A-Z: Essentials I Can’t Live Without

I’m not about to get all LeAnn Rimes on your asses because I could survive without these but it wouldn’t be as much fun. 

Front and centre it needs to be my friends because although you think you might have the greatest group of friends in the world I’m afraid you’re wrong. Of particular note are of course my Urban Family, the Urbs. My true blue ride or die homies who I would do anything for. From the outside looking in we probably look mental, but we’re a-okay with that. 

Ice cold water – I know, none of us could live without it but for someone who doesn’t drink hot drinks, rarely drinks fizzy drinks, and can’t drink fruit juice (because heartburn) my choices of drink are wine, gin, or water. And I don’t think my boss would be too chuffed with me being pissed out of my tiny mind in the office. I drink 3 litres a day without fail, sometimes more, and yes I whizz like a racehorse. 

Lip balm – because I get lipstick on my teeth and even though I drink water until I piss like Shergar I always have dry lips. I’d like to be chic and I’d like to be the elegant sort of woman who can sweep her hair into a chignon and slick on some perfect lippie without a mirror but… I’m not. The best I can do with my hair is bung it up with a chopstick, y’know like I’m Mandy Moore circa 2001 and I’m off to the Teen Choice Awards with a slip dress on over my stonewashed flared jeans. I always have a collection of lip products in my handbag which currently include 2 pots of the same lip balm, one of a different brand, and a blue lipstick. I’m not trying to channel Björk, it only looks blue but comes out a sheer berry hue in case you think I’ve gone mental.  

WhatsApp – with 23 chats on the go, some of which go back to 2015 it’s clear I’m a bit of a junkie. Of course the large proportion of the chats must NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY. If I die, someone needs to go in and erase them before they go viral. 

My denim jacket and a pair of Converse – it sort of sums up my style that this is my go-to confidence outfit.  With a pair of Chucks on my feet and my ‘so cheap it was almost criminal’ denim jacket on my back I feel like I can take on the world. Plus sometimes I pop my collar and shove my hands in the pockets and I feel a little (very very little) like Sandy from Grease. 

Quiet time – if you know me in real life you know I’m gobby, can talk for England, and love relaying a story. But being ‘on’ also means I need time when I’m ‘off’. I sit and read, I nap, I walk by the water. I just ‘be’. 

Aaaaand fuck me that sounds wanky. 

Artwork – my ideal house has white walls that are crammed with art. Big art, small art, funny art, serious art, just art. I’m collecting it as I go to make a gallery wall in my living room and my style is, well it’s quirky. Tucked away I have a little collection of Anna Wintour cartoons building up ready to have an ‘Anna’ corner behind the door, and I have so many prints saved on Etsy I could open my own shop. 

My medications – I thought long and hard about putting this on here because recently I’ve proved to myself that I can live without anti-depressants (although I weep, I weep at the oddest things) however my other medication keeps me sane. Literally. We’re moving towards a place where we can be open and honest about mental health issues and so that’s what I’m doing. My tablets keep me upright and there’s no shame in that. 

What are your essentials? What do you keep around? 

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Throwback Thursday: Happy re-Birthday To Me!

Back to January 2009 today – and an entry marking six months since I went under the knife. What a six months it was!

6 months ago today I was sat on a hospital bed, all gowned up having just had 11 days of nothing but milk, waiting to go down for major life changing surgery.

So, let’s have a butchers at what’s changed since that fateful day –

In six months I have –
Lost 8 stone
Shrunk several dress sizes
Walked to and from work without dying on several occasions
Started going to the gym regularly (and enjoying it!)
Improved relationships with my family
Reclaimed the ‘F’ word
Started wearing colours
Gained the ability to laugh at myself (but without putting myself down)
Sung in front of my friends (!)
Planned out my career path
Written out a ‘to-do’ list
Dipped my toe in the dating pool and most crucially
Started to believe I’m not a horrible ugly useless troll and that I do actually have a future….

Throwback Thursday: Scunthorpe vs Man United

Number 2 in the new series – my first foray into the world of internet dating way back in October 2008. Still internet dating nine years later, still resolutely single. 

Day one of the great internet dating shindig – not a brilliant start I’ll admit but I guess I’ll give it time. The only contact I’ve had so far was from a man who was so NOT what I’m looking for that I almost left a Long Tall Ally shaped hole in the door! And before any of you in the cheap seats starts willocking on that I have to be open to all the opportunities that come my way if I want to find a man well let me tell you I’m down with that BUT a man who has no command of the English language (‘I want meet nice lady’), is significantly older than me, and has several children isn’t really what I’m after, let’s face it.

This interwebby dating malarky is forcing me to challenge my ideas about leagues in dating and where I place myself vs where I place the gentlemen that catch my eye. In a nutshell (*does nutshell dance*) I view myself as being the equivalent of Scunthorpe United or a Sunday pub team (i.e lucky to get any players/will take what they can) and always view the gentlemen as Chelski, Man U or the Arsenal (unlimited choice of players, inundated by offers) and in my head never the twain shall meet!

A couple of friends have absolutely torn me a new one for even mentioning the idea of leagues in the romance world but I surely can’t be the only person to think like that – whether it is actual fact or just yet another myth perpetuated by magazines/media/Marilyn Manson/McDonalds (all those evil things beginning with M!) is unclear but it is how I have always thought. So I’m going to kick back, relax, and wait for the men to come flocking to me (hmm) and then I’ll have to scissors, paper, stone to whittle them down!

Friday Five: 11-08-2017

Reading: ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi. This book had been doing the rounds on Instagram with lots of people I know recommending it. Having a lot of friends in the medical field I saw the cover and honed in on it. I wasn’t really sure what it was about but was forewarned it was going to make me cry. It did. I sobbed ugly tears whilst considering my own mortality and wanting to tell everyone I loved them.

Listening: ‘Little Of Your Love’ by Haim. They’ve not been on my radar until recently but now they’re invading my brain with their catchy tunes. Plus I’d quite like them to be my friends and part of my ‘hashtag girl squad’.

Watching: ‘Sixteen Candles’ – off the back of being asked my favourite John Hughes movie moment I dusted off my box set and started with my favourite. A chance to relive my teenage crush on Jake Ryan and lament the fact he never turned up to collect me in a red 80’s Porsche.

Lusting: Greeting cards make fantastic cheap artwork if you pop them in a fancy frame and ‘Sapling Press’ are knocking it out of the park with their offerings. I love so much of their work I could have an entire Sapling gallery wall.

Loathing: People taking pops at medics – the Gabby Logan interview with Pam Venning the IAAF medical officer was disgusting. Venning is a trained medic and exceptionally competent and yet she was hauled over the coals by a sports commentator about her decision to bar an athlete with Norovirus.

Throwback Thursday: Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do 

A new series where I delve into the past nine years worth of wanging on about nonsense and share some of my favourite posts. Kicking it off with the very first post which started it all way back in September 2008. Enjoy! 

Our eyes met over the top of the carrots and in that instant I knew that rather ironically I looked exactly like a rabbit startled by a set of oncoming headlights. Unfortunately for me there wasn’t a handily placed hedgerow to hop off in to and hide. With a weak half smile I went back to absentmindedly looking for the smallest carrots I could find whilst praying to Jeebus that I’d be left to finish my shopping in peace as well as trying to blend in with the display of potatoes behind me.
Feeling like I was being hunted I stalked over to the sad girl aisle aka ‘ready meals for one’ desperately hoping that he’d hop back on his bike and pedal out of my life once more. Just as I reached for a cottage pie emblazoned ‘JUST FOR ONE’ in huge orange letters the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and then ‘Long Tall Ally how lovely to see you’. Taking a deep breath I turned to face the man who was responsible for tearing my heart out through my chest less than seven years ago. And just my luck he was looking disgustingly handsome, tanned and……… MARRIED! There it was, the platinum band on his ring finger, and yep, incoming Blonde with a honeymoon tan and grin on her face a mile wide. Quite apart from the tropical tan I could tell the wedding wasn’t long ago due to the fact that they were both exuding post shag euphoria and were practically frotting over their smug married trolley.
I must have done something really heinous in a previous life, perhaps I was Hitler or maybe even Stalin but for some reason quick pleasantries were not the order of the day and he wanted a rundown of what/who I was doing since he performed open heart surgery on me sans anaesthetic. Smug marriedness was oozing from every perfect pore of his as he trotted out the questions every single non career girl dreads. I like to think of them as ‘The Big Three’ –> Where are you living? Where are you working? And the doozy, Are you seeing anyone? Ugh.
I made my excuses and a swift exit spending the next half hour dancing through the aisles trying to avoid having to bump in to them again as I couldn’t guarantee I wouldn’t dismember him with the shop’s bacon slicer, before heading home to divvy up my food in to ‘petit portionettes’ to suit my new little pouch. People must think I’m Skippy the Bush Kangaroo when I keep going on about my pouch, I swear my colleagues think I’m going to pop out a joey and hop round the office wearing boxing gloves. They would be most disappointed to hear that actually the pouch is the latest weapon in Long Tall Ally’s arsenal to let the skinny girl out. I bought a thigh toner in Argos on the way home so I can transform myself in to a hardbodied Muscle Mary although I do realise the transformation is going to be a LOT harder if I don’t bring it in from the backseat of my car.

Even after my nightmare shopping scenario (binge eater has emotional crisis in supermarket and escapes unscathed!) it turned in to a momentous occasion as I realised whilst lying in bed that (ignoring the size of the junk in my trunk which rivals Germany) I have a flat stomach! And more than just having a flat tum, I could actually see.my.ladygarden! I’ll just say that again for those in the cheap seats, I could see my lady garden! But the joy didn’t end there, oh no ladies and gentlemen I could in fact still see my lady lawn when I stood up. *cue trumpeting choruses of angels* The skinny minnies of the world cannot understand the delight in not having to move ones belly out of the way to reassure myself that I am in fact female and that my chest appendages aren’t just a big old pair of man boobs however it’s better than cream cakes, than Jimmy Choo, than sex! In fact, I’d happily wager it’s better than all three at once.

Guest Blogger: Lorns Little Ramble…

An avid reader of this blog, it is great to be able to have the opportunity to appear as a guest writer. It almost makes me feel famous!…

When invited to do this, I thought long and hard about what I could say. How could I match up to the satirical wit that is our Long Tall Ally? I mean, Short, squat Lorns doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?

However, the way I see it, we all have our very own ‘tales from the scales’. For me, it’s been a lifelong battle, I am like Oprah, but without the TV show and huge salary.

I worked out tonight that in my life I have been on 37 diets. I remember once just eating hot dogs out of a tin with a side of beetroot. I have joined Slimming World, Weight Watchers, and Rosemary what’s her face, and once even went to a dance class at Pineapple Dance Studio. It was mirrored, I was in hell, enough said. So 37 diets, which is one diet a year for the whole of my life! Even my recent dalliance with breast cancer made me wonder if somehow, as a fringe benefit, I could lose some of the chubb. Instead though, all I got was ‘ROID RAGE’ – pumped full of steroids which made the water sit on the fat and make me look even more like a sumo wrestler, but at least this time round, I really didn’t care as it meant I was getting better right? Woo hoo.

Yeah, so I mentioned the breast cancer then? Also known as boobie C, bad boobie, bastard boobie and boobies with attitude. Being diagnosed with this put everything into perspective. It suddenly makes you realise that life is happening whilst worrying about the size of your arse. I had a bigger fear, a bigger worry. It seems extreme but the day I was diagnosed I remember saying ‘Dear God, I will never bitch about myself or anyone again as long as I am OK’. Seriously though, the joker upstairs realised that this could never be the case and so a boobie chop was on the cards, along with chemo and radio gaga and more of the same. Lather rinse repeat…

I realise this isn’t a laugh a minute post, but I have never actually written about this in this way before. I am not even sure you will end up reading it. Cancer suddenly threw any worry about my big hips, my massive boobs, and my chubby arms into perspective. They may have been chubby but they were mine! I would even go as far to say that I now embrace the curves, I look forward to my breast reconstruction, I get excited about my hair growing, I love life again. I love myself at last. It’s a shame it took cancer to do that, but salvation comes in many shapes and forms.

I just read this out to D. The man who has been at my side throughout my illness. He has just told me that he doesn’t see ‘any of that’ – when he looks at me, he just sees me. That’s pretty cool eh.

I am not saying that I will never moan about my chubbiness again, that never will I look longingly at the low cut number in Reiss and wail ‘IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME’, but what I have now is perspective, family, friends, and hope.

Indeed, it seems the future is peachy – or maybe that’s just my arse?

I'm preggers cheggers…

It’s an immaculate conception obviously as no wanger has been near my lady garden in a verr long time….. And now you’ve recovered from your heart attacks I’ll explain the babbied up state I currently find myself in. I’m not really going to have a baby (but the chance to have a bash at practicing making one wouldn’t go amiss!) however it does appear as though I have exactly the same symptoms that my pregnant sister in law has. We bonded today dans le telephone over mutual heartburn, back ache, big boobies, a fat belly, a list of foods we can’t eat and the ability to only eat half the amount of foodstuffs that a normal person can eat. Of course after 9 months of that carry on she gets to welcome her first child into the universe and the symptoms should go however muggsy here gets to stick it out until Pouchie stretches over time and my weight drops so I lose the fat belly!

I’m really excited about welcoming Pip their little bundle of joy into the world, I love being an auntie as I still can’t imagine ever getting married or having kids of my own so it’s the next best thing.