Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The thing about blogging

The other day, I was posting at the journalists' forum I use about our quest to find a good nursery for El. I had a great, big, meaty discussion with my fellow forumites about the pros and cons of Montessori, the pitfalls of state schools, the swindling nature of non-refundable fees and the fact that I'd probably sell my soul to get him in the nursery attached to one of our local schools.

Matt was looming over my shoulder as I aired my views and he commented that this is how I like to sort out my dilemmas - in the form of a written, lively discussion. He was right. And I realised that in many ways, my participation at said forum has replaced my thirst for blogging and that's probably why I don't post much anymore.

When I worked at 20six I was a) being paid to blog, b) playing an almost parental role in the proceedings and c) part of a community. One of the drawbacks I always found about blogging there was that people I saw very little of knew what I was up to, so when we met there was nothing much for me to say. People I saw all the time knew far too much about my plans, my problems and my decisions. I watched with envy as anonymous bloggers wantonly slagged off their nearest and dearest under cover of pseudonym. My blog was a little window into my world and sometimes I wanted to close the curtains. When you're on the payroll at a blogging platform, transmission cannot cease.

I've enjoyed this blog because it's been less available/advertised to people and because I've updated it on my own terms, when I've wanted to. I probably used to make more posts in a week at 20six than I have in the year since I started this. And with the secrecy comes the temptation not to bother; my infrequent posts have made the likelihood of anyone actually reading this very unlikely.

When I started blogging I wasn't writing much professionally and the blog was my outlet. Now I do nothing but write (and research and interview) and I don't have the same need to vent.

I used to enjoy discussing parenting matters, but as El has grown, so I've come to realise that I don't have much to say about it in a purely personal sense. There's a fun, healthy, strapping dude living in my house and we have a good family life together. As his personality blossoms I feel the same amount of protectiveness toward his privacy as I do Matthew's or other members of my family. Again, there's a working parents section on the forum and I pop in there if something is on my mind and I've been writing for Practical Parenting regularly for the last year, so I also have somewhere to share burning parenting issues with the wider mum's network!

I met some fun, interesting people through the old place - but as my blogging has drifted, so have our friendships. At the forum I've met like-minded, like-careered people who have become friends - friends I'll likely have for a long time. I feel like my need for blogging, in the old sense of the word, is coming to a close.

I've decided (at last!) to set up my own site. A professional platform to showcase the work I'm doing, tell potential editors and interviewees a bit about myself and provide a virtual cabinet for all the awards I'm going to win (ha ha). I'm going to have a blog attached, but it will probably be a different kind of blog. Something much more "professional" (ha!) than I've attempted before - designed with potential editors in mind (I've lost count of the number of times a client has told me they've been having a read on here and I've scrolled through old posts amid palpitations to see what I've been crowing on about).

If anyone out there still reads this, I'll stick in a link to the new site when it's ready and would love you all to pop along and visit.

It's been a peaceful year here on this blog, and I do miss the fun we used to have at 20six. This curtain call is much quieter than the last, but I think it's for the best.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

All the news that's fit to print

Ooh a post.

Is it me, or is Nicole Kidman still unbelievably irritating even in the guise of an Emperor penguin? Just had to get that off my chest.

Well, there have been many days, many hours, many drinks in between this and my last post 100 years ago. I've damaged my internal organs (probably) and am on the wagon for the whole of this month. I daresay I'll post a bit more often during the dry spell (I even made a start on my links - I'll never finish).

I wrote something for The Guardian, which may or may not prove that my brain cells are still functioning:,,1979347,00.html

And in case you wondered how the talking is going, Eliott never shuts up. Today's gem: "Mummy...Lelly pooed on superman puzzle". Genius. Good job I had a wipe to hand (it was the excitement of the final jigsaw piece what did it, I'm sure, and at least he 'fessed up before I trod in it). All that worry for nothing. I'll get him back when I'm old and incontinent. Given the amount I drank over November/December it probably won't be that long.

I think I've forgotten how to blog.

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Kids do say the funniest things

This afternoon Eliott took himself off to the sofa with a duvet and laid himself out like a couch potato. When I asked him what he was doing he said "sleep in mummy's bed". Oh, the shame.

Indeed, I have been spending rather a few mornings laying like a big, fat vegetable on my sofa. This comes from drinking too much demon booze. Last night I found myself singing/shouting songs from Grease in a friend's car at 1.30am after an innocent sounding Usborn book party descended into white wine-fuelled chaos and singing/shouting Take That songs in the hostess's living room. It's not good, not at my age (or any age, come to think of it).

So I might impose a ban on alcohol now until at least December 7th when the Christmas parties start rolling in. Oh God I can't face it*.

Meanwhile my house is being taken over by superheroes. Usually when dads look after their kids for the day they go to the park or play football. Matt spent the afternoon painting a life-size Superman on Eliott's bedroom wall. Obviously the little man is delighted.

The comic collection is out of control and we all know the script to "Superman and Batman", the animated movie (no prizes for guessing who also knows every single action). And in addition to Eliott's ever-growing superhero model collection, Matt's 'sad shelf' is back (it caved in under the weight of all his superhero models but has been reinforced and replaced - I can't wait for the cleaners to take them to down to dust and put them back in the wrong order, wicked witch that I am). What a couple of losers.

Oh and I'm unemployed. Ok, I'm being dramatic again. I haven't got any outstanding commissions, but that's the hangovers for you. Tomorrow I will be back to full-strength and pitching like a mutha. It's all gravy**.

*I'm still hungover.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This life, that's life

BBC2 are repeating the complete series of This Life ahead of the big reunion. After I got past Egg being called Egg again on screen (he's always been Egg to me) I started feeling all dreamy and reminiscent.

It's weird to feel so nostalgic about 1997. I thought nostalgia ended after 1992, but evidently I got even older than I thought possible. When I watched This Life the first time around I wanted to be in it (the world the characters lived in that is, not the series). They were living the life that I thought I should be living at the time. I wanted to be having passionate affairs, gay friends, interesting flatmates and being the crazy bird at parties. Of course, looking back I appreciate that I had/was all those things. Shame you don't see what's right in front of you at the time.

Now I'm old and settled and watched with a sentimental tear in my eye as Egg got his dinkle out and Anna screwed her nose up a lot. I was amazed at how many dusty feelings a silly TV drama can reveal. I'm older and wiser and happier now, but that didn't stop me getting dewy-eyed. I'm celebrating my fourth wedding anniversary today, but I'm still far too proud to be known as the crazy bird at parties (when we've got a babysitter). Even hearing that theme tune, I did long, for a second, for those heady days of my twenties when there was a promise of something really dramatic and bonkers around the corner and I still got into situations that would make me cringe for a lifetime. I could have killed for five minutes back in my old shared flat with all that laughter, drama, alcohol, pent-up ambition and excitment.

I would love to be, just for a day, the girl who thought she was an adult, but was so far removed from a grown-up she couldn't even see it on the horizon. It was a good time, a wild time and a long time ago.

But, y'know, just like This Life, that life was probably overrated.

Friday, October 20, 2006

"More Barney, Mummy!"

It's true. In the space of a fortnight, Eliott is putting two and three word sentences together. He's using verbs ("what have you been doing at playgroup today, El?", "hiding, Mummy"). He's built up a vocab of around 200 words, probably more, and it's suddenly like living with a little Mynah bird. I never realised how often I say "right then", "wow wee" or "shit" (don't tell Matt) and have never been more conscious of the way I say "bye".

He can count to ten! He's been singing along to songs! His pronunciation is much improved and he's so proud and so happy. Unsurprisingly, so am I - not to mention relieved.

I still don't buy the "he never said a word until he was two and then he could speak!" myth. It hasn't happened overnight, it just feels a bit that way, but I can see how the years will condense the last two or three months into an hour or so of recollection. No doubt I'll be pedelling the same exaggerated shit (see) as everyone else in years to come.

On to other developments and Matt and I won the pitch we went for. On the way to our first "family" meeting with the client this morning, Matt took one look at my carefully printed map and hand-written contact details (in case of emergency - not every receptionist can be trusted to let you in) and after declaring that he knew exactly where we were supposed to be going he screwed up the pristine sheet of A4 and threw it in a litter bin. I felt a bit sick.

In the meeting, I brought out my neat, plastic folder filled with ordered notes pertaining to the project and a stack of stapled, dated notepaper. Matt brought a pen. He also had his toolbox in tow, allegedly full of "artist materials" (tins of paint). Our project manager asked him if he'd come to fix the photocopier.

I will develop a twitch before this job is done.

Thank God we're going to Legoland tomorrow.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Observer Woman

Anyone who is interested in my first Observer interview (hello mum) can read it online here. Must say, I'm rather proud of this one.

And not that I like to show off or anything...