Seen and Not Heard…..

There’s an article on the Guardian website today. About child free places, which you can read hereThe writing, I think, whilst expressing a common sentiment, perhaps leaves a lot to be desired in terms of how it is expressed and of course, the writer, being without child, will immediately be thrown under the bus by parents immediately jumping to the defence of little Johnny. Here’s the thing though. I’m a mum. Birth mother to 4, plus an extra one (long story, search on my blog). And to a certain extent, I agree with the author.

I live in a lovely suburb (if one can call Ladywell / Brockley a “suburb” (note use of parenthesis) in South East London. I’ve been here for 15 years, since my older kids were younger and my two younger kids (now 10 & 12) have lived their entire life here. I have visited coffee shops, with the kids, I have OCCASIONALLY visited local pubs with the kids, but when I do, they are well behaved. They sit, chat, play at the table. They do NOT run around the respective venue, like it’s a kindergarten, shouting and getting under the feet of other patrons or staff. And that’s my problem. It’s not the children as such, it’s the parents who seem to think that allowing their kids to dominate a coffee shop, a restaurant, a pub is perfectly acceptable – it’s not. You should be parenting your child and if you want them to have a nice runaround whilst you have a drink, then get a can of cider and go sit with them in the park. Unlike Ms Bindel, I recognise that not all parents allow their kids to run amok, but I have certainly seen my fair share and yes, it drives me crazy. A couple of years ago a local bar announced that for 1 or 2 afternoons a week they were launching a soft play session for mummies and their toddlers. A BAR! For the sake of fuck. Ridiculous. I was berated when I suggested that this was a bad decision and told that if I didn’t like it, to go to another pub. I couldn’t be cause the majority of pubs in the area allow children until 9pm and there is no escape.

I would love to open a coffee shop and cafe exclusively for adults. I think it’s a great idea. My older kids agree with me. What is so wrong about wanting to go out and not have to “climb over” pushchairs? The idea of child free carriages on trains is also appealing – we have quiet zones, why not child free ones? When I travel on business, I absolutely make a conscious decision to move carriages if there are noisy children.

There is an old adage that children should be “seen and not heard”. Yes it’s old fashioned, but whilst I don’t advocate that children should be constantly silent, there is no excuse for poor parenting and bad behaviour with kids. If they want to “express themselves” (which is the usual explanation for not chastising your child), then may I suggest a park, your own home or a pub/restaurant that has a specific play area. Thanks.


Did Something Happen In Turkey?


As anyone who reads my blogs will know, I generally only blog when I’m pissed off. There could be a few things right now that are pissing me me – no job, finding a new home, wanting a boyfriend (yada yada, that old chestnut) or even dare I say it the Brexit debate. Yes, all of that is being spoken about right now. But what about the stuff that isn’t being spoken about?

On 22rd March 2016, there were terrorist attacks in Brussels – in the airport, on the metro – 35 people died. A quick search on Google will show that it made front page headlines the following day. Saturation coverage. Outpouring of grief and empathy on social media. The innevitable changing of profile pictures in support. The “world” was united in grief.

Rewind to 13th March 2016, a terror attack in Ankara, Turkey. Buses carrying civilians were targeted – 37 people died. Remember? No, probably not. It barely made the TV news and the newspaper coverage was discernible by it’s absence.

Fast forward to 28th June 2016. It’s the evening rush at Istanbul Airport. Europes THIRD busiest airport (yes that’s right, busier than Gatwick (number 9), Frankfurt (number 4) or Schiphol (number 5). There is a bomb attack. At least 36 people are killed. Countless more injured. It appeared on the news overnight. But then, dawn breaks in the UK and look….. the story has vanished. Of the 10 national newspapers shown on BBC & Sky sites for their headline reviews, only one (The Mirror) has full page coverage, with another offering a small front page section. The rest don’t even give it a mention. See for yourself here:


This isn’t about giving terrorists the publicity. This is about standing united in the fight against terrorism, in the fight for humanity. A life in Belgium, France or the UK is worth no less or no more than a life in Turkey, Kenya or Pakistan – and yet, so many bombings, carried out by the same organisations, are ignored in the Western media. I don’t have the answer, but as a generation of social media users, we have the ability to be our own media. There was an outcry when the result of the recent referendum resulted in an increase in racist attacks in the UK. Isn’t this lack of recognition, this inaction by the media, racism by default?

We have the power to make the change.

SHOCK – Woman Falls In Love & Gets Engaged!!

Waking up this morning, as usual, I flicked through the various electric pages of the online news pages and found out that the lovely Kylie was engaged to her boyfriend, Joshua Sasse. They look fabulous together and more importantly they look happy, just like any other couple in love. But the press. Ah the blessed press. Almost without fail, every single article, within the first paragraph, mentions either “toyboy” or “almost 2 decades her junior” or makes some other seemingly disparaging comment about the fact that Kylie is 47 and her fiancé is 28….a “shocking” 19 year age gap. But why is it so shocking?

Who dictates the rules about who you can fall in love with and who makes you happy? If you click with someone, you click. And the important thing (says she who has two marriages behind her) is being with someone who is your friend, your lover, your confidante and who makes you laugh!! I have friends who are over 20 years younger than me. I have friends the same age as me. But I don’t judge them because they are of a certain age – they are my friends, because we just get on. Finding someone to fall in love with and with whom you want to spend the rest of your life with is hard enough, but if you are suddenly restricted to a certain range of ages, then it’s even harder. I of course, am somewhat biaised as I am, by my own admission, attracted to guys that are (usually) younger than me. But it’s not because they look younger or they are any less good looking than a guy who is 47 or 48. It’s generally and genuinely, more to do with personality and the fact that I seem to click with them. Just as I do my friends. Like who you like. Love who you love.

So, people of the press, why don’t you just report on the fact that a woman who has gone through some pretty shit times, who 10 years ago didn’t know if she would live or die, who beat breast cancer, who bounced back, has found an amazing guy who loves her for who she is and who she loves back. Try it. And stop judging.

Kylie and Joshua, congratulations. But please – tall guys, I don’t care how old you are….. STOP DATING SHORT WOMEN!!








To All You Lovers…….

L’amour, Amore, Cariad, Amor, Liebe, Ask, Love. Just Love. So many languages, but the word is the same. And today is Valentine’s Day (with the apostrophe!), where we celebrate love……. and I believe it should be a celebration, irrespective of whether you are single, married or “it’s complicated”!

I have been married twice and have had a few relationships, although no-one I could formally call “boyfriend”, since I split with my second husband. I have loved many, and I have been “in love” and guess what, I LOVE, LOVE!! Who doesn’t want the feeling in your tummy when you are excited to see someone? Who doesn’t want the anticipation of that first kiss and the buzz of electricity? Who doesn’t want to wake up next to someone who will hug you, pull you close and look you in the eye and tell you they love you? I want ALL of that! And why not? Absolutely, you shouldn’t need to have one day of the year where you show your affection and celebrate love. But conversely, why not!! Stop moaning that it’s commercial, stop hating those who love each other, start loving! I’m still looking. I’m still hoping. I want the fairy tale. There is “a” man in my life, but we are, as the kids say, having fun and he is by no means “my” man. Life is short and I’m loving it and living it. Which means enjoying the moments with a guy who makes me laugh, even if it isn’t something that is my forever fairy tale.

Today, as I have for the past few years, I will be celebrating love, not with “my man”,  but with family and friends. Celebrating platonic and maternal love. Equally as important as being in love and a damned good excuse for drinking champagne, fizzy apple juice and watching a shit romantic film – with tissues because there will be tears!!

As I have said in another blog (that you can read HERE), I don’t NEED a man, I just want one. Someone to hug me, to fuck me, to talk to me first thing in the morning and last thing at night, to buy me flowers, to go on holiday with, to sit in silence with. A best friend, a lover, someone to grow old with. And yes, I would absolutely get married again. But no, no need to buy a hat just yet.

Dear Dee

Dear Dee

I have been meaning to write to you for a while now but things always get in the way or I never seem to know where to start. However, as today would have been your birthday, I thought I’d take the moment to reflect on the past 5 years.

Before you died, I suggested that Megan could come live with me,  joining my family. It was something I never gave a second thought to and something I have never regretted so I firstly wanted to reassure you that she is part of a family and is loved. For her, she has gained 3 sisters and a brother – no longer an only child. Of course, she still has her moments of not wanting to “share her toys”, normally involving a spat with Taylor over something borrowed (no, some things never change!), but she has accepted her extended family and they too have accepted her.

I tell everyone I have 5 children and for those who listen to the story, I do make is clear that I’m not Megan’s mum. I know you went to great pains to introduce me to people as her “new mum” but you are and always will be her mum, I couldn’t and wouldn’t replace that. However,  I have done what I can to keep her happy, to offer advice and to support her emotionally when she needed someone. Hugs, snuggles and inappropriate conversations a plenty – I will always be there for her.

Megan is happy. She misses you, she will always miss you, some days more than others. But she has built a life and is living it. She has moved back into the house you both called home and has made it her own, sharing it with her boyfriend, Simon, and of course Taylor – never far from her side. There are the inevitable arguments (again, some things never change), but there is also love and understanding. Mostly!!

Dee, I wanted you to know that Megan is a daughter you can be proud of. Wherever you are, be happy in the knowledge that your daughter takes after you in every way possible and has grown into a wonderful young woman. I’m proud she is part of my family.

Happy Birthday Dee

All my best


It’s not about Politics

A long message but an important one that I hope you read. My family and friends will tell you,  I rarely get involved at a serious level with political arguments. I have my opinions. They have theirs. That’s called diversity and it’s beautiful. However, there is a lot of emotive opinion on social media right about the situation in Syria. Yes, it’s a long way away. Has it got anything to do with the UK?  I don’t know and I’m not debating it. But those of you with children, those with grandchildren, those of you with feelings, do you SERIOUSLY fucking think that mothers & fathers would leave their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back to make a dangerous, life threatening journey, where their children stand a chance of dying and posted all over the aforementioned social media in the most inhumane and sensational way possible, where they will arrive in countries, not able to speak the language and face bigotry, racism and be made to feel unwelcome, do you think they would do this if life at home was great?? These are human beings. We are human beings. This isn’t about politics. This is about helping people. So if in doubt, go sit in an inflatable dinghy with enough of your family and closest friends until you can’t move. Then choose which ones you don’t mind dying and throw them out. That’s called
choice. The people crossing out of Syria don’t have the luxury of choice. They are running for their lives and in some cases, still dying. Think about it.

Hello Sexy Lady!

Reading the newspaper this morning made me angry – and bizarrely it wasn’t anything to do with the major disaster in Nepal (you can donate here). No, front page of the Metro, top left was a link to the continuing story of a young woman who had taken offence at a builder “wolf whistling” her.

You can read the original story here, but in essence, this 23yo woman, Poppy Smart (yes, her real name) went to the police, complaining of sexual harassment, because a builder wolf whistled at her. The police, rather than telling her to grow up, actually took man power away from investigating real crimes, to go and interview the builder accused of sexual harassment – it should be noted that no charges are being brought (no shit Sherlock). It should also be noted that now the main focus on the story isn’t wasting police time, no, it’s dragging up an incident 5 years ago where the builder in question, Ian Merrett, was involved in a fight and served time. As he says, that was 5 years ago and he’s a different person now – I just hope he keeps his job.

I’m not suggesting that woif whistling is appropriate. For me, I’m grateful if sometime notices that I’m not dead and still look remotely attractive – a wolf whistle is an age old tradition of reinforcing that. However, if it’s something that bothers you THAT much then grow a pair of those “equality” balls and go speak to the person concerned. Running to the police for something like this smacks of playground behaviour and telling the teacher, “Sir, that boy pulled my hair”. The police are here to fight real battles against crime. Not babysit Poppy.