31 Aug 2014

On not blogging and pleasure in failing.

Despite preaching about the importance of consistency in blogging eg: blogging regularly, to those who ask my advice on blogging, I obviously do not take my own advice. Well, in fairness I do blog consistently - but very sporadically. (Any Clueless fans, great word usage huh?)

But  it's not that I don't have ideas, and it's not that I don't have time - although I have a lot less time than pre-baby45. I just struggle to actually write. And when I do write, I'm just thinking of all the mistakes I'm making. Like:

  • too many adverbs (4 alone in the above paragraphs)
  • terrible punctuation and grammar (let's not even go there)
  • boring topics (I'm in that no man's land of not A.N.Other Mummy Blogger but not a subject specialist)See, current events, mental health, parenting, social media. I flit, like a badly written butterfly.
  • lack of multimedia (it's a pain in the ass to find pictures to illustrate concepts sometimes and then also, if I do design my own jpeg, it takes forever and then I just ....oh you get the picture right?!)
  • Waffling. Not the belgian edible kind. The going off on random tangents and forgetting the original point of the - Oh wait, where was i again?
  • Lack of lists, snappy titles, not writing huge blocks of text. But also, I don't have a sub-editor so.....
So does any of this matter? How do I get the ideas for blogposts out of my head and onto my screen? 

13 Aug 2014

Outing myself - Mental Health 101

**Warning** This is a) a really really really long post (sorry!) possibly the longest I've written, if you stick with it, thank you, but also b) it might have some triggers for people with depression/anxiety/self harm. Just wanted to flag that up now

It's hard to explain depression to people who don't have it. I don't really talk about it much, even to those closest to me. It's like something that's just locked up inside my head and it's hard to put into actual meaningful words, because doing that means thinking about it all and that's kind of painful. And also, humiliating. 

I've alluded to my depression and anxiety a fair few times on this blog and toyed with doing " a day in the life" type post. But when I'm having a bad day, the last thing I want to do it write about it. But when sad sad things like Robin Williams' suicide happen, I realise that I have a voice - and a mouth piece in this blog - and the more that people with depression are able to open up about it, the less lonely those who don't talk about it feel and the easier it is for those to understand who don't have it. (wow that was a long sentence...)

For a long time I didn't realise I had depression or the way I felt was different from everyone else. I mean yes I'd been to the GP a few times over the years but I just couldn't face talking about some of the things I thought about. The way I hated myself so much it was just built into my psyche, I couldn't imagine not feeling that way. How I didn't so much want to die or commit suicide so much as just simply not exist. Because it was just too hard. 

Nanoo Nanoo - Goodnight, travel well.....

The news about Robin Williams' passing is all over the media today. And it's just really, really sad. I thought I'd blog about it because of something that someone said at work today. They wanted to know why everyone was just so upset about  Robin Williams when there was so much other stuff going on across the world (Gaza, Syria, ISIS, Ebola....to name a few.)

And I thought about it because, fair enough, at the moment a lot of people - a lot of children especially - are going through some terrible, terrible things. But first, that doesn't take away from the grief of the Williams' family, who have just lost a much loved husband/father/brother/son/friend etc. But also for us, his fans, his audience, we have lost too.

And by fan, I don't mean autograph book wielding loon. I mean anyone really, anyone who has been touched by Williams' outstanding performances in any of his films - from Disney through to When Dreams May Come via Jumaniji, Mrs Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting and of course, Dead Poets' Society to name a few.

No, we are saddened by Williams' passing because we have lost a rare talent that provided a chink of light in the darkest of days. With poignant bittersweet humour, displayed in almost every role he had, Williams made all of us who watched him (and presumably those fortunate enough to know him in real life) feel like we were never alone and that there was always hope - and always a smile and humour.

So what makes it worse is to know that despite all this love, life was still just too painful for him. It's just so sad. But like he says in Good Will Hunting, it's not your fault Robin. Depression is a fucker, it really and truly is, I know first hand. 

I don't want this to be a post about me and my depression, but also I wanted to properly "out" myself as someone with mental health issues. So if you're interested in a little snippet of what it's like in the dark parts of my brain, it's coming up after these messages, in another post.

And Robin, to paraphrase your line in Good Morning, Vietnam. "Oh" is for "oh" you were taken too early, but I hope the sun is shining where you are. 

Thank you and good night,

Stupidgirl has left the building

24 May 2014

On My Tits + Off My Chest - One option is not a choice and Peggy Olsening women.

This post is a bit of a mish mash of some stuff about equality, sexism, feminism that's been percolating in my head for awhile. I've been following the No More Page 3 campaign, the Everyday Sexism project and read the occasional Vagenda post (see this by Germaine Greer on their book/The New Feminism) and I think a debate about feminism, sexism and misogyny is bubbling along on social media. 

I'm often confused as to where I stand or what I think - it's hard to have a proper discussion in 140chr sentences. But I guess a lot of it boils down to a conversation between husbando and I last week....

Here is the cover artwork for Ellie Goulding's single Burn  - it came out in August 2013

Here is artwork for the single of Starry Eyed from 2010

Her look seems to have changed a little over the 3 years between the images. Looking at them, I made some comment to Husbando about how I felt she'd "sold out" a bit. Husbando accused me of not being a feminist and that she had the right to wear whatever she wanted, it was her CHOICE. Well hell to the yes, she does have that right and that choice. But what I think is,  it's not much of a choice when there's only really one option. 

11 May 2014

Dear SG45...I Don't Get Twitter

Dear SG45,
I keep hearing how great Twitter is, but I just don't `get` it. It just seems to be trolls, or people talking about their lunch or celebrities. What is the point?
A Playground Dad 
That's a good question - and one I get asked a lot - what *is* the point of twitter? I don't mean for businesses or brands, but for regular people. Why do we bother, why do I love twitter so much? It's something I don't think the big bods over at Twitter articulate particularly well. Or even show us that well. (this article agrees with me). It's a bit of a catch-22, the more you use Twitter, the more I think you `get` it. It's definitely not like Facebook, or even - as much touted - like a mini blogging site. I think it's much more communal and sociable than that.

I guess Twitter is like going to a massive party with lots of different groups of people listening to lots of different music and doing lots of different things - some good and some bad. Just like at a party, the noise and chatter can be deafening and overwhelming, but once you've (figuratively) walked the room a couple times, got a drink at the bar and spotted some people you know, you start to relax and have a good time. A few hours later you end up making loads of new friends, dancing on the speakers with no idea where the people you came with went. Well Twitter's kinda like that....

I can't speak for all of Twitter's 255 million monthly active users, but here's why I love Twitter and why I use it:

2 May 2014

On My Tits + Off My Chest - Babies + Sleeping

(Quick note  On My Tits + Off My Chest - is a new series of posts on this blog about subjects that are irritating me. I can have a rant and get it off my chest! Always take these with a pinch of salt - they're not intended to be too serious....)

Babies and sleep - or lack thereof - where to start? I'll say it right now, Baby45 is a crappy sleeper. This came as news to me until fairly recently in his little life. Well, not that his sleeping patterns had changed , but that others had it better. I was more of the view that, hey, babies cry and don't sleep much. TOUGH. But apparently some people are getting a full night's sleep more than say, 5 times in the last 18 months....

Having a good sleeper seems intrinsically linked to how good you are as a parent - it's the first thing anyone seems to ask you. And if you have a bad sleeper then, tsk tsk, you *must* be doing something wrong. After all it's not like babies are biologically programmed to wake up for food or to scream to alert people to their presence. That little thing called evolution is such a bugger.

Having a poor sleeper also seems to mean that people will - as with anything parenting related - give you tons of unasked for and unrequired advice. If I had a pound for every time I'd heard any of the below, well, I'd be able to afford a really expensive sleep consultant to tell me stuff I already know...

24 Apr 2014

Hanging By A Thread

I'm a little bit excited tonight! As you know, pre-baby45 I did a fair bit of climbing - it's one of the things I miss most since he arrived. Husbando is a total climbing fanatic however and owns many books on the subject, including Mark Reeves' `How To Climb Harder`.

Tonight on twitter I spotted that Mark is actually in London on May 12th giving a lecture on The History + Technology of Climbing. Tickets are £10 and the talk commences at 7pm. As he normally spends most of his time in Snowdonia this is a real one off opportunity to hear one of the world leading experts in climbing and mountaineering speak.

Want to know more? Well here in Mark's own words is the background to how he came to write Hanging by a Thread - the book that forms the basis for this talk..... 

22 Apr 2014

In Which You Learn Useless Stuff About Me

I've changed a little in the 5 years since I started this blog.  I've gotten married, moved jobs 4 times, been made redundant twice, gotten pregnant, had a baby, moved out of London, completed Nanowrimo once and had several lengthy blog hiatuses. Here's me in 2009, 2011, 2012 + 2014!

I've done a couple of "about me" posts (here and here), but thought it was time for a new one - and a game of blog tagI've tagged some bloggers that I love in this post. I challenge them to answer these questions too and, if they feel like it, do a picture collage covering the time they've been blogging. So here goes:

19 Apr 2014

See You On A Dark Night - Lyric Day

#WhyIDidntReport has been trending on Twitter and cropping up on my newsfeed. I've been shocked and saddened by the experiences I've seen tweeted. 

I don't know why I'm so shocked though, after my own (minor) sexual assault 7 years ago, so many female friends came forward to tell me of their own experiences, many of whom didn't report it - or even tell anyone. 

I've just started listening to Grimes (real name, Claire Boucher) and her particular brand of what has been described as "ABBA meets Aphex Twin" electro-y sort of music (and also as "witch-house" which I love!), but when I heard her song Oblivion, I just couldn't get the lyric "see you on a dark night" out of my head. Because, well, I got attacked on a "dark night". 

29 Mar 2014

Parenting Venn Diagram

I think this says it all at the moment. Feel free to share!

Back soon with a proper post, promise - on being a so-called "mummy" blogger :)

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building

13 Feb 2014

Four Ways To Help UK Flood Victims

Hi All,

If, like me, you want to help all those affected by the floods and storms in the UK this year (and last), here are all the links I've found that help you donate, volunteer and support those in need. 

**VOLUNTEER with www.floodvolunteers.co.uk**

Have you got time, supplies, skills, housing or literally anything else to offer?
Sign up with www.floodvolunteers.co.uk and offer what you can. 
Those in need can search the site and reach out to you for what they want. 

Devon Community Foundation Flood Fund 
Somerset Emergency Flood Appeal Relief Fund 
38 Degrees UK Flood Relief Fund
Flood of Love Fund 
Red Cross
Flood Wings - Somerset

**OFFER HOUSING/BEDS with www.airbnb.co.uk/disaster/ukflood**

Can you offer a room or beds for those in need?
Sign up with AirBnB fto offer the space and all service fees are waived for those affected by the disaster and checking in between Feb 11 2014 + Mar 11 2014. 

**HELP FARMERS with www.camgrain.co.uk/help-flooded-farmers**

Are you or do you know a farmer able to donate a tonne crops, silage, wheat etc? 
Click the link above to find out how to help fellow farmers whose livelihoods are threatened by the floods.

Hope that helps - if you find more links that you think should be listed above, please comment below or tweet @stupidgirl45

Stay safe folks,


20 Jan 2014

Bloom Where You Are Planted. - A Photo Essay

I don't know about you, but I think January can be a real drain. No money, no sunshine, no energy to really do anything (did I mention lack of funds?).

Nevertheless I am persisting with my "no excuses" motto and persevering with re-establishing meaningful contact with friends (I hope!), saving money/sticking to my budget and getting on with chores, meal planning and cooking well. I have also lost weight. It's been hard to feel cheerful though and keep my chin up. It's a grind really, I am guessing a bunch of you probably feel the same right?

1 Jan 2014

Managing My Own Expectations

Let's face it, I'm a procrastinator. I'm going to own up to that right now. When it comes to managing expectations, I have a tendency to over promise and under deliver. I seem to think that my time is infinite and will stretch to accommodate all the things I want to do. I figure I'll just get as much done as I can and worry about the rest later.

I should add that I try not to do this at work, it's much more in my personal life. Between playdates, household chores, paperwork, toddler clubs, friends and family and my own creative projects, I'm stretching myself too thin and not really achieving much or giving my best to anything.

So instead of making a list of New Year's resolutions, I've got a New Year's motto:

If I'm committing to something, this year I really am going to do my best to see it through. Enough with the starting things and stopping things, making friends and then not seeing them, I need to really commit to things this year. And yes, I won't be able to do everything I want to do or that I think looks like a great idea but hopefully I'll finish the year having really achieved some stuff that I've been trying to do for awhile. As per my self imposed Facebook ban, I'll be avoiding the following too (I love this image!!)

What sums it up most for me is a quote about the late, great Isabella Blow - "there was no part time quality to what she did". I don't want to be part time about anything this year when it comes to achieving things. I'm going to show up and be there, full time as much as possible. 

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building.