Why I am so bad at writing

logoI just wanted to explain a bit more why I am so bad at writing my blog at the moment.

I am doing a Social Media Manager course.  I am doing this on top of my normal work, helping Rob with his company and setting up my own company.  Oh and housework, wife work, mother work etc etc.

But I have 6 weeks left, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I promise to be a bit more inspiring and regular at writing, once I have got to the end of that tunnel.

This has been the most exciting, tiring, brain pounding thing I have ever done and I know it will be worth it.

So I am asking if you have a bit of time to join me on my journey.

I would love for lots of followers on facebook, twitter and instagram.  And if in the next 6 weeks you could like, comment and generally enthuse about everything, I would be eternally grateful.  It’s all about the statistics people, need those numbers to go up and up.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lovedancehants/

Twitter: @LoveDanceHants

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lovedancehants/

AND if you are in Surrey or Hampshire I would love people to enter my competition.  All you have to do is comment on my competition post on Facebook – telling me your favourite dance class/event/show etc.  And you will go into a prize draw to win a bespoke dance t shirt.

I am very grateful for all of you, all my very, very, very tired love, Fiona.

Mother’s Holiday

20170529_17151420170601_105916(0)Hello my loves,

I am so sorry that I haven’t written lately, I have been on Holiday.

Not for a whole month, just for a week.  But you know what it’s like as a mother….

The week before the Holiday is spent packing for everyone, washing everything, buying everything, organising tickets, money, taxis etc.  By the time I got on the plane I was a stressed-out mess with bags under my eyes the size of the suitcases I had packed.

washingThen the week on Holiday I managed all the money, tickets, organisation, map reading, tour guiding, decision making, food ordering in very poor French/Arabic, and haggling.

The week after Holiday I spent unpacking, washing, ironing and catching up on all the things that weren’t done whilst I was away.

And then last week, well I was just exhausted…

But the Holiday was marvellous and worth it.  We went to Marrakech in Morocco. I went there when I was young, single and fancy free and it’s one of my most favourite places in the world.  I was excited to take my family and was hoping they would love it too20170528_133609

I had organised 3 days in the Medina (Old walled town) of Marrakech and then 4 days by a pool, sleeping in Bedouin tents.

Well it wasn’t the HUGE success I thought it would be, but they did enjoy themselves a little bit (ungrateful so and so’s).  The kids were a bit freaked out by the intensity that is the Arabic market place and Hubby was bored sitting by the pool.  You can’t please all the people all the time.

But I don’t care I loved it.  It was the first time since having children that I got my old travel the world feeling back – that amazement, freedom and excitement that you get going into somewhere so foreign and intense.  I could feel my confidence and my sense of wonder come back – instead of the general tiredness that is my life at the moment.  And the bags under my eyes weren’t there when I got back on the plane.

IMG_8836And I shall be going back – probably by myself 😊

I am not stopping to smell the flowers…

20170518_093259(0)I am very happy within myself.  I love my life and the people I share it with.  And I do normally cherish all the little moments in life and try to teach my children to do the same.  I do normally stop to smell the flowers…

But at the moment I am clawing my way through each day and I am wishing my life away. Every morning as the alarm is going off, my stomach starts clenching with panic. I am thinking “How am I going to get through everything today?” even before my eyes are open.  I keep mumbling to myself under my breath – just gotta keep going, just gotta make it to August.

I am exhausted and stressed and panicky.

But please don’t worry about me, my lovely ones, I did it to myself and I am having the time of my life and I will make it to August.  I will just be a slightly crazed version of myself.

What made me think I could add a study course on top of my already manic life?  I don’t know, but I obviously thought I could do it.  And I can, and I will.

It just means that my house is a complete tip.  My kitchen cupboards are so bad, that I don’t even open them any more to put the shopping away, I just put everything on top of the cupboards.  My bedroom is shrinking – I keep putting things on the floor that I am meaning to sort out and then never go back to it (plus the fact we have the new bathroom stored in there, whilst the tiling, plumbing and flooring is being done.)

I spend from 8.30 am to 12 pm at my laptop.  But I truly am having the time of my life.  Yes truly.  I am loving everything I am learning and I am desperate to do really well and I want it all to be perfect. I have met the most lovely and amazing bunch of ladies in my study group and I am really, really inspired.

I am doing a Social Media Management course and it’s so exciting.  The possibilities and the scope for my future are amazing.  It’s combines my geekiness with my creativity. And it’s fun.

I just wish I didn’t have all the other stuff in my life – like cooking, cleaning (not much of that getting done), washing, children, husband – blah, blah, blah, on and on and on….

I want to go back to that girl at university, who had ALL THE TIME in the world, but flounced her way through, not going to lectures, doing “handwritten!!!!!” essays the night before, studying for exams on the way to the exam hall and I want to give her a big SLAP! Why did I throw away that opportunity to learn – well I didn’t really, I did really well, but I can’t say I was enthralled by the whole learning process.

Now what I would give for all that time, endless time to immerse myself into the learning. I want to be sequestered in the university library, with the WHOLE day ahead of me to learn.  I want to eat Vegemite and Twisties sandwiches (an Australian thing!!!) and never ever cook.

So if you see me over the next few months, don’t talk to me, don’t look at me and please don’t ask me to do anything (you know I can’t say no). Just give me a hug and send me on my way.  It will be okay and the future is bright…..

 

 

Living with a PIG!

20170503_200118This was Baby Girl’s room last Wednesday.  The hamster had escaped. She was lying on the floor amongst her “stuff”, looking for it under the wardrobe (look closely it’s hard to see her.)  She was in bits, sobbing and make a huge fuss, as she couldn’t find the hamster for all the stuff!  Hubby eventually found it, next to the hamster food bag, with suspiciously large cheeks and a happy look on its face.

Baby Girl declared she needed to sort her stuff out, because it and everything in the world was “IMPOSSIBLE!”

The next day, she had a day off school because of teacher training.  I went to the shop, before she had even got up and 20170504_085148bought her some boxes.  I even printed off some big labels.  I thought this might make it easier for her to clean her own room, because as I mentioned in a previous post, I have stopped doing it for her.  She wasn’t as excited about the boxes as I thought she should be (I love boxes, and this would have sent me into a frenzy of excitement!)

Off she went upstairs.  After about 20 minutes of banging sounds, she came downstairs and threw herself on the couch in full drama queen mode!  The arm was flung across her face and she was making whimpering noises.  “I just can’t do it – it’s too overwhelming!”

Sigh…..

So, I said, “Right you have my help for 1 hour.  Let’s go – now!”  I went upstairs and started ordering her about like a sergeant major.  I got her to find and collect all her t-shirts, then all her leggings, then all her jumpers etc. etc.  I neatly folded everything and put them in the correctly labelled boxes.  Once we had done that, the rest was easy.

And TA DA, it was neat and tidy.  It wouldn’t be how I would want to decorate my space, with open boxes of clothes, but this seemed to be the best solution.  

20170510_100653And this is how it is after 1 week – still tidy!!  I am in shock.  I keep checking that she hasn’t left stuff on the floor, but it seems to be working.  I asked her how it was going.  She states that she loves her boxes, as she can see everything and rifle through all her clothes. She says that it is easy to put stuff away, as she just flings it in the right box.

The moral of the story, if you live with a pig – give the pig some open labelled boxes. Don’t expect the stuff in the boxes to remain neatly folded (so don’t bother ironing anything), and don’t expect the room to look nice, but at least IT WON’T BE ON THE FLOOR!!!!

It really suxs being 11

Voiced by Baby G20170429_173851irl

So at the moment it really suxs being me.

The teachers at school are being so mean and making us do these awful tests. I know that they don’t really mean anything to me, as I will be tested straight away again when I get to Senior School in September. So why are they being so intense about them and why are they so mean.

They are making us learn really boring stuff like Modal Verbs and Subordinate Conjunctions and even mummy doesn’t know what they are and she has an English Literature Degree.

AND THAT’s all we are learning – stuff for the tests!  I love Art and we haven’t done that ALL year!

Plus, the teachers keep saying how it’s going to be harder in Senior School and there will be more homework in Senior School and we will get in big trouble if we behave wrong in Senior School – as if I am not scared enough about changing schools as it is.

Then all this stuff is happening with my body and things hurt and things are changing, so I am all embarrassed and it’s all just yuk.  Plus, sometimes I am really angry and sometimes I am really tired and sometimes I want to cry and it’s just awful.  And all the other girls are feeling like that too – so it doesn’t make it very fun in the playground if we are all emotional and don’t know why or what’s happening.

The whole friendship things suxs the big one too.  We are stuck in the same class with say 15 girls all day every day and we have to be BFFs (Best Friends Forever) and we are emotional and don’t understand.  It’s not like grownups who go to work and be polite to their workmates then go out and meet up with their real friends later.  We have to be BFFs and even mummy and daddy can’t spend 6 hours a day every day with each other without getting a little irritated.  Girls are so mean and complicated – it’s just awful.

Then I can’t decide what to wear – do I wear my cute little girl clothes that mummy wants me to wear or do I wear my comfy leggings with the hole in and the stained One D shirt or do I try to go grown up and trendy and wear short, short shorts and a midriff t-shirt.  So, I try everything on and they end up in a big pile on the floor of my room and then mummy yells at me and then I put them all in the wash and then mummy yells at me. It’s all so confusing.

OMG it’s all so intense – it really suxs being 11.

Living Without

For a year and a half, we have had no ceiling lights upstairs or in the loft bedroom.  We have been getting by with 3 little bedside lamps, which we moved around as required.  When we had visitors, a while ago, we had to give them one of the lamps – which meant our loft bedroom was in darkness for a week.

It hasn’t really bothered me – we have just got used to it and are now really good at getting around in the dark. 😊 But today the electrician has been around and we are on the way to being mostly all lit up!

This was my loft bedroom lighting before….20170420_194936

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now….20170420_195000

 

What a difference it makes and how surprising.  It’s amazing what you can get used to.  It is only when things change that you realise what was wrong.

Another example, is getting a dishwasher at the age of 43.  I used to poo poo anyone that said dishwashers were amazing.  I didn’t mind washing up, I was used to it.  But now if you took my dishwasher off me – I would stab you.  Where did I get the time to wash up?  Why did I not mind doing it?

We are all adaptable, we can all survive and all things can become normal.  Living in DIY hell for the last 12 years is normal for me.  I do not ask when things are going to be finished.  I do not ask what has been achieved.  I just get on and live and then I get delightfully surprised when something changes.  Truly I am not cross – Hubby is doing is best but money and time get in the way.  It’s just life, isn’t it?

So, in relation to this, as you may have seen in last week’s video – my mum is now here in the UK forever.  Now that is really something that for 25 years we have just got used to … living on the other side of the world from our Mum.  It was normal and we just got on with life.  But now all has changed …. oh, my what a change and realisation of what we had been missing.

It’s wonderful that we as people are so adaptable because otherwise we would just be miserable all the time.  But isn’t it wonderful when things actually come together and all becomes light and bright and happy and joyous and we don’t have to put up with no lights anymore or no mum anymore.  Woohoo!

I Have Stopped Fighting With My Daughter!

Sorry I didn’t write last week.  I went to the Pub!  Yes, I know – I was shocked myself.  I went out on a school night to A PUB.  But it’s alright I only drank tea 😊.  I met up with some girlfriends.  We used to meet up in the day, but as our children have got older, we have all got busier – so it has to be at NIGHT TIME and at a PUB.  And it was lovely.

To think that when I was living and working in London, I was out EVERY night.  How did I do that? How did I afford it?  How was I not exhausted?

Yes, I know the answer – children and age.  Sigh…..

Anyway, this week I wanted to tell you something.

I have stopped fighting with my daughter.

Well, not about everything, just about her mess and her diet.

Firstly, her diet.  She is a grazer – all day nibbling at things.  Drives me nuts!  And a lot of it is crap.  But, also a lot of it is fruit and vegetables.  It made me so very, very cross.

Then we went to the orthodontist and he remarked that her teeth were immaculate.  I was shocked, considering the amount of sweets, chocolate and other crap that she somehow gets her hand on.  Then I noticed that she actually has been eating all her dinner and I have also noticed that she does not sit down. Ever!!  She is either cartwheeling, hand standing, balleting or something.  Plus, she does 2 x intense ballet classes a week and is growing healthily at a rate of knots.

So, I stopped yelling at her about her eating and just let her get on with.  Yes, she does eat crap, but she cleans her teeth VERY well.  And she does eat a huge amount of good stuff too.  And yes, she is a fussy eater, but I just leave the sauce off or chuck some chicken nuggets in the oven instead of chicken pie etc.  I am sure that when it comes to her first date with a boy, she will be too embarrassed to order chicken nuggets and chips!

Now this is her mess.

 

I used to scream at her everyday to tidy it up and when she didn’t do it, I would tidy it and then I would get resentful and then even more cross when it was back to the same state within half an hour.

To be fair the poor girl has no room of her own, she shares a corridor with her brother and has her stuff outside of the bathroom because of our building work.  So, she is frustrated.

Then I got really busy with work, new business and study, and I stopped yelling at her about it. I have got used to pretending that it is even there. I am getting good at just glazing my eyes over it.

I also know it’s not MY mess and my friends know that I didn’t make that mess, so I am not embarrassed anymore.

And do you know what…We are getting on really, really, really well.  I mean, I actually like her.  And I even enjoy her company.  We are so much more relaxed with each other.  I still yell at her if she is rude, mean, disrespectful or if it’s to do with school work, but mostly we just get along.  It’s been absolutely lovely and a revelation.

Plus, I absolutely love, love, love it when she comes down stairs and states “I can’t find…….”  And I just say “Oh dear!” and get on with what I am doing.  I love, love that smug feeling I get!

Leaping Into The Unknown

litus

Before Christmas and all the drama that ensued, I signed up to do a Social Media Management course and I also started up a little business with a friend.

It’s been a bit slow to get off the ground, as so much happened over Christmas, but I can happily say we now have 5 good clients and 2 new ones just about to join us.  We are doing this on top of our day jobs – we both just need a bit of extra money and wanted a whole lot of learning and excitement and new strings to our bows.

It’s frightening what you can jam into just a day – running our company, looking after Hubby’s company, working, studying, helping my mum move countries, rebuilding our house and of course all the kids/house/life stuff.  But I have always enjoyed a challenge – just don’t mention that I haven’t brushed my hair or that the floors of my house are a little bit crunchy when you walk on them.

So, what are we doing????  It all started with Hubby’s company – he wanted to get some more clients, and also to steer the company to more project management, rather than just fixing.  I started fiddling with his LinkedIn and created a webpage, Facebook page and Twitter account.  He has since got a big new client and lots of interest – so really chuffed.  Then Baby Girl’s dance teacher needed help – so I set up her Facebook page.  Anyway, it has just gone on from there.  We are helping very small local businesses to get on Social Media and to manage and post for them.  It’s so much fun.

We are helping electricians, builders, hairdressers etc.  We are not a big advertising company, we are just two mums who know a bit of techy geek stuff and know how to write nice stuff and choose nice pictures.  Well it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you get the gist.

We are helping the people that just really don’t have the time to post and fiddle and twiddle on Social Media.  They have usually spent all day doing what they have to do and then the last thing they want to do when they get home is sort out their social media.  We also help those people that don’t want to know about techy social media stuff (…. Hubby….) or the ones that are frightened of it all.  We are also helping the companies that don’t have huge advertising budgets, but are just surviving month to month – just like us.  So, it’s all very local and relatable.

Our lovely hairdresser, brought her gorgeous little girl to our first meeting and my partner promptly went and found all her daughter’s dolls for her to play with.  We like a happy meeting 😊

It’s all very exciting, but I must say it’s quite daunting to put yourself out into the real world and sell yourself.  I am more hide behind my computer screen and my written word kinda girl.  Luckily my lovely partner is a great saleswoman, so we make a great team.

Do you know what I like about it?  I like seeing the real results – the “likes”, retweets and comments.  It’s an immediate pat on the back for the work you have put in.  I also like when a client is happy and they are seeing results.  It’s nice to help people.

So yes, I am busy, but I’m using my creative techy geeky side of my brain and I am making a little bit of extra money and learning so much – love learning new stuff.  I am a happy, if somewhat tired woman.

So, if you want to see and maybe like or follow or even comment, please do, we would love you to join us on Social media.  So wish us luck on our endeavour and if you know anyone that needs a bit of social media help and loving send them our way 😊.

http://www.litusdigital.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/litusdigital

https://twitter.com/LitusDigital

https://www.instagram.com/litusdigital

https://uk.pinterest.com/litusdigital

 

Death and Paperwork

When my Dad died and my sister and I went home, it was interesting the roles we took in the whole episode.  Being a nit-picking, list ticking, pedantic nutcase, it seemed best I took on all the bureaucracy and paperwork.  I have since been ringing Mum everyday to support her in all the things she has had to do since and it breaks my heart, that I can’t just do it all for her from here.

It has surprised me just how much there is to sort out and how messy it all is and how many unexpected surprises/shocks that we have had.

For example:

campbellMy poor mum lost one of their dogs, just after Dad died (he was very old and poorly, but still not a nice thing to happen.)  Anyway, a box got delivered.  It was medicine for the dead dog.  Mum had no idea about it.  She rang the company and said she didn’t want it as the dog was dead.  The lady said “Oh dear, well it’s a monthly order that your husband has organised, we will need to talk to him.”  Mum said, “He’s dead as well.”  The poor woman at the end of the phone must have gone into complete shock – but kindly offered to take the medicine back and stop the monthly payments.

My mum then tried to sell her TV and as it was brand new, she wanted to transfer the warranty as well.  But Dad had bought the TV, so Mum had to fill in forms, get a justice of the peace to sign a statutory declaration and a copy of the death certificate.  JUST TO SELL THE TV!

The solicitor has been trying to organise the sale of Mum’s house – but Dad had forgotten to sign the end of the mortgage papers in 1989.  Mum had to troop off to the bank with all the forms.  The woman said that she would have to take the forms home and get them signed by her husband.  I think at this point Mum had had enough and promptly and loudly stated “I can’t get him to sign them, he’s dead!”  Who would of thought that something from the 80’s, other than our dreadful perms and plastic jewellery, would come back to be a problem.

Then get this one… so Mum needs to move her money over to the UK when she leaves Australia for good.  The banks in the UK won’t let me open her a bank account until she is physically present here.  But the Australian bank won’t transfer her money if she is not in Australia. She is going to have to put it in my account, which will set the worlds fraud alerts off and I will get a phone call from the somebody querying it.  Honestly why do people have to complicate things so much.  Surely with internet banking, it’s just a matter of transferring some numbers on the computer.  They don’t actually have to package up the notes and post them over or anything.

Anyway, here are my top tips for dealing with paper work when and before someone dies.

  1. Talk to your partner or the person who will deal with everything after you have gone. If possible, do not leave them with surprises and if possible give them the information about everything.  I have started a “What if” book.  It has who we have our electricity with etc., bank accounts, email passwords etc.  My hubby has no idea about any of it and he wouldn’t know where to start.
  2. If possible, put money away for a funeral – THEY ARE EXORBARANT – even the cheap ones.
  3. Do not go and pay all the outstanding debts without querying them. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!  So, pay attention.  If the debt is only in the deceased’s name – the widow does not necessarily have to pay it.  The company or bank WILL NOT offer you this information, as they want it paid, no matter if the grieving widow can’t afford it.  Always push for information of the legal requirements.  For example: A secondary card owner of a Credit Card Debt is not liable.  They will not tell you this!  And they will try and chase it.  But hold firm.
  4. Expect surprises and lots and lots of silly paper work. Start a little notebook to keep track, as there is A LOT!
  5. When contacting companies, banks, government departments always search out the bereavement contact number and/or if you are dealing with older people, the pensioner line. This will get you through quicker and to a more helpful person.
  6. When talking to people about sorting it out, admit complete confusion and keep talking about the drama of it all – being a grieving widow, daughter – gets you a lot of help, and people are more likely to go above and beyond for you. Bit harsh saying that – but at this time, you need all the help you can get, so you might as well play the card.
  7. To find out the hidden things, scan the bank accounts for the last year, look for things that are paid regularly – they may be a set up payment you need to cancel etc. It’s a really good place to start if you have no idea what’s going on.
  8. Lastly expect it to take time and don’t fret, just take it step by step, one silly paperwork issue at a time.

I hope this helps someone, sometime.  Because trust me – it’s been a HUGE learning curve for me and more so for my poor Mum.  But this time in 4 weeks she will be here with us and I will be so grateful.