Tag Archives: friends

In The Fridge

Naomi dropped her backpack in the hall and wandered into the kitchen to see what was in the fridge.

Ben followed close behind, like a lap dog. It was plain to see he was besotted with her. 

“Don’t know why my mum keeps buying these DiaryLea lunchables, but I’ll keep eating them.” she offered Ben a plastic lunch pack with a smile. 

“Haha, probably because you can’t even make a Pot Noodle without burning the kitchen down.” Ben teased. 

“I’m not that bad! She rolled her eyes and sat up on the kitchen worktop to eat. 

“I well and truly messed that up. I’ve definitely failed.” Naomi closed her eyes and sighed. 

“Don’t say that you always think you’ve done worse than you have, you said that in the mocks and you did great.” Ben put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. 

“Great? I scraped a D, Ben. A D! The only place I’ll be going in September will be the Job Centre, most likely with my mum.” The panic began to rise again. Naomi jumped down and opened a can of Coke as a distraction. 

“Mum’s going to be so disappointed. She wanted me to get into the sixth form and follow Golden Balls to university. I’m going to be stuck stewarding at the game until I’m 65, like Jimmy Mac.” She fought back tears. 

“Hey, hey come on.” Ben put his arms around her shoulders. “Elle, it’s alright to not have it all worked out yet. Just because my predicted grades are good, it doesn’t mean I know which path I’m going to take.

“Just try and chill a bit. You can only do your best.” Ben gave her a winning smile. He was doing everything right. Being a shoulder to cry on, offering good advice, giving her space, not being too pushy. By the end of the term, they’d be an item. He was sure of it. 

“Urgh, anyway, I can’t change it now, can I?” Naomi wiped her eyes and dropped her packet into the kitchen bin. “Come on, kick your arse on MarioKart?”

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Perplexed

“Honestly, people never cease to amaze me, mum. He’s just never going to change, is he?” Ellie huffed down the phone to her mum.

“If I hadn’t have seen the odd photo Elle, I wouldn’t believe he existed the way you two carry on. He doesn’t deserve you, I told you that when he didn’t bother to send you flowers on Valentine’s Day.” Her mum replied. Holding a grudge was a family trait.

“Oh anyway, I’ve told him that actions speak louder than words. I can’t be doing with this anymore. I’d almost rather be back on Tinder you know.” Ellie thought about redownloading the online dating app, again.

She’d deleted it after a few weeks of dating Nick, and had toyed with the idea of checking whether the grass really was greener. A friend had spotted Nick on the app a year or so later when he was away with work and they’d been arguing. It crushed Ellie. 

Maybe she’d give him one last chance. “Right, I’d better get going, I’m covering the council meeting at 9, will give you a buzz tonight.” Ellie rang off and packed up her day bag.

Life as a journalist is a slog, but no two days are ever the same. It’s what kept Ellie in the job. One day it’s match reporting from the press box or interviewing footballers, the next it’s charity bake sales, next it’s documenting military veterans stories and there were the late-night calls to crime scene, fire or bomb scares.

Today was a run of the mill council meeting at the Town Hall. Laptop, pen, pad, and a Kinder Bueno should do it. She picked up the note Nick had left on the kitchen worktop, and folded it into her pocket making a mental note to text him later.

The long, unpredictable hours left Ellie’s personal life lacking. The on/off thing with Nick was once full of promise. But her erratic work life, his all-encompassing job and study schedule, made actual dates sporadic at best.

Friends had long given up asking to meet Nick. The time they got together was sacred to Ellie and she was reluctant to share him. Although after almost two and a half years, their tiny social bubble seemed odd.

Add to that a lack of any family introduction on either side and Ellie was often left feeling perplexed as to who and what they were? They hook up, they have dinner, they go for cocktails, they have fun, they stay over, they go their separate ways.

Why was she so obsessed with labels? Anyway, the note said he needed to talk and that’s never ended well.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Open Your Eyes

Painting my bedroom ceiling blue was such a good idea. Waking up on even the dullest of days, I’m met with a cerulean blue skyscape which matches the calm waters of exotic holiday destinations I pine for.

I forgot to take my mascara off again. Reaching over to my bedside table, I pick up my phone and see the barrage of late-night texts from the girls. F&ck, that was a belting night out. My hair, still half curled, feels matted with cigarette smoke and shots residue. Laughing to myself, I sit up in bed and trawl through the pics and videos of us arsing about with a stag do of lads dressed up as superheroes.

Ahh, there’s that fit one who said I laugh like Daffy Duck. Cheeky ba&tard. He was right like, but still. When the manic laugh comes out, that’s when I know I’m pi$$ed. Haha. He said he liked my freckles. Weird, no one else has ever said that before. Definitely not dressed as Batman anyway. Fun times, should’ve snogged him, I just wasn’t sure if he was actually the groom to be and I won’t make that mistake again.

Mad to think of all the hilarious times we’ve had in just a small part of town. That time a bloke just picked Leah up, lashed her over his shoulder, and ran the full length of the street, proper Tarzan style. Her bag flew open, spewing make-up, coins, tampons, keys, the lot down the street. To this day, we still don’t know who he was or why he did it. We just cried laughing at her little head, bobbing down the street screaming “save me!”

I scooch back down under the covers and go for a full-body, cat-like stretch. It’s going to be a good day. Through the drapes, the sky is looking as blue as my ceiling which means my plans to wear the Vogue power suit, have gone out of the window. Too stuffy.

Looking around the walls for inspiration, my hectic studio creeps into the boundaries of my bedroom, stark in comparison. Having never fully grown out of the need to stick posters on my walls, my designing space is a riot of colour, cut-outs, and posters I have picked up at the cinema and vintage shops.

My favourites are the transport ones. We’re all commuters, one way or another. I love reimagining the 1920’s and 1940’s posters with modern fashion on the trams and old fashion motor cars.

Back when summer holidays meant a week-long visit to the coast, rather than a two-week break in Tahiti, travel was such a different concept. Long hemlines and long train journeys through the urban landscape to appreciate vast expanses of the sky at the seaside, were the norm. Beachside villas and country retreats brought about the same levels of excitement about shopping for a holiday wardrobe as we still get now. Something about packing makes me stupidly excitable.

No rest, nor holidays for the wicked just yet, there’s a collection to finish and meetings to attend. A bright, warm Monday morning calls for a splash of colour I think. Throwing back the blankets, I tiptoe on the cold floor to my walk-through wardrobe and trace my fingers along the rails. Oh there it is. The bright red, full length, wrap-around skirt with the white flower pattern. I first wore it for a play in sixth-form and tracking it down had been like a sequence from an adventure film. Call me Indiana James. Today it was the skirts time to shine.

Heading for the shower, with a spring in my step and Aretha on the record player, it was going to be a good day.

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

It’s Life Jim, But Not As We Know It

Following on from my previous blog post, A Whole New World, I did indeed make it to my first day in the new job. And in an instant, it was gone. 

I started my new job, met the fab new team and received a warm welcome to the office. It was something of a baptism of fire as clients began reacting to the news that a global pandemic had been announced. The boss gave the small team the option to work from home as it emerged that traveling by public transport and working in close proximity was aiding the virus growth.

We had a team lunch, tried to keep spirits high while all churning over the breaking news. Major shops closing, high profile cases being reported, death tolls in China, Italy, Spain and then at 5pm, instead of rushing home, we waited and watched the first UK government live press conference.

On Monday 16th March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the nation that COViD-19 had been declared a pandemic and the UK was about to take drastic measures to stop the spread among the elderly and infirm. There were tears, I felt for these girls I’d met just a few hours ago, and my boss. Caring, worried about her staff and clients as well as her own family. We went home with a plan to give clients more support than ever before.

On Tuesday, I brought my children home. My daughters and I have a vascular disease. We’re not at increased risk of contracting COViD-19, but my middle daughter had lung surgery a little while back, and I wasn’t taking any risks. Tuesday 17th March became day one of Social Distancing for us as a family.

On Wednesday 18th March, I was let go from my new job. Contract terminated with immediate effect as I was still in the probation period. I don’t blame my boss at all. It’s a scary time for everyone in business and at this early stage, the support package from the government hadn’t been announced. She assured me that once this was over, there would be a role for me.

On Thursday 26th March, we made a poster, with a rainbow on it and a message of thanks to those on the front line, our incredible NHS workers. At 8pm we stood on our front doorstep and we applauded and cheered as a way to give thanks to those making huge sacrifices for us. It won’t ever be enough.

It’s now Sunday 29th March 2020. We’ve adjusted to life, for now. My mum and step-dad, friends Michelle, Kate and Paul have become our lifeline, delivering shopping, helping with school work for the kids and my brother and sister have kept our spirits up thanks to Whatsapp. The Ble Room podcast, which I’ve contributed to for a year this month, has also kept me sane, utilising Skype to catch up with the lads and chat all things Everton and COViD-19 of course. Houseparty is a great app. Get it.

It’s day 13 and while we’re having a lazy Sunday. Tomorrow we’ll be starting a new routine. 9am PE with Joe, 10:30 – 1:30 school work, no Ipads or tech until 4pm. Everyone is helping to prep lunch and tea. There will be baths and bed and movie night on the projector thanks to Disney+ and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

I don’t know what’s to come. The prospect of it scares and excites me in equal measure. One thing I do know is that I don’t want to go back to ‘normal’. I’ve learned some serious lessons these last couple of weeks, and I’ve no doubt there are more to come. For me, going back isn’t an option.

I hope you and yours are safe and well.

To every single key worker and volunteer, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for everything you’re doing, you are incredible. 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Woodlands Hospice Bunny Run 2017

On Sunday I got my face painted, donned a pair of rather fetching bunny ears, pinned on a fluffy tail ran 3.2 miles at the Woodlands Hospice Bunny Run 2017.

Croxteth Park had never looked so utterly stunning, bathed in early Spring sunlight, the hall itself was a hive (or should that be warren?) of activity as fundraisers, runners and tonnes of dogs, came together to support this Woodlands Hospice fundraising event.

bunny run

Roped in by my friend and organiser, Pauline Cox, I signed up to run the 5k course with the lovely Michelle and Kerry and French bulldog Oscar (who completely won the day by being ridiculously cute!). We (just about) got through the warm up with PT Mark Riley before limbering up on the start line.

Bunny run two

Woodlands Hospice Charitable Trust is an independent charity committed to delivering the best possible practice and development of Specialist Palliative Care for people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses with complex needs. It honours people’s right to dignity and respect at whatever stage of their illness by its aim to improve the quality of life for patients and their families

Woodlands Hospice

More than 50 runners, old and young turned out to support this amazing cause alongside a team of the most encouraging and smiley volunteers who clapped and cheered every single runner to the finish line. The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Roz Gladden handed out medals to all the participants and laden down with Easter eggs and goody bags we set off for ice creams, fair rides and a well earned sit down.

If you’d like to get involved with raising much needed funds for Woodlands Hospice, click here to check out what events are coming up.

 

 

Tagged , , , , , ,

Focus

I’ve recently found myself unexpectedly free over August bank holiday weekend after my plans to hit the beach for a few days of paradise were scuppered! 

Feeling incredibly low, I called a meeting of friends who have travelled within the last month and sipped JD while we formulated a new plan. (All the best plans are made this way, right?)

Liverpool airport now flies directly to Marrakesh…..dreamy! St Petersberg, Bucharest and Naples just a hop skip and a passport away and there is no way I’m wasting this rare opportunity to do something a bit different!

My friend John has not long come back from a mammoth trip to Canada, and Jim is booking flights to Moscow and the Far East with work……and I was looking at interning on a national paper in London for five days before I realised just how accessible Europe is from our very own airport in Speke. 

I haven’t travelled on my own since I upped sticks and went back to Australia in 2000 at the age of 17. 12,000 miles from Manchester to Paris to Singapore and finally Sydney. Previously I’d gone as far as town on a Saturday! 

I took to all the style guide books I have at home and thought about having the opportunity to write from my own experience. That was enough to put the wheels in motion. 

Sat around the table at MacKenzies, Rodney Street earlier this week I voiced my concerns about my little jaunt turning into yet another Taken film (what number is it now…..3…4?) but with promises to come looking for me if I don’t check in regularly (sadly not Liam Neeson) I put those fears to bed as the excitement took over.

It goes without saying that ideally I’d love to get the girls together and have a mad weekend city break, laughing til our stomachs hurt and the rose runs out! 

But the reality of it being the middle of the summer holidays and kids and work and money comes into play! Not so easy to drop everything and catch a last minute flight when you’re a mum!

However, determined to not waste this opportunity, I’ve spent hours on Kayak (travel app) looking at flights and inspired by a work event airside at John Lennon Airport this Tuesday, I’ve woken up this morning and just booked a single flight. 

It’s done, and come hell or high water, it’s going to be an amazing adventure! 

I’ll get back to you at check in. 

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

May I?

I’ve failed my exams this month, spectacularly. I’ve so much respect for print journalists who can knock out 100 words per minute in shorthand, especially when dealing with sensitive subjects, noisy environments and random accents. You people are like, magical or something.

Sadly I’m not sure I’m cut out to join the elite, despite my brilliant shorthand lecturer persevering with me, I have hit the 80 wpm wall and cant seem to block out all the nonsense long enough to hit that coveted centenary mark.

I bowled into college, 12 minutes late last Friday morning, amid a flurry of phone calls that wound me right up, only to realise I had no pen (not even my trusty Army, Be The Best biro) or paper to transcribe on to, urgh.

shorthand

One emotional meltdown and four and a half minutes later I had failed my 100 wpm exam. Undeterred by the fact I was busy trying to concentrate, the drama continued through-out the break and into the 80 wpm re-sit exam an hour later. Plus some kid was sitting in MY seat. Failed again, head was most definitely elsewhere and not in the world of Teeline.

I’ve stressed myself out so much this month that the stomach ulcer I cultivated back in October decided to make an unwelcome return resulting in horrendous sickness for three long weeks. I didn’t even lose any weight, no need.

My daily diet of strawberry laces, Costa and cake wasn’t helping. I routinely resort back to the usual excuse; single mum of three, studying, working to build contacts, reputation and an attractive portfolio, plus running a home…..oh and my cat popped four kittens out on Sunday morning. I’m a bit busy to say the least and I’ve survived for too long on nervous energy and sugar!

So on to the positives! I now eat food, proper grown up food, and the biggest surprise is…..I actually like it! (munching porridge with grated apple and banana in it right now in fact). I feel so much better in just 4/5 days its remarkable. If you see me loitering around KFC, you have permission to kick my ass.

And because I feel better I’ve been able to get involved with some awesome events. I spent four idyllic days in Barcelona and sat in the press box and conference room at the Nou Camp. I’ve solved a murder mystery at the The Empire Theatre with Agatha Christie’s The Mouse Trap.

I’ve (unsuccessfully) tried to nick a lamb from Farmer Ted’s ( they’re so bloody cute) and held an Amazonian tree frog! I’ve rocked out with a bunch of ten year olds at a disco party and ate my (substantial) body weight in Army field kitchen chicken jalfrezi at the Liverpool Food & Drink Festival, Sefton Park.

I had a bit of a snog with Paddy McGuinness (sorry Woernee) at Madam Tussauds, Blackpool and tickled a stingray at Sea Life Centre. Watching the Kop come alive at Liverpool V Chelsea a couple of weeks ago was phenomenal, I’ve never experienced anything like that atmosphere, and the die hard fans tell me it was rubbish at that game

I had the privilege of cuddling brand new baby Elliot and feeling so much love for my wonderful friend Lisa who brought him into the world in a convenient 20 minutes! The same day I had root canal, two fillings and a cocktail for lunch…..and a 3 hour mid afternoon nap as a result!

My little dudes have had a blast in Blackpool, 518ft up in the air at the top of the Blackpool Tower, gasped at the awesome acrobatics at the circus and built their very own tower replica from Lego. We went back to school and walked the corridors of Broadgreen International school, 17 years after I left, whole separate blog post on this shortly.

I’ve photographed my own fantastic city from the roof of the Hope Street Hotel, had a brew with the new Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Roz Gladden and begun work on my first ever complete fashion collection, ready to show in Autumn 2016.

Ulcer schmulcer. Thank you so very much to the Alice and Greg, Jay Hynd and Amanda Moss for your continued support and thrilling opportunities to write. There are tonnes of new photo’s in the gallery here and check out my most recent work with The Guide Liverpool here.

Bring it on June!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy Halloween

Morning Campers and a very happy Halloween to you all!

It feels like its been the longest week in history, stock piling silly string and sugar skull decorations while randomly doing the dishes wearing a witches hat and those plastic vampire teeth…..all in an attempt to get into the party mood for today. Horn of The Dead

I survived the zombie invasion of Hope Street last night and had so much fun filming with my fellow NCTJ student friends in the process. You can see all my pics here and read my zombie street style article on Purple Revolver later today. So despite almost being run down by shocked drivers, and scaring the living day lights out of theatre goers at the Philharmonic Hall (they’d just seen a special screening of Psycho, and came out to zombie banging on the glass doors shouting brains!!!) I’ve sustained only light latex wounds on my face and a bit of a headache from all the laughing. My favourite part of the night was 5 of us standing in line in a deserted Subway chain only for the guy to come out to serve us and almost die of shock.

Face scrubbed clean and slightly less ripped clothing on today, I’m heading to the Girls Day out event at Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre on the waterfront before the face paint comes out AGAIN and its swiftly onto thee Day of The Dead party this evening with Caz! Pics to follow.

Keep It Spooky!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Twas the Week Before Halloween

Struggling to sit at my laptop long enough to type about Halloween as I already want to go mad and decorate the house…..and there’s still a WHOLE WEEK to go!

For the first time in forever (yep I just belted that out in the silence of my kitchen in my best Idina Menzel voice) I am going to be child free on Halloween…..and to celebrate this rare and momentous occasion I am attending some seriously awesome Halloween festivities!

First off I’m not completely shirking my parental responsibility, seeing as its half term I’ve booked some spooky treats for my little people too. We’re off to the Little School of Horrors, Gostins Building Liverpool on Tuesday with the eldest dude to partake in some special effects make-up work shops aimed at 8-11 year olds. Staff at the school have worked on shows such as Dr Who, Sherlock and Monroe, so I’m expecting my girl will have a blast. I’ll stick the pictures up afterwards and if you want to book on too you can find out more about their half-term sessions here.  HORN OF THE DEAD
As the Little School of Horrors sessions are aimed at older kids, I had to even it out and accommodate my little ones too. So, Wednesday and Thursday is drop-in-tastic at Make Time Studio West Derby with a whole host of ghoulish craft treats to create. Kate who runs the studio is just brilliant with younger kids too, getting everyone involved so we’re super excited to bring home some hand made trick or treat bags and masks. Sessions are from 11-4 and £5 per head. Find out more here.

Hopefully the kids will be worn out by Thursday afternoon…as on Friday things take a seriously creepy turn. If you’re at a loose end, over the age of 6……and fancy being in a Zombie movie…..head on over to 92 Degrees Coffee (on the corner of Hope Street & Hardman Street) and prepare to be part of a Zombie Flash Mob with Liverpool based company, Purple Revolver. The Horn of The Dead event aims to gather 100 real-life biters to be filmed on Hope Street for Bay TV, and with SFX make up legend Shaune Harrison overseeing the make-overs….you just know its going to be hellish! Having worked on Avengers, Harry Potter and Star Wars, Shaune and his team are going to transform Hope Street into a living nightmare. If you’d like to get involved tickets are £5 and proceeds go to The Alder Hey Charity. Timings and stuff here. pARTY dELIGHTS dAY OF THE DEAD THEME

Finally, on to the main event. Making the most of child-free-ness was always going to involve alcohol however because I’m on parr with Monica from Friends when it comes to party planning I’ve spent an age trawling websites to source the best quality decorations. This year me and Caz have opted for a The Day of The Dead theme with Mexican sugar skulls and flowers. Luckily for us, North West based, online party supplier, Party Delights have a HUGE amount of affordable Day of The Dead items, from table wear to full adult costumes and photo booth backdrops (some items are as little as 89p….I may have a gone a bit overboard) I managed to order everything we needed in one fell swoop and delivery was ridiculously quick. The only issue is not being able to break open the packaging and get the party going! I’ll post some pics of our goodies during the week because there’s no way I’m not opening that box until Saturday!

Keep it creepy!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday Night Thrift

Guys and girls of the world wide interweb…I need your help. No…no…I don’t want money….nor do I want to take up your spare time to wash cars, bake cakes or sell raffle tickets…..but I do want your old clothes….or rather the lovely people at Wex and Golden Square Coffee on Wood Street, Liverpool do for their charity clothing drive and sale.

I would love to see you on Friday 24th July from 7pm with a big ol’ bag of great quality unwanted men’s or women’s clothing of any size. 100% of the profits are going to Liverpool‘s leading homeless and housing charity,The Whitechapel Centre, and what they cant sell online they will donate to their charity shop…which opens soon. The Whitechapel Centre do a phenomenal job helping those in need of support in our great city. From their open access center offering showers, laundry services and breakfast to a safe place to sleep and ongoing housing support. The center have posted on their Facebook page asking for any good quality shirts and suits that might just give someone the confidence they need to attend an interview…and get the ball rolling towards a brighter future.  IMG_5356

So, whats that you say?…..Summer holidays….no baby sitter…..girls night out……date night with your bae……no bother at all. If you have a pair of jeans, any sports wear, shirts, suits basically anything with plenty of wear left in it….any size….drop me a line and I’ll come and collect it. It takes as much effort as making a cuppa to have a quick rifle through your wardrobe and fire me a quick email or whatsapp to arrange collection (Within the Liverpool area only) Minimal effort….maximum effect!

Also, if Friday is date night and you’ve not yet made plans, swing by Golden Square Coffee, pull up a pew, soak up the atmosphere, live music, DJ’s and craft beers…right in the heart of the city center…. or if you love vintage fashion, one of a kind garments or simply a bargain…come take a look…..I’ll see you there.

If you’d like to know more about any of the organisations involved click here.

Thanks in advance you lovely lot!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,