Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Photo Tag

I liked this game of photo tag from Notsupermum and so decided to join in.... but I had to bend the rules a little! Before you all send me to the cyber naughty corner let me explain why. 

The rules: 
Go to the 4th folder in your computer where you store your pictures
Pick the 4th picture in that folder
Explain the picture
Tag 4 people to do the same

I couldn't use the 4th photo as it was of a relative (who shall remain nameless) and had just given birth that morning! I don't think she'd thank me much - not that she knows I have a blog, or even what a blog is I fear. She was also one of the folk mentioned in my Judgemental post so I'm not going there!

Anyhoo... enough wriggling out of that and here's the 44th one instead!

Here I am in 2003, feeling very domesticated and grown up, helping to prepare our Christmas dinner in our "only just finished in time" kitchen - hence the bare plastered walls! 
It was such an exciting time - first Christmas living together, we were engaged, knee deep in wedding plans and it was the first meal we cooked in the new oven... gulp! If you look closely, somewhere in amongst the sprouts there's a glass of Veuve Cliquot - a Christmas tradition chez Thatgirl; it must be consumed whilst cooking dinner! And if you look closely at the apron it'll really make your eyes go funny - or perhaps that's the Veuve! 

And so to my 4 tagee's: Step up Yummy Mummy in Boston, Tara at Sticky Fingers, Auntie Gwen and Mom/Mum! Look forward to seeing your pictures and reading the stories!

Monday, 26 January 2009


The last few days spent watching Obama's inauguration and the surging hope and optimism of the American people has left me feeling inspired, energised and enthusiastic... and I'm British and have a lot to learn about American politics! 

The more I hear about him, the more I want to find out; I've taken to scouring the BBC and Times websites with my post breakfast coffee as opposed to lurking on Net A Porter, Celebrity Baby Scoop or Who What Wear Daily! We purchased both his books yesterday and after a week of talking about him, Small Child can now pronounce his name properly - for a while there he was known as Caramak Bama! 

I think she's taken on board my obsession! She constantly asked to see pictures of his two daughters and liked the coats that they wore for the ceremony; she asked me who the lady was that he was dancing with at one of the inauguration balls and even sat on my lap to watch his first presidential speech - in full! I'm glad that she's shown an interest and I admit to fueling the fire this week, after all, it is one of the better moments that will make up her grasp of  modern history.

Feel free to admire the U.S. Lego flag that I made for her; trust me, this was a seriously good effort for me as I don't have a huge amount of creative flair when it comes to Lego. I guess that doesn't really go with their ethos of there being no limit except that of your imagination! But she loves it even if it doesn't correctly show the number of states and isn't very practical to wave about! 

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Past Tense

I apologize if you thought you were in for a witty, sharp, punchy little number of a post, after all there must be one due along soon... but not today! Happenings this weekend have left me puzzled, thoughtful and if I'm honest, a little perplexed so the blog has to bear the brunt of it; I guess that at least lets Other Half off the hook anyway!

Towards the end of the summer I wrote that I had made contact with a friend from years past, someone who I considered to be more like a sister - we were two peas from a pod in lots of ways but very different in others that possibly only surfaced later. The reconnection was as a result of some late night, drunken Friends Reunited surfing - note to self - delete membership instantly and do not succumb in the future - it serves no useful purpose other than to perhaps indulge in some fond, bittersweet memories. 

A wise person, or maybe a tipsy and philosophical me person, once said that the past is in the past for a good reason and there it should stay. Anyway, having received an enthusiastic response from my past, we arranged to meet in September. Due to a last minute child issue on her part the meeting was cancelled so a few months, texts and a Christmas later, we had arranged to meet up today. We got to six o clock yesterday evening and were arranging time and place etc when out of the blue I got a text saying that she'd changed her mind and felt it best that we didn't meet.

To say I was surprised would be a bit of an untruth; every time Other Half had asked me if I was looking forward to seeing her, my response was "Yes, if it actually happens" so I think I knew right from the start how it would end... or not even get off the ground.

I don't have the inclination to go into too much detail, nor feel that I should, but it led me to remember why I quietly snuck out of the friendship some six years ago. Meetings were cancelled, everything became slightly erratic and I ended up feeling like I was quite frankly nothing but a pain in the arse. Which perhaps I was..... perhaps I was too needy of our friendship; after all we shared many major life events between us - marriages, divorces, unwanted pregnancy, death of a parent, realisation that a parent wishes to remain absent; not to mention the many disastrous romantic entanglements. Perhaps it all took its toll and we had nothing left to give in the end. A sentence that you only expect to apply to a relationship but nonetheless one that seems to fit in this instance.

So whilst I accept that, in this case, the past will remain firmly where it is, I do feel a tinge of sadness that we maybe lost a chance to share some better stuff at a time when our lives had finally come into land in a less turbulent place. But then perhaps hers hasn't so I'm not judging... as I said, I'm just puzzled, thoughtful and a little perplexed.    

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Just So You Know... This Is Not A Date

Such are the immortal words uttered by Other Half just over six years ago, having agreed to go for dinner upon receiving my email which simply contained those other immortal words... "I miss us". I can't remember if he said it in his response, over the phone, on the night, or all three but such was the underlying tone that it could have been in capital letters, bold and very large font! 

Having agreed to go to his local gastro pub and been informed that I could "stay over if you want but you'll be in THE SPARE ROOM", off I set from my flat in the city to his house he'd bought on the edge of the forest. Don't be fooled by the jaunty, casual tone... none of it was being undertaken very lightly by either party. 

I was sick with nerves, anticipation and stomach twisting fear that he would tell me that hell would freeze over before he'd take me back. He was in full on defensive mode, an air of distance about him that I'd seen too many times when we'd bumped into each other at the office and there was that set of his jaw that tells you exactly what he's thinking without him having to say one word. I should add at this point that this was all very much as it should have been, seeing as I'd broken his heart in ways I only later found out; revelations that made me cry for the pain I'd caused him with the simple statement of "It's just not the right time for me".
Following his precise directions to the house he'd bought after we split up eighteen months previously, I arrived, still not knowing what words of wisdom I was going to follow up the now infamous email with.  

After a quick tour of his pad that included the very definite pointing out of "here's my room and here's THE SPARE ROOM where you'll be sleeping", we walked to the pub, both of us gagging for that first drink that might quieten our jangling nerves. I was also hoping it would soften his demeanor and give me the confidence to tell him that I loved him, that I'd made a huge mistake in letting him go and to ask him if we could try again; all of this without babbling, begging or sobbing into my starter.

As it turned out I think we possibly covered every other issue under the sun before he finally came out with "So what's this all about then?"  Seeing as he'd already made it abundantly clear that this definitely wasn't a date, I had no choice but to get on and try and put my innermost feelings into words. I don't remember exactly what I said except it was honest, from the heart and accompanied by a huge sense of relief at laying my cards on the table, knowing that I'd find out one way or the other whether he would be in my future. 

Well.... both you and I know how it turned out! Although... I will say that nothing was really resolved that night and we didn't officially declare that we were back on full force, until one week, numerous texts and a Chinese Take Out/Red Wine With Lots Of Snogging On My Sofa night later! 

I will also say that the non-date did end with me sleeping in THE SPARE ROOM, despite the fact that a lot of courage inducing alcohol was consumed and I was allowed a cuddle on the sofa as we listened to Nora Jones, albeit one with me pretty much kept at arms length! 

My forgiving, gentle, loving Other Half now regularly teases me that one day, he will tell Small Child how her strumpet mother, who callously and without thought had previously dumped him, then tried to seduce him by kissing him on the neck whilst standing at the top of stairs saying goodnight! 

Sorry babe.... this is my blog therefore I get to have the last word! I went to kiss you on the cheek and you turned away, leaving me with my lips attached firmly to somewhere in the region of your neck area! So, as non-dates go, I'd say it ended pretty well and if I'd have told you then that six years later we'd be married with a daughter, I dread to think what your response would have been!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Butterflies In My Inbox!

"Blogs who receive this award are "exceedingly charming," says it's authors. This award is a fine one because it focuses not on the glory and fanfare of blogging, but in the PROXIMITY to one another through this online-world. "This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY--nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into into the body of their award."

Whilst spending yesterday evening drinking wine with Other Half, (a practice which has been relegated to only Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday nights now - seriously - this is me cutting down!), this award fluttered into my inbox courtesy of the lovely Confused Take That Fan! 
Having read the words that accompanied it, I was more than happy to accept this pretty thing, complete with butterflies, and will give it all the love and attention that pretty things deserve! This includes following my instructions to pass it onto eight other bloggers, some of whom I know have already been nominated but I would still like to echo the sentiment from me! Besides, I think I may actually be secretly related to a couple of them!

Long Lost Twin, Tara at Sticky Fingers. I love the way she writes and it is scary how much we have in common! There will come a point when I'm just going to have to sit MM down and come out and ask her if there's a twin sister she neglected to tell me about!

Same goes for Long Lost Sister aka Yummy Mummy from Boston, MA. Now I know the likelihood of us also being sisters might be a tad far fetched but I believe it to be true. I also believe that Candace Bushnell is our other sister! (Do you think that now I've acknowledged YM as my sis, she'll let me borrow these new Louboutin's when she gets them?)

Not Enough Mud also has to step up for this one! I have been hooked on her blog lately and she makes me laugh loads! This is the new Squidgy-Gate - don't miss an episode!    

For her contribution to my favourite cause, poo humour, I would like to bestow this on Home Office Mum. She is so funny and you have to read this post, unless of course you don't do poo humour.... or are eating. Which I was at the time but I still laughed until my lunch came out of my nose!  

I have given an award to Lucy And I before but you can never have too many! Whenever I feel like a stressed out mother, which is pretty often, I just flit on over to Lucy's and get my serenity back. Lucy's mum is the epitome of calm, her writing is lovely, Lucy is gorgeous and the photographs are always fantastic. Small Child now plonks herself onto my lap and asks to "go see what Lucy's doing"! The award is sent with a whole bundle of luck for the imminent arrival of Lucy's little sister!

I can't remember how I found Stiletto Mom but I'm glad I did. She is so sharp and made me both laugh and cry in her 100th post. One of my new must reads. 

The Button is Back! I cottoned on to Flower Fairies and Fairy Cakes, just as Elsie was leaving, that's me...always the last to catch onto to a good thing! But Yay! She's back and with a Baby Button on the way too. So glad you're back, please don't go again!

And I know that Confused Take That Fan gave this to me but I would like to give the award in return because she is fab! Apart from the obvious Take That and McDreamy obsession we are so on the same wavelength and hopefully she will bail me out if I ever get arrested for stalking Howard! 

And if you're all free on May 14th, can get babysitters where appropriate, happen to be down this way or indeed in the UK and are looking for an excuse to get your posh frocks out; please come to my party to help me celebrate being 39 and counting no longer!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Farewell Kitten

Today, whilst vacuuming any item in the house that stood still, which was pretty much everything seeing as Small Child was back to preschool and Other Half returned to the world of work, I decided to finally throw away what remained of my eight year old Benefit Kitten. I truly adore Benefit products as they appeal to my kitsch, girly side and will find any excuse to snaffle something up if I walk past one of their counters!

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this particular product, it's a cutesy looking box containing a powder puff filled with fine glitter shimmer. You gently pat it onto any exposed toned and tanned parts before venturing off out to wow your captive audience!

Not only do I have fewer tanned and toned parts that I wish to expose these days but there seems to be a severe lack of social occasion where I have an excuse to get them out! And rather than highlight them, you'll more likely find me checking them for excess wobble, strapping them down, sucking them in or just covering them up. So, as I cleared all my paraphernalia off the dressing table in preparation for a good going over with the Dyson, (life doesn't get anymore exciting than this on a Monday let me tell you!), I tried to think when I might last have used it. Apart from applying liberally for a friends seventies themed fancy dress 40th birthday party in November, I realised that I'd last "puffed with abandon" on our wedding day nearly five years ago! 

To misquote Britney, which I'm sure happens a lot, I'm not a girl but definitely a woman; a woman who has to face up to the fact that she can no longer justify this sort of thing gathering dust amongst her vast array of beauty junk.  Lets face it; the woman who used to do quite a good impersonation of a sex kitten has turned into a cat, albeit one who can still sometimes scrub up in order to pass for something resembling feline as opposed to plain old mangy!

And I'm glad that my time of nights out on the tiles have been replaced by nights indoors, curled up on the sofa next to my very own Tom cat! Whilst I still like to get glammed up when we venture out together, I no longer feel I have to sprinkle on the glitter; especially as it rubbed off all over his dinner suit when we got together at the office Christmas party all those years ago! Hhhmm.... perhaps that fairy dust did have magical powers after all!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Dear Mr Lagerfeld

I very much hope you enjoyed your Christmas and New Year celebrations and wondered if you could take time out of your busy schedule to assist me?

Since commencing my countdown to becoming forty I have felt a compulsion to devour copious amounts of fashion literary gems such as The Little Black Book of Style, Style A to Zoe and V.B.'s That Extra Half an Inch to name but a few. This is  alongside my monthly dietary staples of In-Style, Marie Claire, Grazia and the odd Vogue or Tatler. 

I wouldn't say this behaviour is anything out of the ordinary for me but I feel as if I am being swept along on some kind of mission with the ultimate aim of achieving true style greatness. You, more than anybody know what I'm referring to; those style icons who possess that certain Je Ne Sais Quoi. For me they would include Audrey Hepburn, Carla Bruni, Jacqueline Onassis, Christy Turlington, and of course Coco Chanel who so wisely quipped "Fashion fades - style is eternal".  
I feel like am on the path to Life, Part Two and am determined to end up more Lauren Hutton and less Bet Lynch!

So, taking Nina Garcia's advice I have started to follow the "style icon" rules:
Invest in the basics
Realise the utmost importance of shoes
Never under estimate the power of accessories
Edit your wardrobe

The shoe thing I definitely mastered years ago; with accessories, I have to say I'm still learning but am proving to be a willing pupil and the editing is going well. I have taken several critical glances through my wardrobes and continue to weed out the mistakes, disasters and clothes I have kept purely for sentimental reasons, making more room for my basics and of course, for any future investment purchases! 

Here's where you come in, because I'm sure you're beginning to wonder why I'm taking up so much of your valuable time. 

According to Ms Garcia the basics must include:
Good white shirt   -  tick. Two of those!
Well fitting jeans  -  tick. Two pairs of 7 For all Mankind safely stashed away.
Trench coat  -  tick. Not a Burberry but a very good imitation courtesy of Hobbs.
Killer heels  -  definitely a gold star! Collection includes a pair of Louboutins and Choo's.   
Little Back Dress  -  ah .... that would be a resounding no.

The LBD issue is starting to keep me awake at night! You yourself have said "One is never over - or under dressed with a little black dress". But can I find one that would go from day to night and screams understated chic? Can I heck! 

So, in case you were wondering what to get me for my 40th, as head of the house of Chanel, who better than your good self to furnish me with the ultimate style staple?  Perhaps, lurking somewhere amongst your collections you might have one going spare? I'm sure you don't have many models or A list pals who wear a UK size 12 (US 10, Europe 40) that still haven't yet found their dream LBD?  Vintage would of course also be gladly accepted.

Fondest Regards

ThatGirl39 x