As you know from my recent laundry hacks post, one of my worst chores ever is washing clothes. It’s not so much that it’s difficult or messy, it’s just that you never get a sense of satisfaction from it because it’s never truly done. Even if you’ve done all the washing, there’s still the clothes you’re wearing, and then you’re right back to square one the next day. I know that technically this is true with all chores, but there’s something about seeing that one pair of pants at the bottom of the laundry basket that just makes me want to sigh and give up.

Not only is it the clothes in the basket that annoy me, but the clothes scattered all over the house that are supposedly ‘drying’. It’s officially autumn now after all, and raining as I type. Unfortunately for me, I live in a small house with no room for a tumble dryer or dishwasher or anything fancy. I don’t even have a very good airer, so usually end up hastily clearing away towels from banisters and t-shirts from the top of doors when people come over.

My current airer is a standard massive plastic thing that takes up about half my lounge, in a very unsexy way. Lately I’ve been spending rather too much time looking at the range at Airers4you, imagining my dream drying scenarios. This is probably information I should keep to myself, but you know I’m not good at that. View Post

I have a funny feeling that I may be becoming the go to person for bladder weakness. It’s nice to have a niche I guess, especially with Pelvic Floor Week coming up, but it makes me wonder exactly how it has happened. Do I come out top if you Google ‘bloggers with weak pelvic floors’? And if so, how do they know??

It’s a worry.

(Note: as I write this, I do need a wee, but I’m holding it in, to get all the nutrients.*)

pelvic floor week Innovo

Me, super tanned from my recent holiday in Greece. (Not really.)

Whatever the reason, I don’t really mind, as I actually think it’s something that we should talk about much more. There’s a common misconception that a bit of a leak when you cough, or a life without trampolines, is just something you have to accept as you get older and have babies.

It isn’t. View Post

Last week Belle and I had a valuable lesson in ‘the importance of trying new things’, or, more specifically, the art of axe and knife throwing.

You may remember how I teased you a couple of weeks ago with a post about taking on a challenge with the National Trust, where I asked you to vote for what you’d like me to do. Axe throwing won the vote and I was secretly very pleased as it’s something I’ve never done before, and hopefully, unless I find myself alone in the woods with just an axe and a ferocious bear, not something I will ever do again.

axe throwing south west outdoor festival national trust channel adventure

We were taught the art of axe throwing by a company called Channel Adventure, who are based not far from us, on the edge of Exmoor National Park. They run all sorts of adventurous looking courses and activities, and are heavily involved in the National Trust’s new festival, the South West Outdoor Festival. Channel Adventure are going to be offering various activities over the festival weekend, including rock climbing, rafting, kayaking and, you guessed it, axe throwing. If our little adventure tickles your fancy, do have a look at the South West Outdoor Festival, and you could have a go for yourself.

We rocked up at the venue at 10am on a Friday morning. Belle had made cupcakes, which immediately went down well with the two woman who were our teachers for the morning. (Didn’t I bring her up nice?) We were joined a few minutes later by a group of three teenage boys who looked like they were too cool to be anywhere other than Snapchat, and who kept their hoods up permanently to make the point. Apparently they were from Birmingham, staying with the aunt of one of them for a couple of weeks.

“They don’t want to be here,” said the aunt as she dropped them off, “but I’ve booked them in and they’re doing it.” View Post

I’ve always had really vivid dreams. Often they have a feature film quality to them – big long adventures that feel like they go on for hours and that leave me feeling exhausted when I wake up in the morning.

In the last couple of weeks though, I’ve had some really weird dreams, dreams that have left me feeling a bit awkward with myself.

‘Er… dude, did you just dream that? Are you okay?’

Like the dream about the extra arms. They had grown out of either side of me, from my waist, and were the same size and shape as my regular arms. I looked it up afterwards, and dreaming of having extra arms is a classic apparently when you feel like you have a lot going on, and literally could do with an extra pair of hands, but in all the interpretations I read, the extra arms were helpful.

Not so mine.

My extra arms were intent on making life as difficult for me as possible, and were totally outside my control. Their favourite thing to interfere with was me going to the toilet. In the dream I was desperate for a wee, but every time I tried to go, the extra arms would wrestle with me to pull my trousers back up. It was really not cool. There I was, shouting at them, and trying to wrench them off my pants, and they were just looking evil and chuckling to themselves. (They probably weren’t actually chuckling, because they were arms, but it felt like it.)

And then there was the dream where I discovered I had a magical power. If I looked at someone that had made me feel angry or anxious, and stared hard, they would go kind of fuzzy, and then turn into a can of tuna.

can of tuna, dreams

I mean, that’s weird isn’t it?

This magical ability was a novelty to start with, but then it went a bit mad, and I couldn’t control it any more, and suddenly there was a lot of tuna. I won’t go into the plot, but let’s just say it was very complex and went on for a long time. I got really scared, and couldn’t look at anyone directly – what if I accidentally turned someone I loved into a can of tuna? What if someone realised it was me, and locked me up in some sort of… well… I don’t know what. Where do you put a crazy lady who can’t help but turn people into tuna with her eyes?!

I looked up what it means to dream of a can of tuna, but there wasn’t a lot of specific information to be honest. One website said ‘To see tuna in your dream symbolizes stamina and agility. Through your life experiences, you will build character and become stronger.’ That sounded okay to me. There was a lot about fishing, catching fish, holding fish, but very little about the ability to turn people into canned fish with the power of your mind, funnily enough.

It’s exhausting.

I’d say I could do with a sleep, but well, I don’t really think that would help, do you?

What are your weirdest dreams?

Image – ooddysmile stocker/shutterstock

I was 19 when I started my economics degree and Bee was two. I needed to make some money, but late night bar work isn’t really an option when you have a toddler to look after. I needed a part time job for just a few hours a week that could be flexible around Bee and ideally that I could do from home. I’d always been a bit of a nerd at school, with a talent for maths, and so I decided I’d try my hand at being a private tutor. Most of my maths lessons at school had been me going around the room, once I’d raced through the questions, helping other people, so how hard could it be?

become private tutor find private tutor

This was 1997, before I owned a computer, let alone had access to the internet, so to advertise my services as a private tutor I went into my local newspaper and paid for a tiny classified ad. I charged £7.50 an hour, which was pretty cheap even for 1997, but then I figured I was only 19 and that I shouldn’t push my luck.  View Post

I was staying overnight in a hotel recently, as I do now and again, for work, or sometimes just for fun because I like hotel toiletries. I was sat (in a lying down sort of way) on the bed, watching a bit of TV before going for dinner. I sneezed. I sneezed again, and a little bit of wee came out.

(Stops typing briefly to hide under my desk.)

pelvic floor tips and exercises

It wasn’t a gush by any means – I didn’t need to pretend I’d spilt a glass of water and call down to reception for fresh sheets – but it was enough to make me feel about 63 years old. If I had had a Sunday supplement with me I’d have ordered some stretchy waisted trousers as a sort of reflex reaction. View Post

I have confession that is going to BLOW YOUR MIND. (Okay, so if you know me at all it probably won’t, but I was trying to add a sense of drama. Did it work?)

I am totally rubbish at back ups. When conversation turns to phone or computer backups, (which I can’t say it does terribly often to be honest), it always goes something like:

Other person: So, when did you last back up your phone?

Me: What?

Other person: Your phone, when did you last back up all your pictures and contacts?

Me, pretending not to hear: What now?

You get the idea. 

I did once back all of my phone photos onto a memory stick, via a laptop, so that I could switch them all over to my new phone, but then a dog ate it. I’m not even kidding, a dog actually ate it. And so that was that, thousands of precious family memories, lost forever in a dog’s digestive system.

Because I know that I’m hopeless, I have taken steps to try to make sure that backups happen without me actually having to do anything. For my computer this means doing as much as I can in Google Drive, and in online design apps like Canva, and for my phone, I now use MEEM Memory.

The beauty of MEEM is that I have to do pretty much nothing at all. (My best thing.) It’s essentially a charging cable, but with a built in data backup device, so you don’t need to remember to do anything, or have extra cables, or an external hard drive or anything like that. 

MEEM memory automatic phone backup device View Post