Life, lately. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 8 - 2014

September eh? How and when did that happen?

It’s a strange old month.  For me, it marks the end of Summer and the beginning of the slow decline into Winter.  I feel as though I’ve entered an odd sort of limbo, one that will persist until the clocks go back… because only then will I start getting excited for a more festive season.

For Leila, however… September isn’t the end of anything, quite the opposite infact.  I can clearly remember starting the new school year myself, the satisfaction of a clean exercise book, delighting in a bunch of new teachers to annoy, and later in my school life… the annual frustration that the Summer break hadn’t afforded me the opportunity to return to school less ugly duckling and more beautiful swan.  Again.

You’d think that now I’m older, things might have changed… but no, I still had that “damn, I didn’t lose any weight over the Summer holidays” feeling as I walked Leila closer to the school gates last week.

You may have noticed that I’m still struggling to find room for Lipglossiping in my life.  I’ve come to the harsh conclusion that anyone who blogs regularly, and has more than one kid, should probably be reported to social services for child-neglect.  Either that, or my baby boy is particularly high-maintenance.  Come to think of it, he is much more of a diva than his sister ever was.

However, I did manage a FOTD and some other blog photos this morning, feeling terribly guilty all the while, as it meant that Mr. L had to stop his work to afford Joe the kind of attention to which he has become accustomed.  Having said that, things are on the up!  This mother/baby thing is finally becoming a two-way street – oh, how rewarding a little interaction feels after four months of dead-behind-the-eyes newbornhood.  Some people love the very littlies… me?  I’ve always felt much more fulfilled (and happy) as my babes have grown older, even if it is more tiring!

It’s our 10th wedding anniversary next week and I’ve nearly burnt myself out trying to organise something to celebrate.  We never celebrate anniversarys… it’s a rare thing for us to even exchange cards, but 10 years does feel kinda special and I wanted to mark it somehow.  To be honest, we’ve (I’ve) gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.  To begin with, I stupidly thought that we might be able to escape for a couple of nights to Barcelona.  I bent poor Karleigh‘s ear on Twitter about the city’s highlights, found some cheap Ryan Air flights and a hotel shortlist but alas, I conveniently forgot about having two children.  I would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids!

Then, my cousin stepped in and offered to have Joe for a night and I immediately hit Google up for the plushest, most loveliest hotels in the area.  Key criteria: food-to-die-for and spa facilities built by angels.  I’d even talked Mr. L into having a massage, and that’s no mean feat!  Having now realised that I’ve left it quite late and found the proverbial inn (Botleigh Grange Hotel) to be closed, I’m scuppered.  And this is where the aforementioned “ridiculous” comes in…

…I’ve booked 3 nights in Pontins, Camber Sands.

FML

You see, Leila has an inset day on the Friday (long weekend) and I’d been feeling pretty guilty that she hadn’t had an actual holiday this year.  I figured that I could cope with Pontins on the premise that I would be well prepared, having been massaged into a long-lasting sublimity earlier in the week.  But now, I just basically want to kill myself.

And that, ladies and … err, ladies… is my life, lately.


50 Random Facts About Me

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 18 - 2013

I need to apologise for my absence.  If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll already know the reasons behind my blog neglect.  I’ve been suffering with pneumonia and after no less than a full week, I’m finally on the mend.  My brain is not in the “blogging” place right now.  At least, not in the way that I’ve come to expect from myself so I’m easing back into things with a simple “50 Random Facts About Me”.  An exercise in self-love and vanity.  Would you do me the great honour of leaving a comment with some random facts about yourself?  Or if you have a blog…. perhaps, a link to your list?

I’d truly appreciate it.

50 Random Facts About Me

1. My first name is hyphenated but I never use the second part of it except on official documentation.
2. I got married when I was 23 but I’ve been with my husband since I was 18.
3. Our daughter is named after my favourite au pair as a child.
4. My little finger is so badly broken that I can stretch an octave on the piano with no bother despite having small hands.
5. I have Dermatographic Urticaria (“skin writing” skin) but it was worse when I was younger.
6. I’m left-handed and turn a page on its side to write on it.
7. I met my husband in a chat room in 2000 and crank-called his mum more than once to check that he wasn’t an axe-murderer.
8. My idol in life is Joe Strummer.
9. I know my way around the city of Sydney better than I do my home county of Hampshire.
10. I honeymooned in Manchester, of all places.


11. I’ve only recently become semi-comfortable with my inner freak.  Older age is suiting me.
12. I used to travel all over the country to watch Southampton Football Club play.
13. I was a foreign languages prefect at school.
14. I desperately want to do a road trip across the U.S. (who doesn’t)
15. I have recently conquered a massive fear of lifts (elevators).
16. My favourite thing on a menu is usually the nachos.
17. I’ve been blogging in some shape or form since 1999. Anyone remember Deadjournal? (Livejournal for angsty types)
18. I build beautiful houses on The Sims but never “live” in them.
19. I only moved out of my Mum and Dad’s house last year at the age of 30.
20. My first boyfriend “came out” to me.  It wasn’t my doing.


21. Top five bands? The Clash, Stone Roses, The Black Crowes, Blondie, Pulp
22. Top five artists? Prince, Janis Joplin, Doris Day, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper
23. I did literally everything I could to avoid a planned c-section whilst pregnant. I had an emergency c-section.  It was ok.
24. I still miss the house I grew up in.
25. And the city.
26. I hated university but I got what I needed to get.  And then never used it.
27. I try to add jalapenos and spice to everything.
28. I’m a night owl, and always have been.
29. I only play computer games on God mode.  I appreciate a good story more than a challenge.
30. I didn’t attend my graduation, I still don’t regret missing it.


31. I love Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers and have seen it no less than 6 times in my life.
32. I’m not motivated by money.  In the slightest.
33. I’ve been told that I can come across as prickly, sometimes even “mysterious” in large group situations.  I’m not… I’m just hyper-aware of talking crap, so end up not saying much.  One-on-one though?  You can’t shut me up.
34. I’m too scared to have another child incase he/she isn’t as perfect as my first.
35. I desperately wanted Leila to be a boy, until I met her.
36. I love bum chins, and dimples… I have neither.
37. My husband has a bum chin, my daughter has two dimples on the same cheek.
38. We had our first dance to “Sea of Love”.
39. I think that arms are the sexiest part of a man’s body
40. I’m rubbish at arguments, I just get aggressive.


41. I’d love to be more ambitious.
42. I owe everything to my parents but I don’t revere them as I should.
43. Gherkins.  Always the gherkins.
44. A nice coat is worth spending (lots of) money on.  Shoes?  Not so much.
45. I was too upset to go to school the day I found out that Kurt Cobain had killed himself.
46. If I could go on a giant geocache event dressed as Emma Peel, I would probably be in my element.
47. I’m a fantastic drunk.
48. I like to clean the flat to the sounds of Pat Benatar and the Divinyls.
49. I started going grey when I was 17.  Around the same age I started sprouting a full-on beard.  Thanks PCOS.
50. I struggle to commit 90 minutes or more to watching a film.  But usually enjoy myself when I do.

How about you?

Bonfire Night, Alresford, Hampshire

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 6 - 2012

Please excuse a photo post, it’s not Wednesday yet so I can’t even excuse it with a “wordless” prefix.  However, it is 3am and I’m yawning in time with my keyboard taps.  Thank you so much for your amazing comments on my post yesterday, it’s so good to hear that even in the most ridiculous of situations, there are always people keeping me company by doing exactly. the. same. thing.  You idiots 😉

Anyway, we promised Leila a trip to see the fireworks this bonfire night.  Last year, I was a bit more organised and we went to the big display in Winchester – which I thoroughly recommend.  This year, after a quick shout-out on Twitter, I discovered that the town of Alresford (about 14 miles away) was having a display, so after picking Leila up from pre-school, we hot-footed it up the M3.  £14 for two adults?  Ok, I know it’s for charity and you mustn’t grumble (I still grumbled) but don’t they know there’s a recession going on?!  AND there was no Starbucks this time.  BOO.

It was an “ok” display, hampered by a change in wind direction which meant that most of the whizz-bangs were let off from behind a great (or “gurt” as we say in this neck of the woods) big tree. We probably wouldn’t do this one again…

Here are some photos – they’re handheld and not the best, there was less people and subsequently less light than at last years display – you’ll notice I got busy with my fisheye again!

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

bonfire night alresford 2012

Did you get the sparklers out last night or over the weekend?

I know, it’s horribly sacrilegious to mark such an occasion with a trip to the axis of capitalism but it had to be done, the thought of the new Christmas drinks had been robbing me of sleep!  We finished off our Bonfire Night celebrations with a trip up the road to Winchester which holds an annual torchlit procession through its ancient streets, followed by the biggest bonfire I’d ever seen!

Here’s some photos from Saturday night.

Incase you’re wondering… the new Praline Mocha drink is yumm-o, Leila’s stuck on the babyccinos like an old lush and Mr. L thinks that Toffee Nut Lattes are over-rated (insert gasps here).  Oh, and the cakes in the first photo?  Figment of your imagination 😉

Hope your Bonfire Nights went off with a bang!!

* what a difference a year makes!

 

A little catch up (and an excuse to talk about my holiday)

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 5 - 2011

I’ve been away!  Did you miss me?  Of course not, because you were kept in extremely good company thanks to my brilliant guest bloggers last week.  In-case you missed their posts you can catch up by clicking through to: Amrita, Robyn, Lily and Liloo.

Anyway, I’m back!  Although, it’s not with the vengeance I would have liked.  Leila has been hit with a mega-cold on-top of a poorly chest so we’ve been sleeping upright at night which as it turns out, doesn’t actually involve much sleeping at all.

Other than that, I have been dodging the piles of emails that amass whenever I turn my back for a second, trying to get unpacked and look after other work (you know, the proper stuff that pays the bills).  What I’m trying to say, in a really convoluted way is this…

Here, please have a look at my holiday photos instead of a proper beauty post.  I’ll get things back on an even keel before the week is through!

Clockwise from Top Left:

1 Kemble Street (a.k.a Space House) – I love the architecture when walking around London.  From impressive Victorian terraces to stately granite-clad frontages.  Futuristic glass walled skyscrapers to concrete, Brutalist obelisks.  The landscape is rich and varied!

Flatbread at Patogh Edgware Road – Just off Edgware Road is a tiny blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Persian place called Patogh.  It has about 7 tables in total and if you wanna get in, you better get in early.  If you do, you’ll be treated to heavenly sesame-seed dusted flatbreads and minced lamb kebabs to make your mouth water.  We paid £16 all in and walked out with full bellies.

Tate Modern Chimney – I’d like to pretend that I’m all cultured and stuff but I’m really not.  I walk around the Tate Modern as a child might, devouring the cool stuff and not bothering to ‘understand’ anything.  Still, I love the building.

Leila and Me in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern – We were contemplating where we could go for cake/ice cream/chocolate – or all of the above.

Clockwise from Top Left:

Leila and the Mega Towers – At Canary Wharf, they’re kinda piddly towers compared to other cities across the globe but they’re still pretty impressive to look up at from street level.  I like Canary Wharf, I like to sit and watch everyone doing busy stuff while I have nothing in the world to do but watch.

Bargainista Afternoon Tea – We didn’t plan to stop for a proper Afternoon Tea and many would be horrified that I even dare call this an Afternoon Tea but tough.  The John Lewis Bistro on the 3rd Floor of the store in Oxford St does a fine spread for less than £10 each.  Attentive service, relaxed surroundings and you barely need to leave the beauty hall.  Good stuff.

Back when Barbie was Cool – At the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, I discovered a super-cool Barbie.  Still impossibly well-endowed, she can work those cat eyes sunnies better than most.

Mudchute Farm – Bang in the middle of the Isle of Dogs, overshadowed by the towers of Canary Wharf is an Urban Farm project.  They have giant pigs that made me rethink my love for bacon, sheep that looked just a tiny bit mutated (perhaps from all those inner city fumes) and a petting corner that included ferrets!  A wonderful green lung in the middle of the city.

Clockwise from Top Left:

The Elgin in Ladbroke Grove – If you are/have ever been a Clash fan, this establishment will mean something to you – if not, it’s just a pub in West London that used to play frequent host to the greatest front-man ever.

Ghost-rider at South Bank Skate Park – I can never walk past this place without slowing down to see if anyone falls off their bike or skate board.  I was treated to a spectacular tumble on Saturday which had the gathered crowds “ooooohing” before a big cheer when the rider jumped up with a wave!

Turbine Hall at Tate Modern – Despite the hustle and bustle, this is such a peaceful place… a huge expanse that plays host to frequent exhibitions.  I remember a few years back, they installed a giant slide… too. much. fun.  Sadly, it was a little sparse when we visited.

Millennium Bridge/St. Pauls – The juxtaposition of the old and the new is around every corner.  Don’t they sit comfortably together?  I love this view.

.

Well, now I’ve given myself the post-holiday blues! Sigh. I’ve got a couple of days away to Brighton coming later in the month so I’ll just focus on that instead.  I hope you all had lovely weekends – down with Monday mornings!

Johnson & Johnson Best Beauty Blogger 2011 – The Trophy!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 8 - 2011

A couple of you* asked to see the trophy that I was awarded following my jammy scoop of Best Beauty Blogger title at the recent Johnson & Johnson Beauty Care Journalism Awards.

I’d rather I didn’t look such a scruff in the photo below so please ignore the creases and two-tone hair but a). it was the best of a bad lot and b). Mr. L gave me the “if you want me to take this photo of you, let’s do it now” ultimatum at a time when I looked, well… a bit of a scruff!

I’ve got my trophy displayed in my parent’s front room at the moment because they’re thoroughly loving casually dropping it into conversations with the Pools man/Avon lady/Betterware Catalogue picker-upper.  It’s hideously embarrassing if I happen to be around when all this is going on… but secretly, I’m loving that they’re loving it.  How could I not?

Thank you for your lovely congratulations last week, I really don’t feel very deserving but I’ll gladly take them all the same!

*at least one of you did, honest!  I’m not making it up just so I can show off my award and bring it up AGAIN!  As if I would…

A sticky situation… saved by a gooey cupcake! (or 12)

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 18 - 2011

Picture the scene… you’ve spent the last fortnight trying to come up with a blisteringly cool gift idea for your husband’s birthday.  You want something that says “I think you’re the greatest person walking the planet”. Not easy is it?

Things get harder when you have a husband who doesn’t really put any value on material possessions.  When he moved down from the North East 10 years ago, we were able to fit everything he owned in the boot of my hatchback.  I reckon we could probably do the same again today (although Leila might take some wedging in).

I toyed with the idea of programming books (but didn’t know which ones would flop), a short break (but we’re already going away this month), novelty gadgetry (dust gatherers), an iPad (he pretends to hate Apple ‘cos he’s a flash programmer but I know he really wants one regardless).

So, I was all set on the iPad (though wincing evertime I looked at the price) when I heard him discussing that “iPads are just about to be superceded by some amazing tablets”.  Brakes on that one sharpish then.

So there I was… secretly glummer than glum on the morning of his birthday because I hadn’t got him anything other than a novelty JUMBO keyboard to take the piss out of his old age with.  As a wife?  I FAIL.

When suddenly on my twitter stream, I’m reminded of this lady.

I fire up the Tweetdeck DM panel…

“How quickly can you dispatch a box of 12 cupcakes to my husband?” (we live in the same area)

“Is tomorrow morning too late?” (it’s gone midday by this point)

“A bit… I was hoping to get them today” (i’m never usually that cheeky – shows how desperate I was!)

“Let me see what I can do”

£18 and less than three and a half hours later(!), these were delivered directly to Mr L:

When the doorbell rang (after a quick “I’m on my way” tweet warning from Heidi!), I hid in the kitchen listening to Mr. L tut at having to answer the door.  His frown didn’t last long when he saw the beautifully presented box of goodness being held out for him!

“Happy Birthday!” Heidi cheerfully announced whilst I stifled my giggles in the next room.

But most importantly… how did they go down?

Pretty quickly actually!

If you’re local enough in Hampshire to take advantage of Heidi’s cupcake and buffet services – you should.  You REALLY should *wipes away the crumbs*.  You can check out her website here and follow her on twitter here.

Thank you Heidi for going “above and beyond” in my hour of need!  She must have raised an eyebrow at the random crazy lady tweeting her, but talk about saving the day!

Dear Obesity…

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 12 - 2010

We have been together for over 20 years, our lives so entwined that I’ve never been sure how to live without you.  I would like to tell you that you’ve been nothing but a miserable companion… but I would be lying.  At times, you’ve been a comfort, an invisibility blanket that has shielded me from the world,  holding my hand every step of the way.

Beside me throughout my childhood and teenage years, you often held me back from enjoying myself but I can’t deny that when the going got tough, you would be there to remind me that you were the only thing I would ever need in life anyway.  We were thankfully never bullied for our friendship, though both knew that it was almost impossible not to be pitied.

You regularly made me sad, insecure and doubtful of a happy future with your controlling ways… but despite your omnipresence, I have only fond memories of those formative years.  Further down the line, you shared those first precious moments with my husband, I think you knew I’d kick your arse if you interfered.

Every photo of every holiday, party and get-together… even on my wedding day… you’re there.  My shadow.

I still often question whether it was you that screwed with my hormones, or if we were only tied together because of my hormones…. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put the chicken before the egg.  Regardless, it was then that you settled in for the long haul… knowing that I wouldn’t have the strength or the willpower to leave you for good.  When they said that I wouldn’t be able to have children without intervention, I turned to you for comfort… and you obliged, like you always do.

But then something clicked.  I don’t even know what or why, there was no lightbulb moment, no flash of inspiration… nothing that I can pinpoint as the moment I realised our relationship had to come to an end.  Like a drip feed, I started to wean myself off you and out of your controllling grasp.

It’s been a long road… 3 years in the making.  Through this time… I have stumbled and fallen back into your waiting arms many times… enjoying the familiarity that you provide… but it never lasts long before once again, you become the abuser and my body, the abused.  Conceiving Leila naturally served to remind me to ignore your parasitic sweet nothings that attempt to shatter my resolve.  I know that you don’t mean to hurt me, you just can’t live without me.

So today, it’s with a strange mixture of loss and overwhelming joy that I tell you something:

I’m leaving you and you won’t see me again.

.

This morning I weighed 12st 12lb wwith a BMI of 29.7, meaning I am overweight and no longer obese.

.

Please excuse this post.  It’s a bit of a For Leila one… but well… For me.  I just really wanted to record it, somewhere.

RANDOM

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