You’re Getting My Back Up…

Yesterday (and for about the past couple of years) I’ve had a niggling stress about all things computery, particularly the amount of photos I have stored and if one day the cloud will just evaporate.
I try to back up at least once a month to an external hard-drive, I sift through my files regularly, photos especially, with the aim of deleting and printing some of these amazing memories. The problem is, when I sift through these photos, I get lost in a memory or the kids want to look at my wedding photos whilst I explain for the umpteenth time that ‘no, you  weren’t at Mummy & Daddy’s wedding because you weren’t born’. (eye roll)
Having suffered with eczema badly as a kid means I’m not a massive fan of myself in photos. Unless the glam squad have gone to town on me – hair, make up, spray tan – then please keep the camera away from me. I’m far happier photographing my kids.
Each time my family purchases anything new, I am in charge of setting it up. I take instructions well and am one of those people who lays out the Ikea kit to meticulously count each piece out and cross match it to the diagram.
The problems with new bits of kit is that it means new manuals, wires, plugs, etc. Husband and I are still teaching charging skills to the kids who feel it’s ok to abandon one device that is out of battery and simply move onto another.
Each time I upgrade my phone, the seemingly simple task of transferring the data goes utterly wrong. Some of my contacts disappear and I have no idea who is texting me:
“Hi. Are you coming Friday?”
“I’ve lost loads of numbers. Who is this?”
“It’s your Mother-in-law.”
I receive messages about being ‘unable to back up – increase your storage’ more regularly than White Company VIP Shopping Cards come through my door. A few quick deletes of school concerts and sports day videos and I’m in the clear for another month or so.
With the amount of ‘stuff’ we save and download on the family laptop, switching between users can take forever. The only time I want to look at a beach ball for that long is at the actual beach. I am the main laptop user so husband will often just use my log-in to buy something online. Problem is, I end up with all the email notifications:
‘You have bought a snood.’
‘Your order of a snood is in progress.’
‘Your snood is out for delivery tomorrow.’
‘It’s tomorrow! Your snood is out for delivery.’
Hurray! Your snood is delivered.
(Your snood looks like a piece of crap – you should return it.)

This is not actually my husband. (He is paler)

I’ve subscribed to far too many websites as well. This is entirely my own doing as I am a sucker for offers of  ‘10% off your first order by subscribing to the newsletter’. I try unsubscribing to these sites but someone once told me (…so I believe it) that if you enter your email address to unsubscribe, they know it’s a manned account and will continue to send you junk mail. Thanks to a suggestion from a wise Facebook friend, I now have the ‘Unroll Me’ app to do all the tiresome unsubscribing from mailing lists for me. So far we’re at 33 …
The problem with tech issues, is that they really do stress me out. The amount of inward strength required to call these helplines is monumental. I’ve listened every accent across the globe, I’ve allowed the remote access (freaks me out) and I’ve queued in-store for hours.
“My phone is completely broken and I’m flying to Outer Mongolia first thing tomorrow morning for a VERY important meeting”. (That is husband’s usual spiel. He is awaiting his BAFTA…)

We can see you in 6 hours

So, whilst I’ve typed, the offers have rolled in for a new vagina, interest free credit on a loan and ‘Paypal’ telling me that my account was accessed from Moscow at 3am.  ‘Please be cilcking here for resolv the porbelm’.
And a White Company discount card just arrived through my letterbox…
Happy shopping. x x x

I Get So Emojinal…

When I was younger, I had the most phenomenal vision. My mum wore those old-school gas permeable contact lenses that would often fall off of the suction-tool when she was putting them in. Our deep-pile bathroom carpet (yup – 70s chic) was no match for my eagle eyes.


When I hit 16, I noticed that my vision was becoming hazy. At first I put it down to hay-fever but deep down I knew that something wasn’t quite right. After a few months of pretence, I told my parents that whatever it was, it was worsening and I was referred by my optician to an ophthalmic practice in Harley Street.

The verdict? I had cataracts.

Years of applying steroid cream to the eczema around my eyes had thinned my skin and had most likely been the cause. With a great deal of hand-holding from Joy, the most wonderful practice manager, I went ahead with the surgery and had great results.

Fast forward 25 years and I only really need glasses for heavy reading/computing, but I’m suddenly starting to feel really old. I used to have my finger on the pulse, but now have to consult my teenage nephews about words like ‘sick‘, ‘bare‘, ‘dabbing‘ and ‘peng‘.

I also used to think I was tech-savvy…(come on, type with me and reminisce)

Once there was a girl who was 13. She had an 84 inch bust but wanted a 35 inch bust so she went to her Doctors and he said, “Oh, take these pills 2x a day.” But instead, she took them 4 and ended up….(=)


‘BOOBLESS’ – oh how we laughed as 14 year olds

My kids aren’t interested that I know the words to ‘Buffalo Stance’ and they flip straight back to Kiss 100 when I try to wow them with the delights of early rave tunes on pirate radio. The fact I can do my bra up behind my back no longer impresses them either.

I am baffled by bottle-flipping supremos and mesmerised by the genius of the mannequin challenge. I know it’s inevitable but I really don’t want to feel old. Here are some other things I don’t want:

I don’t want to experience RSI scrolling back on website drop-down menus, because my birth year is not instantly visible.

I don’t want to have to try multiple passwords because I’ve locked myself out of my numerous online accounts. (Upper or lower case always throws me.)


I don’t want to affectionately sign off texts with a ‘c’ when I’m trying to type an ‘x’.

I don’t want to have to wear my glasses more than I have to and I especially don’t want to increase my font size on my phone. People on the moon can see my friend typing her text messages.


I can’t see the expression on the little yellow emoji faces. On the plus-side, if you type tomato, a tomato appears. Cake and a cake appears. My favourite is ‘totes’ – type it and see…


If by miraculous luck, my blog hashtags have attracted emoji creative folk, I would appreciate a ‘whole chicken’ emoji, not just a chicken ‘leg’. And a raspberry emoji please. How is there a strawberry, a plum, a peach.. but no raspberry? It’s fruitist.

Talking of raspberries, some blog-appreciaters have asked for another recipe, so here is a raspberry one, given to me by an old colleague when I was stuck for an impressive but quick dessert.

‘A Waffley’ Good Dessert


Including mint sprig for pro-finish


6-pack of sweet waffles. Literally the cheapo ones from a Polski Sklep or other convenience store. (I have never typed ‘Polski Sklep’ before)

120g Milky Bar – go basic. I tried it with Green & Blacks white chocolate and it wasn’t as good


1 large egg

300ml single cream

300g fresh or frozen raspberries (frozen are better value out of season)


Preheat oven to 180˚C.

Take a deep ovenproof dish about 23cm long and lightly grease with butter.

Break up the waffles and place in dish, then ‘hide’ the chunks of Milky Bar evenly amongst the waffles.

Whisk the egg and cream so it’s all foamy and pour all over the waffles. Let it ‘steep’ for 10 minutes.

Top with raspberries and place in oven for 25-30 mins.


Dab, because you’ve produced an impressive dessert with minimal effort.










Let’s not put a label on it…

Much of my youth was spent getting the 113 or 183 to Harrow Town Centre to hang out with my friends wandering in and out of shops like Dolcis, Tammy Girl and C&A.

I love learning about words and meanings (see previous blog about DHL) and often still call H&M ‘Hennes’ (Hennes & Mauritz). I’d never really thought about what C&A actually stood for. Someone – I think possibly my dad – told me that it was to help you work out which way round to wear your knickers. (Work it out for yourself…)

C&A may have long since closed down, (bar the one in Marbs in ‘La Canada‘) but the whole idea of labels and which way round things go has always stuck with me.

I recently went to fangirl Sali Hughes and Caitlin Moran at Stylist Live! who were talking about the ‘Power of Female Friendship‘. As most female chat tends to wonderfully tangent from its course, they hit upon the subject of which way round to wear your tights.


Sometimes, not always, tights have a label in them at the back which usually indicates size and/or denier. It also gives you a pretty clear indication that said label should be bum-side. Then, out of nowhere, you get a pair with no label at all. If the feet aren’t defined in any way, how am I supposed to know where to put my bits? I like direction!


There’s not even a gusset?


It won’t surprise you to know that I can’t wear things inside out and will start again if I miss out a belt loop on my jeans. And if faced with the below dilemma, my eczema flares…


Pass the Hydrocortisone 1%…

One Friday night – known as ‘CSD’ in my house (Clean Sheet Day), I was just drifting off to sleep when I realised there was something not quite right with the duvet. Head-end, I could feel the duvet label – my new cleaner hadn’t read ‘the manual’ properly…

“Doll, wake up.”


“The duvet is in the wrong way round.”

“What are you on about? It’s fine.”

“No, the label is by my chin. It’s supposed to be at the bottom. On your side. It also means I’ve got the bit where your feet have been.”

“I don’t give a shit.”

*Ignores husband and begins unbuttoning duvet*


When I buy a new top, one of the first things I do is perform a ‘shirtcumcision’.  I’m as pedantic as they come about hanging stuff up properly, but actually making use of hanger loops is a step too far, even for me.


See? Even she can’t be arsed

Don’t get me wrong, I totally see the benefit of those loops in store. Nothing irritates me more when you so much as breathe near a top you’re interested in and the stock pathetically crumples to the floor. In that instance, I’m all for hanger loops to make the top look all lovely and attractive to the customer. Same concept as the wire twisty things that imprison Barbie dolls.



These clothing loops also put me in a predicament because I am one of those people that likes to re-hang their stuff up upon leaving a changing room. Trouser legs pulled out the right way, tops not left inside out –  I am a re-hanger. I couldn’t bear to have someone think I was a messy cow at home.

Whilst still on the label thing, it seems an apt time to discuss the ‘Zara’. There are novels shorter than their care labels so unless you want the sensation of a tarantula next to your body each time you wear the item, I’m snipping.

The thing with labels is, I’m a genuine do-gooder if I see someone with their label hanging out of their clothing. Nothing worse than trying to rock your ‘Alaïa‘ when you’ve got your ‘Atmosphere’ label sticking out. (No shame in a bit of Primark.)

Some are beyond redemption. I’m talking about the ones who only manage to pull off the card bit of a label, but happily leave the scratchy, irritating plastic kimble bit behind. WTF?

I’ve come to realise though, that there are room for all sorts. I was with a friend the other day and pointed out that she still had the white pricing label on the bottom of a pair of fabulous shoes and did she want me to remove it for her.  She looked at me like I was a freak. I looked at her like she was a freak. We hugged. We’re fine about it.

All that aside,  just know that I’ll be the one with the white spirit, cleaning every bit of sticky residue off the soles of my own shoe collection.

(Oh, and C&A stands for the founders, ‘Clemens & August’. Not C*nt & Arse.)