Talking too Much, Online Holidays and Bingo


Image: Len Mathews

A commonly used connotation is “Woman talk a lot about nothing.” Now who could possibly have come up with a phrase like this? Yup, men!

If you guessed right….then you just hit a bingo.

A while ago I was having lunch with some friends and a chap sat down at the table next to us. He seems quite busy with his food but it turns out he’d been listening in to our conversation for quite possibly the entire meal. We found him staring at us at the end of one conversation and he piped up with “you ladies have talked about almost everything under the sun for the last 10 minutes but you’ve not really said anything.”

First of all: Rude!

Secondly: we’d said loads. Put the world to rights on tons of topics from one friend’s awful boss, my dating woes and the awesome shoes our other lovely friend had got in the sale. A lot of important topics were touch upon and put to rights.

Pah, men. What do they know anyway?

Leaping around from topic to topic is just the way our brains work and I find that a whole bunch of dots are created and then joined and the answer to things that have been puzzling me come to me during conversations like this.

Just the other day I was trying to think of somewhere cool to take the kids on holiday. Somewhere where the weather might not be too cold yet and where I could afford to actually take them. I’d spent an age on Trip Advisor looking at UK holiday destinations, trying to decide between camping, B&B or hotel and where to stay when my mate called. She was, somewhat unsuccessfully, trying to convince me to go and join in with a netball session organized by I Will if You Will.

I think my answer to her attempts at getting me to play Netball must have pissed her off a bit cause she told me, amongst other things, to go and enjoy dicking about playing silly indoor games on my computer. What? I’ve got a foot injury! In a childish act of retaliation I loaded an online bingo site to take a selfie of myself playing online games just to annoy her, when I hit bingo in my holiday search. Dorest! The bingo site had a prize of a week long holiday in Dorest flashing on the front page.

love Dorest, but I’ve not been for years. Not since my grandparents used to live there. Since I was there anyway, I took my selfie and had a little play to see if I could win the holiday. Sadly not, but I logged in to a bingo site called New Look Bingo and to my surprise I won a pot of cash. Check This Out. Hurrah! I’ve got my travel plan ready and winning the cash from the bingo site means we can opt for a hotel rather than a tent. Which is going to be a damn sight warmer.

So, you see. Jumping from topic to topic works. It helps connect all sorts of dots in my head and sometimes the universe just throws answers at you. I can’t wait for our travels now. I just have to spend the next week glued to Trip Advisor to figure out whereabouts in Dorset to visit.

Coffee: The Secret Elixir of Parenting


Image by Amanda

Let’s face it, none of us are perfect. Most of us are so far from it we wouldn’t recognise it if we saw it. But we might recoil in horror and shock at its unharrassed, happy smile. There are so many things against us – quite often the kids – that it’s something of a miracle when we make it to the end of another week and everyone is still present and accounted for; no-one got left behind in the supermarket or locked, forgotten about, in the car for hours; the house hasn’t burnt to the ground and there has been no reason to call the emergency services.

At least I kinda high five myself at the end of each week when none of that happens. Maybe I’m just easily impressed.

I think I owe all of this amazing parenting to one thing in life. Coffee. I’ve no idea how I’d get through each day, never mind week, without it. And I’m not the only one. Parents up and down the country are rushing out to Tesco in their pajamas when there’s no coffee for the espresso machine; ducking into the garage in between play-dates under the pretence of needing something important to down a cup of coffee from the machine and nursing cups of java on the school run.

You find me a parent that manages to do it without caffeine and I’ll find you a… Well, I dunno. I’ve never met one. Have you? Do these mythical creatures exist? And if so, how?

Coffee is the marvellous magical elixir of parenting. A drink so potent in power that it makes it all possible with a mostly sunny exterior. Plus it’s good for you. Seriously. It’s good for your liver – especially if you drink alcohol. Since we bought it ( a good deal on Tesco website) I can’t tell you how much I love my espresso machine, and the fast, caffeine-filled goodness that it delivers.

Coffee is one of the few good things about the Americanisation of the UK High Street – coffee shops. Is there anywhere finer? The place on the high street you can take the kids and they will actually sit down for 10 minutes and behave themselves, bribed with a hot chocolate and overly large biscuit. Unlike any of the other 16 shops you’ve tried to go in today where they have run, screamed, taken things off shelves and generally made a nuisance of themselves to the extent that the shop assistants don’t even try to hide their annoyance behind a gritted teeth smile but openly scowl at you as you attempt for the one hundredth time to just buy some wrapping paper and a card for the present that’s already 2 weeks late because you loath taking the kids shopping.

Oh, come on now. No way that’s just me.

And the other awesome thing about coffee that proves it must be magical: having a hot cuppa in front of you means nobody questions why you are sitting down. Cries of ‘Mum, I need…!’ and ‘Mum, where’s my…?’ are silenced with a raised eyebrow and mug. Mum is having a sit down and a brew and everybody in this house not to interrupt that!

Long live, coffee! And all who sail in her!



Oh Gran Canaria How I Love thee

Chatting with my lovely friend over at Losing My Lemons this week, I’m getting all misty eyed about Gran Canaria again. I’ve been twice in the past 12 months and I blummin love it out there. How I’d never made it out there before last year is an utter mystery, but the flights to Gran Canaria aren’t expensive and you can get some great last-minute holiday deals.

Oh, it’s such a lovely island.

I love the sand dunes and the way you feel as though you could be stood in the middle of the desert.

gran canaria sand dunes

And the fact that at any moment you might come across a naturist in all their glory, as much of the beach is a nudist beach.

gran canaria sand dunes

I love that clothed people and nude people share the same space, and walking along the beach it’s completely normal for a naked person to casually stroll back to their towel from the sea. Any place that embraces nakedness is fine with me.

And the way parts of it look like some sort of lunar landscape.

gran canaria sand dunes

I love the mountains in the centre of the island and the way the empty, barren land turns into lush, verdant vegetation.

gran canaria mountains

And this donkey sanctuary up in the mountains is both amazing and unexpected.donkey sanctuary gran canariaIt’s a beautiful wooden structure, all made by the family that run the sanctuary and they are unbelievably friendly and welcoming.

Oh and the food of the island. The sea food, the Canarian potatoes and the meat. Plates and plates of meat fresh from the gran canaria


And I love the random little happy things that make you smile, you come across them all over the island.

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But the thing I love most, the absolutely best thing about Gran Canaria.

gran canaria


My lovely, lovely friend from the hysterical blog Losing My Lemons and her gorgeous family. I think I need to book another trip very soon.

Love you Mrs Lemons.



What Was I thinking?

Since leaving school my son has been hell bent on growing his hair as long as possible, refusing point blank to let anyone anywhere near him with scissors. Despite all the best efforts of my mother and his father, he has resolutely refused to have short hair.

I have to admit, I kinda loved it. I love his stubborn it’s-my-hair-and-I’ll-do-what-I-want attitude. Don’t know where he could have got that from, ahem. And I Ioved his hair. He has such thick, beautiful hair that it should be allowed to grow. It’s the sort of hair that should fall over shoulders in long shiny locks, not be kept at military length


But a couple of days ago I’d stupidly left some scissors out and he felt the tug that so many children have felt before him: the seductive siren call of ‘Why don’t you just chop a little? Go on, you know you want to.’

He only went a lopped about a third of his blummin hair off.


Great big swathes of hair missing from both sides. I could have wept. There really was only one thing left to be done. A trip to the barbers was on the cards and goodbye gorgeous, thick, silky long hair. Hello strange little boy I barely recognise


He’s happy with it, that’s the main thing. And if he ever decides to grow it again I shall be hiding those blummin scissors far from sight.

I don’t know who I’m more exasperated with: him for chopping his lovely hair, or me for leaving the stupid scissors out in the first  place. Gah.

You know you’re really bad at dating when…

The oddest thing seems to have happened since I started internet dating. I seem to be getting less good at it as time goes on. Standard practice dictates that the more you do something the better at it you get, but I seem to be suffering some reverse polarity of logic when it comes to dating. I have somehow gone from dating a guy for 2 months and then getting dumped, to going on three dates with a guy before being given the elbow, down to only getting as far as the second date, and then the first. And now I can’t even get that far. I make plans to meet people and they cancel on me with mere hours to go. Kicked to the kerb before they’ve even met me. It’s happened three times in the last week.

I’m beginning to think I must be very much of an acquired taste. Not something palatable by most of the human population.

I’m predicting that there are only three more levels to drop down before I reach the ranks of those that are completely undateable.

  1. Being stood up. Not even worth the cancelation message, I will simply find myself hanging out alone at coffee shops and bars on a fairly regular basis. To the point where I will be stupendously surprised if anyone ever turns up and when some chap stops by the table and opens his mouth to speak, I will have already press ganged him into sitting down and talking to me before he can alert me to the fact that he’s actually with that girl over there and he just wanted to know if the second chair at my table was free.
  2. Not being worth an attempt at meeting. No dates will be set, no messages sent. I shall be sentenced to a life time of hanging around online dating sites having being black-balled by every other member. Dating sites will eventually invent a tumbleweed animation to roll across the screen every few seconds just to keep me company. A couple of them will ask me to leave because I’m bringing the tone down.
  3. People will suddenly start messaging me again, in droves. But only to tell me how they hope they are never unfortunate enough to happen across me accidentally in public.

As it goes I’m kind of looking forward to stage three, but mostly just so I can mock their grammar.

I can open the wine now, right?


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