I’ve spent most of the last two weeks coughing. I’ve written before about my coughs – they’re pretty annoying, for everyone concerned. 

38 years on, and my coughs now have a new twist. Not only do I have to worry about not being able to breathe, generally irritating people etc, but now I have to simultaneously stop myself from weeing in my own pants. It’s such fun! Oh, hang on, a cough is coming… Stop walking, cross your legs… Yep, that’s right, everyone is staring but not to worry, it’s all fine.

(It’s not really fine.)

When you’re feeling rough, and coughing until your head feels like it might explode, a bit of light bladder leakage is like the big, fat, leaky cherry on top of the cake. (A cake made of mud and toothpaste, like that one Mr Mischief makes.) It’s made worse by the fact that no one talks about it. It’s something that effects so many of us, and yet we just go around, quietly crossing our legs, feeling like it’s just us.

There is a silver lining though! If you look hard enough, you can always find a positive right? The silver lining here is that a company called Confitex got in touch recently to ask if I fancied writing about their range of utility underwear, which they’re introducing to the UK, and the cough has given me the perfect introduction.


So here I am, breaking the ‘slippage silence’ and talking (again), casually, about bladder leakage.

When I read ‘utility underwear’, I have to admit that my first thought was ‘are these pants for soldiers or something?’. That’s not what it is though. It’s actually incontinence underwear – underwear that has been designed especially to help people experiencing leaks in the urinary department. 

The key word for me here is ‘designed’. This isn’t a range of bulky pants that looks like nappies or anything like that, it’s properly designed underwear that looks good, but just happens to have a practical use too. To make the point, see if you can stop the Confitex incontinence underwear in this little collage:

(Don’t tell me I don’t know how to entertain you…)

Confitex incontinence underwearWhat do you reckon?

1 and 4 are actually the Confitex pants, although I think that the model in number 3 looks like she might be doing her best to hold something in.

The point I’m making is that Confitex have designed their range to look like regular underwear. They don’t want to make the whole situation any more awkward or embarrassing than it is already, they just want to make a pair of normal looking pants that can also make people feel comfortable and secure.

I’m not saying we should all give up on our pelvic floor exercises and just slip into a pair of incontinence pants, of course not. We should all be doing everything we can to keep our pelvic floor muscles strong, but sometimes you are going to need a little bit of extra protection.

My second thought, after the thing about soldiers in pants, was that surely a pair of knickers that looked so ordinary wouldn’t be able to actually do very much? I was wrong again. 

Confitex underwear is available for both men and women and comes in two levels of absorbency, so you can choose what suits you best. You might be experiencing a little leakage, perhaps you’ve just had a baby, or maybe you’re a man recovering after a proctectomy. The medium absorbency isn’t messing about. That’s a lot of fluid right there:

Confitex incontinence underwear

I think I’d find it hard not to chuck half a cup of tea into my pants, just to see what happened.

Confitex underwear is totally reusable – you can wash and tumble dry it like normal – and it’s made with bamboo fibre, which is super soft and has natural anti-bacterial properties too. If you’re worried about those little leaks and are intrigued to find out more, then just take a look at the Confitex website.

And cross you fingers for me (and your legs) that my cough clears up soon.


Disclosure – this post is mainly me complaining.

I woke up at about 4am on Christmas morning with what I thought was a migraine. I sometimes get migraines while I’m asleep, and it’s not much fun. You wake up and it takes a little while for you to realise you have a headache, and then WOOSH, there it is.

I thought maybe I was just excited. (I do love Christmas.) I thought perhaps it was just my body’s way of letting go of the pre-Christmas stress, (we had some passport issues…), and getting ready to enjoy itself. It didn’t go away though, and I ended up being a bit of a Christmas damp squib, try as I might to fend things off with my mum’s supply of Lemsips. (She has a bit of a Lemsip habit.)

We flew home from my sister’s in Ireland on the 28th and I thought I’d start to perk up once I was back at home, but my sinuses were not keen on the flight and things didn’t improve.

Fast forward another week and here I am at home, coughing away, generally feeling sorry for myself.

flu and despression


Pathetic isn’t it? View Post


I’ve lived in my little flat in Taunton for nearly two and a half years now, and last month I finally got round to replacing the curtains in our bedroom. The original curtains were exactly the sort of curtains you’d expect to find in a slightly rough around the edges rented flat – a 1970s swirly brown, floral pattern. I remember the first time fiancé went into my bedroom, apologising in advance for them.

Well now they’re gone, and instead we have two pairs of dark, plain pink blackout curtains. It’s nice, because for as long as the old curtains have been there, I’ve never felt inspired to do anything with the rest of the decor, as nothing really goes with brown swirly flowers.

I’ve been desperate for ages to get some new bed linen or cushions. I really love fabrics that have a romantic, watercolour look about them, and so when I discovered Bluebellgray, well, I was practically foaming at the mouth. They do fabrics, bedding, wallpaper and homewares and it’s all beautiful – gorgeous bold floral watercolour designs that immediately just lift a room.

I now have these two cushions on my bed. (See the new curtains in the background?) It means I can have plain white bedlinen, but still have big splashes of colour.

Slummy single mummy bedroom

The bunny rabbit is Bertie. Sometimes I arrange Bertie into funny positions on the bed so that every time I go upstairs to the toilet I can look at him and laugh to myself.  View Post


Okay, I know I normally do short rants, but there is just so much to say on the subject of flexible working isn’t there? Plus I want to talk to you about the Hire Me My Way campaign for more part-time and flexible jobs, and I have a personal story from another blogger to share, so all in all it’s a pretty jam-packed post.

You lucky things!

When you stop to think about ‘work’ as a concept, it’s crazy really. Let’s take your basic office job. A 9am start maybe? An hour for lunch, and then home in time for Pointless and some fish fingers and chips. For starters, the whole idea of everyone going to work and going home at the same time is madness. It’s not wonder we have traffic problems is it?! I mean, who came up with that?! ‘Oh yeah, I know, it would be GREAT if we had everyone try to travel to and from work at the same time everyday! Wouldn’t that be AWESOME?’

No, it’s not awesome.

And then you’ve got the whole productivity issue. All of the research, like this, says that flexible working increases productivity, that when we trust our staff to work from home, or to work compressed hours, or whatever it might be, that we get more out of them. So why are so many employers still so scared to embrace flexible working?

Do they not trust us? Do they imagine that the minute they’re not looking, everyone will just be at home playing on Facebook? Because I hate to break it to you bosses, but there are plenty of people sat at their desks right now sneaking a look at Facebook – keeping them locked in an office for set hours every day isn’t going to solve that.

flexible working campaign hire me my way View Post


I consider myself very lucky that I’ve never had to worry about fertility. In fact, it’s almost been the opposite. Bee was born when I was 17. (A bit of an accident, although very handily she was born at the end of July, which meant she fitted very nicely into the summer holidays between the first and second year of my A-levels.)

Belle was born when I was 24, conceived in the first month after I came off the pill, thinking to myself ‘I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if I was pregnant at some point in the next year or so.’

It was weird though second time around, as I felt so old, and yet clearly I wasn’t. I was, (and still am – that’s how time works), the youngest in the group of friends I met when Belle was a baby. The extra difference being that they were pretty much all having their first child. None of them had seven year olds in tow.

There is a downside though to all of this.

Because I’ve never really had to think about my fertility, I’m rubbish when it comes to periods. I’ll happily just bumble along through the month, totally oblivious to my own body, until one day I suddenly feel tired and sad, and like I want to stab someone with a fork.

It kind of scares me.

‘Oh no!’ I think to myself. ‘This is it! There’s something wrong with me, I’m going to be sad forever!’

And then the next day I get my period.

Ohhhhhhh! View Post