Camera-shy, Why… ? #thereslifeintheolddogyet

I used to be ticklish until one day when I was around 10 I decided not to be any more.  I used to smoke, similarly one day I decided not to be a smoker.  The same goes for being camera-shy. Having a long-held belief that I had an enormous nose/stomach/bottom and frizzy hair, (mostly true as it goes)  I would always hide when a lens was pointed my way.  So it happened that one day last year I decided not to be camera-shy.

I vaguely remember why,  I had recently escaped from an unhappy relationship and had absolutely ZERO confidence.  Then a date was cancelled that I had been really excited about, “it’s not you, it’s me, I’m not ready, bla bla bla”.. I felt old and unwanted.  A school re-union was looming so one day I pulled myself together, got my hair coloured and de-frizzed, put on make-up and took some photos for Facebook. Actually, I took about 20 photos for Facebook, settling on two that didn’t make me want to shoot myself. Actually, for the first time in years I looked quite nice : )

THAT was the answer.. take LOTs of pictures!  I was talking to the Mothership yesterday about this, she saw my Sally Bercow pic and for once gave me a compliment.  She “never takes a good photo”, so I told her to practice.  Take an hour out, get a digital camera and have plenty of spare batteries to hand.  Take a pic, look at it.. see what is wrong and take another and another and so on until you have about 50.  I’ll bet you can find at least 5 that you like, the more you practice the more you will grow in confidence and will quickly learn how to hold your head and smile when a camera is unexpectedly poked in your face. 


Go on, go for it!  Why are we so hung up with this? We even think it’s vain to look in mirrors. I would NEVER look in the mirror in public, least some other woman thinks I am being vain, its a ridiculous hang-up to have.  Now I have finally started to grow up I am thinking “fuck-it” more often and am throwing off my hang-ups like discarded clothes. I am becoming more vocal too, as I demonstrated on Twitter yesterday by having a rather heated row!  ( The Mothership is also speaking her mind more and more, actually she is getting downright rude to some people.. hurray! Cool granny! )

One day I want to be a cool granny, I intend wearing my hair too long, my neckline too low and my heels to high. I will wear hats and carry ducklings and kittens around in a basket. I will smoke a pipe and drink whiskey! Well, maybe not.. but I sure wont be a dull old lady smelling of lavender, knitting shreddies, that’s for sure!

I wasnt sure how I would feel about being 40, it always seemed such a “grown-up” age.  I saw a tweet this week which went along the lines “I can’t imagine over 40’s having sex, eew, just eew”.. Erm, what???  I have never felt as confident in myself as I do now at 40, I just need a fella to practice on!

I have sat in an armchair for the best part of the last year, now my surgery is over (for now) I am impatient to fly, I want to grab life by the hair and drag it screaming behind me as I skinny-dip my way through the rest of my life!  So bring it on.. for my next hang-up challenge I shall dance! 

Now you, go get that camera and send me the pics : )

Shake that thang..!

More Ms Cushion For The Pushin…

An idiot who goes by the name of Kenneth Tong has set Twitter on fire this week with his tweets about size Zero.  His outrageous comments include telling women to either slim or they may as well die.. He is planning to launch a “Size Zero Slimming Pill”… that sounds extremely dangerous and I sincerely hope the government steps in to ban it. 

To my horror and disgust he has managed to make me dislike my body again. After years of dieting I had finally got to a place in my mind where I accepted the way I am and even quite like some bits of it ( * )( * )  😉  Now the little troll in my head is saying “Oooh, Size Zero pills..”

We’ve all tried to put on or lose weight in our life, yes some people do try to put on weight!  Size Zero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.. I personally prefer to look at curvy women, I grew up with Marilyn Monroe posters all over my room, Nigella is a favourite role model of mine 🙂  .

I first tried to lose weight for my wedding.  I remember standing in the bridal shop wearing “the dress”, it was beautiful. Simple but with a fishtail skirt, I had the perfect hour glass figure, I really felt like Marilyn  🙂   I told the fitter that to order a smaller size as I was going to lose weight for the wedding. She snorted. Honestly, she actually snorted!  She didnt order the smaller dress and I didnt lose any weight… bugger it.

Next came post-baby dieting, after my third child I had gone up 2 dress sizes so off to the gym I went.. I also started writing a book about my “journey from fat to slim” in the form of a diary, following my experiences, I called it The Pillsbury Dough Girl. I started it in 1998 but still havent finished writing it!

Losing weight is SO hard for me. I was always “the fat one” in the family, I had a big tummy and a big “hooter” (nose).  I was also the one who craved the Mothership’s praise and so finished all my meals. I still crave her approval FFS, at 40 you’d think I would have escaped her powers by now!

I gradually learned to accept that I will never be a size 8 – 10 like my sisters and cousins (hate them all)  unless something drastic happens, like a coma..  Like so many others, I don’t overeat, nor do I eat junk food or drink much. I “under-do”.. I can blame the Chronic FATigue Syndrome or my mobility problems but the (ample) bottom line is, as I can’t exercise atm, I have to eat less. End of. Smaller portions, simples..  

I am like Ma Larkin though, I love cooking, I love feeding people and I’m good at it.. I’m not *quite* up to her proportions, nor do I serve up anything like her portion sizes and I certainly don’t take whole chickens and champagne into the bath!  That said, I rather like taking a fella in with me ; )

So I need to re-train myself, but  how to break the habits of a lifetime?  I’ve bought smaller plates, always put left-overs straight into the fridge so we can’t have seconds and I dont eat breakfast and hardly ever have lunch.  Something’s got to give right? (Hopefully not my waistband!)

Or maybe I should get a grip, look in the mirror and shake my booty whilst sticking two fingers up at Kenneth Tong?

(More Cushion For The Pushin in the Urban Dictionary)

The Women of War….

 This week is all about the sacrifice that the armed forces made for us, specifically since World War 1.
In this blog post I would like to pay tribute to all the women who  also suffered and made sacrifices.  As the week goes on, I will update this page with new pictures and stories about the Women of War.  The role women played in our society changed dramatically, particularly after WW2. Prior to this women were considered, on the whole, to be best suited to “womanly” tasks such as housewifery, nursing, teaching etc.. The wars changed that forever.  Women found themselves working on the land, in factories, working as de-coders, even building aircraft.. here are just a few of the roles women took on during the wars… 

“Holly Housewife”  didn’t just abandon her housework though, she took on extra work in order to keep the country fed, clothed and protected..

Holly Housewife

Next, let me introduce “Poppy”, my Landgirl avatar (she is wearing a poppy covered top and has a RBL poppy tucked into her dungarees) 

Poppy the Landgirl

Poppy was just one of over 250,000 women who worked as farm labourers during WW1. With all able men joining up to fight, the women played a very important role, working on the land to ensure that Britain had a food supply.  20,000 women also joined the “Land Army”  The Land Army on Wikipedia

Vera the Sweetheart


The first “Sweetheart” was in WW1, Lady Angela Forbes was the Forces Sweetheart at camp and a wartime catering organiser for the British army from November 1914.  The British Soldiers’ Buffets, commonly known as Angelinas, met every train of wounded as it arrived and were often open 24 hours a day, and food never ran out. (Extract from Wikipedia) as above..

Since WW2, the Sweethearts have entertained the troops, the most famous for this is Dame Vera Lynn who sang her rendition of “White Cliffs Of Dover” and “We’ll Meet Again”.. other famous Sweethearts have included Marilyn Monroe, Gracie Fields and most recently Katherine Jenkins.


The nurses of course played a massive role during the wars, initially unwelcome on the front-line, they went anyway.. in their thousands, to heal, comfort and protect in any way they could.  One nurse I would like to pay particular tribute to is Edith Cavell.  Extracts taken from her website:    

She was weeding her mother’s garden when she heard the news of the German invasion of Belgium. She would not be persuaded to stay in England. “At a time like this”, she said, “I am more needed than ever”. 

Edith not only nursed on the front-line but helped “wanted” men to escape, she paid for this with her life.  On the 12th October 1915 she was executed by a 16 strong firing squad.  Her last words were:

”I realise that patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone”. 

Jenny the Wren

The De-Coder’s of Bletchley Park..  This links to a blog-post by @scarlettsdad about the secret work of the Wrens stationed at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes.  

During World War I, the United Kingdom declared a blockade of the North Sea, to which Germany responded by using its U-boats (submarines) to sink ships carrying military equipment or food to the United Kingdom, food becoming the more important as the war continued, especially after the declaration of unlimited U-boat warfare. In about two years, the United Kingdom had just six weeks’ food left and, therefore, had to ration its food supplies.

During World War II, rationing was introduced very early, One of the few foods not rationed were fish and chips. Restaurants were exempt from rationing, which led to resentment, as the rich could supplement their food allowance by eating out frequently and extravagantly.. 

Before rationing lace and frills were popular on knickers but these were soon banned so material could be saved. From March to May 1942 austerity measures were introduced which restricted the number of buttons, pockets and pleats (among other things) on clothes.

So the British had to adapt, using whatever resources they had.  The avatar above depicts a woman drawing a line up her leg to give the impression she was wearing stockings..


Benny Hill’s Britain..

There is a serious message as usual with my posts. This week Yvette Cooper revealed the findings of a report into the projeced affect the Coalition budget will have on women. 

Yvette says:

“Cutting back measures like childcare and working tax credit, when women still earn much less than men, will mean women have more limited career prospects.

“Women live on lower incomes yet they have chosen to take the majority from women,” she said.

“You have to go back in history to find anything comparative. Not since the end of the first world war have we seen such a complete reversal of women’s opportunities and economic independence. We haven’t seen an attempt to turn the clock back like this for very many generations.”

The most sexist government for generations.. Benny Hill would be so proud..

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