Lazy days


Not much to report today due to the fact that I have spent it in bed. Yes I do have a hangover. I am not proud of myself. Typing is hurting my brain so I shall just share some pics that summarise my mood today. I shall try harder tomorrow!


Saturday Shopping….Survival of the Fittest

10 tips to get any woman through a shopping trip:

1) Start with coffee.  Find the nearest coffee shop, order a large drink and sit down to prepare yourself for the general hell and mayhem that awaits you. This is a good time to write a list of what you want…more on that later.

2) Wear comfortable shoes. I am always amused and amazed when I go shopping in Liverpool because most of the girls are wearing killer heels as they slog around the shops. How do they do it??? Well, take another look at them come 5pm. They can’t walk. They’re in so much pain you can actually hear them breathing the words “bastard, bloody, fuckety heels” with each tentative step they take.

3) Take shopping bags with you. You know the ones – long handles, black cloth things – the type that, critically, can go over your shoulder. You will be grateful for these for any number of reasons:

  • If it is pouring down, your paper Primark bag WILL disintegrate.  Even more so if you accidentally put it on the floor at the bus stop.  As soon as you pick that bag up, your brand new £2.50 pair of jeans will fall through the bottom…..
  • Heavy plastic carrier bags are instruments of torture on your fingers and nobody looks attractive with huge red weals on their digits.
  • Every shop these days gives you the smallest bag possible, so you end up with 7 or 8 mini bags that keep banging off the side of your leg. Even worse when there is something pointy in them! Just pile all your little bags into the one cloth shopping bag and Bob’s Your Uncle!
  • The obvious one, but the most important. It is better for the environment and your children will be able to live to a ripe old age without being incinerated by a solar flare or drowned by a melting icecap.

4) Write a list. Because there is nothing worse than just wondering around aimlessly, wondering why on earth you left your cosy house in the first place, only to return to said cosy house and realise you haven’t bought the one thing you went out for.

5) Take a good handbag.  By this I mean one that you can access easily with one hand and one that is not so huge that you constantly lose your purse in the bottom.

6) Pay attention to the signs that tell you where the queue should start. Don’t, whatever you do, stand at the wrong end as this WILL result in old ladies tutting at you and shop assistants rolling their eyes dramatically before telling you off like a 3 year old child.

7) If you are using public transport, remember where you have put your bus/train ticket. Do not do what I do and think you’ve lost it, thus dropping all of your shopping in the middle of a busy train station screaming like a crazy person, “OH SHIT!!! I KNOW I PUT IT SOMEWHERE SAFE!!!” Actually, if you are not using public transport, the same principle applies to remembering where you parked your car…..

8) Don’t be tempted by the cheap tat that shops put next to the tills. It is 50p and displayed prominently for a reason: it is rubbish that nobody else wants and the shop hasn’t managed to sell for YEARS! They want it out of their stock room NOW.

9) Smile and say hello to the shop assistants. It doesn’t cost anything and it makes both you and them feel a bit better. Don’t just stand there like a zombie waiting for them to say “Put your card in the machine and enter your PIN”. On the other hand, if they are busy chatting to the shop assistant next to them about what they are going to wear that night, just keep counting to ten until the whole awful experience is over and you can get out of the shop and rant about them on Facebook.

10) Finish with coffee. Because you’ll need it.

Black Dog Tribe

I have just spent the entire train journey home from work thinking that I had absolutely nothing interesting to write about today.  I worry about these kinds of things. What people think about me is, sadly, very important to me. For example I have just looked back at the past few sentences and wondered if I used the word “I” and “me” too often. Erm, yes, it’s a blog Mel, you’re supposed to write about yourself a bit…..

Well, let me get a few other people involved in today’s post instead. How about 1 in 4 of all people? Because that is how many people are affected by mental illness.  It’s probably a hell of a lot more than that, but as we’ve recently seen with the sad death of Gary Speed, there are more than a few people who are suffering in silence.

I am a strong believer in talking about mental illness. I have had depression since 2000 and I would be willing to tell anybody about it, especially if I thought that it might help them.  The more people share their thoughts and feelings, surely the better?

But there is still a lot I keep hidden, especially my insecurities that are caused by self esteem that makes a rollercoaster look boring.  So, I shall practice what I preach and share them on here. Not all of them right now otherwise we could be here a while….!Maybe if I share here, I might find out that some of the other 1 in 4 people have the same insecurities. Or maybe someone will read this and be relieved that they are not the only one having these feelings. I don’t know.

So – Insecurity number 1: Sometimes I find it very hard to find anything positive to say. And sometimes that makes me scared to share my thoughts on Facebook and Twitter in case people think that I am a moaner. I’m not moaning, I promise. It’s just that, occasionally, the depression takes over and those dark clouds are really hard to see past. All of that puts me into this crazy cycle of thinking: Am I just being paranoid? Maybe nobody thinks I’m moaning. Maybe they are sympathetic that I’m having a bad day? Or have I just ruined their day by putting a negative post online???!!! Yeah, as you can see, it’s all a bit of a jumble, hence this being the Number 1 insecurity!

This morning, as I listened to Richard Bloody Madeley (can’t say his name without the Bloody, sorry) on Radio 2, he was discussing Sarah Harding’s sleeping tablet addiction and wondered why she would be talking to the papers about it? My boyfriend said that she was probably just looking for publicity. Maybe she is, but I’d like to think that, by her having spoken about her addictions, she could be helping somebody else out there. Which is why I am so full of admiration for people like Freddie Flintoff, who has spoken openly about his depression. And when Dame Kelly Homes opened up about her self harm, I actually cried. Go to the papers, celebrities! Get everybody talking about these issues!

Which brings me to the wonderful and inspirational Ruby Wax.  Ruby has set up a social networking site called Black Dog Tribe (  It hasn’t launched fully yet, but should be doing so this month. On the site, you can find your own tribe, set up a blog, talk on the forums and find endless resources to help with mental illness.  Sign up! Shout about it from the rooftops! This is amazing and it WILL save lives.


Today I worked from home. This is something I love to do. I don’t get interrupted by phone calls all day, I can work in my pjs (as long as there is tape over the webcam! See yesterday’s post for further examples of my extreme paranoia!!), I am in close proximity to the kettle and my cats are always snoring or purring nearby. Oh, and I get to watch Bargain Hunt at lunchtime!

Today’s reason for working from home was to write a handover project plan for my “replacement” (Along with most other people in the company, I am being made redundant in March as the business moves to a new area).  I’ve been trying to convince myself that the reason I hadn’t already finished this project plan was because I have been bogged down with too much other work. While this is almost completely true, I must admit that the real reason it hadn’t even been started was because I am bricking it.  I’m scared. Terrified even. 

I am the only person remaining on the department, which means it is down to me to hand over everything. What if I forget something? What if there is something I don’t know? How can I single-handedly do a handover when I’m still up to my ears in the day job because there is nobody else here to do it?

And as I slowly began to put my project plan together, there it was in black and white – the end date. The end of almost 11 years in the job, surrounded by wonderful people who have become real friends. Every day somebody else is leaving and it feels as if I am standing alone on a sinking ship.  I will be one of the last to go – there won’t be anyone left that I can send a “farewell” e-mail to. I’ll just switch off my computer and go home.

And then what??? I will start a new job and meet new people, and I’m sure, one day I will feel the same way about those people and that job as I do about this one. But for now I’m just plain scared.

When Will I Be Famous?

Mid-March apparently! I heard back from Weight Watchers magazine today and they have confirmed that I will be in the April issue!
I had my article read back to me over the phone and it’s lovely. I was so worried that I would come out of it looking like a right old cow (don’t know why but think it’s just because I don’t want to be the one that stands out – unless drunk obviously!).
So, bit more of a wait until I can see the photos, but at least I know they’re actually putting me in the mag (more paranoia….well, I’m good at it!!).
And, unless I want to be gazing at those photos thinking “that’s what I used to look like before I got lazy”, I suppose I’d better get my butt to bootcamp tonight!

Last Christmas

Back at work today, and I must warn you that this post will not be brimming with joy.
When you work in pension administration, it is a sad fact that the first day back after Christmas will have the phones ringing off the hook. Why? Because a lot of elderly people die over Christmas and New Year (I did warn you about the lack of joy….). I think it’s because they try to hold on for one last Christmas.
The day started off pretty badly for me when I was bitchslapped by a cat bowl, so I was feeling a bit sorry for myself when I got into work. By half past nine, I had checked 26 voicemail messages and spoken to 3 crying widows. At that point, I had what I like to call a “cubicle cry”. You know the ones: where you go to the loos, lock yourself in the furthest cubicle and have a good old sob.
After 5 minutes, a fair few tissues and an unrecoverable loss of mascara, I pulled myself together. Alright, I’m having a crap day, but that is nothing compared to the bereaved families, whose loss is made all the worse for it being at Christmas.
So, after duly telling myself off, I decided to stop being such a mope and get the hell on with it. The rest of the day was one of the most productive I have had in yonks. Amazing what a good old cubicle cry and a talk to yourself can do!

Bad luck?

I have taken the Christmas decorations down. No big deal, you may think, but in our house, tradition states that they should stay up until the 6th of January or you will have bad luck all year.

I’m no great believer in superstition – I walk under ladders on purpose and love it when people look at me as if they expect the sky to fall down on my head immediately. I never forward on those e-mails that tell me I will die alone if I do not forward them on to my entire address book within 5 milliseconds.  I’ve broken a few mirrors in my lifetime and not gone into a total mental breakdown about the doom that awaits me. I do, however, salute magpies. Well, they’re vicious bastards and I wouldn’t want them to peck me to death…..

So I have compromised a bit and left the wreath on the front door. That’ll do it, right?? *crosses fingers* *knocks on wood*