Tick, Tick

Tuesday, 16 October 2018


As a medically diagnosed anxious person, I have a couple of triggers that arouse THE FEAR. Fire caused by my hair straighteners is, for no reason that I know of, one of them. Another is the topic of babies. Not because I don’t like kids – kids are hilarious - but because what if I can’t have them and my husband leaves me for someone that can?

Society has lead us to believe that women over a certain age are kidding themselves if they think they can naturally conceive a healthy child. This age used to be 35. More recently, it’s dropped to 27. TWENTY. SEVEN. That's super young. And as for escaping this worry? Well, the entertainment industry - supposedly designed for escapism - hasn’t helped matters. How many seemingly innocent TV shows must I watch about a group of female friends, one of which will inevitably find out she’s infertile - sometimes without it even being in any way related to her character arc, or the storylne at hand - and that her dreams of natural conception have been dashed (Hey there Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Sex and the City, Pretty Little Liars, Rules of Engagement, New Girl, need I go on?)

Come on world, give us a break

With Harry and Meghan announcing THE BEST NEWS EVER yesterday, there has been an expected flurry of social media and press activity speculating on Meghan’s age, and the miracle of her quick conception, even though she’s like, basically dead in biological terms, at the ancient age of 36

Amidst that activity, I came across an article that I found pretty interesting, and that I think is well worth reading if you’re a woman below the age of 45, panicking about how quickly you’re getting through the life stages, because your eggs are obviously drying up real fast.

The article is kinda soothing, as it shares that the data sets used to determine the running out of our clock is from a time before electricity (ie, it’s outdated), and that the infertility split is closer to 50/50, rather than the 99.9% female infertility vs men with perfect sperm that TV would have us believe

The article can be found here. I'll leave it to do the rest of the talking.

L xxx

Give Little, Seldom & Grudgingly

Monday, 15 October 2018




This made me laugh today. Apparently the british weren't coming, after all ;)

{Advice from Ruth Smythers, 1847 - a woman with a clearly unsatisfactory sex life}

Why Aren't These Bunny PJs Made In My Size, & Other Unanswerable Questions


Dear GAP,
Please make these bunny pjs in my size. I would pay an extraordinary sum to wear them every day from now until my 30th birthday {And, possibly, beyond}

Dear people that keep messing up my name update on official documents despite having several points of reference to check your input against,
That isn’t my name. That was never my name. I’m confused as to how you even came up with that one?

Dear avo plant,
I’m sorry I let you come close to death while your papa was on holiday. I tried so hard not to let you die. I will continue trying to revive you. But I might have to give up soon ‘cuz you’re looking kinda moldy and people are starting to talk

Dear early firework displays,
On the behalf of dog owners everywhere, please hang fire until the one designated day a year that we know to prepare for you. Our pooches aren’t reacting well to your whimsy

Dear that offer I made to prepare Christmas dinner for 8 this year,
LOL.

Dear church service we attended in honour of our niece yesterday,
She’s two. Has she even had enough time on this earth to commit the amount of sins you asked her to apologise for? I’m not sure I’VE even been alive long enough for that…

Dear husband,
You were asleep by 9:30pm last night. You are now officially old. But I love you anyway ;)


Your sincerely,
Lottie xx

A Night At The Brass Band

On Saturday, we got gussied up, and went out for the evening. This was officially our first date since our minimoon, which was blimmin' ages ago, thanks to my crazy hectic work schedule {which I only partially regret taking on - you have to get the freelance pennies rolling in when you're about to quit your day job forever} so we were understandably in need of it

As our first formal date in our newly marital status, you'd think we'd choose something we knew we'd love, something spectacular, something very rar rar and upper class. But we didn't. Because that's not who we are. Instead, we put on our glad rags, and went to see my friend play in a brass band. And you know what? It was a lot of fun.


The band was 'Besses Boys Band,' and it was their 75th anniversary. We were in Victoria Hall in Bolton, and the whole thing was being filmed, which added a little glamour to proceedings.We sat in the balcony stands, and despite mild scepticism, the time just flew. I mean, was it the night out we had envisioned? No, I thought there would be dancing. But was it fun anyway? Yes! Because there's nothing quite like putting on a new jumpsuit, and watching people with far more talent than yourself do their thing. The band even played a song from Tangled, which of course cemented them a place in my heart forevermore.

We ended the night with a drink and a chat about the future, and were back home in our pjs for 11pm {which is the key to a good night out, obvi}

Oh and, as we'd taken our time to look perdy, I insisted we take some 'cute' selfies...


They didn't exactly turn out as planned, but hey, we gave it a go ;)

Here's to many more dates with the legendary Mr G, the man of my waking dreams. And here's to Besses Boys Band, for putting on a jolly good show

L xx

I Promise We Love All 4 Pets Equally...

Saturday, 13 October 2018

... It's just that this one loves a photo opp ;)

Today marks the end of my 37-days-without-a-day-off stint at work. And man alive am I happy about it. Yay for family time uninterrupted by assignments! Yay for actually being able to ENJOY this thing called marriage...


*Smiles at husband, sips tea, prays for the day we are blessed by the gods that control who wins the lottery*

The Chamber Of Secrets Has Been Opened...

Thursday, 11 October 2018




... In our local Slug and Lettuce, apparently

No, I don't know what's going on, either. Yes, I also kinda like it.


Tonight: D is playing badders with the A team {this is a big thing, I have every faith that he will win}, and I am having a duvet night in with a Chinese, a cup of tea, and Riverdale. Almost the weekend, guys. And I for one can't wait :)

Like, Ever


I have been in one hell of a mood this week, for several reasons, all entirely related to PMS. D has been very good to me, warming hot water bottles and running me baths and the such like, but I have still been a monster {thank you and sorry.}

Last night - in both my mind and in my message history - the elevation of my mood was a lost cause. I had resigned myself to an evening of misery. I was all ready to cry into a box of mini rolls. And then, out of nowhere, a WhatsApp pinged on my phone, and completely changed my mood

It was an update on Leora's love life (previously documented here)

AKA my favourite non-televised drama

AKA, I am now officially living for these dramz

Here is what I was told...

Leora, mob wife wannabe extraordinaire, has been in an on-off relationship with Max*, a boy she was using to get back at Alfie*, her boyfriend of 4 years. As previously noted, I'm disapproving of this tactic because while in some ways it is wily, in others it's kinda mean {also of the opinion that Max was being a jellyfish, and needed to get his spine in gear. Perhaps a harsh analysis of an 8 year old, but there we go}

WELL, this week, Max took the advice I had not yet given him {because I don't actually know him, and that would be a little stranger danger}, and metaphorically grew a pair.

He took Leora to one side, he told her 'I don't love you' and, just like that, it was over. Brutal, but possibly well deserved, I'm sure you'll agree

Leora, in true Leora fashion, took the news well {in public, at least} and, in her incredibly sassy stride, once again rose above a very public dumping. She is the Regina George of the playground, so is probably busy telling people he only really cared about his mum and his friends anyway which, as we know, is not OK by RG standards

Max was confused by this response. It played with his mind. It made him think 'what have I done?' And so, seeing how cool and collected his former flame was being about the end of their affair, Max began to question his actions. And while I like to imagine him screaming 'WHY GOD WHY' whilst on his knees in a rainstorm, clutching a picture of our girl close to his chest as he wept, in reality, he probs just decided it at lunchtime over a sandwich, dead casual like

And, in true evidence that the boy has grown, he did something about it

Taking his love life into his own hands once more {go Max!} Max approached Leora, and asked her to have him back. He knows he was wrong, she is the only one for him, etc.

And Leora's response?

Was to sing

In his face

We are never, ever getting back together, by goddess swift

And to sashay away.

This child is my hero

... I have nothing left to teach her.

'Can I Have A Cuddle?'

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

'... Go on then.'

Thoughts On Quitting A Career I've Worked Hard At, Aged 29

Monday, 8 October 2018


In 22 days, my current career will come to an end. Goodbye, sayonara {suckers}, lose my number, don't try to call, gone. Eight whole years of hard work will come down to absolutely nothing, a lot of the skills I've acquired will be rendered useless, and quite a few of the people I've encountered on this path will regard my decision with ill concealed pity. Because, after all, we all know how the saying goes: 'those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.'

And you know what? I'm good with that. Because I can't wait to move on*

*OK, so I'm being a bit dramatic. I won't actually be done with marketing for a while yet, due to switching back to freelancing {a different, on the whole friendlier and more fulfilling, beast to what I'm about to go into} while I retrain. For the sake of the dramz: OMG, it's, like, almost over. For the sake of my freelance clients: Don't worry, I'm still here 😉

Marketing was never my passion, nor was it my original plan. Rather, it was something I fell into after university, once I came to terms with the idea that journalism isn't really something you can easily make your way in, unless you have parents that will bank roll you for two years while you 'gain experience.' I did not have that luxury. What I did have, however, was a joint honours with one side that was vaguely marketing adjacent, coupled with bags of enthusiasm in interviews, which gave me an edge over some others, and landed me in my first role - a nice, gentle in-house learning curve - and then my second, which is where I really think my 'career' began. The thing is, I was good at marketing right from the get go. Really good {not a confident person in so many areas, but I know I'm good at my job} I was pulled from PPC to SEO to social to PR to copywriting, and I thrived in each environment. Eventually, I came to love the work. Though I feel this love should be coupled with punctuation - 'love' - because I never truly fell for the discipline as a whole {though certain elements do appeal to me - I genuinely do love creative content planning, for example, and SEO is fun to boot}, more for the thrill of a job well done.

And I thought that was fairly standard, to be honest. I know so many people that feel the same way that it seemed normal to have more bad times than good in the workplace, and so I just got on with it. Until a couple of years back, when D floored me with the following words: 'I love my job. Not all the time. But about 99% of it'

As if.

It was then that I started to rethink things properly {after rethinking casually right from the start} but with a tinge of fear. Fear of people thinking I was a failure. Fear that I would think of myself as a failure. Fear of all of those years I'd worked so hard, only to stop now, just as some would probably consider my career as on the up. I'm management level now, technically, with enough experience to demand the good money if I want it, after starting out all those years ago as an assistant on barely more than minimum wage. I'm here, I'm near the top, and now I'm jumping off the edge into the unknown.

Like an idiot. {or... a HERO? Watch this space for future confirmation of which, ha}

I am an anxious person, and that fear of judgement was enough to keep me in check. But now I'm not so anxious {cheers marriage and medication} and I'm all set to take the plunge. If people don't get it, that's fine. You have to do what works for you.

But why am I so keen to drop out now, after working so hard?

Weeellllll, here are some reasons:


The higher you get, the tougher your shell
This may just be the experiences I've had, and it may not be everywhere. But it seems to me that the better you do in the ad industry, the more you have to tread on the little guy to get what you want and need. Kindness is seen as a weakness more than a strength, and it's so easy to be tarnished as 'too soft' if you try to help others more than you try to help yourself. That's fine for the people that want to make it in advertising much more than I want to make it in advertising. But that's not a game I want to play. And so I'm going to drop out before it becomes a neccesity in the name of advancement

I want to see my husband, my friends, and our future baby fam
Oh my gawwwwd the late nights and early mornings that come hand in hand with this job are killer. I was cleaning out old paperwork the other day and found a letter I had to sign for a big London agency I worked at, waiving my right to go home on time, or to ask for overtime pay. I have had more 12-15 hour days than I can count, and they all come with the same downfalls:exhaustion, junk food, loss of the will to live. I don't tend to mind this too much when it's happening, but it does make life hard when you're juggling a career with a relationship, a social life, and - in future - babies. I want to be able to make evening plans without worrying I'll have to cancel to work late on something SUPER important that JUST LANDED and CAN YOU HAVE THIS DONE BY 9AM EVEN THOUGH IT'S ALREADY 6PM? No mate, not anymore

The stress is unreal
We're really not curing cancer here guys, it shouldn't be this hard

As is the sexism
I was once asked the following question in an interview: 'And how do you get men to take you seriously in the workplace, looking the way you look?' to which I answered 'by doing a good job.' We have not come far enough since the era of Mad Men, let's just leave it at that

The work doesn't speak for itself
How much ass you kiss does, though, and I've never really developed a taste for that

What good am I really doing here?
And then it comes down to this. What good am I actually doing as a marketeer? I've made the joke 'marketing is evil' so many times but you know what, it's kinda not a joke is it, really? On a whole, this is an industy responsible for lowering self esteem, ripping people off, belittling minorities {and women folk} and contributing to people's monetary problems by selling them crap they don't need. I just want to do something good with my time on this earth, and I'm not sure this is it


Again, the above points are generalisations, but you get what I'm trying to say - basically, this isn't a good fit anymore, and perhaps never was.

As for regrets? I don't really have any. Although I've outlined mainly the bad, it's not all been awful. I've met some great people, worked on some interesting accounts, been a part of the world's largest organisations, been to media parties {wiiiiine} and had the chance to be paid to sit in a room and just brainstorm for hours and hours while eating biscuits. The dream.

I'm proud of what I've achieved, I'm proud of what I plan to do moving forward {hoping to retrain as a primary school teacher, get some of those nurturing muscles going} and I'm proud of all the people I'm leaving behind that are passionate about this, and are doing well with it. You're rockstars

But you have to do what you have to do at the end of the day. And this is what I have to do. If only for the sake of my mental health, which has improved a million fold since I settled on this choice.

Time to be brave. Time to teach. Time to spend the next year having a lie in as I freelance from my bed

Lottie xx

A Marriage Between Two Introverts

Sunday, 7 October 2018




This is how I spent my Saturday ^. And this is how he spent his >


24 hours in the same house, completely apart, even at mealtimes. We hadn't argued, we hadn't discussed it beforehand, we simply came to a silent agreement - 'I need some me time.'

And that is A OK.

{Secretly hoping today goes the same way... ha}

But WHAT Could Be Causing Such Nightmares? 🤔

Saturday, 6 October 2018

I woke up the night before last, scared out of my wits

I'd had a nightmare

It was about ghosts

Ghosts in my house,

Ghosts all up in my grill,

God damn GHOSTS, pushing me around, using threatening behaviour

To drive me to the top of my house

Where they had evil plans to hurt me.

I woke up D, and I said 'there are ghosts'

He said 'it's OK'

And I went back to sleep.

Which was fine, until 'what could be causing such thoughts?' I wondered, upon waking again

Could it be the mention of Casper, my friend's feline pal, named for the 90's friendliest spectre?

Or could it be the way by own cat, a sassy thing, plays hide and seek by throwing herself at my chair then streaking from the room?

The ominous statement 'someone just jumped on the bed,' uttered by my husband when an animal joined us in the night

Or perhaps the way D sneaks up and pops out from my unhearing side, taking me by surprise?

Or could it be,

And I think this might be the answer,

These slippers.

And the way he leaves them on the stairs

Abandoned

{Repeatedly}

In a way that looks as though someone invisible has been caught in the act of stalking toward my bedroom, misty feet clothed in memory foam?


😐

... Told you I'd married a weirdo.

Just Hanging Out

Friday, 5 October 2018


Strangely, not the only photo I have of the two of them engaged in this activity. We all have our hobbies...

Misheard Things


Because I am still completely deaf on one side (the doctor says it will end soon... ) and it is warping people's sentences

3 misheard things:
This jelly baby is a mess
{Cue thoughts of a brightly coloured jelly person, sobbing into a tub of ice cream}

The next bathroom trend is live animals
{'How would that even WORK?' I demanded loudly, in a brainstorm, surrounded by confused colleagues who had heard the correct wording, which made complete sense}

The Blackburn train is delayed by approximately 16 years
{I mean, it's Northern Rail, this may have been what they said}

And 1 thing I heard very clearly:
D, after studying me for a while... "They look like marbles, your eyes" *sweet grin*
Er... Thanks?

Fingers crossed for functioning ears - and less marbled eyes - soon. This isn't an ideal sitch ;)

---

PS some WhatsApp convs that made me laugh, because luckily my reading skills are still in tact.


1. Because he knows I couldn't find my way out of a room with one door, and 2. because the pond of secrets thing (our group being called 'the duck pond') made me do a literal LOL. My husband is a funny man. ❤️

Quick Question


Can I start Christmas shopping yet? Because I've seen this dress for our beautiful little unicorn obsessed niece, and I WANT TO BUY IT SO BAD. It would match so well with the unicorn bag we gave her at our wedding, and her unicorn toys, colouring books, bedding, banter...

Will also be purchasing some child sized feminist literature, because you just have to don't you? Best to start 'um young.

Thoughts?

(81 days to go!)

((And HAPPY FRIDAY!))

So Halloween Is Kind Of A Thing In The North, Huh?

Thursday, 4 October 2018





I mean, there are pumpkins in the trees in Manchester today, so there really is no other conclusion. (Kinda cute rather than scary though, what with those googley eyes, and is anyone else hoping the pumpkins are secretly pinatas we'll all be asked to beat in return for candy when the daily grind starts to get us down? Because I'm all about that free candy life.)

Anyway, wanted to share these, as they made me smile on the way home from the office tonight. Gonna go have a loooong bath now while D plays badders (er, I mean, badminton) and use this me time to do a clay face mask without protest (he's scared of them, don't ask), read the latest Cormoran Strike mystery, and pretend I didn't buy two new jumpers whilst waiting for my train this evening, during a spending ban...

CYA!

Marbecca Get Hitched











Holy hound dog in a handbasket (that’s the saying, right?) I almost forgot to post these photos. And what GLORIOUS photos they are, because they remind me of a FAB wedding we recently attended, for our good friends, Mark and Rebecca (lovingly christened ‘Marbecca’ by a group of friends we are in no way affiliated with, but whose nickname for the pair we have adopted shamelessly.) Honestly the sweetest and best people, and our favourite couple friends (every married couple needs couple friends), M&R dropped into our lives just over a year ago, and have been a staple ever since. In the same life stage as us – pet owners, planning a wedding, discussing possible babies and wobbling career wise – they are the people we choose to hang out with when we want to have a nice dinner, play a game of fibbage (the funniest interactive game of our time, bar none), go for dog walks, or simply just chat. They’re so chilled out and friendly, and we love them dearly.

As for the wedding itself? Stunning. The venue, Manchester Hall, was divine, the readings were beautiful (the two I remember being: I’ll Be There For You, & Love Monkey, which I’ve added below), the bride looked insanely gorgeous (as did the groom, let’s not leave him out), the speeches had everyone in stitches, and it was just such a fun day, filled with so much love and laughter. They even surprised us all with a brass band in the evening – loved it.

D and I were honoured to be included, and are so happy that Marbecca found one another – they really are the most perfect pairing.

Here’s to many more dinners and dog walks, guys, we think you’re awesome 🥂

---

Love Monkey
Edward Monkton

It was once custom that every monkey would carve for himself a wooden heart. And the heart that love monkey carved was the most beautiful of all. Its contours were soft and rounded, like an ancient pebble sculpted by the oceans. Its surface was smooth and shiny like liquid silk, and it shone as bright as a ruby in the desert sun. “Take your hearts with you wherever you go,” said their teacher. “Nurture them as a mother nurtures her new-born baby. For when you want to give of yourself fully, your heart is the only true gift you will have.”

That night, Love Monkey had a dream. He dreamt of a monkey whose smile lit up his sole like sunshine. He held out his heart to her, so radiant, so splendid and so new. She took him in her arms and he felt truly, perfectly, at peace. When Love Monkey awoke he resolved that, from that day forward,he would search for his Dream Monkey until he could stand before her and give to her his perfect heart.

He travelled through deserts…and climbed over mountains. He trekked across forests…and sailed many oceans. Love Monkey looked after his heart as best he could, but the storms that he endured on his travels chipped away at its surface and each new adventure reshaped it. By the time he arrived on the last distant shore, his heart was so changed by the patina of time that it barely resembled his old heart at all.

And then, he saw her. Standing before him, as radiant and as beautiful as the sunshine, was his Dream Monkey. At first the monkey could not speak. But then, from somewhere deep inside himself, he found a voice. “I have travelled the world over to find you, and to give you my heart,” he said.“But now that I am finally with you, I see how foolish I have been. You are so beautiful, so perfect. And my heart that was once smooth, so bright and so new is now not something that I could even bring myself to show you,” and he turned to go. “Let me see it,” said Dream Monkey. She took his heart and held it up to the light. “Nothing to me is more beautiful. Every fissure tells a story. Every blemish makes you more real. All my life I have been waiting for a heart like this; a heart that speaks the truth.” “Come here,” she said. “I have something for you too.” In her hand was a tiny golden heart. It was as worn and as scratched as Love Monkey’s own…and it was the most precious thing that he had ever seen.

Love Monkey put his arms around her and they held each other for a long, long time. “I shall treasure this heart for as long as I live,” said Dream Monkey, running her fingers over its ridged and dimpled surface. Then they looked into each other’s eyes and, feeling the joy of truth in their souls for the first time, they began to laugh. And often they sit together still, holding each other’s hearts in their warm hands, lifting them to the light…and laughing. Always laughing.

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