RIP Lemmy

Whether you’re a rock and roll fan or not, everyone knows of Lemmy Kilmister; hard drinking, hard living, epitome of a rockstar.


His death from cancer, so suddenly, is a surprise; although he hasn’t been well for quite a while.

I saw Lemmy performing live twice.

The first was with his rockabilly super group side project The Head Cat, at the Garage in London, 4 years ago. The place was absolutely rammed, and deservedly so. This was the first (and only) time the band played outside of the States and it was something special.

The second was seeing Motorhead at the NIA in Birmingham 14 months ago where the gig started, as ever, with the immortal line “We are Motorhead and we play rock n roll”.

Rock hard on the other side Lemmy. The music world has lost a great one.

Post Christmas round up

Did everyone have a fab Christmas? I hope so. Ours was full of food and family, as it should be (family first, obvs). The spare bedroom came together to look like a beautiful boudoir for my Mother in Law (maybe boudoir is the wrong word for a 76 year old woman?!) The flat looked like a beautiful festive grotto and lunch was, as always, a pleasure to cook (and eat!)

Christmas Day and night was a massively relaxed affair with drinks flowing, watching films and generally feeling very happy. Just like Christmas Day and night should be.

Boxing Day lunch was at my Mom’s, then an evening visit to my Dad’s where I proceeded to wear as many Christmas presents as I could as I opened them – what can I say, there was a lot of my beloved leopard print and I wanted to make the best of everything immediately (the Christmas pudding hat was a late borrowed addition, and yes those are leopard print tights on my head).

Christmas leopard print

We were ridiculously spoilt on all sides by our families, overwhelmingly so, and felt humbled and grateful and lots of other adjectives to describe ourselves in the face of so much love and happiness.

On our return home yesterday I retired into my new leopard print loungewear (which has pockets!), drank Bailey’s, ate Pringles, and watched Christmas films. Because Christmas doesn’t finish until my work alarm goes off on Monday 4th Jan.

Today I’m still in PJs, having a Mexican day – the perfect antithesis to traditional roast dinners (which, by the way, I would totally eat all over again now) – eating a tex mex buffet (onion rings, garlic mushrooms, spicy potato wedges and sweetcorn jalapeno fritters), with the promise of turkey fajitas later. I may may not won’t get out of my PJs at all.

This is one of our only days of doing nothing during the holiday.

And I’ll enjoy every minute.

Ooh, and panto tomorrow! (oh no it isn’t; oh yes it is!)

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals! Keep the change!

Favourite Christmas films

Christmas films.jpg

There are traditions in our home around Christmas films. One is that we (or, more accurately, the husband) start watching them at the end of October, when Movies 24 switches to Christmas 24 at weekends. We love a made for TV Christmas film. There are some shockers, but we’ve seen some great ones. If I was an actor I’d insist on making a Christmas film. So much fun. Although some of them are pretty tenuous – just a storyline that’s set at Christmas. No! We need Santa!

Another is that we watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (the husband’s favourite Christmas film) on December 1st. Plans were scuppered this year when he couldn’t find the remote for the BluRay player. He took it well.

Another one that has to be watched is Home Alone. I always wondered how come the Mom and Dad didn’t realise there was a spare ticket for Kevin when they get to the airport. Then last year I saw this clip of things you may have missed in the film, and it turns out that when Kevin spills the milk the evening before (the incident that gets him sent to the attic room) his ticket gets swept into the bin as the mess gets cleared up. So now it makes much more sense!

(check it out – 1 min to 1.15)

We haven’t watched it yet this year, it’s a Christmas Eve tradition (I’m usually wrapped up in sellotape, swearing and half drunk on wine by this point, bemoaning that I should have started my Christmas wrapping earlier and cursing the husband every time he tells me to shush).

We did, however, watch Home Alone 2, which I’ve decided I prefer out of the two.

On the subject of Home Alone, have you seen this very dark sketch of Macauley Culkin playing Kevin in the future? Well worth a watch and very funny/weird/creepy!

One of the presents I got for my birthday was The Holiday. Which, oddly, I only saw for the first time a couple of years ago when it was on TV in January. A Christmas film in January? It was either a bit late or very early for the following Christmas! Anyway, it’s a new favourite! So we’ll be watching that over the next few days too.

Oh, and The Santa Clause was one of the first ones we watched this year, and is a new entry into the list of “films we must watch every year”.

Controversially, one of husband’s work colleagues said you’re not allowed to watch Christmas films after Christmas Day. Say what? I disagree wholeheartedly. As far as I’m concerned it’s Christmas right up until I go back to work on 4th January, as my eating, drinking and watching habits will demonstrate!

Are there any other films that should be on my list? What are your favourites?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x


My birthday in pictures

It was my birthday on Sunday! Another year older, and all that jazz. I certainly wouldn’t say I’m growing up, or will ever be a grown up actually (the husband called me a woman on Sunday, and I was like no! I’m still a girl!) But the candles on the (hypothetical) birthday cake keep piling up! That’s life!

Anyway, after a less than auspicious Saturday, I was feeling very un-birthday like. But I woke up on Sunday to blue skies and sunshine, and the husband singing Happy Birthday to me before I even opened my eyes, so I was determined to make it a good day.

I got new pyjamas, which were quite apt considering how crappy I’d been feeling!

New pyjamas

Oodles of presents including a girly trip to London in the New Year, Marc Jacobs Dot, a beaded fringed bag, a journal set, some of my beloved Brian Cox, a light up make up mirror (so I can see my aging wrinkles more clearly, ha!), pantomime tickets with the amazing Julian Clary (oh no I didn’t…oh yes I did!)


Marc Jacobs Dot

Jessica Simpson fringed bag

Carolina Herrera journal set

Brian Cox The Human Universe

Light up mirror

Aladdin pantomime

Plus loads more things too. I was supremely spoilt and very humbled.

I drank prosecco for breakfast and then we went into Birmingham to meet some friends for some festive fun at the German market.

German Christmas market

We saw Chris Moose and had a singalong.

German market Chris Moose

Drank mulled wine and beer.

Beer and mulled wine

Visited the Big Hoot Santa Owl in Great Western Arcade.

Santa Owl

And gave him a hug!

Me and santa owl

Went to The Oasis to get some ear piercings (part of my birthday pressie from the husband, more on that another time).

Me getting pierced at The Oasis

Drank more mulled wine.

Mulled wine santa mug

Had another singalong, with the live band.

German market singalong

Popped round to Centenary Square and drank hot toffee cider – OMG! This stuff is amazing; I’d like it on tap in my home.

Hot toffee mulled cider

Oohed at the big wheel.

Birmingham big wheel

Had a cheeky cocktail in The Victoria and oohed at their traditional Christmas decorations.

Traditional Christmas decorations

Then came home and got indian food and snuggled up on the sofa (wearing my new PJs, obvs) and felt very pleased with myself.

What have you all been up to?

Thanks, as always for reading! x

The Christmas Tag

I saw this on another blog and thought I’d like to get involved, because the festive feels are upon me!

Christmas tag

What is your favourite Christmas film?

Not sure I have a favourite? We watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation early doors every year as that’s a tradition. And I love Bad Santa just because it’s so naughty! And also The Santa Clause. I couldn’t choose! I love a “made for TV” Christmas film; like those on Christmas 24. There are some shockers, but we’ve seen some great ones. If I was an actor I’d insist on making a Christmas film. So much fun. Although some of them are pretty tenuous – just a storyline that’s set at Christmas. No! We need Santa!

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

When there’s been snow on the ground, yes, but not fresh snow on Christmas Day. It’s a nice idea if you don’t have anywhere to go, but when you need to be visiting and driving it’s just a pain in the ass.

Where do you usually spend your holidays?

We spend our holidays at home; we have my Mother in Law over for Christmas lunch and then usually visit my family in the evening, although this year we’re staying home Christmas Day and night (mother in law is staying over) so I won’t have to drive anywhere (which means I can drink wine!)

What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You. It’s just the best. So much fun to sing a long too, even if I’m really bad at it and can’t hit the high (or any) notes.

Do you open presents on Christmas Eve?

Nope. Why would you do that? Occasionally we allow each other one present to open, but generally it’s all Christmas morning. It’s the rules.

Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer?

I doubt it. There’s Rudolph (obvs!), Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Blitzen, Cupid and Comet. Is that all of them? Oh, and Vixen! It’s only fresh in my mind as we watched The Santa Clause a couple of weeks back.

What holiday traditions are you most looking forward to this year?

Just the usual eating, drinking, staying up late, watching box sets and sleeping in. It’s good to have time off work and relax.

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Artificial! We couldn’t have a real one – our flat is too warm and all the needles would drop off.

What is your all-time favorite Christmas sweet/treat?

I don’t think I have one. Although we do have shortbread and whipped cream on Christmas afternoon (try it, it’s amazing) and that’s the only time we have it all year.

Be honest: Do you love giving gifts or receiving them better?

Giving. I stress so much about buying presents because I want people to be happy. I’m lucky enough to be able to buy myself stuff all year round so I never have a big list of stuff I want.

What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?

I remember being super duper happy with my Barbie caravan when I was about 6 or 7.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holidays?

Nowhere. I like being at home and seeing family and friends. It wouldn’t be right without that.

Are you a pro-present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

I start with good intentions but then lose interest because I have so many to do. It’s basic wrapping of paper and tape; no fancy bows or ribbons. It would take far too long.

Most memorable holiday moment?

When me and the husband decided that we were getting married at about 4am after getting back from a Christmas party. Not getting married there and then! But that we would become husband and wife.

What made you realize the truth about Santa?

I can’t remember. I was an analytical clever kid, so probably the realisation that there’s no way one guy can get round the whole world in just one night!

Do you make New Years Resolutions? Do you stick to them?

I don’t make them, what’s the point? It only adds extra pressure on, and January’s pretty miserable anyway without making life harder. I do subconsciously tell myself I’ll eat less/drink less/exercise more but that’s a knee jerk reaction to the over indulgence of the holidays.

What makes the holidays special for you?

Time off work! Just kidding (a bit). Sparkly lights. Seeing family. Everyone smiling. People being generally nicer and happier and kinder to each other.

I’d love to read anyone else’s Christmas tag – if you want to take part please link to your responses in the comments section so I can have a nosy!

5 things you know if you have a December birthday

It’s my birthday on Sunday. It will be something of a double whammy, as I realised that I’ve told two different people I’m a year younger than I actually am in the past two weeks, so it will be like getting two years older, in a way. Gulp!

I’m not that big on celebrating my birthday, because there’s always so much other stuff going on.

Here are 5 things you’ll know if you have a December birthday (or 5 things to consider if you know someone else who was born this month).

1 – The offer of joint gifts is never acceptable. Would you ask me if I wanted a combined Christmas and birthday present if I was born in June? No. Stop it.December birthday

2 – Everyone is busy with Christmas parties and work events and often can’t make it to your birthday plans.

3 – People are generally in a festively excitable mood anyway, so you don’t get your moment in the sun where people are jolly just for you (what an attention seeker!)

4 – You’re not sure if your post contains birthday or Christmas cards, so often open stuff by mistake.

5 – All your gifts come too close together. Nothing all year and then an overwhelming amount of stuff pretty much in one go. If there’s something you want in summertime you either need to buy it yourself or wait (not good if it’s something seasonal!)

On the plus side at least everyone is in a great mood and ready to celebrate. Imagine a January birthday when everyone is skint and on a detox. That would be awful.

Do you have any gripes about your birthday timing?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Dynamo at the Barclaycard Arena

On Friday night I went to see Dynamo. I’d booked the tickets in October last year, so had been waiting a long time! As it got closer I started to worry a little about how close up magic would work in a big arena environment, but my concerns were unfounded. It was brilliant.


I’ve always thought that Dynamo comes across as a really sweet and likable person, with quite a humble attitude and a strong family focus. Seeing him live reinforced that; he’s a genuinely nice bloke. The show touched on his background, and his struggles as a kid being picked on in his local area. He spoke about his Grandma and Grandpa with such respect and love, and they’re obviously a massive part of who he is today. There was even video footage of his Gran doing a card trick, which was great!

He indulged in some banter with the audience and made some funny quips and jokes which weren’t expected – I’d say he’s had some coaching prior to the tour as his shyness definitely wasn’t present (and with an audience of 5000 people that’s a good thing!)

There was a lot of audience participation and random selection of people which I suppose is there to prove that the people who are taking part on stage aren’t planted and “in on it”. There was no trick that I could say “I know how he did that” and most of them were so brain bafflingly complex so I couldn’t even begin to think how they’d been designed and orchestrated. It’s easy to suggest that camera trickery and clever editing are at play when you watch magicians on TV, but in a live environment there’s nowhere to hide. Leading me to declare, during the interval, that “magic must be real” (I’ve long suspected this, to be honest, regardless of the guffaws I’m met with whenever I share that opinion!)

I won’t talk about any of the tricks, as Dynamo made that request at the end of the show, but suffice to say I would highly recommend getting tickets to what’s left of the tour (if there are any still available) and prepare to be left scratching your head and wondering what on earth you just witnessed with your own eyes!

5 not so great things about internet shopping

OK, I extolled the virtues of online shopping yesterday, and I stand by those things.

Online shopping

But as a prolific online shopper (which sounds better than over-orderer!) there are things that I hate too…

1) Getting your hopes up on the perfect dress/top/playsuit, and then it turns up and looks (and feels) like one of your Nan’s tea-towels. Who said the camera doesn’t lie?

2) Not being able to judge the sizing by holding an item up on the hanger and therefore having to order 3 sizes in everything just to be sure.

3) The look you get at the post office when you turn up regularly with 73 parcels to return – the customers hate you for slowing the queue and the postmaster judges you for shopping again

4) Keeping track of refunds – did New Look/Dorothy Perkins/H&M process all of the orders I’ve sent back in the last 2 weeks?

5) When you can only return items to store, so have to spend AGES at the till while the cashier refunds what seemed like a small order online, but in reality is half your monthly salary.

Of course it’s a small price to pay, so I’m not going to be quitting any time soon…

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

5 great things about internet shopping

I hardly ever go real life shopping anymore. I find it such a drag. Internet shopping is so much better; especially at Christmas. Who wants to brave the crowds of marauding stressed out shoppers buying things for the sake of it? And getting hot then cold then hot then cold as you wander in and out of shops? Urgh!


Here are my favourite things about shopping online.

1) You don’t have to squeeze into tiny changing rooms (H&M Bullring, I’m looking at you!), or changing rooms with the curtain hanging off and bits of old coathanger and chewing gum on the floor (Primark Birmingham, you’re guilty).

2) You don’t have to keep getting in and out of your jeans or shoes when trying things on (just do it all before bed time then get into your PJs, genius).

3) You can order loads of stuff because you don’t have to carry the bags, hurrah! And ordering more usually qualifies for free delivery, so technically it’s economising (but take pity on your courier when he’s delivering yet another haul to your front door).

4) You can do it any time of day (or night) whatever you look like.

Online shopping wine

5) You don’t have to mix with other people (I’m not anti-social but Saturday shopping crowds and queues for the escalator/fitting room/till? Er, no).

How did we ever cope without it?!

Are you an online or real life shopper?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

The baby debate (with some really awesome memes!)

I’ve read a couple of articles recently that talk about the “phenomenon” of women not wanting babies.

Not, not wanting them at a particular point in life.Not wanting them at all.

The first article I read spoke to a woman who has been fighting for sterilisation rather than continuing to use contraception (which, let’s face it, can and does fail). She’s childless and knows she doesn’t want children. Ever. Yet she keeps getting pushback from health professionals who don’t want her to make that permanent decision.

She was nearly 30.

Now, I’m firmly in the no kids camp. The idea of being a mother does nothing for me. I have no aching womb, no maternal instincts, and no desire to push a human being out of my front bottom. So obviously I’m going to defend her position and stand up for her.


But actually, regardless of your stance, isn’t it pretty disgusting that a grown woman with years of life experience is being told she doesn’t know her own mind? Complete strangers think they know her better than she knows herself?

Not broken

Why is a woman’s personal view on procreation such a big deal? Why is it everyone else’s business? And why, in this day and age, are we still expected to be baby makers, and frowned upon when we express a different view?

I appreciate that women who don’t want children are in the minority. Girls grow up with dolls and pushing prams and there is a certain unspoken expectation that they grow up and have their own kids. I was no exception. I grew up with that expectation of myself. Hell, at 20 I’d even picked out kids names with my then boyfriend (cringe). Because that’s what girls do. I thought I’d follow the path of meeting a boy, getting married, living in a semi detached house with a garden, having kids, and going for Sunday lunch at my parents’ house once a month.

My life now couldn’t be further away from that. The only conventional thing I’ve done from that list is get married. Outside of that I live in a flat, I spend all my money without fail every month, I drink too much, I have hangovers most weekends, I enjoy afternoon naps when I’m at home, I swear like a trooper and I fill all my space with clothes and shoes. I have no room in my life for a child – physically or figuratively.

No children

The great thing about this is that the husband feels the same. We were friends for two years before we got together, so we already knew each others opinion on children by the time anything happened between us. In fact he split up with a previous fiancée because she announced she’d be having a baby as soon as they were married, so he couldn’t really be clearer! We’re both only children, but neither of our families have expressed any interest in us giving them grandchildren (thank God!)

I can only imagine the pain and heartbreak it must cause if one person in a relationship wants something different to the other. It’s so important to set your stall. I don’t think there can be a middle ground with children.

And yes, I know that people change their minds. Maybe personal circumstances change, or they meet a new person with whom they want to share the joy of children. So in that respect I can see that the NHS is trying to avoid future heartbreak. But I’m sure, if you sit people down with an assessor or psychiatrist, you can tell the difference between those people who are on the fence and those who are a vehement no. In the meantime women are having to continue with contraception and, in some cases, dealing with unwanted pregnancies, simply because the powers that be think they know better.

And it’s not just professionals. Everyone seems to have a view. You get married and people want to know when you’ll be starting a family. Not just people who are close to you either. Work colleagues, shopkeepers, the window cleaner. Worse still, when you say never, the condescending “you’ll change your mind” statement. No I bloody won’t! Now bog off out of my business!

My decision

The temptation to tell people I’m infertile just to watch them squirm is immense. For the record, I’ve been told I’d make a brilliant parent (aside from the drinking, swearing and sleeping for as long as I like, when I like). I lived with my step brother and sister during my 20s, when they were 18 months and 3 years old. I looked after them, bathed them, cared for them, played with them and fed them. I adored them. But the difference was they weren’t mine. Ultimately they weren’t my responsibility. I was a part time participant when it suited me. The responsibility sat with my Mom and her husband.

In truth, I’d love to want children. I think it must be so rewarding. Seeing that tiny hand curl round yours, a smile that lights up when your child looks at you, or the cuddles and kisses just for being there. But I don’t want it. None of that is enough to make up for giving up the life that I’ve chosen for myself. That’s not being selfish. That’s being self aware.

Besides, you wouldn’t question a woman about the fact that she chooses to have children. You wouldn’t ask a pregnant woman if she was sure, or what would happen if she changed her mind. You wouldn’t try to cajole her by telling her she’d make a bad parent.

So why is it acceptable the opposite way around?

Don't have children

Maybe, just maybe, the NHS should start giving women the credit that they’re due, rather than treating our independent thoughts and beliefs as silly hormonal confusion and brushing them under the carpet.