, you have to be pretty disciplined to do that, but I find when the shit hits the fan in life, I hit the chocolate, not just a couple of chunks either. I swear, I’m like Willy Wonka’s poster girl, and quite frankly, I’m as emotionally fed up with it as my waistline is. For instance, I had some tragic news recently. Upon hearing the news, I was numb, silent, tearful. However, that day, I polished off so much chocolate I made myself feel sick and that in itself made me feel even more out of control.
The last few days though, it’s really been on my mind. So, in a bid to free myself from this emotional nightmare, I hit the internet to find out what other people do in my position. It was reassuring to read that it isn’t just ME that has this destructive relationship, but as many as 92% of women said that they have emotionally eaten at one time or another. In fact, my former flatmate and I would grapple over this all the time.
Me ‘I bought chocolate’ Her ‘WHY?’ ‘Me ‘Well it makes more sense to have it in the house then not. If it’s not there, I will just want it even more’ Her ‘But if I know it’s there I will eat it, if it’s not in the house I won’t eat it’.
Both of us were in the wrong here. Me for feeling like I have to have it in the house, her for feeling that she simply can’t have it in the house.
Meanwhile, the chocolate bars don’t give a crap. Because they are chocolate bars, they’re not real, they are mass produced and easily replaceable if one does happen to, well, you know, eat them all.
Anyway, the internet also told me that distraction is the key. Knitting is very good.
Now I know knitting is all trendy again, but I can tell you right now how things will go if I was to try and knit. I would start knitting, do it all wrong, scream, throw the knitting across the room, become totally outraged at myself, give up and head to the fridge/out for a cake/put some chips in the oven.
I guess the first part of any destructive relationship is admitting you have it, so I guess in a way this is good news. I am sick of the constant eat or be eaten approach to life (literally) I am sick of the regret I feel when I know I have eaten emotionally. That trance like state that throws me into the a state of loathing, which makes me feel rubbish about myself, which makes me eat, like I say, vicious, or should I say delicious circle.
There’s no big revelation at the end of this feature I’m afraid, more a realisation with a hefty resolve to tackle. But what I do realise is I’m not alone in this. So many of us turn to food at times of happiness, sadness, loneliness, boredom and stress. It’s a default setting, but I tell you what, it is one setting I am determined to re set.
It was 1987 and I was Fourteen-Years-Old. I was down in Somerset, away on holiday with my parents and my friend Sara. We didn’t go in for big posh holidays and were at a camping and caravan park, spending a sunburnt couple of weeks in the English countryside, embracing the delights of holiday camp entertainment and certificates for singing in the talent show.
At Fourteen I wasn’t the most confident of girls. Who is?
I remember the day I met Jay. Jay was from Manchester, he was Seventeen and having a summer away working glass collecting in the bar. Sara and I were in the cafeteria, eating chips after swimming and he was sat across at another table, with his work friend Ben. Both in their bar uniforms, getting some grub before their shift started.
The banter was immediate. Well, as good as I was at banter then. Jay and I clicked immediately, me because I thought he was a dead ringer for Nathan from Brother Beyond, who was, in the 80s my heartthrob. For Jay, I don’t know why he liked me, a chubby blonde teenager being mouthy at him and singing Brother Beyond songs and giggling.
I told him I was Seventeen (fibber). We became friends that holiday, and shared nothing more than a goodbye kiss, but for me, he was my first kiss, and having never been kissed like THAT before, it didn’t matter that he lived so far away and was having his first summer away from home, for I was one hundred percent smitten.
When I returned home I was heartbroken. It was as if MY LIFE WAS OVER! He was SO far away, I would NEVER see him again. Nathan became forgotten and my pencil case was covered in ‘Lorna hearts Jay’ – I spent hours sobbing over his photo. His name carved into many a school desk.
The day I got home I wrote him a long letter telling him how I loved meeting him. A week later my mum brought a letter up to my room, slanted writing, with a Somerset post mark.
Jay had written to me.
This marked the beginning of a friendship/relationship that was more of a penpal relationship that anything else. We wrote every week for three whole years, every week, without fail. I grew up writing to Jay. I saw him once in this time, when I was in London and so was he. It was just as amazing. I was now Seventeen but he thought I was 19. It was the fib that kept on fibbing… We spent an amazing day in London and then we said our goodbyes after a night together.
Then we started writing again. By now I was working in my first job, having left school (or college, as Jay thought!) – it was a shitty job, working in the office of an antique furniture place. Jay was by now bar manager of a cocktail bar in a really big London hotel. In the day he would ring me in the office and I would be smoking at my desk and chatting to him, every now and then pretending he was a customer when the boss walked past.
In 1991 I moved down to Devon to start work in a holiday camp as a red coat. I was 18 by this point and finally had my own taste of freedom. Jay had met a girl by then, I had my own taste of being away from home. Time moved on. I met someone, I went to Uni, he met someone, we wrote a bit, called a bit, slowly lost touch. I heard he moved to Denmark. I moved on with my life, settled in relationships, went travelling, graduated – time passed until we were both living our lives but were no longer in touch. I still had all his letters (over 250 letters) and would sometimes get them out to read.
Remember Friends Reunited? The poor man’s Facebook? Well, we had a vague reunion on that which led to about 6 months of emails. By this time I was settled in London and Jay was living in Denmark, both happily.
Anyway. Facebook arrived, and Jay and I became friends on there, sharing the odd hello and message. More recently we started to chat about the old days. Then I mentioned I had always wanted to see Copenhagen and before I knew it plans were being made for him to travel from where he lives (three hours from Copenhagen) and meet me there.
So there-in lays the tale of my recent one woman weekend.
I can’t lie. Unless it’s about my age it seems, but catching up with the past is terrifying. I arrived in Copenhagen, which incidentally is a beautiful city, if you get the chance to go, do. The weather was FREEZING but I checked into my little hotel in Tivoli and was feeling very empowered by it all.
By Sunday morning however I was starting to wonder what I had done. Jay and I agreed to meet in the bar of the hotel. I honestly thought he wouldn’t turn up, still scarred by the time he stood me up when I was 17 and then sent me a long grovelling apology letter.
I didn’t need to worry, because turn up he did. It was weird, seeing an older version of him, a him that had lived in Denmark for years. Who spoke fluent Danish (still with a Manchester accent, phew). He looked like a different person. I guess we are both different people.
His observation of me ‘I can’t say you haven’t aged, but you’ve aged well’. – we went into Downtown Copenhagen and found a bar and talked and talked. He’s a lot more measured than he was; he was always a bit of a tearaway. He said if he hadn’t moved to Denmark he would have probably ended up in jail, and he’s probably right. Although I like to think I would have somehow kept him on the straight and narrow, had we not lost touch.
I found the whole experience of meeting up with my teenage love so surreal. He has different memories to me, but he remembered where we met, in the cafeteria and that I was really cheeky. He remembers I was pouring Bacardi into my can of coke and smoked Silk Cut fags. I have no memory of that. He also remembers when he met my mum and she was traumatised because he was vegetarian and she had cooked a roast. He remembers my big brother taking him to one side and ‘warning him off’.
The fact is, meeting up with someone from such crucial time in your life, your teens, is never ‘just a reunion’ – Because seeing how the person has turned out obviously impacts on the memories you have of them – and makes you remember things about your younger self as well. It all sounds like it was a serious day, it wasn’t really, we laughed at the ridiculousness of it all, how our letters would get longer and longer. How he used to draw me little pictures of his day.
I described our meeting to my friend as ‘very George Michael’ – as in, I love 80s George, with his flicky hair and his dancing, but I don’t love 2013 George. However that doesn’t mean I won’t always love 80s George.
All in all the day in Copenhagen left me reeling a little bit. It was great, but in hindsight I’m not sure I should have done it. Old wounds were reopened, as well as old feelings, and nostalgia turned into sadness a little, which I wasn’t expecting.
When we said goodbye we both cried a bit. I guess it made us realise we are getting older and our lives have panned out differently to how we thought they would, in our sunburnt teenage innocence.
Oh, and finally after 25 years of fibbing to him about my age I confessed. He said ‘so what are you now then, 42 eh? – I was like… ‘Yeah, babe, about that, something I should probably tell you… ‘
My advice to anyone thinking of meeting up with their teenage love – approach with caution, because not only do you come face to face with them, but you also come face to face with yourself and then the sparks fly, and you are left feeling just like you did in 1987, but without a pencil case to write his name on.
Did you hear the one about the 39 year old woman who heads off on her own, to Denmark, on a fact finding mission for a book idea and to meet up with her very first ever boyfriend, who now lives there. He was kind of the love of my teenage life, we had a long distance love affair made up purely of love letters and sweet nothings.
Now, over twenty five years later we will be meeting this weekend in Copenhagen. Not like that, purely as friends and for old times sake, but my inner fifteen year old is screaming about this!
So watch this space as I find out if it will be amazing or if memories are better left just as that…
I had a great time over at The Ceme Conference Centre in Rainham for Essex Fashion Week on april 8th. The lovely organisers, twins Adam and Simon Ryan had kindly given us press passes – this was my first Essex Fashion Week and I wasn’t sure what to expect but, as an original Essex girl I was interested to see how shows such as The Only Way is Essex, acts like Olly Murs and 2Shoes (who incidentally are as lovely in real life as they seem on tele) have finally made people see what us Essex folk have long known, that there is more to Essex than meets the eye.
First and foremost, as a PR. I was all over it. I went along with Linzi Peel who was making somewhat of a comeback from series one of The Only Way is Essex, as member of girlband Lola. Linzi hadn’t been back to Essex since she left the band so it was great for her to catch up with all that has been happening since she left. Linzi herself is now presenting her own radio show and writes a column for Styled Magazine. She was interviewed and snapped on the red carpet – in my opinion, right back where she belongs.
Of course, most of the stars of TOWIE past and present were there, along with many of the Desperate Scousewives, Romeo from So Solid Crew, David Van Day and his lovely wife Sue Moxley – but it seemed star of the show was Nanny Pat – every time she popped out for a sneaky fag someone would be after her, for an autograph, a photo or a quick chat.
For me, being able to attend Essex Fashion Week was once again a step nearer recovery. Six months in and I am still on chemo but counting down now as it ends in FOUR weeks! which will be, in the words of lovely 2Shoes, ‘Totes Amaze’. I still get tired and I am still not fully back at work but life is starting to have a little buzz to it again, which is reassuring and gets me through the bad days, of which there are still many, but the less said about that the better.
So, I initially thought I would stay at Essex Fashion Week for a few hours, but the day was so brilliant we ended up at the aftershow party knocking back shots with some of the lovely peeps we had met during the day.
Amy Childs was a lovely as she always is. Whenever I see her at events she is always there, in the thick of the party, being chatty with everyone. I also met her brother, Wills, who is a singer/songwriter and one to watch in his own right.
The clothes on the catwalk were a mixed bag. My faves of the day were DressMeAlist (www.dressmealist.com) and the new collection from Amy Childs. There were also grown men in Onesies, but the less said about that the better.
Following the event I was sent the most beautiful necklace from a fabulous Essex based Jewellery company called Sparkling Jewellery (www.sparklingjewellery.co.uk) – I have been after a coin necklace (like the one Holly Willoughby wears) for AGES and was unsure of the designer. They have such a lovely collection, for those that love all things bling – go take a look!
In all it was a really brilliant day and really helped me start to feel like my old self once again. So to everyone involved in the event – a very big thank you from my little corner of Essex for all your hard work and for such a great time. Bring on Autumn/Winter I say!
I completely loved the feature in The Observer today – ‘Meet the young woman who has made a career out of loserdom’
It talks about how a whole new generation of women are ‘taking to their PJs’ and turning ‘loserdom’ into a profitable art. Be it the female blogger who wrote about the realities of living with her parents – and got a book deal. The out of work actress who spent two weeks in her onesie and turned it into a one woman show, you know the drill.
But what interested me it how this feature finally seems to tell me what I have often wondered. That it’s not just me that spends a lot of time in my skanky clothes reading bits of the observer whilst stuffing a banana in my mouth and chain drinking coffee – secretly relishing the fact that I am not out, in high shoes, wishing I was at home.
Yeah, about home. Being ill has meant that I have had to spend a lot of time here – after a while, you start to detach from your normal world (Sunday night dread, leaving parties, work lunches, deadlines). Suddenly you are just at home, at the mercy of spending time BY YOURSELF. You have a choice, you either become best friends with the Loose Women, or you start to re-read books you love, you start to write, you start to remember YOURSELF.
I have really noticed this – not so much at first when I was really in pain and everyday was like running through treacle, but now I have started to recognise that to be a ‘female slacker’, you kind of have to learn the art of just being.
Believe me, there have been days when I have indeed indulged in daytime tele, nights when I have cried as I was too ill from chemo to go to a party, but of late, with the doctor constantly telling me to rest, I have started to listen. I have been reading, writing, and the other day I answered the door to the postman with a face full of smoky eye disasters, after trying to recreate a look – just for fun, just for the hell of it. I have dusted off my vinyls and have been listening to them. I look out of the window, just to look out the window, not to have a cheeky fag because I am so bloody stressed, like in the old days.
I confess, there may have even been some hairbrush singing – and I MAY have made up a Grammy acceptance speech, but I am TOTALLY BLAMING MORPHINE FOR THAT. (but I would like to thank my agent, and my parents’, and you guys)
Ahem, right. Anyway, as I was saying.
I have gone over to the shop in my PJ bottoms, and like the girl in the feature who talks about going out in her onesie, I also had a moment of ‘what have I become???’.
The thing is, when life really hits the skids, when you are really rolling in the deep (thanks Adele) sometimes you just have to go with it, and by going with it you really start to get to know yourself again – I really feel this is starting to happen to me, despite feeling poorly a lot. I am writing again, and not just this blog, but my book. I am making cards for people, having ideas again about what I would like to do when I am a bit better than I am now. I am starting to think about myself again, and to get creative with my time. Albeit from the sofa, under a slanket, whilst listening to 6music.
And here in lies the problem. Although I am not off through choice, I am starting to like it. I am starting to enjoy my own company – relishing reading chapters of novels, loving the fact that the Sunday papers can be read on Mondays, or throughout the whole week if I need to. I get frustrated of course that the only reason I am off is that, the reality is, I am ill, i have a lot of treatment, it is far from easy – but the new reality I am creating is of this strong, creative woman who has ideas and runs with them, eats cereal at 3pm, looks at volunteering opportunities overseas for when she is able to travel again, talks to family, like, REALLY talks. she makes cards, drinks coffee and eats cheese, naps, walks, talks, rests. I am really starting to like her.
It really is the little things that matter in life. It really is true what Virginia Woolf said, that sometimes, ‘all a girl needs is a book and a room of ones own’
So, to any girlies who are reading this, in their PJ’s, with their laptop on their burning knees, a cereal bowl beside them, a cat at that their feet – well, don’t feel down about it. It is what girls like us do.
If that’s loserdom, I am definitely a lifelong member. Maybe in some weird way, being forced to stop has made me realise that when I am ready to ‘start’ again, it will be very different to how it was before.
Now, it’s time for a nap.
So – the chemo that I am on has made my hair a bit shit. Basically, I am hopefully on a mix that means I wont lose it, but some of it has gone really thin, and I have been told, NO BLEACH.
Now, it has to be said, I’m a natural blonde, but a meh blonde, like ‘meh, whatevs’ – kind of like I have had some old ash chucked on my hair. I get through this by having highlights (two blonde to one gold) every 8 weeks.
Since chemo, my roots have got so out of hand that I decided to become a brunette. Now, I realise that this doesn’t sound like much of a big deal, but when you have spent your whole life not only being blonde, but defining yourself by it, it’s kind of a big deal.
Anyway, to cut a long hair story short (see what I did there?) - I did it. I now have a darkish reddy brown hair. It has made it look loads thicker, but I somehow feel ‘wrong’. Now, coming from a girl who has had her knockers chopped off, well, this should be a walk in the park. But it isn’t. I don’t feel like ‘me’ – I liked it when I first has it done, but now I feel wrong – like I am trying to be someone else, or wearing a wig, both events which I have done in the past – but this blog ain’t no place for THAT story.
Anyway, I am going to give it a week and see how I feel. I have my first night out happening on Wednesday. My first night out in three months. I am off to The National Television Awards – not even this dodgy bowel or a bloodstream full of chemo will keep me away from one of my fave nights of the year.
The only thing that could keep me away, in fact, is if my hair looks shit. So on Wednesday, just pray for a good day hair wise for me, otherwise we could have a right bloody drama on our hands, and nobody needs to see that.
Maybe once a blonde, always a blonde? or maybe even this head could be turned to believe that, really, the only way is brunette?
Watch this space.