Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.



Life and all things in it.
(AKA where I stick things that I didn’t feel belong on any of the other pages)

September Sadness.

September. It’s a month of new beginnings. Long after you leave school the feelings of shiny shoes and a brand new pencil case don’t seem to subside. I half expect somebody to hand me a reading list of intimidating books we all know I’ll never read. 

But the reality is that the pressures are different now, you’re a grown-up. Nobody is going to tell you to sit and read for hours every day. No matter how much you wish they would.

Instead we’re all hurtling towards another year, another decade, and right about now is the time I find myself reflecting, and regretting. I’m always harsh on myself in September, I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’ve done enough but I feel that even stronger this time every year. 

We romanticise September. The comeback of perfectly worn, slightly scuffed leather boots and impossibly thick-knit jumpers, worn on a walk through the colour-changing park to your favourite pub. The pub that always has a little dog, probably called Scruff, sleeping peacefully in front of the dragon-tongued fire that you watch while sipping a glass of Malbec coloured the perfect claret. 

Yeah sure. Sounds wonderful. But this is real life. 

Your boots will rub, or be slightly too tight so they somehow manage to make your feet colder. A thick-knit is possibly the most impractical of all the knits as the wind blows right through and makes you colder, don’t @ me, it’s a conspiracy. There’s dog shit in the piles of leaves. The pub will be heaving, the dog has fleas, you’ll be smelling fire in your hair for days, and your Malbec cost you £9. 

Yes, I’m more than aware of my out of control cynicism. I’m not working on it. 

I love the idea of reflecting, of recognising what I’ve earned and what I’ve learned, of seeing where I was this time last year and how far I’ve come in twelve short months. I love the idea of seeing the rest of the year as a challenge, to do even more, succeed even further, kick arse even harder. I don’t know if it’s a brain block of mine or just the reality that nothing really seems to change year to year, but I can’t find the pleasure in doing this. It just freaks me out. And stresses me out. And makes me go full entitled little princess with a ‘why not meeee?!’ complex.

September also happens to be the month of my birth. Libra. I know. Let’s not. I hate my birthday. Not in a fear of getting older way, getting older is such a privilege I feel eternally grateful to have, but for me birthdays seem to hold a lot of pressure. A pressure to socialise in a certain way, a pressure to have enough friends to socialise that way, a pressure to look incredible in photos, a pressure to look even more amazing in all the social media posts all those friends of yours post. Pressure doesn’t look good on me. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t cry on my birthday, I can’t ever put my finger on just why it does that to me though. 

There are elements of all this I’m working on, mostly the struggles with celebrating myself, but there are also elements of it I won’t be. We live in a world where we’re supposed to see the good in every moment, and if we can’t see the good then the potential to make it good. Sadness is not allowed. Negativity is not allowed. They’re bad emotions that need to be fixed, or medicated, or at least just ignored. 

I’m exhausted by always feeling the need to wrap my crappy feelings up in a pretty bow and rolling it in some glitter. I’m exhausted by being told to keep my chin up or focus on the good stuff. Sometimes we need to focus on the shit, that’s how we avoid stepping in it again. 

September might not be a month of celebration for me, but maybe it can be a month of analysing my shit. A month of recognising my fuck ups. A month of letting myself feel the sadness, and the anger, and that weird feeling in the pit of my stomach I can never really name. It won’t be a month full of sadness, but it will be a month of self-reflection, just in a different way to what the wellness gurus might recommend.

Although I won’t be saying no to the £9 glasses of Malbec any time soon.

The Mirena Coil – my personal love affair Q+A

Before we go any further I want to make it very, very clear that this is my experience, and because something worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for everybody. I’m also very much not a medical professional and you should always seek professional advice if you have any worries or concerns about your body.

Ok, that’s out the way. ON WITH THE SHOW.

Whenever I mention that I have the coil (or IUD) I get endless questions, so I thought the best thing to do would be gather all those questions and answer them all in one nice, tidy space.

Read more…

Birthday Dread

Tomorrow’s my birthday. Hold off on the confetti and party poppers, I’m not really one for celebrating the day of my birth. In fact I usually find the whole day a bit of a shitter on my mental health.

I never used to be like this. I was fully in the ‘BIRTHDAY MONTH’ team. Throughout September my Facebook memories are an embarrassing reminder of how much I used to demand attention, presents, and multiple celebrations. Now I’d rather people just ignore it (which many will because I haven’t told them it’s coming up and it’s too late to send cards now suckers!).

Continue reading “Birthday Dread”

Just Block Them

‘Just ignore them.’
‘Block and move on.’
‘They’re just jealous’
‘Chin up.’
‘Name and shame the pricks!’
‘One in a thousand isn’t worth getting upset over.’

Just a snippet of the messages I’ve received over the past 24 hours. Yesterday I nearly cried on Instagram stories because I’d again been on the receiving end of a barrage of abuse relating to my parenting ability. This time it was because I posted a photo of Fox on my lap, mid-breakdown, while I was trying to get my work done (that’s already two weeks overdue). I captioned it that I would kill for a nursery drop-off and an office job. This, of course, makes me a shit mum.

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A Nonsensical Ramble on #AD.

Hashtag Ad.

Two words that seem to have the power to divide the whole of Instagram.

I’ve been having a bit of a crisis of conscious over the whole thing recently, on one hand I don’t want to push away the very people who have given me this platform – my followers, but on the other hand I spend a lot of time creating content and writing and occasionally a few quid for it would be nice.

Continue reading “A Nonsensical Ramble on #AD.”

Our 2017

Remember when we were sure 2017 would be a better year than 2016? Idiots. For the world it’s been another bastard of a year! But personally, it’s been pretty fucking awesome! There’s been shit bits too, of course there has, is there such a thing as a perfect year? No. No there is not.

I’m not one for New Year New Me, resolutions, or the expectation of the first of January bringing an answer to all of life’s woes. Any crap you had in your life on December 31st has a habit of following you through to January, it takes more than a new diary to fix your life (but while we’re here can we talk about how satisfying filling out a new diary is?!). I do however love a New Year as a time of reflection, a time to think back at what you’ve achieved over 12 months, to focus on what you did right and what you did wrong. Give thanks to the people who made your year what it was, reflect on the people that left.

For me, that’s done best with photos.

Another 12 months, another lifetime of memories. I’ve collected a few of my highlights, slightly show off, slightly to give myself the warm and fuzzies!

Come with us now on a journey through time and space…

Continue reading “Our 2017”

Things That Make Me Weirdly Happy…

Ok, to counteract my last post and to prove I’m not always a negative Nancy (I am, but I’m making an effort to not be) I thought long and hard and found 35 things that make me happy, despite often being pretty weird…

Continue reading “Things That Make Me Weirdly Happy…”

Things That Irrationally Annoy Me…

If ever people wonder why I lost all my followers, show them this post. Because I guarantee there’s something to annoy everybody.

Equal opportunity offender me.

Continue reading “Things That Irrationally Annoy Me…”

‘Me Too’

Today I went on a ramble on my Instagram stories which I have since deleted as I made no sense and no point. I’m not good at getting my ideas across verbally, I have to write it down. I do it with arguments, with apologies, with important phone calls.

I’m a writer, not a talker. Always have been.

I was talking about the Me Too discussion that’s been dominating social media. If you haven’t seen it (where have you been?) women who have ever been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted, to any level, are sharing the simple phrase ‘me too’.

At first glance this seemed like a simple, accessible movement, that would allow us to try and share just how wide the impact of male sexual dominance and force is across the board. It is showing the world that no matter who you are, you have probably been the victim of sexual abuse, verbally or physically, and probably from a man.

Continue reading “‘Me Too’”

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