So far so good on my 2011 reading challenge – one down, twenty four to go.

It’s quite a long time since I tried to talk intelligently about books, 16 years in fact since I did English at school. I’ve been to book groups sporadically, but they often tend to be more about the snacks and the wine than the books, plus you have loads of other people to bounce off, so you get more of an idea of the right thing to say.

However, I have resisted the urge to google The Great Gatsby for clever sounding things to say, and obviously I couldn’t be bothered to read the introduction, so I basically have no idea what the book is meant to be about. Instead I’m just going to go with how it made me feel. Don’t laugh…

View Post

I know it’s typically a time for feeling generally depressed, and wanting to pack away all the decorations that you pretend to like because the kids made them, but I love New Year. I love the feeling of expectation, of promise, the notion of a fresh start, that anything is possible. As soon as Christmas is over I want to get on with all the New And Exciting Things that I feel sure are just around the corner. I start tidying, throwing things away and thinking about the year to come. I itch to have the cupboards empty of biscuits for cheese, and I scoff the amaretti biscuits so I can organise Useful Things into the empty tins.

No surprise then that I also love the idea of New Year Resolutions. This year I have been thinking a lot about what I want to achieve in 2011, as it feels like a significant one for me – Bee finishes school this year, and if that isn’t enough to make you feel old, and want to take stock a bit, I don’t know what is.

View Post

I’m writing this on a Sunday evening. I’m slouched alone on the sofa, dressed in a decidedly unstylish pair of pyjamas, slurping at the remains of a cup of luke warm tea. On the TV, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte are perched on bar stools, dressed in top to toe glitz, sipping delicately at their cocktails.

Seriously, an impartial onlooker could barely tell us all apart.

Like many 30-something women with perfectly ordinary lives, SATC is the template for how I feel my life could be, if only I was prettier, thinner, richer, and more interesting. But until I win the lottery, lose two stone, and move to New York, there is really only one thing I can do to make believe I’m living the dream – drink cocktails.

I love cocktails. I love the glasses, the colours, the little bits of fruit on sticks, the barmen… I also love that they really just taste like lovely fruit juices, and you don’t notice the alcohol until you try to step gracefully down off your stool and end up tripping over your own shoes and tumbling over.

I would have been a fool then quite frankly to turn down an invitation last week from Midori – surely everyone’s favourite melon based liqueur? Would I like to bring a friend to London to drink cocktails and watch Dirty Dancing? Hell yeah… View Post

Hellooo and Happy Wednesday to you all! (Unless you’re reading this on another day, in which case, where have you been??)

This week I have another exciting competition for you, a little treat, a thank you for tolerating me. I will say right now that I have been in a rather strange, distracted mood this morning, so I this post comes out a little odd I apologise. I’m not drunk or anything, promise.

So, yes, the competition.

Starting today, for one week only, I’m offering you the chance to win this very lovely Samsung ES28 digital camera. Pretty isn’t it?

View Post

No, is the short answer. But that wouldn’t make great reading, so I will try and expand…

I want to believe in the idea that at some point in my life, I will meet somebody and know. Know that this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, the person who completes me, the person I will love forever. But I don’t believe it. It’s a lovely idea, but in my mind completely unreasonable. How can you say that you will love somebody forever? How can you know?

View Post

I make no secret of the fact that I don’t like housework. If you’ve read my fantastic housework tips you’ll probably have cottoned on to the fact that I am not a clean freak.

It’s really not that I’m lazy, it’s just that I find it boring and ultimately pointless. I don’t mind a bit of light tidying now and again, the kind where you can throw away satisfying piles of paper and arrange things in height or colour order, but actual cleaning, it’s just so relentless. As the fabulous Joan Rivers once said, “I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.”

So when Danielle Raine offered me a copy of her new book, Housework Blues, I was intrigued. The book describes itself as less of a ‘how to’, and more of a ‘why bother’, a guide to help you cope with the mental and emotional challenge of keeping a home. It sounded perfect…

View Post