I have never left a partner for someone else.
I don’t now if this is unusual or not, but despite a good mix of long-term, short-term and half hour-long encounters, I have never ended one relationship to start another – no overlaps, no angst-ridden dilemmas, never even anyone else waiting quietly in the wings.
I’d like to say this is because I’ve always been smart enough to end a relationship when I knew it wasn’t working, before it fell apart enough for me to fall for someone else, but anyone who knows me will be snorting derisively at that idea, so that isn’t it. What can I say? I’m not good at endings.
A couple of weeks ago I ran a competition to win a magic colour change bath mat from Cuddledry. Thank you very much to everyone who entered.
I then completely forgot about it, until today.
I’ve always been a doodler. At university, I never took notes. Instead I would spend lectures creating pages of elaborate swirls and circles and lines. I was paying attention too obviously, it just helped me concentrate.
I still doodle a lot now – borders of flowers around pages, concentric circles, pretty pictures of cottages with white picket fences and apple trees in the garden – so when I was asked to create a doodle for National Doodle Day, I was more than happy to oblige. I take any form of procrastination very seriously.
National Doodle Day, which takes place this year on 11 February, is basically a fundraising activity, raising money for Epilepsy Action, and supported by Dodo Pad. Loads of celebrities take part, submitting their own doodles, and you can vote through the Doodle Day website for your favourite. There’s also a fab competition – send in your very own doodle and you could win an iPad. Not bad at all.
Anyway, they asked me to doodle something, promising a graphologist would be able to tell me something insightful, and this is what I did:
It’s been a while since I did a straight product review. ‘Thank God!’ I hear you cry. They are dull after all. I personally hate reading them.
Still, when Ikea offered me one of these mega-cute inflatable ladybirds (with the catchy name of Sagosten)… well, I was putty in their hands. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a parcel, it was nearly Christmas, I thought I could wrap it up, pretend I’d bought it specially, and Belle would never know…
Belle has got a bit fed up in recent months with my product reviews. Now, if I ever give her anything, she narrows her eyes cynically and asks ‘do I have to write a review?’ So this time, I went for a plain and simple lie, passing the ladybird off instead as a thoughtful gift. *bad mummy*
As parents, we tell lies all the time. These are mainly to our children. For example:
“Do you like my picture Mummy?”
“Yes!” you exclaim. “It’s brilliant!”. No it isn’t, you’re thinking, it’s rubbish, I can’t even tell what it is.
“The tooth fairy is real isn’t she Mummy?”
“Yes of course darling!” you reassure. No she isn’t, you mutter under your breath, now shut up and go to sleep so I can shove 50p under your pillow.
According to a survey published today by Netmums though, it’s not just the kids we’re lying to. We’re also lying to each other. If you thought playground peer pressure was behind you, apparently you’re wrong – as parents we are constantly comparing ourselves to other mums and dads, and finding ourselves lacking. In order to cover up our feelings of inadequacy, we’re lying about our parenting – how much TV we let the kids watch, how many meals we cook from scratch, and how much quality time we spend as a family.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I’m happy to admit that my children watch a fair bit of television. It’s not that I don’t want to do wholesome eight-year-old activities, it’s just that, well, ok… I don’t want to do eight-year-old activities to be honest.
I’ve done my life the wrong way round really. I have a child starting her A-levels this year. I am only 32.
When I grow up I don’t want to be wealthy. I don’t want to settle down. I don’t aspire to have a big house in the country, with a mortgage to match, or expensive holidays. I’m not looking to start a family either. I’ve done that bit.
When I grow up I want to be free. I want to shed responsibility, not gain it. When I grow up I want to be able to choose where I live and what I do. I want to get up and go to bed whenever I feel like it and if I fancy going somewhere for a while, I will just go.
I’ve always harboured a secret dream of living in a mobile library, travelling around, selling interesting books and visiting interesting places.
A friend saw this and took a picture for me. “I thought it’d be perfect for you,” he said. “It has ‘The Universe at Your Fingertips’ written down the side.”
I love it.
The Universe at Your Fingertips.
That’s what I want when I grow up.