A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Then and Now...

As a teen did you ever think you'd grow up and stay exactly as you were? Trapped forever in the seven years that defined your teenage years... only with a car and a house and the money to indulge in all the things you loved at that time?

I guess it's normal to never want to grow up and turn into a fully-fledged adult and I'm not sure I had any concept of what it meant to be older... why would you?

I even made a promise to myself that I'd never change and would stay tuned into Radio 1 and reading Smash Hits. How times have changed...

Way back when I was a teen... I wore heels, watched Top Of The Pops, listened only to Radio 1, bought every copy of my favourite magazine, ate a lot of crisps... any flavour, (except ready salted) shopped at C&A, drank Babycham, loved any music my dad took a dislike to... especially Dead or Alive, had no plans to fall asleep in front of the TV (unlike my parents) and thought that I'd never be too old to go clubbing.

Here's the bit where I justify each and every one of those changes now that I'm 46 years of age...

Heels... you're kidding right? Wearing a pair for any great length of time makes me ache in places I took for granted would always be supple when I was younger. I'm happiest in a pair of ballerinas or Converse and so... that's what I wear most of the time.

I'm partial to Radio 2... many of the DJs I used to listen to on Radio 1 as a teen now present on Radio 2 instead. It's a lot like listening to an old friend and Simon Mayo plays Mahna Mahna on his Drivetime show every Friday around 5:15 pm... what's not to love about that! And... gulp... given half a chance I find myself listening to Woman's Hour on Radio 4.

I used to think that ready salted crisps were for old people. As a teen any flavour, no matter how weird was likely to be devoured with much enthusiasm. Is anyone old enough to remember hedgehog flavour? They tasted rather peppery if memory serves... but I kind of liked them. Now I only ever eat crisps when I have an attack of the munchies after a couple of glasses of wine. I can't justify the calories unless I'm inebriated and couldn't care less.

I've started shopping in M&S (other stores are available) they stock underwear that's sympathetic to the  forty-something figure, as well as a damn fine selection of food and wine. I'm also partial to placing orders with Boden and White Company and shopping at White Stuff, Fat Face and TK Maxx. I have a feeling the fact that C&A closed all of its UK stores back in the year 2000 had nothing to do with this decision whatsoever.

My passion for nightclubbing has been replaced by a love of dancing all over the house while listening to my iPod. But my all-time number one way to spend the evening has to be... curled up in front of the fire with a large glass of wine, a good book and being left well alone. And I guess I could be tempted by a glass of Babycham, but only with a generous measure of brandy.

My devotion to Smash Hits had wavered long before it ceased publication back in 2006. Currently I have Good Housekeeping and Red magazines on subscription and don't plan on changing my reading habits any time soon.

Are some TV programs narrated to make you nap I wonder? The soothing dialogue on the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are? meant that I failed to catch any episode in its entirety without taking a catnap halfway through. Maybe I should use this to my advantage and watch it on iPlayer as a cure for insomnia...

I'm just wondering if you turned out the way you imagined you would in your teens? I look forward to reading your thoughts...

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Sunshine Award

Marie from Normal Everyday Life nominated me for a Sunshine Award at the end of last week and as a huge fan of the meme, it was an honour to accept. 

If you haven't had the pleasure of visiting Marie's blog before, it comes highly recommended. Marie's a mum of five and loves to share posts about whatever's going on in her life... the good, the bad and the downright hilarious. I hope you'll pop over for a read... 

Apparently, I'm supposed to share 11 random facts about me. So here goes...
1. My favourite sandwich filling is peanut butter and lettuce.
2. I volunteer as a teen mentor for a local charity and my daughters think that this is hilarious.
3. I met my husband on a blind date. He was the gooseberry and shared the same name as my date.
4. I always have a secret stash of chocolate somewhere in the house.
5. I am completely nuts about my twin daughters' cat, Kitty.

6. Mr A and myself were married in a cocktail bar in the Seychelles.
7. Orchids are the only house plants I can't kill.
8. I hate cleaning.
9. When I grow up... I'm going to be a magazine editor.
10. After telling my daughters to be careful at the ice-rink, I fell over and fractured my elbow.
11. I am really rubbish at parking.
Why did you start blogging?
I've always loved to write and wanted to commit to producing regular content about parenting teens from a humorous point of view. I've been astounded by the response to the blog and discovered that there are a lot of us out there suffering from exactly the same issues with our offspring! Since I started blogging, the content has diversified to include interviews and posts about travel, lifestyle and what happens when the kids leave home.

Are you an early bird or night owl?
I've always been an early bird and having a lie-in usually means that I'll feel rubbish for the rest of the day.

Who is your favourite author?
How one earth can you choose just one? It's like having to choose your favourite chocolate bar. And so, I may have to cheat ever so slightly and say that currently I'm enjoying anything by Jodi Picoult, but here's a link to a post about books that have inspired over the years

What is your guilty pleasure?
It would probably be sneaking off for a cat nap whenever the opportunity arises. I love a good snooze as I often sleep badly at night and can feel desperate to catch up after lunch. Half an hour later the world looks so much brighter and I'm raring to go again.

What is your all-time favourite TV show?
Can I cheat on this one too? And say, Have I Got News For You? I love this satirical show and think that Paul Merton is one of the most talented comedians in the UK. Obviously, I love a whole lot more than that, so here's a link to a post about what I really watch on TV when no one's looking! 

Name three things on your bucket list? 
There are dozens on there but here goes, I've chosen just three... 
1. See the Northern Lights.
2. Move to Cornwall.
3. Create the perfect seaside pad.

What's your favourite way to relax?
Curled up on the sofa with a good book and a glass of wine. Can't beat it!

Do you collect anything?
OK. I know this is going to sound weird, but I keep all of the cat's whiskers. Who knew they fell out? I find her whiskers all over the house and can't bear to part with any of them.

Just a few from the collection
What's your favourite post on your blog and why?
It's so hard to pick just one... but this recent post called Reverse Cinderella Syndrome was an easy one to write and summed up exactly how I was feeling at the time. That's my kind of blog post!

Do you enjoy appetizers or dessert more?
Ooh, that's an easy one and it would have to be dessert every time. Dessert is most definitely the highlight of any meal and I have a very sweet tooth. I love almost anything except raspberries.

What is your favourite season and why?
I love the simplicity of summer. Wearing summer clothes and not having to leave the house all wrapped up in layers is lovely. Days out and holidays and regattas and dipping your toes in the sea and not feeling cold... yay! What's not to love?
And my nominations for the Sunshine Award are...
1. Kat at Ginger Snap Blog
2.Claire Justine at ClairejustineOXOX
3.Sarah at Mum of Three World
4. Kim at Northumberland Mam
5. Anne at Raisie Bay  
6. Amanda at City Girl Gone Coastal 
7 Nell at Pigeon Pair and Me
8 Orli at Orli, Just Breathe
9 Sonya at the Ramblings of A Formerly Rock N roll Mum
10 Cathie at Wicked World of Lucas
11 Ting at My Travel Monkey

And here are my questions for them...
1. What's the inspiration behind your blog?
2. How do you like to unwind after a crazy day?
3. What's your most treasured possession?
4. Do you have any hidden talents?
5. What were you like as a child?
6. What was the last gig you went to?
7. Wine - red, white or rosé?
8. What's the best advice you've ever been given?
9. What were the last 3 things you bought?
10. In my next life I'm coming back as a ...
11. If you could go anywhere in the world for a holiday,where would it be? 

Here's hoping you'll join in, but if you choose not too, that's fine. It's summer and you should be able to do exactly what you want to and make the most of the sun while it lasts. 

Huge thanks to Marie for nominating me. I always love a good meme and coming up with the answers is always a fun thing to do.

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Older, None the Wiser

Back when I was a teen, I had no concept of what it was to be 40-something. I guess if I'd asked myself back then how things would be going in my forties, I'd have expected to have life fathomed out quite well. Who knew that life would be peppered with compromise and I'd be getting it wrong even now?

Here's the low-down:

I'm happy that:
  • I still love pop music, even if my offspring think this is tragic.
  • My wardrobe is considered enviable by my daughters and sometimes they even borrow stuff. I still wear skinny jeans and bikinis and have no intention of giving up either anytime soon.
  • My hair is longer now than it's ever been and I really couldn't care less that my mother hates it.
  • In my mind, I'm still 21-years of age and who wants to be a grown-up anyway?
  • Finally I have mastered the art of running a house (in a fashion), cooking a half-decent meal (and if it's rubbish I ply guests with wine so they think it's good), and faking being a grown-up when it's absolutely necessary (although I can only manage this in short bursts) .
And here's what I don't really want to admit:
  • Cat naps are my new guilty secret and staying awake after 11pm is becoming a challenge.
  • Whenever I'm wearing heels, you can guarantee there are a pair of ballerinas at the bottom of my cavernous handbag to change into just as soon as no one's looking.
  • My reflection in any changing-room mirror scares the life out of me.
  • Curling up in front of the fire, clad in PJs, with a good book and a glass of wine is my idea of nirvana.
Even more scary is this:
  • Mr A uttered the word 'comfortable,' while out shopping for a new pair of trousers last week. He was immediately chastised, and told never to say that word again as I selected a pair from French Connection and told him that they were perfect.
  • There are tentative signs that I'm turning into a crazy cat lady. 
  • Without the perpetual influence of the kids at home, we may have started to develop a few habits that are bad. Mr A asked for a cocoa the other night when I suggested a night cap, we've also started to intentionally watch the news.
  • A friend recently bought me a gift for my birthday and although, it was nice that she'd remembered, I was horrified to receive a set of tea towels. Isn't that a gift for grown-ups? I immediately gave them to my grandmother.
  • I'm far less tolerant of people who irritate me and have perfected the art of snarling quietly and then biting my lip, rather than say something I'm likely to regret.
And so, my only questions are these? At what age are you finally considered a grown up? And can we ever have everything sussed at the same time?

Until next time

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Friday, 13 September 2013

Friday the 13th

OK, so it might be Friday the 13th - but my daughters also happen to be celebrating their 19th birthday.

On Tuesday the 13th September 1994, Olivia and Sophia came into the world at 09:46 and 09:47 am respectively. Olivia weighing in at exactly 2 Kg and Sophia at 2.3 Kg, or 4lb, 5oz and 5lb, 1oz in old money.

Having foolishly thought that I'd become worldly wise after giving birth, I soon realised that I was completely clueless. Nothing's changed and I've been perpetually mystified by motherhood ever since. Eventually I concluded that all mums make it up as they go along to the best of their ability.

1994 was a long, hot summer and also the year that Four Weddings and a Funeral was released. Wet Wet Wet had been at number one in the charts for weeks on end, but on the day the girls were born this track had just taken over the number one spot.

To this day, I can't hear it without thinking about becoming a mum and wondering if I'd ever get to go out partying on a Saturday night ever again?!

My daughters will always be my babies - do all mums always think this I wonder? I find that I'm amazed at how they've grown up to be so different - surely, this has to be nature, not nurture.

Sophia is passionate about rowing, loves art and has a real sense of adventure. Olivia on the other hand, loves books, socialising and has a wicked sense of humour.

They both adore one another's company and so I was surprised that they chose universities eight hours apart. Together, they share a passion for music, travel and jokes that only twins would ever understand.

Like most families, we've had our ups and downs over the years and now, my babies are all grown up and off to uni in just over a week. How did that happen? It doesn't seem like five minutes since I was reading bedtime stories and trying not to cry after treading on stray pieces of Lego.

This year we're having a leaving party and presents will be mostly essential purchases for starting at university. Although we did manage to catch The Lion King earlier this week at the theatre. Sadly, the days when Sophia would have asked for a balloon, an animal and a hug for her birthday are long gone.

By the time they both come home for Christmas, I'm guessing my daughters will have changed a lot. I hope that I'll still be able to extract the occasional hug and curl up on the sofa watching films.

Thank heavens for Skype, as this is the only way I'm going to get to see them. It seems strange to think that it wasn't even invented when the girls were babies.

So, at nineteen my daughters are leaving home - albeit temporarily. I am going to miss them more than they could possibly ever realise and hope that they have the time of their lives...

Copyright ©2013 Izzie Anderton
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